R&B / Soul
Thundercat is set to release his new album It Is What It Is on Brainfeeder Records on April 3, 2020, and shares the first music; 'Black Qualls (featuring Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington). The album, produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. It Is What It Is follows his game-changing third album Drunk (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. 'This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,' Bruner says. 'It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don't necessarily understand' some things just aren't meant to be understood.'
From the first second of Kandace Springs' new album — as those warm, hand-plucked bass notes fill the air — you know you've arrived at something different. And once she starts singing, well, it's pretty clear The Women Who Raised Me exists apart from the normal rules that govern space, time, and talent. While 2018's Indigo LP found the Nashville singer-pianist using modern production to bend sound into new genre forms in collaboration with Karriem Riggins, this set adheres sonically to jazz while Springs travels back and forth across a near-century of music. While the feel is as rich and complex as our host's voice, the concept is simple. Springs covers the women who inspired her while she was growing up, putting her own spin on songs associated with a dozen of the greatest female vocalists of all-time: Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Astrud Gilberto, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Carmen McRae, Bonnie Raitt, Sade, Nina Simone, and Dusty Springfield.
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Jessie Reyez will unveil her debut album Before Love Came To Kill Us on March 27th. The album includes the RIAA Gold-certified single "Imported" with 6LACK and capitalizes on the release of the acclaimed Kiddo and Being Human in Public EPs which have garnered more than 750 million combined global streams to date. The Toronto-born, Colombian-bred powerhouse has racked up award nominations and wins including Juno Awards (Breakthrough Artist winner), MTV Video Music Awards, BET Awards, iHeart Radio Music Awards and more. She's also flexed her songwriting prowess on records for other artists including Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa's "One Kiss", Calvin Harris & Sam Smith "Promises", Normani's "Slow Down" and more. Her list of collaborators include Eminem, Daniel Caesar, 6LACK, Kehlani, Karol G, Tainy, Pink $weats and more.
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Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce the release of a vinyl box set celebrating one of music’s greatest gospel and soul groups, The Staple Singers. Set for a December 6th release date, Come Go With Me: The Stax Collection presents all of the group’s studio albums released on the iconic Memphis label, spanning 1968–1974, and features the Staples’ biggest hits, including “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself” and “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me).” The six studio albums were cut from the original analog masters by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl. The final, seventh disc offers rarities, non-album singles and several live recordings from the legendary 1972 Wattstax music festival. The seven discs come in heavyweight 180-gram vinylpressed at Memphis Record Pressing. Housed in a slipcase, the collection also includes a deluxe booklet with archival photos and new liner notes from American music specialist and curator Levon Williams (formerly of the Stax Museum and the National Museum of African American Music), and folklorist, ethnomusicologist and writer Dr. Langston Wilkins. The complete collection will also be released digitally, and the six studio albums will be available in hi-res 24-bit/192 kHz and 24-bit/96 kHz formats for the first time.
Tracks on B.B. King Remastered from the Archives include Everyday I Have The Blues from a 1958 Los Angeles gig with The Count Basie Orchestra and Walkin And Cryin from a Memphis performance in 1950 with Nelson on keys, joined by James Walker on bass and E.A. Kemp on drums. Remastered by multiple Grammy Award winning Mastering Engineer, Vlado Meller, whose credits stretch back over four decades and include releases Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, and many more.
The album features newly-remastered recordings of the Blues Hall of Famer from 1950 through 1960, taken from performances in Memphis and Los Angeles along with an all-star cast of sidemen, including drummer Jesse Sailes, saxophonists Richard Sanders and Solomon Hardy, pianists Lloyd Glenn and Ford Nelson, and The Count Basie Orchestra.
King first came to the attention of the wider public when he opened for The Rolling Stones on their 1969 tour of America. Inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, King left behind a deep and intricate legacy of classic recordings. Since his passing in 2015, collectors and blues enthusiasts have been avidly searching for remastered performances with alternate takes and improvisations.
The platter is the flagship release for new label Red Bank Records, in Red Bank, NJ, home of the Count Basie Theater. The label is dedicated to remastering and restoring classic recordings from the early days of popular music. For distribution and label services, Red Bank Records has teamed up with Monostereo to bring its albums to market. In turn, Monostereo connected Red Bank to its mastering partner, Vlado Meller Mastering of Charleston, SC, to remaster these classic recordings for this special vinyl release.
