US Review: Jennifer Saran “Soulful Christmas”

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Soulful Christmas by Jennifer Saran


For my 598th music review, I am proud to present the perfect album for the Christmas season.  Soulful Christmas is the November 24, 2017, album by Jennifer Saran released on the Tarpan Records label.  This is my third review for this great artist with 17 Tracks which covers several styles such as soul, jazz, bluegrass, and disco as seen in such songs as Christmas Love (Featuring The Temptations), Swingin’ At Christmas TimeSoul CakeChristmas Delight and much more.  This the best Christmas album I have heard in some time and I am impressed on how well this a release is written, performed, recorded and produced.  You can purchase this album today from Amazon, Itunes and other places where Cd’s and digital downloads are sold.


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Michael Doherty’s Music Log Review: LINDSAY BELLOWS “WAKE TO DREAM”

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Lindsay Bellows: “Wake To Dream” (2017) CD Review

The debut release from Lindsay Bellows, Wake To Dream, is a delightful EP of pop music with folk elements and soulful vocals, and plenty of positive vibes. It features all original material, written by Lindsay Bellows. Joining her on this CD are Ananda Vaughan on guitar, Jared May on bass, Beau Askew on drums, Makila Wind on keys, and Jason O’Keefe on percussion, with Spencer Williams on drums on certain tracks. This is a disc I appreciate more each time I listen to it.

Lindsay kicks off the CD with “Slow Steady,” one of my favorite tracks. It has a cool, kind of playful opening with a simple groove on keys and vocals, and I’m hooked from the start. There is also something quite catchy about this song, and it, like all the tunes on this EP, features hopeful and encouraging ideas. Check out these lines: “When I reach too far ahead, there is nothing to hold onto/Fall too far behind, and I’ll never catch up/Release the things I caught and crave/Make peace with things I hate.” Toward the end of the song she sings, “I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.” How often do we feel that way? Spencer Williams plays drums on this track.

Lindsay’s vocals are the focus in “Wake Up,” which begins with lines delivered a cappella. In this song, she offers a positive image of a reality. “I woke up and I saw things in a different way/Words changed meaning, darkness faded/People I know, places I’d been/Didn’t look the same/But this is a beautiful world.” While she’s singing of her own personal experience, the fact that the song is titled “Wake Up” and not “Woke Up” indicates a reaching out to others, like she wants everyone to have the same positive experience that she’s had. Pretty cool. That’s what we need these days. “Heal each other/Listen.” Plus, I dig that bass line.

“Part Life” has more of a pleasant, bright folk vibe, and is another of my favorites. There is something catchy about this one too. These lines certainly speak to me: “Stuck in my head about my day, all I did and didn’t do/Set on a schedule, I can’t miss a beat/Gotta eat, fall asleep, wake up, work, cycle, repeat.” What strikes me especially is that part about being stuck on the things I’ve done with my day as well as the things I haven’t done. How often do we measure our days by little accomplishments and the things we did not accomplish? “This is only a part life that I’m living/Only part of me is alive/And that part is part of something greater, I know/And I can’t wait to feel what that’s like.”

“Wild And Free” has a cool, kind of sexy vibe and attitude, and features more good work on bass. “Climb the tree of life and I eat that fruit/Eyes opening now, I start seeing the truth/The only way to survive is to turn to our roots.” The EP then concludes with “Simple Gifts,” a cheerful pop song offering advice and reminders, such as “Don’t try to get rich, just surround yourself with friends” and “You don’t need an important job to do important work.”

CD Track List

  1. Slow Steady
  2. Wake Up
  3. Part Life
  4. Wild And Free
  5. Simple Gifts

Wake To Dream was released on November 7, 2017.



Are you thinking it’s time for a manager? Then you’ll want to read this article on how to approach management contracts.


“‘What Is a Music Manager? Here’s Everything You Need to Know;’ Managers have never played a more important role in the music business than today. And if your musical career has reached a certain level, you probably need one.  But who exactly are these people, and what do they do?” Click Here To Read More! Review: MICHAEL TRACY “STILL GOT SOUL”

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Michael Tracy does not ring a bell. Or it had to be in the Navy for its years of military commitment in Mediterranean waters. Once married and two adorable children, he left the spacious sea and collapsed on his true love: the guitar. As a singer / songwriter he fooed the clubs in Charlotte and it was not long before his first album appeared in 2011, with both band and success. ‘Still Got Soul’ is his fourth hit and is rocking his American: straight forward in the wake of Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp. Goe busy, because they played this year in the support act of Bon Jovi, Jefferson Starship and the Marshall Tucker Band.
The songs sprout from the spirit and hand of Michael Tracy himself and fellow Sahaj Ticotin (rock band Ra). Opener ‘Laugher’ immediately swings the pans from the roof, with handsome guitar work. (Again, the better guitarists are in the States!). The songs radiate joyfulness, which we can certainly use in the foggy depressive Belgian music scene. Jumping, headbanging, dancing and hopping with a smile on your face. You do not hear that often. Michael Tracy undoubtedly developed his own style through original use of samples, reverb and short classical guitar solos. Bonus track ‘Poinsettia Red’ is a pure old shool rock’n roll song and would soon end up in the charts. To top it all off: Michael Tracy rocks nicer and better than his idols. Highly recommended!
Marino Serdons (4 ½)
The new MICHAEL TRACY album ‘STILL GOT SOUL’ can be classified as one of the best in 2017. He managed to develop his own creative sound in the American rock wilderness. Europe is calling for live concerts!

US Review: Jennifer Saran “Soulful Christmas”

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JENNIFER SARAN is an American pop/adult, singer/songwriter who now works out of Hong Kong and in normal circumstances we probably wouldn’t feature her here in the august pages of SOULANDJAZZANDFUNK. However, her latest album, ‘Soulful Christmas’ is worth checking for a number of reasons. First, it was produced and arranged by Narada Michael Walden (it was recorded in his Tarpan studios); second, the main backing vocals are provided by our old friend Cornell CC Carter; and third, the album features a guest appearance from the mighty TEMPTATIONS!

The Emperors of Soul duet with Jennifer on the album opener ‘Christmas Lover’ and it’s a seasonal, soulful stunner. Temptations’ main man Otis Williams opens proceedings with a brief but spine-tingling spoken intro before the rest of the band (chiefly Ron Tyson) duet with Ms Saran. The harmonies, as you’d expect, are impeccable and Otis offers another monologue midway, building to a harmonic finale. In the absence of any new material from the Temptations, this is a Christmas must have!

Elsewhere on the 17 tracker, Jennifer offers her versions of Christmas favourites alongside a selection of her own songs. Standout, though, is the Temptations-featured ‘Christmas Lover’.



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