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  • MTV Unplugged No.2.0 MTV Unplugged No.2.0 Quick View

    $39.99
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    MTV Unplugged No.2.0

    180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl


    4-Page Insert


    Featuring Mystery Of Iniquity, Oh Jerusalem And The Conquering Lion


    Lauryn Hill is best known for being a member of The Fugees and for her critically acclaimed solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won numerous awards, broke several sales records and was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest albums of all time.


    The acoustic MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 double album from Lauryn Hill came nearly 4 years after the first solo album and gives an insight into her deeper thoughts and emotions about her life, artist, the judicial system (in Mystery Of Iniquity) and spiritual side. Lengthy intros, conversations, and deeply personal songs like Conquering Lion accompanied with her acoustic guitar, with the audience add to the intimate performance in her typical raspy voice.


    The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and her song Mystery Of Iniquity was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance and used as an interpolation by Kanye West for his single All Falls Down. Great acoustic songs like Adam Lives In Theory, Oh Jerusalem and I Gotta Find Peace Of Mind complete the album.


    MTV Unplugged No 2.0 was her last album and pressed in limited quantities. This reissue comes just in time for its 15th year anniversary in 2017.

    LP 1
    1. Intro
    2. Mr. Intentional
    3. Adam Lives In Theory
    4. Interlude 1
    5. Oh Jerusalem

    6. Interlude 2
    7. Freedom Time
    8. Interlude 3
    9. I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)
    10. Just Like Water
    11. Interlude 4
    12. Just Want You Around


    LP 2
    1. I Gotta Find Peace Of Mind
    2. Interlude 5
    3. Mystery Of Iniquity
    4. Interlude 6
    5. I Get Out
    6. Interlude 7
    7. I Remember
    8. So Much Things To Say
    9. The Conquering Lion
    10. Outro

    Lauryn Hill
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill Quick View

    $29.99
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    The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

    Ranked 312/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.


    'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' is the critically and commercially acclaimed solo album by female Fugee Lauryn Hill. Originally released on August 25th, 1998, it has been widely praised for its seamless fusion of R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Gospel, and Neo-Soul. The songs vary in style, but make for a cohesive album. In 1999, the album garnered 10 Grammy nominations at the 41st Grammy Awards. When Hill won 5 Grammies that night, her achievement made her the first female to receive that many in one night. The album includes collaborations with soul singer D'Angelo on Nothing Even Matters; guitarist Carlos Santana on To Zion; singer Mary J. Blige on I Used to Love Him and well as then little-known John Legend playing the piano on Everything is Everything.


    Over 10 years after its original release Hill's debut solo album has proven to stand the test of time easily.

    1. Intro
    2. Lost Ones

    3. Ex-Factor

    4. To Zion

    5. Doo Wop (That Thing)

    6. Superstar

    7. Final Hour

    8. When It Hurts So Bad
    9. I Used To Love Him

    10. Forgive Them Father

    11. Every Ghetto, Every City

    12. Nothing Even Matters

    13. Everything Is Everything

    14. The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

    15. Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You

    16. Tell Him
    Lauryn Hill
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Score The Score Quick View

    $29.99
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    The Score

    Ranked 477/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.


    The Fugees' breakout sophomore album, The Score, propelled the group to worldwide superstar status and garnered a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, Best R&B Performance for Killing Me Softly and a nomination for Album Of The Year. Wyclef, Pras and Lauryn Hill transcend hip hop cliches here with musical eclecticism, a social consciousness and pop smarts that help make it one of the most distinctive hip-hop albums of its era.

    LP1
    1. Red Intro
    2. How Many Mics
    3. Ready or Not
    4. Zealots
    5. The Beast
    6. FU-GEE-LA
    7. Family Business
    8. Killing Me Softly with His Song


    LP2
    1. The Score
    2. The Mask
    3. Cowboys
    4. No Woman, No Cry
    5. Manifest/Outro

    Fugees
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Blunted On Reality Blunted On Reality Quick View

    $34.99
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    Blunted On Reality

    180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl


    Includes Insert


    Legendary Debut Album


    Featuring The Hit Singles Nappy Heads, Vocab, And Boof Baf


    Blunted On Reality is the 1994 debut album by Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Pras Michel, collectively known as The Fugees. The album contains less political lyrics than their second album The Score, but there definitively were political intentions.


