*Multi-award winning guitarist/actor Vernon Neilly (Walk Hard) took time from globetrotting with his band to share their masterful skills at a community event in Santa Ana, California at Memorial Park. Neilly’s band – Grammy Award winning Juan Nelson on Bass, Edward Neal on keyboards, Mekiel Rueben on sax and Preston Nelson on drums – featured the vocals of Tija Carlos.

Vernon, who has his own signature guitar, is known for his work in the community working with and educating young musicians and artists – he recently received an award for his volunteering at the Los Angeles Uplifting Minds II event for six years straight. So when he was asked to go on early, he patiently explained to the audience why his band couldn’t just sit down and play, why professional musicians needed to perform a “sound check.” The wait was well worth it of course because once they started playing it wasn’t long before one by one people started to get up and dance to the Vernon Neilly Band.

“Nassau Nights” started their session, a very European sounding song from one of his early albums “United by Tone” and by the second selection “Moonlight in Paradise,” from his “G-Fire” CD, everyone including me was on their feet. Next was a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” from his latest CD project, “A Tribute to Stevie Wonder;” “Flight to Ecstasy” from his “G-Fire” project followed, and vocalist Tija Carlos joined the band on “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” “Call Me,” and “Neither One of Us.”

The Vernon Neilly Band is back on their world-wide tour with numerous dates in Brazil and Argentina. For more information on the bands’ dates and music log onto www.myspace.com/VernonNeillyBand.

Dru Hill makes a stop in their hometown of Baltimore for a performance with label-mate Joe

*Label mates Joe Thomas and Dru Hill (Kadar Entertainment) arrive in Dru Hill’s hometown of Baltimore on Saturday September 11, 2010 at the Lyric Opera House for a special performance with Grammy Award nominee Joe. Thomas, who is currently in the recording studio working on his next project, is also promoting his DVD “Joe, Live from Japan.” The Baltimore natives Dru Hill are currently promoting their fourth CD project “InDRUpendence Day” and just ended a successful run on BET’s CENTRIC in the “Keith Sweat’s Platinum House” reality show series.

“We have been doing spot dates for a couple years,” Nokio informed me when I asked about a Dru Hill tour.

The Sept. 11th “Joe with special guest Dru Hill” performance in Baltimore is followed by a CD Release Concert “Old Skool Meets New Skool” with Silk, Dru Hill, H-Town and new comer Trueful on Sat. September 18th at the Los Angeles Convention Center,. Then Dru Hill is off to Australia and then the UK.

“Joe is a good friend,” the guys said about their label-mate. “He’s a mentor…him and Keith Sweat. Joe was our first label-mate at Island Black Music. He introduced us to a lot of major people.”

Joe Thomas’ latest CD “Signature” was released on his indie label 563 Entertainment, distributed by Kedar Entertainment and Dru Hill’s “InDRUpendence Day” is also released independently on Kardar Entertainment.

For more information on the September 11th “Joe with Special Guest Dru Hill” Baltimore performance or the Los Angeles September 18th “Old Skool Meets New Skool” performance log onto www.DruHillOnline.com.