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Posts Tagged ‘Shanachie Entertainment’

GFM Spotlight Interview: Avery*Sunshine Talks Music & Marriage “Twenty Sixty Four”

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Avery*Sunshine’s girlfriend-next-door personality and down-to-earth demeanor is just as refreshing as her musicianship. She talked with Grown Folks Music about how her recent marriage to her long-time creative partner, Dana “Big Dane” Johnson, is the biggest inspiration for her new album, Twenty Sixty Four and she talked about performing for music legends Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson. Read below and enjoy.

GFM: You have a new album coming. But, before we talk about that we’ve gotta talk about some super exciting things that have happened since the last album. You performed for the Queen of Soul [Aretha Franklin] at her birthday party?

AS: Twice.

GFM: Twice?!

AS: Yes, Honey. She sent a personal email to either my booking agent or my manager. She said, “Look, I want Avery to come perform for my birthday party.” So, I did. She invited me back again the same year for her Christmas party in Detroit.

GFM: Wow. I’m from Detroit, so that’s special.

AS: We love Detroit. We especially love Chene Park and it’s right on the water. Oh my God.

GFM: Before you agreed to say ‘yes’, did you do a silent scream into the pillow [laughs]?

AS: Honey, it wasn’t a silent a scream… all of Atlanta heard it. First of all, I was like, ‘So wait a minute. She wants what now? She wants me to come? Are you sure it’s Aretha? It wasn’t Daretha Jackson or something like that– not Aretha Franklin?’ You know we’ve been told that she’s very, very particular about what she likes. So, for me watching her growing up she was everything to me. [To see] her sit down and play the piano and sing… she wasn’t just doing that… she was writing her music too. Any cover that she did she ripped it so bad and blew it up. Everything she touches happens turns to gold… everything… literally. To meet her and have the opportunity not to just perform for her because she was at an event, [but to be] invited by her is huge.

GFM: It doesn’t stop there. You got to perform for another Detroit legend– Mr. Smokey Robinson. How did that come about? How were you invited to perform at his Hall of Fame tribute?

AS: A friend of mine and my husband Mr. Adam Blackstone, who is Justin Timberlake’s music director along with so many other people– he’s amazing– he called us. He said, ‘Look. I’m in charge of doing a Smokey Robinson tribute. I think you guys need to come and you need to do this.’ [We said] ‘Of course will do it!’ [It was] me, Eric Roberson, Bilal, Robert Glasper and Michelle Williams. I did two tunes. I think I did “Cruisin'” and I can’t remember the other one, but I literally felt like I was floating. To walk out on the stage and look out into the audience and you see all the people, but somehow everybody pales when you look over to right and there’s a box seat and Smokey Robinson is sitting next to Berry Gordy… watching you perform some of his songs.

GFM: It’s a huge honor. It’s a huge responsibility. It’s just huge. Period.

AS: Yes. So much so that the night before me, my husband, Eric Roberson, Eric’s Family, and Michelle Williams went on a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We were in back looking at some of Michael Jackson’s clothes from when he was with the Jackson 5, some of Sam Cooke’s things [and] a lot of the memorabilia that they have there. I was watching Eric Roberson’s parents in there with Eric having this moment. I called my mom and I said, ‘Look, I’m about to put you on the next thing smokin’ you can get here for this show. I want you to experience this moment with me, ’cause this is one of the biggest moments of my career.’ Because Smokey Robinson was and is so a prolific writer it means so much. Listen, to sing his music and he’s not there is an honor, but to sing it specifically for him… I needed my mother there for that. I flew my daughter in as well, so they were able to share that experience with me. It was amazing.

One of the things that was amazing… I call it a “knighting”… I felt like I had been knighted. It was when I met Berry Gordy backstage. We actually have a picture that Eric Roberson took and sent to me of Berry Gordy holding my hand in his hands and looking at me. I don’t even remember if he said any words. But, it was what he did not say and the way he looked at me that let me know, ‘You’re doing the right thing. Just keep going.’ You’re talking about huge… [it was] magnanimous… gargantuan… any huge superlative you can think of… it was that.

GFM: You mentioned your husband so last, but not least that’s another thing [that’s happened]. I’s married now!

AS: I’s married! I’s married! His proposal was so funny. It wasn’t a proposal. I guess you can propose to somebody what you’re gonna do right? So he proposed to me, ‘We’re gonna get married.’ We said we would never, ever, ever marry, because we were both divorced. I said, ‘I’ll never get married again.’ He said, ‘Me either. We are good.’ I said, We need to slap five on that.’ He said, ‘That’s right! We ain’t doin’ it!’

Then January 2016 he called me on the phone and said, ‘Listen, we’re gonna get married in 2016.’ I said, ‘Say What?!” So, all of the trash I talked had gone out of the window. Of course I was super, duper, duper, duper excited. My prayer to God was, ‘God, if you would just give me ’til 2064 I’ll be so grateful and so honored and so blessed. Give me ’til 2064 with this amazing man. I’ll be 89. He’ll be 91. I’ll say my prayers every night. I’ll do what I’m supposed to do. I won’t talk about anybody ever again. I’ll be good. I’m gonna work out everyday. I’m going to do everything I’m supposed to do, alright? Just give me that.’

