Posts Tagged 'best of 2011'

January 2012 Newsletter – Setting Goals and How To Find Great Free New Music

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season and are enjoying the new year. This is going to be a fantastic year for the music industry and all Philip Clark projects in general. I’m looking forward to sharing a whole bunch of new ideas and songs with you all. 2012 is going to be an unforgettable ride, so stay tuned here for further updates. And, as always, share this email with a friend and turn them on to some great independent Soul Music.

TUTORIAL: How to Find Great New Free Music Online

As promised in the video update, here is my tutorial on how I find new and exciting music online. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account and have your iTunes open. And then hang on, because your hard drive will never be the same.

“Best of 2011” Lists are now up!

Make sure you check out my favorite picks of Songs, Free Albums, Albums for Sale and Beat Tapes in 2011. All on my blog.

2011 in Review: Best Songs
2011 in Review: Best Free Albums/EPs
2011 in Review: Best For Sale
2011 in Review Bonus: Best Beat Tapes 

The Road to 1000 Facebook ‘Likes.’ 

If there is anything you could do for me this year, it’s to make sure you ‘Like’ my band page on Facebook. I’d really love to hit 500 followers before the end of the month. That’s a real challenge! So, I’m asking that you reach out to your friends (feel free to share this email) and encourage everyone to check out the Philip Clark Band Facebook page and give it a ‘Like.’ You can also just hit the ‘Like’ button on the Philip Clark Website. If we reach the followers goal by the end of the month, I’ll post a special surprise. Let’s make it happen!

Thanks again, and have a prosperous 2012!


2011 In Review BONUS: Beat Tapes

In this BONUS edition of my “Best of 2011,” I’m giving props to the best in Beat Tapes this year. I listened to a lot of instrumentals this year, and these guys made a lasting impression on me.

Jamaal Jones – One Beat At a Time

Trebles and Blues – The Blue Note

Abstrakt Idea – Beats, Blunts & Burgers Vol.1

Freddie Joachim – Dusted

Melaz – Amphibious

Jesse Futerman – Super Basement EP

Villains Gone Bad III: Heroes for Villains – Hannibal King

Tall Black Guy – Hollyweird 2.0

Mecca:83 – The Life Sketches EP

JuSoul – Justrumental v0.<3: KitchenLove
Average Thought – Frum De’ Fleur
Amp Live – You Are Not Human (The Love EP)
Robot Oxford & the Mind Fuzz Orchestra
Maverick: The First Step
Soulful!: Mumbo Sauce & Drumbreaks
The Good Sin x 10.4 Rog – Late

2011 in Review: The Best For Sale

2011 was just yet another year that independent Soul Music simply exploded. Continuing with the best of the year, here are my selections for the best of what you got to pay for in 2011. See my entire playlist on Spotify here.

In order of favoritism:

#1 Malice & Mario Sweet – Happy 2 Year Deluxe Edition (Bandcamp – $5.99)

One of the best bangs for the buck and a record I was pretty much obsessed with for the entire year. If you can find it, there is a free version of this record around, but I wholeheartedly recommend you shell out the meager 6 bucks and get the bonus material of the Deluxe Edition. These guys are ones to watch in 2012.


#2 Tracy Cruz – Universoul Symphony (Amazon – $8.99)

Tracy’s sophomore effort was simply a masterpiece. I was impressed by the sheer amount of thought, originality, passion and vocal talent that went into this record. It gets my vote for the best songwriting of the year, and I really think the mainstream Soul blogs really missed out on highlighting this record more than they did. 


#3 Deborah Bond – Madam Palindrome (iTunes – $9.99)

You’ll notice a significant theme in 2011: Women dominated. Deborah Bond’s “Madam Palindrome” ran neck and neck with the Tracy Cruz record for my favorite spots. It was really difficult choosing a favorite. Bond does have the distinction of having my favorite music video of the year, “You Are The One.”

#4 Michelle Shaprow – Purple Skies (iTunes – $9.99)

I’ve been singing Michelle’s praises since late 2010. So it’s not surprising that “Purple Skies” is still dominating the iTunes music charts in Japan, maintaining the #1 spot. With a new publishing deal with BMG, it’s just a matter of time before she blows up stateside.


