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News and Reviews.

First Listen: Tonya Lewis Taylor helps us to “Conquer”

(July 13, 2020) Tonya Lewis-Taylor seems to do it all. The singer/songwriter is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of I WILL GRADUATE Youth Development Agency and Entertainers 4 Education Alliance, a non-profit organization that enlists celebrities and high-profile individuals to stress the importance and coolness of being educated. She is also a Billboard charting artist, with the hits “I’m A Winner” and “Thank You” both hitting the top 20

First Listen: Topher James "Gets It" on new single

(July 13, 2020) Since forming his band Biscuit Brigade back in 2014, Topher James (born Chris Shaw) has been hard-at-work dropping EPs and singles. Two of the latter, “Hard Love” and “New Home,” grabbed our attention at SoulTracks back in 2017. Now, the Columbus, Ohio-based singer/songwriter is dropping one of his most personal and self-reflective ballads to date.

R.I.P. Reggie Haynes, leader the great 70s group, The Escorts

(July 12, 2020) We are sad today to inform SoulTrackers of the death of the great Reginald “Reggie” Haynes of the fantastic 70s vocal group, The Escorts. He was 71.

First Listen: Steve Arrington returns with "Keep Dreamin'"

(July 12, 2020) It’s been more than a decade since we had a new album from the great Steve Arrington, who rocked us first as part of the funk outfit Slave and then as a solo artist (with the glorious “Dancing In the Key of Life” and more). We enjoyed his last album, 2009’s Pure Thang, but have missed hearing from an artist who always brought a message with his funk.

First Listen: A stunning history lesson from Mahoganee

(July 12, 2020) As Juneteenth continues to reverberate through our society, singer/songwriter Mahoganee returns to provide a song that offers equal doses of perspective and hope. "1619" details experiences of black women while giving context to 400 years of challenges that slavery in the United States provided.

First Listen: Marsha Ambrosius and Jeff Bradshaw feel it "Sincerely"
(July 11, 2020) Thanks to conditions and circumstances beyond our control -- the pandemic, postponed vacation plans and bar closures, to say the least -- romance for most hasn't been at the top of the list. Especially if you're 'sheltering in place,' literally or figuratively, with one person as your heart is somewhere else.  

That's the kind of love triangle that soul siren Marsha Ambrosius is describing in the collabo with musician Jeff Bradshaw, "I Do Sincerely." 

First Listen: Ron Gerald tells a sad story on "Don't Shoot"

(July 11, 2020) If the year 2020 is a movement and a moment, R&B artists are rising to the occasion by speaking their truth. We may have to go back to the 1960s and early 70s to find a time when R&B artists collectively used their voices to speak truth to power. The criticism that R&B music wasn’t relevant to the time never really meshed with what was happening on the indie scene, but with mainstream voices joining the socially relevant chorus, the belief that R&B can and should have something to say about what is happening in the world is an idea whose time has come.

First Listen: Chrisette Michele wows us again on "Wait"

(July 10, 2020) Thirteen years ago, Chrisette Michele burst on the scene with a voice that harkened back to the jazz greats of the 1930s and 40s, but a sense of the here and now. She felt both classic and refreshingly new. She's issued some great records since then, and also some head-scratchers, but when she is at her best, she is simply marvelous.

First Listen: Marija Clara gives cool vibe on "About You"

(July 10, 2020) Marija Clara has been putting in the work – in the classroom and on stages around the world. Clara was born in Lithuania and is the daughter of Lithuanian jazz saxophonist Petras Vysniaukas, and she spent much of her life touring across Europe with her dad.

 She moved to the United Kingdom to study English Literature in Scotland, and also earned a master’s degree from the Leeds College of Music. Clara has called Buenos Aires, Argentina home since 2019, and it is that picturesque city that inspired her new single, “About You.”

SoulTracks Premiere: Brenda Nicole Moorer takes us on a "Trip"

(July 10, 2020) If you’ve been hanging around SoulTracks for awhile, you probably know the name Brenda Nicole Moorer. We’ve happily covered the singer/songwriter for several years, and have embraced her brand of soulful jazz. She’s also gathered the attention of her musical peers, and she’s shared the stage with a who’s who of stars ranging from Roy Ayers to Incognito to Christian McBride.

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