GFM: That’s a great segue to the new album, Twenty Sixty Four. The title track– as you just mentioned– is the story in song form about your relationship with your husband. You say what you just said to me about asking God to give you until 2016. In the song you talk about letting go of the steering wheel and in the past you’ve talked about letting your creative process just unfold and take shape naturally as well. But, how hard was that to do as it pertains to the relationship?

AS: Hard. Girl, I’m still working on that [laughs]and he’s so amazing. My sweet husband… he has to walk me through it. When I tell you God sent exactly what I needed… my husband doesn’t raise his voice. My husband is so sweet and kind and tender. I get that gentle nudge when I’m going too far to the left so I’m always working on it. It was definitely hard. Coming out of my previous marriage I was like, ‘I’m not doing this. I can do bad by myself. I’m an independent woman. I went to Spelman College. I don’t need no man and blah, blah, blah.’ Having to unlearn all of that stuff and reprogram myself– that stuff is hard– especially when you have children. You don’t want to not make a move and something fall apart because of what you feel like you could’ve done and should’ve done.

But, in being in a relationship with someone you just can’t do everything. You can’t. I went and got the top of my ear pierced– the cartilage part– and I didn’t tell him about it. When I got home he was so sweet. He said, ‘Well you didn’t mention to me that you even wanted to do that.’ I said, ‘Well you know I don’t have to. [laughs]’ It just got crazy and it got ugly. Something in me calmed. I was like, ‘You know what. I get it. I get it.’ It was not that I couldn’t do it. But, the idea that we’re in a relationship together [means] it just would’ve been nice to say, ‘Hey Honey, I think I want to get my ear pierced. What do you think about it?’ Not that I wouldn’t have done it had he said, ‘Nah, I don’t really like it.’ But just being aware enough with this other person that you’re sharing your life with enough to run stuff by them. Running it by them says, ‘I care about what you think, which means I care about you.’ That is not something that I was really sensitive to before meeting Dana. It’s like listen, ‘This is what I wanna do, [so] I’m going to go ahead to do it. I know I can’t depend on you anyhow. You might disappoint me, so I’m going to do what I wanna do.’ Again, unlearning that and reprogramming myself has taken a lot. God sent me exactly who I needed. [A man] who gives me guidance and love in such and gentle and tender way. I always say, ‘You’re such a sweet man.’ He hates when I say that. We do need that. I want my man to be strong, but I want him to be sweet too and tender to me.

GFM: You’ve worked together creatively for years now. What does adding the marriage layer bring to the artistry now?

AS: I feel like we were always destined to be together and whether we acknowledged or not, [we] already felt like we married. It really it was just a matter of saying it and putting some rings on. Even before it was romantic there was this connection, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I’m confident that he would say the same thing. It was just something different. The first time that we spent together musically we sat up all night and he introduced me to iTunes. We listened to any and everything. It was the most amazing experience. It was easy. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take work to do this, but 98 percent of our business and our romantic relationship– it just works. It’s just easy. That’s not something that we’ve even been programmed to think is possible. Stuff is supposed to be hard. I just don’t believe everything has to be hard. Everything doesn’t have to be a fight.

GFM: I’m glad that’s your testimony, ’cause it gives the rest of us some encouragement. I’m glad that you’ve pressed the easy button in your relationship instead of travailing so hard, so I’m glad that’s your testimony.

AS: Girl, we’re always coming up the rough side of the mountain. [We say] ‘Ooh, you know that’s how men are.’ I don’t know about all that. I don’t know if I buy into that anymore… I don’t. It’s not just because we got married last year. Our whole relationship has been that–for how every long we’ve known each other. It’s not new… it’s been that way.

GFM: One song that I think is fun and I think should be a single, not that you asked me, is the “Ice Cream Song”.

AS: I think it should be a single too. One reason why is because it’s our unofficial wedding song. We just did the Captial Jazz Cruise to Cuba. Kenny Lattimore was one of the performers on the boat. He came to my show and I noticed him. I said, “Kenny, I got married and I meant that I wasn’t going to sing “For You”. When his song came out if you were a musician, singer, pianist or whatever– you were singing “For You” at weddings. They didn’t have nothing else but “For You”– that was it. We’re going to march in on “For You”. We’re going to process and recess on “For You”. So, I was like, ‘I’m not singing anybody else’s song when I get married. I’m going to write a song for my husband.’ Dana and I were in the studio getting this album–Twenty Sixty Four— together and I picked up his guitar. I don’t play guitar at all, but I figured out these four little chords. All I could think of is, “I’d give up ice cream just for you. I’d sell my bags and give away my shoes. I’d give you my happy and take your blues. There ain’t no telling what I’d do.” That’s really how I feel about him. Now thank God, he has not asked me to give up ice cream or my bags or my shoes, but I would. I would… but he hasn’t asked me.

GFM: What’s your definition of Grown Folks Music?

AS: Experienced music.

Avery Sunshine’s new album, Twenty Sixty Four drops April 21. Get it at iTunes.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

Music News: Norman Brown Set To Release New Album & Label Debut Project

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Grammy award winning guitarist/singer Norman Brown is set to release Let It Go, his new album and his debut release for Shanachie Entertainment on April 14th. 

