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The picture that you see on the left is Bob Davis and the legendary Mr. Charles Wright. The picture was taken at the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention in Philadelphia. The picture of Charles Wright just below it was taken at the same event, and you can see Mr Wright proudly displaying the lifetime achivement award that Soul-Patrol proudly presented him back in 2007.
I was extremely proud to be able to hand that award to Mr. Wright on that hot afternoon in Philadelphia. It was the very least I could do for someone who not only made such a large contribution to Black culture, but who has also been such a key person in the history and development of the Soul-Patrol.com website. He has been a big part of what we do, since before mostof you reading this today even had gotten your very first email address.
Charles Wright is one of the ORIGINATORS of the music that we celebrate here on Soul-Patrol. He is also one of the pioneers of the Black Internet. Back in 1997 Charles Wright became one of the first artists period to participate in a then brand new concept called a "chat session". You can read the transcript where Charles Wright gave us a comprehensive look at his career in our chat room at the following link: http://www.soul-patrol.com/funk/chas_cht.htm
One of the things that FUNK represents is the idea that for the first time young Black people had the chance to do something quite simple as "Expressing Yourself". Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's these young "funkateers" expressed themselves in their music, politics, culture and lifestyle. Charles Wright was one of the leading voices from a musical perspective, urging these young "funkateers" to 'express themselves'.
Today in many respects we have grown to take that level of expression for granted. However we are indeed fourtunate to have with us Mr. Charles Wright to remind us that indeed it may be even more important today to EXPRESS YOURSELF as a first step torwards making the world we live in a much better place. .
Mr. Wright has a newly updated website at the following link: http://www.expressyourself.net. If you have a few moments of time right now, I'[d like you to take a visit over to http://www.expressyourself.net and take a look. One of the things that you will be able to do there is to check out some of Mr. Wight's new music from his brand new SLAMMIN album called; Charles Wright - "That Funky Thang" which I also review below. If you dig some FUNK MUSIC, I think that you will dig what you hear when you go on over to http://www.expressyourself.net
Check it out and let us know what cha think....
Blues, Hip Hop and Soul Music Director www.radioio.com
Album Review: Charles Wright - "That Funky Thang" ("Old Soul and New Soul")
I just did something that I haven't done in a while. I just posted the following two reviews of Charles Wright "That Funky Thang" on my Twitter feed (@kozmicfunk) at about 9:30 am est.
REVIEW 1 - @kozmicfunk ChasWright "That Funky Thang" FUNKBANGER http://www.expressyourself.net #houseparty #invitefriends #BrownLiquor #JAM #4am #BlackPeople #RNB #FUNK RT
REVIEW 2 - @kozmicfunk ChasWright "That Funky Thang" GROOVE http://www.expressyourself.net #bestthingtoday #RachelMaddow #retrosoul #DapKings #bqemusic #fitz&tantrums RT
If you go visit my page on Twitter @kozmicunk you can view these two reviews if you like. According to Twitter I have 769 "followers." Despite that I doubt if many of those followers will "retweet," either of the two reviews for two reasons.
1. It's been 3-4 months since I posted anything on Twitter, so I doubt if any of those 769 "followers" are paying attention to anything that I have to say.
2. Very few of those 769 "followers" are even awake at 9:30 am est on a Sunday morning.
Of course I knew all of this in advance, but I still wanted to post these two very different reviews, targeted at two completely different demographic groups that I feel strongly would fall in love with the album Charles Wright "That Funky Thang", for a reason.
If you look closely at the #hashtags" contained in the two reviews, the two different demographic groups are easily apparent, given the 140 character limitations of Twitter.
REVIEW 1 - I am targeting Black folks who are not only Funk music fans, but I am also telling them that if they are 'party people,' that they can throw this album on the box on a friday/saturday night and use it (and nothing else) as the soundtrack for a slammin all night house party. All they need do is roll back the rug, invite their friends and family, make sure they have enough "brown likka" and food around to last till 4am and jam all night long with their crew. I am also telling them to go and check out the music at Charles Wright's website http://www.expressyourself.net and to "retweet" the review.
