First Listen: Ronnie Wright is grooving "North of Cali"

(November 25, 2020) Ronnie Wright’s “North Of Cali” is a love letter to his home region that begins with an acknowledgement to his unexpected response when people attempt to figure out where he is from. Wright hails from Portland and he proudly represents the entire region, from The City of Roses to Seattle on “North Of Cali.” Of course, SoulTrackers have long about the talented artists residing in the unlikely soul hotspot of Portland – in large part because of the efforts of Ronnie ‘aka Bespeak’ Wright. I was fortunate to review Wright’s highly regarded compilation project Bespeak Love back in 2015 that provided platform for several Portland based artists to showcase their talents.

(November 25, 2020) Ronnie Wright’s “North Of Cali” is a love letter to his home region that begins with an acknowledgement to his unexpected response when people attempt to figure out where he is from. Wright hails from Portland and he proudly represents the entire region, from The City of Roses to Seattle on “North Of Cali.” Of course, SoulTrackers have long about the talented artists residing in the unlikely soul hotspot of Portland – in large part because of the efforts of Ronnie ‘aka Bespeak’ Wright. I was fortunate to review Wright’s highly regarded compilation project Bespeak Love back in 2015 that provided platform for several Portland based artists to showcase their talents.

The husky voiced singer sets up a situation where he meets an attractive young lady and they begin a conversation that concludes with her asking if he’s from LA, Oakland or Frisco. Wright lets her know that he’s from the Great Northwest and then goes on to sing the praises of the Oregon/Washington area on a track that pairs his old soul vocals with the rapid fire flow of hip-hop artist Vursatyl The Great who contributes a rap that name checks regional legends ranging from Damon Stoudamire, who was born in Portland, to Quincy Jones, who moved to Washington state from Chicago as a teen. “North Of Cali” is a catchy and informative reminder that Rose City and Emerald City soul is here to stay.

By Howard Dukes

Ronnie Wright - "North of Cali"

 
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