Let It Go is a sonic canvas of 12 mostly original soul-stirring and thought-provoking compositions that celebrate the spiritual and personal journey within each of us. About the CD Brown says, “This CD expresses a chapter of a spirit being’s journey in creation on earth as a man/woman. Through events, challenges and problems as well as the peaceful joys of happiness and love, these moments are our spiritual classroom!”

Norman Brown fans will take delight in knowing that he showcases not only his sublime guitar playing but his simmering soulful vocals as well. Let It Go opens with the ethereal and majestic “Lessons of The Spirit,” which transitions into the breezy and melodious “It Keeps Coming Back.”  Brown’s crisp, clean and bluesy riffs set the tone for a thrilling and revealing ride ahead. Dropping not only musical but universal laws of wisdom and understanding, Brown explains the message behind “It Keeps Coming Back.”  “If we don’t learn and live by the Laws of the Spirit (Truth) then the myriad of problems that we face in our lives will return. It’s not a choice.” The album’s title track is a lovely R&B flavored ballad that shines a spotlight on Brown’s sailing agility, utterly gorgeous tone and impeccable phrasing. The intent of this song is simple as Brown explains, “Listen to the teacher within your spirit.” Let It Go also features Brown’s delightful reworking of the 1970s Five Stairsteps Top 40 Pop Hit “Ooh Child.” “This is an all-time favorite of mine and sums up the thoughts that should dominate our minds especially in the face of obstacles and set backs,” says the guitarist. “In knowing that things will get brighter, that knowing becomes a force that aids us in the letting go process.” The track highlights Norman Brown along with TrayCar on vocals and keys who Norman Brown calls “a very special spirit.” TrayCar also mixed the entire CD. 

Let It Go is also a family affair as Norman Brown, the father of six, shares the spotlight with his talented daughters, S.O.U.L. (Sister of Unbreakable Love). “They have all had the gift of music flowing in them,” says Brown of his vocalist/keyboardist daughters LaNika (a graduate of Musicians Institute of Hollywood), Rochella (a graduate of Berklee College of Music) and bassist/vocalist Kesha (a West Point Military Academy graduate). According to Brown “Conversations” is about the two voices we all have within us; our true self, conscious and spirit, verses the animal part of our spirit. “We must learn to control and distinguish the influence of each voice and the influence on our spirit,” he states.  S.O.U.L is also featured on the funky and kinetic fountain of musical wonder “Living Out Your Destiny.” Norman Brown reunites with Chanté Moore for the sultry duet penned by  James Poyser/Carvin Huggins/Troi Lauren, “Holding You.” Our spirit as well as our bodies have the desire to be held and to hold. It’s a faculty that follows the laws of truth. No one succeeds in life alone, it takes two or more,” shares the guitarist/vocalist. The brilliant “North Star” features Marion Meadows on soprano saxophone. The synergetic interplay between Brown and Meadows is a high point as the two radiate joy. Brown’s buttery guitar lines and smooth vocals caress the laid back fat groove of “Very Woman.” “When the one that you choose is all that! It’s very plain… Live out your destiny with them,” advises Brown.  The ear-catching and soulful ditty  “Liberated,” finds Norman Brown joining forces with his brothers in music and BWB members, trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Kirk Whalum (who also guests on “Remember Who You Are”). Let It Go closes with a memorable cover of the Glenn Ballard/Siedah Garrett Michael Jackson hit produced by the King of Pop and Quincy Jones, “Man In the Mirror.” Brown is showcased on acoustic guitar and is joined by Sounds of Blackness for a emotive performance fitting for a close to a transformational journey.

Listen to “Holding You” featuring Chante’ Moore

With the release of Let It Go, Norman Brown not only delivers an uplifting musical tribute to life but he reminds us of our own instinctive divine light. Brown also affirms that the innovation, virtuosity and musical vision that we fell in love with years ago is full throttle ahead He concludes, “Our being is two parts and the only way for success in life is through the proper balance of the two.” So sit back, listen, open your heart, mind and soul and Let It Go.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

Music News: Shanachie signs Nigerian Afrobeats Star Rayce

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Afrobeats hit-maker Rayce has scored such hits as “Roll,” “Wetin Dey,” “Jack Sparrow” and “21 Love” and has collaborated with such major Afrobeats stars as Davido and D’Banj. Singer/Songwriter/Producer Rayce brings triple-threat talent to his productions. Under a deal made with Rayce’s Nigerian label Jebon International, Shanachie will be releasing Rayce’s debut U.S. single soon with a full album to follow.

“Afrobeats is the most exciting new music we’ve heard in a while,” says Shanachie General Manager Randall Grass. “Rayce is a superstar who has already proven that he can make hits. We think he is an ideally talented artist to introduce this music to America. Because we have a history with African music, Caribbean music and R&B, as well as working with such great artists as Angie Stone, Fela, Bunny Wailer, Dave Hollister and many more, we feel we are ideally positioned to break this music in the States.”

