2012-07-09Nick's Picks: 1-01 (don't try to lay no boogie woogie on the) Queen of Rock N Soul; 1-07 Devil Only Knows My First Name; 2-02 Geechee Woman; 2-08 Halfway Blues Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Shakura S'AidaTime... : I have heard this opening line somewhere, and it dawned on me that it came from a rollickin' gospel song (can I get a witness?). Aside from an upbeat subject, this is one kick-ass boogie, woogie, cut - probably one of the best I have heard in awhile ("don't try no boogie woogie on the Queen of Rock N Soul"). It's a get-down, jump around cover of a revered British rocker - Long John Baldry I mean, everyone is crankin' it up and hittin' on all cylinders. (Lord have mercy)! Shakura slows it down just a tad with the title cut ("Time") to a mid-paced, hard-driving rock & roll. This is a two-record collection, and most of these cuts are co-written by Shakura and her terrific guitarist - Donna Grantis. This collection has been two years in production, but you can tell it took a lifetime of livin' to get the songs to resonate with such realism. At the risk of repeating myself, I have to note that this band has been playing together for awhile, and it is evidenced by the tight rhythms on the snare and B3 that lend the beat, as well as the themes of love gained, love lost, life's ups and downs ("Devil Only Knows My First Name", "Ya Ya", "Tell Me Baby"). Shakura does not ignore her vocal strengths, and her magnetic presence. This is a fine release from a fine artist. I would love to see this artist live in concert. Shakura SAida dives head first into the rock and soul music waters and executes a flawless entry into the deep end. Smokin' hot, this is music for both lovers and those just out for a one-niter. And that's my two nickels' worth........................Nick Bio: Shakura S'Aida is a Canadian blues and jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress. She is sometimes credited as simply Shakura, and should therefore not be confused with the Colombian pop star Shakira. She was born in Brooklyn and lived in Switzerland before moving to Canada. S'Aida was lead singer of the 13-piece world music ensemble Kaleefah before embarking on her solo career. She has also performed as a backing vocalist for Rita MacNeil and Patti Labelle, as well as with jazz musicians such as Jimmy Smith and Ruth Brown. She has also been nominated for several Juno Awards for her music. As an actress, she starred in a Toronto production of George Boyd's Consecrated Ground in 2004, as well as Sudz Sutherland's Doomstown in 2006 ------ Wikipedia Shakura S'Aida has been performing since the tender age of 13, and now has a quarter of a century of onstage experience to back her up. Shakura S'Aida (pronounced Shack-oora Sigh-ee-da) began performing at a young girl. Her first steps into music began with a Toronto community band called Mystique, which found her belting out tunes alongside Deborah Cox, and then became the lead singer in a 13-piece world music band, Kaleefah, that would later be nominated for a Juno Award. She's performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York and has also been featured with such legendary artists as Jimmy Smith and Ruth Brown; she's sung backup with Patti Labelle, and is equally at home singing material with a Ray Charles tribute band, or presenting a one-woman show of the music of Nina Simone. She's just played her first show with a symphony orchestra. S'Aida's long-simmering career initially moved into high gear in 2008 with a triumph at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, when she earned the runner-up position, competing against more than 100 bands from more than 20 different countries. ------AgassizHarrisonObservor.com
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