What is Love? / What Love Is.

I’m Back! With the definition of
L O V E… I think ☺

Mixcloud is where my mixes reside, and a new supporter has been in communication lately, leaving comments filled with thoughts, opinions, and appreciation of my song selections, and the support has sparked a fire in me!

As artists often create music and lock it up in a vault for whatever reason; I too have unpublished mixes I’ve been holding on to for years…  I’ve been enjoying them for my own entertainment, perhaps thinking they needed rearranging, commentary, drops? Who knows?

Well, I decided it was time for me to release them– pretty much as is…

I’ve posted five mixes about love, in addition to a new but old, Funky Fresh Covers IV: The Upbeats and a brand new House Music mix A Taste of Suga’s House.

Below are the latest published mixes and the playlists that tell the story of LOVE–Whether my mixes are “Addictive Love” or “It’s Complicated“, they damned sure channel that “SeXXXy Love” vibe!

Many of the tracks incorporate situations where love is in limbo, however, are all akin to grooves I love within these associated themes.  Love has as many negative connotations as positives. No matter the situation, this is some Grown and SeXXXy shit!

Now, let’s break it down, shall we?

Addictive Love
The artists that produced these songs included in the Addictive Love mix, are depicting a strong desire to never leave the relationship, or get it back on track after mistreatment, etc., hence why I selected these songs and themed mix titles.

1. Ty Causey So Addicted
2. Dennis Taylor Feeling Good
3. Frank McComb Never Letting Go
4. Conya Doss What I’d Do for You
5. Janita I Can’t Get Enough of You
6. Kem Without You
7. Laurnea Can’t Let Go
8. Ann Nesby I Can’t Get Over You
9. Incognito Can’t Get You Out of My Head
10. Liquid Spirits f/Melodee No One
11. Darien Brockington Can We Fall in Love Again
12. Janelle Monae Can’t Live Without Your Love
13. Rosie Gaines I Can’t Get You Off My Mind
14. Ty Causey Without You
15. Mary J. Blige Can’t Get You Off My Mind

What is Love?
We think we do, but really don’t know What Love Is, do we? These songs and their artists offer perspectives and experiences on love’s definition. In there lies a story…

1. Vivian Green What Is Love
2. Lalah Hathaway This Could Be Love
3. N’Dambi Can This Be Love
4. Marilyn Scott f/Frank McComb You Don’t Know Love
5. Anthony Hamilton I Know What Love Is All About
6. Robert Glasper Let’s Fall in Love
7. Ivana Kotov Should I Call It Love
8. Zo! f/Yahzarah If This is Love
9. Eric Roberson What Is Love Made Of
10. Donna Gardia & M-Swift Love Is
11. Jon Bibbs Found Love
12. Nahjai Soul Easy to Love
13. The Floacist This Love
14. Zo! f/Chantae Cann All Is Well With Love

What Love Is: The Matrimony
What Love Is, is man’s and woman’s initial attraction, the newness of each other’s company, learning one another and all of that, eventually transcends into to a commitment–with marriage lurking around the corner 😍 This mix entails a great love story!

1 Interlude (Faith) Faith Evans
2 Got to Find a Way Frank McComb
3 Maybe Kelli Sae
4 All Because of You Conya Doss
5 Every Little Thing Chaka Kahn
6 Love Thang Rena Scott
7 I’m in Love Kem
8 Everything I Do Beyonce f/Bilal
9 You Are My Joy Faith
10 No One Else Amel Larrieux
11 I Believe in Love Leon Ware
12 SoulMate Iman Williams f/AB
13 Best Friend Tweet f/Bilal
14 So Grateful Jeff Bradshaw f/Coco
15 The Matrimony Rhonda Thomas f/Alex Lattimore
16 We are One Ledisi f/Rahsaan Patterson

SeXXXy Love: Sweet and Happy
And after all of that, SeXXXy Love Vol. Sweet & Happy is an up-tempo, yet sweet, SeXXXy, and happy love mix that makes me smile inside and out. Some of the tracks have that SeXXXy component to it, although not so rated semi “X” as a few of my other mixes. This story is more about the happy and sweet element of love.

Tamia Leave It Smokin
Jill Scott f/Anthony Hamilton So In Love
Will Downing f/Roy Ayers Lovers Melody
Renee Neuville Watching Me
Deborah Bond You Are The One
Kelli Sae Found Somebody Like You
Inner Shade Tell Me Something
Stevie Wonder My Love is on Fire
Terri Walker Forever and a Day
Zo! Holding You, Loving You
Rahsaan Patterson You Make Life So Good
Gil Small (RIP) Heaven
Teena Marie f/Howard Hewitt Lover’s Lane
Faith Evans Love Song

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Cupid’s Hunt – The 10th Anniversary Celebration Special

Welcome to the 10th Anniversary for the Cupid’s Hunt Podcast Collaboration! Over a year later😑

I’m so elated and excited to present to you my contribution mix, the 12th volume of my SeXXXy Love series, exclusively for the CHPC Valentine’s Day offering. I was on time with my mix, but super late with the post. There’s no right or wrong time for love music so I hope you enjoy whenever you listen…

It was a real treat for me to create this mix!

