July…..are we really halfway through 2012??

Wow this year is flying by.  Where are you with the goals you set for this year? I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve accomplished to date…but still have a long way to go with hitting my 2012 goals. Now that it’s the halfway mark, I need to kick it up a notch!!

My gigging calendar has slowed down and I am excited to get back into the studio this weekend!!! Looong overdue… Out Roun’ Back is wanting to complete our debut album that’s been several years in the making…you hear 3 of the un-finished tracks on my music tab….so I would LOVE to have a completed project by the end of the year. I’ll be heading to Shreveport this weekend to get back in the studio with ORB and see if we can pick up on the mojo where we last left off. Funk voice….activate.

The end of the month also brings The Voice auditions….gonna give it a go….I’m open to any audition song suggestions! So far I’m thinking about Jessie J’s “Mama Knows Best”, Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”, Teena Marie’s “Loverboy” or “Kiss” by Prince. Song choice is key and yet soooo hard to decide on! Thoughts?!

Would love to get some comments from you guys, anyone out there??

Wishing everyone a happy and safe July 4th!

Dez

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Bad Band names…

I ran across this article yesterday http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2012/06/the_worst_local_band_names.php  and had to laugh because I remember trying to name our band a few years back. All 7 of us made a list and tossed around names like “Tin Roof Rusted” and “S.E.N.S.A.” – which one member said stood for “spiritual, empirical, neo-soul, attitude”…um, okay….yeah…I voted NO on that one. Then we had “Sista Soul Brotha”….chees-o-rama….”Soulitude”…which ended up downgraded to a song title. We googled every name we came up with to see if there was another band with any of the names and EVERY one of them was taken. So then we decided to name our band “Taken”…yep, that was taken too. Go figure….so then the bass player says…well, we’re always “out round back” working on our music…and it’s kind of like the band name “3 Doors Down” so we’ll be “Out Roun’ Back”! So that’s what we ended up with….you have to admit it’s better than SENSA…..which is now the name of a weight loss aid you sprinkle on your food! Glad we didn’t go with that….we’d be competing with this:

Home concerts?!

So my brother in law was telling me last week that I should make myself available for home concerts…like, actually book myself to perform in someone’s livingroom. Has anyone ever done this? I’m not talking about a party either, an actual concert at someone’s house. This sounded so bizarre to me, but I started thinking about it and realized when people invite me to dinner…they’re always like…can you sing us something? Or…I’d love to hear you sing this song…blah blah blah. Apparently this is becoming a popular thing….and I think I’m gonna make myself available for it…..as long as you have air conditioning, no smoking and some drinky drinks for me…hee hee. That’s my rider.  Apparently there’s an entire website devoted to these types of bookings…..

http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/

Could someone PLEASE invite me to perform at their home in say, Morocco? Or Spain? Or Playa Del Carmen??

By the way, Saturday’s Juneteenth show was incredible! Here’s 2 pics:

Me with The Inspiration Band , Juneteenth Show 6-16-12

Me with The Inspiration Band , Juneteenth Show 6-16-12

Juneteenth Show next Saturday night!

Just wanted to send a quick update for next week’s show with The Inspiration Band. We will be the headliners for the Juneteenth Festival! If you can make it, it should be a lot of  fun – free show! They are bringing in another singer, Marcus Kidd (incredible),  and another horn player so we are storming the stage as a 9-10 piece!

http://www.cedarhilltx.com/index.aspx?NID=1088

Saturday, June 16, 2012   5:00-10:00 pm
DeSoto Town Center
211 E. Pleasant Run RoadThe Best Southwest cities of Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster join together to honor the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. This year’s event will be hosted by the City of DeSoto. There will be food, children’s activities, entertainment and much more.The Inspiration Band will headline the 2012 BSW Juneteenth Celebration.View photos of the 2011 Juneteenth Celebration at the amphitheater in Valley Ridge Park in Cedar Hill.
A concert highlighted the event with local jazz great Freddie Jones followed by the “electrofunk” group from the 80’s Midnight Star.
Visit the BSW Juneteenth Celebration webpage.
 