About Rayce:
Rayce is from the Edo State Midwest part of Nigeria. He was born in Lagos in 1983 and raised there. He began making music as a drummer in church but soon quite naturally evolved to singing, songwriting and producing as well as playing. In 2011, he scored a breakthrough hit with the infectious “Roll,” which he has followed with such hits as “Wetin Dey” (the re-mix featuring Davido), “Shiki-Shiki” (with Afrobeats pioneer D’Banj), “Just Like That,” “Tetela,” “Jack Sparrow,” “21 Love,” “Tested OK” and his current single hit “One For Me” and more. Coming soon will be a new single, “African Juice,” the likely first U.S. single release.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

GFM Spotlight Interview: Phil Perry Talks New Music, Identifying with Cover Songs & Classic R&B Music

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Phil Perry has been making music for over four decades with no signs of stopping as he is set to release his 12th album, Breathless, this month on Shanachie Entertainment. Grown Folks Music spoke with him why he continues to record, the necessity of classic R&B music, the consideration he takes in approaching a remake and of course, his definiton of Grown Folks Music. Read below and enjoy.

GFM: This is your twelfth album. What motivates and inspires you to continue to record?

PP: I’m stil trying to be better at what I’m doing [laughs].

GFM: As you continue on this journey as an artist, what has the evolution been? What has the growth process been?

PP: That’s kind of a loaded question. I recorded in every way of recording since 1969. I’ve gone from straight analog-8 track-two-inch tape to Adat, to direct-to-disk, to floppy disk, to hard disk recording [laughs]. So, for me the evolution is never ending. I find I’m much more at peace when I’m keeping up with how it’s evolving and how to use technology not as a crutch, but as a tool.

GFM: I hadn’t even thought about it from the technology standpoint. I was just thinking more [in terms] of what your experiences were. But, since you brought up the technology part of it… you said you find it’s best when you embrace the change in how music is created. Do you find it a lot easier now [and] that it helps things go more smoothly, especially from the other aspect in terms of reaching out to the fans and how you get your music out to the people?

PP: It certainly has proven to be a very useful and very affordable marketing tool. There’s absolutely no question about that. But, in terms of the software that I use when I record, it makes the process a lot quicker and a lot cleaner but it’s still the process. If you don’t how to do the process without the computer, [then] the computer can only help you so much.

GFM: So what you’re saying is an artist… is an artist… is an artist?

PP: I’m saying at this stage of my life and my career I think it’s necessary for me only to continue to dream, because I’m living a dream. I get to do what I love to do… but to become better at it and to teach the ones under me the difference between nonsense and nuance.

GFM: It’s interesting that you mentioned the ones comes under you. Who do you see coming? Or, who has presented themselves in the last four decades since you’ve been doing what you do? Who do you see who you feel displays those qualities… the nuance?

PP: There are a lot of people who have the ability, but they haven’t been given the opportunity yet. So, I haven’t really heard them. But, the suggestion that they don’t exist is a little silly. If you look at evolution of music and the evolution of how to make it and the creative process, there are people blessed with inspiration about creative process every second of every day. The question is what they do with it.

I’ve been writing for a long time. Sometimes, just to clear my head, to dive into the process and be a part of the process as opposed to the focus of the process– it does me good. It clears my head. It makes me open to direction. It makes me accessible to try a new way of doing things and it gives me a broader base on which to work the next time I work. It’s a constant growing process if you let it be and you have faith in the people you work with.

GFM: You’ve done a lot of remakes in your solo career and this album [Breathless] features them as well. How do decided what songs you want to re-interpret?

PP: I have to hear some of myself in it.

GFM: What you do mean by that?

PP: I don’t mean that necessarily from a musical perspective. I have to have a connection with that story. I have to have undergone some of the content therein to personalize it to me and to make it sound like it means what it does mean. I was fortunate to come up in a era where radio really did have a different sense of quality control. By that I mean you would hear the singles– but you could tell based on the quality of the singles and how they came across the radio– that anything on the record was going to sound good based on the quality of what you were listening to. I’ve been very blessed in my life to work with the people that I’ve worked with and learn along the way. The one thing that all of the people that I’ve admired over the years in the industry have in common is they have an unyielding trail to quality.

GFM: My ears perked up when you spoke of radio having a different quality control. That kind of goes back to my question of you continuing to record and produce albums. Because radio is not showcasing music the way it used to, does that ever discourage you in any way?

PP: No, because I never try to make music to be the flavor of the month. I try to make music to be the flavor every month. I don’t view classic R&B music as archaic. It’s a lot of people under my generation that, unless they had family functions where people played music all the time and everybody brought what they wanted to hear, there’s not a lot of classic R&B music being heard today unless you’re listening to a classic R&B station. Classic in the old-school sense. The old-school sense of classic is a great song sustains the test of time. It could be 60 years old when you hear it and you hear the quality in it you know why it was a hit– you just can’t put your finger on it.

GFM: What is your definition of Grown Folks Music?

PP: Unlimited subject matter based on life experience.

Phil Perry’s 12th album, Breathless is set for release on February 24.

About the album:

Phil Perry’s new album, his 12th as a leader, Breathless, will leave you feeling just that. The singer explains, “Each of my 12 solo projects is a House where listeners go to HEAR the music, but while they are in there they also FEEL a lot of love – it’s Home Sweet Home.” Perry is joined on Breathless by his longtime collaborator, producer extraordinaire and pianist, Chris “Big Dog” Davis. Davis and Perry have a chemistry in the studio that is undeniable. Having worked together on several projects, they have proven to be a winning combination. “Chris and I respect the music the same way we respect each other,” shares Perry. It’s a unique and rare thing and it’s easy because we speak the same language. What’s really amazing are the times we enjoy whenever we get the chance to perform LIVE together.”

