The Birmingham Sound – The Soul of Neal Hemphill Vol 2

Links – www.therabbitfactory.netbirmingham-vol2

Another great set featuring a whole bunch of stuff coming out of the  Birmingham scene from the vaults of Neal Hemphill, and digging the crates with rarities, unknowns and previously unissued. 24 tracks and superbly packaged.

Ranging from upbeat thru deep all with a hard southern soul edge, but with the Birmingham stamp on it. Some fantastic tracks on here, none more so than Chuck Mitchell’s superb Let Me Be Myself. Of course, David Sea is always consistent and good and that is confirmed with the excellent Work Hard

Take My Hand by Frederick Knight is also very worthwhile, an artist that I hadn’t really cared for too much previously.  Soulful Sound of Music and Strickly Soul by Bobby Dobyne and the Barefacts are two examples of fine upbeat 60’s soul.

Set Me Free by Sam Frazier does a version of Set me Free. a song popularised in Northern Soul circles, by Ralph Jackson, who also features on an alternative version on this set, with his original version being on volume 1.  Sam’s version actually is not too different, still good though. Set Me Free (demo version)Ralph ‘Soul’ Jackson

Stop By by Chuck Mitchell is a deep soul ballad of the highest order and Chuck is fast becoming my favourite artist on this compilation.  Let’s Go To The End Together by Frankie is a wonderful sweet soul ballad.

Other tracks are  Get Up and Get At ItUnknown TestifyCortez Greer MatchboxRalph ‘Soul’ Jackson

I’m a Telling YouWes Lewis InstrumentalS.O.B. Da Da Dee Dee DaCortez Greer Everybody’s Doin’ The WormHope Parker It Slipped Right By YouFrederick Knight Oh When You Wake UpFletcher Flowers How When or WhereFrederick Knight Take Me BackSam Frazier Best Of My YearsWes Lewis Let Your Sweet Love Surround MeRalph ‘Soul’ Jackson . Knock In For A Second ChanceLee Wilson I’ve Been Lonely For So Long (demo version)Frederick Knight

I have been critical of some compilations that have dug into the vaults for the sake of rarity, ego, completeness or some other reason and issued substandard packages, which actually are detrimental rather than being positive.  I cannot say this about this set, compiled with love, but also coming out with, by and large, a fabulous quality set.

The work here is mostly deep soul, but is often quite upbeat as well — a nice change from standard modes of Memphis, Miami, or Muscle Shoals at the time — and proof that the Birmingham scene really deserves a closer look. Titles include “Best Of My Years” and “I’m A Telling You” by Wes Lewis, “Work Hard” by David Sea, “Let Me Be Myself” and “Stop By” by Chuck Mitchell, “Instrumental” by SOB, “Testify” and “Da Da Dee Dee Da” by Cortez Greer, “Let Your Sweet Love Surround Me” and “Matchbox” by Ralph Soul Jackson, “Knock In For A Second Chance” by Lee Wilson, “Set Me Free” and “Take Me Back” by Sam Frazier, “Everybody’s Doin The Worm” by Hope Parker, “Let’s Go To The End Together” by Frankie, and “How When Or Where” by Frederick Knight.

Independent Soul Divas – Independence Day


A very fine album indeed featuring lots of artists we have featured on my site over the years, friends of life and soul, some indeed are personal friends, so I’ll try not let that affect any coments.

Maya Neiada – I Need A Moment is in fact a new name to me and this track is organic percussive and quite funky, a great opener.  Chanel’s Lovely Day is majestic, a beautiful track and destined to be one of the top tracks of the year, on one level very simplistic, but on another spellbinding.

Lina’s upbeat Feel The Love has enjoyed many plays in the UK’s soul rooms and it’s place is merited on that basis.  Lea Lorien – It’s Not Easy actually comes alive on the remix, so look out for that.  D’Cheri – I’m Alive take’s you along on the vibe, is nice but doesn’t really go amywhere.

LeNora Jaye is held in very high esteem by a good number of people I know and tracks like Taking Over will help to get that view across to a wider public.  Another artist that has received some recognition in the UK is Rene Jones and Summer Day is one of her finest.

Caprisha’s Flow Like A River is light and airy, one to put a smile on your face, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  the ever wonderful (Ok so I said friendships wouldn’t get in the way of a review!) Kelli Sae’s Latina, a joyful percussive Latin track from her first album.

More R’n’B than anything on offer thus far Margot B’s Crush will keep the floor bumping at R’n’B jams.  Nikkole – Breathe is chilled right down, stripped right back, very slow and seductive – Nice.

