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Tag: Soul (1-10 of 85)

Hip-hop-loving soul group the O'My's share 'Rise Up Singing (A Beautiful Thing)' -- exclusive


The O’My’s occupy an interesting place in Chicago music. They’re deep into the city’s thriving soul scene, but they’re also tightly woven into its hip-hop community, where the chilly electronics of the drill sound have started to give way to a warmer, more organic live-band approach championed by local hero Chance the Rapper, one of several MCs with whom the group has collaborated.

Last year, the O’My’s suffered a serious trauma when their tour van flipped. Fortunately, all of the members survived, and they’ve channeled the experience into their upcoming album Keeping the Faith, due out in February, which seems likely to find the group an enthusiastic audience outside of Cook county. Its lead single “Rise Up Singing (A Beautiful Thing)” reflects the group’s irrepressibly optimistic philosophy in a funky psychedelic groove reminiscent of Sly’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On. If you need a song to help ease you into listening to other music after binging on the new D’Angelo record, here it is.


Daptone Records celebrates 3 nights at the Apollo with a free mixtape download


In the dozen or so years that Daptone Records has been in business, the Brooklyn label has assembled a roster of talent specializing in vintage funk and soul to rival any of the countless independent labels that worked in the shadow of Motown and Stax back in the day, including veteran performers Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, and Charles Bradley alongside newer acts like Antibalas and The Budos Band. In the process, they’ve helped to kick start a revival of vintage soul sounds that you can hear reverberating everywhere from underground dance parties to throwback-sounding hits by Meghan Trainor and Amy Winehouse (who worked with Jones’s backing band The Dap-Kings).

For a project with such wide-ranging success, Daptone had a humble start. “It was a bunch of musicians who worked together before,” says Gabriel Roth, who founded the label alongside his Dap-Kings bandmate Neal Sugarman. “We were just recording our own stuff and putting out 45’s and stuff.”


Gedeon Luke shares a beginner's guide to soul and gospel


If any one city can claim to be the spiritual home of soul music, it’s Memphis, where R&B, blues, and gospel have been commingling for generations. Memphis native Gedeon Luke is a student of his hometown’s soulful history, and with his band the People he makes music—like their recent full-length debut Live Free & Lovethat not only replicates classic soul’s rich, organic tones but also the crucial blend of spirituality and sensuality that’s fueled the genre’s most important works. Ever an energetic proselytizer for the form, Luke made EW a primer on the soul and gospel music that inspires him.


Grace Weber made us a playlist celebrating New York City

Musician and Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Grace Weber has operated out of New York for several years now, first attending school at New York University before settling into Brooklyn. Her soul-infused sound comes from a life of performing, including time in a children’s gospel choir in her adolescence, but the influence of her new home has made a clear impact on her work.

Weber’s first album Hope & Heart debuted the artist high on the singer/songwriter and heatseeker Billboard charts in 2011, and the musician is currently preparing for her sophomore release, The Refinery, to arrive on Oct. 7. Weber has given fans a peek at what’s to come with the album’s first single, “Perfect Stranger.”

Before The Refinery arrives, Weber will perform on Sept. 8 for HELLO Harlem, a charity supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. In keeping with the New York roots Weber has planted, she created a playlist for EW full of artists who capture the highs and lows of the city she now calls home.


Video: Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens' soulful 'Sinner'

Naomi Shelton has been singing professionally for over five decades, beginning in the midst of the early-’60s soul-music explosion, where she was inspired by the likes of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, and later expanding into gospel. Since 1999, she’s been fronting the long-running vocal group the Queens, which has since been rechristened Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens.

Backed by a band that includes former side men for Pickett, Sam Cooke, and James Brown, Shelton and the Queens have just recorded their sophomore record for leading soul revivalists Daptone Records. Cold World walks the blurry line between gospel and classic R&B that artists and ideas have been crossing back and forth for ages, with a rich, warm-blooded sound that comes in part from having tracked the songs live to analog tape. Shelton’s voice remains an impressive instrument, and the pleading vocal part on the album’s lead single, “Sinner,” is an ideal setting to show it off.


Singer Sharon Jones diagnosed with bile cancer, cancels upcoming tour and album

Sad — but cautiously optimistic — news for fans of Sharon Jones and her band the Dap-Kings: the acclaimed soul singer, 57, announced today that she has stage-one bile cancer.