Michael Jackson's Scream is the perfect collection of 13 all-time electrifying dance classics and fan favorites from The King of Pop on one album, including "Ghosts," "Thriller," "Dirty Diana" and more. The album also includes a brand-new bonus track: the five-song mash-up "Blood On The Dance Floor X Dangerous (The White Panda Mash-Up)." Fans can unlock an immersive Scream augmented reality experience with their mobile device and the collectible poster in this package!
The funk runs deep and rich on "World Wide Funk," Bootsy Collins' first studio album since 2011's "Tha Funk Capital of the World". Populated with musical friends old and new, and recorded in his Cincinnati home's Bootzilla Re-hab studio, "World Wide Funk" marks both a reckoning and significant reboot, if you will, for the Rhinestone Rock Star Monster of a doll baby baba! Blue-chip rappers like Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Quik, Dru Down, and Chuck D, along with guitar shedder Buckethead join a Bootsy-curated posse of fresh new artists on a record that embraces everything from the classic P-Funk sound Bootsy pioneered to the closest Collins has ever come to radio-active, boots on the ground friendly fire in a musical-P-rated-adventure. World Wide Funk will be released worldwide on Mascot Records on October 27, 2017 on CD, vinyl, digital download and streaming.
Let Love Rule is another captivating new album from Verve Records recording artist and nine-time Grammy nominated powerhouse Ledisi. This compilation of soul stirring, genre bending music fuses together both contemporary and traditional R&B. Let Love Rule redefines Ledisis sound, while still featuring her trademark vocals, echoing everything from seventies-style soul to 21st century bounce. Executive produced by Ledisi and longtime collaborator Rex Rideout, with tracks from DJ Camper, BJ the Chicago Kid, Kirk Franklin and John Legend. Let Love Rule will engage listeners, captivate their hearts, and move their souls with every listen.
Musiq’s no nonsense conversational songwriting style and buttery vocals earned him a recording contract as he took on an illuminating, life-changing last name. Musiq Soulchild was born. Everything down to his meticulous throwback soul man image (his trademark apple jack cap and designer shades) screamed SUPERSTAR. Soon Musiq’s name was being mentioned alongside modern day R&B royalty like Erykah Badu, R. Kelly, Usher, D’Angelo, Maxwell, and Jill Scott. But he wanted more. “Truthfully, the success I had out the gate was different than how people now make it out to be,” Musiq recalls. “I didn’t have a chance to revel in that amazing moment of having my first two albums go platinum. I was dealing with political issues, writers, producers, and managers. The labels were trying to get me to be something that I didn’t want to be. I’m from the streets, so I wasn’t use to people telling me what to do [laughs]. It turned into, ‘Well, if you want this check you might want to compromise.’ But even with that negative experience, I got to do what I love, which is inspire people.” Musiq Soulchild’s Grammy nominated Life on Earth in 2016 represented an intriguing chapter in the striking career of an artist who continues to search for new muses; new sounds. With “Feel The Real” the future is now.
*Previously unavailable on CD
** Previously unreleased
The two-disc set features 40 songs from Prince's tenure with Warner Bros. Records and features recordings from all of his albums between 1978's For You and 1992's Love Symbol Album. It is the first Prince collection to include his number-one hit single "Batdance" from the soundtrack album to the 1989 film Batman as well as being the first official release of the song "Moonbeam Levels", which had previously circulated on bootlegs of Prince's unreleased material in a low-quality form. The song had been recorded in 1982 during the sessions for 1999 and was subsequently considered for the unreleased 1989 album Rave unto the Joy Fantastic.-Wikipedia
Charged up by gospel grandiosity, sun-kissed island grooves, and R&B soul, Nicole Bus wields such a voice. An empathetic writer, powerhouse vocalist, talented multi-instrumentalist, and impassioned performer, the Dutch-born multicultural songstress delivers a striking signature style on her 2019 debut for Roc Nation. It paved the way for her debut album, KAIROS, which Nicole co-executive-produced and co-produced along with Needlz who produced the entire album.
