January 2008 Soul Music Newsletter!

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    SoulTracks Soul Music Newsletter January 2008
    SoulTracks Soul Music Newsletter January 2008

    Happy New Year SoulTrackers!

      2007 was a tremendous year for SoulTracks and for Soul Music in general.  We had a great time listening to a fantastic year's worth of music.   Well, 2008 is shaping up to be another terrific year, as a number of artists are planning new releases.  But this month's newsletter will highlight the last of the great discs of '07.    So kick back and enjoy your monthly dose of Soul!  



    New Music Reviews boyz ii men

    Boyz II MenThey were the biggest soul group of the 90s, and the trio returns to their Motown roots with a new album of Detroit cover songs that our L. Michael Gipson says is a true return to form.    

    Ayo - With both European and African roots, acoustic soul singer Ayo has come out of nowhere with an appealing new album called Joyful. See Howard Dukes' review of the new chanteuse.

    Mary J Blige -  The Queen of Hip-Hop has long also been the mary j bligeQueen of Drama, but Mary J continues the development she showed in The Breakthrough with her newest album, Growing Pains. 

    Aretha Franklin - That other Queen, the one of Soul, has released a disc of long lost music from the Golden Age of Soul that is simply amazing.  See our review.  

    Thomas McClary - Last seen as the guitarist for thethomas mcclary Commodores, Thomas McClary has reemerged with an excellent spiritual album that our Vernita Naylor says pushes the definition of Gospel music to pick up various forms of music.  Check out our review.  

    Jua - Maryland-based singer Jua is following in the soulful love song tradition of Luther, Will and Freddie with his debut album, Anticipation.  

    The Temptations - The biggest sotemptationsul group in history returns with their 61st album, an excellent album of soul remakes. See our review.  

    Black i - Eric Brown and Michael Griot have been working with artists ranging from Angie Stone to Omar, but have only now come to the front with their own band, Black i, and our Akim Bryant says its is a worthy debut.  

    O'Bryan20 years after his last hobryanit, O'Bryan returns with an independent album that shows he can still bring it in the 21st Century. Check out our review.  

    Amp Fiddler - Detroit's best kept secret has been a star in Europe for years, but his newest album should let stateside fans know what all the fuss is about.  

    Robbi Spencer - She's been a model Robbi Spencerand a pro football cheerleader, but Robbi Spencer shows with her debut album that she's also a singer/songwriter worth noting.  

    DeWayne Woods - Gospel singer DeWayne Woods overcame an HIV diagnosis nearly 15 years ago and has become one of the bright stars of Gospel music.  

    Amy Winehouse - She was one of the big stamy winehouseories of 2007, so her 2003 debut, Frank, has been re-released, and our Akim Bryant says it is an album worth revisiting.  

    Hezekiah Walker - And speaking of Gospel stars, Hezekiah Walker is one of the biggest, and his new career retrospective reminds us of his fanstastic output of his long and distinguished career.    

    Soccorro - Talented young sisoccorronger Soccorro has successfully used technology to augment her attractive voice and help provide her with an auspicious debut album.  See our review.  

    Also check out reviews of new albums by the All-Stars Collective, Donald Shaw and Soul Basement, as well as the latest goings on in Soul Music in our our News Section , including a Soul Communicator piece on Deb Hinds of Planet Soul and a tribute to deceased Soul music publicist Yolanda Bennett.


    Where Are They Now? 

    THE JONES GIRLSjones girlsThey were beautiful and elegant, but it was their heavenly harmonies that sent their fans swooning.  The Jones Girls started in Detroit and became stars in Philadelphia, singing such fantastic hits as "Nights Over Egypt," "I Just Love The Man" and "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else."  But the hits stopped in the mid-80s as the sisters split to raise their families. 

    Now remaining sisters Shirley and Brenda are each busy again with their careers, and we were glad to catch up with them. So come check out what's up with these talented ladies.  Click Here to see our Where Are They Now? Feature

    SoulTracks Popularity Index

    HathawayDonny Hathaway is a soul legend whose shadow has continued to grow nearly three decades after his death, and it showed in December, where he was the most popular artist on SoulTracks, with literally thousands of soul music fans coming to read about and remember him.  Click Here to see this month's Popularity Index, with our top 25 artists.


    Featured Artist Rachael Bell  Rachael Bell

    With artists like Sade and Tracy Chapman largely quiet these days, audiences have discovered the acoustic sounds of the new group Rueben's Thread featuring Rachael Bell.  They've released an excellent album in Colour Me Blue and we're proud to be offering the single "It's About Time" as this month's Choice Track FREE DOWNLOAD.  And this week she's also our deserving Featured Artist.


    The SoulTracks Top Ten CDs

     frank mccomb live  Frank McComb

    Frank McComb has long been a favorite of SoulTrackers, but he took it over the top in December with the release of his new Live In Atlanta album, which became one of our biggest sellers EVER and took the top spot this month. 

    And there was a complete shake-up in this month's top 10, with a full SIX new entries by artists ranging from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings to new Euro artist Seven.To see the entire Top Ten Chart, CLICK HERE.

    CD of the Month

     Malik Alston Malik Alston  

    Singer/songwriter/producer Malik Alston has been a vital part of Detroit's music community for a decade.  With a touch of Roy Ayers or early Earth, Wind & Fire along with his own unique stylings, Malik has just released perhaps his finest work in This Music Is Life -- and the rest of the world just has to find out about this bursting talent. So we're proud to be introducing SoulTrackers to this album as our CD of the Month, at an incredible price and with Free Shipping to boot.  So click here to listen to or purchase this fantastic release

    Join Our Mailing List
    More mp3s! mp3 Many SoulTrackers are getting more and more into downloading mp3s.  Well, we now have added more features to help your downloading. For most artists, we have links to iTunes and to Amazon or CD Baby for your downloading pleasure.  And the best news is that the new downloads on Amazon and CD Baby are "DRM-Free," meaning that they can be played on ANY mp3 player, not just iPods.  So enjoy!  
    Video of the Month - Kinsman Dazz Band - "Wake Up"
    Song of the Month - Darnell Kendricks - "What a Wonderful Night"
    Listen Now! - The Fresh Soul Playlist