    As Wyclef Jean described the meaning of the title in an interview: When the cop is messing around with somebody for something that the person didn't do and they try to set 'em up, that makes me blunted on reality. When the government is taking money on arms and that money could be going back to the community it makes me blunted on reality. It's just awareness of what's going on that's what blunted on reality means


    The album spawned 3 singles; Nappy Heads, Vocab and Boof Baf and started selling big quantities, eventually reaching gold and platinum status, after the release of their critically acclaimed album The Score in 1996.

    1. Introduction
    2. Nappy Heads
    3. Blunted Interlude
    4. Recharge

    5. Freestyle Interlude
    6. Vocab
    7. Special News Bulletin
    8. Boof Baf
    9. Temple

    10. How Hard Is It

    11. Harlem Chit Chat
    12. Some Seek Stardom

    13. Giggles

    14. Da Kid From Haiti
    15. Rufugees On The Mic

    16. Living Like There Ain't No Tomorrow
    17. Shouts Out From The Block
    Fugees
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Score The Score Quick View

    $44.99
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    The Score

    Ranked 477/500 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

    Import

    The Fugees' breakout sophomore album, The Score, propelled the group to worldwide superstar status and garnered a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, Best R&B Performance for Killing Me Softly and a nomination for Album Of The Year. Wyclef, Pras and Lauryn Hill transcend hip hop cliches here with musical eclecticism, a social consciousness and pop smarts that help make it one of the most distinctive hip-hop albums of its era.

    1. Red Intro
    2. How Many Mics

    3. Ready or Not

    4. Zealots

    5. Beast

    6. Fu-Gee-La

    7. Family Business

    8. Killing Me Softly

    9. Score
    10. Mask

    11. Cowboys
    12. No Woman, No Cry

    13. Manifest/Outro

    14. Fu-Gee-La (Refugee Camp Remix)

    15. Fu-Gee-La (Sly & Robbie Mix)
    16. Mista Mista
    Fugees
    $44.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Our Version Of Events Our Version Of Events Quick View

    $19.99
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    Our Version Of Events

    Our Version of Events is the debut album by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli SandÉ. The album was released on 13 February 2012 by Virgin Records, following SandÉ's winning of the Critic's Choice Award at the BRIT Awards 2012. Though Our Version of Events is her first release, SandÉ has been active in the industry since 2009, most notable appearing on singles by Chipmunk (Diamond Rings) and Wiley (Never Be Your Woman). The album features R&B and soul music. SandÉ began working on the album when she was eleven years old.


    SandÉ began working with Alicia Keys for the album, and for Keys' upcoming album. She also expressed interest in working with Nicki Minaj on the album. Naughty Boy was a major collaboration with SandÉ from the day she began creating music professionally. Mike Spencer, Paul Herman and Professor Green also got involved with the production of the album. She wrote every track on the album, saying that the key to a good song when writing is using honesty and raw emotion. Upon the release of the album, SandÉ's vocal ability has been compared to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, BeyoncÉ and Annie Lennox. Tracey Chapman, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill are all major influences for her album. Madonna also expressed interest in SandÉ's music.


    Heaven was released in August 2011, as the first single from the debut album, the song charted at number-two on the UK Singles Chart and later became an international success, charting within the top-ten in many European countries. SandÉ released Read All About It with Professor Green in November 2011, which resulted in her writing Read All About It (Pt. III). Daddy was released in November 2011, which charted at number twenty-one on the UK Singles Chart, however the single also became an international success. Easier in Bed, a non-album promotional single was released onto iTunes in December 2011. Next to Me was the third single released, which became a global hit. Entering the UK Singles Chart at number-two and the Irish Singles Chart at number-one. My Kind of Love was released as the fourth single from the album in June 2012 and appeared on The Voice UK in order to promote the single. Upon release of the album, the album debuted at number-one on the UK Albums Chart and remained at the top spot for five non-consecutive weeks. the British Phonographic Industry certificated the album 2× Platinum, making it the fastest selling album by a British recording artist since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream in 2009.


