Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"A Talent For Loving" Goes Global On iTunes

My new CD has hit the internet with full force for your funk/rock/soul needs.
Just follow these links...

For all my peeps in Great Britain:
"A Talent For Loving"
is now available in the UK in iTunes!

For all my people in Italia:
"A Talent For Loving" is up on the Italian iTunes!

For all of the dancers in Japan:
"A Talent For Loving"
is for sale on the Japanese iTunes!

For all of the lovers in Belgium:
"A Talent For Loving" is there for you at the iTunes Belgique!

For all my soul stirrers in Deutschland:
"A Talent For Loving" is musik all the way live on the German iTunes!

And if you live in a different market from any of the above listed, be sure to check your iTunes, too. Thanks for your support. I really know you will enjoy the album. It's chock full of songs to move and soothe your soul!
Peace & Disco Beats!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Soul Patrol Reviews "A TALENT FOR LOVING"

Hot off the presses, y'all. Here's the Soul Patrol.com review of "A Talent For Loving." Also included is the introduction to this month's reviews. Enjoy!

###

There is something happening right now in America. Right now the United States is caught up in one of those kind of grooves that make us think that maybe, just maybe we can actually become the country that we were supposed to be all along. As a nation we are not able to shake off the hope and promise that the 1960's offered up. Back in the days of dark suits, skinny ties, big hair and black & white TV's, there was a sense that "the impossible was possible." Remember the America that was depicted in the eMpTVy video "R.O.C.K In The USA" by John Cougar Mellencamp?, well that vision of America now seems to be current reality. Face it folks, we are living in special time where the leading Presidential candidate seems to embody the best characteristics of both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, where the leading musical artist of the day is a big hair British chick who sings 1960's R&B, and that "subversive integrationist", John Cougar Mellencamp is being inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. So enjoy this time, while we can, it might just be all over with in six months. If you read between the lines of all of these album reviews, you will notice a common thread...

Norman Kelsey - A Talent For Loving
(Funk/Rock/Soul)

Norman Kelsey's album is what I would expect the "first Lenny Kravitz album" to sound like. It's full of better than average rock, soul, funk, pop songs. Simple 3 minute songs with hooks, that you can bop down the boardwalk to while you snap your finger. It's also got a few GREAT songs, that would be automatic hit records if they could be heard by the masses. And it shows a hell of a lot of potential for the artist himself to become a "universal fusion artist." It's the kind of an album that you can put on, leave on and think that you are listening to a Top 40 radio station from back in the day, playing a diverse set of music that somehow all "works together." The album as a whole reminds me of hanging out at the beach all summer and hearing great summer songs coming out of tiny transistor radios, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, that get played on BOTH the Black stations and the white stations. Buy this album now, it gets better and better with each listen, but wait till the summertime to play it for your friends, so that they can become hooked on this album, and not even realize why.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gracious Words From "Soul Patrol"

Hey everyone. I wanted to share a newsletter from Soul Patrol that included a very nice mention for me and my new single "Everything My Heart Desires." It was written by DJ/Editor Bob Davis in response to Amy Winehouse's Grammy win and the flak with Natalie Cole. I can't tell you how pleased I am to be in the middle of this and to be mentioned along with some other super artists. Preach, Bob!

Peace & Disco Beats

###

From the
Soul Patrol Newsletter:

Natalie Cole on Amy Winehouse: "I don't think she should have won. I think it sends a bad message to our young people who are trying to get into this business, the ones who are trying to do it right and really trying to keep themselves together ... We have to stop rewarding bad behavior. I'm sorry. I think the girl is talented, gifted, but it's not right for her to be able to have her cake and eat it too. She needs to get herself together." - Natalie Cole

Fair statement? Hypocritical? Sour grapes? What do you think?

Well given that Natalie Cole has had her own well documented problems in this arena, I suppose it's a fair statement for her to make as a person "who has been there & done that." I suppose that she is also saying that she would be willing to return her own Grammy and other awards that she received, while being a self-admitted drug abuser?

On a slightly different point... I'm getting a little tired of mainstream Black artists criticizing Amy Winehouse for doing what THEY should be doing. Amy Winehouse is NOT great, however she in mining 1960's R&B style music. She's going with a formula that has a proven track record of success. And she has been sucessful in doing so.

These artists who are complaining could easily do the same thing. Many of them are already 80 percent there. They just don't seem to want to go the other 20 percent. For some reason they don't want to (with the exception of Ryan Shaw, who was also nominated for a Grammy this year).

There are a few others... For example Norman Kelsey (yeah I know you have never heard of him.....lol) has a dreamy mid 1960's style slow jam that we are currently featuring on Nu Soul @ RadioIO. It almost sounds like the kind of song that might have appeared on top 40 radio in the 1960's.

When you see me talking of Nu Soul, that is what I am looking for. Artists who are trying to go back to that classic sound (dated?....LOL) and going against the grain in doing so.

