SOME SIRIUS-LY GOOD MUSIC
(From l-r me, Barbara Tucker, I can't remember huh name but I love huh, Joi Cardwell, Joe B of King Street, Ultra Nate, Kevin Hedges of Blaze, James "D-Train" Williams, Mel Cheren) photo: Stephanie Sacco
Last Friday, the stars of dance music were out in force at Sirius Radio's swanky Times Square headquarters to promote King Street Records release of KEEP HOPE ALIVE. Liquid Sounds Jeannie Hopper spun between live performances by Joi Cardwell, Ultra Nate (proving that pregnant women DO look radiant--and NO I'M NOT PREGNANT, if that's what you're thinking) and Miss Barbara Tucker, who sang the HOT new Dennis Ferrer's Future 3000 remix of her track from the album MOST PRECIOUS LOVE (surprisingly available on itunes normally paltry dance selection). Preview this track--it's amazing! It hits every note, it's a disco/funky house groove played with 80's synth sounds and it has an urgency that ensures it would fill any floor. And of course Barbara's voice is always major.
I co-hosted with James "D-Train" Williams who I'd met at the Disco Hall of Fame Award, where he turned it with a rendition of his 80's classic YOU'RE THE ONE FOR ME. He's a super-sweet guy and while we were hanging out in the dressing room, Martha Wash called (eating chocolate-covered strawberries before a gig in Charlotte, NC, okay?) on his cell and she and I chatted for a sec. The two of us performed together in Atlanta in December and right before she went on she asked to borrow a safety pin to secure something on her outfit. And of course, like any good drag, I HAD ONE! (Of course I didn't mention to her that the pin had been holding up my adult diaper!) It was an honor to lend it to that diva! Did you know she has a cute new track out called LIFT ME UP which was written by Linda Clifford?
I get carried away because soulful vocalists are my fav and the crew at the SIRIUS broadcast harken back to the day when the music coming from NYC ignited dancefloors all over the world. Please. Do you remember the first time you heard MAW/India's underground smash I CAN'T GET NO SLEEP? Or how about MAW/Barbara Tucker BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE? Earth-shattering! Or Blaze/Robert Owens IF YOU SHOULD NEED A FRIEND? Or the Baltimore posse cranking out hits like Ultra's REJOICING, SCANDAL, and IT'S OVER NOW or Crystal Waters GYPSY WOMAN and MAKIN' HAPPY? These people are superstars to me so it's a thrill for me to work with 'em. Actually, Wigstock was how I met many of these singers. I was so blown away by the club music in the late 80's/early 90's and I'd notice that much of the time, the whole crowd would be singing along to a track, and know it better than anything you'd they'd hear on the radio--if they even listened to the radio!--yet they'd have no idea who the artist was or what they looked like. It seems out of synch. And when the artists have an act as fab as Barbara Tucker's, who will sing, testify, dance and rip her wig off at the same time, I thought it needed to be seen. So, in order to do my part, I'd always steer a little bit away from Wigstock's rockish/Pyramid roots and showcase dance artists like Duane Harden, Jay (SWEAT) Williams, CeCe Penis-ton (the pier almost BROKE OFF when she sang FINALLY), India, Crystal Waters, Michelle Weeks, Inaya Day, Kristine W, Donna Giles and Paul Alexander. Even Vickie Sue Robinson TURNED THE BEAT AROUND! Oh, and Taana (HEARTBEAT) Gardner and Fonda (DEPUTY OF LOVE, OVER LIKE A FAT RAT) Rae!
Nowadays, many djs never play vocals and I don't get it! Well, all of these singers (along with Dawn Tallman, Arnold Jarvis and Byron Stingily) are featured on KEEP HOPE ALIVE, and they've all donated their fees (as well as Blaze's songwriting royalties) to benefit LIFEBEAT--so go get it now!