Category Archives: Articles

New Music: PJ Morton, “Claustrophobic”

PJ Morton

Hi Soulsters!  We wanted bring you the latest single from singer/songwriter and Maroon 5 member, PJ Morton, “Claustrophobic“. We haven’t heard much from Mr. Morton, since his wonderful 2013 release,”New Orleans“, so it is so great to hear from him again. Morton’s “Claustrophobic” is him expressing disdain for being put in a box musically. The music industry definitely has the ability to stifle any creativity an artist has and I’m sure many artists can relate to this song. What PJ Morton is singing about is one of the reasons why the music industry and radio is dead. So much of the music on the radio is uninspired and has no depth. It’s just filler with no soul to it.  This song is powerful and it gives voice to those just wanting to be creative and have it be accepted as it is.  PJ Morton has always been a gifted and soulful songwriter and “Claustrophobic”  showcases that effortlessly.

Check out “Claustrophobic” below and share your thoughts!

National Record Store Day at Moods Music

Moods

Hey Soulsters! I had such a wonderful time this weekend connecting with fellow music lovers at Moods Music in Atlanta, GA in celebration of National Record Store Day. I wrote about this event last year (see here) and it has become the event that I look forward to the most. Not only do you get to hear and discover talented independent music artists, but you also get to support your local record store and give back to them what they have put into the community.

Moods Music owner, Darryl Harris is definitely loved by the community and his love of music and people permeates the walls of his store.  Everyone that attended was there in high spirits and the vibe was filled with so much love.  We were all there to support the store, the music and the artists.  That is what it is all about, people.  Can you tell I had a great time?

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Record Store Day below:

Miranda Nicole, “Melanin Blues”

Maleke O’Ney

Rhonda Thomas, “When You Know You Know

Carmen Rodgers and Anthony David, “Charge”

Anthony David, “Let Me In” and “Smoke One”

Moods Music is located at 1131 Euclid Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 653-0724 http://www.moodsmusic.net

Joonie, “Contrast”

joonie

What do you get when you come across an artist that has the sound of 70’s, 80s, and 90s R&B Soul with beautiful melodies and smooth vocals?  You get an artist named Joonie with a masterpiece of a sophomore album called, “Contrast”.

Calvin “Joonie” Gary, Jr. is a singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and producer based out of Los Angeles, CA. He is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays most of the instruments on his latest album.

“Contrast” is the ultimate love album.  Songs like “Wish Her The Best (Delilah, Part 2)”, “No Tears” are songs about ending a relationship, however, they are written with such love and care that you can’t help but feel good when listening to them.   If someone were to leave you, you would want them to think and feel this way about you at the end of it all.  Joonie is such a gifted songwriter that he places the listener right in the midst of what he is singing about. “For You”, “Far Away”, “Official” and “Life’s Better” are a few of the many standouts of the album.

The vocal arrangements, instrumentation and production on “Contrast” are tight and effortless. This album has such a lovely sound and vibe to it that you can’t help but reminisce about the songs of the old days. Songs that actually have song structure and nuances that are missing in today’s music. Joonie is a true artist along the lines of Prince in that he produces, writes and arranges his own music. You should really check this album out and spread the word! This music deserves to be heard. Check out the music below and let us know what you think!

“Contrast” is available on iTunes and on his official website here and here.

Music Video: “For You” by Joonie

“Far Away” by Joonie

Indie on TV: Kimberly Nichole on The Voice

Kimberly-Nichole-

I’m not too much of a fan of the TV show, “The Voice”, but I do love a particular artist that is making her way through the rounds, the awesomely talented singer, Kimberly Nichole. I remember catching her performances here in Atlanta, GA as an underground, indie artist a few years back and enjoying the experience immensely. Kimberly Nichole is what someone would call a “beast”. Her soulful voice along with her incredible stage presence is something to behold. With just her and her band on that stage, she captivated all of the audiences that I have seen her perform in front of. She consistently just brought the house down every single time. I’m so glad that she is on “The Voice” and they have been given the opportunity to showcase this woman’s raw talent. Check her out her incredible performances on “The Voice” below.

