When I first heard 9th Wonder’s instrumental, I initially thought he chopped up Bobby Womack’s “How Could You Break My Heart.” Listening closely, I realized that it was Vicki Anderson’s “You’re Welcome, Stop on by.” I learned later, though, that this version is a cover of the Bobby Womack song of the same name. Another interesting tidbit about “You’re Welcome” is that Vicki Anderson and Bobby Byrd(R.I.P.) are married and have a child who is a recording artist, Carleen Anderson. Both Byrd and Anderson were collaborators & vocalists in James Brown’s(R.I.P.) camp, creating many songs that would be sampled by hip hop artists including Anderson’s “The Message from the Soul Sisters” and Byrd’s “I Know You Got Soul.”

Bobby Womack – How Could You Break My Heart

The DJ Babu cut, “Dee on”, samples none other than Dionne Warwick (yes, Whitney Houston’s aunt). The gem that was selected, “You’re Gonna Need Me,” from her 1973 album, Just Being Myself, was also sampled by J Dilla(R.I.P.) and released on his posthumous album, Donuts, as “Stop.”

Dionne Warwick – You’re Gonna Need Me

J Dilla – Stop

Just a little FYI

1. Vicki Anderson; Bobby Byrd – You’re welcome, Stop On By – Mother Popcorn – Vivid Sound
2. 9th Wonder instrumetal – CD-R
3. DJ Babu – Dee On – Beat Tape, Vol. 1 – Nature Sounds
4. Erykah Badu – The Healer – Nu Amerykah – Universal/Motown
5. Pete Rock; Leela James – No Tears – Soul Survivor 2 – Rapster
6. G&D – Time – Message Uni versa – Look
7. Coultrain – Lilac Tree – The Adventures of Seymour Liberty – Ju Ju Dust
8. Byron the Aquarius – Turn Back Time – CD-R
9. Sa-Ra; Rozzi Daime – So Special – The Hollywood Recordings – Babygrande
10 DJ Spinna – Starz – Compositions – Female Fun
11. Busta Rhymes – Woo-Hah! Got you All In Check! – the Coming – Elektra/WEA
12. Quantic Soul Orchestra – Raw Ingredients – Stampede – Tru Thoughts
13. The Bamboos; Tyra Hammond – Head In the Clouds – Rawville – Tru Thoughts
14. El Michels Affair – Detroit Think Twice – Sounding Out The City – PID
15. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – How Long Do I Have to Wait For You (Ticklah Remix) – Daptone Records Remixed – Daptone Records

This mix began as a blend of instrumentals. After I’d selected the 9th Wonder instrumental reworking of Vicki Anderson’s Stop on By and Babu’s refixing of Dionne Warwick’s You’re Gonna Need Me, I decided to go another route. Both of the originals have powerful female vocals which immediately put me in the mind of Northen Soul. Leela James and Georgia Anne Muldrow (1/2 of G&D) are current artists that I could easily see handling the reigns after Sharon Jones releases them. Strong drums, pianos and horns throughout and spacy at times, this mix is a 30 minute treat for the discerning listener. Enjoy!

Download Here

…sounds crazy, but, err, um, ahhh, down South where i hail, if it doesnt have that bottom or if it’s not “familiar neo soul” you’re likely to lose your weekly gig.

One song I’ve loved since I first heard it on VH1 Soul is Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals – Fight Outta You from their Lifeline album. Recorded and mixed over 7 days after a 9 month tour engagement with no computers or pro-tools, they deliver an offering thats great for a night of solitude or a getaway for two. You’ll enjoy this simple affirmation, though, that Ben Harper sings to funky keys, pounding drums and, of course, his guitar.

Next up, is another track I’m thankful to VH1 Soul for, “I’ll Be Waiting”. Waiting is the lead single from Lenny Kravitz’s upcoming (2-12-2008) album Time For A Love Revolution and is a slight return to his 1992 album,”Mama Said.” The song begins with a simple piano lead in, and is swiftly followed by drums and Lenny crooning. A guitar driven love ballad, Lisa Bonet look out!!!

I may actually have an opportunity to play songs such as these in Bham though, and not lose my residency. There’s a new event that’s coming together as i write this blog, The Latte Lounge. More details to come…

Erykah Badu’s album, New Amerykah, out 2-26-2008

If I Were You I would have been at Club Quincy’s last night!

Donnie feels it from his head down…

DJ Rahdu on the 1s and 2s

Donnie performed a 10 song set to a captivated Birmingham crowd that showed much love! His soul and social commentary in between songs only helped to create a bond between artist and audience. After his scheduled set, he performed an encore with “Heavensent” and one of my personal favorites, “Rocketship.”
Be on the lookout for the next $10 concert series Feb 22 with Trina Broussard and Melissa Young!

California Love!

