SPN: Marvin Gaye, Denise LaSalle, Tower of Power, AWB, Victor Wooten, Conya Doss, Velons, Clickettes, Jewels, Derek McKeith, HoneyDripper Soundtrack (Mable John, New Beginnings Ministry, Hank Williams, Lil Green, Keb' Mo', Danny Glover, Memphis Slim, Gary Clark Jr, Barrence Whitfield, and Ruth Brown)

Soul-Patrol Newsletter

SPN: Marvin Gaye, Denise LaSalle, Tower of Power, AWB, Victor Wooten, Conya Doss, Velons, Clickettes, Jewels, Derek McKeith, HoneyDripper Soundtrack (Mable John, New Beginnings Ministry, Hank Williams, Lil Green, Keb' Mo', Danny Glover, Memphis Slim, Gary Clark Jr, Barrence Whitfield, and Ruth Brown)
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Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter

1. Yesterday I watched one of those "local talking heads" political analysis shows on TV. Yall know the type of show, featuring "local/yokel blowhard" politicians trying to impress local constituents with their supposed "national influence." I'm sure that you have shows like this in your local area on Sunday mornings as well. They had a debate between two local surrogates for Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. The surrogates were as follows...

FOR MRS. CLINTON: Philadelphia's conservative leaning Black Mayor, Michael Nutter
FOR MR. OBAMA: Suburban Bucks County white liberal leaning US Congressman, Patrick Murphy

As I listened to the meaningless blather of the two surrogates, I thought that the contrast in imagery was stark. I asked myself if such a thing could have happened 20 years ago, and of course the answer would have been no. Yet it occurred without any fanfare, hype or protests. It was a snapshot of "Race in America", that is seldom seen or discussed.

In the end these endorsements won't mean much. My feeling is that the voters of Pennsylvania know enough about the respective qualifications of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, sans the meaningless commentary of either Mr. Murphy or Mr. Nutter, in order to decide who to vote for in the upcoming PA Primary. However I think that the occurrence of these endorsements and the manifestation/display of them, without fanfare on local television this morning represents quite an evolution for the United States and I just wanted to make note of it here.

IMHO the more we can move away from our natural tribalistic tendencies, the better off America will be.

NP: "If 6 were 9" --Jimi Hendrix

2. I hope that you will enjoy the reviews in this issue of the newsletter, we have plenty of Classic Soul, Funk, Nu Soul, Doo Wop, Rock and more. But more importantly, if you see something that looks like it might be interesting, take a chance on it...

Thanks in advance...

--Bob Davis

Album Review: Denise LaSalle - Pay Before You Pump
(Classic Soul/Southern Soul)

Click Here to get more info about Marcus Miller- Marcus In listening to this album, I am reminded that sometimes I think we take all of this far too seriously. Most of the time we really just want to listen to some music that is intended to do little else besides make us smile when we hear it. That is exactly what Denise LaSalle's "Pay Before You Pump" is intended to do. There isn't anything complicated going on with this album. All it is are some hellified funky azz southern fried grooves (this is what an R&B band is supposed to sound like and I want them to play at my funeral!!!), with songs full of wisdom/common sense all sung by one of the greatest voices in all of Black music. Take the song "Mississippi Woman" (which will certainly be added to the playlist of Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com) for example, when I first got this album and started to play it, each time I would get stuck on "Mississippi Woman". It's SOOO DAMN FUNKY that it needs to be hidden away from the white kids in the U.K. or else it might just win 5 Grammy Awards.

However as good as it is, "Mississippi Woman" hardly tells the tale of this album. Don't sleep on "Hold On Tight" (a monster slow jam), the first cut "Pay Before You Pump" is one of those really well written "double entndre" songs that nobody seems to write anymore, "I Need a Working Man" is yet another phi slama jammin FUNK joint that's filled with the kind of advice that ONLY an "experienced Black woman" can provide. There's more here, that's for sure. Do you like Black music and you are looking for the REAL THANG? Then do yourself a fava and DON'T SLEEP ON DENISE LASALLE, because I have a feeling that if you were to "sleep on Denise LaSalle" (that you might just get yo' be-hind whupped!!!)

