Posts Tagged: soul

Song of the Day: “Gin House Blues”

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Nina Simone’s troubles were highlighted in the recent gripping documentary by Liz Garbus, What Happened, Miss Simone? Though Simone had her fair share of challenges, it was her incredibly resonant voice and musical genius that contributed to the gradual accumulation of legends surrounding her. These talents are bursting from the seams of “Gin House Blues,” Miss […]

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Album of the Week: Sampha’s Process

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After collaborating with the likes of Beyoncè, SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Drake, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and Solange, 28-year-old British singer, songwriter and producer Sampha has finally released his first solo album, Process, via Young Turks. A significant and evocative title, anticipating the changes happening as listeners work through the LP’s forty minutes: the personal growth Sampha undergoes in taking his […]

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Song of the Day: “Back Door Santa”

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Soul—that mysterious orientation towards the world that seems to be frequently accompanied by a larger-than-life personality—is probably the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Clarence Carter, that bombastic and passionate artist whose timeless music still echoes across the airwaves and our collective memory. While his classic single “Slip Away” is arguably the […]

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Song of the Day: “I Want You”

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Allegedly covered and sampled by musicians as diverse as Madonna and Diana Ross to Mary J. Blige and Robert Palmer, the innovative single “I Want You,” off Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album of the same name, branches out from the Motown sound that typified his earlier work and delves into uncharted territory. Recognizable instrumentation—the soaring strings, the hard-edged guitar, […]

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Song of the Day: “I’m Glad You’re Mine”

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The Reverend Al Green’s fifth album, I’m Still In Love With You, appears at the top of many critics’ rankings, including that of the Village Voice‘s longtime writer, Robert Christgau. And for good reason. The second track of this mesmerizing record is the silky smooth, organ-punctuated “I’m Glad You’re Mine.” Green’s drummer, Al Jackson, Jr.—who built his reputation […]

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Song of the Day: “One Mo’ Gin”

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In the pocket. It’s the only way to describe the slithery pulse of the bass and rhythm section in D’Angelo’s slow ballad “One Mo’ Gin,” off his explosive soul album from 2000, Voodoo. D’Angelo—otherwise known as the mild-mannered Michael Eugene Archer—keens with loneliness and nostalgia on “One Mo’ Gin,” layering his buttery falsetto over the […]

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Song of the Day: “Sweet Virginia”

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“Tryin’ to stop the waves behind your eyeballs,” Mick Jagger sings on “Sweet Virginia,” a determined country shuffle off their seminal 1972 record, Exile On Main Street, an album frequently mentioned on Best Of lists and widely hailed as one of the most influential of the century. The next line, “Drop your reds, drop your greens […]

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Official Marvin Gaye Documentary Announced

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An official documentary about Marvin Gaye is finally in the works, and has been approved by the late singer’s family. The film will be titled What’s Going On, Marvin? and will center around the making of the seminal album. The artist’s children released a joint statement about their excitement for the film, saying: Our father was complex, but we […]

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Song of the Day: “Matchbox Blues”

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Perhaps no other blues artist in history, along with contemporaries like Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, had such an influence on later generations of musicians as Blind Lemon Jefferson. After growing up in Texas and reputedly playing on the streets from eight at night until four in the morning, Jefferson was one of the first […]

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Song of the Day: “Clean Up Woman”

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Sometimes the energy in a song is so palpable that you can tell the musicians have hit gold. That’s the case with the 1971 single by Betty Wright, “Clean Up Woman,” a soul song whose popularity at the time signified its special character. You can tell, from the first notes of guitarist Willie “Little Beaver” Hale, that […]

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Charles Bradley’s “Change for the World”

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The Screaming Eagle of Soul has released a psychedelic video to accompany the single “Change for the World” that dropped last month. The song’s video matches its political message with imagery from protests of the Civil Rights Era alongside the artist as he challenges us to “change the false pretense,” “change the hate,” and “change our […]

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Song of the Day: “Come On Back”

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From 1962 to 1987, producer Bobby Robinson headed the independent record publisher Enjoy Music. Robinson nurtured and and supported heavy-hitting early R&B, blues, and soul artists of the latter half of the 20th century, including Gladys Knight and the Pips, Elmore James, and Grandmaster Flash. Supposedly Robinson ran Enjoy Music out of his record shop, Bobby’s Happy House, which stood […]

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Song of the Day: “Don’t Mention My Name”

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The Shepherd Sisters were a “rock n’ roll” group that reached prominence during the late 50s and early 60s. The Sheps, as they were sometimes called, typified the bright and squeaky-clean persona of many vocal groups of the time. One could easily mention the Shepherd Sisters—who were, in fact, siblings who had all grown up […]

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Song of the Day: “Say I Love You”

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Once upon a time, during the days of vinyl, there was a type of record that revolved forty-five times a minute, and it was the medium of choice for singles. Digging through a dusty crate of 45s today often reveals a treasure trove of long-lost music. Take Chicago soul artist Chuck Rives, whose single “Say I Love You” […]

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Song of the Day: “What’s That You Got?”

