Dusty

William Bell: Over 50 Years Of Musical Excellence
LeNora Jaye: "The Story" That Needs To Be Told
Free Download: Raheem DeVaughn's "Freedom Fighter"
Free Download: Jazmine Sullivan's "My Career"

Issue 05

William Bell Album Cover

The Legendary Stax Soulman Chats With Dusty About His Career, His Music Label, And Today's Music.

From his beginnings as the lead singer of the 1950's group the Del-Rios, to becoming a solo artist and one of the writer/producers who engineered the Stax-Volt sound, to currently running his own record label, William Bell's career has covered the spectrum of the music industry.

At 71 Mr. Bell is still recording and performing, with a successful concert run at this summer's Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Ponderosa Stomp Blues and Soul Festival in New Orleans. While his current music is creating a sensation in Southern Soul and Blues circles, his classics have also recently enjoyed a resurgence in the neo-soul movement, most notably in Jaheim's 2002 anthem, "Put That Woman First". It samples Bell's "I Forgot To Be Your Lover," and adds contemporary lyrics while keeping the song's classic hook.

I recently asked Mr. Bell how he feels about younger artists sampling his work: "Its fine with me", he answered. "I feel its a compliment and a testament to the timelessness of certain music when other artists,
especially those today, can relate to something I wrote over 43 years ago".

William Bell's music is indeed timeless, with themes ranging from love and loss, struggle and success, friendship, bad luck, religion, partying... everything that makes for a great soul classic. His sources of creativity are varied. "I'm a people watcher. A lot of my inspiration came from watching friends and family, sometimes from personal experience, other stuff was hypothetical. But I tried to cover the things that were going on around me at that time."

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After over 50 years in the business William Bell is still going strong. In 1985 he founded Georgia based Wilbe records, where he is currently recording projects with new artists Jeff Floyd, Lola, and Dave Morris, and is also working on a new album for himself, planned for release in the spring. Among other tracks, he has provided us with the teaser track "Am I Mr. Right" in the juke box below. We will keep you informed about the release dates.

william-bell new

Provided courtesy of Wilbe Records. All Rights Reserved.

Album Review:

New CD From Brooklyn Born Songstress. Available For Purchase On CD Baby.

Lenora Jaye's bio begins by making big claims. "In a musical wasteland crowded with gimmick peddlers and rump-shaking pop tarts", it asserts, "LeNora Jaye stands out like a luxuriant diamond among the ashes." Know what? IT'S ABSOULUTELY RIGHT! From the first note of her new undertaking, titled "The Story", you know this is going to be a return to real music... REAL GOOD MUSIC!

Although this is Ms. Jaye's first solo endeavor, she began as the lead vocalist and front woman for Blackrock Coalition's Rhythm Republik band, and has opened for Soul Music's royalty: Roy Ayres, Teena Marie, The Meters, and Roger Troutman & Zapp. She has also recently shared the stage with some of the finest of today's True School Movement, most notably The Roots, Floetry, India Aire, and Amel Larrieux, and with the release of this new 16 track work she firmly establishes herself as a great musical talent.

The musical flavor and production style of the album harken back to the days when lyricists were wise scribes who were skilled at translating life's ups and down's into melody, and before auto tune became a substitute for vocal talent. To achievee this she enlisted some of today's top talent to assist in the production, and together they have created one of the best offerings this year. "Anyone who can work a sampler nowadays can consider themselves a producer, but that's not me," she says. "I wanted live instruments on this CD, so I sought out co-producers who were musicians and instrumentalists. Every single producer on this album plays one or more instruments."

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Provided Courtesy of LeNora J Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

Free Download

raheem-devaughn-freedom front

How 'Bout Some Funk While You Occupy?

In case you missed it here's the latest mixtape from neo-soul crooner Raheem DeVaughn. This EP, inspired by his arrest on the steps of the Supreme court at the Occupy Wall Street protest in Washington, D.C., is fueled with social consciousness and political protest, and provides a perfect soundtrack for today's worldwide social unrest. It features guest appearances by Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Dj Jazzy Jeff, rapper Bun B, Chrisette Michele, and Dr. Cornel West, and makes a nice companion piece for his Grammy nod for Best R & B album for 2011's "Love & War Masterpiece."

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Not bad work for a self-proclaimed "neo-soul hippie rockstar!"

Freedom Fighter

Provided Courtesy of 368 Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved.

Free Download:

Track From Philly Songbird Available For Free Download.

Here's another stray track from Jazmine Sullivan, produced by Salam Remi. New album in the works? As good as this track sounds, I certainly hope so!

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