Soultracks.com took their online poll of stunning but underrated soulstars offline to Detroit’s Cobo Hall for an evening of honors and performance on a cold and wintry November 16th that had all of winter’s feeling but no snow. A cadre of soul bloggers, musicians, soul fans and their friends took in the grassroots-efforted affair inside the venue’s Riverview Ballroom overlooking the murky water shared by Michigan and Canada. Jodine of Jodine’s corner hosted the event and blessed the night with David Bowie’s quote that “Major labels will be in shambles in the next ten years.” She left out part of the quote where he also says that “touring will be the only unique situation left.”
It is the constant travels of Eric Roberson, Maya Azucena, Maysa Leak, Phil Perry and a chain of other independent soul artists that have allowed them to have careers outside the shareholder-driven worlds of Viacom, Universal, Sony Bmg, Warner and EMI. The readers of Soultracks.com did not pick their winners from the nationalized playlists of terrestial radio but the niche economies of online music.