Tag Archives: Soul Music

Joonie, “Contrast”


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


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!

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?”


Music Review: Ledisi – The Intimate Truth

intimatetruth-ep Hey Soulsters! Ledisi has just released her new acoustic EP, The Intimate Truth! This seven-song offering showcases Ledisi’s music from her album, The Truth, which was released last year.

If you have ever heard Ledisi, you know that she will never disappoint. She has one of the most dynamic voices in the game today. So when this EP was announced, I looked forward to hearing how she could blend that powerful voice in with an acoustic sound. The songs are great and she kills every note. No one can touch that voice and what she is able to do with it. Her vocal acrobatics are incredible. However, The Intimate Truth is not an acoustic album in the true sense. When you think of acoustic you think of voices blending in with the guitar, piano and percussion in a way that it is all one sound. Ledisi’s voice is so powerful that it overshadows the instruments. I would have just loved to have heard her soften her sound if she was going to do an acoustic offering, otherwise, The Truth could have just stood on its own. The songs that stand out the most to me, are “Like This”, “I Blame You”, and “Lose Control”. If you enjoyed The Truth, you will definitely enjoy this EP. Ledisi does what she does very well!

The Intimate Truth is now available on iTunes and Amazon.

Ledisi Official Website

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, http://www.theforeignexchangemusic.com! 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.

Because I’m happeeeeeeey!

Happy New Year and happy Friday, Soulsters! Isn’t it just great to be alive! We are now in 2014 and even though 2013 ended a little rough personally, I’m looking forward to what is to come in this new year.

Happy“, by Pharrell Williams is such a fun and soulful song that is so infectious that you can’t help but dance in your seat, tap your feet and reflect on being just that. I woke up today with this song in my head and with just an overall sense of joy! You just can’t beat that. That’s what music is supposed to do in our lives. Uplift! I’m also a HUGE fan of Pharrell and he has always hit the mark with his productions in my book. This song along with songs like Zo!’s “Count To Five” and The Foreign Exchange’s, “Can’t Turn Around”, just leave me feeling….yeah happy.

If you haven’t already, check out the song and the video below! Also, I would like to know what songs give you that “happy” feeling? Speak on it!

New Music – Madame Pepper & Radimo “Gilded Age”

Hey Soulsters! I have been following Madame Pepper for a few years now. I discovered her on YouTube when I was desperate to find other women who looked like me who was also going through their natural hair journey. I would check in with her whenever she posted about a new style or about her life in general. Her personality (and her British accent) drew me and many other Sistas in. When she began to share that she was also a singer and songwriter she really had my full attention then. Here and there she would put out videos of songs she was working on as well as live shows in London. I was completely impressed and became a fan of her sound. I could not wait until she released some material. Fast forward to the present and we finally have a project that will be released very soon called “Drummond”.

Madame Pepper has collaborated with Radimo out of the Czech Republic to bring us an album full of soul and blues. They just released the first single, “Gilded Age” with a visually stunning video. Check it out below.

Preview of Drummond Album:

“Take It There” – LOVE this song!

You can support them by visiting their website here.