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Brian Edwards at Prince tribute in Minn., Soulful Femme at Jergel’s; upcoming Pittsburgh releases by Starship Mantis, R Romero, S Strickland, J Crawford; Reggie Watkins at Backstage

Brian Edwards

Pittsburgh percussionist Brian Edwards, who plays regularly at Rock’s Landing on Sunday nights, sat down with me in March to discuss his upcoming performance with The Time’s Jesse Johnson at the annual Prince tribute at Paisley Park. He spent an early part of his career in Minneapolis working with Jesse, DeBarge, Alexander O’Neal and Prince.

As the April concert date approached, the Tribune-Review posted a really nice article about Brian:

https://triblive.com/aande/music/pittsburgh-area-drummer-to-play-in-prince-tribute-celebration-2019-at-paisley-park/

…and on The Soul Show on WYEP last weekend, I presented the March interview, interwoven with some of his recordings. These included a limited-print Jesse Johnson album called “Bare My Naked Soul.” Here are the interview segments from that program:

Edwards interview, Part One
Edwards interview, Part Two

The entire episode is available here:

The Soul Show (Brian Edwards interview episode)

Upcoming Pittsburgh releases

Here is a sampling of the upcoming recording releases on my radar. Shanyse Strickland interviewed with me a couple of months ago, so that will be presented here and on The Soul Show just preceding her “Perspectives” release. Jaron Crawford had a March release planned for his first hiphop project, but is reworking some tracks and will complete everything soon. An acoustic/electric project is targeted for next spring.

  • Starship Mantis (sophomore release) – CD release party June 1
  • Roger Romero, Feralcat (freshman release) – CD release party June 1
  • Soulful Femme (freshman release) – soon
  • Shanyse Strickland (freshman release EP “Perspectives”) – July 11, which is also the date for her “Shanyse & Friends” show at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty
  • Jaron Crawford (Carnegie Mellon junior from WA) – soon
Jaron Crawford release artwork

Soulful Femme opener at Ana Popovic show

Soulful Femme, the female duo spinoff of the Stevie Wellons Band, has been getting busier and busier. April 19th was one of their most important bookings yet, the opening act for blueswoman Ana Popovic at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Stephanie Wellons had a raspy throat before the show, so we fixed it with a Virgin Islands indigenous concoction of Cruzan Rum, honey and a lil lime, to my specification and courtesy of the bartender. Cheryl Rinovato, as always, killed it on guitar. I’m waiting for a copy of their new single to feature on the “Three Rivers at Three” segment on The Soul Show.

Reggie Watkins Quartet, Backstage Bar

Herbie Hancock had a 79th birthday recently, so here was a timely rendition of his Chameleon by the Reggie Watkins Quartet at Backstage Bar in mid-April.

Cliff Barnes on keys, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, David Throckmorton on percussion.

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