Category Archives: Live Performance Reviews

National Record Store Day at Moods Music


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

Concert Vibes: The Foreign Exchange Live in Atlanta


Hey Soulsters! The Foreign Exchange graced Atlanta with their soulful presence on Friday at Terminal West. Of course, as a huge fan of this group, you know I couldn’t let them come through my city without catching their show. They are currently on a world tour promoting their latest release, “Love In Flying Colors“. See the album review here.

I saw FE+ for the first time last October and that show was incredible. It’s great to know that each time you see an artist live, their show is even better than before. That was certainly the case on Friday night. The FE crew consisted of Nicolay, Phonte, Zo!, and Carmen Rodgers this go round. They started with their first single off the latest album, “Call It Home“. Phonte’s vocals were definitely on point and I remember thinking, “What a great way to open the show“. I got chills when they walked out to that song. It just got better from there. “If I knew Then” featuring Carmen Rodgers (which is my joint!) was next. Another great song on the album. “Love In Flying Colors” has many great songs on it and they pretty much showcased all of them except one or two. Singer, songwriter and Decatur, GA native, Gwen Bunn made a guest appearance during Zo!‘s, “Count To Five“. This is my favorite song off Zo!‘s ManMade offering, his latest. It introduced me to the very talented Bunn and I have been a fan of her music ever since. See the video for this single here. I was so excited to see her run up on the stage! At the last Atlanta FE+show back in October, Phonte called her out to perform this song, but to my dismay she wasn’t in the building. What a pleasant surprise that Ms. Bunn was there this night and rocked it!

I loved the song choices of past FE+ music that they chose to perform. Songs like, “I Wanna Know”, “House of Cards”, “Come Around”, “Take Off The Blues” and “Nic’s Groove” had me jamming the rest of the night. It seems to me that there was more music than what I remember from the other show, which is more than welcomed!

If you haven’t already, please go and check out FE+ while they are on tour. You can find their tour dates in a city near you on their website,! You don’t want to miss this show.

Here is a snippet of “If I Knew Then” from the show below!


Concert Vibes

Hey Soulsters! I know it’s been a while. I’ve been taking care of some business that needed my full attention. Now that it’s pretty much taken care of, I can get back to this site on a more regular basis. No worries though…I did find time to attend some pretty cool shows during my hiatus. Here are a couple that I would like to share with you.

Mayer Hawthorne with Quadron
I actually discovered singer/songwriter, Mayer Hawthorne while watching a show on VH-1 (can’t remember which, probably a bad reality show to pass the time). They highlighted his single at the time, “Her Favorite Song” and the smooth groove of this song grabbed my attention right away. I went on to look him up online and came across his video for this song. “Another Blue-eyed soul artist”, I thought to myself as I watched the video skeptically. I enjoyed the concept of the vid though and I was already sold on the song so I went ahead and checked him out on iTunes. I was hooked from there. He is currently on tour for his latest album, “Where Does This Door Go”, a mix of Soul, R&B, Pop/Rock and a little Hip Hop. I have had this album on repeat the later part of last year so when I found out he was coming to Atlanta, I couldn’t wait to check him out. He’s been hailed as the new Justin Timberlake or Robin Thicke, but from what I’ve heard so far from him, I don’t quite agree with that comparison. Listening to this album and his two previous offerings, he’s got his own thing going on. He has toured with Erykah Badu, and Amy Winehouse and his influences range from Curtis Mayfield to J. Dilla.

This show was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t realize how many uptempo songs this guy has! I found myself jamming to his music most of the night. Even the songs that I wasn’t familiar with had me at hello, ha, ha.

Quadron is another artist that I heard on a TV show that I had been watching. I went about looking for them in the same way as Mayer Hawthorne. What a gem I discovered when I found their latest, “Avalanche”! This group is out of Denmark and consists of lead singer Coco O and musician/producer Robin Hannibal. Coco O’s vocals are so soulful and beautiful in whatever she sings you can’t help but be drawn into their sound. During the show, I couldn’t help but marvel at how effortless she sounded and how close to the recordings her performance was. Their music productions are solid and so melodic that this duo has so much to offer true music lovers. Even though they are on a major label, you don’t hear too much about them in mainstream radio. It’s really a shame. I beg you to check out their latest as well as their self-titled debut, “Quadron”.
See a couple of videos from this show below.

