soul

EP111: Tisa Bryant on The Emotions' "Rejoice" (1977)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Tisa Bryant

The Emotions started out singing gospel as The Hutchinson Sunbeams, but when they signed a deal with Stax/Volt, they changed their name and switched to soul/R&B. They enjoyed modest success during those years, charting on the Hot 100, but Stax was going bankrupt, and The Emotions were left stranded. 

The group moved to Columbia Records and met Maurice White, who helped produce the biggest hits in their careers. "The Best of My Love" rocketed up the charts and reached the top spot on Billboard Pop and R&B and their album Rejoice went Platinum. 

Critic and professor Tisa Bryant talks to Oliver and guest co-host Ernest Hardy about the change in sound between the Stax/Volt and Columbia Records years, the role Maurice and Charles Stepney played in the production of this album, and The Emotions' place in the vast world of girl groups.  

More on Tisa

More on The Emotions

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Rejoice unless indicated otherwise):

  • Best of My Love
  • The Emotions: Peace Be Still
  • The Emotions: Flowers
  • A Long Way to Go
  • Bebe and Cece Winans: Heaven
  • Blessed
  • Deniece Williams: Free
  • Blessed
  • Key to My Heart
  • Don't Ask My Neighbors
  • A Feeling Is
  • Best of My Love
  • Don't Ask My Neighbors
  • Best of My Love
  • Don't Ask My Neighbors
  • A Long Way to Go
  • Rejoice
  • The Emotions: Blind Alley
  • The Emotions: Show Me How
  • The Emotions: Peace Be Still (Live at Wattstax)
  • The Emotions: We Go Through Changes
  • Love Unlimited: If You Want Me, Say It

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks EP81: Bhi Bhiman on Sly and the Family Stone's "Stand!" (1969)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Bhi Bhiman

The Album: Sly and the Family Stone: Stand! (1969)
When San Francisco’s Sylvester Stewart and his Family Stone released Stand! in the spring of the 1969, it further cemented the group’s reputation as the definitive pop act of the era, whose multiracial makeup mirrored the band’s multi-musical fluency in rock, pop, soul and funk. They captured the post-summer of love optimism of the times in songs like “Everyday People” and “You Can Make It If You Try” and though those good times wouldn’t last in the years to follow, for that brief, shining moment, Stand! thrust Sly and the Family Stone into the spotlight as avatars for a national feeling of possibility and positivity. Can it be it was all so simple then? 
Stand! was the pick of guest Bhi Bhiman, the singer/songwriter from Los Angeles (by way of St. Louis). Armed with an eclectic set of influences, Bhiman's dabbled in everything from songwriting with The Coup's Boots Riley to collaborating with comedian Keegan-Michael Key to releasing his most recent album, 2019's Peace of Mind, as a podcast. Together, we discuss how Stand! reflected the soon-to-be-dashed optimism of its time, how the Family Stone doesn't get enough credit for Sly's sound and ponder how Ike and Tina Turner managed to rip off "Sing a Simple Song" without catching heat. 
More on Bhi Bhiman

More on Stand!

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Stand! unless indicated otherwise):

  • Soul Clappin' II
  • Jimi Hendrix: We Gotta Live Together
  • Sing A Simple Song
  • Stand!
  • Tremaine Hawkins: Change
  • Stand!
  • Sex Machine
  • Don't Call Me N****, Whitey
  • Sing A Simple Song
  • You Can Make It If You Try
  • Bold Soul Sister
  • Everyday People
  • I Want To Take You Higher

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks EP79: Joey Dosik on Bill Withers's "+Justments" (1974)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Joey Dosik

The Album: Bill Withers: +Justments (1974)
Despite the massive success of Withers's first two albums, Just As I Am and Still Bill, label problems prevented +Justments (his fourth LP) from being released on CD until 2010. As such, it's been a sleeper of an album despite how good it is. Withers was never the most confessional of artists but this album, which came about during the dissolution of Withers's marriage to Denise Nicholas (amidst accusations of abuse), is about as close to he gets to talking about his personal life via song. Meanwhile, scoring all this were former members of the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band, as good a rhythm section that any artist in L.A. could hope to be hooked up with. 
+Justments was the pick by L.A. soulster Joey Dosik, who's recorded extensively with Vulfpeck but has recently branched into his solo career with his debut album from last year, Inside Voice, which includes a cover of "Stories" from Withers's album. Amongst other things, we discussed how Dosik discovered this slept-on album in his ex-girlfriend's crates, how he learned his own singing voice by studying Withers's, and how drumming great James Gadson is supernaturally clean in the pocket. 
Note: the first half of our episode was taped in the MaxFun kitchen on a remote rig because the power had gone out in our building. We were able to get back into the studio properly for the second half but we apologize for the uneven sound quality of the first half. 
More on Joey Dosik

