Archive for March, 2012

If You Don’t Know… Jose` James

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If you don’t know Jose` James… download his music right away, grab your favorite drink, dim the lights and allow his silky baritone to transport your mind.  His vocal styling will gently touch you, almost like a tickle then envelope you in crescendo leaving you wondering, how did we get here?

Even if this moment is the first time you’re hearing James, you may think, “He sounds so familiar.”  When I listen to this Minneapolis born singer, sometimes he sounds a bit like Michael Franks, then it’s more Oscar Brown Jr. or maybe it’s Gil-Scott Heron with a touch of Johnny Hartman.  Although he may remind you of some of your favorite classic vocalists, he undoubtedly blends it all into something very intimate and new.

James was born into music; his Dad was a saxophonist and had the ability to play multiple instruments.  This may explain why James’ voice flows and reaches like a Jazz horn.

His tune, “Desire” from the “Dreamer” album is featured in my “Believe” mix.  I suggest you immediately download the full “Dreamer” album, it’s a compilation of straight ahead jazz.  Then get the “Blackmagic” album, a wonderful exploration of Neo-soul married with hip-hop and Jazz.  Wherever James’ eclectic style takes you, I guarantee you’ll not only enjoy the ride, but also be thankful for it.  Love!

Featured Song: Little Bird

Download Now: Desire, No Tellin’ (I Need You), Love Conversation, Code, For All We Know

 

Is Ms. Lauryn Hill Back?… Again?…

Ms. Lauryn Hill is back, or so it appears. She premiered a new song, “Fearless Vampire Killer” at the Warner Theater here in DC about a week ago during a concert. Fitting, since “Fearless Vampire Killer” was originally done by Southeaest, DC punk band (some would say the fathers of punk) Bad Brains. Enjoy and cross your fingers for a real comeback this time.  I miss Lauryn everyday!  Click the link to see video of the performance.  Love!

 

Tom Brock – There’s Nothing In This World…

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It has to be one of the longest song titles ever… There’s Nothing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You.  The song, performed by Tom Brock, captures the essence of 70’s Soul slow jams.  If the orchestration of this tune feels familiar, it could be because Barry White produced this song along with the rest of Brock’s one and only album entitled I Love You More and More.  The song features White’s signature strings intertwined with Brock’s unique cadence.  This song was also sampled in Jay-Z’s rap hit, Girls, Girls, Girls, featured on The Blueprint.   There’s Nothing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You is one of the slow songs you’ll hear near the end of my Soul Sessions Vol. 1 Mixtape.  Love!

The Soul Sessions Vol. 1

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Since I started DJBeTray.com I’ve been asked time and time again, “When are you doing a soul mix?”  I am a lover of 70’s soul, I mean it is the music I was created to… shout-out to all 70’s babies.  I actually started working on compiling a soul mix a few months ago… then news of  Don Cornelius’ death hit.  To say that I was broken hearted is an understatement.  When I was a little girl in D.C., Soul Train came on at 5 pm on channel 5.  Every Saturday, I’d run into the house after playing outside and watch for the latest dances, music and fashion trends broadcasted from the Soul Train dance floor.  I would run to my bathroom afterward, stand on the vanity and pretend to be one of the dancers on the platforms who got all the close-ups.

So needless to say, hearing about Cornelius’ death knocked the wind out of my excitement about my soul mixtape.  And then after Whitney’s death I was musically exhausted.  But now I’m proud to present this fantastic mix of some of my favorite 70’s soul.  I believe pretty much every song on this mix has been sampled at least once if not numerous times, as is the case with Lyn Collins’ hit Think.  

The photo featured along with this mix is a picture of some of the actual equipment from the old Stax recording studio.  I shot this photo myself while visiting the Stax Museum in Memphis last year.  Since Stax is my favorite Soul label, I thought it was fitting.

This is a mix to party and groove to.  So as we move into spring… let’s do it with Soooooooul!  And please don’t download this mix without telling your girl (me) what you think.  Love!