Check out Mayer Hawthorne here.

Check out Quadron here.

Live Performance Review – Eric Roberson at Center Stage

Eric Roberson Performance Photo

Hey Soulsters!  I just had to talk about Eric Roberson’s show at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA last week.  He had two shows there on Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd.  I attended Saturday’s show after not seeing him perform for a couple of years.

Now, let me start this post with a little background about my discovery of Eric Roberson’s music and how my fandom got started.  Once again, driving around on a lonely Saturday night in Atlanta in 2003, I came across Eric’s “Change for Me” track playing on our local Jazz radio station, 91.9 WCLK-FM.  They were doing a House mix that night and me being the House fan that I am and a New York/New Jersey native, I turned that *hit up!  I was still new to town at that time and didn’t think I would EVER hear House music on the radio again while living here.  To my delight, some soulful House was playing on this station and Eric’s smooth vocals on top of this driving beat just hit me as I cruised down the busy Atlanta highway.  After hearing that song and waiting for the DJ to come back on the air to say who the artist was, I was on a mission.  I searched everywhere for that track.  I looked high and low without success for a few days after that.  I guess my internet searching skills were not up to par because I couldn’t find anything on this song or the artist.  Then finally out of the blue, I found an obscure reference on the internet that led you to his website where he sold his music.  There was also a forum in place where fans could interact with Eric and each other about their love for his music.  They also were chatting about their love for other music as well as grown folk’s issues and topics.  I was so happy I found him and I have been a fan ever since.  His accessibility to his fans as well as his music has reached hundreds of thousands of people over the years.  He is an independent artist in every sense of the word.  He writes, produces, performs and promotes his own music on his own label, Blue Erro Soul and tirelessly tours here in the states and internationally.  He has been recognized by the Grammys in 2010 and 2011 for his work and has independently sold over 80,000 copies of his 7 albums.

So, with that said, let’s get back to his concert last week.  What a pleasure it was to be reacquainted Mr. Roberson.  How symbolic was it that he actually opened the show with the song that introduced me to him way back then, “Change for Me”!  It was an energetic intro and when he walked on that stage, he had me and everyone else in the audience on their feet.  It gave me chills!  In his show, I was pleasantly surprised that he covered a lot of music that I had not seen him perform before.  I was used to the usual tracks from him from “The Vault Vol. 1” and “The Vault Vol. 1.5” releases, so I expected to hear those again.  However, he did a lot of his obscure songs from “Left”, “Music Fan First”, and of course his most recent album, “Mr. Nice Guy”.  Don’t worry, he didn’t leave the Vault songs out, but provided a medley of them for our nostalgic pleasure.  His band played every one of his songs majestically as they were a perfect complement to Eric’s smooth vocals.  I also really enjoyed how the vocal arrangements were performed between Eric and his background singer.  His background singer complemented his sound very well and also served as an announcer for Eric earlier in the evening and helped with some of the show’s lighter and fun moments.  Eric is known for showcasing his songwriting skills by asking the audience to provide words to create a “song on the spot”.  This time it was “Booty Meat” and I couldn’t figure out how something so hilarious could still be so soulful.  He had your head nodding and you were there jamming like it was a real song.  Only Eric could pull this off!  One of the many highlights of the night and he does it effortlessly every time.  Vocally, he sounded better than I have ever heard him and it was a pleasure to see him again after a couple of years!

I have all of his music, so I highly recommend you check him out live and of course go and get his CDs – all of them!  You won’t be able to stop listening to this brother’s music from beginning to end!  Right now you can find him on iTunes, his website (see below), and your local independent record store.   If you have never heard of Eric Roberson, this is the perfect opportunity to discover him.

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Eric Roberson Official Website

Eric Roberson performing “Picture Perfect”:

His latest CD:

Mr. Nice Guy Artwork


Live Performance Review – Meshell Ndegeocello


I was so excited when I learned that Ms. Ndegeocello was coming back to Atlanta to perform at this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park, that I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to catch her live.  I have been a huge fan of this dynamic artist since her 1993 debut, “Plantation Lullabies”.  What a cool and super talented Sista!  That album was groundbreaking and I felt so fortunate to have discovered it back then.