Playlist

B. R. Burns – Freak

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I happened to look in a space around the house where I keep CDs and an unexpected find stumbled into my hands. A cd I’d purchased over 15 years ago by BR Burns, a Spoken word artist, introduced by Michael Baisden set the SeXXXy with his piece, Freak!

I was in the Divas and a Don book club at work. Members of the group included one male to the rest females, hence the name. And, long before Wendy Williams’ club from her radio show on KISS FM in NYC. We attended one of Michael Baisden’s book signings at the Barnes and Noble in the Bronx, Coop City store, and B.R. Burns accompanied him. How appropriate was it for me to find his cd to kickoff SeXXXy Love XII?!

Raheem DeVaughn – Temperature’s Rising

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Marsha Ambrosius (Floetry) Anticipation (Intro)

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I’ve used their songs on a few of my mixes–Raheem DeVaughn and Marsha Ambrosius–can always be counted on to bring the SeXXXy I’m looking for to include in my mixes! #thatisall

Eric Nolan Grant (The O’Jays)- Cologne

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I had the opportunity to meet 1/3 of the legendary O’Jays, Eric Nolan Grant on the 2016 Capital Jazz SuperCruise! I purchased his CD on the ship and found this gem, Cologne that fits perfectly with the SeXXXy Love concept. Cologne is my favorite track off of the Mood Swing album.

Chante Moore – Love the Woman

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Chante Moore’s Love the Woman album I’ve had since it was released and ONUTSS hosted a listening party for the album. I decided to take a listen (damned shame it took me so long). Once again, I found a diamond!

Just a Few Cats – Dance With Me

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Just a Few Cats’ Dance With Me I wanted to use a long time ago but never found the right placement. This was right on time! I had the pleasure of sitting in on a live performance while in Birmingham, Alabama, (my birthplace and where they hail), and met one of the band members from their website prior to the show. Just a Few Cats is also the band Ruben Studdard was a member of before he became an American Idol!

Carol Riddick f/Will Downing – The Way You Say My Name

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Carol Riddick is a musical force to be reckoned with and if you don’t know her, you need to get busy and catch up! Look at that photo, Carol is SANGIN! She’s amazing!  Will Downing, the consummate Chocolate Swooner has also graced a few of my mixes. Here, he joins Carol, who is also an assistant vocalist at many of his live shows. The Way You Say My Name is a SeXXXy duet that further escalates the mood for lust!

Avery Sunshine – Sweet Afternoon

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Avery Sunshine’s Sweet Afternoon is also a fun time for lovemaking! I’d been saving this song for a future mix and yes, it made it!

Gerald Levert – Good Morning

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Gerald Levert was artistic, to put it mildly, yet blunt with his SeXXXy, and I love it! He was so cunning, his soulful self! Those lyrics probably went straight over your head if you’re weren’t paying close attention to them during his heyday. Here’s your chance to revisit Gerald’s SeXXXy!

Nicki Richards – In Bed (Interlude)

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As I’ve shared before, I scour my music library to find songs that fit into my style of SeXXXy and In Bed was a hit! I also learned that Nicki Richards sang with popular artists like Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Michael Jackson, to name just a few.

Esnavi – How Beautiful Is He

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Dewayne Alston of Soul City Radio afforded me a wonderful opportunity to interview Esnavi for Razors Edge Magazine and she was a delight! Esnavi has the vocal chops you definitely need to keep your ears in tuned to –watch and listen out for her!

Komplex – Erotic Spoken Word Artist

This dude right here, had the ladies on the edge of their seats with just a bit of word artistry to advertise the late show! This piece is a smidge of what was to come later on that night with Ingrid B. and her lineup spoken word artists.

Gerald Levert – Wear It Out

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Need I say more???

Lenora Jaye – Do You Wanna

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Prophet Jones – Can I Take You Home

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My extensive music library brought me to LeNora Jaye and Prophet Jones’ album and landed me on their songs to round out my SeXXXy theme!

Brandon Williams f/Joi Tiffany – You Make Love Real

 

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I love supporting independent soul artists and Brandon Williams is a drummer/producer who has comprised a slew of accomplished artists like Alex Isley, Robert Glasper, Nicholas Payton, Frank McComb, Jesse Boykins III, Geno Young, Pharoahe Monch, Don Blackman, Li’l John Roberts, Matt Cusson, Choklate (first ONUTSS featured artist), Casey Benjamin, Moonchild to complete his album, XII.  You Make Love Real is one of my favorites and fit right into this SeXXy theme!

Terrance Martin – Ecstasy

Terrace’s Ecstacy I found by chance on youtube and fell in love with it! After researching him further, I discovered he is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor who has also worked with prominent artists in the music industry, including Kendrick Lama, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Wilson, and Raphael Saadiq among others.  Another talent to keep your eyes and ears on.

SeXXXy, Complicated Love Vol. Prince

What I am about to say may shock some of you but I was not a big fan of Prince, however, I always respected him as an artist. There, I said it! The songs played on the radio were catchy and I had my favorites like Adore, Kiss, Purple Rain and When Doves Cry. I purchased one of Prince’s album and that was Diamonds and Pearls because I loved Rosie Gaines’nvoice on the title track. I also loved Gett Off and Insatiable. Not until he passed, I had no idea he published 39 albums and wrote popular songs for a host of other artists.

