Event Recap | The Art of Cool Festival 2018 – 5th Yr Anniversary @aocfest #AOCFEST | by SobeSavvy.com

The Art of Cool Festival 2018 has come to a close, but we here at SobeSavvy.com was fortunate to attend and share with you some of the magical moments from #AOCFEST. There has been so much growth since we attended the Art of Cool Fest in 2015, and I am so glad to be apart of highlighting this amazing festival. This past weekend, we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of this great music festival that brings jazz-inspired music, artists and all the Cooligans together in Downtown Durham, NC. Trust me, you don’t want to miss next year!

This year the AOCFEST experience was expanded to include Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and Soul performances by renowned artists from around the world! 20+ artists, 6 venues, 1 price to enjoy: Live Music Concerts, shop from local vendors at the Urban Street Market, dance, mingle and network at the various Day Parties, savor Durham cuisine from the featured Food Trucks and quench your thirst at the Beergarden. The AOCFEST 2018 truly had something for everyone. It’s an amazing sensory experience you must see, taste, hear, and feel!

DAY 1- SEPT 28

The fun began on Friday with the arrival of music lovers to Downtown Durham. Festival goers could shop for some official merch at Wristband City, grab a cocktail, and listen to live music at various pop ups and attend free Innovate Your Cool seminars / workshops focused on Innovation, Music and Culture. I caught at DJ set on the rooftop at Unscripted Hotel where The Lux Blog held a meet-up mixer to welcome everyone including bloggers/social media influencers to the Art of Cool festival. It was a vibe!

Downtown Durham is a walkable city and the perfect place to host the AOCFEST because all the venues are conveniently within walking distance to each other. Just a couple of blocks over from Unscripted, I was able to catch MeShell N’degeocello at the Carolina Theater. She is a talented singer and musician who reminded us in the audience that although the lighting was not ideal, MUSIC. IS. SOMETHING. YOU. FEEL. She took us down memory lane by singing her funky smooth renditions of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam “I Wonder If I Take You Home”, Al B. Sure “Night & Day” and TLC ‘s “Waterfalls” along with her classic song “Grace” from her album Bitter.

Maxwell headlined at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which is new on this list as an official AOCFEST stage. Everyone who was either seated in the stadium watching his concert from the jumbo screen or on the field could see his moves and feel his groove! There were so many favorite songs by the incomparable male singer that turned into a sing-a-long, such as “Pretty Wings”, “Bad Habits” and “Fortunate”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 1 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Day 2 – SEPT 29

Downtown Durham was the place to be for the second and last day of music and festivities. Even if you were not going to the concerts, there were so many ways to support the community and enjoy the amazingly cool city of Durham. A 90’s style vintage pop up party hosted by The Key to Style was my first stop before heading to the heart of the Bull City. CCB Plaza, near the iconic bull statue, is where emerging artists performed cyphers and Hip Hop radio station K97.5 held a block party showcasing local talent.

From there, I took a short walk to Pinhook, an iconic live music venue in Durham perfectly sized for intimate performances. Durham’s own Zoo Cru were up first. This quartet of musicians jammed out to their own unique sounds that is really beyond description. Not electronica and not R&B but a subtle blend of both. I love to support local, so I enjoyed my first listen from this popular band.

Next up at Pinhook was renowned trumpeter Keyon Harrold. He has done music and horns for A listers such as Beyonce and JayZ over the years. In addition, Mr. Harrold did the music for the hollywood movie “Miles”, so his resume is unmatched. Wynton Marsalis has called him “The Future of the Trumpet”. He did not dissapoint. His breath control and range were simply amazing. He was paired with a female vocalist which added a different angle to his horn. Unique and dynamic music is just one of the many things you will always experience at AOCFEST.

What’s a festival without the opportunity to shop from a variety of vendors? The Urban Market, set up on Blackwell Street, was the answer for those of us who like to shop local. Vendors were on hand selling quality products such as clothing, artwork, accessories and natural body care products, like my favorite Nailah Shea. Enthusiastic and stylish crowds took advantage of the warm, sunny afternoon in the Bull City. It was fun for the whole family!

