JOVM celebrates Bjork’s 55th birthday.
JOVM celebrates Neil Young’s 75th birthday.
JOVM turned 10 earlier this year and to celebrate the occasion I streamed a globe-spanning, genre-defying DJ set for a collection of dear friends and colleagues. A couple of months later, I did a second DJ set, which managed to simultaneously celebrate JOVM’s decade of existence and was a dance party for my mom’s 68th birthday.
The third DJ set, which I streamed last night is focused on the classic soul sound — by beloved classic artists, as well as contemporary artists. As I told the folks, who joined me: when I started to compile the tracks for Flight 777’s third journey, I was in a dark space: I couldn’t help feeling anxious and fearful that the country would re-elect a dangerous, racist moron for another four years. Obviously, as the results got increasingly better, I began to feel an exhausted sense of relief until Saturday morning, when CNN and the AP officially called the presidential race for Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. (Correction: President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris!). Most of the songs of the set took on a very different vibe and tone — and I had to make two memorable last minute additions to cover the overall mood.
So here’s four hours of soul for your soul and for you heart. I hope you’ll enjoy as much I did streaming it for friends.
Also happy birthday, mom!
JOVM celebrates Bootsy Colins’ 69th birthday.
JOVM celebrates Snoop Dogg’s 49th birthday.
One of the greatest thrills I’ve had as a music fan, was somehow getting last-minute tickets through a broker to see Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with Steve Winwood at Madison Square Garden back in June 2008. Up until, catching Bob Dylan with Mavis Staples at The Beacon Theatre, that 2008 concert was the most I had ever spent for concert tickets — and I don’t regret it for a single second. God, hearing all of great songs live.
Petty would have turned 70. And much like Prince, I doubt Petty was capable of writing a terrible song. I wanted to celebrate Tom Petty’s birthday — and i think you should, too. I’ll be playing some of his music today, and will feel grateful for all of those songs. Happy 70th Tom. Happy birthday to you, wherever you are.
JOVM celebrates Bryan Ferry’s 75th birthday.
JOVM celebrates Joan Jett’s 62nd birthday.
JOVM celebrates Nile Rodgers’ 68th birthday.
Dayton, OH-born and-based singer/songwriter and drummer, Steve Arrington got his start with the acclaimed Dayton-based funk and soul act Slave in the 70s, eventually becoming known for singing lead vocals on the act’s smash hits “Watching You,” and “Just a Touch of Love.” Continuing an incredible run of professional success, Arrington went solo, releasing a handful of albums before leaving the secular music world in 1991 to focus on spiritual and ministerial work.
As Arrington focused on the spiritual matters, an impressive and eclectic array of artists have been influenced by his work, with artists like Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Pharrell, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, N.W.A. and a lengthy list of others sampling his work in Slave and as a solo artist.
After nearly two decades away, Arrington returned to secular music in 2009 with the release of that year’s Pure Thang, which he followed up with 2013’s collaborative album with Dam-Funk, Higher, released through Stones Throw Records. Since then the Dayton-born and-based funk legend has had a number of attention-grabbing guest spots and collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Kool Moe Dee, George Clinton, and Thundercat.
The funk legend’s first solo full-length album in 11 years, Down To The Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions is slated for a Friday release through Stones Throw Records, and the album reportedly sees Arrington finding peace with himself and God, while casting an easygoing yet razor-sharp critical eye on the world around him. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you may recall that I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles: the slow-burning Quiet Storm-like pimp strut “Soulful I Need That In My Life,” a song that offered prescriptive advice for listeners in a time of heightened anxiety, uncertainty, stress and despair — and proud and defiantly hopeful and shimmering “Make a Difference,” which reminds the listener that while we have achieved so much, we still have a lot of hard work to do to achieve Martin Luther King’s and John Lewis’ vision of America.
“The Joys of Love,” Down to the Lowest Terms’ fourth and latest single is a shimmering, neo-soul strut, centered around twinkling Rhodes, boom bap-like drumming, an infectious two step-inducing hook and Arrington’s imitable crooning. Considering the bleak and unending Kafkaesque hellscape that is our current world, this song is frankly a much-needed blast of spiritual uplift.