…“You say its love/But you keep throwing stones/You keep on throwing stones…”
[Los Angeles, March 16, 2016]
Even an “ole skool Gee” like me, from the Frankie Crocker-fueled, 107.5 WBLS FM days, can groove to the Brotha, Pupon The Don and his lament, on “Fuel 2 My Fire” [All Natural Records], which I would like to listen to, one day, on CD!
The bed is a spicy gourmet blend of Trap, Teardrop, synthesized metallic bracelet, strumming Mexican guitar and Reggae sounds with a splash of the dry desert heat of a “High Plains Drifter” riff-feeling musical hook. Pupon touches all bases with “Fuel 2 My Fire”. It is part of yet another morph of the sound of Hip Hop in the twenty-first century.
“Fuel 2 My Fire” is about a relationship where one significant other’s constant accusations aggravate the other to the point that he will not take it anymore, yet turns it on its “muthaf**in” head into poetic motivation; “You say its love/But you keep throwing stones/You keep on throwing stones…”
I like the dope way it fades in and then, using slowdown feature, pauses before riding into the fire of independence.
Last year, “…The Don” established his own record label, “All Natural Records”. There he is connecting with fellow rappers like Swavy Mac and No Cence. What remains to be seen is whether Pupon The Don will impact the world as not only a recording artist, writer and producer, but as a successful Activist upon his utopian goal of “creating music the whole world can build their future on”.
I have heard that same utopian ideal from several Millennials in the past week, alone – even from my own generation. I pray music can be an offensive weapon that helps to smite the negative barbarians who try to upset our peaceful world these daze.
There is no grey (Pupon) area! The Don cuts the mustard on this single and I look forward to the album and video (which I will add below in the future) soon. Since it is now my latest mental “tune wedgie”, I rate this track with‘four dropped mics’ out of five.
“…The more I listened to their close-with-a-modern-edge storylines and harmonies, the more I realized that they are poised to become the latest legendary singing sister trio! The Andrew Sisters and my friends The Pointer Sisters immediately came to mind…”
I received a CD in the mail with a little handwritten note on the back of an invitation flier asking me to please enjoy and review their album after I listened. It was from Natalia, Christina and Hannah, the ladies of Southern Halo, who hail from Cleveland, Mississippi. I am thinking that maybe they were named after the famous thoroughbred race horse, since the sister’s bio mentions horses a part of the pets they love and care for.
The more I listened to their close-with-a-modern-edge storylines and harmonies, the more I realized that they are poised to become the latest legendary singing sister trio! The Andrew Sisters and my friends, The Pointer Sisters, immediately came to mind. The album features a family affair of catchy song concepts and lyrics which reflect their regional realities and grow on your ears with each listen.
You will really hear and feel the church bells “ring-in’” the album as the trio are cantillating “Little White Dress” which is a wedding day song. I imagine all three marring simultaneously, but then again, they are not “triplets”, so that might not work. A great lyric here is, “My Daddy says I’m a handful, I’m just a little bit wild and free…” Every time I heard them sing, “fun, fun, fun” I had a Beach Boys moment. I kept waiting for “’til her daddy takes the T-bird away” lol
As they move into the intro of “Rewind”, you’ll hear a soulful organ in the background. I love the ballad”, I don’t Wanna Move On”, which I would subtitle, “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”. It climaxes sweetly with a nice instrumental interlude.
“Over You” has a unique hook and it took many listens to try to figure-out what I was hearing in-order to describe it for you and the best I can glean is, ‘Ohh-ver you.” (maybe a lyric sheet needed on their website?). Is it, “I’m now, ow, ow, ow, ooo-ver you for the last time…” I’ll look for your translation in the “Comments” section below. There is good background guitar and instrumentation work on this selection especially.
“Moonshine”, cut number six, is my first favorite upon initial listens in my car one sunny day. A standout lyric is, “And he’s kissin’ on me and I’m lovin’ it.” Aww.
Remember that little note I received? It mentioned that the “latest single is “Living Like That”. Well, it too is a rocker, not as energetic; might grow on the fans and they can do better – like the very next song, the amusing and descriptive poetry of “Cowboys”, featuring more, crisp percussion from Nick Buda per the CD liner notes! I’m a little more confused as their press release denotes Christina on drums.