    The album also debuted at number-two on the Irish Albums Chart.
    A re-release of the album occurred on 22 October 2012 including three new tracks, a remix and a cover of Imagine (originally by John Lennon), replacing SandÉ's version of Abide with Me. Wonder (a song credited as Naughty Boy featuring Emeli SandÉ which is featured on the US version of the album) is the lead single of the re-release. It also serves as the lead single from collaborator Naughty Boy's album, Hotel Cabana. In September 2012, Our Version of Events became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK overtaking Adele's 21.

    1. Heaven
    2. My Kind Of Love
    3. Where I Sleep
    4. Mountains
    5. Clown
    6. Daddy (feat. Naughty Boy)
    7. Maybe
    8. Suitcase
    9. Breaking The Law
    10. Next To Me
    11. River
    12. Lifetime
    13. Hope
    Emeli Sande
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Get Lifted Get Lifted Quick View

    $39.99
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    Get Lifted

    Printed Innersleeves


    John Legend rose to fame in the mid noughties, after making a name for himself as guest musician for Lauryn Hill, Slum Village and Kanye West among others. When Kanye started his own label G.O.O.D. (Getting Out Our Dreams), Get Lifted would be the first release to see the light.


    Resembling a style made popular in the '70s by Sly & The Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Quincy Jones and Bill Withers, Legend knows his chops and delivers an all-time classic R&B album ready for the new millennium.


    Original vinyl copies of Get Lifted fetch top dollar, which makes a reissue of this title more than welcome for Soul and Hip Hop fans.

    LP1
    1. Prelude
    2. Let's Get Lifted
    3. Used To Love U Alright
    4. She Don't Have To Know
    5. Number One (featuring Kanye West)
    6. I Can Change (featuring Snoop Dogg)


    LP2
    1. Ordinary People Stay With You
    2. Let's Get Lifted Again
    3. So High
    4. Refuge (When It's Cold Outside)
    5. It Don't Have To Change (featuring The Stephens Family)
    6. Live It Up (featuring Miri Ben-Ari)

    John Legend
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Refugee Camp (Bootleg Versions) Refugee Camp (Bootleg Versions) Quick View

    $34.99
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    Refugee Camp (Bootleg Versions)

    The Fugees were an American Hip Hop group who rose to fame in the mid-1990s. Their repertoire included elements of Hip Hop, Soul and Caribbean music. The members of the group were rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer/producer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel.


    The group recorded two albums - one of which, The Score from 1996 [MOVLP068] was a multi-Platinum and Grammy-winning success. In 2007, MTV ranked them the 9th greatest Hip Hop group of all time.


    Refugee Camp (Bootleg Versions) is a remix album of a song selection from their 1994 debut Blunted On Reality and follow-up The Score, released in 1996. The album features eight tracks, including seven remixes, and one new recording. The album peaked at #127 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.

    1. Ready Or Not (Clark Kent/Django Remix)
    2. Nappy Heads (Mad Spider Mix)
    3. Don't Cry Dry Your Eyes (Album Version)
    4. Vocab (Salaam's Remix)
    5. Ready Or Not (Salaam's Ready For The Show Remix)
    6. Killing Me Softly With His Song (Live At The Brixton Academy)
    7. No Woman, No Cry (Remix W/steve Marley)
    8. Vocab (Refugees Hip Hop Remix)
    Fugees
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Cheers To The Fall Cheers To The Fall Quick View

    $25.99
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    Cheers To The Fall

    With a style from decades before her time and a voice for the ages, Andra Day creates what she calls retro-pop-soul music. It's a blend of jazz, soul, doo-wop, plus a little bit of rock and a little bit of hip-hop as the underbelly, she says. As comfortable as she is with contemporary R&B, it is the emotions and voices of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu that call to Andra the loudest.


    Cheers To The Fall, Andra's debut album, is what she calls a biography told in the form of soul music. The 13 tracks see her exploring relationships with both others and herself, grappling with past mistakes but ultimately finding forgiveness and truth.

