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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Anita Baker Sings in Key DC Appearance

It’s always a treat to catch Detroit, Michigan native Anita Baker under the bright spotlight.

The Grammy Award winning lady of “Rapture,” “Sweet love,” “Giving You the Best that I Got,” and other memorable hits is scheduled to appear in Washington, DC at Constitution Hall on Friday, September 18, 2009.

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Posted by King on 08/27 at 08:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Earth Wind & Fire 2009 Tour Update

The Earth Wind & Fire 2009 summer tour is winding down...

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Atlanta, GA, Chastain Park Amphitheater (with Chicago)
  • Wednesday, August 26, Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center (with Chicago)
  • Friday, August 28, Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center (with Chicago)
  • Saturday, August 29, The Reach Music Festival - Simsbury, CT, The Performing Arts Center At Simsbury Meadows
  • Sunday, August 30, Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (with Chicago)
  • Wednesday, September 2, The Great Allentown Fair - Allentown, PA, Grandstand Stage (with Chicago)
  • Thursday, October 8, Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

You can grab 3 previously unreleased MP3’s by joining Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago in their fight against hunger and poverty by making a $3 or more donation to WHY Fight Hunger.

I happily made a donation.  One of the 3 never released songs you’ll be able to download is a nice update of “Wishing You Were Here,” a great Earth Wind & Fire - Chicago collaboration.

This Chicago original gets a nice, jazzy update with EWF’s Philip Bailey singing lead.  It’s quite different from the hit version that teamed Chicago together with the Beach Boys.

The 2 additional songs you can download feature one from Chicago, and another from Earth Wind & Fire with Chicago.

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Posted by King on 08/25 at 07:30 PM
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mary J. Blige Joins the LeBron James Team

More Than A Game is a new documentary film about basketball prodigy LeBron James and four of his teammates.

The movie takes us court side through the high school experiences of Mr. James as he paves the way to the NBA.

Dru Joyce, Romeo Travis, Sian Cotton, and Willie McGee appear as themselves in the cast.

Harvey Mason Jr. gets credit for creating some original music for the score.  Other music compiled for this flick includes “Stronger,” a new ballad from Mary J. Blige that has just been released.

More music from More Than A Game will be released in September, 2009.  The movie will hit selected theaters in October.

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Posted by King on 08/20 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Michael Jackson Movie Set for October 2009 Debut

Sony Pictures Entertainment & Sony Music Entertainment will release Michael Jackson’s This Is It in theaters around the world on Friday, October 30th, 2009.

You’ll see the king of pop’s final rehearsals along with special behind-the-scenes footage.

This Is It is being produced with the full support of the estate of Michael Jackson.

M-J had been preparing for a new concert series at the O2 Arena in London prior to his untimely death.

The film will provide a unique career retrospective and feature interviews with some of Jackson’s friends, associates, and creative collaborators.

Proceeds from This Is It will benefit the Michael Jackson Family Trust, the entity that Jackson specified in his will to receive all of his assets.

The majority of the film’s footage was shot in June, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, and at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

More information about This Is It will be available at michaeljackson.com as the release date approaches.

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Posted by King on 08/18 at 01:00 AM
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Woodstock Is Still Wonderful at 40

Woodstock, the 1969 arts and music festival, is an important iconic cultural event because of the changing artistic and social norms the concert both magnified and challenged.

August 15 - 18, 40 years ago this weekend, the harmonic happening happened.

The historic gathering of close to 500,000 people in Woodstock, New York was not the first flower-power super show.  Woodstock occurred 2 years after 1967’s Monterey Pop, a legendary California gathering of contemporary music elite.

We remember Woodstock, for creating the formula for Live Earth, Live Aid, Farm Aid, and the subsequent gigantic song filled mega affairs yet to come.

Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong in the planning, execution, and organization of Woodstock.

Just out of high school during the summer of 69’, I wrote the organizers for ticket information and received disappointing news from them in a letter laced with typographical mistakes.

In retrospect, with no tickets and no way to get there, it was a smart move for me not to attempt to go (from New York City) despite being just 80 miles away from the town of Woodstock.

Hundreds of thousands attended, including the gleeful gate crashers who soaked in the spirit of free admission, free music, and frequent rain during the weekend.

Woodstock, Monterey Pop, and many of the other Wal-Mart sized festivals have always been criticized for sparse representation of R&B and soul performers.

