Sunday, May 29, 2005

It Was Only Last June

Hey Soul Mates,
how are you? It's Memorial Day Weekend. 3 days of relaxation for some.
Last night, we went to Molly Malone's for the
Piper Downs show. It was lead singer Bobby Bognar's birthday. For his own present he invited a whole bunch of other musicians to sing songs (Derek Anderson; Jeddrah Schmidtt amongst others). Toward the end of the show, Bobby called me on stage and we did a blazing version of I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man. We really rolled the crowd over with that one.

Many moons ago, Bobby and I were hanging out at his pad when we discovered that each of us was a Prince fan. You wouldn't know it to meet Bob, but that's the typical can't judge a book... We ran down a whole bunch of songs, but that one was the sweetest. So to get a chance to sing that song with him on stage was pretty cool.

Send a good thought to Doug. He's home with a bad tummy ache. And his Birthday is Wednesday (June 1)!
L.A. Soul Mates watch your e-mail for our official show announcement/invite for June 17 (when we will celebrate both of our Gemini Birthdays).

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Long Time Ago...

Hey Soul Mates,
and, ok, even the haters... I loved and I mean loved the new Star Wars movie. And none of you can say a thing to change my mind. Yeah, there are some plot holes and a few overdone effects scenes. But on balance the whole thing worked for me. Revenge of the Sith reminded me of why I loved the first 3 movies, and in a good way. I'm just in from my 2nd viewing (and I rarely go to see a movie more than once in the theater) and I'm ready to watch it again.
I'll say no more. Don't want to spoil the impact if you haven't checked it out yet.
Love, Power, Peace

If the Sith get Red
and Sam Jackson gets purple; I'll be the one with the orange lightsaber, thank you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Remember When RHS...

Hey Soul Mates,
remember when RHS appeared on South Park? It was the episode where Cartman and Kenny go to the school for the arts to become "sensitive" & they wind up being the New Air Supply.


Thanks, PB.
The pictures from this past weekend's recording sessions are up.

Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Spreading The Gospel

Hey Soul Mates,
tonight, Bryan and I went to the Nikka Costa show at the Roxy. It was her record release celebration, of sorts, so it was sold out. Stylistically, Nikka's a cousin of ours. Her audience would definitely appreciate Rush Hour Soul. So, we spread the good word about RHS to as many as possible. Maybe you were there? It was sweltering in the club, because Nikka insisted on turning off the A/C to help her sing. On one hand, I can appreciate that. On the other, it made many of the fans uncomfortable and the fresh air outside was exactly that. I did spy Nikka's manager, American Idol judge, Randy Jackson in the room.


Sunday's recording session went very well. We are pleased with the vocal performances so far. Everybody's voices will be heard this time around. That's right! Even Doug joins in on a couple of choruses. I made the mistake of picking the most challenging song to sing first. Whooo. Nearly disabled my voice for the rest of the day. So, we switched gears and I got warmed up well enough to tackle all 3 songs in just a few hours time.

There are quite a few pics that I'll be posting in the next day or two. They will catch you up on our work in the studio. Have a great Wednesday.

Love, Power, Peace

Sunday, May 22, 2005

T.A.L.E.N.T.

Hey Soul Mates,
what a long, productive day. Yow. I flew home from Atlanta early in the day. Traffic here was sluggish and it took about an hour to get back to NoHo. Lots of traveling.

It was a lot of fun hanging out last night with Dad, Nate and my cousin Skippy, who drove in from South Carolina. We talked a lot about the Harlem of Dad's youth, the importance of passing down black American history, and, of course, music. By the way, Skippy matched my dapperness! Check us out. Yes, more musicians in the family. You go, cuzzin!

Shortly after getting home, I buzzed off to Santa Monica for our recording sessions. We are producing these tracks ourselves. A giant leap for us. When I got there, Doug was set up, mic'ed and ready to go. It's great to be back and getting down to real business with Bryan & Doug. This is us with our engineer Chris (who is da man!). Go to our website to see a larger version.



