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Black Porcelain’s Invincible Summer Review

Invincible Summer cover

Black Porcelain has released her truly independent self finance album.  We first wrote about her in 2011 when she released a remix of Butterflies. Then in 2012 when she released the video of “Today Is the Day”. To this day I still love this song.  Which listening to “Invincible Summer”, I was very happy to hear it as the first track.  Kind of a feeling of being at home, and put me in comfortable place with this new material.

As I said the first song is “Today is the Day”.  It’s a very deceptive song. It’s the most upbeat positive “Get the Hell Out” song I have every heard.  The simple yet effective piano keeps the song very light and positive.  Most other singers in the genre would and have made this subject more dark than it should be.  That’s why for me it’s very refreshing to get her take on this type of song.  Also the horns arrangement on the song is excellent.

The next two tracks “Aching Head” and “Hot Pink” continue the strong start of the album.  With “Aching Head”, the bass guitar plays big part in establishing the tempo of the song.  Which could be taken as a drinkers anthem. lol.  In the song “Hot Pink”, her voice really stands out and takes over the song.  In doing so, you realize something.  That the first three songs are not similar at all, and Black Porcelain’s voice handles each distinctly and masterfully.  You don’t notice her voice strain, or reach areas where she is uncomfortable.

The album continues with song after song that describes her on her Journey.  Each song is a glimpse into that journey and her life, which makes this album very personal and meaningful.  This album has many reasons why I love independent artists.  I feel that each fan, album purchase and “like” helps that artist accomplish their dreams, which is repaid by more music for the fans.

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Electrifying Soul: Muhsinah

Michael Jackson's mentor, Quincy Jones

In the early 1950’s Quincy Jones made a bold move and took an offer to tour as a trumpeter with Lionel Hampton, instead of finishing at Berklee College of Music.

Around the same time, Ray charles was singing “Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand” while wearing his signature Billy Stickles shades. About a decade later, Curtis Mayfield was in the company of James Brown and Sly Stone cultivating people’s pride for being black. They electrified people so well with their music, that anyone living during the civil rights era, had a seriously soulful soundtrack to groove to.

Though I enjoy the life-giving entertainment that these men brought to the forefront, I can’t hold a candle to their creative genius. There is one thing we have in common; however, and that is an undying desire to keep soul music alive.

I just want to quickly introduce myself. I’m Issa and I breathe soul music. If there was no Frankie Beverly and Maze, where would I be today?

The one and only Chaka!

If Chaka Khan never opened her mouth, I wonder what my life would be like, and if Aretha would never have touched a microphone, there would be a void in my life that nothing else could fill. The industry has created categories for artists and boxed them in based on these categories, but bottom line: we know soul. For that reason, I am so pleased to be writing with the rest of the team here at Soulified. I have a unique opportunity to spread more of this thing we call “soul” by bringing to you some of the up and coming soul and neo-soul artists who are diligently working to keep it alive.

Before I sign off, I want to introduce you to an artist who I’m sure you’ve heard of by now.  Check the archives here for another article on her written a few months back. She’s shining bright, and I  have had this star on heavy rotation for the past few weeks… yes.. weeks. Her name is Muhsinah. She’s hailed by The Washington Post as being a young soul rebel “with an uncanny ability to seamlessly meld electronic beats with layers of jazzy arrangements and unorthodox song structure..” As a singer/songwriter and producer, she claims to be highly influenced by Chick Corea, Alice Coltrane, and J Dilla. Its pretty easy to see that on her most recent album “The Oscillations: Triangle” released in 09′.

Here’s a taste, and here’s to soul. Keep it alive…

Download some Muhsinah: Construction

Memphis music lovers have more days to enjoy

Taste Of Thursdays

Taste Of Thursdays

Being kind of new to Memphis, it has been hard for us (wifey and myself) to find some places to really enjoy music. Hard to believe, that can happen in the City Of Memphis. We have found two places recently, that are great examples of grown folk chill spots. They have the prerequisite of the great music, delicious food, and a full calendar of events. The first we tried was Soul Cafe, which Dave Hollister frequents, performs and hosts in some of the events. You can count on them to have a show every Friday, to help relieve the end of the week stress. The second place that really eximplifies the term “hole in the wall”, is Cafe Soul. Don’t let that turn you off. The outside of the building, doesn’t do any justice to the inside. With the stage in the center, it really makes for an enjoyable time. Will Graves & Soul are there the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. So, there are two great ways to spend your Friday and Saturday nights.

Now there will be two more days. Your Thursdays can now be filled with Taste Of Thursdays. It’s going to be a blend of Jazz, wine and Italian food. It starts March 19th, and will be every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. Then your easy Sunday’s can be made easier with Sax On Sunday. They’ll have various sub genre’s of Jazz, and also a poet on hand to drop a stanza or two. I haven’t been to either of these new events, but once I do, I’ll give the full report.

Sabrina Starke Releases new single/video “Foolish”

Today one of the Dutch producers of Sabrina Starke’s debut album “Yellow Brick Road”, mentioned that she has released a new single from the album, and the video is available on YouTube.  Thanks Edo. Continue reading “Sabrina Starke Releases new single/video “Foolish”” »

Dave Hollister & Friends concert in Memphis

I’ve been complaining about there is never a good Soul concert in my area. Today I finally learned of a concert at Soul Cafe in Memphis, TN. Dave Hollister is headlining with seven other good artists. The other artists Joyce McKinney, Shontelle Norman, Terreigh Barnett, David Gillard, Devin Crutcher, Fletcher, and Will Graves. It’s tomorrow December 20th at 8pm and 10pm. There is hope for 2009.


Continue reading “Dave Hollister & Friends concert in Memphis” »

Artist Spotlight: Sabrina Starke


Sabrina Starke is a Dutch Soul artist from Rotterdam, Netherlands. She started making her moves into the industry when she joined a Raggae band. In 2005 she decided to move on with her solo career. She has a very unique mixture of Jazz, Soul, R&B and a dash of Folk. She recently recorded her debut album “Yellow Brick Road” in California with Dutch producers, Chris Kooreman and Edo Plasschaert. The album was released in the Netherlands October 1st. Her first single “Do for Love” was an instant hit in the Netherlands. Listening to the album, I see vivid and also subdued flashes of various styles. This defeintly doesn’t have the sound of a debut album. It has a very cohesive feel, that is also polished, but not overtly.

 
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwOWJoV-koM

Artist Spotlight: Inobe


One thing that I love about this genre of music is the depth of the artists. With each note, song and album they reveal so much of themselves to the world. That takes courage, and confidence. The reason I say all this, is Inobe (her name Eboni backwards), is a perfect example. She has a very real and tangible personality that comes through her music. I hate to try to describe artists, because they all are unique, but Inobe exudes a simple organic passion for music. You are not going to get complicated songs that are over produced. What you do get is a relaxed melody with a firm soothing voice. She currently has two albums, “I Am Inobe” released in 2003, and “Spiritual Soul” released in 2006. Sample her music below, and take some time to Get To Know Inobe. Enjoy. Continue reading “Artist Spotlight: Inobe” »