Cover Me Sundays: Lalah Hathaway Edition

So last week we did a post about Lalah Hathaway's appearance on Questlove Supreme which you can check out here. During a particular segment Lalah and the Quest Crew were discussing cover songs and how some artists are able to make a song their own. Names like Luther were rightfully put out there as artists who can simply make a song so much their own that you don't realize it's a cover.

That notion is really a big part of the impetus behind this series when we began way back in 2010. Now I must take a divergent turn for just a minute here. Hearing that convo on Questlove Supreme could not have come at a better time. When you're out here doing "Tree falling in the woods" type of work it can be frustrating at times when you look up from your bakery and see the masses flocking to Mondo Burger, McDowell's and The Krusty Krab en masse when you've been serving Prime Rib for damn near a decade.

But we don't do this for the popularity contest. It's cool, but the reason we do this is because we love and know about the music. So as long as the record of these posts exist online so that someone at sometime will stumble upon these woods and will read and read and understood that we're not new to this but true to this. Ok, rant over.

So back to the subject at hand. Lalah had to interject that quite frankly her father was a true master of making cover songs his own. Many folks are still just figuring out that "A Song For You" is a Leon Russell composition or that "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" was written by Al Kooper and first made famous by Blood, Sweat and Tears. I believe we've documented that in these here pages over the years that's why you should cut those zeroes and get...

Lalah went on to further illustrate the point by stating that a majority of the material on her debut album were covers. Most folks know by now that "I'm Coming Back"(Written by Gary Taylor) was a cover after Vesta released it on her debut album.

But did you know that "Heaven Knows"(Written by Derek Bramble)was originally recorded by Jaki Graham in 1984? How about the smooth and sultry "Something"? That was written by (Brenda Russell and David Foster) and included on Brenda's 1983 album? But that's not actually the first release of that great tune that distinction goes to Leslie Smith off his 1982 album Heartache.

Even later on her career we find Lalah closely identified with covers. Lalah's 1999 collaboration with the great Joe Sample The Song Lives On is all about great songs, you know like this series. I wanted to place a special performance of "One Day I'll Fly Away" featuring Vesta with The Crusaders to show how this music and great songs in particular can cause great artists paths to cross multiple times in their career.

I rounded out the songs in today's post with Eric Benet's 2001 version of "Better And Better" that was from his unreleased album that ended up on Lalah's 2004 release Outrun The Sky which marked Lalah's return to solo recording projects after a ten year hiatus after 1994's A Moment. You really should check out the podcast to hear about why there was such a long break in between projects and why and what did Lalah do during the intervening time.

The list here is by no means comprehensive but we just wanted to take some time out to illustrate the origins of these songs.

P.S. There's one more song down at the bottom that may have you puzzled. Well "Good Love" by Anita Baker was written by Gary Taylor who got a young Lalah Hathaway to sing the demo. Now if we could get Lalah to premiere that demo here... I mean we've already gotten the Al B. Sure! K-Ci/JoJo/Al demo for Tevin Campbell. So I'm sayin' :)

GFM Spotlight (Video) Interview: Dirty Loops Talk Debut Album, David Foster and "Loopifying" Pop Music


Just before the show at The Loft in Atlanta, Grown Folks Music caught up to the Swedish phenoms known collectively as the Dirty Loops for a fun and lighthearted interview. They talked about how they got their start, touring North America officially for the first time, how they "loopify" their music and how they became connected to "The Hitman", David Foster. Watch the video below and enjoy the interview.

Oh yeah, about that show in Atlanta... First, let it been known that it has been a long time since this author has been excited about a new band. There have been a few new singers but a band? No. That changed in late 2011 when a GFM supporter encouraged us to check out a link to a YouTube video of the Dirty Loops dismantling and reconstructing Britney Spears' "Circus". Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I wore out the replay button and for the next three years I followed the group and waited for the debut album, and more importantly, a live show in or near Atlanta.

Honest moment: there are so many nuances and layers to the Dirty Loops' music (originals and covers) that there was a little trepidation on my part about how it all was gonna translate live. Shame on me. The Dirty Loops "did good". Correction: they did great. Correction: they didn't do just great-- they slayed. Trust that the backing tracks they use for elements like the background vocals, strings and horns are integrated very well and they never take over or take away from the work the group puts in on stage. And when the day comes that they are able to have background singers and the other pieces they've put into their songs on stage, everybody better take cover because it is going to be a musical massacre. Grown Folks Music is happy to have experienced these masterful young musicians at this stage in their career and in an intimate setting.