More on +Justments

Show Tracklisting (all songs from +Justments unless indicated otherwise):

  • Ruby Lee
  • Joey Dosik: Game Winner
  • Stories
  • Bill Withers: Ain't No Sunshine
  • Can We Pretend
  • Heartbreak Road
  • Can We Pretend
  • Heartbreak Road
  • Stories
  • Joey Dosik: Stories (Live)
  • Joey Dosik: Stories
  • Railroad Man
  • You
  • Green Grass
  • Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information
  • Stevie Wonder: Visions

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

*updated EP76: Nick Waterhouse on Jackie Shane's Any Other Way (2017)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Nick Waterhouse

Dear Heatrockers,

On a recent episode, our deep dive into Jackie Shane's "Any Other Way", we unintentionally misgendered Ms. Shane and the late Wilmer Broadnax. Although some of this was addressed at the start of the episode, we'd like to take the opportunity to apologize to members of the transgender community and anyone who found our choice of words offensive and insensitive. We have re-cut the episode to remove the discussion of Broadnax and we pledge for the future to do a more thoughtful job in choosing our language in a respectful and accurate manner. Thanks to all of you who sent us feedback on this; we appreciate your input and support.

The Album: Jackie Shane Any Other Way (2017)

This week's episode focuses on the life, career and resurgence of soul singing trans pioneer Jackie Shane, who spent much of the 50's and 60's alongside Frank Motley and the Motley Crew band enthralling Toronto audiences with her voice, her presence and her realism.

We were thrilled to be joined by another old soul, singer Nick Waterhouse, a cool kid from the best coast whose sonic leanings hearken back to a time and type of rhythm and blues. He came to share the Jackie Shane's influence on him as a singer, the splendor that was her life and the songs that moved him from her seminal 2017 compilation album, Any Other Way.

This one's too good to miss!

And be sure to check out Nick Waterhouse's new self-titled record releasing 03/08.

More on Nick Waterhouse

More on Any Other Way

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Any Other Way unless indicated otherwise):

  • New Way of Loving
  • Nick Waterhouse: Wreck the Rod
  • Stand Up Straight and Tall
  • Walking the Dog
  • Any Other Way
  • Frank Motley and the Hitchhikers: Hook & Sling
  • Money (That's What I Want)
  • Dual Trumpet Bounce - Live
  • Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - Live
  • Comin' Down
  • Money (That's What I Want)
  • Violent Femmes: Blister in the Sun
  • Stand Up Straight and Tall
  • Money (That's What I Want) - Live
  • Walking the Dog
  • Shotgun - Live

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP75: Tall Black Guy on D'Angelo's "Voodoo" (2000)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Tall Black Guy

The Album: D'Angelo Voodoo (2000)

Tall Black Guy, AKA Terrel Wallace, has been making beats and remixing artists like 79.5, Stro Elliot, and Moonchild, for a long time. Listen to any one of his songs and you'll understand why he's one of the best producers out there and why we were so excited to talk to him. It's no surprise that his personal heat rock (and ours) was "Voodoo" by D'Angelo.

Making the album was no small feat. D'Angelo took a long break between albums to learn more about playing the guitar, and linked up with the Soulquarians to lay down some of the funkiest, most eclectic, and just plain hottest tracks of all-time. It took nearly 5 years to make, but the wait was worth it.

Morgan is flying solo and talked to TBG about the wide range of D'Angelo's influences, the shift from "Brown Sugar" to "Voodoo," and D'Angelo's personal shift from neo soul darling to full-on sex symbol.

More on Tall Black Guy

More on Voodoo

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Voodoo unless indicated otherwise):

  • Send It On
  • Tall Black Guy: O Fim da Viagem
  • Playa Playa
  • Snoop Dogg: Gin and Juice
  • Chicken Grease
  • Maimouna Youssef: Say My Name
  • Spanish Joint
  • The Line
  • Spanish Joint
  • Greatdayndamornin'/Booty - Medley
  • Left and Right
  • Red Astaire: Follow Me
  • Untitled (How Does It Feel)
  • Prince: She's Always In My Hair
  • D'Angelo: She's Always In My Hair
  • 14KT: She's Always In My Hair
  • Africa
  • Devil's Pie

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP72: Lyrics Born on Curtis Mayfield's "Back to the World" (1973)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Lyrics Born

