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soulBlog: Royce, Concert Additions, Albums on Radar


James Royce has a new band with a newer EP called “Black Rock.” I met him at Pointbreezeway at a Soulful Femme show. SF’s Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato introduced us, then gushed about him and his project.

The EP Release Event was held at Cattivo in Lawrenceville. Stevee and Cheryl sat in, plus I saw B. Michael Smith on harmonica for the first time in a long while. Right before they went on, James and I talked about what black rock is, and it’s too bad that I didn’t have the Tascam recorder in hand. However, we have a phone interview tonight to cover that and more. Listen to The Soul Show on Saturday 6/8 for interview segments plus Black Rock tracks.

Additions to Concert Calendar – see the Concert Calendar section of for details

  • Ravi Coltrane, by Kente Arts Alliance
  • Antonio Hart, by Kente Arts Alliance

Albums on Radar

As PG columnist Scott-Mervis wrote in his fine article this week (, artists now use album releases to drive concert attendance. Well this is concert season, so there is a lot of music coming out. Here’s a sampling of the current geyser that I’m paying attention to:

  • Santana, “Africa Speaks” – he and Spanish vocalist Buika issued an amazing single from this album, and the album arrived in my box yesterday
  • Esperanza Spalding, “12 Little Spells”
  • Avery Sharpe, “An African American Musical Portrait”
  • Ulysses Owens, Jr., “Songs of Freedom” – listen to the cover of Joni’s “Both Sides Now” by Alicia Olatuja
  • Tanika Charles, “The Gumption” – a clear candidate for The Soul Show’s Top Ten Albums of 2019
  • Theo Croker, “Star People Nation”
  • Flying Lotus, “Flamagra”
  • Marcus Lewis Big Band, “Brass and Boujee” – “Boxes” and “Fake It ‘Til I Make it” tracks are exceptional

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