Leela James “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”:
Leela James Celebrates the Enduring Power of Soul Music on Shanachie Debut “Let’s Do It Again”
When Leela James decided to call her new album LET’S DO IT AGAIN, it wasn’t necessarily because she happened to record a profoundly soulful version of that Staples Singers classic. There was a deeper meaning involved for her as one of the most acclaimed soul singers of the new generation. It was all about pursuing her vision of music, the kind she sang about on the song simply titled “Music” on her best-selling debut CD, on which she name-checked Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan and wondered “where’s the music gone?” For LET’S DO IT AGAIN, Leela was determined to make music the old-school way, just like they used to do at Stax, Motown and Muscle Shoals, recording live in the studio to capture the spontaneous magic and raw emotion that can only come by recording an in-the-moment performance where the singer feeds off the energy of the musicians. It was a courageous move but Leela was up for the challenge as
she translates classic soul into her own contemporary style with unique interpretations of a wide-ranging set of songs. The results leap out of the speakers, making LET’S DO IT AGAIN an irresistible experience of joyous, organic, funky, soul music that is all too rare these days. Slated for March 24th on Shanachie Entertainment, LET’S DO IT AGAIN, is a triumphant sophomore effort from one of the most electrifying singers on the scene today.
“I love real music,” Leela explains, “meaning I love instruments, I love real musicians playing. I most enjoy performing with my band because I get energy from the crowd and the instruments; it really does something for
me. So the opportunity to go into the studio and combine that live energy with the studio was just a blessing.”