Monterey Pop had Booker T & The MG’s, Otis Redding, and Hugh Masekela.  Woodstock had Sly & The Family Stone, Richie Havens, and Santana.  Both featured Jimi Hendrix.

Missing from these grand spectacles, real blues legends like B.B. King.

Despite the booking lapses, it was still much easier to create a somewhat diverse concert bill in 1969 than what might be expected today.

Woodstock had among others…

  • Folk: Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Melanie, Tim Hardin
  • Rock: Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After
  • Soft Rock: Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
  • Blues Rock: Canned Heat, Butterfield Blues Band
  • Pop: Sha-Na-Na, John Sebastian

Woodstock is given a pass for the technical quality of the concert recording.  Admittedly, this was a tough job.

According to the official documentation on the original vinyl 3 album set, 64 reels of 8 track tape were used to capture three and 1/2 days of music.

Each day consisted of 18 continuous hours of performances.  The final mixes are rough by today’s standards.  What stands out is the energy and passion of the performers as they were motivated to jam thanks to the responsive, enthusiastic crowd.

In 1994 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, a 4 CD collection was finally released with cleaner mixes.  Melanie, Tim Hardin, and a few other performers who appeared in 1969 (but were not on the original record) got added to the updated release.  Still, we remember this 60’s defining event not so much for the music, but for it’s social significance.

Listen for our 40th anniversary Woodstock tribute on Powerhouse Radio on Friday, August 14, 2009, during the 11 am eastern hour.

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Posted by King on 08/13 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tru Is True To New Classic Soul

The headline on the flip side of their new 2009 With Tru Love CD says, “Keeping The Music Alive."

After a quick listen to this 10 track collection, it’s clear that Tru, a vocal ensemble in the best tradition of the Stylistics, Ray, Goodman, & Brown, and Blue Magic, keep the harmonic essence of classic soul alive today.

The ballad “If I Told You” stands out as one of the strongest original songs.

Tru tackles just a couple of covers: the Impressions “Keep On Pushin’,” and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “If You Don’t Know Me By Now."

Other original gems include “You’re All I Want You To Be,” “With This Ring,” and “Can I."

According to their official biography, Tru has opened concerts for Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Little Anthony & The Imperials, and others.

They also have made quite a name for themselves on the Atlantic City casino circuit.

Tru is: 1) James “Jimi” Williams, 2) Primo Wansley, and 3) LaVon “Donnie” Tatem.  These guys have all been singing since they were very young.

Tru’s album was recorded at Polygon Studios in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  With True Love appears on Sounds of Philly Records, Brigantine, NJ.

Listen to 39 seconds of “If I Told You” by Tru.

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Posted by King on 08/11 at 01:00 AM
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mariah Carey - Queen Latifah - Music Notes

Some new music is in the pipeline from a couple of familiar faces: Queen Latifah and Mariah Carey.

Latifah returns to her hip hop roots after several adventurous album projects that were designed to capitalize on her expanding television and movie fan base.

Queen Latifah’s Persona record is scheduled for a Tuesday, August 25, 2009 release.

Mariah Carey hopes to cash in on Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel, a new collection coming your way on Tuesday, September 15.

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Posted by King on 08/06 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Eddie Floyd Knocks on Wood 60 Times

From 1968 - 1974, Eddie Floyd recorded for Stax Records during the golden age of the Memphis label.

Steve Cropper, (Booker T. & the MG’s guitarist), and Floyd co-wrote the memorable “Knock on Wood,” a classic soul favorite that’s been recorded by scores of artists.

For a unique hobbie Eddie has collected over 60 cover versions of “Knock on Wood” as recorded by other artists, including the Otis Redding - Carla Thomas duet, and the Amii Stewart ‘#1 song’ version from 1979.

It was nice to see his “I’ve Never Found Me A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)” appear on the 2008 soundtrack of the Bernie Mac - Samuel L. Jackson musical comedy Soul Men.

"I’ve Never Found Me A Girl...,” as well as “Knock On Wood,” appear on the Very Best of Eddie Floyd, remastered and re-released in 2007.

In 2008, the reincarnated Stax label released the new album Eddie Loves You So, featuring Mr. Floyd (now in his 70’s) updating some of his vintage songs.

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Posted by King on 08/04 at 01:00 AM
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