My AOCFEST experience ended with seeing the one and only Erykah Badu, who is the first female to headline the Art of Cool Festival. Nas had just rocked the mic and said goodnight as i was entering the stadium. Before Ms.Badu came to the stage at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the crowd heard from the new President and VP of The Art of Cool Festival, Sulaiman and Lesleigh Mausi, Founders of The DOME Group, LLC. They thanked the sponsors and all the fans for a fabulous Art of Cool Festival weekend.

Ms. Badu came to the stage with her big hat, her big hair to match her big voice and asked..”Brothers, how y’all feel? Sistahs, y’all alrite” ? She really needed no introduction because her energy fills up any atmosphere. Erykah Badu almost single handidly created the genre called “Neo Soul”. Her music, style and delivery of colorful lyrics has made her one of the most unique talents of our time! Fans filled up Durham Bulls Athletic Park and joined together to celebrate her greatness which like her song, goes “On and On”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 2 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Electric ending to another exciting and informative Art Of Cool Festival. The AOCFEST is one of the best music festivals that gets better every year. Be sure to check out aocfestival.com • #AOCFEST and make plans to visit Durham, NC to experience the Art of Cool Festival next year! Congratulations again to Art of Cool Festival for 5 years strong!

Concert Recap |@KidzBop Live Rocks Raleigh @RedHatAmp @LiveNationNCSC

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to review this show and share our experience with you. The opinions are 100 percent my own!

Music has always been oxygen to me. It is apparent I have passed this trait on to my soon to be 7 yr old daughter!
She sings, she dances and she gets lost in the beats just like me. While I love this aspect, I am always concerned with some of the more “adult” lyrical content of today’s pop hits. A few years ago I found a great solution to this modern problem. It is called KIDZ BOP. Some of my child free followers may not know what that is. No worries, I am here to help!

KIDZ BOP is a musical group that takes all the current top 40 hits and remixes some of the lyrical content within the songs to make it more kid-friendly. They use very similar music and most of the lyrics are the same.The most important difference is any cursing and sexual innuendo are replaced seamlessly with more kid appropriate lyrics. Young talent with amazing vocals do the cover songs. They also come up with dance moves to go with the dance tunes that will sure to get any kiddie party started! So when I learned that this group was touring and stopping in Raleigh,NC at Red Hat Amphitheatre, I wanted to surprise my soon to be birthday girl with her very first concert experience! It actually was our first mother and daughter concert date and we had so much fun!

KIDZ BOP has been Billboard Magazine’s #1 Kids’ Artist for eight consecutive years (2010 – 2017).
What works so well is the fact that each song they produce could stand on it’s own as an original. Most of our Friday Family Fun Nights at home consist of my daughter and I having our own dance or lip sync battle to any of the songs from the latest Kidz Bop Album. My husband will even play it in the car to just jam out during road trips. Parents, kids, girls and even boys enjoy rocking out to KIDZ BOP which is why the Kidz Bop Live 2018 Summer Tour is a must see!

The concert was 90 mins long with a 15 min intermission and featured 20 hit songs. Our favorite moments were dancing along to the Kidz Bop Shuffle, singing along to Havana, and other latin hits like Despacito / Mi Gente. We also liked all the Bruno Mars songs: Uptown Funk/ That’s What I Like/ Finesse / 24K Magic and the 90’s Dance Off featuring adults from the audience was EPIC! They showed us their best dance moves to Whoomp There It is / Jump / Poison / U Can’t Touch This and we the audience got to choose the winner by giving the loudest applause.

WATCH MY FUN VIDEO RECAP OF THE SHOW ⤵️

I had alot of Friday Night fun with my little one at #KidzBopLive 2018 at Red Hat Amphitheater in Downtown Raleigh. Those KIDZ BOP kids are so talented and put on an amazing show! Catch some of their singing [and our dancing] via my @sobesavvy u instatories and be sure to check out LiveNation.com to see what other concerts are coming to the the Triangle!

Concert Review | The Great Xscape Tour @ThegroupXscape @MonicaBrown @TamarBraxtonHer #pncarena 

Last night the PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC was packed with fans ready to escape back to the 90’s with the iconic group Xscape. By now you know that all the members have reunited for “The Great Xscape Tour” and let me tell you the platinum selling R&B quartet have not lost their amazing singing skills. As a matter of fact, all the ladies on this tour put on a great performance! 