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

Album Review: Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear [Extra Tracks] [Original Recording Remastered]
(The Godfather of Nu Soul)

Click Here to get more info about Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear [Extra Tracks] [Original Recording Remastered] Perhaps some of you out there will recall an old movie called "The Big Clock" starring Ray Milland and Charles Laughton? In the movie Ray Milland is hired by Charles Laughton to find a murderer. Of course the big twist at the end of the movie is that the murderer is the very same person who hired him in the first place, Charles Laughton!!!

Sometimes, as I go thru my own "detective work" in the arena of Black music, I feel like Ray Milland's character must have felt at the end of "The Big Clock."

Today is yet another one of those days.

When it comes to questions about Black music, the at least a part of the answer for me always seems to come back to the tortured genius of Marvin Gaye.

And how fortunate we are at this time in the history of Black music, a critical time it is indeed to be presented with an album of new music from our friend Marvin Gaye. This is a time for Black music to reinvent itself and we have been in the midst of that reinvention for most of this decade. We now have what is fundamentally a new album from Marvin Gaye to use as a reference point to insure that the framework for the construction project being undertaken by today's artists (especially those who claim Marvin Gaye an influence) is adhered to properly.

"Old headz", won't like this album.
There is absolutly zero "nostalgia value" here.
This is an album that isn't about the past.
It's about the future...

Today's male artists always claim a holy trinity of influence:
They recite it almost as if it's a singular "Web 2.0 phrase". The reality is that what most of them do is to pick the most boring (& least challenging) aspects of Stevie Wonder & Donny Hathaway, mimic those and call it a day (ex: John Legend). Zzzzzzzzzzzz

There is good reason why artists avoid the essence of Marvin Gaye.

To enter the world of Marvin Gaye, means that you must be willing to create art that might be dangerous to you not only on a musical level, but on a personal level as well. Marvin Gaye was a genius, but he was also "crazy" and he lived on the edge to such an extent that the very same personal issues he spoke of so eloquently in his music are no doubt the same issues that caused his early death. Attempting to create art in a similar mode, might just cause a similar end result? This is an artistic challenge that few "sane" people are willing to undertake....(click here to continue)

--Bob Davis

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

Album Review: Conya Doss - Still
(Nu Soul/Pop)

Album Review: Conya Doss - StillAs you might well imagine, I get a whole lot of new music submitted to me every year, from many different sources (major labels, indy labels, indy artists). Some of that music is awful and some of that music is outstanding. However the vast majority of the music submitted is "average." If I were to plot a graph the overall "quality distribution" of the music that is submitted to Soul-Patrol.com would look exactly like the old "bell curve." We all remember the "bell curve" from high school. The far extremities of the curve are close to the "x-axis", and in the middle is a great big hump that makes the curve look like a "bell." In Soul-Patrol's "musical quality distribution bell curve", the left extremity represents the music submitted that is pure crap and basically un-listenable. The right extremity represents music submitted that is outstanding. The big hump in the middle represents the vast majority, which is "average in quality."

The only music I ever write a review of, is music that falls into the far right hand side of the "bell curve." That's because I don't believe that any of you out there are interested in me telling you about music that is "average." My belief is that you only want me to bother telling you about music that is outstanding. You can find out about "average music" someplace else.

This brings me to Conya Doss and her new album entitled "STILL." In my opinion you don't have to think twice about it. This album should be on your "short list" of albums to buy in 2008, since I know yall are more into obtaining your music without paying for it these days....(Click here to read the rest of the review) You can listen to the music of Conya Doss here on Radioio.com on both the Nu Soul @ RadioIO and RnB Mix Channels.