100 Greatest Singers of all time…per Rolling Stone…

I ran across this article today, not sure how old it is (2008?) but I thought I’d pass it along to see what you think.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-singers-of-all-time-19691231

I don’t know who this “panel of 179 experts” is….but this list is pretty jacked up in my opinion. Christina Aguilera above Mariah? Bob Dylan above Stevie Wonder? Barbara Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Pavarotti, Bocelli and Chaka Khan completely left off? I know it’s hard to rank singers that are from different eras and genres, but still the innovators should be before the copycats. And true vocalists above showmen….showmanship and entertainment value doesn’t equate a greatest singer of all time in my book….that needs its own list so they can place Madonna, David Bowie, etc…on that one. Bob Dylan has a terrible voice…great songwriter and performer? Sure….but SINGER?

Top 25 for me would be:

  1. Aretha Franklin – they had this one right.
  2. Ella Fitzgerald
  3. Barbara Streisand – she’s not my personal fave, but I have mad respect for her huge range and control
  4. Stevie Wonder
  5. Bobby McFerrin – yes the acapella genious – don’t judge off “Don’t worry, be happy” – check out his youtube performances and you’ll be BLOWN AWAY of what he is capable of producing out of just his body and a microphone.
  6. Michael Jackson
  7. Whitney Houston
  8. Kim Burrell
  9. Sting
  10. Prince
  11. Mariah Carey
  12. Chaka Khan
  13. Tina Turner
  14. Celine Dion
  15. Louis Armstrong
  16. Steve Perry
  17. Phil Collins…yes, mainstream, but I have always been a big fan.
  18. Yolanda Adams
  19. Steven Tyler
  20. Anne Wilson
  21. Sarah McLaughlin…why? Because she was the first person I heard to mix yodeling into mainstream music and her breathiness is beautiful too
  22. Mavis Staples – that low range with the feel and “stank” she put on everything!
  23. Jill Scott – to mix spoken word, soul, opera and jazz….she is a HUGE inspiration to me
  24. Anita Baker
  25. Patti Labelle

It was almost impossible to put these in any kind of order….but they are my personal faves as far as innovating style within their genres, vocal techniques and ranges. This list has NOTHING to do with their stage presence or entertainment value….just vocal abilities. Frank Sinatra and others would have definitely made my list of top 50, but….I don’t have all day to ponder these things!

Summertime is calling….

It’s halfway through May and already pretty hot here in Texas. Summer is pretty much here…. I am already living in flip flops, sandals and maxi dresses. I also have my favorite foods and music this time of year….watermelon, grilled corn, pasta salads, pina colada cake and chocolate delight dessert is a MUST have at our house!

Certain songs always bring summer memories –  some are memories from movies watched when out of school in the summer, some were played at the skating rink where I pretty much LIVED during summers and some are just always on the radio this time of year:

  • Summertime – Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
  • I can’t wait – Nu Shooz
  • Higher Love – Steve Winwood
  • Cruel Summer and Venus – Bananarama
  • Rock The Boat – Aaliyah
  • Take My Breath Away – Berlin
  • Wipeout and California Girls-Beach Boys (I know it’s cheesy, but it’s summer!)
  • No Rain – Blind Melon
  • Two Princes – Spin Doctors
  • OPP – Naughty By Nature
  • All I wanna do – Sheryl Crow
  • Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers – yep, summer I graduated HS, 92!
  • Tennessee – Arrested Development – another out of high school moment!
  • Stay – Lisa Loeb – yep, 92….oh the memories.
  • Praise You – Fatboy Slim….you know you loved it too
  • Ignition – R Kelly

What songs remind you it’s summertime????

The Voice – Big Girls Rock, pt. deaux

I’ve been watching The Voice off and on this season and caught the semi-finals this past Monday to see who was left of the pack. I was excited to see our two plus size beauties are still getting some love!

Erin Willett was beautiful as usual, but sadly I did not enjoy her performance as much as the crowd and judges did. The judges clearly ignored the fact that the entire song was pitchy and out of tune…yes, it was emotional, but it wasn’t pitchy a little here and there….it was all over the place from beginning to end. I bet she went home last night….didn’t catch the elimination show.

Katrina Parker is getting better and stronger vocally….I definitely see so much more confidence. I love her tone but her style is REALLY really close to Adele’s, the way she breaks up her phrasing and consonants….I would be interested to hear something she’s recorded pre-Adele to see if that was always her personal vocal style.

I just love the fact that America is showing them love and proving that if you have a great voice, no one cares about your size. The music industry hasn’t adopted this view as of yet, but hopefully they’ll see the light soon…..and we can add the age factor to that as well.

My favorites this year are that young guy on Cee-Lo’s team….2nd is probably Tony Lucca….and then 3rd that raspy female rock singer. Who are your favorite singers this season and who do you think will win?

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