Posts Tagged ‘Slow Jams’

Sounds Like Washington Vol. 3

Night-time-at-the-tidal-basin-in-Washington-DC-during-the-Cherry-Blossom-Festival-2

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It’s been a long time DJ BeTray Fam!!!  I’ve missed mixing for you, but you know how it goes… sometimes life can take us away from what we love to do so we can focus on what we need to do.  But I’m back!  I thought it best I get back in the swing of things by paying homage to the music of my city.  This Sounds Like Washington Vol. 3 is full of DC classics.  While the music spans from the 70’s to the 2000’s the theme of this mix is consistent.  There is a longing for love and unfulfilled companionship expressed in each of these tunes.  As with all of the Sounds Like Washington mixes, most of the music here is inspired by the incomparable sound of WHUR FM.  For many of you listening from outside the Washington area, some of this music will be new to you because it’s not played anywhere else.  As always thank you for your support.  While it’s almost been a year since my last mix, you all have kept the traffic and good feelings flowing on this site.  Thank you, thank you and as always… Love!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (108 MB) here!

Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies (Vol. 2)

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“Nice and warm, a quiet storm, quiet as when flowers talk at break of dawn.”                            Quiet Storm Lyrics by Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson said after a powerful storm, it was the feeling in the air that inspired the tune that would go on to resurrect his R&B career.  The song Quiet Storm proved to be much more than a sexy slow groove.  What Robinson felt in that after-storm air we now hear on the airwaves in cities around the world.  It’s the sound of love pinned to slow tempo music that we call slow jams.  Melvin Lindsey is the father of the format dedicated to this sound and the creator of the first Quiet Storm radio show.  This is the second mix that I’ve complied in honor of his work.  In this mix you’ll hear some Quiet Storm classics and Lindsey favorites from Labelle to Sylvester.

 Melvin’s Quiet Storm of Melodies continues to be the most popular mix downloaded here at DJ BeTray.com.  I’m so happy that so many Quiet Storm fans have found their way to my site.  Now I’m hoping that you’ll be just as happy with the 2nd volume showcasing the unique blend of slow jams Lindsey created and perfected.  Close your eyes and imagine the sounds of 96.3 WHUR pouring out of the radio and flowing through the DC night air in the 80’s.  Hear the sweet and comforting voice of Lindsey making it all alright with the promise of playing another slow jam you’ll love.  Enjoy & Love!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (110 MB) here!

Slowly Neo for Your Soul

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This is my followup to Something Neo For Your Soul – this is Slowly Neo for Your Soul.  This collection of slow jams features some Neo-soul classics side by side with some of my underground favorites, including DC’s own K’Alyn and Balitmore’s Fertile Ground.  Thank you to all who supported Part 1 of this series, it is the second most downloaded mix on DJBeTray.com.  I promise… you will enjoy this one.  Love.

 

 

 

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (104 MB) here!

Smoke City – Dreams

 

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Smoke City released the I Really Want You album in 1985.  Dreams was the second cut on the album and became an instant Quiet Storm favorite.  It appears this group falls under the “one-hit wonder” category since they never recorded another album.

I Really Want You was out of print for years, leaving many R&B fans without a copy. Just last year, the album was remastered and re-released.  Very little is known about the group Smoke City; maybe that’s because it was signed to the Epic Records label when the Sony division boasted huge R&B artists like Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross and Sade.  Smoke City may have very well been swallowed up like so many up-and-coming groups signed to large labels.  Dreams was co-written, produced and arranged by Ron Scott who helped create a number of R&B classics including The Dells, I Touched a DreamDreams, is one of many rare slow jams that will be featured on my new mixtape Fell In Love in the 80’s, coming soon.  Love!

Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin

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Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin is a mixtape honoring the style of Kevin “Slow Jammin” James, a pioneer of slow jam radio shows.  If you don’t know James’ style, you’ve been missing out on a DJ who loves the classics yet has a gift for recognizing a classic in the making.  Delivered between his amazing collection of rare slow jams is one of the warmest yet coolest voices in radio; his mellow tone whispers it’s time to turndown the lights and vibe.

This legendary radio personality influenced my musical taste and also was the DJ I most imitated when doing my radio show in college.  Even this website has a bit of James in it.  The information I share about the artists and the music posted here is a direct reflection of James’ approach to teaching a little something about the music and artists he features.  After a set of his music, I always look forward to hearing what he has to say.  He has a deep respect for R&B and because he’s been such a dedicated student of the format, he is a wonderful teacher.

Kevin James, a Pennsylvania native, came to WKYS FM in Washington, DC in the mid 70’s and stayed for nearly 15 years hosting the nightly Slow Jam Show.  I had the privilege of growing up with Kevin on my radio.  Just before I graduated from high school, James headed west to L.A.’s 92.3 the Beat.  Between James leaving and the death of Quiet Storm creator, Melvin Lindsey a kind of silence fell over Washington’s airwaves as stations scrambled to find their footing.

Kevin James went on to be a major influence in California too.  Snoop Dogg featured Kevin’s voice on two of his albums and thanked him for his music in the liner notes.  I understand the feeling; Kevin not only plays great music but also connects with his listeners.  He says he’s not a DJ, but is a friend who enjoys sharing music.  Unlike many R&B DJ’s who want to stay in a groove, Kevin has no problem switching it up; he even takes listener requests, which is very rare for an urban Slow Jam Show.  Anyone who’s called into Kevin’s shows knows he loves to talk with his listeners as much as he loves playing them music.

Kevin returned to DC’s airwaves when he hosted the Weekend Edition of The Quiet Storm on WHUR, the original home of the Quiet Storm Show.  He actually did the broadcasts from his house in California, I learned that after calling in one night and talking with him about some music I was searching for.  I told him how much his style and work meant to me during that conversation.  I also told him about how happy I was to hear him back on our airwaves.  For Washingtonians, hearing Kevin on the weekends was a treat, like a walk down memory lane.  He’s a part of that rare club of radio personalities who play what they feel, not what they are programmed to play; as listeners and lovers of music, we hear the difference.

Kevin’s style is for the true R&B connoisseur; please enjoy Slow Jammin’ Like Kevin.

 

Download the 192 kbps version (108.7 MB) here!