Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I thought the Soul Alliance Boat Ride was going to be good, but...



It was GREAT!!!!

I was hanging out on the deck talking with Rudi Davis for a while and I had an 
Epiphany. Rudi said.... No wait. Let me start from the beginning....

I knew that I wanted to be on the boat when Joaquin and Danny did their Soul 
Alliance party. For me it's a no brainer. I spoke with Abigail Adams who told me 
that she was in town and she's going, and we go back almost 30 years. It's going 
to be nice to see her again. 
Gloria claims that Joaquin(Joe) is her boyfriend and that automatically insures 
her presence on this outing. Danny, well he's her other boyfriend. Tonight I'm 
just her driver. Whatever works fellas trust me. Just go with it. 
We arrive early and wait on line with a few people. It's around 7pm. They're not 
boarding till 7:30. 
Random thought: was Brown Shugah serious about the whole Falafel thing? Cause if 
she was, tonight at this precise moment, a Falafel  would be perfect. 
Anyway,....
 
As we arrive at the  line I see Anthony Wiggins from Jersey, chillin with a 
friend. Just being Anthony. There's something nice about seeing a brother some 
place outdoors that you share a mutual respect with. Everybody loves Anthony. So 
he gave me the "pound" that all brothers give each other. LOL. 
Some things all brothers do. It's kinda funny. 
Joaquin arrives and says "you two, come with me."
Gloria's mouth dropped open. She had a speechless, life stopping moment. I'm 
walking toward him and turn around and she's still on line. So then she says 
something that almost made me believe that my wife is very serious when she says 
that she has a schoolgirl crush on Joaquin(Joe Friggin Claussell.) It was a 
moment that I prolly won't forget. LOL!!!!
She said with a Marilyn Monroe whispering airy sound in her voice, "Does he mean 
me too?"
Now fellas, I know what you're thinking. And while I may.... just may agree, I 
know better than to do or say anything. The best thing to say is "Yes baby. He 
means both of us." Whatever works fellas trust me. Just go with it.
Anything else would have resulted in my sleeping on the couch. I'm only her 
husband after all. It's not like I'm Joaquin, with his piercing eyes, eclectic 
vibe, and take charge demeanor. With his stinking sexy accent. Some guys just 
have that thing. I'm man enough to admit it. Even his name is different. Joaquin 
is pronounced Wa-Keen. The reason I call him by his name and not Joe is because 
I read an interview where he said that he preferred his name over the name Joe.
 
So after Gloria pulled herself together, we got on the boat. 

Random thought; She was looking a little extra cute tonight. And when the heck 
did she get this dress? And her hair is all long and silky tonight!! What 
the..??.. Most women I know that know Joaquin claim him to be either their 
baby's(baby) daddy, future husband, husband, man, boyfriend, or whatever they 
call their fantasy man. Gloria isn't alone. 

Well anyway, at this point there's only staff on board. Gloria and I feel 
special and kinda set apart. That's always nice when someone makes you feel 
important. Danny Krivit, Gloria's other boo, is there. He's smiling like a man 
at peace within his mind and soul. 
It becomes clear to me that this is going to 
be a great night. I'm starting to feel that energy that I look for at a party. 
And keep in mind, this party hasn't even started. 
Dawn Betancourt is there walking around, busy with tickets or a guest-list or 
something.. She's working for Soul Alliance on this event. Benny Soto walks up 
and meets Gloria and shows us love. 
Benny looks so youthful. His face is so young looking and his posture is great. 
I'm thinking he must be a gym guy. Benny along with Joaquin and Danny, 
is responsible for this event. 
Danny is playing a few tunes. I suppose he's checking out the system. Now Danny 
is a walking musical library. His knowledge of music is deep and vast. He's like 
a musical guru. There's rumors that he has an apartment that he uses exclusively 
to keep his vinyl records stored in. 
And the music he's playing now is just.... Well downright beautiful. There's 
some live bass, and drums. It's a mid funk record. There's a woman singing and 
the bass player is a beast!!! 
As a DJ I can see myself trying not to give that record away too soon or too 
early in the party. A DJ needs a few gems to rock a party all night. But Danny 
is playing this mega beautiful joint nice and loud and deliberate BEFORE THE 
PARTY EVEN STARTED. There's a confidence in him that one must respect. 
People are starting to walk in. Louie Vega's recording engineer Yas and his lady 
are here together. I see Deidre Covington, with Phyliss McKoy parking the car. 
Anetra is normally with Deidre but I did'nt see her till later. 
"Yo. I love your remix on that Ian Friday joint." Joaquin says, interrupting my 
thoughts. LOL Hearing Joaquin acknowledge my musical efforts felt awesome 
because he's a genius. I've seen him go to spiritual places musically that I've 
reached only through him. DJ's can take crowds to high and beautiful places, but 
it's extremely rare to see the DJ go there himself. DJ Kervyn Mark once said to 
me, "Joe is special."
What I love about Danny and Joaquin together is that they both know all too well 
how to assist and lead. Kinda reminds me of the good old basketball years when 
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippin played together for the Chicago Bulls. Jordan 
is clearly amazing but when Scottie played with him, it was magic even more 
amazing. 

