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Month: February 2021

WYEP begins TSS Saturdays: Glasper, U-Roy

WYEP begins TSS Saturdays. The new live R+R=Now album from Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin et al captures a 2018 residency at the Blue Note. There are tracks from Rochelle Jordan and Hemai that I want you to hear. On Three Rivers at Three, let’s check out the February full releases from Geenpool and Geo. Heid III.

We pay tribute to the Kingston, Jamaica toastmaster extraordinaire U-Roy. This year’s Black History Month closer features Curtis Mayfield and Rufus w/Chaka.

Later in the day, WTJX and Rhode Island Public Radio broadcast and stream the syndicated edition of TSS. Highlights include more from percussionist Gayelynn McKinney’s new album, Zoot Suit Funk. URI alum Masta Ace represents the other Kingston. For those of you who listen to all six hours of TSS, I’ll play another track from Glasper’s R+R. Pittsburgh is represented by CMU graduate Ty Taylor and his band Vintage Trouble. I’ll dig into some classics from The Originals, Kid Creole and Norman Connors w/Jean Carne. There’s hard funk from Cameo and Free Soul.

See you soon. Remember that the archives are always available on demand.

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In support of Pittsburgh venues

Scott Mervis of the Post-Gazette recently wrote a moving article on the state of Pittsburgh-area music venues. In support of Moondog’s, I created a short clip. It will be used in an upcoming montage for the GoFundMe campaign. Fingers crossed.

Ron Esser’s Blawnox establishment is one of the most intimate, with its barely-raised stage and tight quarters. Here’s my clip of Pittsburgh’s own Stevee Wellons Band in 2015:

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2021’s emerging music, BHM Wknd 3

ssm in Electric Basement Studios, circa 2021

2021’s emerging music & BHM Weekend 3 are themes wrapped into this week’s editions of The Soul Show. On the syndicated edition, I present new Bomba Estéreo (Bogotá) and Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (Seattle). DLO3’s album is reviewed in Soulshowmike’s Album Picks for February. The Pacific Northwest is also represented by the fine release of Jarrod Lawson. He does a track with the swoon-y Moonchild.

Last week’s broadcast experienced technical difficulties in a couple of markets. Apologies for that. Here is the full archive of that show.

On the WYEP Saturday afternoon edition of The Soul Show, I introduce new Pittsburgh music. Slam Band & Sam has a new track entitled “Black Hole,” and Gene Stovall celebrates his birthday with a February album. It’s called “The End of Aquarius.” I’ve anxiously awaited this release since the review of “In The Bleak.” Both acts are featured on the Three Rivers at Three segment, 3:00pm Eastern.

During Black History Month, we’ve produced a Black Songwriters series, celebrating Weldon Irvine and 9 other important figures. As part of TSS’s 2/20/21 program, I present 2 of the artists with sequential album tracks. Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” represents some of Boy Wonder’s finest work, and its opening tracks are a template for album flow. Donny Hathaway’s “Extension Of A Man” begins orchestrally. then moves to hope/dream. Next, it blows up to full happy. To show Donny’s influence on later generations, I follow his album with Ill Doots’ opening set on their self-titled release.

Adrian Younge’s full project “The American Negro” releases in a few days, but I received permission to play it early. It’s a mixture of spoken word and music. You’ll hear both. Roberta Flack created a rough demo of “What’s Going On” not long after the Gaye 1971 release. It has been completed and issued 50 years later. I’ll play that today.

Lastly, I’ll crack open Gayelynn McKinney’s release “Zoot Suit Funk.” 2021’s emerging music is promising. It’s a testament to perseverance. I’ll see you soon.

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Wilson, Corea, BHM, Vday on The Soul Show

During the pandemic, I’ve been producing both the longstanding WYEP and the syndicated editions of The Soul Show in my Electric Basement Studios. The syndicated show is uploaded to the African American Public Radio Consortium drive on Wednesday, and WYEP receives their Saturday afternoon show on Fridays.

On this Thursday (2/11/21), I was assembling the Mary Wilson tribute, some new tracks from Bomba Estéreo/Delvon Lamarr/Jarrod Lawson, something from the brand new George Heid III for Three Rivers at Three, and various pieces of 50th anniversary music for BHM. After finishing up Hours 1&2, it suddenly dawned on me that this is Valentine’s weekend. Regrouping to get that theme into the show cost some time, and right when I finished, the news about Chick Corea came in. I will be spending these last hours reworking the show to accommodate his deserved tribute.

The nationally syndicated TSS is programmed to be more “timeless,” so you won’t generally hear special tributes tied to the passing of artists. However, this coming episode (premiering on WTJX at 7pm Eastern on Saturday) will add to the Mary Wilson songlist. Also, there will be more from the Bomba and Lamarr albums. To spotlight artists from the various regions that air the show, look for Brian Edwards and Jack Swing of Pittsburgh, Pressure from the Virgin Islands, and Boo City from Providence.

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Soulshowmike’s Album Picks

I started writing soulshowmike’s album picks with the purpose of highlighting indie artists of note. January’s column reviewed the best of 2020, and now the 2021 albums are rolling out. After experiencing Delvon Lamarr at the Roxian last January, it’s been a lonnnng wait for the new album. It was worth it. Here’s the February column in the Pittsburgh City Paper.

In 2018, I received a Heinz Endowments/Pgh Foundation grant to document the local music scene, particularly from the standpoint of a Person of Color. One of the outputs was a series of video shorts called “60 Seconds of Pittsburgh,” and the latest installment is the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. It’s part of the February column. Enjoy.

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The Soul Show’s Features for This Week

The Soul Show’s features for this week cover Black History Month and more. On Pittsburgh’s WYEP Saturday edition, I took the cue from listeners to feature two groundbreaking 1971 albums. One is Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On,’ the other Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘There’s A Riot Goin’ On.’ We’ll explore the motivations and circumstances of this question/answer pair with three tracks from each.

The 2021 groundswell of new music has begun, with music from Cliff Beach, Bomba Estéreo, Cameron Graves. Adrian Younge has just released a single entitled ‘The American Negro.’ He’s been an important part of The Soul Show for a decade. Hear his 2018 interview with me.

On the ‘Three Rivers at Three (pm)’ weekly Pgh-centric segment, I resurrect the funk/rock of the Old E All Stars.

The Soul Show’s nationally syndicated edition begins its weekly cycle on Saturday night with WTJX and Rhode Island Public Radio. WYEP overnight and KRBD Alaska follow on Monday and Tuesday. I’m beginning to apply the ‘Three Rivers at Three’ concept to this edition, featuring acts from the participating regions. This week it’s Jeffrey Osborne of Providence, Starship Mantis and Leaky Faucet of Pittsburgh, and Marsvyn David of the Virgin Islands.

More on The Soul Show’s features for this week…..

Syncing up with the Pittsburgh show, listen to some early Gaye and Sly, preceding the transformative ‘Going On’ releases. Marvin duets with Mary Wells, and The Family Stone do live Woodstock.

There will be a continued dive into Australia’s Emma Donovan w/The Putbacks. I’ll play some obscure Derek Martin from the gritty-soul Stax label. The Wild Tchoupitoulas will get us ready for Mardi Gras season. Lastly, I included a beautiful blast from the Noel Pointer past.

Note: WYEP has posted the all-day Thanksgiving w/Motown (2020) playlist!