According to a statement by her rep, Jones’ illness has “fortunately been discovered early and has not spread. It is expected that the immediate proposed surgical solution will lead to a full recovery, but because of its invasive and complex nature, will necessitate a rather lengthy convalescence. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings will be back before you know it, with a new release date and rescheduled tours worldwide.”

The release also features an upbeat quote from the singer:

“Over the last few weeks I haven’t felt good and I didn’t know what was going on.  We sadly had to cancel shows while I went through a series of tests and short hospital stays.   We just found out that I have a stage-one tumor on my bile duct.  Luckily we caught it really early and fast and the doctors say it’s operable and curable!  
I will be having surgery very soon and will have to rest and recover.  I’ll be staying in touch and keeping my fans and friends updated on my progress.  I’m looking forward to getting back on the road to give the people what they want!”

Jones, a former longtime corrections officer at New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail, came to music professionally later than most of her peers, but quickly made up for lost time, releasing five critically lauded albums and becoming known for her joyous, funk-heavy live performances.

Before Jones’ diagnosis, the group’s sixth album, Give The People What They Want, was scheduled to be released Aug. 6.

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In honor of her death one year ago, listen to our Amy Winehouse playlist

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s only been a year since the talented and troubled British singer Amy Winehouse passed away at the age of 27.

The mark she left on the musical landscape is considerable (she helped usher the United Kingdom’s ongoing explosion of soul and R&B singers, and everyone from Patti Smith to Green Day have dedicated songs to her), and her absence has been felt more deeply thanks to string of posthumously released material, including a Grammy-winning duet with Tony Bennett and a collab or two with Nas.

There are many ways to remember Winehouse’s life. One great way is by donating to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which provides “help, support or care for young people, especially those who are in need by reason of ill health, disability, financial disadvantage or addiction.”

Of course, another way to honor the singer is to listen to her music. She was only able to put out two albums (2003′ Frank and 2006’s platinum breakout Back in Black) in her lifetime, but she still supplied us with more than enough great songs. Combined with cuts from last year’s Lioness collection and a cameo on this year’s Nas album Life is Good, our playlist of Amy Winehouse favorites is worth a spin of three today.

Give it a listen with the Spotify player below:


TV Jukebox: 'Don't Trust the B-- in Apartment 23,' 'Magic City,' 'Girls,' and more music-on-TV moments

Behind every great lady there’s a great man singing behind her — at least that was the case for most of this week’s Jukebox. In one instance, there was even a man singing as a lady (welcome back, Glee!). This week saw one particularly untrustworthy B—- in Apartment 23, a new slew of Girls, a masseuse with a heart of gold (The Client List), and a Scandal-ous Beltway fixer with brass… well, you get where I’m going. To paraphrase the great Aretha Franklin, sisters were doing it for themselves — with the help of artists as diverse as The Clash, Sleigh Bells, Paddy Casey, and Otis Redding, of course. Check out our picks below, and make sure to click through to the last page to listen to all the songs in our customized Spotify playlist. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!) READ FULL STORY

TV Jukebox: 'Mad Men,' 'Supernatural,' 'Missing,' and more music-on-TV moments

Old-school tracks were the name of the game more often than not these past few weeks. Whether your definition of “old-school” translates to proper Mad Men-era tunes heard on the AMC hit, Scandal, and Supernatural, or ’80s classics as seen on Happy Endings and One Tree Hill, this week’s Jukebox offers up a retro rave fit for anybody. Of course there were plenty of contemporary jams, too: MCs from London and the Bronx on Breakout KingsCSI: NY, and 90210, TV darlings Sleigh Bells on The Vampire Diaries, and Portland indie rockers Novosti on Missing, plus “show tunes” from GCB and Gossip Girl. Check out our picks below. (Warning for those still catching up on DVR: SPOILERS ahead!)


Encore! President Obama sings again -- VIDEO

President Barack Obama has officially given the White House a much, much cooler soundtrack. (“Hail to the Chief” does get a little repetitive after a while.) Just one month after the Commander-in-Chief wowed us all with a few bars of Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” at New York City’s famed Apollo Theater, the POTUS serenaded the nation once again.

With a little nudging from performers like B.B. King, Mick Jagger, and Buddy Guy (how could he even say no?) President Obama sang a few lines from Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” last night during a White House blues concert in honor of Black History Month.

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