soul overdose - large - use this definitely

There is something to be said for good music. Unfortunately not enough exposure is given to good music, unless, like all things – you are in the know. As a child musician (violin, drums, snare drum & piano) and in my adult years as a former studio / live sound engineer, one of the things certain folks know about me is that I am SUPER critical of music. I’m listening, hearing, understanding, critiquing, questioning. And because I’m so picky about what I watch / expose my ears to, I do what I can to make sure I spend enough of my time, simply enjoying….

At Soul Overdose – such was the case. We were all transformed, transcended, transported to another space and time. I have to say that this was one of those events where as the saying goes “You had to be there”, in fact take it from me – you should want to wish you were there. Any lover of music, anyone who head nods at a great break down, air plays the chords, hears & feels the melody, the funk, the soul, the living breathing medium that some of us call music would understand. The rarest of treats happened this past Wednesday night as LiL SoSo Productions (classy!) teamed up with Smirnoff (yum!) to bring us Soul Overdose. Tabaq Restaurant on Historic U St was transformed, transported, transcended (herein known as the 3 T’s) to a plane, a place, a time that everyone – musician, audience, performer – wants to be. And yet there we were there, it wasn’t a figment or an urban myth. We were there, it happened! An intimate venue, you could tell by the crowd that if you were here, you were in the know of good events, good / real music and good company – and if you got there early, you got a seat, because it was standing room only before the first performer graced the “stage”. Complimentary Smirnoff flowed – your choice of blueberry or green apple. I mean Smirnoff everywhere! DJ. Band Gear. KRS One on a Smirnoff poster. Wait I see congas. Really!! Congas!! I love it!! I had just arrived and was excited and boy was it packed and boy was it hot, thank God the air started flowing because of course at that point – more Smirnoff please!! Yea!! My girl Elise Perry was video taping. I couldn’t wait to see and reconnect with two of the hottest women in the game that I am proud to call friends – Kat from LilSoSo and YahZarah Ms. Purple St. James. We all met many moons ago on a CASRAM panel and so it was great to see them again. Shellee Haynesworth, my music diva was there and fab-boo singer Ellisha Teapot was in the place. It was great to have time to see and connect with them all and the networking was insane. The room was definitely alive and a buzz with energy and power. Maybe because deep down we all knew that once the beat dropped for the first performance, it would be, as in the words of the Ohio Players a Rollercoaster. Of Love!!! Say What…..

9:08 & it is hot. Wish I’d have brought a running buddy, but thinking, they’d just be watching me type. But then DJ Jahsonic must have had a sixth sense – Relax Yourself by Tribe spins and I pretend its snowing. It worked!! For a sec, but then the band starts to play – and to know me is to know I’m a sucker for a GREAT, not good, band. Little did I know they were YahZarah’s band. Well I want them to play at my wedding, and that’s all I’ma say about that! They knew the crowd was hot, heck they may have been hot, but they did what every great band does – make it hotter! They busted out with one of the hottest riffs I’ve ever heard of Prince’s Lets Go Crazy. Seriously, seriously!!! Now that band is HOT!! And YahZarah’s entrance was oh so fitting of Ms. Purple St. James. Decked out in a beautiful purple ensemble (by Madia Willis of BiriBelle) and large diva hat and I could not see it then – but later in her set the shoes (photo here), FLY! – at 5’2” her presence, her energy and that powerful voice commanded the room. The band kept the “Lets go Crazy” riff going for YahZarah first song of the night – the “live show flip” of Baby Love. YahZarah took us, let us know, and made no bones that we would be going to church – and chu-ch we went with Fast Lane. With a vocal range and talent that is sultry and powerful, YahZarah made Tabaq her own, and if you didn’t know who she was before the set, you definitely know her now. And it was during Fast Lane that she carried the experience to a whole other level. Literally. First she was sitting, then she kind of did this weird squat, and then she got up some more and, well the next thing you know she is standing on the bar. Which is where she did the rest of her set from. The Bar! That’s right, on top of The Bar! 3 letters – H. O. T. It had been many, many years since I had last seen YahZarah perform and I was stunned, blown away. That was clearly then, because in the now – YahZarah is unreal, surreal and real, all at the same time. As we were “ministered to” (please understand we were in musical chu-ch!), she testified. Telling us her story, her journey, her downfalls, her triumphs. Open, raw, uncut. And then like the teacher, the muse, the sister-friend that she is – she challenged us to not only pursue that dream that is within, that thing that makes us happy – but to do it right, honorably, with dignity and respect – and in the way that she can do, she didn’t give us a second to get ourselves together before she launched into I Came I Saw. With much love and very befitting of Ms. Purple St. James she delivered on funk, message, story, quintessential class, memorable tunes and classy grooves. ….