January 25, 2008

Martin Luther – Super Nova

Glad he didnt drive off of the cliff, but even more excited about the music! Martin Luther has been one of my favorite artists since I first heard “Daily Bread.” Hopefully, he has a new project in the works and this song will be included. I wish more artists were this determined to get new music to the masses (read: D’angelo, Maxwell) Make sure you pick up his previous albums, “The Calling” and “Rebel Soul Music.”

1-25-2008 It’s time to float on Cloud 9 with Donnie and DJ Rahdu performing tonight at Club Quincy’s. 1000 John Roger Drive / Doors open at 9PM/ $10/ 205-838-7500 for more info.

In the meantime, check out this mini-mix of Donnie’s Daily News album by DJ Jamad

Byron and Onra – The Big Payback. Byron, 19 years old, is coming from Alabama, and plays piano since the age of 6. He discovered Onra, 26, French beatmaker from Paris, on Myspace at the end of 2005. They exchanged music files for months and start this prolific collaboration, completing over 30 songs in just 4 months. Onra is taking care of the drums patterns and Byron is handling the melodic part of the project, playing vintage electric keyboard Fender Rhodes and different synthesizers. You can tell there is a perfect alchemy between their two styles, and their first demos instantly grabbed the attention of several influent Internet DJ’s. Half instrumental, The Big Payback invited numerous vocal guests, giving a much more accessible aspect to the music, at the same time for specialists and open to the mainstream crowd. The guests are Isis, an MC/singer from Toronto, whose group Thunderheist will surely blow worldwide real soon, New Yorker Peter Hadar, Detroit Diva Neco Redd, flutist Julien Marc, and the beatmaker/MC Dal-Gren from Paris, the other revelation from this album. The Big Payback has also a track called “Cosmic Travelling” on the “Beat Dimensions” compilation, selected by Spacek’s own DJ Jay Scarlett and Cinnaman, released on Dutch label Rush Hour – Taken from Myspace
The Big Payback featuring Neco Redd – Love

Liberation Time!

January 23, 2008

Yesterday I got my hands on the new Badu cut, The Healer. I must admit, initially I wasnt (read: am not ) moved by her first single, Honey. The Healer, though, is the anti-commercial single that i was looking for, AND IT DOESNT DISAPPOINT. Produced by Madlib, it has that underwater esoteric vibe that you’ve come to expect from Ms. Badu who’s sounded the clarion call, “We’ve ben programmed. Wake Up!” Speaking about Hip-Hop and giving a nod to Dilla (R.I.P.), this one will get heavy spins in the whip!

Erykah Badu – The Healer

There’s one more person I want you to check out, Coultrain. This brother hails from Brooklyn and I was first introduced to him at The Soul Summit in Atlanta 2007. I knew then that this brother had a great style and that great things were headed his way. I discovered later that year that this brother was going to be the featured vocalist on the next Platinum Pied Pipers project, which was one of my favorite albums from 2005. Last week, while visiting my midwest opium den, Dusty Groove I discovered that his album was released and available for just 6.99. It arrived in the mail today and once again: NOT DISAPPOINTED. Produced entirely by Kenautis Smith, and written and arranged by Coultrain, The Adventures of Seymour Liberty sounds like a trip back to a time when you purchased albums instead of compact discs. Just check out “Lilac Tree” which ends like something out of a Maurice White and Phillip Bailey (Earth Wind and Fire)wet dream. There’s also an element that reminds me of some of Leon Ware or Charles Stepney’s (who actually died during the recording of EWF’s Spirit album) best production. Coultrain’s voice is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye on “Playin’ Catch Up” and is one of those voices thats distinct to the point where once he’s given his shot, you won’t soon forget him. As Guru said, It’s mostly the voice, but this brother also has the lyrical content to keep even the biggest incense burner pleased. You can also purchase The Adventures of Seymour Liberty from Coultrain’s myspace page. My personal favorite is Green, it touched me when i saw him perform it live and it’s even more potent on the disc. Get Liberated!
Coultrain – Green