--Bob Davis


Album Review: The Velons & their Divas
(Classic Soul/R&B/Doo Wop)

Click Here to get more info about The Velons & their Divas Watching some of the "tabloid" and what some may regard now as "Human Interest" pieces, I end up "having" to keep up with and acknowledge "American Idle". That coupled with some of the various music sources I stumble onto, I hear what is, now taken as normal, a lot of histrionic "singing". A lot of hollering, squeezing as many notes as one can in from two beats to a whole measure. Very athletic for sure. The "notes" and the amount of notes, apparently, have become more important than the words and the story the "singer" is telling. In the end, this "style" has rendered much of the music and the performers neutralized by the "sameness" in delivery. One has to go "off the grid",to get something that offers a total wall of music, where the music, the story and the performers are in concert; complimentary to one another. What a concept! A musical balance!!! OFF THE GRID....HERE'S ONE!!!!

THE VELONS and Their DIVAS is a collection of songs and stories done clean and polished with style and technique. Less is MORE!!! As one can expect from experienced performers, this is a project where there is a soothing balance of solid musical arrangements sitting beneath some "Classy" vocal performances. These are PROS in the true sense of the word, performance wise. The VELONS, the featured artists on this album, The JEWELS and The CLICKETTES demonstrate a dying art in American Pop music.....Group Harmony Singing. Not the presentations that managed to pop up over the last 10 or 20 years, where you have a lead and a background competing with that lead. NOT HERE! The "Lead" is the "LEAD" and the "Background" is the "BACKGROUND"!! WHAT A CONCEPT! You "get" the story/lyrics, and a support to that story/lyric where the background serves that "role" where an orchestra of horns and strings aren't necessary to fill the musical space.....(review continued here)

--Earl Gregory

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

PHILADELPHIA SOUL-PATROL EVENT: An Evening With VICTOR WOOTEN @ the Keswick Theater, April 1, 2008

PHILADELPHIA SOUL-PATROL EVENT: An Evening With VICTOR WOOTEN @ the Keswick Theater,  April 1, 2008 I did not write this review, but I was at the concert.
This was written by Soul-Patrol's Philly coordinator David Brooks (Dr. Brookenstien).
One of the things about most concert reviews that I don't like is that very rarely is....


(that's because there are always "some people" who DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH)

And that is a shame, cuz if there is anyplace where THE TRUTH IS OBVIOUS FOR ALL TO SEE, it is AT A CONCERT. Well I was there @ the Keswick and let me tell you something...


:::::and I am glad that I was there to bear witness to it:::::

--Bob Davis

At The Keswick Theater - Glenside, PA (4-1-08)

Okay, funk fans...here it goes.....a review from the Victor Wooten show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA (4/1/08)....please bear me as I may have momentary lapses of unconsciousness during this review....



At 7:45pm, the nearly sold-out theatre was exposed to musicians playing a terrifying blend of funk, jazz and world music, under the guidance of possibly the best bass virtuoso on this side of the galaxy, MR. VICTOR WOOTEN!! "Cambo" was the first song (a nasty funk-jazz tune) featuring violin riffs and chant vocals by Ali......the basswork of Victor was fast and in-your-face nasty-funky!!.....(click here for the rest of the review)

Album Review: Derek McKeith - The Signature

Click Here to get more info about Derek McKeith - The Signature It is a well known fact that I am a card carrying member of the Black Rock Coalition (much like Michael Dukakis was of the ACLU) and have been for quite some time. Therefore I am already pre-disposed to liking this new release from Derek McKeith. So what does it sound like? Think about this equation of this groove; Kings X + Rick James + Hendrix (slow jams) + The Time + Willie Dixon + AC/DC + Return to Forever.

Are you the kind of person who can groove to this kinda cream in your coffee, first thing in the morning? If that's the case, then buy this album but wait till you gotta get up early one morning before you play it for the very first time, then stick it into the CD player, crank the volume up (damn the neighbors). And then turn on the coffee pot. Your head will be clear before your coffee is ready, and you won't need any q-tips to clear the wax inside of your ears either. There is nothing subtle about "The Signature" by Derek McKeith, this album is "TheHeadbangersBallForBlackFolks".

