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  • 0 Prince Heads to Super Bowl 41

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 12/11/2006

    Can Prince out "jumpin' jack" flash both Janet Jackson and the Rolling Stones at Super Bowl XLI? He gets his chance Sunday, February 4, 2007, as the Halftime Show headliner during the football classic. The Super Bowl is always the USA's highest rated television show each year, with a worldwide audience of over 1 billion. Prince should score a touchdown with this gig. In recent years, both Jackson and the Rolling Stones have had their brushes with Super Bowl controversy. Ms. Jackson, for her infamous wardrobe malfunction, and the Stones for some racy lyrics that had to be bleeped out of their performance earlier this year. Given the independent spirit of Prince and the authenticity of his music, he too may bring some mischievous controversy to the party. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Mary J. Blige Leads the 49th Annual Grammy Award Nominee Pack

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 12/08/2006

    The 49th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 11, 2007, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Mary J. Blige leads the pack with 8 Grammy Award nominations. Here are all of the R&B nominees, courtesy of Grammy.com.   Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only. "Ring The Alarm" Beyonce' Track from: B'Day Sony Urban Music/Columbia "Be Without You" Mary J. Blige Track from: The Breakthrough Geffen Records "Don't Forget About Us" Mariah Carey Track from: The Emancipation Of Mimi (Ultra Platinum Edition) Island Records "Day Dreaming" Natalie Cole Track from: Leavin' Verve Records "I Am Not My Hair" India.Arie Track from: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship Motown Records Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only. "Heaven" John Legend Track from: Once Again Columbia/Good/Sony Urban Music "So Sick" Ne-Yo Track from: In My Own Words Def Jam Recordings "Black Sweat" Prince Track from: 3121 Universal Records "I Call It Love" Lionel Richie Track from: Coming Home Island Def Jam Recordings "Got You Home" Luther Vandross Track from: The Ultimate Luther Vandross J Records/Epic/Legacy Recordings Best R&B Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocals for duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only. "Breezin'" George Benson & Al Jarreau Track from: Givin' It Up Concord Records/Monster Music "Love Changes" Jamie Foxx Featuring Mary J. Blige Track from: Unpredictable J Records "Everyday (Family Reunion)" Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams & Carl Thomas Track from: Madea's Family Reunion - Music From The Motion Picture Motown Records "Family Affair" Sly & The Family Stone, John Legend, Joss Stone With Van Hunt Track from: Different Strokes By Different Folks Epic/Legacy Recordings "Beautiful, Loved And Blessed" Prince & T'mar Track from: 3121 Universal Records Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only. "Christmas Time Is Here" Anita Baker Track from: Christmas Fantasy Blue Note Records "God Bless The Child" George Benson & Al Jarreau Featuring Jill Scott Track from: Givin' It Up Concord Records/Monster Music "I Found My Everything" Mary J. Blige Featuring Raphael Saadiq Track from: The Breakthrough Geffen Records "You Are So Beautiful" Sam Moore Featuring Billy Preston, Zucchero, Eric Clapton & Robert Randolph Track from: Overnight Sensational Rhino Entertainment "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" The Temptations Track from: Reflections New Door Records Best R&B Song (A Songwriter(s) Award. (Artist names appear in parenthesis.) Singles or Tracks only.) "Be Without You" Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jason Perry, songwriters (Mary J. Blige) Track from: The Breakthrough Geffen Records "Black Sweat" Prince, songwriter (Prince) Track from: 3121 Universal Records "Deja Vu" Shawn Carter, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Beyonce' Knowles, Makeba, Keli Nicole Price & Delisha Thomas, songwriters (Beyonce' Featuring Jay-Z) Track from: B'Day Sony Urban Music/Columbia "Don't Forget About Us" Johnta Austin, Mariah Carey, Bryan-Michael Cox & Jermaine Dupri, songwriters (Mariah Carey) Track from: The Emancipation Of Mimi (Ultra Platinum Edition) Island Records "I Am Not My Hair" Drew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders & India Arie Simpson, songwriters (India.Arie) Track from: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship Motown Records Best R&B Album for albums containing 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks. The Breakthrough Mary J. Blige Geffen Records Unpredictable Jamie Foxx J Records Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship India.Arie Motown Records 3121 Prince Universal Republic Coming Home Lionel Richie Island Def Jam Recordings Best Contemporary R&B Album for albums containing 51% or more playing time of vocal tracks. B'Day Beyonce' Sony Urban Music/Columbia Chris Brown Chris Brown Jive Records/Zomba Label Group 20 Y.O. Janet Jackson Virgin Records Kelis Was Here Kelis Jive Records/Zomba Label Group/Dope Entertainment In My Own Words Ne-Yo Def Jam Recordings Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 James Brown Grabs more Godfather of Soul Gigs