Rising superstar and multi-platinum singer Jacquees will release his second full-length R&B album, King of R&B, on December 20th on Cash Money Records. For the album, he attracted an A-list crop of collaborators, including Atlanta royalty T.I. who delivers an unforgettable verse on the aptly titled "King," Tory Lanez who lends his unmistakable vocals to "Risk It All." While Bluff City and Migos front-man Quavo appear on the heartfelt "All You Need."
Multi-platinum artist Trippie Redd defies conventions with lovelorn melodies and bulletproof rapping. Since emerging two years ago, Trippie has racked up platinum singles and 5 billion streams. His second official album ! is set to release on 8/09 (11/08 on Vinyl) featuring singles “Mac 10 (feat. Lil Baby and Lil Duke)” and “Under Enemy Arms” which alone drew over 32 million streams. The Source claimed, “[Under Enemy Arms] itself is a turn-up”. Features on ! also include Playboi Carti, The Game and Coi Leray.
Allen Stone’s “Building Balance” is his first new album in 4 years, spanning a time period spent figuring out how the old parts and the new parts of his universe were going to co-exist. For Building Balance he worked with Grammywinning producer Nasri as well as Jamie Lidell. Stone continues to draw inspiration from '70s funk and soul with current flexes, sitting amid D'Angelo in its sultrier moments, Stevie Wonder at its most melodic and the production of Mark Ronson at its most modern.
Mavis Staples returns with a brand new studio album produced and written by Ben Harper. Backed by Mavis’ critically acclaimed live band, We Get By features 10 songs of longing, strength, and spirituality, presented with simplicity, grit and sublime beauty. Highlights include the buoyant, “Anytime”, the cathartic, “Change”, and the title track, an uplifting duet with Ben Harper.
While he was working on Oxnard, the ever-ambitious Anderson .Paak was recording Ventura at the same time. As he explains it, both albums showcase the duality that has inspired the Grammy-award winning artist throughout his career. “Growing up in Oxnard gave me the grit and the church to find this voice of mine. One town over I went further and found my depth. [I] held one [album] back because that would have been too many songs to perform live!” Now with a more soulful sound representative of the beautiful, scenic Ventura, Anderson .Paak gives us “King James”, “Make It Better”, and more – with features including Smokey Robinson, André 3000, Nate Dogg among others. Welcome to Ventura!
Buoyed by the smashing success of his recent trio of EPs – The Monologue, The Paradox and The Boy Who Cried Freedom – Nigerian-born British singer-songwriter Jacob Banks released his eagerly awaited full album debut, Village, on Interscope Records. Jacob’s powerful vocals and genre-bending style quickly received widespread praise everywhere from Billboard, The FADER, Complex, Interview, PAPER and NYLON, and TIME Magazine. This fall Jacob will embark on the Village worldwide tour.
Charles Bradley's forthcoming LP, Black Velvet is an extraordinary collection of 10 tracks making their LP debut. In addition to fan favorites like Charles covers of Nirvanas 'Stay Away', Neil Young's 'Heart Of Gold', and Rodriguez's 'Slip Away' - this album features 4 never-before-heard tracks from Producer Tommy 'TNT' Brenneck's vaults.
