Weezie Productions is proudly celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2011. This self-contained company which houses singer/songwriter, DJ and founder Donald Sheffey declares the sole purpose of R&B is “to soothe the soul, not abuse the mind and heart.” With six recordings, including one remix project and a Christmas single to his credit, Sheffey has focused on his mission to keep old-school R&B in its sophisticated perspective. Sheffey’s suave tenor harkens to authentic soul stirrers like Will Downing, Luther (Vandross) and Freddie Jackson, but his drive to become the complete artist sparks an extra dimension to his musical arsenal. Since Weezie’s inception, Sheffey utilizes his savvy business principles by surrounding himself with a reliable in-house team of producers, musicians, background vocalists and songwriters who share his classic R&B vision.
Sheffey kicks off Weezie’s fifth anniversary with his latest release, Between You and I, wrapped up in mid-tempo R&B delights, quiet storm pleasantries and dance floor jams. “Loving You Today” swings with pure ease, thanks to an unusually trippy drum track. The heartwarming “Gifted” reflects on women in a more important light when it comes to motherhood. Keyboardist Tony Camillo and saxophonist Scott Grimaldi create a warm instrumental picture for this samba-flavored track. Though Sheffey mostly caters to romantic lovers, he channels his inner DJ on a few occasions. While “Steppin’ Out” dishes out percolating percussive laid-back grooves, “I’m Bumping to It” whets the deep house music appetite with hardcore kick bass drum, hand claps and captivating keyboard riffs. The latter is further backed by one of the most engrossingly entertaining videos in recent memory; highlighted by a cut and paste montage of movie musicals and the famous Soul Train party line.
These are just a handful of cuts on Between You and I’s dozen tracks that seriously prove Sheffey’s heart for adult contemporary R&B is in the right place. Between You and I ushers Weezie’s fifth anniversary with welcoming arms.
Other Notable Tracks: “In Love,” “Between You and I” and “For Your Love”
Vocals: 4.0 stars
Lyrics: 3.0 stars
Music: 3.0 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended
By Peggy Oliver