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April 2012

Anita Wilson | Worship Soul

Anita Wilsonm - Worship Soul
Anita Wilson | Worship Soul
(EMI Gospel)
By Peggy Oliver
On most live gospel recordings, it is customary for the church’s pastor or gospel music luminary to introduce the artist to the congregation.  During the introduction for Worship Soul by Anita Wilson, her mentor Donald Lawrence pays this worship leader and singer/songwriter a significant compliment: “With a style all her own and a tone all her own.” 

Ryan Shaw | Real Love

Ryan Shaw - Real Love
Ryan Shaw | Real Love
Bu Susan Mutharia
When he started singing in the church choir at the age of 5, Ryan Shaw may not have understood the full potential of the seed he was sowing. The Decatur, Georgia native did not listen to secular music growing up so his influences were all deeply rooted in Gospel. In 1998 when the seed was budding, Shaw joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s stage play ‘I Know I Have Been Changed’. His journey after that is a combination of hard work and divine connections. Now the seed has blossomed into a two-time Grammy nominated singer that can undoubtedly engrave his name next to great soul singers like Raphael Saadiq, Lenny Kravitz, Anthony Hamilton and even Sam Cooke.

Bob Baldwin Presents “Betcha By Golly Wow – The Songs Of Thom Bell”

Bob Baldwin - Betcha By Golly Wow
Bob Baldwin Speaks On “The Spark of Magic” of Thom Bell
by A. Scott Galloway
Once upon a time, a ubiquitous Bell tolled throughout the land.  It was the sound of music at its creamy dreamiest, crooned hearts-on-sleeves by groups with mystical monikers like Stylistics, Delfonics and Spinners.  T’was a time when real men feared not to sing of love and romance in phrases like “You Are Everything” and “You’re as Right as Rain.”  Their inescapable signals were carried on the wind by the multitudes, massaging the magic in their own inimitable ways. In this time of soul-warming enchantment circa `70, hearts throbbed to the pulses of true love and romance…the symphonic soul soundscapes of Maestro Thomas Randolf Bell.

Esperanza Spalding | Radio Music Society

Esperanza Spalding - Radio Music Society
Esperanza Spalding
Radio Music Society
(Heads Up International)
by Brent Faulkner
Esperanza Spalding, then relatively unknown to the masses, accomplished a feat previously unaccomplished by any jazz artist in 2011; she won the Grammy award for Best New Artist. Spalding’s victory could be viewed shocking considering she defeated more visible popular artists including Justin Bieber and Drake. While the Grammy could be considered Spalding’s ‘crowning’ achievement, it logically accompanies a rich, captivating biography, highlighted in its entirety on her website (

Clarence Milton Bekker | Old Soul

Clarence Milton Bekker - Old Soul
Clarence Milton Bekker
Old Soul
(Playing for Change/Concord)
by Brent Faulkner
Clarence Milton Bekker (formerly known as CB Milton) is an R&B artist who has endured career highs and notable lows. A native of Suriname, CB grew up in Netherlands loving music from an early age. In the late 1980s, Milton became a member of The Swinging Soul Machine, a band that backed The Trammps. Milton left the band to focus on a solo career. The 1990s yielded three albums beginning with It’s My Loving Thing, with each successive effort proving less notable…even lesser so in the U.S.

Incognito | Surreal

Incognito | Surreal
By Peggy Oliver
How does one band with a revolving door of contributors for over three different decades manage to obtain incredible longevity without missing a beat? What has kept Incognito – the multi-cultural, multi-personnel phenomenon that was highly responsible for sparking the eighties’ acid jazz movement – sounding so fresh, remaining so relevant and making it look so effortless? It all lies in the architect of Incognito, Jean-Paul Maunick a.k.a. “Bluey” – the group’s main songwriter and arranger – who refuses to change his musical stripes and feeds off of an indescribable energetic kick from his extended musical family.

Lalah Hathaway’s Starry Starry Homecoming Night in L.A.

Lalah Hathaway/Eric Roberson
Club Nokia
April 6, 2012

Concert Review by A. Scott Galloway

On a Full Moon Friday in L.A., Lalah Hathaway adorned the night with stars…

Taking the stage in a lovely flowing wrap dress with a plunging neckline dripping in luscious aqua marine, Lalah opened her set with two recent mid-tempo groove tunes that set the mood as casual, comfy and feel-good with “If You Want To” and “Breathe.”  This was followed by the ceremonial removal of her “two song shoes” and giving herself over to the more sensual groove of “Small of My Back,” communicating more clearly with subtly bewitching undulations in front of her microphone (like a real singer should) than any fill-in-the-blank pop tart putting themselves through 100 rep calisthenics at 180 BPMs. To continue, please click “MORE”!

L.A.’s RnB Live Club; Serving up “A Night to Remember” Every Wednesday of the Week.”

Amerie Headlines Night of Amazing Amateur Talents at RnB Live”
An Event Evaluation by A. Scott Galloway

There is something to be said for doing something a long time and getting it right. That is the powerful sense I felt last Wednesday night at Greg & Felipe’s weekly “RnB Live Hollywood” residency in North Hollywood at the space known as Romanov Restaurant Lounge (12229 Ventura Blvd.).

To be perfectly honest, I came just to catch up with singing star Amerie. To continue, please click “MORE”!

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise | After This

J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise - After This
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise
After This
By Peggy Oliver
When I first stepped foot in church during the early sixties, my attention focused on the precious, riveting harmonies of the choir. It did not matter if the choir embodied a hymn, spiritual or the Psalms, this part of the weekly church service was my absolute favorite moment. As I started taking my relationship with Christ more seriously, choir ministries took on a slightly different meaning, equivocating more than just some pretty voices that have sheer technical skill.