Speaking of musicians, the Dirty Loops have garnered the respect of musicians far and wide (now there are videos on YouTube of musicians covering their music and/or playing music "Dirty Loops style"), so it's no wonder that musicians make up a good part of the audience turning up to the shows. Whether they intend to or not-- particularly when the solos break out-- Jonah Nilsson (vocals/keyboards), Aron Mellergardh (drums) and Henrik Linder (bass) put on a clinic. Thank you Sweden, for that domestic, Disney World called Ikea and for the insanely talented Dirty Loops.

Follow the Dirty Loops:
On Facebook:
On Twitter: @DirtyLoops


Chaka Khan On Her Upcoming 40th Anniversary Album and European/Asian Tour!!!

Chaka Khan

Hola, my fellow Grown Folks!!! It’s you’re favorite “concert traveler” here with some news you absolutely must use!! Ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner Chaka Khan is touring Europe and Asia October – November 2012. Chaka will join the David Foster and Friends tour in November.

Also, next year, 2013 will mark the 40th anniversary of Ms. Khan’s career in music and entertainment. What does this mean, family???? It means Chaka Khan is working “them” pipes in the studio to bring us some BRAND NEW MUSIC!!! Can the church say AMEN!!!  The release will include a gospel and jazz project, an international and US tour and several other key events.

“Being in the studio makes me very happy,” says Chaka. “I am so excited about the new music and the direction on this project.  We are having a super great time on tour and the opportunity to connect with my fans is one of the greatest gifts ever.”

Check out Chaka Khan's tour dates below and for more information,visit her at and follow her on Twitter @chakakhan.Read more


Song of the Day: Gerald Levert "I'd Give Anything"

"I'd Give Anything" is a classic love ballad. It's a song that immediately makes you miss the well crafted music of the '90s. You can easily hear the lush production influence of David Foster. The track is befitting, as many people are constantly trying to determine if there is a such thing as a soul mate, and if there is they are trying to determine who their soul mate is. "I'd Give Anything" was a major hit, reaching #4 on the R&B/Hip Hop Charts and reaching #28 on the Hot 100. The track is available in mp3 format as part of the "Groove On" album at

Did you know that this hit is actually a remake of the song "She'd Give Anything" by the country group Boy Howdy? Check out the original below.


Whitney Houston: "I Will Always Love You"

"I Will Always Love You" was written by Dolly Parton. She recorded it in 1973 and again in 1982. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart both times.

And then there was Whitney Houston's version.

Produced by David Foster for the soundtrack to the movie The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston re-arranged the song, broke it down and built it back up with a vocal performance that knocks your socks off. It was almost as if she had something to prove. Houston's version of the song set records (staying at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 14 weeks), sold hundreds of thousands of copies, achieved international success and won many awards including a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.


Artist of the Month (Song of the Day)- "It's The Falling In Love"

Written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager this mid-tempo track pairs Michael with none other than Patti Austin. Sultry word interplay coupled with a big brassy arrangement makes this track an always sure fire listen but the underlying heat of the rhythm arrangement can cause one to move as well.


GFM Love List - Happy Valentine's Day!!

Hola mi amigos!!!! Once again, it's that special time of the year!! A time for lovers to come together to celebrate that funny little thing we call L' amour. In celebration of this "unofficial" holiday, I decided to share some Grown Folks love songs. Now, please understand these songs are not in any particular order nor do they encompass all I would like to share - we'd be here forever if it did. However, they're just a few songs to make you think about the one you love or wish to be with. :)Read more


Whitney's Back & free download

After 7 long years, Whitney is back, reunited with Clive Davis for her new album, "I Look To You", due out on September 1st.

Check out video from her L.A. listening event last week after the jump. The lead single (which you can check out below from a radio premiere rip), was written by R. Kelly, & produced by Tricky Stewart along with Harvey Mason Jr. Other collaborators include Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, Diane Warren, David Foster, Akon and Stargate.

Updated: Free download until July 31st. New album release date: 8/31/2009

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Skylark vs. New Birth - "Wildflower"

I never knew that the New Birth version was a cover of the Skylark original. Shows how much I know. Who knew that was David Foster on keys and Donny Gerrard on lead vocals? Call me biased, but I've still gotta go with the raw, gripping emotion of New Birth. But you can't front on the The Mighty Mighty O'Jays live.

More covers and more from New Birth after the jump.

New Birth "Wildflower"

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Seal A Change Is Gonna Come

Seal - "A Change is Gonna Come"

From his new album, Soul, produced by David Foster (Warner/2008) available now, a remake of the Sam Cooke classic. I always thought he had the voice to pull off this type of project but wisely he chose fairly minimal interpretations of the other standards. Other covers include: "Its a Man's Man's Man's World" (James Brown), "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (Otis Redding), "I'm Still in Love with You" (Al Green) and "Stand By Me" (Ben E. King).