Van Hunt – Popular

January 21, 2008

Last Friday, I went to Okayplayer.com and was shocked to find out that Van Hunt had an album that was released on 1-15-2008 that i was completely oblivious to. I quickly went to websites to see if there were any available at my local retail outlets. No Dice! Damn, what do i do? I have a few industry contacts and reached out to no avail. I then decided to check the web. I found out that there was a 4track EP (the Popular Machine) that was released in August that i was also completely ignorant of so I decided to go to the source; Van Hunt’s myspace page. Once there I read these comments written on 1-14-08 a day before the release of the album:
“today was to be a day of celebration. it still can be; but, not for the same reason. i would once turn red from such an electrical surge as having a record on the way to the stores, $3,000,000 behind me in marketing and tour support and the president of the record label, and the manager of my career, making frantic phone calls on my behalf-trying to get me on the letterman show. “what will people think about the record?” talking to myself became casual parlance on the eve of record releases. not to mention preparing a new band for the album release party. an event where the “stars” of hollywood would line up against the south wall of the Roxy on sunset to get in and watch me sweat while they attempted to talk louder than our amplifiers could turn up.but, not this time.’Popular’ is not on its way to the store. it is sitting in a box in my flat in LA, on 1/2 inch reels down in the blue note basement in new york and on about 30 laptops across this country and england – fans who spent anywhere from $30 to $70 to hear what i was thinking 15 months ago.you never know how much you mean to somebody until they break up with you. blue note and i are not seeing each other anymore. i am planning. i won’t go into more than these details until after we work out the business of our parting. but, this year you will see, at least, one album and a book of short stories from me. i can not promise you that you will ever see the official release of ‘Popular.’ at this point i’m just hoping for MY release :)talk soon,v h .”
Damnnnnnn, and then i read this from an earlier blog:
“today is october 15th, 2007….somebody said my new record, due for a january 15th, 2008 release, has been leaked…”leaking like a roof? or a faucet?” i ask. “can we just turn it off?” what, exactly, does “leaked” mean? well, depending on who you ask, it could mean that some auction site is selling my record to the highest (and, in some cases, ONLY) bidder; and/or someone is sharing my music with their friends…like they do french fries or candy or germs. my thoughts?-that kind of violation is beyond my immediate control. let’s be real. if you are going to give away promotional copies of your record-several months before it is to be released-then you know you are taking a chance that it will be “leaked.” we wanted people to start talking about the record before it came out… well, we succeeded. as the creator of the music, my goal is to have as many people as possible hear the work. i wish there were even more people-all over the internet-screaming about how amazing their bootleg of ‘popular’ is. i want to be paid for my work. but, praise comes in many forms-verbal, physical and monetary. so, you may be a thief with high cultural tastes who has to download a copy of my record for free or you may be a person of impenetrable integrity who wants to wait and purchase the record next year or you may be too impatient and wealthy and don’t mind paying $60 to an auction site for an early peek at the album or you might want to trade your clueless friend your extra copy of the hard to find early n’sync demos for a fresh van hunt download…i just want ya’ll to LISTEN to the music. let it get into you; and, tell somebody-somebody who you know will understand-about the way it made you move. spread the word!”
So i knew it was slinking around the internet never to be released, similar to Bilal’s sophmore project, Love for Sale, or Q-tip’s sophmore and junior(?) projects, Kamaal the Abstract and Live at The Renaissance, but Determination is the Father of results…and here it is. Share and if it’s released PLEASE BUY. it’s a great project
Check out “N The Southern Shade”…I think it’s appropriate for a blog written by a Southern Boy

Fred Wesley (born 1943) is an American jazz and funk trombonist, best known for his work with James Brown in the 1960s and 1970s.
Wesley was born in
Mobile, Alabama, the son of a high school teacher and big band leader. During the 1960s and 1970s he was a pivotal member of James Brown‘s bands, playing on many hit recordings including “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud“, “Mother Popcorn” and co-writing tunes such as “Hot Pants“. His slippery riffs and pungent, precise solos, complementing those of saxophonist Maceo Parker, gave Brown’s R&B, soul, and funk tunes their instrumental punch. In the 1970s he also served as band leader and musical director of Brown’s band the J.B.’s and did much of the composing and arranging for the group. He left Brown’s band in 1975 and spent several years playing with George Clinton‘s various Parliament/Funkadelic projects, even recording a couple of albums as the leader of a spin-off group, The Horny Horns.
Wesley became a force in jazz in 1978 when he joined the
Count Basie Orchestra. He released his first jazz album as a leader, To Someone in 1988. It was followed by New Friends in 1990, Comme Ci Comme Ca in 1991, the live album Swing and Be Funky, and Amalgamation in 1994.
In the early nineties Wesley toured with his colleagues from the James Brown band,
Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker, as the JB Horns. With the departure of Ellis the band became The Maceo Parker Band. Wesley was featured trombonist with Parker until 1996 when he formed his own band, The Fred Wesley Group.
Wesley’s 35-year career includes playing with and arranging for a wide variety of other artist such as
Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Randy Crawford, Vanessa Williams, The SOS Band, Cameo, Socalled and rappers De La Soul, to name a few. Many other artists have sampled his work.
2002 Wesley wrote Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman (ISBN 0-8223-2909-3), an autobiography about his life as a sideman. Also in 2002 he recorded an album entitled Cuda Wuda Shuda with a group of jazz musicians calling themselves the Fred Wesley Band.
Wesley served as an adjunct professor in the Jazz Studies department of the School of Music at the
University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 2004 to 2006.

Listen to Fred get busy with the JBs on The Grunt Pts 1&2