Nevertheless, I was a nervous wreck when I heard on the radio that there was a dead body in his home They hadn’t confirmed who it was, and I was pissed they were playing Prince’s music like he was already gone. Minutes later the news came that is was indeed his body. Tears welled up in my eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Like everyone else, I was in total shock. Since his passing, I have immersed myself in videos of his live performances because I never had the experience of seeing him in concert, although I had all intentions the next time he came to town. Viewing his live concert videos is like I’m right there in the audience—it’s the next best thing to being there at this point! Yes, I know, I missed out big time!

On another note, being a member of the Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s Hunt Collaboration has made me feel like a family member and I am ecstatic my Sista Jolene “called my name” to request a SeXXXy Love mix featuring Prince! It’s good to know that my music mixes are reaching people! Thank you, Jolene, for testing me; I surprised myself by rising to the occasion so quickly!

In my search for tracks to include in the mix, I was surprised to find so much of Prince’s music in my library, I didn’t even realize I had. I totally slept on this music other than what the radio played. I can say that within the past three months or so, 1000 x’s and o’s has been in constant rotation on New York’s WBLS, and I instantly fell in love with it! I knew his voice sounded familiar but didn’t know it was him until I Shazammed the song—it all made perfect sense, and I was mad at myself for not figuring it was him.

A couple of the tracks I selected have the blues written all over them while also taking on a nice nasty, sweet and spicy kinda feel along with a bit of good ole soul and gospel! I was pleased to find such beautiful songs I hadn’t heard before. Thanks to my other son, Marques I included The Greatest Romance Ever Sold, The Neptunes Remix which hit me in the right spot and had to add it. I don’t usually select songs for my mixes that are regularly played on radio programs unless they fit into my theme or I really love them. Therefore, I chose a specific selection to showcase SeXXXy Love and It’s Complicated because all of the songs are SeXXXy and some of the lyrics in certain tracks involve complicated situations. It was really good to find these tracks, as I love a good and undercover nasty love song that has a funky and soulful beat to it.

Here’s an emotional read from my other Cupid’s Hunt Podcast Collaboration Sista, Calandra’s reaction to Prince’s death.

Do enjoy and let me know what you think!

Shhh
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Call My Name

Manadatory Credit: Photo by Brian Rasic / Rex Features (396812dh) PRINCE VARIOUS

Manadatory Credit: Photo by Brian Rasic / Rex Features (396812dh)
PRINCE
VARIOUS

Adore (Live)

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2011 file photo, U.S. musician Prince performs during his concert at the Sziget Festival on the Shipyard Island, northern Budapest, Hungary. The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album "Plectrum Electrum," recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. (AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai, File) HUNGARY OUT

FILE – In this Aug. 9, 2011 file photo, U.S. musician Prince performs during his concert at the Sziget Festival on the Shipyard Island, northern Budapest, Hungary. The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album “Plectrum Electrum,” recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. (AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai, File) HUNGARY OUT

Insatiable
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On The Couch

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 27: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The Dance
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How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore

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Satisfied
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What it Feels Like
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Gett Off
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Breakfast Can Wait
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Incense and Candles
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Mr. Goodnight
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1000 X’s and O’s
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The Greatest Romance Ever Been Sold (The Neptunes Remix)
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Come On
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Here’s a moving story about Prince from Youtube sensation, Shameless Maya

SeXXXy Love XI

Cupid’s Hunt 2016 was so much fun, it’s a shame Valentine’s Day comes but once a year. Well I’m extending it with the eleventh installment of SeXXXy Love!

I couldn’t help myself, mixed in one night. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

SeXXXy Love Vol. IX


Kem  When I’m Loving You

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Tamara Wellons Love You

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Dessi Di Lauro – When You Need Me (Featuring Paolo Ramos)

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Brenda Russell   Make You Smile

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Don E  One More Time (Loose Vibez)

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Lamone  High Off You

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Eric Benet  Spanish Fly

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Mint Condition Spanish Eyes

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Prince- 1000 Xs-Os

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Kelli Sae Found Somebody Like You

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J Soul f/Deborah Bond High

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The Foreign Exchange Body

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Nite Flyte feat Jean Carne   If You Believe in Love

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Maya Azucena My All

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Avani – The Waitings Over

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Jeff Bradshaw – Girl, I Love You

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The Cupids Hunt Podcast Collaboration 2016

It is truly an honor to be part of this collaboration of podcasters and DJs since 2011!! I must say that although I am not a professional, my skills have excelled in ways I would have never imagined. I have a long way to go but nevertheless totally enjoying my journey.

This mix must have known it was a special one because it gave me some issues exporting it. I had to try it four times before it was acceptable to publish!

So here it is…Enjoy!!

SeXXXy – Love X
Maxwell – Til the Cops Come Knockin (extended version)
Prince – Insatiable (rare version)
Improm2 – I’ll Do Whatever
Glen Scott – Deep In It
Ty Causey – Love Me that Way
Janita – Angel Eyes
Faith Evans – Make Love
Liv Warfield – Your Show
Jonathan Maron – Natural High
Jade – When Will I See You Again (Intro)
Janita – I Only Want You

Cupid’s Hunt 2015

Cupid’s Hunt is the premiere online collaboration event where DJs and podcasters from all over the Internet release loved-themed music mixes all on the same day: Valentine’s Day!

