Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter ANGIE STONE - THE ART OF LOVE AND WAR
Angie Stone is one of the most important artists in Black Music today.
She connects the legacy of the great music we have produced in the past, with the potential for greatness in the future, while avoiding the mediocrity of the recent past.
Yeah, I know there are other artists that get a whole lot more publicity than she does, but that's not Angie's fault. That would be the fault of a mass media who is more focused on the the "perverted", than the "pure." Angie Stone is in the tradition of Gladys, Aretha, Chaka and in fact she is now well known enough that she's now in that category of "first name only" artists as well. Angie Stone has been around for a while, yet it seems like she's still a new artist that we can still be surprised by.
Maybe that's the reason she's on the STAX record label?
Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it "feel right" that Angie Stone is on STAX?
In this issue of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, I'm not asking for much. I really just want you to do one thing. I want you to take a few moments and visit the official website for Angie's new album called "The Art of Love and War." Now I realize that for many of you reading this, buying any new albums, is the furthest thing from your mind. After all, isn't buying albums supposed to be "old fashioned?" In fact many of you probably haven't brought an album all year long, because you have been listening to all of the "free music" that is out there.
But now it's the end of the year and you need ONE that you can take to the bank. You need that ONE album that you are not only going to enjoy, but the ONE album that you will want to turn your friends and family on to over the holidays. Oh don't get me wrong, there are plenty of other albums out there that are worthy of your consideration as well. But this is the ONLY one that is guarenteed to be a HOME RUN. (And this album is that HOME RUN)
Now, if you go to Angie's official site there are a number of things that you can do there, but I want you to focus on just two things:
--You can listen to three of the songs from the album.
--You can also watch her new video (co-staring Betty Wright)
Just check these things out and let me know what you think of them?
Here is that link, go there now:
Thanks in advance...
BIOGRAPHY: Angie Stone
Angie Stone is beaming -- just one look at her expression and you know she's right where she wants to be, in Marvin Gaye's studio on Sunset Blvd. She's putting the finishing touches on THE ART OF LOVE & WAR, her debut CD for Stax Records, and the vibe surrounding this album feels like she's channeling the inspiration of her soul predecessors. â€œI'm happy and I'm blessed,â€? Angie explains. â€œTo me, this album and this opportunity, is a rebirth. Everything in life is a journey, and THE ART OF LOVE & WAR defines this time and this place in my life.â€?
When Stax Records' Collin Stanback entered Angie's life, she was feeling stalled in her career -- stuck at a plateau. The opportunity he presented to her to be one of the debut artists on the newly activated Stax label offered a challenge that she was more than ready to take on. â€œCollin made me stretch,â€? Angie smiles. â€œWell enough was definitely not good enough. He encouraged me to go where he knew I could go. And even good enough was not acceptable.â€? Angie Stone on THE ART OF LOVE & WAR is better than good enough â€“ This is Angie as she is meant to be seen and heard, and the sentiment is all hers. Stone wrote over 90% of the album and the thirteen tracks on THE ART OF LOVE & WAR showcase every nuance of her vocal range. She is in turn powerful, playful, and coy, and her voice permeates every corner of every note.
â€œBabyâ€? is the first song to radioâ€”produced by Co-T and featuring Betty Wright. The album is rife with singles, so this track should definitely whet your appetite for what will follow. Pick a groove and there's a track that will satisfy. How about â€œReasonsâ€? produced by DOA, â€œMy People,â€? produced by Idris Elba and Mike McClain featuring the one and only James Ingram, or â€œHere We Go,â€? or â€œSometimes,â€? two of the six tracks produced by Jonathan Richmond, â€œPlay With It,â€? â€œSit Down,â€? or â€œPop Popâ€?â€¦it's hard to choose.â€œI think â€˜Happy Being Me' might be my favorite track on the record,â€? comments Angie. â€œI wrote this song because it describes right where I am and what I'm feeling right now, mentally and spiritually.â€?