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 12/07/2006

    2021 Update: 18 days after this was originally posted, James Brown passed away on Christmas Day, 2006. ----- At 73, the ageless James Brown is still the hardest working man in show business. Soul Brother number one's incredible story has been recently profiled on the excellent PBS James Brown American Masters Documentary. He is one of the few performers who has had a broad cultural influence beyond the musical stage. As a soulful voice of black pride and an entrepreneurial example of community commerce, James Brown became an iconic symbol in the 1960's and 70's. The drive to succeed and to be the best is what's kept him going through the years, despite some highly publicized ups and downs. Performing keeps "Mr. Dynamite" on his toes. Here are 9 James Brown tour dates coming your way soon... December 27, 2006 - The Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT, 8:45pm December 28, - Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood, NJ, 8:45pm December 30, - Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ, 8:45pm December 31, - B.B. King Blues Club, New York, NY, 8:00pm & 10:30pm January 3, 2007 - Metropolis, Montreal, Canada, 9:15pm January 4, - National Arts Centre Southam Hall, Ottawa, Canada, 8:15pm January 9, - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 8:15pm January 14, - CN Centre, Prince George, BC, Canada February 2, - Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, CA J-B continues to perform over 100 live dates each year. For more 2007 USA shows, Canadian dates, and European tour dates in France, Switzerland, and Monaco, see the official James Brown tour schedule. (2021 Update: link removed) Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Instrumental Mags Help Happy Players Score all Year Long

    2021 Update: only 2 of these magazines survived. Sad, too bad so the other 3 links have been removed. The original post is below. --------------- Ever since humans invented devices for performing music with their hands, one thing has remained constant. People who play instruments are highly respected, especially the gifted players. However, not everyone wants to be a professional. Sometimes just picking up an instrument for the fun of it is enough to relieve stress, and make you feel happy. Here are five resources for amateurs or professionals loaded with terrific tips, tricks, and techniques. These are great gifts for beginners or music maestros. All are published monthly. Each one specializes in a specific instrument. For acoustic guitar pickers playing jazz, folk, and rock. For Piano, synthesizer, and keyboard based digital recording systems and the players that use them. For electric and acoustic bass players.   4) For the technology about making and recording music by the electronic musician. 5) For guitar players searching to strike a chord of stylistic diversity. Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, and Guitar Player are all great starting points for capturing instrumental magic. 2021 Update: Maybe a brick and mortar library has some old back issues. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Making Instant Online Connections for Melodic Holiday Gifts

    • Website
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 12/05/2006

    2021 update: Luckily, CD Universe survives. See below. The original text of this blog post follows: With three weeks until Christmas, time is running out to select those musical stocking stuffers. Skip the malls and the "big box" stores. Here are three online music sites with a catalog of tunes guaranteed to please any musical scrooge. 1) Half.com (link removed) - Acquired by eBay within the past few years, Half.com is a treasure for hard to find music, lots of it no longer available either from record company catalogs, or by digital download. Many of the Half.com CD's are used and are available for just pennies on the dollar. A high percentage are brand new and are still in the original shrink wrap. Select the music link on the Half.com home page, and search away. Read the ratings of the sellers to evaluate their reputation within the community. Allow at least two weeks for snail mail delivery. You'll receive most orders in three - four business days, but remember, most Half.com sellers are not retailers. 2) CD Universe A specialist for both music CD's and DVD's (VideoUniverse.com), CD Universe has a very deep catalog and is an excellent resource. Anyone can post a review of a CD. You'll find the reviews honest and helpful in cutting through the promotional hype. 3) iTunes Last, but not least, the new leader in the digital download universe was created by Apple to drive the iPod revolution. You don't need an iPod to take advantage of iTunes. Download their free software for Mac or PC, install it, then go to town. Download tracks, or complete albums. Burn your own CD's from your purchases using the iTunes software to create unique collections (in the ultra popular MP3 file format). iTunes is incredibly easy to use. Like other Apple products, it's very intuitive to figure out. Call it elegantly simple. That's one reason why iTunes has delivered over 1 billion downloads. These three popular websites rescue you from the "brick and mortar store marathon" by making instant online connections for melodic holiday gifts. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 5 Classic R&B CD Gift Picks for 2006

    • Review
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/30/2006

    Here are my 5 new classic R&B CD gift picks for the holiday season. These albums were all released within the past 12 to 14 months. I've ranked them in order. Even though the music is mostly new, the classic soul lover on your gift list will enjoy these... Luther Vandross - The Ultimate Luther Vandross Natalie Cole - Leavin' Jeffrey Osborne -From The Soul Earth, Wind & Fire - Illumination Lionel Richie - Comin' Home I've previously reviewed the Vandross, Cole, and Richie releases. Click on the links to read the reviews. All of the tracks are familiar songs on Jeffrey Osborne's From The Soul. He's had his share of solo hits in addition to memorable chart toppers with L.T.D. On From The Soul, he makes the most of his powerful mellow voice by interpreting ten classic hits made famous by other artists. Jeffrey does a great job too! Close The Door Until You Come Back To Me Yes I'm Ready For What It's Worth People Get Ready First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Knocks Me Off My Feet Every Little Bit Hurts All At Once Hey Girl Finally, Earth, Wind & Fire's Illumination is a very good combination of new and old styles fused together. Brian McKnight, Floetry, Kenny G, Kelly Rowland, and others join the party along with Maurice White, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. Illumination is well balanced between the vintage sound you expect from the group, and a fresh contemporary edge that the younger participants add. This is the best Earth, Wind & Fire album in years, so treat yourself, or that special classic soul lover on your gift list, to a top notch mix from the provocative "elements of the universe." Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 2006 Colors of Christmas Tour Blends Four Soulful Voices