Star Ship was her final song of the night and she left us in a party kind of mood, with a lot on our mind and tunes in our heart. Many people left / more came in. I didn’t think I could take another performance. It had been a minute since I was taken on that kind of musical journey…. I knew I had to talk to YahZarah and just show love if nothing else. Her performance was unbelievable.

YahZarah Ms. Purple St. James

    1. YahZarah Ms. Purple St James on Facebook:

 

    1. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpages%2FYahZarah-Ms-Purple-St-James%2F82574731057%3Fref%3Dts&h=8153a5b3f4e9709033dd09268bf39890

 

    ; on Reverb Nation: http://www.ReverbNation.com/Yahzarah

07.29.09 - Soul Overdose (4956)

The Band: Dre King (MD) on Keys; Biscuit on Drums; Dennis Tuner on Bass; Robbie McDonald on Gtr; Davina & Ginger on Bg VoxShouts: Super Stylist Ginger of Mikelan Dogan / Sharon Cyrus of Silent Stylist

 

And I quote: “What LiL SoSo is doing with “Soul Overdose” is about to change the landscape…

Words cannot express the feeling or the spirit in that room it was electric.

People had come to experience and listen… It didn’t hurt that Smirnoff was on the steady pour with the cocktails…lol

It was not a show, it was a Juke Joint.
And, we all in engaged in a collective sweat till our clothes were wet, and the s
pirit moved.

What a night!And the Church says…Amen”
YahZarah Ms. Purple St. James

 

Then the woman who brought us all together – Kat from LiL SoSo Productions officially welcomed us with a message that summed up the “Be YOU” series – “We are bringing you the intellectual aspect of the music scene”, she shared with the audience. And I thought that was so profound, so true and so needed. You see – “Soul Overdose” and its alternative partner event – “In the Artist’s Studio” – are a part of the “Be YOU” series brought to you by LiL SoSo Productions & Smirnoff.

In fact on Monday, August 17th the “Be YOU” series will host “In the Artist’s Studio” featuring N’dambi. For more information go to http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=109599518093&ref=mf&__a=1 (Soul Overdose – N’dambi). The “Be YOU” series is a musical series that will run in a variety of venues in the DC area, featuring some of DC’s hottest artists. N’digo Rose will serve as the Artist “In Residence” and for updates check out LiL SoSo Online – http://www.LiLSoSo.com.

And I quote: ….“is stupid tired and happy as a lark. For those that missed the “Soul Overdose”, you missed something special. No worries, there are more opportunities to get it in and “Be YOU”. August 17th N’dambi live as part of “In the Artist’s Studio”, event will be posted shortly. Thanks for all the support folks, it means more than you know.”
Risikat (Kat) Okedeyi – LiL SoSo Productions

 

DJ Jahsonic (of “The Main Ingredient” – catch them at Marvin’s [U St.] on Mondays) spun for what seemed like longer than a minute, and I thought for a second that N’digo Rose was going to be my modern day Eric Roberson. It was years – I mean years-s-s before I saw Eric perform and everyone would tell me how good he was, and would stare at me in disbelief that I had never seen him perform…. But after 8 yrs – I finally saw him 2 years ago, and have seen him plenty times ever since. As I waited – I re-connected with YahZarah – she is so authentic!! And I chatted with & began to say my goodbyes to Kat – but she tells me that I must stay and see N’digo Rose, I just must, it will be worth it. … And so I do, and then, Okay, Wait, Technical difficulties, Okay, Fixed…. And I’m staying for the second rollercoaster ride for the night. Of Love – Say What! Well it was nothing short of a little slice of musical heaven.

