ChasingSoul.com

Hello,

I have moved and will now be sending you blog posts via Chasing Soul.  Chasing Soul will become a place where I find, follow, and experience soul artists.  Please visit and subscribe at www.chasingsoul.com.

Listen . . . Feel . . . Experience!

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Ray Rush in DC — August 1, 2010

So in my last post I told you I was going to check out a new artist, Ray Rush.  Ray was performing at the Hominy Lounge on U street.  So on the way down to the District I was checking out his music and he definitely has an R & B flavor.  So I’m thinking that this is definitely worth a trip to DC for a free show.

The show started a little late but it was worth the wait.  While we were waiting for Ray Rush the band was killin’ it!  The name of the band was “Cut the Check” and they were ALL THAT!  They kept us entertained until Ray was ready.   We learned that the band had never met Ray nor rehearsed with him but you sure couldn’t tell.  In order to learn the song, they would play the track 1st and within minutes the band would kick it and I tell you it was interesting, awesome, and amazing!  Not ideal for a concert, but it was an interesting experiment.  That band was BAD – left me bobbing my head!

Now back to Ray.  His sound was familiar and soulful – reminded me of that dude in church that could sang his butt off.  He was singing with all of his heart and soul and was comfortable with both his music and the band.  There is something about someone who sings so well that they don’t need music and that was Ray.  He could have stood there all night and sang without the band and I would have been fine.  In my opinion Ray sounded better live than on the recording but I think that is given when you witness the music live (which is why I love live music).

Overall, I thought Ray was the real deal.  You can get his CD free for a limited time.  My favorite songs were “I Wish” and “Just Wanna Know You”.   I guess you could say all the slow jams are my favorites.  As my kids say . . . “sleepy music”.   It is definitely worth a listen.

http://istreetlight.bandcamp.com/

Listen . . . Feel . . . Experience!

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Music rituals and upcoming shows

Before I attend concerts I have this routine (tradition) that I always listen to music from the artist in the weeks and days prior to the show.  I am not sure when I started this but my iPod makes it much easier to create that playlist now. 

So what is on my iPod concert playlist this week?

Ray Rush is a new artist that I am getting familiar with and his music is online – check out the link below.  He is coming to the Hominy Lounge in DC tonight and I am excited to see him in person.  So technically he is not on my iPod but I have been listening here —> http://istreetlight.bandcamp.com/

Raheem, Jaheim, Anthony Hamilton in preparation for the upcoming Budweiser Superfest in VA.  I realize I don’t have any Kem music on my iPod.  I like him but guess I haven’t found a song that made me want to buy the whole album.  Raheem is by far my favorite and I cringe everytime I think about the last time I saw him near the Verizon Center and froze up.

Also have a list for Liv Warfield, Raphael Saadiq, Dwele, Chrisette Michele for the Vail Soul Music Fest.  Jonathan B is also performing but I don’t know him (yet).  I have also heard there will be lots of surprises and I LOVE surprises!  I am so excited to go on this trip!  I have traveled to the Winter Park Jazz Fest in the past with my best friends, but I am REALLY excited to see my favorite artists at the 1st inagural soul fest!  I am chasing my passion literally!  I plan to take lots of pics, interview artists and bring the entire experience to life just as if you were there (just in case you can’t make it).  http://www.vailsoulmusicfest.com/

So, my playlist is full of music I can’t wait to experience in person.  Does anyone else do anything interesting to prepare for live music experiences?

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In case you missed the Summer Soul Session . . .

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million!  Check out the video from Summer Soul Session – Volume One that I reviewed in my last post.  Stay tuned for more events by LivSuite.

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Summer Soul Session – Volume 1 — June 24, 2010

Soulful and authentic — two words to describe the artists I saw last week.   I attended the Summer Soul Session – Volume One at Zanzibar in Washington, DC which showcased three artists to watch:  V. Rich, Jesse Boykins III, and Liv Warfield.

I am a HUGE fan of Liv Warfield and was excited about her coming to DC.  I found Liv’s music on iTunes a few years ago and put it heavy rotation on my iPod.  I was even more excited to hear she was from my hometown of Portland, Oregon.  Just shows that you can’t hold great talent back!