This is where you will find all of my Cupid’s Hunt Mixes for streaming, mixed for the Valentines Day Love Fest over the past few years.

I am so happy that the founder, Todd Grundy Mr. Love Man himself invited me to be a member of this elite group to share my version of love, or lack there of…

ENJOY!!!

1. Let Me Love You – Janita
2. Barumba – Incognito
3. Your Lover – Faith Evans
4. Make Love Tonight – Chris Rob
5. In the Mood To Take It Slow – Najee f/Meli’sa Morgan
6. Sophisticated Lover – Maysa
7. Juicy  – Roy Hargrove f/Renee Nuefville
8. Until Then – Jill Scott
9. Sunshine – Quiet Dawn
10. Marathon – Raheem DeVaughn
11. Ecstasy of Love – Intro
12. Kiss – Antoinia Jenae
13. Heaven – SuCh
14. Ride the Beat – Faith Evans
15. Falling – Will Downing


1. Groove On Ledisi
2. Inside Cheryl Pepsi Riley
3. Come Inside (dialogue) Intro
4. Whose is It? (Interlude) Total
5. Imgonnacome Alison Crockett
6. Crown Royal Jill Scott
7. Lay Awhile Raheem DeVaughn
8. I Wanna Know You D-Influence f/Dyanna Frearon
9. Touch Me ChinahBlac
10. Late Night Rendezvous Carl Thomas
11. Lay You Down Portrait
12. Morning Love Carleen Anderson
13. Funny Brown Rice
14. You Know What Happens Alison Crockett
15. I Like The Way It Feels Carol Riddick


1. Early Bird – Angela Johnson f/Trish Angus
2. A Sexy Way – Alyson Williams f/ Tony Terry
3. For You (I’ll Go There) – Lamone
4. Gettin it On – Mint Condition
5. Give Me Love – Davina
6. This Love I Have – Marva King
7. Dance 4 Me – Nyr
8. Make Luv 2 Me – Zo f/Monica Blaire
9. Garden of Love – Raheem DeVaughn
10. Imagination – Floetry
11. Sumthin Sumthin – Maxwell
12. G-Spot – Gerald Levert


1. The Art of Love – Toni Braxton
2. Love Calls – Ty Causey
3. Bedroom – Jade
4. Satisfy You – Will Downing
5. Can We Come Together – Eric Benet
6. Right Her, Right Now – Maysa
7. Come Inside – Intro
8. Bedroom – Raheem DeVaughn
9. Touching Again – Eric Benet
10. All Night Long – Trina Broussard
11. Funny How Time Flies – Intro
12. Alright – Val Watson f/Patrice Rushen
13. Hurry Hurry – Pete Belasco
14. Til Tomorrow – Marvin Gaye


1. Get Me Off- Improm2
2. Tonight is the Night – Jerzee Monet
3. Ahh – Silk
4. 911 – Robin Thick
5. Slowman -Rosie Gaines
6. Romantic – Goapele
7. Get Me Off (Deep Funk Instrumental) – Improm2
8. All I Want Is You – Incognito
9. Sensual Loving – Nicole Jackson
10. Better – Nicholas Ryan Gant
11. Alone Together – Daley f/Marsha Ambrosius
12. Say Yes (10th Year Anniversary) – The Floacist
13. Anything Goes – Christion
14. My Place – Tweet
15. Can We Get Down – Jon B.
16. Calling Me – Raheem DeVaughn

1. I Want cha Babe Ledisi
2. Human Touch –  Kem
3. Slowly – Selena Johnson
4. Examine Me – Warren Xclnce & Etta Bond
5. Phone Sex – Selena Johnson
6. Nothing (Interlude) – Jill Scott
7. Wet – Sandra St. Victor
8. Obey – Dwele
9. Sexy – Maysa
10. Dinner and a Movie- Ron Isley
11. The Baby Maker – Carl Thomas
12. Intro – Slakah The Beatchild
13. Lay You Down – Jose James
14. Sex in the City –  Noel Goudin
15. Feels Like We Sexin’ – Calvin Richardson


1. Interlude: Introspective Mood – Kenny Lattimore
2. Don’t Talk to me Like That – Will Downing
3. Place in Your Heart – Ty Causey
4. Do You Want Me – Jade
5. Do You Feel The Way I Do – Rahsaan Patterson
6. Walkin – Angela Johnson f/Lisala
7. Sick of Fools – Leigh Jones
8. Crying Over You – Angela Johnson f/Trisha Angus and Lisala
9. Only You – Jill Scott
10. Seven Days – Mary J. Blige
11. Still Come Back 2 U – Laurnea
12. Remedy – Leon King
13. Never Fall In Love – Gordon Chambers
14. No Guarantee – Chico DeBarge
15. Love, Sex and Philosophy – Soul: ID

Loose Ends

The long awaited show date finally came–and then it went! I wanted to see Loose Ends when they were at BB Kings, NYC and the Capital Jazz Festival (still looking forward to my first experience–but that’s for another post).

Finally, on November 8, 2014, I got together with some childhood friends; Norma and June and my Soul Music Brother Aqeel, we had a blast!