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Call it arrogance, hubris, or a holier-than-thou attitude—there are some traits that just don’t make a great impression. Antoine “Fats” Domino was well aware of that when he released “What’s That You Got?” in 1965. The hefty New Orleans native is known for his funkiness as much as for his physical stature. This—perhaps ironically—short single manages […]

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This Week in Posivibes: Gloria Ann Taylor

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Ubiquity’s Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing reissue collects some incredible soulful, experimental R&B from Gloria Ann Taylor’s early years, rare tracks that were released during her time with the small label Selector Sound. Taylor owned the label with her brother Leonard and her husband and producer Walter Wisenhunt, who was a “promoter of sorts” with […]

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Song of the Day: “Olivia”

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To mark the anniversary of a late, great hip hop icon whose very name inspires controversy, XXL Magazine asked former members of the legendary rap group Wu-Tang to remember their friend, Russell Tyrone Jones, known otherwise as Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Lyricist Raekwon recalled the following anecdote: My memories go back to us being in his house in Harlem. We used to […]

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Sound Takes: Live at the London Palladium | Rumpus Music

Sound Takes: Live at the London Palladium

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Love it or hate it, if you listen to Live at the London Palladium, you’re going to get intimate with Marvin Gaye.

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Song of the Day: “Jackie Wilson Said”

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Van Morrison—aka George Ivan Morrison of Belfast, Northern Ireland—has had a long and varied career that began in the mid 60s. After recording a string of massive hit singles like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Moondance,” and “Caravan,” he released “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile),” a veiled tribute to the influential soul artist […]

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Song of the Day: “Tennessee Waltz”

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Every music genre shifts its boundaries over time, and soul music has done so time and time again, beginning with its heyday in the 1960s. Sam Cooke, who achieved fame first as a young gospel performer in the 40s, is often considered its inventor. Sometimes he is called the “King of Soul.” One of the last recordings he made was a […]

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This Week in Posivibes: 20 Years of Brown Sugar

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In light of all that D’Angelo has done and is doing for music and activism, okayplayer. featured a chronicle of Brown Sugar over the years, following the evolution in D’Angelo’s live performance of its material from debut through its soultronic resurrection and the current Second Coming tour. The album first debuted on July 3rd, 1995, […]

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Song of the Day: “Living For The City”

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Stevland Hardaway Morris, aka Stevie Wonder, got his start playing for Motown Records in 1961. Today, he boasts a back catalog of some of the most iconic and original soul music in the world. Though Stevie Wonder started singing more than 50 years ago, the lyrics of “Living For The City” are just as relevant today. […]

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What Happened, Miss Simone?

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The much-anticipated documentary of soul genius Nina Simone is available from Netflix starting today, with its rare archival footage and new interviews with family and colleagues, including the artist’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, and music director, Al Schackman. As the date has approached, tracks have been popping up from RCA Record’s upcoming album Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone, […]

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Soundtrack to the Shaft Movie of Your Dreams

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Aquarium Drunkard recently released its second mix in collaboration with Peer Schouten, a Copenhagen-based DJ and record collector. Titled Shaft’s Old Man: An Imaginary Soul Jazz Soundtrack, the mixtape is divided into an intro and six acts, delineating the major plot points and themes of the imaginary spy film it sonically scripts. This is the kind of […]

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D’Angelo Talks Activism and Music with Bobby Seale

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The artist invited a New York Times reporter to come along as he met one of his heroes: activist and former Black Panther Bobby Seale. Seale and D’Angelo talked extending the Black Lives Matter movement beyond the immediate moment, not letting the examination of violence within law enforcement only amount to a hashtag. In the […]

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Song of the Day: “Try Me”

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The resilient R&B singer Esther Mae Jones adopted the stage name of Little Esther Philips at the age of 14, allegedly taking it from a gas station sign in Los Angeles. She had a rough-and-tumble career, a tumultuous relationship with the billboard charts, and ongoing addiction problems that endowed her voice with a worldly authenticity reminiscent […]

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