Soul-Patrol Newsletter



SPN: Buddy Miles, Lenny Kravitz, The Dells, Stax/Motown, Taj Mahal, Maceo Parker, Nadir, Rose Stone, Cracked Ice, Barack Obama, Amy Winehouse, Hendrix/Band of Gypsy's, Carlos Santana, George Clinton, Sly Stone, Prince, Miles Davis, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy
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Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter

1. There is something happening right now in America. Right now the United States is caught up in one of those kind of grooves that make us think that maybe, just maybe we can actually become the country that we were supposed to be all along. As a nation we are not able to shake off the hope and promise that the 1960's offered up. Back in the days of dark suits, skinny ties, big hair and black & white TV's, there was a sense that "the impossible was possible."

Remember the America that was depicted in the eMpTVy video "R.O.C.K In The USA" by John Cougar Mellencamp?, well that vision of America now seems to be current reality. Face it folks, we are living in special time where the leading Presidential candidate seems to embody the best characteristics of both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, where the leading musical artist of the day is a big hair British chick who sings 1960's R&B, and that "subversive integrationist", John Cougar Mellencamp is being inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. So enjoy this time, while we can, it might just be all over with in six months. If you read between the lines of all of these reviews, you will notice a common thread...(what's OLD, has become NEW again)

The best tracks from these artists can be heard on Nu Soul @ RadioIO, RnB Mix @ RadioIO and Classic RnB @ RadioIO.

2. We are going to have several big announcements coming up later this week with regards to the Soul-Patrol Times. We have several large performance entities in various cities that have just signed up with us and we are also going to announce a sale for indy artists who want to sign up for text advertising. So if you are an indy artist who has been on the fence about signing up for the text ads which appear on the Soul-Patrol Times, now is your chance. The sale will go on for one week only. Contact me if you are interested...

Thanks in advance...

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net




Taj Mahal Interview/Profile
(Blues Cruise Diary)

Click Here to get more info about Taj Mahal When I started this piece it was going to be a diary of the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise of that embarked from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 13, 2008.
Looking back through my notes though, perhaps the only worthy note I made was on day 1 where I wrote:

Bumped into Irma Thomas. "Not doing bad for an old broad," sez she upon my inquiry. Claimed a little frustration at being given bad directions. I introduce myself as the author of the feature article on her that appeared in the Feb/Mar 2007 issue of BLUES REVUE Magazine. After a warm handshake we pledge to hook up later…"

It became clear before the first day was done that the diary concept would fall short in terms of conveying to the Soul-Patrol readership the tons of fun, music, history and information that was forthcoming from the artists on board.

Taj Mahal, the "Grand Marshall" of the cruise afforded me an opportunity for an exclusive interview, most certainly African in its points of origin, yet globally universal in its content. There is no question in my mind that it belongs on Soul-Patrol.

Approaching the halfway point in the weeklong cruise, the ship docked at the island of St. Croix. Taj came off the ship to headline the St. Croix Music Festival. He reached the stage at about 9:30 p.m. after a daylong lineup of great music. The crowd was jubilant and in the zone. I noticed that during some up-tempo numbers, Taj's singing voice slips into what I perceived as kind of an "alter ego", lower register voice that seemed to inject spurts of party down, dancing energy into the crowd. I asked Taj about that alter ego and he clarified my perception by saying, "that voice exists deeply in Africa. It's a spirit channeling voice. You find it in West Africa, Central and South.....(continued here)

--T. Watts



Album Review: Maceo Parker - Roots and Grooves
(Jazz/Funk/Soul)