Opening the show was the all female group June’s Diary, who shared their vocal skills and news about their partnership with The Fresh Dolls. At every tour stop, you can purchase a doll of your favorite group member (or all of them), just in time for the holidays! Also for available for purchase was Bedroom Kandi for ladies and BK for men!

Up next was Zonnique, who did her thing along with her dancers and proved that she is staking her claim in the R&B game! You heard the phrase ..”shake what ya mama gave ya”? Well she did that and then some. How cool is that to be on the same tour with her mother,  Tameka ‘Tiny’ Harris!

Adding to the excitement of this reunion tour were special guests, R&B legend Monica and the ever so talented Tamar Braxton. Tamar came out looking beautiful and performed with the energy, realness and powerful vocals that she is known for. She also took time to spill some tea and speak about her impending divorce that is being played on reality television for all to see. With all that is going on in her life she left it all on the stage in last night’s performance and saaaaannng her heart out ! {as seen on my IG instastories}

This group Xscape, along with Monica were two of my favorites in the 90’s. In fact, those classic R&B hits that those female artists sung for us back then still move us fans, old and new, to this day! Monica, graced the stage with her unique style and singing that touches your soul. She talked about her influences like Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and surprised us with her cover of Lauryn Hill’s ‘Lost One‘, which I shared a teaser on my Snapchat

The time had come for all of us to see the anticipated reunion of Xscape for ourselves. Some people in the audience were wondering if it was going to be all the members of the 4 girl group that broke up suddenly after 3 straight platinum albums. Myself and all of their fans who were saddened by their sudden demise at the height of their popularity, could not wait for them to hit the stage and give us what we have been asking for all these years! And then these letters came across the screen and all you could hear were screams and cheers for ..X S C A P E! 

 

Kandi Burruss-Tucker, Tameka “Tiny” Harris and sisters Latocha and Tameka Scott came ready to party and perform all of their memorable hits. They even got their dance on last night! Check ’em out …

LaTocha, Tamika, Kandi and Tiny started off dressed in jumpsuits but changed into church robes as well as sexy attire as the evening went on. You could feel the energy in the arena as thousands of fans sang along with every song. 

Their concert set list featured all the favorites like, Feels So Good, Who Can I Run To, Is My Living In Vain, Just Kickin’ It, and Understanding. One song that I could not wait to hear them sing was “Tonight” because of how it showcases their beautiful harmonies and vocal ranges.

The crowd also enjoyed the video journey of Xscape’s career that played along in two huge jumbotron screens. We all agreed that this reunion was long overdue and how they delivered! Memory lane was in full effect and it was magical. They are hitting up Miami next on Dec.5 and other cities on their 21 city North American tour. The tour wraps up on Sat Jan 6, 2018 in Los Angeles.  So grab your girls, your guy and get tickets to see this fantastic show and get ready to have fun! For more tour info go to https://www.thegreatxscapetour.com

  

See more video clips from the concert here ⤵ 

Highlights from @HopscotchFest #Hopscotch17 #VisitRaleigh |A #soNCsavvy Recap by SobeSavvy.com

This past weekend, SobeSavvy.com was out and about in Downtown Raleigh for Hopscotch Music Festival. If you saw my recap from last year Hopscotch 2016, then you know this is a fun festival for music lovers that is not to be missed!

Official Guide 2017 Hopscotch Music Festival           

This year for #Hopscotch17, there were 120 Bands and Four Days of shows playing at the large outdoor main stages in Raleigh City Plaza, Red Hat Amphitheater, but also perfomances at The Basement inside the Raleigh Comvention Center plus day parties at the local clubs/bars. The festival features music for everyone in almost every genre: rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic and more! For me, that’s what makes Hopscotch unique because it’s not genre based and does not cater to one specific type of music. It appeals to those of us who believe music is universal and all are welcome to enjoy it in the city of Raleigh!

Hopscotch Festival partners with Visit Raleigh to put on an amazing 4 Day Music Festival   

Downtown Raleigh and its many venues makes this the perfect place for this festival because once you park your car, you can literally just “hopscotch” all around downtown and take in the acts. We downloaded their fantastic interactive app that allows users to customize their own music festival acts they want to see. 

Sort by venue or performer ,open up a calendar and set reminders for who, what, where,when to go see your fave artists on the HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FESTIVAL App

I decided to share our highlights on Hopscotch 2017 based on the venues and the people, performances and festival fun we saw at each place. Take a look and I hope you are inspired to go next year!