 

And I quote: “The hands of time turned on Historic U St. as we traded in the zoot suits & ladies gloves of the past for denim, Smirnoff & jump drives – but the vibe, the energy, the feeling & the spirit was one in the same. It felt like the historical & musical ancestors looked down with smiles from above and nodded approval to our evenings performers. Doing what we have done for centuries, doing what we do on U St. Music. Some real good heaven send music.”
Rachel (Rae) Newman

 

N’digo Rose takes the stage. Until that night, I had never heard of him. But clearly I was in the minority as the crowd shouted, applauded, catcalled – and nothing had even happened yet. And then it all began to happen. Quickly!!! The band catapulted into a P. Funkadelic cover You scared the lovin outta me which lead into Last letter to a preacherman. And as it began to all unfold, manifest, birth – there was an action that, once it happened – it dictated what the rest of the night was going to be. Much like YahZarah’s ascent upon the bar – this was clearly a signature move. The man they call N’digo Rose, in his lucky charms t-shirt, sat at the keyboard, pulled the mic a bit closer…..and pulled out a large boot. Yes a boot & placed it with conviction on one of his keyboards. And there it sat – the boot – all night. N’digo Rose smoothly segued into the Prince/d’Angelo version of She’s Always in my Hair . HOT!!! As N’digo Rose took us on a different, but similar musical journey it was clear that I was witnessing something bigger than us. It was chu-ch. The distinct sound of the tamborine. The 3 ladies that N’digo only referred to as Nekkid Undastadin’ on background vocals with their church outfits and “Crowns”. The “Holy Ghost” dance team and the shouts of “Chu-ch” made it clear that this was an experience. And I was meant to be there.

And then there was N’digo Rose’s following / fan club. Remember I’ma newbie, but I was clearly standing behind the Prez & VP of the club. The VP’s kept screaming: Take off your shirt & the Prez was just like “gimme space”. And all it made me realize is that I need to get a set list in advance for new music. Because it was all hot. All of it. Everything I heard – I liked from both artists. Which for me is rare. Damn near impossible – definitely improbable. And yet groove, laugh, enjoy, I did. From there N’digo Rose launched into Killing Time; then Unhealthy Relationship; to Sinner’s Psalm and then Philthy Kadeem.

And by the last song humaniod phobia N’digo got up and did something that I have seen very few artists do.

He didn’t play the keys for this song, he simply did the lead vocals & then … he disappeared from my vision. And it was at that moment that those of us that could not see – understood. The grand finale. A true showman for the ages. He had done (drum roll please) a split. I could not take it anymore. I was spent. Vocals were hot, the band was hot. I don’t recall if I was hot or not. But I knew I had to go. I had laid witness to something that few would ever see. Something that was unlikely, in that combination, in that way, to be duplicated.

N’digo Rose on Keys & Lead Vocals

    N’digo Rose on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ndigorose011279

The Band: Steve Johnson on Drums; Brook Mumford on Bass; Zack Cutler on Gtr; Nekkid Undastadin on BG Vox; Hodari Faraja Wali Barazahi on Tambourine

IMG_5033

And I quote:

“So to recap: Yahzarah demolished the joint.

N’digo made it “do what it do” with a gun to it’s head. Both bands killed it tremendously.
The Nekkid Undastadin can’t be
f*cked with by anyone.
LilSoSo is the dope
st in the city. The folks who came out are too fantastic.
And that was SOUL OVERDOSE.

THE END!!”
N’digo Rose


Soul Overdose- Part of the Be YOU Series

Tabaq – 7.29.09 / At various venues across the city

Presented by LiL SoSo Production and Smirnoff

http://www.LiLSoSo.com

 

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