V. Rich was first up and he walked on the stage to sit in front of a keyboard.  This was a very talented brother and he is a classically trained pianist.  He played songs from his EP Addicted to include “Spontaneous”, and “Lovely”.  My new favorite song is “Work” and it was about someone following their passions to do something they love and not a mundane 9 to 5.  I can’t find that song on the EP and I NEED it . . . I may have to message V. Rich to see where I can find it!  V. Rich has a unique sound and during certain points in the show he would serenade us with the piano.  I snagged a CD and have been listening to it and sharing it with others.

Next up was Jesse Boykins III and a lot of the ladies rushed to the stage – so I was interested to see what he was about.  He was introduced as the “man with the hair” and when he walked on the stage I understood . . . he has a beautiful head of hair that was flowing free.   Jesse has three albums to his credit and a had a trumpet player that could leave you speechless.  Jesse performed “Amorous”, “Itis”, a cover of “Prototype”, and an upbeat tune titled “Pantyhose”.  Jesse had a lot of swag and yes the ladies were excited.  It was almost as if he was making love to the microphone.  So sensual, so passionate. 

Now what I have been waiting for . . . Liv Warfield!  She started her set with songs from her 2006 CD Embrace Me.   I have to say this CD is timeless!  The music is so real and soulful that it will surely stand the test of time.  She sang (and yes, I mean sang) all of my favorites; “ABC’s”, “Waiting”, “Embrace Me”, and everyone’s favorite, “I Decided”.  One fan shouted to Liv that he wanted her to take it slow . . . and that she did!  Oh – I forgot that she also sang “Brotha Man” about her love divine . . . everyone woman wants a man that makes you want to sing like that!  I feel as if I am having a hard time describing how I felt . . . it was kind of like you had to be there.  Liv officially tore up the stage!  My only disappointments were that a lot of people started to leave after Jesse left the stage and frankly I thought it was rude.  How could they not stay and hear what Liv had to sing?  I also felt the venue was ackward for those of us that really wanted to enjoy the experience.  The room was set up with various tables surrounding the dance floor.  Who sits down at a concert?!?  Well, even as the crowd reduced in size, Liv performed as if there was a full house. 

Okay, so the show was enough for me but then I was able to meet Liv (screaming) and she was gracious enough to let me ask her a few questions.  Ok, ok, so one might assume that Liv started singing at church at an early age, because her sound is so spiritual, but that wasn’t the case.  Liv confirmed that she began singing at a karaoke bar in Portland, Oregon around age 19.   Then, I asked her which artists inspired her and she said a few of her favorites were Sade, Jimmie Hendrix, and Etta James.  I was nodding yes, because I could see how her soulful style resembles the edgy, raw, passion of Etta, Jimmy, and Sade.  Liv is currently on tour with Prince and I wanted to know how that great opportunity came about.   As she told it Prince was looking for a new background singer someone recommended Liv.  Liv says she was a last-minute entry and could not believe it when she received the call that she made the cut as Prince’s new background singer.  I immediately thought what God has for you is for you.  Liv is working with one of the best teachers right now . . . Prince . . .Mr. Lifetime Achievement BET Awards Recipient!  Liv says she plans to come out with a new project this fall and it is inspired by her love of the guitar.  No name yet but I can’ wait!  Well DC may not have known Liv before the show but she has definitely left an impression.  This is one talented sister and I wish her much success!

Please check out these artists on Twitter, facebook, and iTunes.

Listen . . . Feel . . . Experience!

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Maxwell & Jill Scott — June 18, 2010

Even though I have seen Maxwell two times already, Jill Scott on the ticket made me want to see him again.  I was sure that Jill would tear the house down and I wanted to be there.  I treated myself to VIP treatment for this show and sat 8 rows from the stage.  I arrived a little late and missed Guy Torrey (sorry!) and I was walking briskly into the center because Jill was already sanging!  Of course she was blowing!  Jill is a true DIVA and I felt her soul moving through the speakers.  She was looking good with her new and improved “Slim thickness” as she called it.  She’s been working out and looked great but most of all she sounded great!  She sang all of my favorites; “A Long Walk”, “The Way”, “Cross My Mind”, “Crown Royal”.  She showed out when she sang “He Loves Me Lyzel in E Flat”.  It is hard for me to sit still during a show so of course I had to stand up during “Hate on Me” — that is my jam!  And the whole house stood up to participate on “Golden”.   I would definitely go and see her again!