If life was at all fair Ural Thomas would be a household name, his music slotted into countless sweet, seductive mixtapes between James Brown, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder (all of whom Thomas has performed with.) Straddling the line between hot soul shouter and velvety-smooth crooner, Thomas released a few singles in the late 60’s and early 70’s; most notably “Can You Dig It”, which featured backing vocals from soul luminaries Merry Clayton, Mary Wells and Brenda Holloway. Thomas played over forty shows at the legendary Apollo Theater before turning his back on an unkind business and heading home to Portland, OR. It goes without saying that a man practically built out of rhythm would never stop playing music. Thomas began hosting a regular Sunday night jam session at his home that ran for nearly twenty years. A de facto mentor to many of the younger players, Thomas reminds us all that “If you care about what you’re doing, you need to build those muscles and do the work. Don’t get discouraged, do it for love. Even if you’re digging ditches, do it with passion.” In 2014, local soul DJ Scott Magee sat in on drums. The two became fast friends and at Magee’s urging Thomas decided to give his musical career another shot. Magee became the musical director, they put together a band, and in 2016 released a self-titled album on Mississippi Records. In 2017 Thomas signed with Tender Loving Empire and began work on what, in many respects, will be his debut full length. Diving deep into lifetime of melodic creativity, Thomas and his band got to work. Recorded in Magee’s studio Arthur’s Attic, The Right Time features the air-tight work of Magee on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, Bruce Withycombe (The Decemberists) on baritone sax, Portland jazz scene fixture Brent Martens on guitars and vibraphone, Arcellus Sykes on bass, Steve Aman (Lady Rizo) on piano and organ, Dave Monnie on trumpet, Willie Matheis (Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) on tenor sax, and Jasine Rimmel, Joy Pearson, Sarah King, Rebecca Marie Miller on backing vocals. The Arco Quartet performed the strings, and the record was engineered and mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Blitzen Trapper) and mastered by JJ Golden (Sharon Jones, Ty Segall). One might think after a sizeable taste of early success Thomas would be more than a touch bitter – yet the opposite is true. “We have to be positive if we want the world to get better” Thomas advises. “We’ve come a long way, but if you carry a grudge with the whole world you’ll stop your growth. We’re a family, all just brothers and sisters, descendants of Adam. You can’t get anywhere without an open heart.” A developing artist at nearly eighty years old, for Thomas music has always been about bringing people together. “If we play for twenty people we cook it like it’s twenty thousand” says Thomas. “If we make someone smile we’re satisfied. They’re ain’t no difference between us. It’s all love and brotherhood. If folks listen to my record and feel that I’ll feel very blessed.” Standing in bold defiance of the idea that aging is a reason to slow down and stop living, for Thomas the right time to get down is the next time someone plugs in a guitar or puts on a record. Ural is ready – are you?
HIVE MIND is the new album from THE INTERNET, and is the follow up to 2015's critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated album Ego Death. With this new album, THE INTERNET present enormous growth in their creative chemistry and prove they are a five-person force whose singular talents created one phenomenal whole. The album is written and produced entirely by THE INTERNET - Syd (vocalist/songwriter), Matt Martians (producer), Steve Lacy (guitarist/vocalist/songwriter), Patrick Paige II (songwriter/bassist), and Christopher Smith (songwriter/drummer). And it is with a sense of togetherness - not just for them, but for everyone - that the band chose to highlight as a major theme for Hive Mind. "After making a few songs we realized that we really want to use this album to live by example and promote camaraderie amongst young black people," Syd reveals. "We realized that we're the only band of our kind. And we want to really solidify ourselves as that, as the best." With the chaos of the current world considered, all of THE INTERNET wanted to champion good feelings and the joy of following your heart and passions, in addition to using their own positive relationships and experiences to inspire their community. The band unearthed an even deeper purpose as they collaborated on HIVE MIND. The result is not just one of the greatest records in the band s already phenomenal catalogue, but is easily one of the best albums of 2018, from five amazing people already leaving an indelible mark on pop music.
AT LONG LAST
A new offering from the incomparable voice of Peabo Bryson… STAND FOR LOVE
Peabo Bryson has established a career as one of the premier male vocalists in contemporary music of the last quarter century. Possessing a beautifully rich, almost operatic voice, this two-time Grammy Award-winner has survived and prospered despite the passage of time and changes in popular musical trends.
With twenty albums to his credit, Peabo Bryson has enjoyed an unprecedented, across-the-board level of international success, Bryson has the distinction of being the first artist in music history to have separate records topping four different charts.
Unstoppable is both a celebration of Staton's legacy and a bold step forward, with a sound that's funky and contemporary, but still steeped in the Southern soul and blues of her Alabama roots. Featuring an ace rhythm section made up of Staton's sons, bassist Marcel Williams and drummer Marcus Williams (Isaac Hayes, Pointer Sisters), the album reunites the singer with producer Mark Nevers (Lambchop), who helmed His Hands (2006) and Who's Hurting Now (2009), the critically acclaimed albums for London label Honest Jon's that reestablished Staton as a force to be reckoned with. But where those albums showcased Staton's skills as an interpreter of bluesy ballads, Unstoppable which Marcus Williams co-produced with Nevers is a more celebratory, uptempo set. 'It's my kind of music,' she says proudly. 'It's more of a happy record, a dancing record.'
