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News and Reviews.

First Watch Video: The legendary Bigg Robb is "VIntage"

(May 30, 2023) What more can we say about Bigg Robb? We have called him  "the bridge between Bootsy, Zapp and Southern Soul," and the talented singer, songwriter and producer has seemingly worked with everyone since he began in the music business as a teenager. More recently, as a solo star he has amassed millions of fans around the world for his work in the funk, southern soul, smooth jazz genres.

Alexander O'Neal shines on danceable "The One For Me"

(May 29, 2023) Alexander O’Neal is working this year on his Farewell Tour, and he is doing it in style, with a strong new EP, Is This Seat Taken, featuring some of his strongest music in years. A few weeks ago, we featured the title song, and our latest First Listen is an even stronger cut.

Written by Darnel Alexander and Mike Vangen, “The One For Me” is a dancefloor-ready jam, with hooks for days. And O’Neal sounds absolutely convincing, telling his woman that he’s giving up all the others to focus on her.

First Listen: Lynn Davis gives classic Philly vibe on "Beautiful You"

(May 29, 2023) “Beautiful You” is Lynn Davis’s second single. Think about that for a moment. This artist who has had a distinguished career as a backing vocalist and as member of George Dukes’s band was the lead vocalist on several songs, most notably “I Want You For Myself.”

SoulTracks gets a Response Song, and we’re not “Lying”

(May 28, 2023) The history of popular music is filled with the curiosity that is the “response song.” That is a song that is made to respond to an earlier hit. Think Barbara Mason’s “She’s Got the Paper (But I Got The Man)” in response to Richard Dimples Fields’ “She’s Got Papers On Me,” or the seemingly dozens of musical answers to UTFO’s hit “Roxanne, Roxanne.”

Happy 79th birthday to the great Gladys Knight

Happy birthday to Gladys Knight, born May 28, 1944.

By any measure, Gladys Knight is one of the greatest Soul singers of all time (she was voted #3 by SoulTracks readers).  Her expressive, powerful voice became the model for two generations of singers from Jennifer Holliday to Alicia Keys, and her work with the Pips stands tall among the best Soul music of the 60s, 70s and 80s. 

Cleveland P. Jones takes Stokes & Machine to the “Freeway”

(May 27, 2023) Atlanta-based Stokes & Machine—spearheaded by prolific producer and arranger Eddie Stokes (Anthony David, Sy Smith, Laurnea)—follow up last year’s “All My Black” with the brilliantly radio-ready “Freeway.” Fronted by longtime SoulTracks favorite Cleveland P. Jones on vocals, the effortlessly poetic, rhythmically laid back joint is equal parts funky and chilled out. With a straight-ahead message of letting go of the noise and enjoying the moment in all its glory, “Freeway” mixes the best of classic soul vibes with a modern edge. 

Song of the Month: Acantha Lang gets personal on beautiful "Come Back Home"

If you’ve been reading SoulTracks over the past couple of years, you know that we’ve been closely tracking the meteoric rise of singer and songwriter Acantha Lang. The SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards winner has the whole package -- a singer and songwriter with a keen sense of music history and a commitment to taking no shortcuts in creating memorablemusically rich songs.

Will Downing discusses mental health and family tragedy on Tamron Hall Show

New York, NY (May 26, 2023) - Renowned R&B superstar Will Downing stopped by The Tamron Hall Show on May 25th.

In an exclusive interview and captivating live performance, Downing shed light on the importance of mental health while paying tribute to his late daughter Aron Siobhan Downing. The appearance marked the debut of his highly anticipated new single, "Till We Meet Again." 

Happy Birthday to both Rebbie and LaToya Jackson

Happy birthday to two sisters from the first family of music, Rebbie Jackson (b. May 29, 1950) and LaToya Jackson (b. May 29, 1956), the oldest and fifth children of the legendary Jackson family.

Both sisters grew up in the musical Gary, Indiana household, the children of Joseph and Katherine Jackson. And while their brothers and their sister Janet went on to superstardom, each of Rebbie and LaToya had their own day in the musical sun.

25 years later, Club Nouveau's "The Collection" coming to vinyl

(May 25, 2023) They were one of the truly great bands of the 80s and 90s, but their press didn’t always match their talent. With four top 10 smashes, including the group's signature #1 hit, “Lean On Me,” Club Nouveau was one of the acts that helped re-establish the Bay Area as a R&B hub, two decades after Sly and the Family Stone burst onto the scene.

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