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Fred “Bugsy” Buggs of New York’s 107.5 WBLS introduced Loose Ends and Indie Soul Artist, SuCh (Sue Charles) opened the show.  She has a beautiful voice, and the crowd definitely felt her vibe and gracious personality.  She threw her magic touch out into the crowd and they fell right in sync, participating with her song Sugar Maple (went real good with my name, Sap from a Suga Maple, lol)  SuCh and the crowd’s energy was outstanding and was the perfect match for audience participation. SuCh stopped by our table after her performance and was delightful to chat with for a few moments!  I totally support indie soul artists and this show was perfect for her to show off her talent to a room full of music heads there to see Loose Ends.

I have been to many concerts and this one had to be one of the best that I’ve seen a long time! Every soul in BB King’s that night had a ball, it was a “straight up” JAM session in there! Everybody was singing along and every BODY was on their feet, mind you this was a sold out/seated show!

Jane Eugene’s excitement and enthusiasm was just as intense as the crowd’s to see her and the band perform! They paraded onto the BB Kings stage sporting all white and lit it up like a bolt of lightning that never left!  The crowd went wild!!

Since this was my first time seeing Loose Ends live, I didn’t know what to expect.   They opened the show with Stay A Little While, Child and everyone jumped to their feet to groove with Loose Ends; it was electric!!

I was ecstatic they sang Mr Bachelor off The Real Chuckeeboo album as it is tops of my favorite Loose End albums!  I was surprised they performed the track, Don’t You Ever Try to Change Me since Jane was not a member of the group at the time the Look How Long album was released. Never mind that though, Look How Long is one of my favorites as well!

Their version of Slow Down was really on point at the end of the song, because they actually slowed it down.  You’ll see.

The backing band for Loose Ends did a fantastic job on the music and vocals, and I would go see them again and again should they keep coming to NYC!

The Band
Jeff Robinson – Vocalist
Palo Santo Vocalist/Hype Man
Craig T Cooper – Guitar (broke it all the way DOWN on Watching You)
Leroy Boogie Babaloo Greer – Percussion  (broke it all the way DOWN on Watching You, took it GoGo!)
Keith Eaddy – Bass
Cory Mason – Drums  (broke it all the way DOWN on Watching You, took it GoGo!)
Art Sherrod Jr. – Saxophone (he did his thing on Slow Down)
Aya Iwata – Keyboard

I hadn’t planned on recording “You Can’t Stop the Rain”, and kinda slept on it until I realized this was the part of the show; where the backing vocalists had the opportunity to let their voices shine (and oh did they show out!!) This is my favorite part of a show and I love it when the featured artist shares the spotlight! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! #20FeetfromStardom

Backing Vocals
Waylynn MommyGiva Pitts
Robert Gee (who I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with during the MySpace days, I was surprised to learn it was him in the flesh!)
Dominique Karan

Editing the video footage was just as exciting as it was to see the show in person and truly difficult to cut it down–I wanted to show you everything!  It brought back memories of that evening which will always stay with me!  I never got tired of listening to and watching it over and over!!

Ain’t nothin’ like live music!  As long as I live on this earth, you better believe I’ll be somewhere supporting what I love–good music!

Hope you enjoy as much as I did!!  Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment and share if you’d like.

Special shout out to Brotha Aqeel from Jane!  Listen for it!

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Capital Jazz SuperCruise 2013 (Me, the Newbie)

I brought this post over from Blogger and made a few edits:

Enjoy!

As long as I’ve known about the Capital Jazz Fest for the past 15 years or so, I had never attended either the fest or the super cruise–until this year.  I attended the 7th annual Capital Jazz Super Cruise and had the time of my life!! As many of you already know, I LOVE MUSIC! So for there to be over 30 acts, four ports of call (Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Curacao and Aruba (my vacation home), and the vast array of activities in addition to the all of the DJs that kept the party going, I was in Musical Heaven as you can probably imagine. Before the real party started on the cruise, Friday night there was the Mix and Mingle:

Darien Dean, Cruise Host and Me

Darien Dean, Cruise Host and Me

Darien Dean, Cruise Host and one of the Fun Patrol Cruise Hosts

Darien Dean, Cruise Host and one of the Fun Patrol Cruise Hosts

Day 1 Ft. Lauderdale/Sea

Here are a few pics upon sail-off from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. as I was truly a happy camper at sea!

(photos courtesy of my iphone)

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The excitement had been building ever since I put my deposit down in August 2012. As I eagerly checked for the artists that were going to perform, of the first five I believe that were posted were tops on my fav list that included Najee, Rahsaan Patterson and Incognito!!! Need I say more? Going to the Capital Jazz Super Cruise Website to see which artist they announced gave me something to look forward to every time I thought about it. And with each new artist announcement, it got better and better. There’s really no need to know in advance who’s going to perform. If you wait for that, the ship may not have a cabin for you 🙂 Here is a shot of the dance floor as people had completed registration and entered onto the ship. DJ Frances Jaye welcomed everyone aboard! Nice, right?

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Above photos courtesy of my iPhone

Above photos courtesy of my iphone

The first night on sea was a fun-filled night with Incognito as the first act to perform. I wasn’t sure of what the climate would be for taking pictures, so I didn’t shoot this night. Anyway, my goal was to make sure I had the opportunity to say hello to Bluey of Incognito. I had been trying to catch up with him since 2006, when I’d seen Incognito live in NYC for the first time, along with other NY/NJ Cog Heads. There! Not only did I have the chance to say hello, but took a picture with him to boot!!