And I don't know about you, but here in 2008 there are plenty of mornings when I need a shot of "TheHeadbangersBallForBlackFolks" in order to get my head straight, so that I have the clarity of mind required to face what awaits me just outside of my door in this advanced post 9-11 society in which we are currently living.


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

--Bob Davis

Album Review: Various Artists - HoneyDripper Soundtrack

Click Here to get more info about HoneyDripper Soundtrack  This is a great album, I like it a whole lot, it's the soundtrack for a period movie called "Honeydripper", that was released in 2008. On one hand it's hard to classify if you try to think about it in conventional terms like Pop, Blues, Gospel or Country. It's the type of an album that modern day terms like "Roots Music" or "Americana" were invented for. Unfortunately the purveyors of such terminology usually will use those terms as a disguise for identifying "country music that people who don't like country music like" and therefore the terms get misused. The soundtrack for that movie features artists like; Mable John, New Beginnings Ministry, Hank Williams, Lil Green, Keb' Mo', Danny Glover, Memphis Slim, Gary Clark Jr, Barrence Whitfield, and Ruth Brown.

I'm tempted to call it a "Rock n' Roll" album, but that wouldn't quite be true either, however all of the songs on "HoneyDripper" represent what is certainly the "DNA of Rock n' Roll." When taken collectively, this is without a doubt the music that inspired Little Richard, Harvey Fuqua, Louis Jordan and other geniuses involved in the creation of Rock n' Roll. It's music from the 30's, 40's and early 50's. Some of it is taken from the vaults and some of it freshly recorded for the movie soundtrack (some recorded live). Some of this music is highly spiritual, and some of it is highly erotic, a perfect reflection of the conflict involved in the creation of Rock n' Roll itself. An album that contains songs by both Hank Williams and Memphis Slim, it illustrates just how little difference there was at one time between "Blues" and "Country". This is an album that is well worth investing a few pennies in, it will help you to think about just how all of this music we listen to today, got started and every song will give you something to smile about.

--Bob Davis


Click Here to get more info about HoneyDripper Soundtrack  Just wanted to post this quick reminder for all of you FUNK MUSIC fans out there. As you read earlier in this newsletter, we had a BLAST at the Keswick Theatere in just outside of Philly last week as we got FUNKED UP with VICTOR WOOTEN. This week tha funk continues at the Keswick with two legends, TOWER OF POWER & AVERAGE WHITE BAND. What is hip? Two great nights of funky fun with TOWER OF POWER and AVERAGE WHITE BAND at Glenside's Keswick Theatr on Fri. & Sat., Apr. 11 &12 @ 8 PM is what is hip!

With almost 40 years of recording and touring experience behind them, TOWER OF POWER is the real deal with its horn driven, in-your-face sound, melding jazz, funk, rock and soul. Well known in the 70's for tunes such as "What is Hip?" and "You're Still a Young Man," TOWER OF POWER toured with Sly Stone and Creedence Clearwater Revival before making a major splash on their own. Now, they are experiencing a renaissance, touring most of every year and packing venues in the United States, Japan and all over Europe with audiences of old and new fans. In between all those tour dates, the TOWER OF POWER Horn Section has somehow found the time to guest on records for a very diverse group of artists from Michael Bolton to Phish.

AWB is perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit “Pick Up the Pieces,� the band's strength actually lies in their consistently accomplished songwriting, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi-GRAMMY nominations. Somewhat ironically, given their Scottish roots, AVERAGE WHITE BAND took the influences of their R&B heroes – people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Donny Hathaway – and developed their own “authentic� sound which was eagerly adopted by a cross section of audiences in the U.S. and abroad. AWB tunes, such as “'Cloudy�, “A Love Of Your Own� and “Nothing You Can Do� stand alongside some of the finest soul album tracks ever recorded.

Keswick Theatre

--Bob Davis

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:


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

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Listen To: Classic RnB, Classic Hip Hop, NuSoul, RnB Mix and Today's RnB 24/7, programmed and hosted by Bob Davis HipHop & Soul @ RadioIO.com
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