    LP 1
    1. Forever Mine
    2. Only Love
    3. Gold
    4. Not Today
    5. Mistakes
    6. Goodbye Goodnight
    7. Rearview


    LP 2
    1. Red Flags
    2. Honey Or Fire
    3. Gin & Juice (Let Go My Hand)
    4. Rise Up
    5. City Burns
    6. Cheers To The Fall

    Andra Day
    $25.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Goddess Goddess Quick View

    $22.99
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    Goddess

    Effortlessly balancing her gift for honest, poetic perspectives on love and humanity with a voice that gained her overnight attention from the music industry's most important curators - Banks is poised for massive things. Drawing from inspirations like Fiona Apple and Miss Lauryn Hill, Banks focuses on the duality of soulful earthly emotion and ethereal atmospheric sounds. The Los Angeles native and self-taught pianist, vocalist, and songwriter will release her debut Album on Harvest Records.
    1. Alibi
    2. Goddess
    3. Waiting Game
    4. Brain
    5. This Is What It Feels Like
    6. You Should Know Where I'm Coming From
    7. Stick
    8. Fuck Em Only We Know
    9. Drowning
    10. Beggin For Thread
    11. Change
    12. Someone New
    13. Warm Water
    14. Under The Table
    Banks
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • IV IV Quick View

    $16.99
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    IV

    Dub Trio is back with their fourth and most powerful album to date, IV, an overwhelming blend of sounds, styles and ideas that come out swinging, and hit harder than ever. Can metal coexist with dubs bass heavy rhythms? Dub Trios newest album proves that not only can such incongruities coexist, but that in the right hands they flourish!


    With IV the band succeeds dramatically at emphasizing the theories, emotions, sounds and concepts of their current musical exploration. IV finds the members playing multiple instruments, tweaking, turning and torturing knobs, cutting and chopping the audio itself, and shaping the compositions to create their own unique interpretation of dub as an art form.


    As go-to live musicians for both Mike Patton and Matisyahu, Dub Trio has also worked closely with Lady Gaga as her original showcasing band, 50 Cent and G-Unit, Mary J. Blige, Tupac, Yoko Ono, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, Mobb Deep, and many more.

    1. En Passant
    2. Noise
    3. Swarm
    4. Control Issue Controlling Your Mind
    5. Ends Justify the Means
    6. Words
    7. Patient Zero
    8. 1:1.618
    9. Thousand Mile Stare
    Dub Trio
    $16.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Ctrl Ctrl Quick View

    $23.99
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    Ctrl

    Pressed On 2x 150-Gram Translucent Green Colored Vinyl


    SZA's new album, Ctrl, is set for release on vinyl via RCA Records.


    Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy and Isaiah Rashad, Ctrl has been revered for its raw and honest lyrics and garnered praise from celebrities (Calvin Harris, Diddy, Issa Rae, Bella Hadid, Olivia O'Brien), influencers (Karen Civil, Scottie Beam), fans and critics alike.


    Noisey describes Ctrl as "14 tracks of the dreamy R&B lusciousness that we've come to know and love the New Jersey singer-songwriter for." NPR calls Ctrl "a resolutely confident and skillful R&B album that explores the notions of control and honesty," while The Shade Room proclaims, "'Ctrl' is actuals! Imagine 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' tailored for our generation."


    One of the redefining voices of today's contemporary music era, SZA entered the music scene in 2012 with her first critically acclaimed EP, See.SZA.Run. Following that, she released S in 2013 and Z in 2014, both to rave reviews. In 2013, SZA signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, being the first female artist to join the label. SZA wrote and performed on Rihanna's Anti single "Consideration" in 2016 and helped write Nicki Minaj and Beyonce's "Feelin Myself" in 2014.


    Born in St. Louis and raised in Maplewood, NJ as Solána Rowe, SZA grew up listening to classic and avant-garde jazz, alternative, and rap. She renamed herself finding inspiration within the Supreme Alphabet: the 'S' stands for savior or sovereign, the 'Z' for zig-zag, and the 'A' for Allah.