Hello Bluey!

Hello Bluey!

Since I bumped into some of the members of Incognito at the bar I wanted someone to get “me” in the mix of a couple of pictures. I asked Matt Cooper, keyboardist and sometimes drummer to take a shot of the ladies of Incognito and me, and this is what he shot…

Vanessa Haynes and the back/side of me

Vanessa Haynes and the back/side of me

See that elbow in the corner? That's Natalie Williams. Umm hmm!

See that elbow in the corner? That’s Natalie Williams. Umm hmm!

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Tony Momrell of Incognito and me

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Here is the crew with big beautiful smiles, Vanessa Haynes, Matt Cooper, Deborah Bond (another Cruise Hostess) and Natalie Williams!

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Caught giving instructions on how to take the picture (me and hubby)

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Loving the back of this blouse!

Day 2
Half Moon Cay

Ok enough of my babbling! I shot plenty of pictures and just a little bit of video footage, so I have plenty to show you! (Yeah, I was busy!)

This was a lot of fun as you can tell; not too much of anything but relaxing on a cloudy, light rainy day watching some football while waiting for the rest of the crew to head back from Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.

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Represent your favorite team’s jersey, why don’t cha!

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One of my absolute favorite artists, Rahsaan Patterson performed!  I was too late to get a decent seat to take pics/videos but did stumble across this video interview.  Love these!

 

Later on that night, in the wee hours of the morning Maimouna Youssef and Zo perform and ERRO is the host.  Joining Zo on stage were Jarrard Anthony, Deborah Bond, Chante Cann and Eric

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Eric and Maimouna

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Deborah Bond (Cruise Hostess) and Zo!

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Deborah Bond and Jarrard Anthony

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Jarrard, Eric, Chante and Deborah

The music man behind the Underground Lounge band!

I was really happy to run into Jodine Dorsey on this trip! It was like being home with my soul family!

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Eric, Jodine and DMo

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It was a real pleasure to meet Zo since I am such a fan of his music

Day 3
Day at Sea

The Doug E. Fresh Block Party was truly one of many my favorite highlights of the cruise!

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The Legendary Chris Washington rocked the Lido Deck just like I like it!

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Ain’t no party like a Doug E. Fresh party!

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If it looks like fun, well, yeah it was BIG fun!!

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DJ Frances Jaye checkin it out from the sideline

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Partaaaaay People!!!

Later on that night, into the wee hours of the morning, we were entertained by the King of Indie Soul and one of the funniest entertainers ever! He’s got so much class and a personality anyone would be proud to kick it with–Mr. Eric Roberson, and other performers who participated with the Soul Sessions. Please forgive me for not knowing everyone’s name. All of the performers were outstanding and really made me happy that I was there to witness such great talent!

ERRO Show

Eric Roberson Hosts the Midnight Jam Session

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J Soul

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Ty Causey

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Chrisette Michele’s Vocal Assistant (sorry, don’t know her name)

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Jarrard Anthony’s Wife

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Jarrard Anthony

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Chrisette Michele

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David P. Stevens

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Chante Caan

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Doug E. Fresh

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Vanessa Haynes (Incognito)

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Phil Perry

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Jarrod Lawson

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Natalie Williams (Incognito)

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DaChonne Nicole has a lovely voice! She is also the wife of Keyboardist, Carl Browne and was a background singer for ONUTSS presented artist, Mike Hammond!

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The Band

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Alex Moseley of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

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Carl Browne

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Demont Peekaso Pinder, awesomely talented artist!!

Day 4

LaRomana

Artists, Ken Ford, Stephanie Mills, Larry Graham and Graham Central Station graced the stage this day and I tell you, there was nothing like visiting exotic islands to return to the ship with talent on top of music.

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Ken Ford

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When we returned from LaRomana, Ken Ford performed and is fabulous on that electric violin! Later on for the main show we had the pleasure of enjoying Stephanie Mills and Larry Graham.

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Stephanie Mills

 Not sure if anyone has heard but Ms. Mills showed her back to the first audience and pissed a lot of them off. There were various stories of what happened and since I was not there, I’ll leave it at that. At the second show, which is the one I saw she was a little strange but many thought it was because she was a bit woozy from the movement of the ship. Nevertheless, she put on an excellent show.  Her voice is still magnificent and her background singers’ voices were awesome as well.

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Larry Graham still got it, y’all! This was my first Graham Central Station experience and I would go and see him perform again in a heartbeat!

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Graham Central Station

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Larry Graham and his lovely wife

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The audience was invited onto the stage to party with the band

You should know the routine by now–Later on that night, in the wee hours of the morning… One of the many Jam Sessions took place with Gerald Veasley and a bunch of jazz artists who got together for some good ole funk, jazz, soul and all that!!

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Jeff Bradshaw on trombone–he is a beast!!

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Gerald Veasely, Joey Sommerville, Najee, Pete Belasco, and Jonathan Fritzen

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Day 5

Curacao

Curacao was the late day/night so when we returned to the ship it was late evening and see who we came home to? Yes, Uncle Charlie. This was also my first time seeing Charlie Wilson and everything I’d heard about his performance was true!

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He rocked that ship and put on a total production! Look at his girls and the wardrobe changes he made.