Raleigh CONVENTION CENTER (Wristband City, The Basement, Official Merch, & Flatstock) 

#Hopscotch17 | Inside the Convention Center

The Convention Center serves as the command center (in my opinion) for the festival. Here is where the festival fun begins after you pick up your wristbands from Wristband City (which allows you entry to see acts at all the venues). This is also the place where you can buy swag from the official Merch Market or even a cool piece of poster art from Flatstock. Hopscotch made great use of the convention center by creating a new venue space called ‘The Basement‘. An Exhibit Hall was transformed into a indoor club with a cool vibe complete with two full bars, a great sound system and plenty of dance space. Here is where we saw performances from Har Mar Superstar, Lee Fields and the Expressions and Kaytranada.  Watch a video recap >>here<< of their performances and if you want to see more photos, check out my facebook album

#Hopscotch17 | Friday Night in ‘The Basement’

CITY PLAZA

#Hopscotch17 Snapchat Filter + City Plaza

Just a couple of blocks over from the Convention Center at 400 Block Fayetteville was the City Plaza stage venue. They had all sorts of vendors/booths to buy and sample food and drinks. We had some great samples of IPA beer at the Goose Island Tent to get our party started!

#Hopscotch17 | Beer Sampling at City Plaza

On Friday, we saw Future Islands ,who hails from my hometown of Baltimore,Md. They are a synthpop band whose performance in 2014 on The Late Night Show w/David Letterman gave them national exposure and a expanded fan base. They rocked the plaza with their energy and passion! 

#Hopscotch17 | Future Islands at City Plaza

Saturday we returned to City Plaza for Big Boi hailing from A-T-L Georgia! The now iconic group OutKast was the soundtrack of my younger years, so I was very excited to see one half of that dynamic duo. He was joined by producer Sleepy Brown, who is a great artist in his own right. He ran thru a medley of OutKast hits like “So Fresh and Clean”, “Rosa Parks” and “Ms. Jackson” to name a few. Big Boi has not lost a step since their heyday. He rocked the mic as the hip hop legend that he is. Many of us rapped along to every lyric and turned the City Plaza venue into one big outdoor hip hop party!  

#Hopscotch17 | Big Boi, along with Sleepy Brown, performs

See video clips of the performances by Future Islands and Big Boi at City Plaza >>here.

LENOIR STREET PARTY

#Hopscotch17 | Ice Cream Competition + Food Drive + Lenoir Street Party

Hopscotch’s inaugural Lenoir Street Party was not only fun, but family-friendly. We went on Saturday for the Ice Cream Competition, which was held Saturday, September 9 from 1 – 5 p.m. at Gate 3 of Red Hat Amphitheater. The event was sponsored by the Carolina Hurricanes and their Homegrown Series which focuses on local artists, apparel designers, chefs, and musicians. The Winners were:

  • Lumpy’s..won for Best Regular Ice Cream
  • Mama Birds..won for Best Vegan    
  • Maple View ..won for Best Gluten Free! (I had some of their ‘Wolfpack Praline’ and it was soooooo good! Trophy worthy!

#Hopscotch17 Ice Cream Competition

The Lenoir Street Party which ran all weekend, was also where Hopscotch ran their 2017 Food Drive. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle offered $5 off festival apparel and a chance to win 2018 VIP passes with a non-perishable food item donation. This food drive also featured a life-sized cartoon art installation and can sculpture by Paul Friedrich, all sponsored by Coastal Credit Union.

#Hopscotch17 Food Drive

Beer & Wine, Spirits sampling booths were there but our daughter #outandaboutAva had the most fun traveling back in time to try 3 soda flavors of 1893 from the makers of Pepsi Cola and crafted in the Carolinas. We got some cool wooden like sunglasses and enjoyed some photo booth fun!  Lots of interactive tents and food trucks made this a great way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.

#Hopscotch17 | #1893PepsiCola Photo Booth Fun with #outandaboutAva + her Nana + her Dad

RED HAT AMPHITHEATER

#Hopscotch17 Venue Red Hat Amphitheater 

Red Hat Amphitheater is Raleigh’s premier outdoor concert venue and this is where headlining act Solange set the stage ablaze with her stellar performance! Solange had what I like to call the album of the summer. Entitled “A Seat At The Table”, this album features songs filled with affirmations of self love, positive messages and healing.