Rena Scott – I Know It’s Right is an exclusive 2008 Remix to Lola Waxx and it exudes sheer quality, the best track on the album.  Syreeta Sha’Nee – It Is What It Is is another dancefloor R’n’B cut.  Stacye Branche – The Way You Love Me is very nice, moderately funky, doesn’t quite deliver what it promises in the first minute.
The UK’sTiny Lou concludes matters with a full on house bersion of Gypsy Woman

Great to see an album like this being put together in the UK, slightly outside the usual UK ‘box’

Link –

Info –

Independent Soul Divas

Maya says that her name means ‘Illusion’. ‘I Need A Moment’ has been a favourite at Lola Waxx for sometime. Atlanta’s Maya lists her influences as Erykah Badu and Sade and this petite powerhouse was weaned on Earth Wind & Fire, The Emotions and Teena Marie. We decided to let Maya open Independent Soul Divas with this bouncy up-tempo neo-soul joint.

Chanel’s debut ‘My Life’ topped many a European Chart and her contagious US R&B debut smash ‘I’m So Over You’ produced by Younglord (Beyonce, P.Diddy and LLCool J) got her that crucial exposure in the US market. Indie label Mapp Records is reaching out to a new generation of global listeners with its soul infused dance and R&B sound. If ever an artist represented the sound of a label, then Chanel represents the sound of Mapp. The future’s looking bright, the future’s looking Coco Chanel 😉

Los Angeles based singer songwriter and founder of Moodstar Recordings; Lina (formerly Atlantic & Hidden Beach) is actually a citizen of the world. Her style reflects this as she seamlessly manoeuvres her vocals over a number of styles from traditional jazz to neo soul. They don’t call her a ‘Vocal Chameleon’ for nothing. Taken from her ‘Morning Star’ album, ‘Feel The Love’ is a slate, which continues to ensure that this lady remains at the top of the Indie game.

New Yorker Lea Lorien’s debut single ‘How Would You Feel’ on David Morales’ ‘2 Worlds Collide’ set in 2004 topped club charts globally even knocking out Destiny’s Child and Ciara on the Billboard Dance Radio Play Chart in the US. Having worked with Mary J Blige, Brandi and collaboration with Alicia Keys, Lea is now working on her solo album. Lea’s also the voice of ‘Sunny Funny’, PaRappa The Rapper’s girlfriend on the Playstation2 game!

D’Cherie is Lina’s stable mate at Moodstar Recordings. Named after Stevie Wonder’s ‘Mi Cheri Amour’ by her aunt, this lady is surely destined for greatness! ‘I’m Alive’ is a bouncy mid-temp soulful cruise with a hint of a nu soul back groove. Rest assured D’Cheri is breaking through the ‘bump and bass flavour of modern mainstream music’.

Atlanta based LeNora Jaye’s influences span the last 40 years from Quincy Jones to Ella Fitzgerald with a dash of Funkadelic. LeNora shuns the current climate of manufactured and processed ‘rump shaking pop tarts’ with a yearning for traditional production values and original songs. ‘Taking Over’ has been receiving regular airplay on the UK’s Soul and R&B stations. Reminiscent of a laid back sweet soul vocal style of the decade that was the 1970s, ‘Taking Over’ is the real deal as is the lady herself.

Rene’s debut album ‘Chill Factor’ was received with interest on the UK soul scene and a lot of the support for this album still continues to come from the UK. Rene’s path to ‘Chill Factor’ came in three easy steps, from poet to songwriter to songstress. Well� Atlanta’s Rene makes it look effortless although we’re sure she’ll agree that a lot of hard work went into it.

The third Diva from the Moodstar ranks is Chicago native Caprisha. Now based in Los Angeles, Caprisha has travelled the globe sharing the stage with Chaka Khan, Thelma Houston and Eric Benet to name just three. ‘Flow Like A River’ does exactly what it says.

Kelli’s credentials are impeccable, Count Basic and Incognito appear on her CV. Kelli has opened stage for legends such as the late Curtis Mayfield and David Bowie not to mention that she’s performed with Tina Turner. Taken from her solo ‘Heroine’ set co-produced with Peter Lord and Jeff Smith (The Family Stand), Latina is a reflection of her Puerto Rican roots.

In 2005 Pittsburgh’s Margot B released her debut album ‘Unframed’ which has led on to her opening for the Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson and Nelly Furtado. Margot’s now on her third album and she joins Independence Day with ‘Crush’.

Who was it that once said ‘more bounce to the ounce’? Roger Troutman and Zapp! Well Los Angeles based Nikkole has more than enough bounce to go around. Since the release of her critically acclaimed album ‘A Girl Like Me’ and her infectious ‘Bounce’ single, Nikkole has been building up a strong following not only at home but in Europe and Japan. ‘Breathe’ is a smouldering groove over which Nikkole’s vocals glamorously meander. Look out for the new album Creolepatra.

