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News and Reviews

R.I.P. Melvin Edmonds of After 7

(May 19, 2019) We are extremely sad to inform SoulTrackers of the death of After 7 cofounder and co-lead singer Melvin Edmonds, after a long illness. The talented Edmonds provided the expressive counterpoint to brother Kevon‘s sweet first tenor leads on a string of great hits for the trio during the 80s and 90s. They became a fan favorite and a group that survived much to continue to remain relevant to this day.

First Listen: Taj Mahal's daughter Deva is the real deal...again

(May 17, 2019) If last year’s Run Deep was supposed to be the proving ground for the musical offspring of a legend, then Deval Mahal proved that she is more than ready to make her own way in the music industry. She is as funky as she wants to be and when she carried the torch on that album’s power ballad “It’s Down To You,” and the world came to hear her burn. “Turnt Up,” the sleek, funky and steamy duet with Allen Stone was another highlight from a record that was filled with them.

First Listen: Thelma Houston "Still Loves You" after all these years

(May 16, 2019) Over five decades into a vastly creative career encompassing a decade with Motown, a universally loved disco evergreen, notable pop crossover successes, and collaborations with greats from the worlds of rock, gospel, and blues, Thelma Houston is still on top of her game. The singer revered for her 1976 dance floor adaptation of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes’ “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and a rousing 1989 rendition of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” (recorded with The Winans) returns with her first new R&B record in a minute via “ISLY (I Still Love You).”

First Look: Amber Mark Is The Master “Mixer”

May 16, 2019 — Sometimes you just need to bust a move to an infectious groove. And when so afflicted, Amber Mark’s new visual for her single “Mixer” is your prescription, filled.

Amid a decidedly 70’s R&B/funk vibe, Mark is featured here vamping down the avenue wrapped in an oversized fur coat that is struggling to contain her buoyancy and hipness.  She’s clearly having fun, the track is kickin’, and you can’t help but smile and groove along with her. Enjoy.

By Robb Patryk

Chuck Barksdale of The Dells dies at 84

(May 15, 2019) For more than a half century, he provided the bottom sound for one of the greatest soul groups of all time. We are sad to inform SoulTrackers of the death of Chuck Barksdale of the Dells, after a long illness.

World Premiere: Pieces of A Dream is “Real” again

(May 15, 2019) Longtime ST fave Pieces Of A Dream has been churning out chart-topping hits for four consecutive decades. Even the iconic Count Basie declared Pieces Of A Dream “A tough act to follow!” Hailing from The City of Brotherly Love, the celebrated band has joined the ranks of some of Philadelphia’s most revered music-makers including Grover Washington, Jr., Patti LaBelle, The Roots, Jill Scott, John Coltrane and Stanley Clarke.

First Listen: Daryl Johnson gives Old School groove on "Anyone Can Tell"

(May 14, 2019) The band Detroit Memphis Experience features a pair of singers singers in Kathy Kosins and Darryl Johnson. Both are hard working artists who have been on the scene in Motown for years. SoulTrackers heard got a chance to hear Kosins latest “Put the Voodoo On Me” when that track was featured in a First Listen earlier this year, and that track stands at 18 on the Smooth Jazz Network charts.

"Shaft" soundtrack to be released in deluxe reissue form

Los Angeles, CA (May 14, 2019)—Craft Recordings is excited to announce a new deluxe reissue of Isaac Hayes’ GRAMMY® Award–winning album ShaftSet for a June 14th street date and limited to 5,000 copies worldwide, the two-CD collection will offer the newly remastered, classic soundtrack—as originally released in 1971—plus all of the original music from the film, which did not appear on the best-selling LP. In-depth liner notes from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson round out the set.

100 Foot Stevie Wonder mural coming to Detroit

(May 13, 2019) Detroit’s Music Hall has been the home of many great performances over the past 90 years, and now it will be the home of a tremendous 100 foot tall mural of Stevie Wonder sitting at the keyboards. Being painted now by London based artist Richard Wilson – at his own cost no less - the mural promises to be another of the increasingly dramatic pieces of art dotting the Detroit skyline.