#Hopscotch17 Snapchat Filter + Solange

Her show combined what Hopscotch is all about: Music & Design . Her entire band and backup singers dressed in red gave us a what look and felt like a solar experience!

#Hopscotch17 Solange and her band

#Hopscotch17 Solange gives Raleigh a Solar Eclipse

#Hopscotch17 | Solange sings her hit ‘Cranes in the Sky’

She sang a good portion of her Grammy award winning album and also a few of her classics from her earlier albums. “Cranes In the Sky and “Don’t Touch My Hair” were fan favs. Her self choreography was a combo of soul/funk moves with a dash of disco. It was almost retro in it’s feeling and felt totally authentic and free, as seen here in my Instagram video:

She took all in attendance on a ride and none of us wanted to get off.

See youtube video recap of Solange >>here << and thank you for reading. Bravo to Hopscotch Music Festival for another wonderful year!

@Jeezy ‘s Trap or Die 3 Tour was 🔥Recap @RitzRaleigh #TD3 #SnowSeason #TD3Tour #Raleigh ⛄

Ever been to a show that was cold and lit “at the same damn time”?! Well that’s how it was here in Raleigh, NC  at the Trap or Die 3 Tour when Jeezy AKA The Snowman came to perform at The Ritz ! The sold out concert was filled with fans who came to see a living legend in the rap game. Young Jeezy is one of the pioneers who created and popularized the Hip Hop subgenre called “trap music”. He hails from Atlanta and took time to rep for the “404” during his extended set. The crowd came to bounce, scream and have a good time. The venue was packed wall to wall.
Opening up for Jeezy was Raleigh’s own Ace Henderson, followed by Lil Durk who did a great job in getting the crowd hype for the Snowman. If you hurry, you can check out more of the concert on RitzRaleigh’s Snapchat.

If you are thinking about seeing Jeezy in concert, let me assure you it was a pretty good show. In fact, it was Trap or Die! Everyone had a good time rapping along to his extensive song list.Hits like: That Trap or Die 3! Going Crazy, Bout That, Old joints! That 103. Young Jeezy bought all of Raleigh & Durham’s Atlanta hip-hop  fans out ! Standing room only! As my friend Sam the Man would say “It was flavor for real”! 

Don’t miss the chance to experience your favorite Jeezy “Trap” tracks performed at a venue near you!

TRAP OR DIE 3 TOUR DATES

Mar. 1 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
Mar. 3 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
Mar. 4 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Mar. 7 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Mar. 8 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome
Mar. 9 – Philadelphia, PA – The Filmore Philadelphia
Mar. 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 12 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 16 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz🔥🔥
Mar. 17 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
Mar. 18 – Greensboro, NC – Cone Denim Ent Center
Mar. 22 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Mar. 26 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Mar. 27 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Mar. 28 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
Apr. 4 – Riverside, CA – RMA
Apr. 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
Apr. 6 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

Old School Hip Hop & RnB lives! Thanks to “Back 2 the 80s’ Tour ~#Raleigh Recap @decRaleigh

Yo Baby, Yo Baby, Yo!!!! Old School ruled and packed the house last night, Saturday February 4, 2017 at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium for the Back 2 the 80’s Tour ! 

Fans came out ‘funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party’ to see this show featuring Doug E Fresh, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, Al B Sure, Cherrelle, Hi Five and Chubb Rock! 

The music was great, the vibe was nothing but a Generation X party y’all and I would definitely recommend seeing this show if you love old school REAL Hip Hop and RnB.

Cherrelle opened the show. She became legendary with a myriad of solo hots and also with Alexander O’Neal. Father time has done nothing to slow her beauty or vocal chords.

Followed by Chub RockChubb had great interaction w/the audience as he hosted an old school hit after hit review !

Hi-Five sang a melody of their greatest hits including “The Kissing Game”, They also paid homage to New Edition, with “Can You Stand The Rain” .

Here is a short clip of Al.B.Sure working his way thru a crowd of lady fans singing RnB classic “Secret Garden”. It was an uplifting experience for one lucky fan!


