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I’m really digging this group. They’re called Lion Babe. There really isn’t too much written about this group. They consist of two people, Jillian Hervey & Lucas Goodman. From what I can tell, they’ve only released a couple of singles, and they’re their own independent label. So I guess they haven’t been out that long. They released a song this year (2018) called “Honey Dew.” I really like the groove to this song. As a matter of fact, her style of Jillian’s singing reminds me a lot of Erykah Badu; that cool “poetry in motion” kind of feel. Check it out.

 




Another artist that shocked the hell out of me with his daring change to a completely different genre. When I first heard of Michael Buble, I was listening to what I believed to be his first album in 2001. The album was called “Babalu,” which I’m starting to think it’s out-of-print now, because I am having difficulty finding it on major online music stores. He does mostly Broadway show tunes, and music Standards. So, I was pretty shocked to find out he did a pop duet with Meghan Trainer in 2016, the song is called “Somebody.” It’s a very upbeat, almost bubbly song with a pop-country style tempo. It almost sound like one of those songs you’d hear in a orange Sunkist commercial. LOL It’s true… Check it out, I think it’s cute. If you’re in to music standards, I recommend that you check out Micheal’s version of “Mack The Knife,” and my favorite song called “Moondance.” He did a very nice job of reinterpreting Van Morrison‘s classic Moondance.



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Someone shared this song on Facebook the other day. What caught me was the title of the song. “Fast Car.” It’s a live cover done by a band called Boyce Avenue in 2013, of Tracy Chapman’s massive classic “Fast Car,” released in 1988. Tracy’s song is in essence about young love, and having dreams of a better future with her partner. Now, I normally hate live albums, but this particular song was done in very high acoustic quality. In fact, it almost didn’t sound live, with the exception of the cheering crowed in the background. What was wonderful about how Boyce Avenue did Tracy’s song, was that they’ve preserved every note of the song. They really didn’t change anything, in fact, he almost sounds exactly like her (spot on). I really enjoyed listening to this song, and I think Tracy fans would like it too.



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I absolutely LOVE this song!!! Ok. there is a guy I found who calls himself “Flamingosis, and he appears to be an indie artist. But, because he’s an indie artist, there isn’t a whole lot of information on him 🙁 . What I heard from him so far, is a lot of jazz/funk mixed rhythms. In 2016, Flamingosis released an album called “Pleasure Palette,” and on that album there is a song called “Finesse (Hey, Baby).” The song has very few words, but the beat, the melody, and the seventies flair, I absolutely love! To me, it has a sick rhythm that I’ve been listening to over and over, quite a few times. It’s almost like listening to an old 70s movie theme, and he updated it for a hip hop audience. I have to try and do research on the woman he used for this song; this woman can sing!! She sounds to me a lot like Linda Clifford in a way. Flamingosis has another album he released this year called “A Groovy Thing,” and he made the entire album available to hear for free on his BandCamp.



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Ok. I came across this album called “8th Wonder,” by Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band, released in 2016. Now, it’s been ages since I’ve listened to steel band music, and I do miss it actually. Steel  music is another dying art form. These days, unless you’re going to a carnival, a calypso gathering, or you live in the Trinidad/Tobago area, you’re not going to really hear steel band music. That’s a shame steel band music is really good music; and you can perform any kind of music steel instruments. Anyway, I heard BR&SB’s version of “8th Wonder,” and I said to myself I just had to share it. It’s instrumental and you can totally rock to this on the oldies dance floor! This is a reinterpretation of Sugarhill Gang’s big hit “8th Wonder,” released in 1981. There is another medley BR&SB has produced called “PIMP,” from their album 55, released also in 2016.



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Oh, my goodness! This album from Seal came as a total shock to me. Normally, when I hear about an artist that has only performed (successfully) for only 10-20 years, putting out a “Standard Album,” I start to cringe on the spot. Why? Well, Music Standards are the kind of music that you can either sound really really good, or really really bad! Especially if it’s not the kind of genre you normally sing. Standard Music also has a much lower listener base (and I mean that in a relative sense). Standard ballads today, seems like the kind of genre artist want to sing because either they’re trying to expand their career, or their current genre is fading. But I have to say that Seal has done a wonderful job on this album. He really really pulled it off. I mean, I’m not going to say it’s my most favorite album of the year, but I have to give him props…. I enjoyed listening to it very much. Now, of course the first song on the list is “Luck Be A Lady,” which is a wildly popular song standard. It seemed like he chose to sing the song in the style of the legendary Frank Sanatra. I also like the way Seal sang my favorite song “I’ll Put A Spell On You.” He sang it so soulfully that it almost sounded more like R&B instead. The song was originally sung by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (I believe). Another nice one is “I’m Beginning To See The Light,” very well done if you ask me.



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I discovered this independent artist a few days ago. His name is Curtis Harding. I really, really like his music. Well, to be honest, I was drawn by the old school energy his album offers. Even his album cover, his pose, hair, presence, is very reminiscent of the Blaxploitation era (which I love). In fact, if it were not for the tattoos, I could have easily assumed that this was a 1970s album. Released this year, his titled song “Face Your Fear,” from his album “Face Your Fear (2017),” sounds almost like I was listening to a reincarnated Curtis Mayfield. He even kind of looks like him. How eerie…. However, I could not find specific information on the late Mayfield’s children. So, I’ll just assume they’re not related. The instruments were beautifully composed, even without the lyrics it would have been enjoyable. Although, I wished he would have annunciation better on this song. I’d say the newest sounding song on this album, is the song called “Welcome To My World,” which I also like very much. I have to say that this has become my most favorite new album I’ve heard in a really long time, since Jill Scott’s album “Woman (2015).” If you’d like to support this very talented independent artist, you can purchase his album on BandCamp, or add album to your Spotify and listen.



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