Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eric Roberson, Anthony David, Angela Johnson at Rams Head

Eric Roberson, Anthony David, Angela Johnson
Rams Head Live, Baltimore
April 24, 2009

Rams Head Live hosted the exact pick me upper I needed after a stressful week. Three of indie music’s most talented singers/songwriters/musicians gave a performance seeped in creativity, dedication, spirit and passion. Cycling on and off the stage in waves, Eric Roberson, Anthony David and Angela Johnson rocked Baltimore’s crowd Friday night. A special mention to the phenomenal band, Smoke Signals, that backed all three performers. These dudes gave us hours worth of an energy so intense, we all wish it could be bottled and sold at a ridicuously low price (no, no...not like that)!

Angela Johnson’s sound is a bit like if Angie Stone and Al Green had a baby (hey, just take a minute to think about that-don’t knock it)! Proving her vocal chops are well seasoned, Johnson belted out her newest solo, Better. Performing a duet with Eric Roberson entitled Let Me Know (written by Eric), she describes it as her “walking song”. Let Me Know is one of those infectiously snappy tunes that’ll have you doing a R-Kelly two step, undercover, at your desk. For more song info, visit Angela’s MySpace page at

Anthony David’s melodically raspy voice (sounds like a contradiction-but it’s not, trust), kicked the crowd's energy into another gear with songs like Kinfolk and Stop Playin. Energizing fans during a band break, David showed off his versatility by performing guitar solos alongside songs like Smoke One With Ya Folks and Cold Turkey (the titles speak for themselves don’t they). He also performed Words, his beautifully structured track featuring Ms. India Arie. In lieu of India, Angela Johnson stepped in to give voice to the part, and just a fantabulous job if I do say so myself. Words reminds us that no matter what you think your conveying to someone via what you say, it is our actions that best describe our feelings…perhaps a little cliché to say, I know, but there’s something quite powerful when thoughts are reinforced by music. His album, Acey Duecy- a nod to his nickname- is available in stores now. Visit his website at or his Myspace page at

Eric, Mr. Roberson himself. What can you say but to give kudos to one of the hardest working men in music-and congrats brotha on your recent marriage! His dedication and passion for what he does certainly comes through in his live performances. Performing favorites such as Right or Wrong and Softest Lips-YouTube “ErRo Concert” for a clip of Eric singing to a fan’s blackberry! He certainly showed some love to the Baltimore crowd by performing a medley of club beats mixed with old school dance songs like E.U.’s Da Butt.

And though, yes, I was doing the butt right along with the rest of the crowd, hands down the most moving song of the night was Eric’s Pave a New Road. Created during the Obama presidential campaign, this song is saturated with unbridled optimism and a yearning for a new way of doing things, a new way of learning to value your fellow man. For all these and more, go to or visit


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wayna & Kev.O at Posh

Wayna and Kev.O
Posh Restaurant

April 21, 2009

Last night Unrelated Family was in full force at D.C. restaurant, Posh. Showing much love for locally based Kev.O (spelled spaces), who opened the evening’s show. Belting out a slightly slower rendition of John Legend’s Green Light, Kev.O showed the crowd what D.C. talent is all about. With a look that is somewhere between Kayne West (pre West’s Joe Jackson, Afro-jheri curl do) and Andre 3000 (minus the bowtie), Kev.O is developing both a unique style and sound that is sure to make the music scene stand and take notice! Showcasing his vocal range and ability to command a crowd, Kev.O made one woman’s birthday forever memorable by serenading her with an artistically constructed performance of Happy Birthday. His original song, Blue Moon speaks to when love was simple, all you needed to impress your beau was a night alone on the back porch, under the moon’s light…sorry to say, dates have gotten a tad more expensive.

If you aren’t yet on board this singer’s bandwagon, you’d be doing yourself a favor by getting on fast! Check out his singles Focus and Shows Over, available at

The night’s headliner was Grammy nominated singer and songwriter, Wayna. Let me just say upfront, you have got to respect an artist that will sell her own CDs, and reach out to mingle with just about every fan in the building, after being nominated. Props sista! Opening her show with a cover of Minnie Riperton’s Lovin’ You, for which she was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban/Alternative Performance, Wayna managed to take a classically soft song, adding a bit of modern music’s edge - all while infusing the integrity of the song’s original lyrics with her own interpretation of what it means to love someone, to love yourself, and to love the creator.