The Album: Curtis Mayfield's Back to the World (1973) In 1973, Curtis Mayfield had already become one of the biggest soul stars in the world thanks to the success of his Superfly soundtrack. He could have doubled-down with another album of lurid and cautionary street tales but instead, he wrote an album that many think of as a soundtrack to a movie never made, chronicling a returning Vietnam War veteran who finds America to be a different kind of war zone. Back to the World showcased Mayfield at his best — as a musician, composer, arranger, singer, producer, guitarist and songwriter — and decades later, we can still hear some of its influence reverberating in the dozens of artists who sampled from this album's lush music. 
The Bay Area's Lyrics Born brought this album to us to talk about. As part of the Solesides/Quannum crew that dates back to the mid-90s, LB has represented a much admired indie hip-hop ethos and he's been embraced by fans around the world. In our conversation, we talked about Mayfield's commitment to social issues, his gifts as a songwriter and whether or not "Right On For the Darkness" is, in fact, about a blind person. 
More on Lyrics Born

More on Back to the World

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Back to the World unless indicated otherwise):

  • Back to the World
  • Future Shock
  • Mac Mill: Straight Dangler
  • The Impressions: Keep On Pushing
  • Curtis Mayfield: Eddie You Should Know Better
  • The Impressions: I've Been Trying
  • Back to the World
  • Keep on Trippin'
  • Right On For The Darkness
  • Wiz Khalifa: Glass House
  • Right On For The Darkness
  • Gang Starr: Take A Rest
  • Mase: What You Want
  • Filthy Phil: The Payback
  • Willie Wright: Right On For The Darkness
  • Future Shock
  • Can't Say Nothin'
  • If I Were A Child Again
  • Curtis Mayfield: So In Love
  • Cissy Houston: Warning-Danger
  • Aretha Franklin: Something He Can Feel

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP 56: Women Behaving Boldly #3: Joi on Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different" (1974)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Joi Gilliam

The album: Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (1974)

As part of our "Women Behaving Boldly" series, we decided to re-air the episode that launched Heat Rocks: our interview with future soul trailblazer and architect, Joi Gilliam.

This was one the pilot episodes we recorded in the spring of 2017 and when we left the taping, we turned to one another and knew this show had potential.

The pairing of artist and album came from Morgan and it was inspired: the undersung Betty Davis, one of the most original and fascinating figures of the 1970s, being feted by future soul artist and Dungeon Family-affiliate Joi, an artist very much cut from Betty's cloth but a generation later. We had a fantastic conversation about the importance and uniqueness of Betty and what she's meant, especially, to waves of Black women artists who've followed in her path in the 40+ years since.

On a personal note, this also meant a lot to Oliver because he's written three sets of liner notes on Betty Davis albums (including They Say I'm Different) and interviewed her extensively as part of that. He forever holds a torch for her.

More on Betty Davis:

More on Joi:

Tracklisting(all songs from They Say I'm Different unless indicated otherwise):

  • They Say I'm Different
  • Joi: Sunshine & The Rain
  • Bone Crusher: Never Scared
  • Joi: Fatal Lovesick Journey
  • Don't Call Her No Tramp
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • Ice Cube: Once Upon a Time in the Projects
  • They Say I'm Different
  • 70's Blues
  • Special People
  • Joi: If I'm in Luck I Just Might Get Picked Up
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • He Was a Big Freak

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP36: Taura Stinson on Minnie Riperton's "Adventures in Paradise"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Taura Stinson

The Album: Minnie Riperton's Adventures in Paradise (1975)

2018 has been a breakout year for this weeks guest, Taura Stinson. "Mighty River", the song she co-wrote with Raphael Saadiq for Dee Rees' critically acclaimed film Mudbound was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She is a singer's singer who understands the nuances of song creation, production and arrangement. We couldn't have asked for a better guest and a better album to discuss and were thrilled to have her wax poetic about Minnie Riperton's 1975 Adventures In Paradise.

We dug deep on this one - discussing both Minnie's supreme vocal prowess and the sonic and lyrical legacy she left us when she left us just four years after this album was released. With production help from The Crusaders, Stewart Levine and Leon Ware, this peek into Minnie's world is quite the adventure. Get thoroughly into our chat with Taura Stinson and then revisit Adventures in Paradise for the culture.

About Taura:

Taura's book

Taura's Oscar & Golden Globe Nominated song "Mighty River"

Taura's single "Gossypium Thorns"

Show Tracklist (all songs from "Adventures in Paradise" unless indicated otherwise):