Click Here to get more info about Maceo Parker - Roots and Grooves Do you like live albums? (I do). That's because I like going to concerts and this album is kinda like listening to a "dream concert." This album consists of a 2 CD set and it's really like two separate albums in one package. The first disc is a live set featuring Maceo leading a big band doing a super hellified, largely instrumental tribute to Ray Charles. The second disc is a live set featuring Maceo leading a big band doing a real greasy funk concert, that ends with a 17 minute long live version of "Pass The peas". I have no clue as to who could possibly not like this album. If you are a person reading this review it means that you are already pre-disposed to really digging this album. I can't imagine that you wouldn't like it. There aren't any surprises here, just like the title says, it's "roots and grooves", nothing more and nothing less. If you have any hint of a "glide to your stride", "bounce to your ounce", no matter how small you are going to be immediately transported to a place called "planet groove" as soon as you put this album into your CD player. And if you need more than TWO HOURS OF LIVE STANK AZZ GREAZY ROOTS & GROOVES in one sitting, then come and see me, because that means you are a funkateer in desperate need of medical attention. However if you are a country music fan, you might not want to listen to this album unless you want your hair to turn nappy.

Check out Maceo Parker - Roots and Groove at: Maceo Parker - Roots and Groove

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis
Album Review: Rose Stone - "Already Motivated"
(Soul/Funk)

Click Here to get more info about Rose Stone  - Already Motivated For those of you, who were disappointed by the recent debacle at BB Kings in NYC last fall, can now understand just why Rose Stone declined to participate. That's cuz she had this gem of an album waiting for us. Rose Stone for those of you who may have forgotten or are too young to remember is in possession of one of the most glorious voices in the history of Black music. On songs like "Everybody is a Star", "Hot Fun in the Summertime", and others from the Sly & the Family Stone catalog, it was the voice of Rose Stone that carried the day. Fast forward to 2008, that voice is still there as is the message. In some ways this album is a perfect bookend to her brother Freddie Stone's 2002 solo album called "Everywhere You Are." Containing strong messages about personal behavior and it's impact on top of funky guitars, horns, drums and keyboards, along with a couple of nod's to the past of Sly & the Family Stone. This is a very tasty album of contemporary soul/funk.

My favorite song on the album is called "Sooner or Later (Family Stone)", with Rose & Freddie Stone on lead vocals, backed up by Cynthia Robinson & Jerry Martini on horns, Rusty Allen on bass, Greg Enrico on drums plus Rose & Freddie on keyboard & guitar respectively. As you can see from that line up, this song just might be the closest we get to a real (unlike the fall/winter BB Kings debacle) Sly & the Family Stone reunion....(continued here)

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis



Album Review: Lenny Kravitz - It's Time For a Love Revolution
(Boring Azz Pseudo Beatles/Soft Rock/Elevator Music)

Click Here to get more info about Lenny Kravitz - It's Time For a Love Revolution If I told you that there are two songs out of fourteen tracks on an album that have any musical value whatsoever, would you pay $18.99 just to get those two songs during the great Amerikkkan recession of 2008? I would truly like to be able to start this review off by telling you that this album is the bomb, especially since my opinion has long been that Lenny Kravitz is the guy who is supposed to save Black music from itself. However I can't do that with any sense of responsibility for your pocketbook in these times of economic uncertainty.

We all have at least one member of our family that is like Lenny Kravitz's music. We love them dearly, but they just won't do right. They lead their lives by "skating." They never actually end up on welfare, homeless or addicted to crack. They usually have a job, but not always. They usually take care of their children, but not always. Their phone is usually shut on, but not always. Every once in a blue moon, they do something great and they make us smile, because for a brief moment it looks like they are about to fully embrace the potential that we all knew that they would ever since we knew them as kids. And then just as quickly they turn around and revert to their by now predictable behavior. You know that they can do better, they just don't, and very possibly never will. The worst part is that YOU KNOW, that THEY KNOW, that THEY CAN DO BETTER, but choose not to for reasons that aren't clear. The easiest thing to do is to say nothing and let that family member continue to "skate", but you also know that if you say nothing it really isn't in anyone's best interest.