Kimberly Nichole will give the show great ratings, so it will be in their best interests to keep her on the show (and crown her the winner). Pharrell Williams made a huge mistake letting her go last night, but Christina Aguilera snatched her up without hesitation.  Aguilera is really a better fit for Nichole for obvious reasons. Williams wouldn’t know what to do with all of that talent.

It’s so good to watch someone coming from being an indie artist and watching them grow their career to the world-wide stage. She has been on the grind for many years and being on this platform is such a wonderful accomplishment for her. I now have a reason to watch “The Voice” this season and I will enjoy supporting her by voting and rooting her on! Will you?

Check out Kimberly Nicole and her music here and here!

Aloe Blacc Speaks on Changing Copyright Laws

Hi Soulsters!  Answer this question.  If you enjoy music as much as I do and it serves as a soundtrack to your life and uplifts you in many ways, wouldn’t you want the artist that brought that to your life to be compensated fairly for that?  I know I do.  Just like anything else music is a product.  When music is created and it serves to better the lives of people, the songwriter has provided a service that they should be compensated for plain and simple.  Streaming music sites like Pandora and Spotify literally rob songwriters of their creativity and contribution to the world.  They make a huge profit over the creators themselves.  The copyright laws should be changed to keep up with the digital age and the way people now download music.  I don’t use Spotify, however, I have used Pandora.  I really did not know that Pandora pays the artist so little to spin their songs.  In an article that singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc wrote for wired.com, he stated that on Pandora it takes “roughly one million spins for a songwriter to  earn just $90”.  What a travesty!  How disgusting is that?  The laws need to be changed, point blank period.  We have to stand for songwriters in this and they have to also come together and stand for themselves as well.

See the video below of singer and songwriter,  Aloe Blacc discussing this  issue in the music business on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Check out Aloe Blacc’s article on this subject on wired.com here

What are your thoughts on this?  Do you agree that copyright laws need to be changed?  Let’s talk about it!

The Rebirth – Being Thru the Eyes of a Child

REBIRTH_Final_Album_FrontCover_4Empire-275x275If you want to hear timeless music from a GREAT Soul/Jazz band, then look no further. The Rebirth is that band. They have just released their highly anticipated sophomore album, “Being Thru the Eyes of a Child”. Just like it’s predecessor, “This Journey In”, this album is such a classic piece of music.

The Rebirth is a seven member band that hails out of Los Angeles, CA and is led by producer, keyboardist and vocalist, Carlos “Loslito” Guaico. Members of The Rebirth are lead vocalist, Baskerfield Jones, Mark Cross (keyboards, vocals), Nikki Campbell (percussion), Patrick Bailey (guitar), Chris Taylor (drums, vocals), and Daniel Seeff (bass guitar). Their signature sound consists of jazz, soul and funk.

I was introduced to this band by hearing their single, “Everybody Say Yeah”, on a local radio station here in Atlanta (Jazz 91.9 FM WCLK) back in 2006. I became an instant fan then and made sure I attended one of their shows when they stopped in Atlanta. All I can remember was the cool vibe and so much awesome music from that show. It was crazy! I danced my butt off that night. That show was easily a good three hours but no one cared. We were encouraged to let go and feel the music..and we did just that. Since then their debut, “This Journey In” has been on repeat in my life’s soundtrack for years. I waited so long for this album and even heard rumblings of a break up at one point. But alas, The Rebirth returns and  releases this album.  It is certainly worth all of the waiting that their fans had to endure.