Joey Dosik honed his craft as part of a burgeoning Los Angeles scene that reinvents classic popular music to thrive in the present tense. With Inside Voice, Dosik delivers a level of depth rarely achieved in a debut, and the result is an instant classic by any standard. It’s brimming with emotions that linger and hum. It’s catchy as hell and can haunt you for days. You can take a casual listen or spend hours on repeat. Either way, Inside Voice will get you, because Joey Dosik writes human music for human beings. And boy does he write the hell out of it. Title track “Inside Voice” builds gradually into 1970s-style soul, as Dosik’s remarkable vocal range hovers over a sparse arrangement. It’s quiet but — in keeping with the song’s concept, which Dosik describes as “deep, sexual, but also kind of silly”— it’s also a thrilling, intimate moment. “Take Mine” plays with negative space and a repetitive, gut-punching melody; what feels like a love song is actually a plea for unity against the turbulent backdrop of present-day politics. Throughout, Dosik does a remarkable job of honoring and evolving classic sounds, letting his uncanny gift for songwriting guide the way.
The album feels confessional. Each of the songs on the album is about someone who she's met during her life's journey and how it's left a mark on her. Each person that has left a mark has influenced her direction down life's path. With this album, K. Michelle finds herself at a vulnerable crossroad and she's prepared to share the experience with her fans both new and old.
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the iconic film The Bodyguard, Legacy Recordings, is celebrating its legacy with the release of a brand new collection of Whitney Houston live and studio recordings entitled “I Wish You Love: More From The Bodyguard”. “I Wish You Love: More From The Bodyguard” is an essential new Whitney Houston collection bringing together a variety of live and studio recordings from The Bodyguard (many previously unreleased or unavailable), including an alternate mix of “I Will Always Love You,” which features a spoken word intro of Whitney as Rachel Marron, an A Capella version of “Jesus Loves Me,” which has never been heard before and a live recording from The Bodyguard World Tour 1993-1995 of “Run To You,” which Whitney rarely performed. Also included are film and live versions of “I Will Always Love” You,” “I Have Nothing,” “Queen of The Night” and more.
CURTIS HARDING could best be described as a student of the gritty, sweat-dripping, hip-swinging blues that wafted through the air of the American sixties. The offspring of a mother who sang gospel, and a retired veteran, he traveled all over the country as a child, singing alongside his parents, learning that music was in fact the great communicator, and that the key was not just in how pretty the notes were, but how if you were honest in what you were singing, you could stir a person on the inside. This is what Otis Redding knew. What Sam Cooke, and Bo Diddley, and B. B. King knew. That somehow there was a way to take your experiences, your pain and joy, and give them melody, cause them to live and breathe and massage the hearts and minds of all those who hear.
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' final studio album, Soul of a Woman is a lush, orchestral masterpiece. A true testament to the life and career of Daptone's fearless leader and one of the world's greatest performers. In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-Winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the beloved and heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album. Soul of a Woman features eleven songs which reveal that the emotion, dynamics, and drama of Jones' voice remained at full power until her final days.
The songs on Soul Of A Woman exemplify two distinct sides of the band s sound. Side One showcases the grittier, bluesier material like Matter Of Time and Sail On giving Sharon the room to flex her vocal prowess, creating a liveness that few studio albums posses. Side Two takes on a more sophisticated orchestral mood. Tracks like When I Saw Your Face and These Tears (No Longer For You), capture a soft vulnerability in Sharon's vocals that draws you deep inside, and yet they remain nuanced with the signature toughness that never allow you to forget she's steering the ship. The finished product is an album that captures a band and a singer at their peak. Includes download card.
“Mavis has done it all and worked with just about everybody from Bob Dylan to Prince to Jeff Tweedy… She still is singing for justice and equality and influencing a new generation of musicians and fans.” -PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
MAVIS STAPLES is an American Music legend. She was at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s, as singer for the legendary gospel group, The Staples Singers. Mavis, along with her father, Pops, and siblings marched and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on the fight for equality in this country.
