Posts Tagged 'Tracy Cruz'

The LAST Free Soul Music Saturday, AKA What You Missed In December

You read it right. This will be my last Free Soul Music Saturday post for the foreseeable future. I’ve thought long and hard about this over the past few months, and I believe it’s time to pass the torch of blogging the best free Soul Music on the net to someone else.

The entire idea of Free Soul Music Saturday originally arose from the desire to carry on what HoneySoul was doing years previous. I loved her Free Music Friday blog; and when she decided to hang it up, I felt it was a necessary thing to carry it on in her stead. Hopefully someone will read this and take the initiative to do the same after I’m done.

The reason it’s time for me to stop is threefold. First of all, keeping track of the multitude of new music that hits the web is beginning to become a daunting task. Due to oversaturation, I had to stop including Podcasts a couple years ago and now it’s looking like I’ll have to stop including Beat Tapes. There is simply a ridiculous amount of material that’s being released that several other sources are already covering better than I am. So, for new R&B and Soul Music, I whole heartedly recommend you fix your RSS feeds to BamaLoveSoul, SoulBounce, and There are a handful of additional sources that you can probably find with some creative Googling or by utilizing the means I use to find new music as I’ve covered on my YouTube channel. For Beat Tapes, there’s nothing I’m finding that Strictly Beats, VelvetBeat, Beat Tape Co-op and 92BPM aren’t finding first. Those are my main sources, not including discoveries I simply find by artists I follow on SoundCloud

Secondly, one of the main reasons I decided to do a Free Soul Music blog in the first place was to generate more traffic and/or money to my own website. To be honest, after a number of years, the blog hasn’t grown; neither have my website analytics or fanbase. In fact, I doubt there are many people even really paying attention to what I’m doing with it. And it’s certainly not generating any kind of money. I was ok volunteering my time for a couple years in the effort to build it, but at this point for the amount of time and effort I spend on this blog, it’s just not paying off. Which brings me to point #C…

Probably the best way for me to get new people visiting my personal website and blog on a regular basis is to actually start CREATING NEW ORIGINAL CONTENT. I’ve been stagnant as a songwriter and producer for the past year, mainly due to personal issues and my newfound family. But it’s time to get back to making music for myself. It’s time for me to commit to my own art once again. I’ll continue to enjoy all the wonderful music from other artists that’s hitting. But it’s past time for me to dive back into that ocean of creativity and start swimming for myself.

I’ve been proud to discover and feature the artists and friends that I have on this blog. And just because I’m not posting here doesn’t mean I won’t be putting up the occastional shout-out on my Facebook Page or Twitter feed. Please, by all means, follow me there if you have enjoyed me being your tastemaker for the past few years. And, please, also stay tuned to this space. I’ll be charting more of my progress as an original artist and posting new and exciting material. So I hope you’ll join me for that ride.

Anyway, that’s the long and short of why this is the last Free Soul Music Saturday. I hope you found something here at some point that gave you some pleasure. Now, onto the final list. As you know. I spent all of December posting the Best Of 2012. Well, music still came out last month, so here’s what you may have missed while I was recapping what happened all last year.

Here is my complete listening list for the December, and here is the Spotify playlist for December (good for one month).

Thanks, for the last time, to all the artists, producers, DJs, podcasters and music bloggers that bring this music to light!



QUASAR cover art
Adjoci – QUASAR

Elijah Blake – Bijoux 22 (EP)

Taps – Almost Home –



Angels cover art
Tracy Cruz – Angels

Cocaine 80s - Lucid
Cocaine 80s – Lucid

Ab – Forecast



ADH – Vibe

The Analyst
The Analyst – NonStopFunctional

Austin Brown – Highway 85 (The Mixtape – Vol.1)

CharlieRED - Religion EP Cover
CharlieRED – Religion –

Chris Turner LOVElife Is A Challenge
Chris Turner – LOVElife Is A Challenge

Chrisette Michele - Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation Cover
Chrisette Michele – Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation

Donnie – Live at the O.A.S.I.S. MJQ Concourse ATL

Ginette Claudette – Everything’s Comin Up

Kevin Cossom – Hook Vs. Bridge 2

Luke James – Whispers In The Dark

Marsha Ambrosius – Hors D’Oeuvres

Adaptation cover art
MYK & Shirosky – Adaptation

80 cover art
Osmojam – 80

Piff Gang – GreenHouse

Eclectic State Of Mind
Rickstar – Eclectic State Of Mind



Ciara "Got Me Good" [BGP RMX]
Ciara – Got Me Good [BGP RMX]

Consequence - "When I Woke Up" (co-starring Estelle)
Consequence – When I Woke Up (co-starring Estelle)

Craig David
Craig David – Fill Me In (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg)

Dessy Di Lauro – Jump N Jivin

So Good cover art
the ISH Productions – So Good

Let It Snow cover art
Jesse Fischer – Let It Snow

High City Express
Midnight Runners – High City Express

Miguel – On These Wings

Miles Bonny x Ta-ku - As You Sleep On My Lap
Miles Bonny – as you sleep on my lap [beat by Ta-Ku]

Jamescorp Feat. Morris Alan Spirit Of Christmas
Morris Alan – The Spirit Of Christmas

Mr. J. Medeiros "Two Light Beams"
Mr. J. Medeiros – Two Light Beams

Mylah – Honesty

Robert Glasper Exp (feat King) - Move Love (SaysWho? Remix) cover art
Robert Glasper Exp (feat King) – Move Love (SaysWho? Remix)

Single: Dirty (Original Mixes) - FREE DOWNLOAD cover art
Tortured Soul – Dirty (Original) – FREE DOWNLOAD

Cocaine 80s
Cocaine 80s – Higher Self



Free Soul Music Saturday is brought to you by, where you can get 3 FREE ORIGINAL SONGS just by signing up for the mailing list.

That’s the news, and I’m OUTTA HERE!!

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 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.