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True Soul

Carlton Jumel Smith - SpotifyThrowback.com

It’s been a long time since I was able to say, I truly “love this entire album.” I’m now able to say that this morning! There’s an old artist I’ve discovered a couple of days ago named Carlton Jumel Smith; and he has a phenomenal new album out! Musically speaking this guy has got it going on! His voice, his rhythm, this entire album is perfect! When I examine his background music, his style reminds me a lot of my favorite independent artist Curtis Harding. You have no idea how much I love this style of music. I wish more people would be open to listening to it.

Carlton J. Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

According to some articles I’ve read, Carlton has been making music for well over 40 years. It appears he’s been the jack of all trades. He has his own label, and performed a lot of house and techno music. Which probably means it’s more than likely I’ve already heard his work, and I just don’t remember. He also worked with a few bands singing lead. But this album is shocking, in the sense that most people don’t just switch to entirely different genres, and do well. That’s like Barbra Streisand deciding she now want to try her hand in hip hop! Very risky thing to do these days. 

Carlton J. Smith - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Is it possible that because he’s from Harlem, NYC he was able to easily transition from one genre to a genre completely different? Who knows? The first song that got my attention was “Woman You Made Me.” In my opinion, this is the best kind of romance music. Why? The lyrics are genuine, and it’s not all about a quest of getting in her pants. Another song I want you to check out is called “I’d Better.” This song has lyrics you just don’t hear, even back in the day. In essence, he sings about being so impressed with someone of quality, that he decides to make positive changes in his self to win the interest of that person. Love the rhythm to this song. When you get a chance, check out his new album “1634 Lexington Avenue.”

Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrwobacks.com

I really do wish I discovered this guy earlier. Have my readers ever heard of Charles Bradley? Honestly I don’t ever recall listening to his music until about a couple of years ago. I really loved his soulfully funk sound. I was devastated to find out that he had died of stomach cancer shortly after I discovered who he was and his music 😢. He was 68.

Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

This man (who I feel in many ways has a striking resemblance to the late Nipsey Russell btw), sung his ass off!! Oh my goodness, when Bradley sung a song, all his emotion emanated from each and every performance. His type of performances are just not seen anymore (relatively speaking). To hear his music, or to see him perform on video, was not only breathtaking at times, it was also refreshing to see real blues music performed like that, then in 2016.

The late Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

The first album I heard by Bradley, was “Changes (2016).” I think this entire album is awesome to be quite honest. This album is so authentically 70s, that there is absolutely no hint of modern flair I could detect. I think most blues fans would like at least half of the songs on this album. If I were forced to pick a favorite song, I would have to go with “Things We Do For Love.” My goodness. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said this was recorded in the old Motown Studio or something.

Charles Bradley - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

There’s another album I think you should check out. It’s called “Black Velvet (2018).” I really liked the song called “Can’t Fight The Feeling.” I haven’t found a whole lot of juicy information on Bradley, which leads me to believe that either Bradley started his musical career late, or he was discovered late. Having said that, I’m kind of insecure as to the actual copyright dates to his songs. Often times when someone dies, the music label often re-releases music of a popular artist, and you wind up with a new copyright/release date. In any event, I think that Bradley’s music is worth exploring if you’re a blues/funk fan. I recommend that you watch his very short, but powerful interview on YouTube. Very humbling.


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Joey Quinones - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Alright! This is probably the shortest blog post I’ve ever written 😂. Yesterday, I’ve discovered an artist by the name of Joey Quinones. It appears that he only released one single this year, it’s called “Don’t Tell Me (2019).” I absolutely LOVE this song! I love the classic feel of the song, I love his falsetto, and I love the classic art he chose for the album cover. Unfortunately, I can’t find any information about him. He doesn’t even appear to be on Bandcamp. Sucks! But check this song out tho, the sh*t is boss!!

The late Joe Tex, one of the most popular music artists of the 60s and seventies. Spotifythrowbacks.com

I’d like to introduce young folk to the late Joe Tex. He was another favorite of mine I used to listen to all the time. I think that in this era of music streaming,  young folk who are starting out in the music business today can learn a lot from knowing about artists like Joe Tex. The reason is because he only had a total of 27 songs that registered somewhere on the Top 100 Billboard Charts; however, only 3 of them reached Top 10 status.

Green Green Grass Of Home by Joe Tex - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Why is that important? Because the longer I blog, I’ve begun to clearly understand that numbers don’t always equate with someone’s true talent. Even more complicated than that, sometimes an album could be on the low #200 position, but a song on that same record could reach Top 10 status. Despite Joe only having 3 Top 10 Hits, his other music was so popular that even the singles that didn’t make good sales, were played very much on radio and clubs. So, there was no question about his vocal talent.

Hold On To What You Got by Joe Tex - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

One of my very favorites growing up was a song called “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (with No Big Fat Woman) (1977).” It only peaked at #12, but this was the sh*t back in the day. I don’t remember not hearing this song on family parties and barbecues. You know, when you listen to the lyrics of this song, it was innocent yet hilarious! But, a song like this would never be made again in this day and age; every single “fat” activist would have overwhelmed both the artist and label with accusations of fat shaming. Great song tho.