The South Carolina native began singing at First Nazareth Baptist Church as a child, and attended local gospel performances by her father's quartet and by the Singing Angels and the Gospel Keynotes. She had a well grounded if uneventful childhood, enjoyed sports and was offered several basketball scholarships upon graduation. Her love of poetry was the only indication of the songwriter she would someday become. Angie saved every penny she could from a variety of go-nowhere jobs to record some demos, and at age sixteen formed the rap trio, The Sequence, with Gwendolyn Chisholm and Cheryl Cookâ€¦step one on Angie's climb to the top. Their hits for Sugarhill Records, â€œFunk You Up,â€? â€œFunky Sound,â€? and â€œI Don't Need Your Love,â€? showcased Angie's vocal chops to the world beyond her Carolina home, and by the mid â€˜80s she had worked with Mantronix and Lenny Kravitz and formed the neo-soul trio Vertical Hold who signed with A&M Records. The Vertical Hold CD included the singles â€œSeems You're Much Too Busy,â€? and â€œASAP,â€? and Angie had climbed another rung on the music business ladder.
By the mid-â€˜90s Angie was working with Lenny's cousin Gerry Deveaux in Devox, recording one album, Devox Featuring Angie B. Stone, released by Toshiba/EMI in Japan, AND she met her new recording mentor, Clive Davis. In 1999 Angie Stone released her much-heralded debut solo album, Black Diamond, on Arista Records. For the hard-working singer/musician it felt like she was nearing the top rung of the ladder.
The word on Angie's Arista launch was that she was a modern day-Aretha Franklin providing an exuberant return to classic soul in the tradition of her heroes, Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. She brought a whole new energy and sensibility to the material and a whole new spectrum of fans joined the Angie fan club when they heard her Top 10 R&B hit â€œNo More Rain (In This Cloud). Black Diamond was followed by the J Records' releases Mahogany Soul, Stone Love, and, a live recording of her greatest hits, Stone Hits: The Very Best of Angie Stone. The Arista/J Records CDs made Angie Stone a certified-gold CD artist, a national and international star, and a much-in-demand guest on the albums of her peers and friends. But Stone remained unfulfilled, stuck on a plateau. She still had not reached the top of the ladder, and felt like she was never going to get there. And then last year, Stone had a bout with congestive heart failure.
Enter Stanback and Stax Records, bringing with him a whole new creative family for Angie to call her own. The reactivated Stax imprint, acquired by the Concord Music Group, is committed to the power and legacy of its forbearers, and poised to be a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music. Stax holds a critical place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time â€” second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music. As one of the first major signings to the new Stax Records, Angie Stone has found a home, and is diva-ready. â€œI'm healthy, have a wonderful new creative family, two great kids, a new man in my life and a whole new chance to show what I'm made of. I'm ready to get loud,â€? Angie proclaims, â€œso watch out!â€?
NEW RELEASE: Angie Stone - The Art of Love and War
One of the things that I will usually get done in the car is to listen to albums that have been submitted for review by artists and other entities to Soul-Patrol for review. As is my custom last night as I took a supply of albums with me to listen to my 3 hour (round trip) drive to and from NYC.
This of course can be a good or a bad thing.
1. If I am listening to an album during the first part of the trip, it can be better for the artist, simply because I am in a better mood.
2. If I am listening to an album during the return part of my trip, it could potentially be devastating for the artist, simply because I am in a bad mood (I mean, who really wants to be out driving around NJ at 2am?)
Coming back home from the Family Stand show in NYC of course I had a supply of albums with me to listen to during the trip. About halfway back home, I reached for the new Angie Stone album alled "The Art of Love and War" (on STAX), which is scheduled for release in late October. Now I gotta be honest with you, that is the worst possible time for me to reach for an album that I haven't heard before. I was at around exit 8a of the NJ Turnpike and really tired. The chances of me out right rejecting an album, calling it a piece of crap and throwing it into the "never to be listened to again pile" are actually quite high. If it bores me in any way, even for 30 second's it's coming right out of the CD player and I will be replacing it with James Brown, Miles Davis or Jimi Hendrix.
Well I gotta tell you, this new Angie Stone album is off the chain. In fact I didn't finish listening to it because I kept hitting the repeat button for songs 9 & 10 ("My People" and "Sit Down") Sit Down is quite "hypnotic/erotic" and I wanted to listen over and over again. "My People" is destined to become an anthem much in the same manner as "Aint No Stopping Us Now".
It's great to listen to a robust album, that is full of passionate songs once again and I have no problem whatsoever highly recommending this one. I mean, what can be higher recommended that an album full of great songs that has the power to revive the senses at 2am on the NJ Turnpike?
Angie Stone and her new album: "The Art Of Love and War"
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