RIFF’d: Aloe Blacc’s ‘Lift Your Spirit’

The past few years have been big for Aloe Blacc. He’s gone from a relatively obscure player in R&B to being a star on the rise with his music being heard by millions. It’s been […]

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Streetside: Nicole Wray Flies Lady Solo at Chicago’s Double Door; November 15

One of the biggest questions recently surrounding Nicole Wray and Lady is whether or not she could recover from the departure of Terri Walker who took a sabbatical in order to focus on her solo […]

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Listing: Blood Orange’s ‘Cupid Deluxe’ in 5 Strokes of Urban Love

The chameleon muscle that is Devonté Hynes’ trajectory from freewheelin’ punkist (Test Icicles) to anti-folk humorist (Lightspeed Champion) to en vogue producer (Solange, Sky Ferreira), can make project Blood Orange seem like just another phase in the […]

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RIFF’d: Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’

If the earlier R&B balladry brought to us by platinum-selling fruit of Alan Thicke’s looms was the result of his trying to be like John Lennon, imagine what schlock he’ll produce when just ‘trying to […]

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RIFF’d: Mayer Hawthorne’s ‘Where Does This Door Go’

Mayer Hawthorne has made no qualms about how his new record sounds nothing like his previous two, which is odd because it does. Sure the sonic angle has changed – thanks to the ubiquitous production of […]

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Bobby "Blue" Bland; Photo:N/A

Blues Personified: The Late Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland in 5 Storied Lyrics

Blues legend Robert Calvin Bland, better known by his stage name Bobby “Blue” Bland, passed away at 83-years-young on June 23, leaving behind a legacy that has spanned over five decades. He was credited with 28 […]

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Mavis Staples

RIFF’d: Mavis Staples’ ‘One True Vine’

Having picked up her first ever Grammy Award at the ripe old age of 70 with 2010’s You Are Not Alone, Mavis Staples has shrewdly hooked up with the same producer, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, […]

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Streetside: The Gospel According to Jim James at Chicago’s Vic Theatre; April 20

It’s been nearly five years since Jim James fell off the front of an Iowa stage and shook whatever demons were plaguing him out of the shadows – the catalyst that serves as the ethos for […]

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Listing: Top Soul-Revealing Lyrics From Lady’s Self-Titled Debut

The easy thing to do would be to tag Terri Walker and Nicole Wray (aka Lady) as throwbacks. And to a certain extent it’s true. There are definitely elements of Motown, Stax and Blue Note. But […]

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Jessie Ware

Streetside: Jessie Ware at Manchester’s The Ritz; March 7

She might not quite yet be able to command the same kind of Price Tag as a certain caterwauling Voice judge. But there’s little doubt following the second date of her brief UK tour that […]

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