Breathless opens with the jubilant and playful title track penned by co-producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis and Fred Sawyer. Perry rides a joyous groove as he croons, “You take my breath away, every time I see your face. You take my breath away, I want to feel your warm embrace.” The utterly delightful and inviting number is the perfect way to open the album. Davis and Sawyer also co-wrote the sultry and devotional “Heavens Away.” The tender ballad penned by Fred Sawyer, “Never Can Say Goodbye,” showcases Perry’s pristine and soaring vocals, flawless diction and soulful delivery, as he drives home an enduring testament to love. The spunky “Do Whatcha Gotta Do,” written by Chris “Big Dog” Davis and Timmy Maia, aptly describes the trials and tribulations of love and commitment. Davis and Maia also wrote the powerful and emotive “Someday We’ll Meet Again.” A highlight on Breathless is Perry’s stunning recreation of Stevie Wonder’s timeless classic “Love’s In Need Of Love Today.” Phil delivers this truth serum wrapped in the healing balm of his vocals. “When in our history have we needed to show each other LOVE, more than we need to now?” asks Phil. “No one wants to Forgive. No one wants to be Kind. No one wants to accept Change. It’s all about LOVE, from the inside out. We talk about LOVE, but LOVE is a Verb, as much as it is a Noun.” Perry delves into guitarist Lee Ritenour’s songbook with the irresistible “Is It You?” and guitarist Tony DePaolo joins Perry and Chris “Big Dog” on the lovely Davis original “Nobody But You.” Fans will delight in Perry’s reinvention of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition, “One Less Bell To Answer,” which was a hit for the 5th Dimension in 1970. Perry takes this classic and truly makes it his own. One might ask how he is so convincing? He explains, “It’s no secret. I try to become the story, not just the Storyteller. The goal is to allow listeners to hear themselves in the story.”Breathless closes with Phil Perry’s original co-written with Chris “Big Dog” Davis, “Moments in the House of Love,” and just as Perry states, you can feel the love. There is no doubt that Breathless is like coming home to a house filled with love.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

From the GFM Archives (’16): Dave Hollister Talks about Getting Back to Love on His New Album, Collaboration Projects & Blackstreet

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

dave-hollister

Grown Folks Music caught up with R&B crooner Dave Hollister and he generously spoke with us about the intent behind his forthcoming new album, The MANuscript, disappointment in the lack of marketing for his last album, collaboration projects with Angie Stone and Fred Hammond and the United Tenors and touring with Blackstreet.

GFM: Prior to the last album in 2014, it had been a while since we’d heard from you on the R&B recording side. Was it important to you to keep the momentum going by not letting a lot of time pass between this new album and the last.

DH: It was definitely important being that the last record company jacked that last record up. Myself and my manager, Walter Millsap, we didn’t want to [let time pass] because it’s almost to the point that nobody knew that record was really out. The single did well, but nobody knew an album was out. So, we just wanted to come right back on the heels of whatever they remembered and jump right back in.

GFM: I have that last album, and I’m sorry that it didn’t do better than what it did because “I’m Different” is a masterpiece.

DH: Wow. Thank you. That’s funny because that was actually going to be the next single.

GFM: It was a very good one and I’m sorry. I almost want you to repackage some of that.

DH: I’m thinking about that. We’ve actually been talking about that. A lot of people are doing that– taking the album and repackaging it and putting it back out. Like I said, the last company didn’t push the record. eOne is a one and done situation anyway. They feel like if they get you to the top ten, then they’ve done their job with the single and that’s what they did to me. I’ve never, ever, sold 20,000 copies in my life. It was very embarrassing. The album had some good music on it. It had some real good music on it, so I’m thinking about doing that because it’s too good of a record to just let it die like that.

GFM: A lot of the songs on the new album sound like a celebration of women. Let’s talk about the new album. Let’s talk about The MANuscript.

DH: I’ve been kind of just sitting back thinking, ‘What are we missing? What really are we missing?’ We’re really missing love. We’ve gotten away from love. Nobody’s really talking about love anymore. It’s all about having sex and doing stuff that doesn’t even matter. Half of the stuff you can’t even understand what people are saying. I ain’t gonna call no names, but you get out here and mumble on a record and it goes to the top. What is that? A lot of people say that they can tell what I’m going through by what I release, and I am in love with my wife. I haven’t been in love in a long time. What’s in me is what’s going to come out. We as men… especially when we get older… [should know] it’s nothing wrong with loving your girl, or loving your woman, or loving your wife. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what we were put on this Earth to do. I just wanted to get back to love.

GFM: Where did the song “Let Him” come from?