The tracks we put down are something else. I'm listening to the non-mixed roughs right now and they are fantastic. No vocals, no mix, no levels and they are cracking! Now it can be revealed which songs we are producing and which basic take we are using for each (drum roll...) :

A Talent For Loving (take 1)
Down By Love (take 2)
and the ladies' choice, Done Lost My Mind (take 4)

Oh, dinner was chicken parmigiano from Buca di Beppo across the street from the studio. I highly recommend it. It's got lots of prosciutto on top.
All right. Time for this singer to go to bed. Must get 8 hours of sleep. Minimal talking for the next 12 hours. And zero talking on the telephone. So if you call me, be prepared to leave a message. Have a great Sunday. We'll be doing our best to make records for you to enjoy.

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Author! Author!

Hey Soul Mates,
I got to Atlanta in one piece.

What fun to be first-nighters. The world premiere of my Dad's play Street Rhythm was a success. Opening night jitters aside, the actors & musicians were all solid. Special kudos for Eugene Russell and
Charles Black who played the tragi-comic characters of doomed be-boppin' Luther and the older, but not always wiser Buster, respectively.

Dad seemed very pleased with the show. We sat right up front and occasionally he would comment to me how well a scene worked or what songs the duo were playing. Jazz musicians Syl Spann & Rick Denton were particularly tastefully. The theater itself is a nice space that seats about 100 and the play was well attended. Quite good for a brand new production opening on a Thursday night. The cast and crew are all energetic and eager thespians. They are all genuinely warm people and they are pleasure to know. Bravo.

Tomorrow morning, Dad has a radio interview on a local NPR station at 8. That's a bit early for yours-jet-lagged-truly, but I'll be up. I wouldn't miss any of this for the world. I'm very proud of my Dad for getting the play produced. Street Rhythm is a well-written character study and slice of life of Harlem in the '50's: an age underrepresented in popular culture. It ain't easy to mount a 2 act play on any level and director Carol Mitchell-Leon has done commendably. We'll be back at the Push Push Theatre tomorrow for performance 2.


l-r: Me, Eugene (E.H.) Russell, actress Tia Reece, Dad, Charles Black.


Playwright & Son.


Playwright & Different Son.


Syl Spann & Rick Denton


The Kelseys at the Theatre.

Love, Power, Peace from Atlanta

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Street Rhythm

Hey Soul Mates,
I'm going to Hotlanta this week for the premiere of my Dad's (Herb Kelsey) play "Street Rhythm." It's being put on by a theatre company called the New Jomandi. I'm pretty excited; and I'm sure my Dad is, too. We've been waiting for the debut since they announced that it would be part of the schedule back in December. It's being put on at a space called Push Push and is directed by Carol Mitchell-Leon. If you are in the Atlanta area this weekend, May 19-21, come check it out. The drama is set in Harlem in the 1950's and features a live jazz combo. Dad is already an accomplished stage and film actor, & radio personality, so it will be neat to see him officially add produced playwright to his C.V.

I spent the better part of last night requesting reviews and inviting media to our upcoming show. If you have any connections with print or TV media you are comfortable sharing, please pass along any info. It will be greatly appreciated. One aspect of our promotion that we have yet to really get cooking is our notices. It helps putting together presskits to have some reviews and comments from substantial sources.

Have a good Wednesday.

Love, Power, Peace.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another Saturday Night... (I Love L.A. cont'd)

Hey Soul Mates,
well, the Dodgers lost to the Braves 1-5. And Eric Gagne made a very inauspicious return to the team giving up back-to-back home runs to the Jones Boys. Ugh. But, it was beautiful night at Chavez Ravine.

Kind of a neat day around town. This morning at the local Ralph's, ran into old neighbor
Billy Griffin. We chatted mainly about baseball; he's from Baltimore and loves the O's. Oh, who's Billy, you ask? He wrote and sang Love Machine with the Miracles ("I'm just a love machine and I don't work for nobody but you"). He was the singer who replaced Smokey Robinson. That's a pretty cool job. Billy says he's got a new CD on the way and he's very pleased with it and being in control of his musical destiny. He's certainly paid his dues.

Then this afternoon at the NOHO arts festival, we caught up with
Bernard Fowler, he of the Rolling Stones touring band and Big Monday at the Joint. Funny to see him out in daylight. But he seems happy and well. I'm sure he's got busy times ahead. The new Stones tour revs up shortly. That's a cool job, too.

It's really a trip to know these people and fun to talk with them. There are always notables out and about this town, just gotta keep your eyes pealed. Billy and Bernard might not be recognized on sight even by the keenest music fans, but they have both made respectable careers with music. Hope we do the same.

Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Production Rehearsal = Studio Time Coming

Hey Soul Mates,
we had a really good rehearsal tonight. We worked primarily on the new material that we'll be taking into the studio next weekend. That's right! We are on track to do some recording this month. Three new songs are going to get the RHS treatment. We'll reveal the names of them in the coming weeks. But, if you've seen us perform lately, you've heard them. It's about time that we get more music to you. Lots of people have been commenting to us about the tracks we have available on line. These will be even more representative of where we are headed musically.

We also worked on a brand new midtempo song called Everything My Heart Desires. I think this one will go over very well. It's a little jazzy and has a very strong chorus... as far as I can tell you. This one will be debuted at our next LA show at the Gig. Doug had to leave a little early, so Bryan and I fooled around with some Curtis Mayfield and James Brown songs. Maybe one will show up in a set soon?!

It's pretty warm here in LA and we had the A/C cranking at the studio. Summer is here, my friends. Hope you have a marvelous weekend. Back to the steam inhaler.
Love, Power, Peace

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Get An Eyeful

Hey Soul Mates,
it's late! I'm going to bed. But before I do, I wanna tell you: check out the show photos on our website! Go Now for exciting pictures of Rush Hour Soul in Action from Saturday night.
Love, Power, Peace!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Pictures Are Developing

Hey Soul Mates,
there are quite a few photos from Saturday's show to sift through. But, I've been busy with writing, going out and resting. So just pretend that the pictures are being developed at the FotoMat circa 1985. I'll try to get them up on our website tonight.

Last night, we went down to
the Gig for their bar manager, Alan Yee's birthday. It was a good night to promote and network. The people who run the Gig are really artist friendly. There are a handful of clubs like that here in LA. The Gig gets high marks.

Love, Power, Peace.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Well, Well, Well (Show Recap)

Hey Soul Mates,
Thanks to everyone who made the scene last night. We had a good crowd for such an early show. The Gig was jumpin' last night and for good reason: Rush Hour Soul! We came out of the gates with A Talent For Loving & Sucka. Later, we made a long-distance dedication of Everyone's Ingenue to our new friends on MySpace. As promised, several of our hottest slow jamz made the set. There were lots of compliments for the version of Done Lost My Mind. A couple of people told me that it sounds like an Al Green song. Wow. What a humbling compliment. I can only strive to be like Al, Marvin, or Little Richard. That means a lot.

Of course, I had to jump a couple of times last night. It's hardwired into my system. Leaping midshow wasn't too difficult. The knee felt bad after the show, but not during. Too much adrenaline. Bryan and Doug were in great form as well. They were jammin'.

We stuck around last night to hear a complete set from the supergroovy
Get Licious. They will be on the bill with us for our next LA show on June 17 (where?) at the Gig. That show is going to be ferocious. We've only begun to tap into what we'll be presenting that night. Suffice it to say, Adam Marsland will be on keys. 3 New Songs will make their debut and... and we have 2 band birthdays to celebrate. Uhhh, and Get Licious has some well-dressed fans. I think the RHS crew is more than up to the challenge. The Gig is becoming the place to be. The sound in that room gets better and better. Plus we like the vibe. Hope you all do, too.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. You want to know what we performed last night.
Set List:
A Talent For Loving
Sucka
Down By Love
Saffron Dancer
Rediscover Love
Everyone's Ingenue
Done Lost My Mind
Excommunication
Fall Out
Love Someone

There are plenty more photos that will be posted on our website in the coming week. Lots to go through. And being Mother's Day and all, I can't sit at the computer all day to post them immediately. I hope you understand. But here's a taste of the Soul.



I said it was a very raspberry ensemble.
Happy Mother's Day, esp. to my Mom and Gmom!
Love, Power, Peace

Saturday, May 07, 2005

It's Time To Get Things Started

Hey Soul Mates,
just a few hours away from Showtime. The wardrobe has been selected. Set lists have been printed. Time to relax for a little while. It's been a busy day so far. Picked up a new shirt and tie to go with the new striped jacket & cream cords I'll be sporting tonight. Looks summery. Very raspberry.

Last night was chockful o' music. First we whisked down to the Knitting Factory in Hollywood for the huge Kiss or Kill night. Our buddies the Waking Hours put on a really high energy show. They played a few new songs as well. A nice rebound from their show at the Troub a few weeks ago. Then we zipped up the 101 to Reseda. That's where Adam Marsland was performing with the Chaos Band. We are pleased to announce that Adam will be playing with us on June 17 (which will be our next show in LA).