Being Thru the Eyes of a Child” is a sonic kaleidoscope of rich vocals, crisp instrumentation and atmospheric sound effects that when pulled together brings the listener into a different dimension. Songs like, “Religion To Me”, “Caterpillar” and “By Design” are examples of this. Baskerfield Jones‘ soulful vocals are a perfect complement to the music. She adds her own swagger and funk to the lead single, “This Is Coming To?” and “Wasteland”. “Come on Over” showcases Jones’ vocal versatility and is so beautifully executed. Even though they have a lead vocalist, you still can’t help but feel that this is truly a band and there are no stand outs. The Rebirth is a band in every sense of the word. All work together and each member has talents that they bring to the table to make this band great. “Being Thru the Eyes of a Child” is definitely an album you can listen to straight through. Every song on here is SO good. I’m sure true music heads will find themselves going back and listening to the many nuances they provide in their sound.  Check them out and support this music.  If they roll through your city be sure not to miss them.

Being Thru the Eyes of a Child” is available now on iTunes
The Rebirth Official Website

Check out the video for the first single, “This Is Coming To?”

 

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

martin

Hi Soulsters! Today, let’s reflect and celebrate the legacy and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With all that is going on in this country today, such as inequality, social injustice and division, let’s honor the man who shared his dream and lead us towards it. We have come a long way since then, but there is still a long way to go. Common’s song, “Dream” pays a great homage to Dr. King and the spirit of the movement. Dr. King inspired this song and this artist along with many others. Powerful words…powerful song. Check out the video and listen to the message. Thank you Dr. King!

Award Season: Glory! Congrats to John Legend and Common!

John Legend and Commonselma-movie-poster

Singer, songwriter and activist, John Legend and Rap artist and poet, Common captured the Golden Globe for Best Original Song with “Glory” from the motion picture Selma last night.  Being a long-time, mega fan of both of these artists, I was so proud watching the broadcast last night when their win was announced.  Both are extremely talented and so active in the community, so I would like to honor them here on Soulster Vibes. Legend and Common’s “Glory” is an example of what music can do and how it can reach and influence the masses. What an awesome and powerful song.  It speaks so much to the turmoil, division and unity of today as well as during the Civil Rights Movement as being one in the same. See their powerful acceptance speech here and the “Glory” video (with words) below. Soak it in people and share your thoughts of the song and this wonderful moment in music.

Post Update: The official video just came out! Check it out below!

Artist Spotlight: JazzMine Garfield

JazzMine Garfield

Hey Soulsters! Now, this is why I do this. I write this blog for the love of coming across the musical gems out there that have been overlooked. Boy, did a come across a soulful and eclectic gem in the artist, JazzMine Garfield. Ms. Garfield is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and soul artist out of Birmingham, Alabama. Her music is like nothing out there right now. A mix of jazz, soul, acoustic and folk, this Sista’s sound is in a genre all it’s own. Now this is what I call great music. I came across Ms. Garfield online and her sound captured me immediately! I have been stalking her SoundCloud page for the past few days listening to everything she has put out thus far (daggone, she has ALOT of music…GOOD music) and I am so excited about her sound. She already has an EP that was released a couple of years ago on Bandcamp called “Loves Bullet“. It’s available for download here and it is really an incredible listen.

JazzMine Garfield also has a forthcoming EP this year called “Write Every Wrong”. Can’t wait for that! In the meantime take a listen below to a few songs that she has released in anticipation of the new EP. Check her out and support this music and super talented artist. I am definitely a certified new fan and I’m sure once you take a listen, you will be too! Enjoy!

Let her know how her music makes you FEEL and hit her Facebook Fan Page here!

Behind The Sound: Mayer Hawthorne

Hey Soulsters! Check out the video below of singer, songwriter and soul artist, Mayer Hawthorne discussing his musical influences and his process of developing his sound. I found this video pretty interesting and wanted to share it. I always like to get information of the production and concepts of the artists that I listen to (I LOVE to read liner and production notes). Too bad they didn’t feature any of his music in the video, but I have discussed it in my previous post on his live show here. Take a look and let me know your thoughts?