Whodini
: The trio of Jalil Hutchins, John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, and Drew “Grandmaster Dee” Carter filled the early ’80s with memorable jams such as “Magic Wand” and “The Freaks Come Out at Night,” which they performed while escaping from straitjackets underwater.  They were in all their glory onstage with their infamous wide brimmed hats and all.

Big Daddy Kane: The Grammy-winning rapper and former member of the Juice Crew’s mix of rapid-fire rhymes and swagger inspired generations of MCs, including former hype man Jay-Z.Big Daddy has not lost once ounce of his iconic swag. He is still the ultimate “smooth operator”. He took the crowd through a playlist of his biggest hits culminating with his number one smash “Ain’t no Half Steppin”

Slick Rick: Allmusic dubbed the Grammy-nominated rapper “hip-hop’s greatest storyteller” for reasons that become obvious when listening to hits such as “La Di Da Di” and “Children’s Story”. This UK import has a unique way of weaving a tale while keeping a rhythm all of his own. It took me back to middle school and just had me smiling from ear to ear.

Doug E. Fresh was as always was the MC extraordinaire. He kept the crowd grooving with his unique blend of rap, beat box.He is literally a walking encyclopedia of hip hop. One of the originators of the genre. His icon status was on full display as the crowd went wild during his set !!

Look out for the Back 2 the 80s Tour coming to a city near you ! Check your local listings and Ticketmaster to buy tickets here ! 

RECAP ~ #NuSoulRevivalTour let the #RaleighNC fans know #GoodMusicStillLives ! @DECRaleigh 

In celebration of drawing over 10,000 soul and R&B music lovers, from all over the U.S, to the largest annual Soul Music Festival in the SE region, the producers of the ATL Soul Life Music Festival are expanding on that successful concept. The 22-city NuSoul Revival Tour is boasting a lineup of some of the genres’ finest who have been quite busy in 2016. The tour kicked off last night in Raleigh, NC at the Duke Energy Center of the Performing Arts.

SobeSavvy was lucky enough to witness this great event. I was joined by my cousin who admitted, ” I came for Musiq SouldChild” ! Although I love ALL of the artists on this tour roster, I also could not wait for the headliner Musiq Soulchild to do his set. But before we get to that let’s talk about who was up before him.

Opening up on stage was beloved Grammy Nominated and; Multi-Award Winning Artist, Avery*Sunshine whose loyal fan base includes music icons Aretha Franklin, Baby Face, Teddy Riley, Jazzy Jeff, and Patti LaBelle. Avery has the vocal chords and stage presence that any real music fan could appreciate. The crowd included hundreds of folk who came there just to see her. She.is.amazing.Whether bllads or uptempo james Avery is a force to be reckoned with !

“First Couple of Soul”, Kindred the Family Soul came out first.Since their debut with Surrender to Love which charted #29 on Billboard R&B and received a Soul Train Award and a BET Award nomination, Kindred the Family Soul continues to show fans why they are fondly known as the First Couple of Soul.  Their lead Single “Where Would I Be (The Question)” from their second album hit top 10 on urban AC radio and they celebrated critical success with the 2014-released, A Couple Friends.  “Their albums are filled with a level of substance rarely found in popular music, and they combine that with great grooves and vocals. It is for that reason Kindred has been one of the most important acts of the 21st Century.

I had been wanting to see this husband and wife duo for forever and they did not disappoint. ” Far Away” was my favorite song of theirs and it just took me back to when I first heard it with my husband many moons ago. They were so energetic and just plain uplifting. The love they share in their union definitely came through with the warm interactions they had with each other on the stage.

Chester Jermaine Jennings better known as Lyfe Jennings took the stage and the crowd {ladies}went wild.The cautionary tale spinner who is well-known for his superior lyricism and signature ballads -Lyfe Jennings – has been delighting his fans since his critically acclaimed platinum-selling debut album, Lyfe 268-192 Jennings continues to raise his own bar.  In 2013, he covered Michael Jackson’s classic hit, “Human Nature” exclusively for Grammy.com’s Reimagined series. And, in 2015, the raspy-voiced singer released Tree of Lyfe, which he has described as his most personal work to date.

