SoulTracks Announces 2005 Readers Choice Award Winners
SoulTracks (www.soultracks.com), the leading online resource for classic and modern soul music, has announced the winners of its 2005 Readers Choice Awards, the largest international awards dedicated to independent soul music – i.e., music released by artists independent of the major international record labels.
For eight days in November, SoulTracks conducted an online poll of its substantial readership to choose the Best Male Vocalist, Best Female Vocalist, Best Duo or Group and Best Album of 2005. The ten nominees in each category were among the brightest stars of independent soul music, ranging from classic soul performers like the Chairmen of the Board to hot newcomers such as P.J. Morton. The voter response was overwhelming and from virtually every continent, causing SoulTracks to add online voting stations throughout the eight day event and demonstrating the growing interest in independent soul music both in the U.S. and abroad.
“We were overwhelmed by the interest shown by soul music fans around the world in our event,” said SoulTracks founder and publisher Chris Rizik. “Broadcast radio has focused so much on hip-hop, that it has often overlooked the tremendous soul music that is being released by extremely talented signed and unsigned artists. The thousands who participated in these awards demonstrated the thirst fans have for music that is fresh, exciting and also uplifting and positive. We saw substantial votes coming in from virtually every age group and country.”
The major award winner in the album category was Frank McComb for his CD Straight From the Vault. The top duo or group was the L.A.-based group The Rebirth, and the top male and female vocalists were Rahsaan Patterson and Meli’sa Morgan, respectively.
The top five vote-getters in each category will be spotlighted on SoulTracks in December, with the winners receiving special recognition. In addition, SoulTracks will be running a contest where it will be giving away CDs by the winners in all four awards categories. To enter, readers should send their email entries to CD giveaway (at) soultracks.com between Dec. 1 – Dec. 5, 2005.
Frank McComb – Straight From the Vault (winner)
Angela Johnson – Got To Let It Go
Janita – Seasons of Life
P.J. Morton – Emotions
Conya Doss – Just Because
Best Duo or Group
The Rebirth (winner)
Cooly’s Hot Box
Chairmen of the Board
Steve Butler feat. Ron Haynes
Best Male Vocalist
Rahsaan Patterson (winner)
Best Female Vocalist
Meli’sa Morgan (winner)
SoulTracks.com is the leading online soul music resource, with more than 200,000 monthly visits by over 100,000 monthly readers. SoulTracks includes biographies of hundreds of classic and modern soul artists as well as CD reviews, news and “where are they now?” features. In October, 2005 SoulTracks was rated the most popular soul music website in the world by web ranking company Alexa.com. www.soultracks.com
WORLD RENOWNED VOCALIST ENJA RELEASES HER HIGHEST-EVER ALBUM DEBUT WITH AMARANTINE
Album Charts at #8 in Its First Week of Sales
One of the top-selling vocalists of all time, Enya follows her 13 million-selling album A Day Without Rain with the chart-topping debut of her sixth album, Amarantine, from Reprise Records. Amarantine hit the #8 spot on the U.S. album chart in its first week of sales after its November 22 release, the highest debut ever for an Enya album. The album entered the Top 10 charts in 14 other countries around the world, and the Top 15 in four more. With more than 65 million total album sales to date, Enya is one of the world's best selling musical artists.
Recorded in Ireland, Amarantine is classic Enya and once again, the record is a product of the extraordinary and long-standing creative partnership Enya has enjoyed throughout her career with producer/arranger Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan. With its atmospheric blend of sublime melodies, symphonic caverns of sound and classical motifs, Amarantine will delight her legion of fans, to whom Enya's music acts as an oasis of calm and beauty in a world of clamor and chaos
CHRISTMAS MUSIC FROM DIANA KRALL, ANITA BAKER & AL GREEN
Aside from new Christmas releases from Diana Krall and Anita Baker, comes a reissue from Al Green. The sleeper among reissues might be Feels Like Christmas by Al Green (Right Stuff), simply because more people may have missed it the first time around. Diana Krall's Christmas Songs (Verve) is at the top of this year's jazz/standards/cabaret crop, Krall sticks with lovely renditions of standards like White Christmas and Winter Wonderland. Anita Baker — Christmas Fantasy (EMI), puts a lot of jazz-style reworking into familiar tunes like I'll Be Home for Christmas, and it pays off.
NEW CD DUE FROM STEELY DAN'S DONALD FAGAN
Steely Dan principal Donald Fagen is back on the solo trail with Morph The Cat his first solo album in 13 years with release set for early next year. He's joined by fellow musicians as drummer Keith Carlock, guitarists Wayne Krantz, Jon Herington and Hugh McCracken, clarinetist Lawrence Feldman, pianist Ted Baker and saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, among others. Morph the Cat is the follow-up to 1993's Kamakiriad, which debuted at No. 10 on The Billboard 200. Plans are in the works to release a boxed set featuring that set, Morph the Cat and Fagen's 1981 solo debut, The Nightfly.
Here is the track list for Morph the Cat:
"Morph the Cat"
"What I Do"
"The Great Pagoda of Funn"
"The Night Belongs To Mona"
"Mary Shut the Garden Door"
"Morph the Cat" (Reprise)
DERRICK JORDAN RELEASES EVERYONE LOVES BRAZIL
Unlike his other CDs, this CD features only Brazilian flavored sambas and bossa novas - 26 songs that were written over a 27 year period, the earliest dating back to 1976 when Derrik was a music student at Bennington College. The oldest song on the CD, Share Your Love, was recorded by Angela Bofill on her first LP Angie which nearly went gold and received a lot of airplay in NYC in 1978. The CD features the talents of many wonderful local musicians including Bob Stabach, Steve Sonntag, Dan DeWalt, Charlie Schneeweis and Johnny Yuma as well as Erik Lawrence and Eugene Uman. Guest vocalists include Alexandra Colmant on the title track and award-winning singer Lisa Sokolov.
GLADYS KNIGHT TO PERFORM AT NOBEL PEACE PRIZE CONCERT
Gladys Knight will be among the acts that will perform at this year's Nobel Peace Prize concert, to be held December 11th in Oslo, Norway. The event, which will honor 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt, will be hosted by actresses Salma Hayek and Julianne Moore.
ALICIA KEYS AND BONO RECORD AFRICA DUET
Alicia Keys and U2 frontman Bono have recorded the single Don't Give Up (Africa), originally a 1986 duet between Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, for release through iTunes next Tuesday. The song, which they first performed together last month at the annual New York fundraiser for Keep a Child Alive, will benefit that organization's efforts to bring medicine to families dealing with HIV/AIDS.