This Ethiopian-born songstress performed an array of poignantly crafted tracks; her lyric writing abilities heavily reminiscent of a poet’s. The depth and intensity behind each of her songs are refreshingly honest. Her hit Billyclub, (for which the singer herself ended up spending a night in jail-crazy story-Google it!) describes the painful journey of realizing your self worth while in an abusive relationship. Switching tunes, Wayna had the ladies sighing a silent “amen” with her song Mr. Duracell; a tribute to when dates don’t live up to expectations and...well…amen!

Check out these songs and more at her website, or visit her myspace page at Her latest CD Higher Ground is available now at select stores and on her website.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bilal at Teavolve

Calm, cool and collected, Bilal’s performance at Teavolve April 7th was a brief showcase of the singer’s vocal range and introspective songs. And I do mean brief. Unfortunately, he only sang about 3 three songs, do in part to the format of the show, an innovative take on listening parties. But also noticeable was the lack of respect shown by a few fellow listeners (who pays for a show and dinner, then is so loud, even the artist is distracted, idk).

Not to be outdone, or unmemorable, Bilal’s liquid gold voice has always provided a sense of clam and peace, and last night proved no exception. Ending with “New World Anthem”, a funk and soul infused remake of our traditional national anthem, Bilal’s natural ease rubs off on his audiences (well, barring last night’s few locas), and will have you unconsciously closing your eyes, and nodding your head to the melodic beats. Come back anytime brotha, and next time Unrelated Family will screen visitors!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Welcome to Unrelated Family

Music is the life force that compels us to be better than what are; its grooves can transport both body and mind to a place of wonder, calm, seductive peace, or to a fantastical space of energy and raw emotion.

Unrelated Family’s desire is to showcase real music, good music, music that breathes life. In 2008, family members Charles, Kelly, Chanel Laren and Ráfa began a journey to tantalize your musical senses. With years of experience in the promotion and entertainment business, our family’s quest is to provide the listener with an explosion of energetic beats, rhythmic drums, dynamic chords and vocals like never before heard.

Jaded by radio’s homogeneity and dissatisfied with today’s uninspiring mainstream CD tracks, Unrelated Family seeks to bring to the forefront Baltimore’s passionate live music scene. With an emphasis on showcasing some of the most talented, yet underplayed, new and independent artists, Mondays will never be the same again! Join us as we present eclectic groups of performers ranging in genres from R & B, Neo Soul, Rock, Latin and Hip Hop. Ours is a guaranteed, make you wanna jump up out of your seat and move to the beat!

Meet Our Family:

Event coordinator, MC, and original founder of Unrelated Family in 2002 with close friends and current silent partners, Charles found that the company’s original scope of party promotion was not enough to satisfy his desire for live music. Charles’ desire to bring Baltimore’s live entertainment scene to the forefront propelled him to use his drive and talents in recreating the direction of the company. Complemented by his longtime friendships with fellow Unrelated Family members, Chanel Laren, Ráfa, and Kelly, this dynamic host seeks to have every listener swaying to the beats of an unfiltered sound. “Our goal is to highlight the incredible artists that are out there, who are underplayed, or struggling to find venues. It’s our responsibility as music lovers to make sure these artists are heard. Combined in one venue, our showcases are sure to evoke soul, passion, energy, and feel good vibes like nothing you've ever felt before!

Radio host, talent scout and showcase co-MC, Chanel Laren’s breathtaking passion for music is evident in her every word and laugh. Her skills as a radio personality and MC, lend an air of openness to all our showcases. Inviting every listener to become a part of our family and to join her on the journey of delving into the essence of what drives our featured artists, Chanel Laren is a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm. “Music is in my soul, it’s my life’s passion. There’s an indescribable feeling when I hear music that is so moving, so profound, that it literally speaks to my soul. If I can open someone’s mind to the possibilities of what music has to offer, then I have done my job.”

Resident blogger, content editor and talent scout, Ráfa’s skills as a writer and editor are put to use in ways that satisfies her spirit's creative thirst. Combining elements of poetry, prose, and on the spot interviews, Ráfa’s aim is to present Unrelated Family’s candid reaction to concerts, events, and artists. Her desire for transmitting music’s voice via the written word is inspiring. “Real music has a voice, each part of the show combines for one effect. Not just the singer speaks; the drums, guitar, horns and keys all shout their might to produce a solid sound of pure emotion.”

Our videographer, showcase designer and talent scout stops at nothing to produce a phenomenal show! With years worth of experience assisting in the production of television shows such as BET’s Spring Bling, Sunday’s Best, and Bobby Jone’s Gospel Fest, Kelly’s raw talent of production brings an added element of cohesion and sophistication to each showcase. “Live music gives off an unparalleled energy, and difficult to capture on a CD. Live music is a show, complete with ambiance and a great performance, all of which helps to result in unforgettable synergy.”