Joe Tex Greatest Hits on Spotify - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Another popular favorite was “I Gotcha (1972),” which reached #2 on the Top 100 Charts. I absolutely loved this song, because it had a very Blaxploitation feel to it. Sounded like it could have came straight out of a Cleopatra Jones soundtrack. Now, Joe didn’t only sing dance music; he sang a many of wonderful ballads. At #5 “Hold What You’ve Got (1965),” was a very popular song that contained a lot of true wisdom about love and relationships. Another beautiful ballad (but never made the charts); was called “Green Green Grass Of Home,” originally sung by Johnny Darrell. However, I only remembered hearing Tom Jone’s version. In fact, Joe kind of sounded like Tom a lot. My late grandpa used to play this a lot too. So many interpretations by many artists, but for the life of me I can’t find when Joe originally released this version. My best guess is around 1978. This wonderful and talented man was taken away from us at the age of only 49.


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Kelly Finnigan - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

You guys need to check this dude out as soon as you can! Oh….. My….. Goodness!!! This man has a voice on him!! I can’t remember hearing any other Caucasian artist (at least in this generation) that deserves the title “Blue Eyed Soul.” Soul music is being reborn before my ears! 🤣 Kelly Finnigan is a lead singer of a group called “Monophonics,” which is an indie band. Finnigan just released a solo album that sounds awesome. Just like my new favorite independent artist, Curtis Harding, Finnigan has captured the spirit of classic soul, and brought it back in today’s time line. The essence of soul is so authentic, if I did not google him, I would have sworn up and down this was something from the 60s.

SpotifyThrowbacks.com

I haven’t found a whole lot of juicy information about Finnigan to share, so I’ll just leave you with some of his new music I absolutely love. First off, check out my top favorite from his new 2019 album called “I Don’t Wanna Wait.” You can’t get more new age soul than this song right here. You wanna know what else is special about this song? Not only is it authentically soul, he written this song from scratch! Actually, I think his entire album was written by him. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!! Also check out “Catch Me I’m Falling.” Another great masterpiece!! It looks like he released only the first song from his new album to Spotify; and the second song (which was released last year). If you’re interested, you can get his music on Bandcamp. I’m a little aggravated that he didn’t offer more samples of his music. However, I’m really digging his music so far, and I may buy/pre-order his new album anyways.


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Marvin Gaye - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

So, today I just heard this awesome remix. But first, have you heard of a guy named SalaAM ReMi? I thought he was a DJ, but turns out that he’s both a musician and a producer (kind of reminds me of the late Biggie). It appears that there is very little information written about him, which is shocking, because he worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Some of the biggest names he worked with were Nas & the late Amy Winehouse. He has even worked with the Fugees; now, they split up a long time ago, so that suggests he’s been in the business for awhile.

Salaam Remi - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Recently, this year (2019) Remi released an awesome remix of Marvin Gaye’s song called “Symphony.” I absolutely love this mix, and I highly recommend that you check it out. The song has been totally reinterpreted! It’s smooth, and has a silky groove. I really appreciate the fact that he kept the integrity of that classic sound that made Marvin who he was. If you want to, listen to Gaye’s original 1973 version of “Symphony.”


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LaVern Baker - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Have you guys ever heard of the late LaVern Baker? Woooweee! I love her vocals! In a way, she reminds me a lot of Etta James, in that she was feisty when she sang. Or perhaps if she was a gospel singer, she would sound closer to someone like Shirley Caesar. Most definitely, LaVern was not scared of the microphone. When the mic was in her possession, she meant business.

LaVern Baker -SpotifyThrowbacks.com
Lavern Baker performing at North Sea Jazz Festival Den Haag The Netherlands July 1991. (Photo by Jan Persson/Getty Images)

LaVern was born in 1929. The moment she opened her mouth as a child, “that’s all she wrote,” as my elders used to say. Long story short, she eventually signed on to Atlantic Records, and then history was born. She was one of the many artists responsible for showcasing the original R&B music. I’m dumbfounded to find out that she only had one top ten hit in her career. That was a song called “I cried A Tear (1959).” But unfortunately, I have to tell ya, this wasn’t my favorite. My favorite is actually a song called “Love Me Right (1960).” It looks like the song didn’t even make the charts at all. But you know, I thought to myself, maybe this makes sense, as technically this song was very raunchy for those days 😂. I recommend that you try to research her music.

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

Let me tell you guys something. You couldn’t mess with Martha Reeves and The Vandellas! They were one of the hottest girl groups at the time (next to the Supremes). This amazing girl group started around 1957. What I didn’t realize was that the group was first called “The Vandellas,” and Martha Reeves was not included in the group until a few years later. Eventually she ended up lead singer.

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - SpotifyThrowbacks.com

These legendary Motown girls had many classic hits we all know and love. Songs like “Dancing In The Streets (1964),” “Heatwave (1963),” “Nowhere To Run (1966),” and of course we all know “Jimmy Mack (1967).”

But There Is A Forgotten Song You Need To Hear!




There is an outstanding song that Martha performed with the Vandellas called “Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) (1966).” Martha ripped this song to shreds! This song gave me a whole new respect for Martha as a singer. Unfortunately, the song only hit #70 on the Top 100 Chart, and only #22 on the R&B Chart. Are you kidding me? This song was amazing! My opinion is that compared to all their other songs, this should have been on at least the top 10 list.

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