#5 Alabama Shakes – Alabama Shakes EP (Bandcamp – $4)

Man, this one came out of nowhere. Who’da though one of my favorite records of the year would be a Roots Rock album? This quartet is quickly gaining serious heat and buzz nationwide. This record is like hearing Janis Joplin and Otis Redding’s lovechild. Solid Southern Rock & Soul.


If you know anything about me, you know I like well-crafted live Soul music. Weeland & the Urban Soul Collective has that great combination that takes me back to groups like The Brand New Heavies, Repercussions and The Brooklyn Funk Essentials. 

#7 Paris Toon – Baptism By Fire (Bandcamp – $10)

I’ve known Paris since the old original days, and his band, Mothers Favorite Child, has always cranked out top-notch material. So it was a great surprise to see him using the band to highlight his own compositions. This record has some powerhouse musical and vocal performances in it. My only potential gripe with this recording is that some of the songs sound edited short. I would have loved to have heard the full version of all these songs.


#8 zebrahim – in my heart i am (Bandcamp – $1)

Ebrahim definitely made his presence known in the past year. Not only with this release, but his two-album project from late 2010. There’s something in the water in Toronto that is cranking out fantastic indie Soul. And at only one dollar, this record is a steal.


#9 Diggs Duke – Gravity (Bandcamp – 99¢)

By far, however, for my vote of the best 99¢ you’ll spend all year goes to Diggs Duke’s “Gravity.” Chock full of thoughful songwriting, excellent production and superb vocal execution, this is a must-have for your 2011 collection.


#10 Anthony Hamilton – Back To Love (Amazon – $9.99)

The Dark Horse of the year. I hardly expected this record, which came out so late in the year, to be one of my favorites. But Anthony Hamilton upped his game even further with the amazing songs a vocal performances in “Back to Love,” inching his way into my Top Ten.

Honorable Mention (Google these!)
Miles Bonny – Lumberjack Soul
Wildcookie – Cookie Dough
Eric Roberson – Mr. Nice Guy
Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting
Applejac Presents: Playin’ Favorites
Reggie B & Saadiq – Tomorrows Not Promised EP
Jill Scott – Hidden Beach presents: The Original Jill Scott: from the vault vol. 1

2011 in Review: Best of Free Soul Music

2011 was a fantastic year for free Soul Music. If you’re a regular follower of the blog, you know we’ve featured hundreds of albums, EPs, mixtapes and singles. The following are my picks for the best free EPs or LPs of the year. There were a couple of selections that made it to this list that are no longer free. Hopefully I’ll be able to include them in my “Best For Sale” list.

In no particular order…


Fela Soul by Amerigo Gazaway of Gummy Soul

Combining De La Soul with Fela Kuti, this was easily my favorite Hip Hop project of the year. A serious must-download.



Chris Rouse has an excellent voice and a talent for seriously soulful hooks. Why this isn’t mainstream radio R&B is really beyond me.


Terrace Martin – The Sex EP

A passion project of Martin and DJ Devi Dev, this project is something you can easily put on at the end of a romantic date. Break out the bubbly and groove to this one.


Shakka – The Shakka Crown Affair

Shakka has a very interesting syle that mixes Ragga with R&B and Pop. This concept album follows Shakka on a soulful heist.


Mayer Hawthorne – Impressions – The Covers EP

Admittedly, I’m not a big Mayer Hawthorne fan, but this respectful batch of covers was well executed and catchy. 


Zo! – …just visiting three

Returning for his third installment of free covers, Zo! delights us with some great renditions of tracks we’ve all come to call favorites. Not to mention the greatest Wham cover ever.


@Peace – @Peace EP

Probably one of the grooviest offerings of the year, this one came as a total surprise. Excellent beat production, substantial lyrics and solid rap delivery. Great alternative Hip Hop.


Trumaine Lamar – Things I Should’ve Told Her

Make sure you scroll down for the free link. Very insightful R&B by a rock-solid vocalist.