I saw a GREAT example of it this past Saturday night in Brooklyn, where our friend Nadir "tore the roof off tha sucka", in front of a crowd of 300 WHITE FOLKS that had never heard of him before, and did so with extreme showmanship that had the crowd eating out of his hands by the time the show was over. Nadir put on a GREAT, classic FUNK show, that was in the mode of Sly Stone/Ohio Players/Fatback using a local/average NYC band to back him up.

I'm way behind in writing my reviews, so I'll post something more complete later on Nadir's GREAT concert (plus all of the cool albums that I have been listening to recently). The people who actually BUY MUSIC want REAL Soul music. They don't want something close. They don't want something "slick" They want it RAW and they want it REAL.

This is probably the biggest lesson that I learned from our Virtual Album experiment. When I talk to these people they go on and on about Sharon Jones, Bettye LaVette, etc and they ask me who are the others that are operating in that kind of groove. Hell, they don't even care if it's rap music at this point, they just want something that DOESN'T SOUND like it came from a "marketing department", that sounds mlike it comes out of the REAL tradition of R&B music.

- And of course I tell them about the Ryan Shaw's, Nadir's, Norman Kelsey's, Ledisi's, Angel Risloff's, Rahssan Patterson's Square Egg's, Angie Stone's, etc. of the world.

- I tell them about Chuck D's new album, where he takes the JAMES BROWN catalog and "does it to death."

- I tell them about the teenaged HOMEMADE JAM BAND and what they are doing with the music of Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke and others when I saw them on the CBS Morning News and kickin some serious azz out on the Blues circuit.

- I tell them about Rhonda Benin, who is now pretty close to SELLING OUT her show at Yoshi's in the Bay Area on the 18th, with a great album & show that evokes Etta James, the Rascals, Stevie Wonder and others.

- Add Marc Broussard, Carlton Smith, Kyle Jason, Queen Latifah, SounDoctrine, Stephanie McKay, Joseph Wooten, Mena, Angela Johnson, Will Wheaton and a few others to that list

- And don't forget about the ORIGINAL ARTISTS who are still kicking out GREAT R&B/SOUL MUSIC.

It is there and it's being created by folks who are busy actually CREATING GREAT MUSIC, instead of COMPLAINING about "other people"!!!!

My point is that the Black artists who are complaining are too damn lame to truly mine their own tradition for both style and material.

They are trying to "walk a tightrope", that they don't even have to walk!!!!

This is NOT a difficult thing to figure out folks...

They need to just start doing "THA REAL THANG".

If the white artists like Amy Winehouse can do it, why can't they?

And THAT my friends is the real issue...

By Bob Davis

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Review From "Keys & Chords"

Check out the latest review of "A Talent For Loving" from Keys & Chords. Quite glowing; lots of love for the vocals, funk and the guitar playing on the album. You may have to run it through a translator as the review is in Dutch! Suffice it to say Keys & Chords calls it a "strong disc." Yeah Boyeee!

Peace & Disco Beats

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Grammy Moment

This year's 50th Grammy Celebration was so superior to last year's awards ceremonies that I can barely contain my thoughts as I type. So many highlights. So many great moments. I hope you had a chance to watch the show. In case you didn't here's a bit of what you really missed out on from my seats in the 200 level:

The Time reunited to perform "Jungle Love." Flat out fun. They had the Staples Center grooving. Rihanna joined them half-way through to perform her hits "Umbrella" and "Don't Stop The Music." What became abundantly apparent was how superior the Time's nearly 25 year old song was. Rihanna's performance was helped by being backed by one of the premier funk outfits of all time. Morris Day and Jerome still have the moves and the comedy timing down!

Aretha Franklin and Co. ran through gospel hits ancient and new. They brought Cherch to the show like never before. And when the choir and 'Retha finished with "the Old Landmark" it was time to grab a fan and cool off.

Tina Turner. Ahem. Tina! Turner! Hot dang. I hope that I have that kind of energy when I'm whatever age she isn't! Tina's iron-hot "Proud Mary" was probably the most exciting segment of the night. Beyonce held her own duetting with Tina, but this was Tina's moment. Makes you wish she hadn't retired. Tina danced her butt off in that silver lame outfit. Come back, Tina, come back!

Kanye West and Daft Punk rocked out "Stronger." Looking like a hip-hop version of Tron, Kanye really amped up the crowd. And then when he cooled things off with his tribute to his recently departed mother, "Hey Mama" everyone felt his loss. But when he accepted his award for Best Rap Album did is usual snarky and fabulously arrogant personality returned. His speech was running long and the cut-off cue began while he was thanking his mom. Kanye quipped, "now would be a good time to stop the music."

Even artists I didn't root for or know much about were fun to hear, especially country star Brad Paisley's "I'd Like To Check You For Ticks." Of course, I was blown away by the trio of John Fogerty, Jerry Lee Lewis and the architect, Little Richard. They tore through Fogerty's new song "Revival" and spiced it up with footstomping bridges of "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Good Golly Miss Molly." You know how much I love Richard and he had the crowd eating up that rock and roll like it was 1958!