His singing and acoustic guitar skills are a rare blend. I discovered my love of this artist some years back when I was mesmorized by his smash hit ” Must Be Nice” It’s now iconic music video which to date has over 44 million views stands as proof that he is a visual artist himself.. Judge for yourself below:

https://www.youtube.com%20/embed/GkpN3uiZ-Ew

When he sung Must Be Nice this arms were swaying and we all were harmonizing {some better than others} to the beat !

Finally, what alot of us had been waiting for..MUSIQ !! The man who has had two platinum albums, two gold albums, and seven hit singles, and continues to amass industry nods such as awards from Billboard, BET, ASCAP, BMI, and Soul Train.&nbsp was coming on stage.

He has also earned award nominations from MTV, the American Music Awards, the NAACP, and 11 Grammy nominations since arriving on the scene over 15 years ago. The singer who enjoys fusing soul, R&B, funk, jazz, and hip-hop has also enjoyed notable collaborations with Carlos Santana, Mary J. Blige, Ice Cube, tour mates Kindred the Family Soul, Ceelo, Bilal, Swizz Beatz, Estelle, and India Arie – perhaps some of them will make an appearance on the tour.

His appeareance last night followed an exciting 2016 which includes his seventh studio album, Life on Earth entering the US Billboard 200 at #27, his single “I Do” reaching #3 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and performing in the highly anticipated musical adaptation of the cult classic, Love Jones.

Musiq took control of the audience and played a compilation of his many many hits. “So Beautiful” sounded so great. After so many years Musiq has not lost a step or a vocal chord. I simply loved it . Great night. Great company.Great Concert.

This tour is also a party for a cause , per their press release…The NuSoul Revival Tour seeks to send the message that “Good Music Still Lives! “while continuing to support artists whose music is the soundtrack, and in some cases, a blueprint of areas of our lives.  It also seeks to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease which affects over five million individuals in the United States.

Here is a short video clip from last night’s concert in Raleigh of Kindred the Family Soul singing one of my favorite songs “Far Away”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQEqjncDLxK/

 

 

To the NuSoul Revival Tour, style:initial;vertical-align:baseline;font-weight:bold;font-size:13px;line-height:normal;font-family:"color:rgb(70,70,70);text-align:justify;”> 

#NuSoulRevivalTour     #GoodMusicStillLives

Coming to a city near you!

 

#Durham enjoys a night of #RetroSoul @DPAC w/@LeonBridges & @LianneLahavas #ComingHome Tour

leon

A little more than a year ago Leon Bridges http://leonbridges.com/music-and-video/ was a 23 year old dishwasher in Dallas/Ft.Worth, Texas. He played whatever gigs he could get at local coffee houses there on the side. Tonight he performed before thousands at the DPAC arena in Durham http://www.dpacnc.com/ What a difference a year makes!

He put two of his songs on the Sound Cloud music platform last year that garnered the attention of Columbia Records who promptly signed him to do an album. While his first album was in production, he built further buzz during last year’s SXSW festival in Austin. He was THE topic of the entire festival and his following grew. His debut album entitled, “Coming Home” was released in June 2015. He had arrived. The Album’s title piece became a hit. The album was recorded on Analog straight to tape. This old school method {which D’Angelo also used for his underground album “Messiah”}captures a richness that digital simply cannot. He has been compared to Sam Cooke and the comparison is valid.

Lianne la Havas, http://www.liannelahavas.com/ the acoustic folk alternative singer/guitarist opened for him. This British ingénue has carved out her own little niche amongst her fans. Her crisp playing and song bird delivery was a delight to behold. She performed a few songs from her grammy nominated album, “Blood”. Instead of wardrobe changes, Lianne changed acoustic guitars 3 times during her set! It was A great beginning to a wonderful evening.

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The headliner was up next. Leon’s smooth delivery and stage presence was magnetic. His clothing; bowling shirt and polished brown saddle shoes are an important part of bringing the 50’s and 60’s back to life. But garb alone is not enough for long term success. His talent is unique. He commanded the stage and had the audience in a soul induced trance. I was pulled into the rhythm of his guitar and yesteryear voice. Warm and rich like a warm mug of cocoa on a cold winter evening. Leon is different than everything else out there today and THAT is a good thing indeed.