J. Mitchell MelodiousFly – LOve Kills The Demon an EP

J. Mitchell made quite a splash with this Future Soul offering, featuring production by Exile. 


Daley – Those Who Wait

Daley’s debut mixtape gave us not only some fantastic original R&B tracks, but also some nifty covers and appearances from special guests.


Anduze – Sightings (Mixtape Vol.1)

This mixtape has a great blend of smooth soul and guitar driven grooves. Coupled with Anduze’s voice, which harkens to me of performers like Chico DeBarge, Van Hunt and Robin Thicke.


Daniel de Bourg: The DDB Mixtape Volume 2 – THE BRIDGE

Did someone order a heaping helping of funky white soul? Daniel de Bourg follows up his critically acclaimed “The Prelude” with this collection of further vocal goodness.


Balance and the Traveling Sounds – Departure EP

This band is definitely vying for “ones to watch in 2012.” Bolstered by their fantastic cover of Daft Punk’s “Something About Us,” this EP features one of the best new bands of the year.


Green Street – Endless Summer

Giving Balance and the Traveling Sounds a run for their money, Brooklyn crew Green Street are also offering up fantastic live jazzy Soul Hop. This also features Free Soul Music Saturday favorite Ken Ross.



Fans of Van Hunt and Amp Fiddler will appreciate Martin Luther’s solid free EP. “The Facebook Song” alone makes this a must-download.


The Revelations feat. Tre Williams – An Introduction To… [Free Sampler]

Make no mistake, Tre Williams can SANG. This 9-track offering is just retro enough to be cool yet not too derivative.


Jae Fresh – Pictures of Influence
BamaLoveSoul Presents Anthony Hamilton: The Hamilton Project
Kero One – The Catch UP
DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah – Back For More
Gil Scott Heron – Live At The Bottom Line ’77
Raheem DeVaughn – Heemy Taught Me

2011 in Review – Best Songs

Click play to hear my “Best of 2011” mix!

Welcome to the 1st installment of my “Best of 2011” posts. This one highlights the soundtrack of my year.

Not unlike 2010, 2011 was a great year for independent and mainstream Soul and R&B. It was difficult settling on a few songs to highlight, but here are just a few of my favorites from this year.


Speed of Light – Malice & Mario Sweet

What an unbelievably pleasant pairing of voices. With some firece production by Tall Black Guy, this was the feel-good track of 2011.


Tonight Feat. Meshell Ndegeocello – Miguel Migs

To say this groove is infectious is an understatement. It’s good to hear Meshell doing something a little more soulful and simple.


So In Love (ft. Anthony Hamilton) – Jill Scott

Probably the most mainstream of my picks. But it’s really hard to do much better than Anthony Hamilton and the incomparable Jill Scott.


Heroine – Wildcookie

Pretty dark in its undertones, but the groove and vocal are fantastically on point.


The Light – Funkommunity

I wore this track OUT. I mean, I was obsessed. This is where Future Soul is headed. And I love it.


Love’s Galaxy – Tracy Cruz

From her sophomore release, Universoul Symphony, which you will more than likely see on my “Best of 2011” albums list in the coming weeks.


Free – Teri Tobin

A fantastic message, harkening back to they days of Donnie Hathaway. Teri Tobin is definitely one to watch in the coming year.


Trouble – José James

Such a pleasant surprise to get some new Jose James this year. And he knocked this one out of the park.


Everything She Wants feat. Phonte – Zo!

Zo! absolutely killed on this Wham remake. A perfect vocal performance by Phonte and a nod to Michael Jackson at the end make this a must-listen


The Cure – Slakah the Beatchild

Not only did Slakah craft a genius song here, he also produced and directed his own music video for it. “Talented doesn’t even begin to describe this guy.


Welcome – Acer Maple featuring Michelle Escoffery

This probably gets my vote as the most beautiful song of the year. A wonderful acoustic performance with the sultry vocals of Michelle Escoffery. Sheer perfection.

Please make sure you check out my full mix on my Podomatic. Hope you enjoyed this list, and we’ll see you soon for more “Best of 2011” goodness.