Of course, the performance I had been waiting for delivered on every level and then some. Cuba Gooding Jr. introduced a cleaned up Amy Winehouse who performed via satellite from a studio in London. It should go down as one of the hottest perfs in Grammy history. Amy tore into "You Know I'm No Good" and segued into her massive Grammy winning hit "Rehab." Art imitating life, imitating art, imitating life. Amy is a powerful vocalist with great stories to tell. I'm happy for her that she got her act together enough to do the show, even from 5000 miles away. I have mentioned before that I voted for Wino in all four major categories (she scored in 3). So I was really pulling for her performance and for her to win. I was certainly applauding loudest in our section each time she rang up a victory and after her singing.

As for my personal experience at the show, much better than last year. Many of the people I voted for won! I even got to congratulate several of last night's winners including Terence Blanchard, Jim Lauderdale and the late Gerald Levert's mom. The pretelecast ceremony was not as much fun as last year in terms of star power, BUT, there was a special segment that featured a performance by the last of the Delta blues giants. Pinetop Perkins and Honeyboy Edwards accompanied Koko Taylor on "Let The Good Times Roll." Oh my. It was about 270 years of musical experience tearing up the joint. Unforgettable.


There are so many other moments I could write about, like Ringo and George Martin on stage; Jason Bateman's hilarious segments introducing the last great American rock band Foo Fighters; or Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang revisiting the 20th Century classic "Rhapsody In Blue." Instead, I'll tell you about My Grammy Moment.

As my beautiful date and I were leaving our seats, I realized we were about to walk past Sam Moore of the legendary Sam & Dave. I had waved to him last year at the pretelecast (I had voted for him in best Trad R&B album, which he did not win). But I seized the opportunity to say hello and tell him how much I appreciated him and his music. Come on, I sang "Hold On I'm A-Comin'" in Liverpool! Sam was genuinely warm in taking time for me. We chatted about his nomination from last year and Amy Winehouse's crazy dance moves. Then he was kind enough to pose for a picture. It was the cherry on top of the sundae. Sam Moore is the original SOUL MAN. There are few artists that I've wanted to meet as much as him. You made the night that much more special, Sam. "And I Thank You!"


Well, I am certainly going to do my best to get A Talent For Loving nominated for Best Urban/Alternative performance. I'll be up against some stiff competition from Gnarls Barkley, I imagine. If it's God's will, you never know!? I don't know how the Grammy folks are going to top this year's show, but I'll be there next year to find out.

This last photo is me and my arm candy (or is it the other way around) in front of the Foo Fighters' outdoor stage. We clean up good.


Peace & Disco Beats

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Grammys Going On 50

I can't wait. This is my second year in a row attending the Grammys. More than can be said for Amy Winehouse. Dang it, Amy! I wanted you to be there. I would have kissed your beehive hairdo. I'll reveal to you now, dear reader, that I voted for Amy in many of the big 4 categories. At least she be live via satellite from the rehab clinic. No, no, no.

The Grammy folks have been busy unveiling the names of performers: Kanye West (just added), Tina Turner, Beyonce, The Time!, Little Richard, John Fogerty, John Legend, Jerry Lee Lewis, Herbie Hancock, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, Cirque Du Soleil & Aretha Franklin. It's going to be off the hook. It's Grammy's 50th Birthday, so it should be a wild party.

The presenters and attendees include Prince, Yoko and Ringo, Miley Cyrus, Usher, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Hanks, Cyndi Lauper, Cher & Tony Bennett. The organizers are really trying to make it an inclusive night. Considering one of their two marquee talents (Wino) isn't even allowed in this country, that's pretty impressive.

My favorite part of the day is actually the pre-telecast awards, which are going to be webcast for the first time this year. It's an open seating event and a chance to actually meet all of the nominees. As a voter, it's very cool, because I know I played a part in some of the victories last year. Hope it's the same this year.

Here's a cool link that went live today. It's the
Norman Kelsey entry at All Music Guide! Have a great Saturday.

Peace & Disco Beats

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday '08

It's Fat Tuesday!
It's Super Tuesday!
I voted for
Barack Obama.
Make sure you vote. And if you aren't registered now, be sure to get registered before the general election in November. It's your right as an American.

Peace & Disco Beats

p.s. personal plug: buy my record at
iTunes and CDbaby!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

iTunes Gets Hip To "A Talent"

You asked for it, here it is!
Just released:

iTunes has A Talent For Loving, now you can too!

And normankelsey.com is officially on-line.

It's gonna be an exciting week:
Super Tuesday (I'm voting for Barack Obama, join me in supporting him).
Super Wednesday - My Birthday. Celebrate by getting "A Talent For Loving!"
Super Sunday II - Watch for yours truly at the Grammys. I'm not on the list of official performers or presenters, but you never know when I'll show up on TV!

Peace & Disco Beats