Lenny Kravitz on paper is the perfect artist for this time in history. Musically he should represent quite literally the same type of "universal fusion" as Barack Obama represents politically. Unfortunately for Lenny he doesn't seem to be capable of creating a good album precisely at the moment in time that history demands that he does. As a music fan I am disappointed that Lenny has turned in a terrible album. However as a cultural commentator, I am even more disappointed that Lenny missed out on his chance to unify all of the people who potentially he can, thru his music. This was certainly his moment to do so. Perhaps this moment in time will come again? (but I doubt it).....(continued here)


Check out Lenny Kravitz - It's Time For a Love Revolution at: Lenny Kravitz - It's Time For a Love Revolution

Look for one of these songs to appear as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis

Album Review: The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke's Greatest Hits
(Revolutionary Pop)


The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke's Greatest Hits1. I'll Never Fall In Love Again
2. Walk On By
3. This Guy's In Love With You
4. Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head
5. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
6. Close To You
7. Trains & Boats & Planes
8. A House Is Not a Home
9. I Say a Little Prayer
10. Alfie
11. Wives & Lovers

This album is technically a Chess records reissue, originally released in 1972, back when I was in 11th grade and wouldn't have paid it any mind because this album doesn't have anything to do with pushing any teenaged girls up against a basement wall in the dark. I don't think that anyone else paid any attention to it either, so for all practical purposes, it's a brand new album.

However if you are a little older than an 11th grader, you will find quite a bit here to enjoy and savor with your significant other, who should also be a bit beyond the 11th grade as well.

If you are looking for outakes from the "70's Soul Jam", just keep on steppin. Because if you dare to stick THIS album into your CD player, ger ready instead for some "revolutionary pop music."

There are those times when it becomes a requirement to listen to an album in the manner that an album was meant to be listened to. Especially when it comes to listening to a blast from the past, that embodies all that I thought that I knew, but in reality never really knew, until this particular moment in time.

An album in my opinion was meant to be listened to as if it was an event. Back in the day, the mere purchase of an album was cause in and of itself to be a celebration. It meant that you would at some point in time, shortly after making the purchase allocate a period of time to do nothing else but just listen to that album, preferably with headphones on. So when you listen to this album, don't do what I did, instead create an event for yourself to experience all that is going on here, so that you don't miss anything....(continued here)


Find out more about this album at:
The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke's Greatest Hits

Look for these songs to appear as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis


Album Review: Cracked Ice - Soul Noir
(Classic Soul)


Cracked Ice - Soul NoirReal quick, if you look at the artist name, the title and the album cover you might think that this album was made by some "downtown neo-soul heads." Well not only would you be wrong, but you would also be presently surprised by the music contained. This is a brand new album containing a very strong/dated 1960's R&B kinda sound. In fact it's the very same sound that just won 5 Grammy Awards. It's Stevie Ray Vaughn meets Wilson Pickett meets Dusty Springfield meets Clarence Carter for those of you over the age of 45. For those of you who are under 45 it's Doyle Braham II meets Amy Winehouse meets Ryan Shaw meets the Dapkings. It's the music of the past and the music of the future at the same time. And right now it seems that 1960's based R&B music has suddenly become the hippest music on the planet. Don't let the title, the name of the artist fool you, you would be making a mistake if you glossed over this album. It's a brand new album of Classic Soul plain and simple. It's got saxophones, trumpets, piano's, drums, guitars and human beings singing alone and singing with each other. I could see this album being big in the "heartland", but ignored by New York and Los Angeles. But when New York and Los Angeles "discover" it they will get on the train also. They won't have any choice, it's the same train that Obama is the conductor of. This album is already a huge hit on the Beach Music charts!!!

Find out more about this album at:
Cracked Ice - Soul Noir

Look for these songs to appear "heavy rotation" on Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com

--Bob Davis


Album Review: Various Artists - Soulsville Sings Hitsville
(Classic Soul)