    LP 1
    1. Supermodel
    2. Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)
    3. Doves In The Wind (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
    4. Drew Barrymore
    5. Prom
    6. The Weekend
    7. Go Gina
    8. Garden (Say It Like Dat)


    LP 2
    1. Broken Clocks
    2. Anything
    3. Wavy (Interlude) (feat. James Fauntleroy)
    4. Normal Girl
    5. Pretty Little Birds (feat. Isaiah Rashad)
    6. 20 Something

    SZA
    $23.99
    150 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • I'm Only Dreaming I'm Only Dreaming Quick View

    $19.99
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    I'm Only Dreaming

    Tyler, TX-based indie pop outfit Eisley has announced I'm Only Dreaming, the band's fifth full-length, which was produced by Will Yip (Circa Survive, Balance & Composure, Lauryn Hill) and will be released via Equal Vision Records.


    Vocalist/guitarist Sherri DuPree-Bemis opened up about "You Are Mine" revealing, "This song is about loving someone deeply and the beauty and challenges that come with being in a long-term, committed relationship. You're going to argue, you're going to rub each other wrong and disagree and drive each other absolutely crazy sometimes but at the end of the day you just want to be together. ('You're my everything, my sun and moon, you make me swoon; Wake me up, talk too much, piss me off, but you are mine')."


    I'm Only Dreaming stays true to form of the band's signature dreamy sound, with DuPree-Bemis elaborating, "Musically, you could say it's classic Eisley, in the sense that it's melodic, moody pop and is written from the heart. Lyrically, it's very whimsical; it has a vibe that will take you into its own world and let you escape your normal life for a few minutes. I like to cloak things in a little mystery and romance; I think it's part of what makes all of Eisley's songs sound like they're from the same world. Every record is like opening and reading a book in a series."

    1. Always Wrong
    2. Defeatist
    3. A Song for the Birds
    4. Sparking
    5. My Best Friend
    6. Rabbit Hole
    7. Louder Than a Lion
    8. You Are Mine
    9. When You Fall
    10. Snowfall
    11. Brightest Fire
    Eisley
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Healing Component The Healing Component Quick View

    $22.99
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    The Healing Component

    When Chicago MC Mick Jenkins first broke out onto the national hip-hop scene with his 2014 mixtape The Water[s], fans embraced the thoughtful new voice for his ability to hold a mirror up to society -- and himself -- and deliver unflinchingly honest reflections in his baritone style over a sonic palette as deep as his lyrical metaphors. But The Water[s] also laid out a thesis statement of sorts, an emphasis on healing and love instead of anger and violence that carried through his next project, the EP Wave[s], and surfaces again fully-formed on his debut album, The Healing Component, out soon via Cinematic Music Group.


    To Jenkins, 25, the titular healing component isn't THC -- the element of marijuana that produces its high -- as the acronym of the album suggests, but love, a concept explored throughout the album and anchored by the single, Spread Love. The project is stitched together through a series of skits, or more accurately conversations, on the nature and meaning of love for individual people, fleshed out and discussed in a way that's reminiscent of the classroom interludes that pepper The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. But it's not just romantic or familial love that he explores throughout the album's 15 tracks. It's also about love in all the different ways it manifests itself: It's all-encompassing, he says, Because it's something that I intend to talk about for a while in different ways. - Dan Rys (Billboard.com)

    1. The Healing Component
    2. Spread Love
    3. Daniels Bloom
    4. Strange Love
    5. This Type Love?
    6. Drowning (ft. BADBADNOTGOOD)
    7. As Seen in Bethsaida (ft. theMIND)
    8. Communicate (ft. Ravyn Lenae)
    9. Plugged
    10. 1000 Xans (ft. theMIND)
    11. Prosperity (ft. theMIND)
    12. Fall Through
    13. Love, Robert Horry (ft. J-Stock)
    14. Angles (ft. Noname & Xavier Omar)
    15. Fucked Up Outro (ft. Michael Anthony)
    Mick Jenkins
    $22.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Ella: Accentuate The Positive Ella: Accentuate The Positive Quick View

    $41.99
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    Ella: Accentuate The Positive

    Violinist Regina Carter celebrates the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald.

