First Listen: Toni Braxton shimmers on new "Dance" single
(August 6, 2020) In 2020, SoulTracks has embraced international multi-hit maker Toni Braxton on several occasions. And it is quite understandable, considering the nearly near three decades that fans have gravitated to her unapologetic ballads - sealed and sent with her magnetic sultry, powerful pipes.
First Listen: Billy Ocean's timely return has a plea to "Find Love"
(August 5, 2020) Some of us still think of Billy Ocean as the smoothy dressed, suave-singing R&B and pop man of the 80s, when he had a string of hits that put him repeatedly at the top of the charts. We definitely don't think of him as the elder statesman, soul surivor that he is today at age 70. Fortunately, Ocean isn't stuck in the past, but continues to move his craft forward, as is evidenced in his much anticipated (and COVID-delayed) upcoming album, One World, due on September 4.
R.I.P Helen Jones Woods, founder of first integrated all-women Jazz Orchestra
(August 5, 2020) Helen Jones Woods, a founding member of the first integrated, all-women swing orchestra, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, died of COVID-19 at the age of 96 on July 25th. Woods was the daughter of Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones, founder of the most historic Piney Woods boarding school in Mississippi; and the mother of media mogul, Cathy Hughes, who founded Urban One, the largest African American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.
First Listen: Sy Smith helps Rachel Eckroth on "Perfect Love"
(August 5, 2020) As we are progressing through this summer, we are beginning to reap the harvest of what I am calling "quarantine creativity." Artists that historically spent their lives on the road are now found at home are writing, recording, and collaborating.
One example of this creative is the new single by singer/musician Rachel Eckroth and queen of Indie Soul, Sy Smith. After touring together with Chris Botti, and guesting on each other's shows and albums, they came together at the perfect time to release "Perfect Love."
First Look: Amber Mark sings of “My People”
August 4, 2020 — The gifted Amber Mark is back, this time with a visual for her cover of “My People … Hold On” by Eddie Kendricks, which he originally released in 1972.
The visual is ever so graceful, featuring Mark and her collaborators in a swaying, interpretive dance. And as usual, Mark’s smokey vocals are spot on and moving. Enjoy.
By Robb Patryk
First Listen: K-Ci Hailey gives a lifetime of praise on "Jesus Saves"
(August 3, 2020) The gospel classic “Jesus Saves” is Cedric K-Ci Hailey’s redemption song. Long before he became a star of the chart topping 1990s R&B band Jodeci along with his brother Joel (JoJo) and brothers Donald and Dalvin DeGrate, K-Ci was singing “Jesus Saves.”
First Listen: Conya Doss wins again with "Not Trading You"
(August 3, 2020) We’ve been fans of talented singer and songwriter Conya Doss since Day One of SoulTracks, and our readers have agreed, making her a SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award winner and a perennial favorite. We last heard from her two years ago with the winning album CLEAR, and we definitely needed a Conya fix in 2020. Well, those prayers are now answered with the brand new single, "Not Trading You."
Blowing Our Minds: All the top new albums coming out on August 28
(August 3, 2020) It has been a year of some frustration for soul music lovers. While some of our favorite artists have shown amazing creativity during the months of quarantine, with new songs and online concerts to break up our musical monotony, there has been a decided lack of big time album releases. Many of the anticipated Spring 2020 albums were postponed, some indefinitely.
First Listen: Stan J says she's "Always Wit Me"
(August 2, 2020) The following is a true story.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I, who are both from Detroit, were talking about Detroit Gospel singers, and the name Stan Jones aka Stan J came up. We talked about how he was respected around the city and released solid projects over the years including one with Leah Jones from the group Witness. She actually used to skate with him. We both left the conversation wondering if Stan was still releasing music.
Song of the Month: J.D.'s Time Machine and Lorenzo Owens shine
Our newest Song of the Month features a couple of ST faves: one who has been a regular on our pages and one we haven’t written about in a decade.
“When The World Says No” is the powerful new song from award-winning songwriter supreme James Day, who won the SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Award a couple years ago for his Glenn Jones and Regina Belle duet, “Love By Design.” And his new single features one of the great voices we covered in the early days of SoulTracks, but whom we haven’t heard from in awhile, Lorenzo Owens.