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Raul Midon & India Arie – Jealous Guy nsj 2007
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón has earned renown as one of music’s most distinctive and searching voices. He is “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus,” according to The New York Times. Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder, along with contributing to recordings by Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg and the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s She Hate Me. The New Mexico native, blind since birth, has released seven albums since 1999, including the hit studio productions State of Mind (Manhattan/EMI, 2005), A World Within a World (Manhattan/EMI, 2007) and Synthesis (Decca/Universal, 2009). Midón’s most recent release is the captivating CD/DVD Invisible Chains – Live from NYC. Attuned listeners can hear the inspirations of Donny Hathaway and Richie Havens in his work, as well as Sting and Paul Simon. But Midón’s questing musicality makes him, as the Huffington Post put it, “a free man beyond category.”
Sometimes you have to step back to move forward. Coming to that realization—let alone taking that crucial first step—can be a daunting endeavor. Now on the other side of a self-imposed four-year hiatus, India.Arie returns with the most illuminating album of her career.
SongVersation (Soulbird/Motown, June 25) reunites the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer with longtime writing partner/co-producer Shannon Sanders. Recorded in Atlanta and Los Angeles, India.Arie’s fifth studio album features additional production from singer/songwriter David Ryan Harris and songwriter Michael Ruff. The result is a compelling snapshot of her hard-won breakthrough to simultaneous personal and artistic growth.
“This is where I’ve been for the last four years,” reflects the singer. “I’ve struggled most of my career to feel comfortable with how things were, how I was treated, the politics of the music industry. I needed to pull back from the public eye to ground myself and rebuild my life and career. It’s a process many of us go through: spiritual maturation, spiritual awakening, clearing out the old and starting anew.”