DH: [laughs] You know what, that’s funny ’cause I was waiting [for someone to say] ‘What about this one?’ That is a song that I really felt. As much as this album is for women to give their men, it’s men to give their women. A lot of men, like the record says, they’re just going to bark and sniff. They ain’t really going to leave the yard. Especially when they know they’ve got a good woman. Basically, stop complaining. You’re going to complain and make the man miserable. If that’s what you’re going to do– leave. If you’re going to stay, let him cheat in peace. If that’s what’s going to happen, leave the man. I’ve been through this. I can’t stand the fact that if you think I’m cheating, and you have no proof, then let me cheat in peace if that’s the case. If you’re going to stay– be quiet. If you’re going to stay, stay with the man and get what you’re going to get. Let him get what he’s going to get. Y’all must have an arrangement. Let him do his thing, because I know you’re probably doing yours. It’s just one of those records that make you think, ‘Okay, either I’m going to leave, or I’m going to deal with it.’ Basically that’s it. .

GFM: You mentioned Walter Millsap. Is that how the collaboration with Ms. Angie Stone came about?

DH: Well Angie and I have been friends for years. We’ve always wanted to work together. As a matter of fact back in 1999 we started working together in New Jersey on something that never came to fruition. He was managing Angie and Angie told him that she wanted me on the record. They called and he was like, ‘Man, you’ve got to do this record for me.’ Walter and I go back to Chicago ’85… he had a couple of records on that album. We both go back, so it was almost like a natural thing for them. They made the call and Angie and I did the first song. We did the duet on her album first called “Begin Again”, then we said, ‘Okay, this could be something.’ So, we followed up on mine and I’m just letting you in on something new– Angie and I will be working on a duet album together. It’s gonna be fun… all original stuff. We might do one cover, but everything is going to be original.

GFM: Speaking of other collaborations, I really enjoyed the United Tenors album. Talk about working with Fred Hammond, Brian Courtney Wilson and Eric Roberson.

DH: It was one of the best times I’ve had in my career. Again, I’ve been knowing Fred for umpteen thousand years coming from the church background. I knew him when he was playing bass for The Winans and even Vanessa Bell Armstrong. I was singing background for Vanessa Bell Armstrong. She was my first professional entry into the music business and I started singing background with her at the age of sixteen. I traveled with her, toured with her for some years and that’s how I got to know Fred. So, when Fred wanted to do something different he called me. We talked about it. We courted the idea for like two years. We even talked about the different line up that was going to happen. It was always Fred and I, but the line up ended up being Brian Courtney [Wilson] and Eric Roberson. At first it was myself, Tank and Kenny Lattimore. When Kenny and Tank didn’t work, we were going after Anthony Hamilton. Anthony pondered it, but for some reason it didn’t happen and then Brian and Eric just kind of fell in. It was it. Once we got together it was magic.That was the best time we had recording. It was so much fun. We went out on tour for about three weeks. The crowds were amazing. We played to packed houses every night. It was amazing. We’ve talked and Fred wants to do it again, but of course he’s doing his Festival Of Praise tour and all that kind of stuff. We’re all out doing our own separate things as well, but there will be a second United Tenors record.

GFM: That is an anointed CD. That is my go to CD. When stuff is going on, I put that CD in.

DH: Thank you so much. Yeah, Fred is the mastermind behind it all. He’s such a gifted writer. He’s just amazing. Even though we came into this knowing each other beforehand, I’ve always been a Fred fan. I’ve always been a original Commissioned fan… the original Commissioned members. I’ve been a fan for years.

GFM: Do you plan to record any more gospel music as a solo artist in the future?

DH: I don’t know. God would have to come sit on my sofa and I look him into his bright face and he’d have to tell me. Because what I am is… I’m a messenger. Somebody asked me earlier today was it hard for me to transition to gospel. No, because that’s actually where I came from, but I don’t let people put me in a box. I’m not an R&B artist. I’m not a gospel artist. I’m a messenger. I’m an artist who is a messenger. Whatever is on my heart to sing, [then] that’s what I’m going to sing. If God puts it on my heart to do a gospel record then I’ll do another inspirational album. I don’t see it in the near future.

GFM: Am I correct that you’ve done some performing with Blackstreet here and there? Are there any reunion plans?

DH: I actually been back with Blackstreet since 2009. We’ve been together since 2009 performing. We’ve been touring pretty heavy since 2009.

GFM: But no recording yet?

DH: Oh we’ve recorded. We’ve got like 40 songs recorded. It’s just [that] Ted [Teddy Riley] is the type of person who likes to take his time. He’s a perfectionist, but the 40 songs have been done for like two years… three years.

GFM: What’s your definition of Grown Folks Music?

DH: Music that’ll be around forever. Legendary music. Music that you can put on or make today that’ll be around until you die. Grown folks music, soul music… they’re all synonymous to me. They’re all one and the same. Anything that will be around for years and years– I call grown folks music. I won’t call no names out, but most of this mess that’s out here now, you ain’t going to hear two years from now.

Dave Hollister’s new album, The MANuscript , is scheduled to drop in September 2016 on Shanachie Entertainment. Check out the video for the first single, “Definition Of A Woman”.

Dave is also involved in Baby Hold On To Me, a stage play inspired the music of the late, great Gerald Levert. Dave plays the role of Gerald Levert. Find out more about Baby Hold On To Me here.

