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News and Reviews


First Listen: Cara Dawn feels "Free"

(January 21, 2019) Soulful jazz heads, here’s something to sink your curious ears into. Chicago native Cara Dawn brings us “Free,” a jazzy, swingy sophisticated number that feels right at home with devout Nancy Wilson loyalists. The single, written and arranged by Cara, is wondrously serenaded by tranquil piano and alto sax, allowing Dawn’s pure tone and graceful delivery to explore her newfound world of romantic bliss: “So now I can see that you can be here with me,” she sings.

Featured Album: Nichelle Colvin give a Valentine's Day treat

We’ve been fans of Gary, Indiana singer and songwriter Nichelle Colvin for a few years now, and SoulTrackers have gravitated to her upfront storytelling. She’s created songs that get you nodding to the music and nodding your head in agreement.

After a couple of years away, Nichelle has just returned with a brand new EP just in time for that special holiday for lovers. Valentine's Day Treats Xtreme RLM Vol. 3, is a collection of songs about love, in all its colors, and bears Nichelle’s distinctive sound.

First Listen: Leslie Maraj gives up love on "Runaway"

For those who follow YouTube on a regular basis, there are plenty of exclusive videos of artists who are waiting in the wings to be discovered. Once such talent is Leslie Maraj, whose a cappella, on the spot interpretations of Billboard Top 25 hits by Ariana Grande and Kandi Burruss are just a taste of this vocalist’s mix of smooth and sass.  Though she is a recent entry to the national spotlight, Maraj was a veteran of talent shows throughout her childhood. 

First Listen: Casme finds the groove on "Funkadelik"

First Listen: Casme finds the groove on "Funkadelik" 

Artists in recent years have their own ways to fuse modern R&B production techniques and vocal deliveries with the classic on the one swag of 1970s funk. Think Bruno Mars and Childish Gambino. These artists take that hard driving percussive bass line that features some Larry Graham inspired ‘thumpin and pluckin’ while vocally code switching between a sung and hip-hop delivery.

First Listen: Such return with a sultry single

A few years ago, we began following the career of SUCH (short for Su Charles) who wowed audiences during Season 11 of American Idol and then began issuing some very attractive singles and videos. SoulTrackers responded in a big way to her debut album, Trial and Error.  

Von B. and D.L. Wilson give her honor on "She's Unbelievable"

(January 17, 2019) South Bend is not the city that immediately comes to mind when talk turns to Indiana towns that were or are hotbeds of R&B music. Gary and Indianapolis definitely. Fort Wayne perhaps. But South Bend? Here’s where a little history lesson might come in handy. Motown hitmakers Junior Walker & the All-Stars hailed from South Bend, and in recent years a vibrant R&B and hip-hop scene has developed in the northcentral Indiana town.

Performance of the Week: Lucky Daye Slays On “Roll Some Mo (Live)”

January 15, 2019 — Last November we introduced you to the new singer and songwriter Lucky Daye, who released perhaps the best produced soul/R&B EP of 2018. As an artist, the man has it all: a real ear for melody, a compelling, textured and elastic voice, and the ability to craft beautifully-layered tracks with roots firmly planted in classic R&B but branches that extend out into the future.

Grammy Tribute to Motown 60th Anniversary set for February 12

(January 15, 2019) Billboard Magazine has posted an exclusive story tonight that the Grammy Awards will tape a 60th Anniversary tribute to Motown on February 12th, two days before this year's Grammy Awards.

While the Grammys have extended invitations for artists to perform, no slate of performers has yet been announced, nor has the air date.

We'll keep SoulTrackers posted as we learn more.

Live Performance: H.E.R. is the Re-Birth of the Cool

January 15, 2019 — There are and have been many gifted artists, but few come along who are decidedly cool.  Their look, their sound, their effortless, organic vibe: just cool.  Miles was, and he rightfully claimed it for an album title. Prince had it.  And H.E.R. is doubtless their musical descendent.

First Listen: DeAndre "Shoulda Known Better" on new single

(January 16, 2019) Back in 2012, a young and ambitious DeAndre Brackensick beamed into American living rooms as a season 11 Top 10 finalist on American Idol. Now 23 and living his best life in Hawaii, the gifted singer (DeAndre for short) is dropping new music on us. Courtesy of his debut album Black Denim, “Shoulda Known Better” shines through the pack, exposing once again the beauty of DeAndre’s heavenly falsetto.