Category Archives: Soul

David Bray & Friends: Crowded Isolation Part 1

Canadian songwriter David Bray has collaborated with a variety of musical friends to bring the Crowded Isolation trilogy to life. The title comes from Bray’s intent to look at the challenges of urban living. “Crowded Isolation Part 1” is from the second album, Crowded Isolation,  and it features vocalist Lorraine Reid. Bray said that the songs are from the perspective of the people who struggle to live in the urban world and others who observe those hectic lives. 

 

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Leon Bridges Releases Sophomore Album Good Thing (Album Stream)

Leon Bridges stunned people three years when he released his debut album of ’60s soul Coming Home. Bridges sophomore album, Good Thing uses the ’60s and beyond to express itself. His Good Thing tour kicks off tomorrow in Los Angeles and will continue for the summer and keep on through the fall. 

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R.I.P. John “Jabo” Starks

 John “Jabo” Starks who helped provide the backbone of James Brown’s most revered lineup died Tuesday at his home in Mobile, Alabama after suffering from luekemia. The 79-year old drummer was responsible for creating the rhythms some of Brown’s most celebrated work with Clyde “Funky Drummer” Stubblefield including “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine,” “Funky Drummer” and “The Payback.” Starks worked for Big Mama Thornton, John Lee Hooker and  Bobby “Blue” Bland in the early ’60s before joining Brown’s organization. It is Starks’ drums heard on Lyn Collins’ “Think (About It)” that was sampled on Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two.” He left James Brown in the ’70s and was a member of  B.B. King’s band for a while. A reconnection with Stubblefield led to them releasing music as The Funkmasters and recording the 2007 Superbad soundtrack. They also made instructional videos discussing their legendary sound that has been recycled in hip-hop since its inception. 

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Throwback: Luther Vandross-Never Too Much

 Luther Vandross wrote, performed and produced “Never Too Much” from his 1981 debut album of the same name. Vandross’s honeyed tenor immediately set the standards for a scene of male R&B stars that included singers like James Ingram and Teddy Pendergrass. His warm tone had a familiarity that made fans accurately identify him as the greatest balladeer ever after hearing his version of “A House Is Not A Home” from the album. Vandross had previously worked as a background singer for several artists including Better Midler, David Bowie, Chaka Khan and others before he was the lead singer of the group Change. “Never Too Much” introduced him to an international audience as a solo artist and made it to the top spot on the R&B charts. Never Too Much was the beginning of Luther Vandross’s legend that ended too soon when he passed away in 2005. 

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Watch: Lauryn Hill Perform At Nina Simone’s RRHOF Induction Ceremony

 Nina Simone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and Lauryn Hill performed a three-song tribute to her. She sang “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair” and “Feeling Good.” Mary J. Blige gave the induction speech at the ceremony that took place Saturday in Cleveland. Nina Simone’s brother Nyack Sam Waymon accepted the honor on behalf of his late sister. Andra Day also performed “I Wish I Knew How It Felt To Be Free” and “I Put A Spell On You” with The Roots. The event will air May 5th at 8 PM ET on HBO. 

 

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