Follow Dave Hollister
On Facebook
On Twitter
On Instagram

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

New Music: Phil Perry & Rick Braun

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Growns, get ready for new music for the new year from jazz favorites Phil Perry and Rick Braun. Perry’s album, Breathless and Braun’s new album, Around The Horn, is set for release February 2017 from Shanachie Entertainment.

Al Jarreau declares “Phil Perry is the real thing.” Perry’s rich velvety tenor, unrivaled falsetto and smooth, soulful and compelling voice, have set him in a class by himself. His ability to convey the deepest meaning with a simple turn of a phrase, whisper or inflection in just the right place, has long made him the go-to-man for music insiders. Phil Perry’s vocal talents have been sought after by everyone from Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan and Anita Baker to Quincy Jones and Barbra Streisand, among others. On Breathless, Phil Perry once again proves why he is one of the greatest voices of our time. Co-produced by Perry along with long-time collaborator Chris Davis (Will Downing, Kim Burrell, George Clinton), Breathless features the album’s riveting title track, Lee Ritenour’s signature song “Is It You?,” a stunning interpretation of the Stevie Wonder classic “Love’s In Need Of Love Today, as well as stellar reinvention of Burt Bacharach’s hit for the 5th Dimension “One Less Bell To Answer.”

Known for his impeccable chops, melodic wizardry and keen compositional prowess, trumpeter, composer and producer Rick Braun has been thrilling audiences for decades. Having clenched over 20 #1 Smooth Jazz hits, Braun has collaborated with the best in contemporary jazz including Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, Peter White, Dave Koz, Boney James and Brian Culbertson, to name a few. The highly versatile musician has also made a mark collaborating with pop stars like REO Speedwagon, Rod Stewart, Tom Petty, Sade and Natalie Cole. Around The Horn features a refreshing mix of originals such as Vila Vita,” showcasing guitarist Peter White, “Love Take Me,” showcasing rising star and label-mate Lindsey Webster, and the funky “Everything Is Alright.” Around The Horn highlights Braun’s ultra hip and beautiful reworking of Coldplay’s “Yellow,” a vibey re-imaging of Alicia Keys’ hit “In Common,” and a memorable version of the Charlie Puth/Selena Gomez collaboration “We Don’t Talk Anymore.”

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

GFM Spotlight Interview ENCORE 2016: Dave Hollister Talks about Getting Back to Love on His New Album, Collaboration Projects and Blackstreet

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

dave-hollister

Grown Folks Music caught up with R&B crooner Dave Hollister and he generously spoke with us about the intent behind his forthcoming new album, The MANuscript, disappointment in the lack of marketing for his last album, collaboration projects with Angie Stone and Fred Hammond and the United Tenors and touring with Blackstreet.

GFM: Prior to the last album in 2014, it had been a while since we’d heard from you on the R&B recording side. Was it important to you to keep the momentum going by not letting a lot of time pass between this new album and the last.

DH: It was definitely important being that the last record company jacked that last record up. Myself and my manager, Walter Millsap, we didn’t want to [let time pass] because it’s almost to the point that nobody knew that record was really out. The single did well, but nobody knew an album was out. So, we just wanted to come right back on the heels of whatever they remembered and jump right back in.

GFM: I have that last album, and I’m sorry that it didn’t do better than what it did because “I’m Different” is a masterpiece.

DH: Wow. Thank you. That’s funny because that was actually going to be the next single.

GFM: It was a very good one and I’m sorry. I almost want you to repackage some of that.

DH: I’m thinking about that. We’ve actually been talking about that. A lot of people are doing that– taking the album and repackaging it and putting it back out. Like I said, the last company didn’t push the record. eOne is a one and done situation anyway. They feel like if they get you to the top ten, then they’ve done their job with the single and that’s what they did to me. I’ve never, ever, sold 20,000 copies in my life. It was very embarrassing. The album had some good music on it. It had some real good music on it, so I’m thinking about doing that because it’s too good of a record to just let it die like that.

GFM: A lot of the songs on the new album sound like a celebration of women. Let’s talk about the new album. Let’s talk about The MANuscript.

DH: I’ve been kind of just sitting back thinking, ‘What are we missing? What really are we missing?’ We’re really missing love. We’ve gotten away from love. Nobody’s really talking about love anymore. It’s all about having sex and doing stuff that doesn’t even matter. Half of the stuff you can’t even understand what people are saying. I ain’t gonna call no names, but you get out here and mumble on a record and it goes to the top. What is that? A lot of people say that they can tell what I’m going through by what I release, and I am in love with my wife. I haven’t been in love in a long time. What’s in me is what’s going to come out. We as men… especially when we get older… [should know] it’s nothing wrong with loving your girl, or loving your woman, or loving your wife. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what we were put on this Earth to do. I just wanted to get back to love.

GFM: Where did the song “Let Him” come from?

DH: [laughs] You know what, that’s funny ’cause I was waiting [for someone to say] ‘What about this one?’ That is a song that I really felt. As much as this album is for women to give their men, it’s men to give their women. A lot of men, like the record says, they’re just going to bark and sniff. They ain’t really going to leave the yard. Especially when they know they’ve got a good woman. Basically, stop complaining. You’re going to complain and make the man miserable. If that’s what you’re going to do– leave. If you’re going to stay, let him cheat in peace. If that’s what’s going to happen, leave the man. I’ve been through this. I can’t stand the fact that if you think I’m cheating, and you have no proof, then let me cheat in peace if that’s the case. If you’re going to stay– be quiet. If you’re going to stay, stay with the man and get what you’re going to get. Let him get what he’s going to get. Y’all must have an arrangement. Let him do his thing, because I know you’re probably doing yours. It’s just one of those records that make you think, ‘Okay, either I’m going to leave, or I’m going to deal with it.’ Basically that’s it. .