Soulsville Sings HitsvilleOn the surface, this is an album that you might consider to be "hokey", but ya gotta actually listen to it. First of all it contains several GREAT songs that if you are a Classic Soul fan, you no doubt already own. Hearing the Staples Singers "You've Got To Earn It", written by Smokey Robinson, which in fact reached #9 on the R&B charts back in 1971 is a real treat if you haven't heard it in a while. It contains strong horns & bass along with a muted blues harp all brought together by the beautiful voice of Mavis Staples. Hearing Isaac Hayes cover the Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye", which reached #5 on the R&B charts back in 1971 as well reminds us of just how powerful Isaac Hayes was and just how much of a "Midas touch" he had during that time. There are a few surprises here as well. For example there is "OH BE MY LOVE", a song originally done by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, that is one of my favorite Miracles songs. To my ears it's a song that should never be touched by anyone else....lol. However Barbara Lewis turns in a surprisingly good cover version of it. Another example is John Gary Williams cover of the Four Tops "Just Ask The Lonely", in which he turns the up-tempo Motown classic into a MONSTER SLOW JAM. Yet another is the Soul Children's deconstruction of Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" into another MONSTER SLOW JAM. This is far from being an essential album to own, but if you are a hardcore Soul music fan you will want to have this album, just on "GP." And when you listen to it, you are gonna smile a whole lot more than you thought that you would.

Find out more about this album at:
Soulsville Sings Hitsville

Look for these songs to appear "in rotation" on CLASSIC RnB @ RadioIo.com

--Bob Davis


Concert Review: Nadir @ BAM Café (2/9/2008)
(Great Black Music From the Ancient To The Future)


Nadir - Slave the Remix Tape"If the bump ain't crunk,
if the funk ain't pumpin'
with the thump in the trunk,
then the bump ain't bumpin'!
You just gotta Leave It Alone, Leave It Alone!"


As a few of you know, I have been really, really busy of late. In fact I have been so busy that I haven't been able to get out and see many shows in 2008. This may well be the only show that I see in 2008. (sike....I'll be seeing Ryan Shaw this week in NYC).

I haven't been able to even find the time till now, to write this review of Nadir's show.

But hear it is and let me start out by saying that if this were going to be the only live show that I saw in 2008, I would be alright with that. Nadir put on an outstanding show, but more importantly he proved to me that he has a rare quality in a modern artist, in that he is able to also overcome "adversity."

I am an unabashed fan of Nadir's music and have been since I first heard his award winning 2005 album entitled "Distorted Soul 2.0." Not only is "Distorted Soul 2.0." one of the FUNKIEST albums of the decade (and therefore the century), it is a "throwback." This album is a "throwback" because unlike most albums produced in "post 9-11 amerikkka" it actually has something to say about the past, present and future of our society. Therefore it's no surprise that Nadir is also the Michigan State representative for MTV's Street Team 08, where he serves as one of MTV's 2008 Presidential Election reporters. (hell yeah, this ia a brotha we need to be proud of!!!!)

I strongly advise you to go to Nadir's site: http://www.distortedsoul.com and check out what he's got to offer. It's music +" and as badd as Nadir's music is, it's the "+" that is indeed the key...

I arrived at the BAM Café (http://www.bam.org) early because I had told Nadir that I would be there for the sound check and sure enough he was in the lobby accompanied by his backup musicians for the evening. As I greeted Nadir, I also greeted the members of the local NYC based Funk/Rock band called Rhythm Republik. I know Rhythm Republik and their music quite well, they are an "average" band and this was the first level of adversity for Nadir to overcome.

Soon we were greeted by "Clark Kent" (aka Darrell McNeill) who was in his alter ego as the "curator" of the BAM Café and he took us up to the BAM Café, for the sound check. As I watched the sound check, clearly Nadir was the man in charge, as he took Rhythm Republik thru snippets of the songs in the set in an organized and methodical fashion, to insure that they knew the songs. You could see that Nadir was going to make Rhythm Republik rise to the occasion and they did.

Soon the crowd started to fill up the empty space and several hundred people came in, most of whom were white (more adversity for Nadir to overcome).

Soon the show started and I was joined at my table by PJ from Brown Eyez Magazine (http://www.browneyezmag.com) and one of her associates. PJ like me had also seen Nadir perform at the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention in Philadelphia and wanted to see him do a full set in New York.