REVIEW 2 - I am targeting the crowd of younger folks who are huge fans of artists like Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fitz and the Tantrums and other similar artists. These people are fans of music that they call "Retro Soul." Retro Soul is music that to my ears sounds like it is a near perfect "reproduction" of Classic Funk music that existed on the AM radio stations, located on the far right hand side of the dial when I was a kid during the mid to late 1960's. I am also telling them to go and check out the music at Charles Wright's website http://www.expressyourself.net and to "retweet" the review.
The term "Retro Soul" is somewhat problematic for me. Last year at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference, I was a part of a panel entitled "Old Soul vs. New Soul." Along with the other panelists, we developed a definition of 'Soul Music," and concluded that there was no fundamental difference between 'old Soul and New Soul." As it turned out there was a reporter in attendance from the Austin-American Statesman newspaper. This reporter proceeded to take the panel to task and me in particular, in his newspaper column for ignoring of "retro soul," in the discussion. I replied back telling him that the term "retro soul" was irrelevant, that the only thing that matters is the music and the quality of it. I pointed out the NuSoul @ RadioIO channel (which incidentally this newspaper reporter is a regular listener of, in addition to being a reader of Soul-Patrol.com) plays the music of the artists that he labels with the term 'retro soul." I suppose that since the reporter was aware of this, he was disappointed that I never used the term "retro soul," in any of the comments that I made on the panel, instead I said "same as it ever was."
The reality is that in 2011 is the music of Charles Wright, that is probably the most popular and most heard of exactly what the vibe surrounding the term 'retro soul," is getting at. Charles Wright's signature song is the late 1960's hit song "Express Yourself." The song is even bigger today than it was during it's days on the Billboard charts 40+ years ago, simply because it has been used as the soundtrack for many national TV commercials over the past 10 years. These TV commercials are always the same, featuring an unseen/unnamed Charles Wright singing/playing and visual images of 'twentysomething" (usually white people) bouncing down the street, dancing around the house or workplace; enjoying whatever the product being advertised all "expressing themselves" to the unmistakable/monster groove of the song "Express Yourself." As such if the "Retro Soul Movement" was to ever have an identifiable mainstream anthem, it would be "Express Yourself" by Charles Wright. My point is that if there was ever an artist/album that the 'Retro Soul Crowd" should be supporting in 2011, it should be Charles Wright "That Funky Thang." However they probably won't, simply because despite the massive amount of airplay that Charles Wright gets on American Television and the popularity of his music there, few TV viewers know his name.
I did a search on Google this morning and discovered that the song 'Express Yourself" has appeared in national TV commercials from major companies such as; Coffee Mate, Samsung, AirTel, Botox, LG Electronics, and many others.
As a person who is an "integrationist," at heart, I see these two groups as actually liking the same exact music, but because they live in what seems to be parallel universes, they don't ever really come together and truly support their common musical interestts. It's kind of like a Venn Diagram, where the overlap between the two circles (one representing "Old Soul" and the other representing "New Soul") is relatively small. I would like to see the two circles have a much larger overlap with each other (if not completely merge.) Of course I realize that the music business doesn't actually work this way, in fact their objective is to actually create as many separate "marketplaces" as possible in order to maximize profits. However despite this economic fact, this is still America and my feeling is that we gain more by bringing people together.
The album Charles Wright - "That Funky Thang" is fantastic, featuring that
H-A-R-D-C-O-R-E A-L-L A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N V-I-B-E
that resonates equally from Africa to Harlem, from Watts to Scarsdale, from Alabama to Alaska and all points in between, play it at a house party, a wedding, a retirement party, an occupy wall street rally, a kids birthday party or a TV commercial, and people of all ages/races will soon be on their feet dancing. Of course some of you reading this will want me to provide some type of a name for this 'vibe,' but I am not going to do that Instead what I am going to do is provide you with a link (http://www.expressyourself.net) where you can take a listen to it for yourself. After you take a listen, just email me back (or tweet me @kozmicfunk) and tell me the name that you would like to give this "vibe?" http://www.expressyourself.net
Blues, Hip Hop and Soul Music Director www.radioio.com
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