GFM: You mentioned Walter Millsap. Is that how the collaboration with Ms. Angie Stone came about?

DH: Well Angie and I have been friends for years. We’ve always wanted to work together. As a matter of fact back in 1999 we started working together in New Jersey on something that never came to fruition. He was managing Angie and Angie told him that she wanted me on the record. They called and he was like, ‘Man, you’ve got to do this record for me.’ Walter and I go back to Chicago ’85… he had a couple of records on that album. We both go back, so it was almost like a natural thing for them. They made the call and Angie and I did the first song. We did the duet on her album first called “Begin Again”, then we said, ‘Okay, this could be something.’ So, we followed up on mine and I’m just letting you in on something new– Angie and I will be working on a duet album together. It’s gonna be fun… all original stuff. We might do one cover, but everything is going to be original.

GFM: Speaking of other collaborations, I really enjoyed the United Tenors album. Talk about working with Fred Hammond, Brian Courtney Wilson and Eric Roberson.

DH: It was one of the best times I’ve had in my career. Again, I’ve been knowing Fred for umpteen thousand years coming from the church background. I knew him when he was playing bass for The Winans and even Vanessa Bell Armstrong. I was singing background for Vanessa Bell Armstrong. She was my first professional entry into the music business and I started singing background with her at the age of sixteen. I traveled with her, toured with her for some years and that’s how I got to know Fred. So, when Fred wanted to do something different he called me. We talked about it. We courted the idea for like two years. We even talked about the different line up that was going to happen. It was always Fred and I, but the line up ended up being Brian Courtney [Wilson] and Eric Roberson. At first it was myself, Tank and Kenny Lattimore. When Kenny and Tank didn’t work, we were going after Anthony Hamilton. Anthony pondered it, but for some reason it didn’t happen and then Brian and Eric just kind of fell in. It was it. Once we got together it was magic.That was the best time we had recording. It was so much fun. We went out on tour for about three weeks. The crowds were amazing. We played to packed houses every night. It was amazing. We’ve talked and Fred wants to do it again, but of course he’s doing his Festival Of Praise tour and all that kind of stuff. We’re all out doing our own separate things as well, but there will be a second United Tenors record.

GFM: That is an anointed CD. That is my go to CD. When stuff is going on, I put that CD in.

DH: Thank you so much. Yeah, Fred is the mastermind behind it all. He’s such a gifted writer. He’s just amazing. Even though we came into this knowing each other beforehand, I’ve always been a Fred fan. I’ve always been a original Commissioned fan… the original Commissioned members. I’ve been a fan for years.

GFM: Do you plan to record any more gospel music as a solo artist in the future?

DH: I don’t know. God would have to come sit on my sofa and I look him into his bright face and he’d have to tell me. Because what I am is… I’m a messenger. Somebody asked me earlier today was it hard for me to transition to gospel. No, because that’s actually where I came from, but I don’t let people put me in a box. I’m not an R&B artist. I’m not a gospel artist. I’m a messenger. I’m an artist who is a messenger. Whatever is on my heart to sing, [then] that’s what I’m going to sing. If God puts it on my heart to do a gospel record then I’ll do another inspirational album. I don’t see it in the near future.

GFM: Am I correct that you’ve done some performing with Blackstreet here and there? Are there any reunion plans?

DH: I actually been back with Blackstreet since 2009. We’ve been together since 2009 performing. We’ve been touring pretty heavy since 2009.

GFM: But no recording yet?

DH: Oh we’ve recorded. We’ve got like 40 songs recorded. It’s just [that] Ted [Teddy Riley] is the type of person who likes to take his time. He’s a perfectionist, but the 40 songs have been done for like two years… three years.

GFM: What’s your definition of Grown Folks Music?

DH: Music that’ll be around forever. Legendary music. Music that you can put on or make today that’ll be around until you die. Grown folks music, soul music… they’re all synonymous to me. They’re all one and the same. Anything that will be around for years and years– I call grown folks music. I won’t call no names out, but most of this mess that’s out here now, you ain’t going to hear two years from now.

Dave Hollister’s new album, The MANuscript , is scheduled to drop in September 2016 on Shanachie Entertainment. Check out the video for the first single, “Definition Of A Woman”.

Dave is also involved in Baby Hold On To Me, a stage play inspired the music of the late, great Gerald Levert. Dave plays the role of Gerald Levert. Find out more about Baby Hold On To Me here.

Follow Dave Hollister
On Facebook
On Twitter
On Instagram

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

#NowPlaying/’Tis The Season: Lindsey Webster: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Friday, December 16th, 2016

lindsey_webster_strong_arm

Growns, just in time for the holidays Billboard #1 artist and rising young soul jazz singer/songwriter
Lindsey Webster offers her jazzy rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Enjoy.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.