A legend in her own right, Rena has worked with the legends, George Benson, Natalie Cole, and Michael Henderson. Her 1979 album on Buddah/Arista was produced by the powerhouse of Mtume and Reggie Lucas. In the 80s Rena came on board with founding Crusaders members Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper after the departure of Randy Crawford. In 2005 Rena’s career took a further boost with her highly successful, ‘Let Me Love You’ album on Amor Records and the offshoot single ‘Remember’ that powered its way up the US Billboard charts a year later. Rena’s contribution is a 2008 rework of ‘I Know It’s Right’ from that album exclusively for Lola Waxx.

The ‘Little Princess’ (that’s what Syreeta means we are told) of Hip Hop R&B based out of Atlanta is currently cooking up an ‘eclectic flavour’ of R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip Hop and Pop. ‘It Is What It Is’ has the appeal of an upbeat crossover number tailor made for radio playlists.

Everybody Loves Stacye! Her first album ‘Believe’ gathered a worldwide fan base from the UK to Japan. Her second offering ‘For The Man I Love’ (as with the first) was finger printed by Lloyd ‘The Dub LT’ Tolbert. We eagerly await her third album, which we understand charts the growth of Stacye as an artist, credible stuff indeed! Stacye’s songs often appear on movie soundtracks so next time you’re watching a Sony or Dreamworks flick, it just could be Stacye’s voice that’s setting the scene.

The UK’s rising star on the Garage, House and Breakbeat scene chips in with her cover of the 1991 Crystal Waters classic ‘Gypsy Woman’. This full length thumping Soulful House mix by Angel Farringdon nicely rounds off proceedings

Tia Dae – It’s a Nu Dae

It's A Nu Dae
Click Picture to purchase and buy

A short but very fine album from Tia Dae, a neo soul jazz artist.  I Remember is a fine opener in the organic neo soul vein.

Dance Wit Me is upbeat and has received some dancefloor action in the UK.  Natural High is the pick for me, midtempo, catchy, fingersnappy, badu-esque with nice jazz tinges on  the sax and piano.

Quiz Called Life is more percussive, near spoken in places, different vibe where jazz meets soul.  Jonezin’ and I’m Tryin’ are very moody.

It may be short but all the tracks are of a good quality.

Tracks –     Nu Dae (intro)     2 I Remember     3 Dance Wit Me     4 Natural High     5 Quiz Called Life     6 Jonezin’     7 I’m Tryin’

Links –

Info – Tia Dae is a vivacious, energetic, Neo Soul artist/entertainer blessed with the gifts for the performing arts.

Tia realized she was multi-talented at the tender age of 5. Her grandmother would always call her out when company came over so she could be the entertainment for a while. She would have Tia do everything from impersonating people to singing one of her favorite songs.

By the time Tia reached Jr. High School, she became known for her breath taking vocals. Tia began performing in local talent shows where she met then manager William Mobley, CEO of RAD records. Through Tia’s eyes her music career began to flourish. At 15 yrs old, Tia started performing at local venues like Georgia Ave Day, Unifest, and the Black Family Reunion; and was interviewed by Laura Outerbridge, from The Washington Times, May 1993.  That article appeared in the Life section of The Washington Times on May 26, 1993.  By December 1993, Tia was grabbing audiences with her classic R&B vocals and personality, and was recognized with a lengthy article primarily about her in the Northern Virginia Rhythm Entertainment Guide.  In 1994, Tia appeared “Center Stage” in The H.Y.P.E Magazine’s January issue, and later that year was a nominee at the 9th Annual WAMA (Washington Area Music Awards) Awards in the Urban Contemporary category with known artist such as Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Toni Braxton, and Tanya Blount.  By the time Tia turned 16, she was on the road with her act.  She attended the Jack the Rapper convention consecutively for two years, once in Atlanta, Ga. and then in Orlando, Fl.  Tia also had the opportunity to perform live in front of thousands of on-lookers at the Six Flags Great Adventures theme park in Jackson, New Jersey.

In early 2003 after a short hiatus from performing, Tia again went full fledged in pursuit of her music and acting career. Tia landed the role of a “Mother” in the stage play written and directed by Mr. Aaron “AJ” Jackson entitled, “Winter in Washington” (2003). This role allowed Tia to both sing & act, showcasing her diverse talents as an entertainer. By 2004, Tia landed a supporting actress role as “Mrs. Jacobs” in the independent film entitled, “In One Day”, written and directed by Mr. Michael Jones; which premiered September 2006. In August 2006, Tia was named a finalist in the 93.9 FM/WKYS competition “NEXT HIT” which was judged by on air personality Jeanie Jones and Lil Wayne from Cash Money records. She began performing “Live” around mid-fall 2006 at the L Street Lounge and the Phish Tea Cafe.  She also landed an extra role in the independent film featuring, Wood Harris, entitled “Jazz In the Diamond District”, set to premier fall 2007.