There's this sound company that I first noticed at Louie's Dance Ritual party. 
EVERYBODY loves the sound. And he has these super spacey looking speakers. 
Honestly, the sound was over the top incredible. I could hear every nuance in 
every record. People were going nuts before the boat took off! 

OK, let me get a plate. I'm hungry.
The gangs all here. Mia and Jedan Phillips are outside the boat on line. Jersey 
is in the house in droves. Mia Tuttavilla is wearing her wedges on this boat. 
How is she able to stand on a boat in them things? Not to mention dance. But she 
looks super good. 
Security Cliff from Cielo is here all super cool and incognegro in shades. That 
brother is always relaxed. 
Carl Dupree and Wendy Elle from Phuture Soul records/L.U.S.H parties are here 
with Angie Tee from Chicago. Wow!! It's great to  finally meet her. And she flew 
in from Chicago to be here. That's special. When I first started Honeycomb, Carl 
Dupree wrote me a check, and helped me fund the ChinahBlac video. 
And that was 
just an unforgettable display of love and support. Wendy has that same 
generosity. She's always trying to assist me with whatever I'm doing. Carolyn 
Allan walked on board and I never see her out! Wow!

"Toooooooooooot!!!!" We're taking off and Danny is playing "Galaxy" by War. 
And 
it sounds beautiful. 
Anetra is dancing with every fiber in her being. We hug and acknowledge this 
amazing moment. 
Random thought; There's a certain place one must reach in their life to really 
allow themselves to freely express their happiness through dance. I watched 
Anetra for a sec, and it was just a joy to see her dance like that. The eyes 
shut, the arms in the air, the twirling and spinning, and smiling the whole 
time. No matter who the person is, no matter if I know them or not, it's nothing 
like seeing a person expressing true joy and happiness through dancing. 
Virgo Positivelady is another one who expresses herself freely when the music is 
right. She's here with her style and vibe. Rocking a Mohawk confidently. Nice!
A little later I went downstairs because it was a good time for a stick(cigar.)
Rudi Davis is there and I haven't seen him since the early 90's. And it was like 
no time has passed between us. Now Rudi is my big brother but somehow his 
posture and appearance makes him look my age or younger.  Why does he look so 
young? It was great seeing him. We were talking music for a while and the 
subject of Gregory Porter's "Be Good" album came up. 
The album's production is 
simple. Piano, drums, bass, and two horn players. Gregory isn't using any 
background singers or anything. Just good songs. And every time I listen to that 
album, I get inspired. The lyrics touch down deep. So many emotions run through 
me. 
It was at that moment, unbeknownst to Rudi, that I had an Epiphany. From this 
point on in my career, I will only do music that comes from me and my heart as 
opposed to trying to fit in a mold or please a certain crowd. I'm guilty of 
this, especially with remixes. I have desires to broaden my audience, but never 
will I compromise my sound for the sake of gaining new listeners. 
I enjoyed talking with Rudi. He's been around for years supporting the scene. 
Abigail Adams joined us and then later her friend Ireesha joined in. 
Abigail, Rudi, and I go back 25 years. And it made my heart smile to talk with them. 
Abigail was sporting a new haircut that seemed to assist her glow. She has a 
happiness that exudes. 

Gemma from Australia joined in and offered her opinion on the comeback of 
soulful house music. 
Gemma is really young but her positive energy is welcomed by us all. 
I'm taking some pictures here and there with some folks who love the music.
 "Josh I'm Sheree, and I love your song." That always feels so good to know that 
someone was touched by something I did. And this sister has her own massage 
therapy business. The music brings people together that prolly wouldn't ever 
meet. And usually, these soulful crowds are mature and positive. 
Random thought; This is the very reason I fell in love with soulful house music 
crowds. I never worried in 27 years of doing this about a fight breaking out, 
being disrespected, my car getting vandalized or something as simple as bad 
energy. There is a place for a mature audience to enjoy music, be encouraged, be 
inspired, dance as off beat and as free as they want to without worrying about 
appearance, and fellowship with friends in most soulful house events. 
Shameless plug(but relevant), I'm planning a monthly party with this concept in 
mind. I'm not at liberty to talk to much about it. But send me a note on FB and 
I'll share a little more of the details with you. I'm amped. Before exiting the boat, I saw Wayne Williams. He's a really down to earth brother. I like that. 

Everybody on this ride is happy and feels better than they did when they 
boarded. 
If I had to make a complaint, it would be that this ride was too short and needs 
to happen again sooner than later. 

Love you all. 
Me 

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