#SobeSavvy shares #Hopscotch16 Highlights! @HopscotchFestival #Raleigh #Music #Festival

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Hopscotch was a favorite child’s game of mine. I used to skip from one number to another number on one foot. I had the pleasure going to a fantastic music festival with all performance venues/acts concentrated in downtown Raleigh. This 3 day festival is aptly named HOPSCOTCH! http://hopscotchmusicfest.com/

Fans can literally just hop and skip to see multiple acts one after another after another just a block or two apart !

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This is Hopscotch’s 7th year throwing one of the most fun and eclectic music festivals in the nation. This year over 20,000 fans can expect to see 120 regional and national artists/bands in various downtown clubs and theaters. Some acts are even performing at the CAM art museum. We spent 9 straight hours Friday taking in as much of the festival that we could! For the first time in festival history they utilized The Red Hat Ampitheatre for Friday night. The weather was warm and sultry. In other words..PERFECT!

The festival’s “wristband city” was set up inside the Raleigh Convention center. Attendees went there to pick up their wristbands and visit various sponsor booths and view some eclectic modern art pieces.

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The soul blues rocker himself, Gary Clark Jr performed a great set. He is an amazing guitarist and vocalist that reminds one of past soul rock greats.

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Up next was the headliner, the amazing Ms. Erykah Badu. She blessed the fans with an extended set which included her playful banter and many of her great hits. Fans delighted in her spiritual energy and unique force of her voice.

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Unlike most music festivals that are centered around one genre of music, Hopscotch defies that norm. Artists here perform almost every genre one could imagine. From Bluegrass and country to New Orleans own gender bending self proclaimed “Queen Of Bounce”, Big Freedia.

Freedia performed a late night/early morning set at the famous Lincoln Theatre venue. The crowd was diverse and full of bounce energy. Big Freedia and her crew gave what can only be descibes as a “COLORFUL” performance ! See the IG video below, which clearly verifies my description of her performance.

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Artists perform indoors at various clubs and music venues that fans must have a paid wristband to enter but some acts perform in open air city plaza downtown where anyone can just hang out and vibe to the unique welcoming atmosphere that Hopscotch is known for.

Fans can opt to purchase one day wristbands, which gives you access to all venues and Red Hat on Friday night or for a real deal, buy a 3 day band to enjoy everything and everyone the festival has to offer.

Check out this link for the official schedule: http://hopscotchmusicfest.com/schedule/

They also have a fantastic App for the festival where you can build your own custom schedule of acts you want to see. Get in in the Google Play Store for Android or in Apple App Store.

You still have a few hours to enjoy the fest..See ya next year !!

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@KoolntheGngLIVE @Bootsy_Collins @TheMorrisDay strives to #KeepinTheFunkAlive in #Raleigh

On Saturday July 24,2016 , SobeSavvy.com joined thousands of other funk music veterans at The Walnut Creek Amphitheatre to experience Bootsy Collins, Kool & The Gang along with Morris Day & The Time.

DJ Doug E. Fresh opened up the evening with one of his classic sets familiar with the young and old{er} alike!! Former James Brown band member, world renowned bassist Bootsy Collins was up first. Bootsy was an integral part of Parlament/Funkadelic in the 70’s. He also has worked with a myriad of other artists throughout his 40 year career. He played many of his classics like “I’d Rather Be With You and “Let me ride” to name a few. He made multiple costume changes since he is also known for his colorful and outrageous stage stylings !

Next up was Morris Day and The Time. They started their set with a video tribute to their mentor and friend, Prince Rogers Nelson. Once that touching video montage ended it was time to party. They went through some of their many memorable funky tunes. From their famous balled, ” Gigalos Get Lonely too” to the dance anthem “The Bird”..The choreography was still tight and yes an assistant made sure to hold up a mirror so Morris could check out his profile.

Kool and The Gang came on next. Their history is richer than most casual fans could ever guess. Robert “Kool” Bell founded the group when he was 13 years old !
They started out as an instrumental band that had a huge hit with the now iconic song, ” Summer Madness” 1974. Their famous extensive horn section was highlighted during the show. Their hits span over 4 decades. They have had #1 hits on the pop and R&B Charts. “Hollywood Swingin” kicked off their energetic set. Crowds favorites were ” Joanna”, which many couples stood up and slow danced to. “celebrate” brought the crowd to a fever pitch.

Here a few pics from my Funk-tastic night in the Capital City !!