Fast forward to Saturday’s performance.  I have been warned by others who have gone to her show that she doesn’t really revisit her older music.  This is to the dismay of many longtime fans due to Meshell’s desire as an artist to showcase where she is now.  Keeping that in mind, I was prepared that she probably wouldn’t perform some of my favorites from her like, “If That’s Your Boyfriend”, “Dred Loc”, “Outside your Door”, “Soul on Ice”, “Fool of Me”, “Bitter”, and “The Way”, just to name a few.  I kept an open mind upon arriving at the park for her show.  Boy, was I pleasantly surprised.  A lot of the music she did perform was a homage to Nina Simone from her most recent album, “Pour Une Ame Souveraine”.  Meshell performed these songs with such respect and love for Ms. Simone’s body of work.  She made the songs her own, however, she didn’t take way Ms. Simone’s essence from them.  My absolute favorite from this set was “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”.  Her version of “Feelin’ Good” was a fresh and haunting take of this popular Simone song.  I absolutely loved it.  Her entire set was very engaging.  Her voice was smooth and surprisingly mellow, based on the large crowd and the frequent coming, going and expected distractions in a venue like this.  Her voice captured you even amongst the sea of people at the festival.  She certainly drew you in with it.  Of course her bass playing couldn’t be denied.  Excellent as usual.

Seeing her here at the Festival was not long enough, of course.  Next time she comes to town,  I will definitely check her out.  After seeing her I left feeling that I must experience one of her live shows where she is headlining.   I must admit I hadn’t kept up with Meshell’s independent work in recent years.  She has made appearances on other artist’s work that I listen to here and there and I have caught those.  Of course, she never disappoints as a featured artist.  I feel now that I have to revisit Meshell and get reacquainted with the beauty that is her music.  Such talent and artistry cannot be denied.  Simply put, I didn’t realize how much I missed her.

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Meshell Ndegeocello Official Website

Live Performance Review – Donnie at Apache Cafe


Hey Soulsters!  Went and checked out Donnie at the Apache Café to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.  Now I believe the last time I saw this soulful brother was about 5 years ago.  At that show, he announced he was going on hiatus to take care of himself and said he wouldn’t be performing for a while.  I don’t know what personal issues he had to deal with, but I’m glad he was able to go and regroup.  His performance was absolutely wonderful and he seemed like he was BACK! His vocals were on point, stage presence engaging and he seemed so humbled by the love of the Apache crowd.  I couldn’t ask for a better Donnie performance.  He performed songs from his debut album, “The Colored Section” and brought the house down.  Songs like “Beautiful Me”, “People Person”, “Our New National Anthem”, “Big Black Buck”, and my all- time favorite, pro-natural hair anthem, “Cloud” had the Apache crowd on their feet with nostalgia and excitement.  I absolutely LOVED the songs on this album and it brought back so many memories of my first year here in Atlanta in 2003.   I would play this CD in my car non-stop for 3 months straight.  That CD made me feel at home.  Donnie made me believe him when he sang “You Have a Friend” during those early days in my new city.  Atlanta can be a lonely city at times, so Donnie’s music certainly welcomed me with open arms at that time in my life.

He went on to perform some songs from his upcoming album “The American Mythology”.  He said during the show that he had been working on it for seven years and had intended it to accompany a musical Broadway play of the same title.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get the titles of the songs that he performed, but I must say that it was the most innovative, provocative music that I have heard in a long time.  From what I heard that night, the vocals, musical arrangements and instrumentation of his upcoming release will take you aback.  There is nothing like it out there today and should not be ignored.  It was refreshing to hear this brother speak about the state of America today and even give an Ode to our President, “Yes We Can”.  The message in this song might surprise you.  I must say, I can’t wait for its release on July 4th.  How appropriate is that!?!  I will be the first to grab a copy of this!  I have marked my calendar.

Welcome back, Donnie!

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Check out his performance of “People Person”

If you want to hear more then get his music on iTunes, or your local independent record store near you!  Support this music!

The Colored Section Album Art Daily News Album Art