    Deniece Williams, James Ingram, Peabo Bryson, and Stephanie Mills headline the 2006 "Colors of Christmas Tour" appearing December 7th - December 20th across the USA. For over fourteen years, the tour has featured major artists performing together in a concert of traditional Christmas music. The charismatic vocalists also slip in some of their greatest hits into the show. Deniece, James, Peabo, and Stephanie will sing accompanied by a full orchestra and gospel choir. Here are some selected dates for the current tour: Thursday, December 7, 8pm, Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center, El Paso, Texas Saturday, December 9, 8pm, Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland Friday, December 15, 8pm Cerritos Center, Cerritos, California Saturday, December 16, 8pm Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA Sunday, December 17, 3pm Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA Monday, December 18, 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA Tuesday, December 19, 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA Wednesday, December 20, 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA Friday, December 22, 8pm, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, Michigan Flashback: ten years ago today on November 29, 1996, Roberta Flack, James Ingram, Aaron Neville, and Peabo Bryson were featured in an early Colors of Christmas Tour in Clearwater, Florida. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Bobby Womack Shines Career Daylight on his Website

    • Website
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/28/2006

    Between 1962 - 1994, Bobby Womack had nearly 50 charted releases. Now in his sixth decade, Womack, nicknamed "the soul preacher," continues to crank out the music he loves. Bobby appears on the new Bootsy Collins Christmas CD. Womack is well respected as a legendary artist by both his R&B and pop music peers. His discography, along with many excellent photos, are highlighted on his official Bobby Womack website. Moving between the web pages on his site gets tricky, but the payoff is worth it. You'll be moving around as if you were leafing through the pages of a book. All of the Womack releases between 1961 - 1999 are documented, many of them with links so you can listen to tracks. I'm looking forward to several new features that are promised for the site. The enhancements will provide even more of Womack's perspective about the classic soul music era he helped create. 2021 update: Bobby Womack passed away in 2014. Rather than remove the dark bolded text above, we've left it in as a tribute. The Bobby Womack website has been sunset. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Christmas Favorites with an African Beat

    • Review
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/22/2006

    Some of South Africa's best talents are featured in a new collection of Christmas songs called, "African Christmas." You'll easily recognize the melodies on this 2006 release. Traditional Christmas carols are sung with melodic African voices in a variety of tempos. Stylistically, "African Christmas" reminds me of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, and other South African artists who have exported their culture to the world. "Christmas Favorites with An African Beat," (the CD's subtitle), kicks into high gear with Bongani Masuku, Mandisa Dlanga, Max Mthambo, Vernon Abdul, and other personnel. Zulu-flavored renditions of the following classics are featured: Oh Come All Ye Faithful Away in a Manger Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Joy to The World Little Drummer Boy When A Child is Born Silent Night We Wish You a Merry Christmas Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer Jingle Bell Rock The Sun Shines Down (on A Christmas Day) White Christmas Jingle Bells African Christmas (Acapella) This is a good CD. We'll definitely be playing a few tracks from it on Powerhouse Radio in the weeks ahead as we get closer to Christmas. Check out the Powerhouse Radio Christmas song playlist, and share it with your friends. Previous Post | Next Post  

  • 0 2006 American Music Awards are Fan Favorites

    The American Music Awards grab the spotlight tonight, Tuesday, November 21st. Last week we had the World Music Awards featuring a guest performance by Michael Jackson. Are these award shows canceling each other out? VH1's hip-hop Awards, BET's hip-hop Awards, MTV's video Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, The Grammy Awards, etc., etc., etc. People love to win awards. Entertainment companies love to promote their names. As a result, these programs are all over television. The 2006 American Music Awards are chosen by music fans rather than artists or experts making this event special. Dick Clark Productions has lined up Beyonce', Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Mary J. Blige, Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, Rascal Flatts, Snow Patrol and Tenacious D to perform. Look for lots of "B," "C," and "D" listers as presenters. Yes, there are a few "A" list presenters too. Here are the nominees in the category of R&B/Soul... Favorite Male Artist: Chris Brown Jamie Foxx Ne-Yo Favorite Female Artist: Mary J. Blige Mariah Carey Keyshia Cole Favorite Band, Duo or Group: The Black Eyed Peas The Isley Brothers Jagged Edge Favorite Album: The Breakthrough - Mary J. Blige The Emancipation of Mimi - Mariah Carey Unpredictable - Jamie Foxx The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California will have all the action on the ABC-TV Network with host Jimmy Kimmel. Previous Post | Next Post

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