    A hundred years after her birth, there are still plenty of lessons to be learned from listening to Ella Fitzgerald. But that's not the only takeaway that Regina Carter has gleaned from Ella's storied career. On her new album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, the virtuoso violinist reveals the many aspects of Fitzgerald that have influenced her own remarkable path in music. That translates to an album that avoids the more obvious song choices in favor of more obscure though no less rewarding tunes from deep inside Ella's bountiful catalogue. Instead of trying to echo Fitzgerald's own choices and arrangements, or attempting the near-impossible task of evoking her beloved voice on the violin, Carter has done what has always set her apart - followed her own dauntless instincts, resulting in a singular new take on both familiar and hidden classics.

    Carter's enchantment with Ella Fitzgerald continued from childhood into adulthood and she grew to realize how much technique and virtuosity were involved in producing a sound so warm and inviting. The ability to spark that connection was central to Carter's choice of songs for Ella: Accentuate the Positive. From the gospel-tinged performance on the opening Ac-cen-tchu-ate the Positive to the airily funky arrangement of Crying in the Chapel and the bluesy take on I'll Never Be Free that sets the tone for the slinky groove of All My Live.

    Regina Carter draws from a diverse well of influences that include classical, jazz, Motown swing, funk, and world music among others. Over a span of more than two decades, she has established herself as an enduring and creative force in jazz, thanks to a string of highly acclaimed solo and collaborative recordings, a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and a relentless tour schedule that has taken her to all corners of the globe. She has performed with a variety of high-profile jazz and pop artists including Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Oliver Lake. A master of improvisational jazz violin, Carter's performances highlight the often overlooked potential of the jazz violin for its lyric, melodic and percussive potential.

    LP 1
    1. Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive
    2. Crying In The Chapel
    3. I'll Never Be Free
    4. All My Life


    LP 2
    1. Dedicated To You
    2. Reach For Tomorrow
    3. Undecided
    4. Judy
    5. I'll Chase The Blues Away

    Regina Carter
    $41.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Broken People Broken People Quick View

    $18.99
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    Broken People

    American music is a mile-wide river that beckons black and white, urban and rural, dreamer and doer alike to launch their vessels. All the streams of style and genre flow into it; its tributaries are blues and jazz, mountain and folk, rock, soul and R&B.


    The release of the debut album by Muddy Magnolias, Broken People, marks the launch of a great new vessel onto that waterway. The album showcases a confluence of style and sound as colorful as it is unlikely, steeped in that river of influence, yet bracingly fresh.


    With Broken People, Jessy Wilson and Kallie North take us on an 11-song journey with its origins in two widely divergent backgrounds that came together in a friendship and creative partnership with world-changing resonance.


    North was raised in southeast Texas and began singing with her family and studying piano at an early age. She grew to love rich vocal harmonies singing in church choirs and listening to artists like the Carpenters, Alison Krauss, James Taylor and the Eagles. By her early teens, she was singing lead parts in church and in musical theater productions at her high school. Her palette grew when a friend turned her on to the Grateful Dead, and after high school she spent every spare moment in the clubs of Austin, absorbing everything from alt-country and jam bands to New Orleans funk. She met her husband at a concert and moved with him to his native Mississippi. There, on their isolated farm, she had her awakening, starting a career as a photographer, capturing the spirited, deep history of the Mississippi Delta.


    "To me, the Delta is the most overlooked and mysterious place," she says. "It was the birthplace of America's music, and all the legends were influenced by everything that came out of it. I went on this personal exploration to learn about the Delta blues and the region's history. I picked up a camera and started taking pictures, blogging about what I was experiencing, and I tapped into all the creative energy lying dormant inside me." When her husband gave her a guitar, she began spending her days on the porch of their farm learning how to connect her first chords. From there, the songs began pouring out and she knew she had to find a way to get to Nashville and write songs professionally.


    Wilson, raised in Brooklyn, was in love with music from her earliest days. She was singing before she could talk, and was 5 when her mother recognized her passion for music. "I would cry because I couldn't hit the high notes in Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey songs," she says. Influenced by greats from Aretha and Smokey Robinson to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and The Notorious B.I.G., she began auditioning in the highly competitive New York entertainment scene and was working professionally in musical theater by the age of 10. Her mother took her to nightclubs where she experienced a variety of live performances. She attended New York's top performing arts schools, including La Guardia High School, the "Fame" school, where she discovered her love for gospel music and took part in the gospel chorus for four years. She worked at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, making $500 a weekend while still in high school.