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I was delighted to hear all around the Lido Deck while eating, the Capital Jazz radio station was playing in the background. It’s those small details that make such a big impact on a first timer like me.

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Day 6

Aruba!

And what a wonderful performance to come back to–The Donald Byrd Tribute!! The band Spur of the Moment was the backing band for many of the artists. This day the band’s front man, Wayne Bruce hosted the show, and every time an artist came on stage they did either of Donald Bryd’s songs. Bruce was not having it! Every time a new artist joined in they had this cute back and forth thing going that prevented Bruce from playing his favorite Donald Byrd song, Rock Creek Park–of course until the show’s finale.

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Wayne Bruce and Joey Sommerville

 

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Najee

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Wayne and Jeff Bradshaw

The band performing Do it Fluid

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Gerald Veasley

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Trina Broussard, Vanessa Williams and Jason Morales

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Wayne Bruce

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Rick Braun

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Wayne and Gerald

Later on that night, waaaay into the wee hours of the morning…The Soul Lounge presents J Soul and Pete Belasco

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J Soul, the Black Sinatra

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J Soul f/Deborah Bond on one of his tracks, “High”.

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Demont Peekaso Pinder, who blew me away throughout the trip with his on-stage-painting of the artists! He is also known as Painter of the Stars.

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The Band! Antone “Chooky” Caldwell, bass guitar, Chris “Biscuit” Bynum, drums and Dre King, Keyboard and music director.  Hard working and making everyone they played for sound that much better!!

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Pete Belasco with his mix of a soft and falsetto voice, and the band.

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Day 7
Day at Sea
Almost at the end of the road but before we get there, more goodies! During the day we had the pleasure of witnessing The Average White Band take us back to the good ole days.

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Ty Causey did his thing–I was ecstatic! I am one of Ty’s biggest fans as he is one of smoothest crooners of today, fulla love and soul!

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Mr. Lover Man, Ty Causey

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The band and backing vocalists (although Ty mentions their first names, I wish I knew their full names). They all held Ty down like they’d been doing it forever!

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The evening held the distinguished Najee, Phil Perry and Alex Bugnon.

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Alex Bugnon in his zone! (and Sol Elder back there–chillin)

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Phil Perry always brings it!! Boy can this man saang!

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Najee visited the audience and whattaya know, he came to the row in front of where I was sitting, and allowed me to get this closeup! #happyme!

 

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Wonderful performance by these great talents!

Day 8
Day at Sea
The last day of the trip included a full day of sun for me! Later on that evening, Anthony (the FIRECRACKER) Hamilton blazed onto the stage fired it up! I mean, he was all over that stage, dancing and carrying on like nobody’s business, lol!! I had a hard time focusing my camera on him and his band because they were jumping around like Mexican jumping beans!!!

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Ok, so there you have it–from my point of view! As far as activities, other music related discussions, panels, workshops and such, there was plenty to do on the Carnival Freedom–leaving no room for boredom–only relaxation if that’s what one deemed necessary.

What I loved most of all about my first experience with the Capital Jazz Organization is that they did a great job with the entire production of this cruise. From the moment we got on line to register to the point of debarkation after the eight-day music rendezvous, everything was well organized. They paid extra attention to every detail!

In closing, if this sounds like an ad or promo for Capital Jazz, it is! If the pictures don’t tell the story, I don’t know what else to offer. I promise any music lover like me, that you will totally enjoy all of the artists you are able to see in concert and the many activities from which to choose. Personally, I didn’t make time for anything but music and getting my sun in.

Thinking about going on the next Capital Jazz Super Cruise? The Carnival Freedom sails on October 18th for the 2014 cruise that has a talent line-up that is out of this world! I’m sighing, wishing I could be on it… I digress. There may still be cabins available on the ship if you act fast! Here is what’s left so far. Folks sign up waaaay in advance and on the ship from the previous trip, so get on it, doggonit! And while you’re at it, take a look at the Talent Line-Up for this year, a peak at what else went down last November, and where the ship is going this year and 2015!

Highlights courtesy of Capital Jazz TV

Here are some additional shots to enjoy!

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Before I let you go one last comment:
It wouldn’t even matter where the ship is going for me, that’s just a bonus on top of enjoying my favorite artists while discovering new ones in one place! You just can’t beat it!!

A family friend, gave me a new photography moniker:

Love in Music,
PAMarazzi Nichols

Heal The World Vol. I

Greetings once again, my Music Minded Maniacs!

I’ve been away from the keyboard for a long minute and I’m happy to be back!!

Here to introduce a new theme of mixes to come your way is Heal the World! I’ve been working on Vol. I for quite some time and am now ready to share it with the universe.

You probably know by now that my mixes are based on themes. The social ills that have been going on for years prior to the current state have recently intensified right before our eyes. Homelessness, police brutality, racism, suicide, loneliness, poverty, depression, street life, death, war, politics, and sexual preference, consists of most of the world’s trials, troubles, and tribulations.

The tracks I selected to represent these issues tell heartbreaking stories simultaneously with a funky beat, yet slightly uplifting. I ask you to join me for another thought-provoking ride on this mix as you listen to these poignant lyrics that may have an effect on yours or a loved one’s life.

As always, I share photos and video footage I shot at various concerts with a few artists whose music made the mix. I discuss briefly a few stand-out tracks (for me) below.