Intermission and guess who we see?  Patti LaBelle sitting a short distance from us.  She caused a stir and I wondered why was she sitting in the crowd with the “regular folks” and not in VIP?  Oh, right . . . I was a VIP (smile).  She had a bunch of fans surrounding her and taking pictures.  Also, got a glimpse of Eric Michael Dyson who was there to enjoy the show too.  I heard that our First Lady Michelle Obama was in the house too which doesn’t surprise me since I recall she was there for the Beyonce concert too.  Nice to see the First Lady keeping it real with the music she loves.

Well, this is my 3rd time seeing Maxwell and it felt like the 1st time!  My heart was beating as his silhouette appeared on the stage.  He came out prepared to give us all he had.  However, I could tell right away that his voice was a little strained, not the same quality I remember the last two times I had seen him.  I guess it was from all of the recent touring he has done.  Don’t get me wrong, he did not disappoint.  Even on a bad day he still sounds good.  He just has that sound that makes me want to close my eyes and connect to his soul – and I did.  He was smooth in his delivery as he sang “Lifetime”, “Cold”, “This Woman’s Work” and “Fistful of Tears”. 

Maxwell likes to get grown and sexy during the 2nd half of his show and he was sure to prepare the brothas for a night of good loving.  As he stated, he was the “appetizer” to set the stage for what the brothas could get later that night.  He sang “”Til the Cops Come Knocking’” and when he sang “Stop the World” all I could do was smile.  Love Love Love this song!  During “Fortunate”, he told the couples that were there together to get up and slow dance – it was good to see a display of black love.  He closed the show with “Pretty Wings” but it was bittersweet to know that would be the last song of the evening.  I can’t wait for his next album.  Nothing like REAL singers, with REAL instruments, that’s REAL music. 

Overall the night was great!  The only issue I had with the concert was the parking.  Live Nation sponsored the event and parking was included in the price of the ticket.  After finally arriving at the Gallery Parking Center (next door to Verizon Center) I enter the garage only to be told that there are no more spaces left and that I would have to do valet.  Of course I was irritated and after a few exchanges with the attendant,  someone was leaving and I could finally park my car and get to the concert before I missed too much.  As I was walking to the venue who did I see?  Raheem Devaughn was walking towards me.  I said “hello” and he turned and smiled and replied and I kept walking.  I couldn’t figure out anything else intelligent to say and didn’t want to look like a groupie.  I was excited to see another artist that I appreciate so my frown turned into a smile. 

My only advice for Live Nation is that if they are charging a premium for the VIP experience; they need to ensure that the consumer feels they are treated as such. 

I felt good that night and did not want it to end.  Going to a concert is a true high for me and I did not want to come down.  Next fix is Liv Warfield @ Zanzibar on the Waterfront, June 24th 10:00 PM.  Soul music at its finest! http://vimeo.com/12096966

Listen . . . Feel . . . Experience!

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A dream deferred . . .

I have always had a love for music, especially live music.  Once upon a time I had planned to work as a concert promoter or some other job that would allow me to “go on the road”.  My life didn’t follow that path, however, I never lost my love for music.    As I think back to where it all started . . . my first concert was The Jackson Victory Tour.  It was held at the Denver Mile High Stadium and I was really far away from the stage.  You couldn’t tell me that Michael wasn’t singing to me!  I screamed my head off and I remember even shedding a tear or two.  That began my love for concerts and I have many memories that I cherish. 

Last week I was sitting at the Erykah Badu concert and it occurred to me that I should begin a blog about my experiences and share them with other music lovers.  I usually attend several concerts each year so I would definitely have something to blog about.  I have been so excited since I made the decision to blog.  There is nothing like doing something you love to get your juices flowing.  I can’t imagine my life without music.  I was telling a friend today that if I only had 24 hours to live I would choose to spend them on a beach listening to live music with my family. 

I hope you enjoy my concert reviews!

Listen . . . Feel . . . Experience!

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