Gotta ice the knee and get in one more sitting at the humidifier.
Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Blue Wednesday

Hey Soul Mates,
last night was a middling one for the Dodgers. The Nationals prevailed in the pitching duel. It was cool seeing the Nats for the first time. Now, I'm back to one team in Major League Baseball that I've never seen play in person. That would be the Tampa Devil Rays, with little opportunity to see them soon.

After the game, I ran into my old friend Peter Lurie. He introduced me to his friend and co-worker Lafitte Pincay III. They are both analysts on
Horse Racing TV. Pretty cool, Lafitte's father is the sport's all-time winningest jockey. Peter and I were in a band (very briefly) when I first moved to LA. We were on stage together the first time I performed here in LA.

The best news of the day: I had a breakthrough on a lyric I've been working on for a while. It's a new midtempo number called "Everything My Heart Desires." I sat on the chorus for weeks before a good verse hatched, then I got two. This one will be debuted at a show in June. We also got some big help down in San Diego from my buddy, Steve. He's helping us organize some performances there. We'll keep you posted on the progress. Thanks, Stevie.

Today, I'm off to the Doc's to have him take a look at my knee. It's a good looking knee at least.
Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Wounded Knee

Hey Soul Mates,
we are still preparing for our Saturday show. I'm in the midst of some knee weirdness. The pain in my knee has been replaced by numbness behind the kneecap and on the sole of my foot. Zowie. It feels like my knee is asleep. Wake up!

This week leading up to the show, you may see me out and about Los Angeles. Tomorrow night, I'll be sporting the Blue at Chavez Ravine. The Nats are in town to play the Dodgers. Thursday night is Crunko De Mayo. I'll be wandering down to the Gig to support some friends, Howy & Russell, whose bands are performing. Friday there is a big lineup at the Knitting Factory and several homies are playing there including the Waking Hours and the Letter Openers. And then suddenly: it's Saturday and
we're up!

Yours from L.A.

Love, Power, Peace.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Any Major Dude Will Tell You

Hey Soul Mates,
man, do I love my bandmates, cousin.
They are the best. We had a productive rehearsal tonight. Even though we are all battling through bowling injuries and fatigue from the week in general. We are very excited about playing for you this coming weekend. Our last show was very uptempo. This next one, we'll be doing quite a few of our ballads, our slow jams. While we normally do one slow song per set, we'll play at least 2 on Saturday. Ladies...

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Steely Dan. Perfect driving music late at night, but also perfectly good for walking around North Hollywood in the a.m. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed their music and how much of it was unfamiliar to me. There are lots of groups/artists out there that I really admire, but don't necessarily incorporate into my own music. Steely Dan gets pretty funky on occasion. Their playing is just inspiring. And Don Fagen's lyrics bear repeat listenings. "Peg," "Reeling In The Years" & "Deacon Blues" have always been among my favorites. But now that I've discovered some of the album tracks, I've been wearing out "Pretzel Logic," "Bad Sneakers" and "Any Major Dude Will Tell You." A Decade Of Steely Dan was one of the earliest CD's I bought. And my buddy Mike gave me Fagen's solo masterpiece The Nightfly one Christmas. When I was in college, I would listen to Are You Experienced? to get through all nighters. But, in the daylight (oddly enough), The Nightfly would put me in daydream mode.


Fagen & Becker (Steely Dan)

The Dan made it back into the news in a big way the last 5 years when they accomplished two odd-defying feats. First, they made a reunion album called Two Against Nature and managed to walk away with Grammy's big prize. Risen from the ashes. That was bested by their horribly comedic campaign to be selected for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They were the first major act to actively seek election and succeed. Where others have whined, Steely Dan simply lampooned. You can still see their letters to the Rock cognoscenti and decision makers on their website.

This reintroduction to their stuff began when my friend Dr. Rahuna and I were talking about "My Old School" and how brilliant it is. Maybe this will lead you to Steely Dan or to remembering them. Their music immediately takes me back to childhood in the 70's and FM radio, star-filled late night drives in the family car and summers in the Midwest. I didn't understand what the Dan was on about, I just knew it was great music. Now I listen to it and marvel: how did these two white dudes sound so jazzy and make pop singles at the same time?

That's for them to know and for us to find out.

Love, Power, Peace.