    She sang backup for Alicia Keys in her teens, then worked four years with John Legend, and through him with legends like will.i.am, Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq and Babyface. Legend mentored her in songwriting and recording before she began writing songs on her own for American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and others. Inspired by her evolving love of songwriting, she too moved to Nashville, looking for a wider creative palette. There, while meeting with then-BMI executive Clay Bradley, her eye settled on a photograph of "a rundown juke joint piano" in his office.


    "I want to meet whoever took that photo," she said. The photographer was North-it had been taken during her creative awakening in Mississippi-and the subsequent meeting led quickly to collaboration and an epic friendship.


    "The first day we wrote together," says North, "there wasn't much thought that we were blending genres and worlds. That never came up. It was just natural. She had never written a country song and I was writing them every day. We sat down to write one but when we listened back it was a country R&B song. And we decided to become songwriting partners." Before long, they had their first cut as collaborators, and they were off and running.


    "The spirit of the Muddy Magnolias existed from the moment we met," says Wilson, "but we didn't know we were the Muddy Magnolias yet." North was toying with the idea of a solo career; Wilson had aspirations of making history as an African-American female songwriter in Nashville. Their new friendship was a game-changer.


    "We spent a whole year writing, trying to understand what our message was when we combined our stories," says Wilson. Then one day over afternoon wine at Burger Up, their favorite hangout in the 12 South section of Nashville, both admitted to be being at a crossroads. "The next thing you know," says North, "Jessy said, 'What if we made a record together?' It was like all of our dreams in one."


    "We went back to that same office on Music Row where I saw the photograph," says Wilson, "and sat down side by side in Clay's office and said, 'We've got something to tell you. We're going to make an album together.'" Bradley believed enough to sign on as their manager. They held three days of band auditions and found four best friends who had been playing together since college, primarily doing jazz. The fit was perfect, providing just the right sonic backdrop for their soulful approach and high-energy delivery.


    As they continued to write and perform, opening for the likes of The Zac Brown Band and Gary Clark, Jr., they put together a project that crosses genres effortlessly, showcasing two voices that soar together in a blending of cultures as electrifying as if Janis Joplin and Tina Turner, or Whitney Houston and Lee Ann Womack had joined forces.


    Broken People combines poetic imagery and vocal passion, with the musicianship and production of Motown or Muscle Shoals by way of the raw honesty of Sun Records. Of course it deals with love, longed for and unleashed, in songs like "I Need A Man," "Why Don't You Stay" and "Devil's Teeth," but the album soars as it reaches for bigger themes, dealing with the need for hope in "Take Me Home," for love on a societal scale in "Shine On" and "Brother What Happened," and hope for the future in "Got It Goin' On." With "Leave It To The Sky," the two, joined by John Legend on vocals and piano, make a powerful case for spiritual solutions, and few songs in the modern lexicon are as steeped in present-day reality as the gospel- and R&B-tinged title track.


    "Ultimately," says North, "this album is a result of an unlikely friendship and is a testament to what can happen when you diversify your relationships."


    "It's about getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded with a great friendship," adds Wilson. "We've both felt the power of that."


    "Our path is so much better and our lives are so much richer because of it," says North, "and we want to bring people along on this journey."


    "We want to see what society would be like if we all reached out in ways we normally wouldn't," adds Wilson.


    And that is the magic and the message. The music of Muddy Magnolias, live and on record, comes from a place where the Mississippi meets the A-Train by way of Nashville. Whether yours is the back porch or the front stoop, Spanish moss or window box garden, dusty country lane or crowded subway car, rural honky-tonk or uptown club, this is music that beckons. Muddy Magnolias are collaboration without boundaries, musical healing in a landscape of the heart, and all of us who treasure creative energy, honest art and the possibilities of love and unity, are better for their arrival.

    1. Broken People
    2. Brother, What Happened?
    3. Got It Goin' On
    4. Why Don't You Stay
    5. Take Me Home
    6. Shine On!
    7. It Ain't Easy
    8. I Need A Man
    9. Devil's Teeth
    10. Train
    11. Leave It To The Sky (feat. John Legend)
    Muddy Magnolias
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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