Tia signed her first recording deal with independent label Bright Vision Entertainment in April 2007. Her first commercial single “I’m Tryin/Natural High is in rotation on WHUR 96.3 FM, XM Satellite Radio’s Suite 62, Voices of America Radio, DMX Music, and Live 365 radio. Tia’s CD single is available now at I-Tunes, Kemp Mill Records, and Tia continues to perform live at venues around the DC Metro area and has been featured most recently in Rolling Out Magazine and The Washington Informer.

JEREMIAH Live @ Blue Note

Dear Friends,

It is that time again.  Join me at the Blue Note on December 15.  I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful faces.  This year has been full of many amazing concerts and experiences and I want to share them all with you on this special evening.

Many of you know that Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I love the songs, the feeling in the air, the brisk breeze and overwhelming joy.   It’s also the close of a year and the beginning of greater things to come.

Speaking of greater things, I have new music and you should be the first to hear it.  Come see me and my wonderful band and I’ll be playing piano too. (Yay!!!!!)

When: December 15, 2008

Where:  Blue Note

Time: 8pm & 10:30pm

Cost: $15

RESERVATIONS Highly Recommended

Jeremiah – voice/piano
Marvin Sewell – guitar
Keith Witty – bass
Chris Eddleton – drums

I look forward to seeing you all.  If you are bringing friends, you might want to have them be familiar with some of the music.  You can direct them to, where they can get their copy of The Momentary Now.

In music,


Echoes Magazine UK: Darien Album Reviews, New Music and….Show?

Greetings my people,

It has been a long minute since we sent out a Blast so as you see I am not a spammer:) I only send out blast when there is something to share. We have been working hard and Well, I have Great News to share. Attached is an article from Echoes Magazine in the UK which is a Black Music Monthly. There is an amazing write up. Check it out and let me know your thoughts. A Special Thank You goes out to Curtis in Maryland who read the article and reached out to us and actually sent us a copy of the Magazine. Really Appreciate that. Also, shout out tp Rah from SoulBeautiful in the UK who has supported us from the start. She will be in NYC in December. Definitely great peoples.

This is another great review by Mike Ashley in the UK. He received the album at a conference and wrote this Incredible review. Click onto the picture to see who Darien sat on the panel with.

A very Special Thank You Goes to DJ Big Dose in Virginia of the Sol Kafe who played Darien’s music on his syndicated radio show which plays in several markets. Here is where you can hear Big Dose’s radio show and Darien’s music:

WKUS/ Norfolk
WKKV/ Milwaukee
WBTJ/ Richmond
WKSP/ Augusta
WSTI/ Valdosta
WOWE/ Flint
WZZA/ Tuscambia, AL

Lastly, another Darien song has just been released overseas in the UK by a producer named SoulPersona who produced “Showya” on Darien’s album. The new song is called “Can’t Hide”. Here is a link to a great podcast from a UK DJ named Son Of Soul and he plays “Can’t Hide” as the first song. It is an amazing podcast and if you like Soul Music and R&B, you should all subscribe to it. Let me know what you think about the song, “Can’t Hide”.

That’s it for now But stayed tuned for more Darien News. Oh Yeah…BTW….Mark Your Calendars….

Darien will be performing at The Blue Note in NYC on February 6th, 2009!!!!!!! Will keep you posted.

Peace and Blessings,
Miles Anthony
Righteous Music Media, LLC
P.O.Box 2341
New York, NY 10185

646-319-1556 Cell
347-431-9651 Business
212-642-5143 VM
212-642-5343 Fax

Music Is Love Elevating Souls (MP3 Files) (Messages) (EMAIL/MAILING LISTS)

Greetings My Peoples,

La Sonya LIVE!!!! in ATL @Moods Music Store on Soul Commune

La Sonya Gunter has invited you to the event ‘La Sonya LIVE!!!! in ATL @Moods Music Store’

Check out “La Sonya LIVE!!!! in ATL @Moods Music Store”

La Sonya Gunter

La Sonya LIVE!!!! in ATL @Moods Music Store Time: November 30, 2008 from 3pm to 4pm
Location: Moods Music Store, Little Five points, ATL
Organized By: La Sonya Gunter

Event Description:
I will be performing songs from my new CD ” CRAZYBEAUTIFUL”