Once the show started, I could see that indeed Rhythm Republik wasn't going to be an issue. And in my opinion, Rhythm Republik did a good job. You see, I know Nadir's songs like perhaps nobody else does (see I'm a real fan…..lol). I know the words and the beats by heart, that's because he is an artist in the truest sense of that word, with topical lyrics that are right on time for 2008.

Don't belive me, check the set list for the show…

Good To Your Earhole
Tighten Up
Daddy's Cane
The Low Road
Life In The Fast Lane
Slave
Guantanamo
Is That What You Wanted?
Queen of Sheba
Workin 4 Tha Man'
Leave It Alone

As you can see from the titles, some of these songs have lyrics that are intensely political (actually incendiary is a better word.....lol) and are designed to raise the consciousness of the listener and in fact challenge the listener to "do better." And given the nature of the crowd I was a bit concerned, that perhaps they might not be into it.

I couldn't have been more wrong, because I was about to get the surprise of the night...

::::THE SHOWMANSHIP OF NADIR::::::

He had the 96 percent white crowd eating out of his hands, using "1960's Apollo Stage Banter" and easily winning the crowd over during the middle portion of the show…

Starting with the rock 'power ballad" called the LOW ROAD (which also appears on the Soul-Patrol Digital/Virtual Album), it was if Nadir grabbed the crowd by their chairs and brought them closer to him, as if to say "it's ok to have fun". Next up, he made them feel even more comfortable with a FUNKED UP version of the Eagles 1970's classic "LIFE IN THE FAST LANE". This set the stage for the gut wrenching "SLAVE" (which actually transports us back to slavery times) and the SUPER HELLIFIED & EROTIC song called "SANCTIFIED" (during which Nadir almost caused a white woman in the audience to nearly faint...lol). I took a deep breath and smiled, because Rhythm Republik was actually doing a decent job of keeping up with all of this. Then Nadir slowed things down with "GUANTANAMO", a song about the US military instillation in Cuba, currently being used as a prison (torture) camp by the United States government.

Nadir ended his set (after a few stage management issues) in a most entertaining manner with the ULTRA PHUNKY JOINT called "LEAVE IT ALONE". He cleverly demonstrated his showmanship by challenging the audience to recite the lyrics (which are listed at the top of this review and are quite a tongue twister if you try to say them 3 times fast…..lol). This of course left the crowd smiling and well primed to absorb the MONSTER FUNK of the song itself. The show ended to a thunderous applause and I have little doubt that if there had been voting machines placed in the BAM Café, that Nadir could have been elected President, right on the spot!!!

The show ended and I would say that Nadir is primed for a return engagement to bring his very special brand of "EDutainment" back to the Big Apple. http://www.distortedsoul.com


I mean, Nadir is soooo completely out of step with the times...

- He plays FUNK music (and ain't ashamed of it)
- He writes passionate songs about the human condition
- He educates as he entertains
- He's a TV star
- He uses showmanship from the chitlin circuit days to capture and captivate a live audience
- Is talented enough to make up for any issues that might occur during a live show
- He actually knows how to use the internet
- He's got an "interracial" audience

Perhaps the "times" are about to catch up to Nadir...

"If the bump ain't crunk,
if the funk ain't pumpin'
with the thump in the trunk,
then the bump ain't bumpin'!
You just gotta Leave It Alone, Leave It Alone!"


http://www.distortedsoul.com

--Bob Davis



Soul-Patrol.Net Tribute To Buddy Miles:
1. Two hour EXCLUSIVE conversation w/Buddy conducted by Bob Davis. Buddy Tells it ALL in an extremely candid interview (Hendrix/Band of Gypsy's, Carlos Santana, George Clinton, Sly Stone, Prince, Miles Davis, etc). 2. Followed by a 1 hour musical overview of the great Funk/Rock/Blues drummer/guitarist & vocalist... Hosted by our own KING GEORGE outta Chicago



If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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Bob Davis - Soul-Patrol
798 Woodlane Rd
Suite 10264
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
609-351-0154




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