  • "Baby, This Love I Have"
  • Taura Stinson: Gossypium Thorns (Freedom) "Gossypium Thorns (Freedom)"
  • The Gospel Clouds: "Let Us Pray"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel "Lovin' You"
  • Rotary Connection: Aladdin "Life Could"
  • Mariah Carey: Emotions "Emotions"
  • Rotary Connection: Hey, Love "I Am the Blackgold of the Sun"
  • "Adventures in Paradise"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders "Lyrics to Go"
  • The Pointer Sisters: Steppin' "How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)"
  • Gwen McCrae: Lady Soul "Rockin' Chair"
  • Natalie Cole: Inseparable "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)"
  • Labelle: Nightbirds "Lady Marmalade"
  • "Feelin' that the Feeling's Good"
  • Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel "Take a Little Trip"
  • Minnie Riperton: The Best of Minnie Riperton "Woman of Heart and Mind"
  • Quincy Jones: Body Heat "If I Ever Lose This Heaven"
  • "Love and It's Glory"
  • "Adventures in Paradise"
  • "When It Comes Down to It"
  • "Alone in Brewster Bay"
  • "Baby, This Love I Have"
  • "Simple Things"
  • Minnie Riperton: Le Fleur "Young Willing and Able"
  • "Feelin' that the Feeling's Good"
  • "Simple Things"
  • "Minnie's Lament"
  • Prince: Parade-Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon" "Sometimes It Snows in April"
  • Emage: "Inside My Love"
  • "Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP35: Cut Chemist on Cymande's "Cymande" (1972)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Cut Chemist

The Album: Cymande: Cymande (1972)

"Say go DJ, cause that's my DJ..." - Weezy

Cut Chemist is nice with the wax, nice with the loops, nice on the decks. A central figure in West Coast hip hop (Jurassic 5, Ozomotli) and the art of turntablism, both he and his record collection are legendary. While he joined us to talk about British funk pioneer Cymande's 1972 self-titled debut, our conversation covered a myriad of topics including Cut's journey as a crate digger, a record he may or may not have pilfered in 1987, the influence of Chuck Chillout and DJ Red Alert on his development as a DJ, Cymande's seamless genre-fusing and the band's relationship to hip-hop. Needless to say, we went in.

About Cut Chemist:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8225523/cut-chemist-i...

About Cut's latest album, Die Cut 
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2018/03/13/cut-chemist-die-cut-interview/

Oliver's Rolling Stone interview with Cymande:
http://rol.st/1U3YpYS

Cymande website:
http://www.cymandeofficial.com

Show Tracklist (all songs from Cymande unless indicated otherwise):

  • "One More"
  • Cut Chemist: The Audience's Listening "The Garden"
  • Harlem Underground Band: Harlem Underground Band "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"
  • "Bra"
  • "The Message"
  • "Dove"
  • DJ Chuck Chillout: clip from 98.7 Kiss FM show from 1986
  • Clip from the 1983 film "Wild Style"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik "Give It Away"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "The Message"
  • Assagai: Assagai "Telephone Girl"
  • "Dove"
  • "Listen"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "Zion I"
  • "Rickshaw"
  • Hielo Ardiente: El Original Ritmo Ardiente "Mensaje"
  • The Meters: The Meters "Cissy Strut"
  • "Rastafarian Folk Song"
  • The Fugees: The Score "The Score"
  • De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising "Change in Speak"
  • The Doors: L.A. Woman "Riders on the Storm"
  • Tune Yards: Nikki Nack "Water Fountain"
  • Alice in Chains: Facelift "Man in the Box"
  • Cymande: Second Time Round "Bird"
  • Kaidi Tathem: Feed the Cat "Armz R Deh"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP28: Brother Ali on Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Brother Ali

The album: Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

As part of the two week MaxFun Drive, we wanted to save two of our best shows to share with you. This first week, it's rapper Brother Ali, a long time MaxFun favorite, and he picked one of the greatest albums of all time: Stevie Wonder's majestic Songs in the Key of Life, recorded when the artist was still in his 20s(!).
Brother Ali, of course, has his own string of modern classics, including Shadows on the Sun (2003), The Undisputed Truth (2007) and most recently, last year's All the Beauty In This Whole Life. In choosing Stevie's masterpiece, Brother Ali took us back to his childhood, growing up with listening to Stevie in the house, and then later, as a teenager, buying Stevie albums to bring home and study. During our conversation with him, we got into the musical, social and cultural threads that Songs In the Key of Life  has helped unwind over the years.
More on Songs In the Key of Life

More on Brother Ali

Show Tracklist (all songs fromSongs in the Key of Life unless indicated otherwise):

  • ”Isn’t She Lovely”
  • Brother Ali: All The Beauty In This Whole Life “Own Light (What Hearts are For)”
  • ”Summer Soft”
  • ”I Wish”
  • ”Black Man”
  • ”Pastime Paradise”
  • ”Village Ghettholand”
  • ”Love Is In Need of Love Today”
  • ”Sir Duke”
  • ”Knocks Me Off My Feet”
  • ”Saturn”
  • ”Another Star”
  • ”As”
  • George Michael:  Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael “As Feat Mary J. Blidge”
  • Coolio: Gangsta’s Paradise “Dangerous Minds”
  • Jay-Z: 4:44 “Smile”
  • ”Isn’t She Lovely”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

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