Finally, I like the last hard rocking good Southern USA Country rock of cut of track ten, “I Ain’t Crazy (But My Daddy Is)”, which is another take on the shotgun wedding tradition, in my opinion.
There is not much that hasn’t been said or written about Southern Halo, whose sound is full of feel-good fun and charming southern comfort. Compromise will continue to be the straw which stirs the showbiz togetherness drink with the group going forward.
I give them Three Acoustic guitars out of five for this 2015 release, while praying for more big things to come for these growing siblings, who are on their way to perform in London U.K. as I compose this review.
“Bon Voyage” Ladies!!, “knock ‘em dead” and “Y’all come back now real soon, to do more new music, ya hear?”
” I think that “This Side Of You” could be used as background theme during the love-making scenes of the recent movie, “Deepwater Horizon”!’
It took a few days, but now this song is officially another “tune-wedgie” that plays as added to my mental jukebox rotation of hits.
“Gypsy Soul” is the forthcoming new album by the amazingly well-traveled for such a youngster, Rick Monroe, who should be a diplomatic Ambassador, having just read a lot of his biography. Maybe it is a future career move, but for now he happily calls Nashville, Tennessee his home.
I saw Rick Monroe for the first time, when he arrived from the behind the stage entrance of the club and when he recognized me, I saw in the smile that broadened his face a very engaging, friendly and approachable rising star. It was as if we were old acquaintances. I instantly got the feeling that he and I could have kicked it about music and radio for hours, but he had only moments before he had to take the stage; maybe next time, for that conversation and a more in-depth interview; so we had one of his band mates take a couple photos!
When I mentioned reading about the new album, he talked glowingly about his co-producers, Jason Duke and Ryan Griffin, and the genesis of the current hit single, “This Side of You”, which he played early during his first set and some of which I caught on video (below). I think that “This Side Of You” could be used as background theme during the love-making scenes of the recent movie, “Deepwater Horizon”!
Rick Monroe has a good, self-deprecating stage-presence and he kept the songs moving without a whole lot of endless “blah-blah-blah” between selections. The venue’s sound was not the best sometimes. I could not understand some of his segue way between songs comments often and maybe that was due to whoever was mixing his sound from the DJ booth or maybe it was more tuned for the line dancing warm-up hour’s clientele?
While Rick commands the center-stage, his three other men support the sound without upstaging him. They seemed in-sync and well rehearsed without sounding stilted. As a former drummer, I found his a very solid and tight percussionist. They displayed good stage action and choreography spontaneously.
Suddenly, my own audience interaction is interrrupted as apparently some radio station promotion prize winners invade the VIP with me. I leave the area to shoot more Rick Monroe video. He leaves stage at one point to briefly mingle and orchestrate amongst the crowd without missing a beat. I almost missed it, having glanced away to the radio contest winners. Speaking of “radio”, “This Side of You” is His set featured an assorted a mix of southern rock and folksy blues-style Country Pop, which really impressed me when they surprised my ears by covering one of my all time Allman Brothers favorites from 1970, “Midnight Rider”. Well done!
Rick plays a Framus acoustic guitar, whose design feature makes its body look bigger than most I used to see in Nashville! Is this true or just my vision?
As an aside, from being in the din of the Saloon that night, I must reiterate that sometimes we speak the same language, yet have to slow-down to really listen to each other (especially with loud music playing in the background), in order to understand across regional spoken colloquialisms and accents.
Thank you again and major props to Martha Moore, who set me up with this opportunity and also praise God for placing me in the area at this time.
Major Props to his Manger, Andrea and Bob who managed the Saloon that night and to the whole din of Honky Tonk Saloon (that is really the name of the place!), in Ladson, South Carolina, at the end of February in 2017. Who knew, a year ago, I would be in Charleston, just twenty minutes from one of SoMuchMooremedia’s artists in order to cover this event??! I saw everything from Line Dancing, a “Billy Jack” lookalike to guys in Hells Angels jackets representing states all over the USA while I waited meeting the positive and country-cool Rick Monroe. I would love to add the physical CD of this album to my collection when it drops.
Here is a studio preview that runs about the same length as my live shot, lol
I rate “This Side Of You” with four, slow-dancin’ “geetars”.