In December 2016, Mavis went to Washington, DC to receive the coveted Kennedy Center Honors from President Obama, with whom she has had a long standing friendship. Mavis invited Wilco frontman and dear friend, Jeff Tweedy as her guest for the weekend’s festivities. The two spent hours discussing the current events and how today’s fight for equality is very similar to those in the 60’s. Inspired by these events, Mavis and Jeff got together and wrote Mavis’ new album, If All I Was Was Black, produced by Jeff Tweedy. The new album is a perfect message for our time and is by far Mavis’ best work to date.
Iconic R&B singer, Tamar Braxton graced the 2017 BET Awards stage with a bold, passionate performance of her latest single, “My Man” for 5.8 million viewers. The 2017 “BET AWARDS” continued its reign as television’s #1 Cable Awards Show among African Americans 18-49. “My Man” is the lead single from Braxton’s fall-slated new album — the first release via her TamartianLand label through eOne Entertainment. “This will be the first time you see an X-ray vision of Tamar and everything I’ve been through,” says Braxton of the forthcoming album. Tamar Braxton is one of the top-selling female artists in the country. Her two albums LOVE AND WAR and CALLING ALL LOVERS both debuted #1 on the R&B charts and top 3 on the overall charts, selling over 600,000 albums combined. The Grammy® nominated singer’s track record includes the hits “Love and War,” “If I Don’t Have You” and “The One” as well as two top 10 debuting Billboard 200 albums: Love and War (No. 2) and Calling All Lovers (No. 5). Braxton, also announced a talk show project in association with TV/radio personality Steve Harvey is in development and “definitely happening.” Tamar is a true multi-media artist. In addition to being a Gold artist she has two reality shows on the WEtv Network “Braxton Family Values” and “Tamar and Vince”. “Braxton Family Values” is number 1 rated on WEtv.
Celebrating their 25th Anniversary in show business, iconic R&B vocal group Boyz II Men return with their new album Under the Streetlight. A personal selection of timeless songs, Under the Streetlight showcases four-time Grammy winners Boyz II Men putting their spin on classics such as "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers), "Stay" (Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs) and "I Only Have Eyes for You" (The Flamingos) along with an original composition, "Ladies Man." The album features Olivier Award Winner Amber Riley (Glee, London's Dreamgirls), ten time Grammy winners Take Six plus multi-platinum R&B artist Brian McKnight who joins Boyz II Men on three songs.
Fresh off their sold-out tour with New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul, fans can catch Boyz II Men during their ongoing residency at the famed Mirage in Las Vegas and on their global tour.
A BRAND NEW ME: ARETHA FRANKLIN WITH THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA pairs classic vocals from some of the most iconic songs that the Queen of Soul recorded for Atlantic Records with new arrangements performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
A BRAND NEW ME features Franklin’s instantly recognizable voice woven together with new orchestral arrangements. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the music at Abbey Road Studios in London, with brand new backing vocals led by Grammy®-winning singer Patti Austin.
Son Little, the singer and songwriter born Aaron Livingston, is the easygoing musical alchemist of our time. He is a conjurer, and much like those of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix, his songs are deconstructions of the diaspora of American R&B. Deftly he weaves different eras of the sound—blues, soul, gospel, rock and roll—through his own unique vision, never forced, always smooth, each note a tributary on the flowing river of rhythm and blues. And now, with his second full-length album, New Magic, he has delivered a profound statement, a cohesive creation that captures the diverse spirit of American music in a fresh and modern way. The song that serves as the album’s true centerpiece is “Blue Magic,” a Philly Soul inspired number deconstructed almost like a rap song or the best of production savants like J Dilla or Madlib, complete with chiming glockenspiel bells and old school female backing vocals. The song has the appeal of an instant classic. On the heels of his 2015 self-titled debut and the 5-song EP, Songs I Forgot, that came before it, Son Little found his reach steadily growing. His song “Lay Down” had been streamed over seven million times, he had toured the world with artists as diverse as Leon Bridges, Kelis, Mumford & Sons, Portual. The Man and Shakey Graves in addition to his own headlining runs, and also became a Grammy Award winning producer, earning a 2016 Best Roots Performance award for his work on Mavis Staples.