1. Intro The Sound – Mary Mary
2. Free Again – Ledisi
3. Leaving This Planet Mark – DeClive Lowe f/Sharlene Hector
4. Fallen – Carmen Rodgers
5. Crazy World –  N’dambi
6. Soldier – Raheem DeVaughn
7. No One Wins A War – Raheem DeVaughn
8. If I Could – Carl Thomas
9. My Peoples – DJ Jazzy Jeff
10. The News- Anthony Hamilton
11. Soldier –  Eryka Badu
12. Brotha Man- Kem
13. Can We Change We World – Maysa
14. Black Sheep – B. Slade

Mary Mary opens this mix with the Intro The Sound. I thought it was incredibly appropriate for what many of us look forward to each day—sound, as in music in addition to the subject matters previously mentioned:

The Definition of Sound
Vibrations that travel through the air
Or another media
And can be heard when they reach another person’s ear
That’s not the only Definition of Sound
There’s a sound in one’s voice that lets you know just what they feel, There’s a sound of Pain, a sound of Joy, a sound of strength, a sound of Love, a sound of Desperation, and a sound of victory
Listen to the Sound

Only true Led Heads know Ledisi’s humble beginnings and her song, Free Again as it is a cut from her first release, Soul Singer (I love this album)! How many can identify with relating to “Free Again”?

Mark De Clive-Lowe, one of my favorite producers, remixers, beatmakers, musicians, and an all-around music man, has introduced me to artists I may have otherwise taken longer to become familiar with or may not have known at all. When I heard his album Leaving This Planet, I fell in love with Sharlene Hector’s voice on the title track; it made me think about what “leaving this planet” really meant to the composer and for me as a listener. Indeed Sharlene took me on a trip with the grittiness and raw vocals she put down on this song. Between her and Ledisi, they actually do make you want to “fly away” and “leave this planet” even if it’s just for a little while to treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation with the situations at hand and those personal.

Maysa, Kem, Carmen Rodgers and N’dambi all basically and briefly talk about homelessness and the goodness of God and prayer in their songs. They invite you to look at the situation from another perspective; suppose it were you and the tables turned… All in all God and Love are the ways these artists let you know in their lyrics that “it” is going to be alright!

Ledisi and Me after the BAM show

Ledisi and Me after the BAM show

Maysa and me

Caught Maysa at Macys NYC when her sophomore album, All My Life was released. (Thanks for the photo, Randy Wilson).

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Me and N’dambi at her listening party for Pink Elephant at Universal Music Group (thank you for the opportunity and photo Randy Thomas)

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B. Slade and me at his Joe’s Pub performance (thank you for the opportunity Shani!)

Raheem DeVaughn, what can I say? This young man knows how to pen a good song as well as sing the hell out of it (whether it’s Sexxxy or socially conscious)! Maybe you think it’s overkill that I included his music three times? The content of the lyrics is relevant in all three tracks as Soldier Story speaks to the fear of death in war from a mother and son’s view because this is a way for him support his college education. The unnecessary killing in a war will put you in the mind frame of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On.  Ok, I gotta say this, there’s a part in this song where Raheem is counting pushups; now why does this sound so damned Sexxxy in a song like this?  Oh well… Nobody Wins a War reminds me of the “We Are the World” concept, where various artists contributed their voices on this song such as Jill Scott, Ledisi, Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michele, and Algebra among others. DJ Jazzy Jeff’s track My Peoples, Raheem sings on and the song really hits home as our people are a resilient people when the chorus comes in and says:

My peoples stay strong as an ox
My peoples will never fail
My peoples will always remain
Remain with a story to tell


Ledisi plays SOB’s for Darryl Hill (RIP) of The BAAS Group


Mark De Clive Lowe (on piano)plays with Miguel Atwood Ferguson at Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem for the 20th Anniversary Jazz Festival, celebrating Charlie Parker, Bird with Strings


N’dambi performs at SOB’s NYC


Raheem DeVaughn plays the J & R Music World Music Concert Series


Maysa performs at BB Kings NYC


B. Slade performs at Joe’s Pub NYC

 

SeXXXy Love Vol. I

I initially submitted SeXXXy Love Vol. I to the Cupids Hunt Podcast Collaboration in 2011, and It was my very first mix I had ever created with the proper software.  Warning: SeXXXy Love Vol. I may make you horny!  It is one of my favorites because the beginning of it really draws you  in so if you’re not already with a significant other, about to do each other, you will have to take of yourself!  

I do not claim to be a professional DJ, I just know what I like and hope you enjoy these selections.

http://www.divshare.com/download/14030090-241

Here’s the Playlist:

1. Groove On- Ledisi
2. Inside Cheryl- Pepsi Riley
3. Come Inside (dialogue)- Intro
4. Whose is It? (Interlude)- Total
5. Imgonnacome- Alison Crockett
6. Crown Royal- Jill Scott
7. Lay Awhile- Raheem DeVaughn
8. I Wanna Know You- D-Influence f/Dyanna Frearon
9. Touch Me- ChinahBlac
10. Late Night Rendezvous- Carl Thomas
11. Lay You Down- Portrait
12. Morning Love- Carleen Anderson
13. Funny- Brown Rice
14. You Know What Happens- Alison Crockett
15. I Like The Way It Feels- Carol Riddick