Vicki Yohe

*“Through the years people said, ‘What’s your favorite CD?’…this CD is my favorite, said Stellar and Dove Award nominee Vicki Yohe about her newest Praise and Worship album, “I’m At Peace,” off the Shanachie imprint.

The live recording is a powerful 11 song offering to her listeners about a journey she was going through.

“I was going through some things in my life,” Vicki confessed when talking about the album. “It’s to let fans understand what happened in my life. I just want them to take away from the CD my words, my experiences…to know I am human like them…I go through the fire.”

Fire is just what she gives on “I’m At Peace,” which was recorded live at Bethel World Outreach in Brentwood, TN.

Yohe, a preacher’s daughter, signed her first recording contract with Giant Records in 1994 and released three albums “The Mercy Seat,” “Under the Blood,” and “Something About My Praise.” She later released two more albums on Aluminum Records, “Christmas Presence” and “Beyond the Song.”

In 2002 Vicki signed with CeCe Winans label PureSprings Gospel and released “I Just Want You,” which single – “Because of Who You Are” – received a Dove Award nomination. Under PureSprings Yohe also released “He’s Been Faithful,” which garnered a Stellar Award nomination. By 2009 was signed with her current label Shanachie and immediately released a live recording, “Reveal Your Glory”

On her this latest release, “I’m At Peace,” my favorite songs include “Lord Of All,” a almost funky sounding Praise and Worship selection with a powerful ensemble praise-team voices; the title track “I’m At Peace,” is a powerful heart-felt cut; “I’ve Been Redeemed,” a hand-clapping “ole’” time Gospel selection – with great horn support, and “So Many Reasons,” a duet with Urban Gospel Rapper/Singer Canton Jones – a perfect blend of voices, with Canton delivering a powerful set of vocals.

For more on Vicki Yohe and her newest album release, “I’m At Peace,” log onto www.VickiYohe.org.

Contemporary violinist Ken Ford releases a passionate fourth album with ‘State Of Mind’

Contemporary Violinist Ken Ford

*Ken Ford’s gift for the violin has teamed him up with many contemporary artists such as Jill Scott, Bruno Mars, Ledisi, and Ceelo Green. Ford now takes time to release his forth album titled “State Of Mind.” Best known as a Contemporary Jazz musician, Ken plays a bit more diverse on this project by including R&B, Blues, and Hip-Hop genres.

“It’s my parents fault, you know how that goes,” Ken Ford laughed while recalling how he became a violinist, in fact, a ‘great’ violinist. “I didn’t want anyone to know. It never occurred to me to do it as a career until my early 20s when I saw Noel Pointer (a black classical violinist) performing with his shirt open.”

Ken said he realized he could do that too and so he started to develop a passion for his skills as a violin player. Ken began playing professionally, but it wasn’t until people started to ask him for a CD that he started to record.

“People would say, ‘You got a CD?’ And I’d say, ‘It’s in the oven,’ so I named my first CD ‘Burnt Toast,” Ken laughed as he recalled it. “The first CD I was scared. I tried to put out what I thought people wanted and to make it radio friendly. But when I got to 23-24 I started to do what I do live.”

Ford said he hopes the “State Of Mind” project will inspire people to “step out on faith.”

Ken elaborated, “I have a huge testimony about stepping out on faith. I have been doing that for 12 years. You see me on stage, you can see I love what I’m doing and that motivates you to do what you love.”

Yes, I think I am in that “state of mind” to go do what I love. My favorite selections on the, “State Of Mind,” album include “Kiran” for his Latin feel – and I love the classical guitar support; the title track “State Of Mind,” which sounds like a symphony; “Guttaville” for its Oriental feel; “Turn It Up” a smooth Jazz number, and “Strung Out,” cause it starts out like it’s going to be classical and then it turns into opera and then breaks out into an R&B feel – masterful.

For more information on Contemporary violinist Ken Ford and his newest album release, “State Of Mind,” log onto www.KenFord.net.

OWN debuts new reality show, ‘Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s,’ a family run soul-food restaurant

The cast of "Welcome To Sweetie Pie's" on the Oprah Winfrey Network

*“Tim had the idea that this would be entertaining,” said Robbie Montgomery, owner and head of the family run soul-food restaurant in St. Louis, about how her son Tim sold the show idea. “He said he’d get someone to tape what happens in the restaurant.”

Not only did Tim Montgomery find someone to tape the show, but that someone no only taped it but secured a slot on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) all within two months.

“We are not the Crosby’s,” Robbie pointed out. “We don’t have degrees, but we make it work.”

“Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s” will find you watching a close knit family that is struggling to make ends-meet, while being hospitable and entertaining – all at the same time. The ‘Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s” restaurant serves such dishes as smothered pork chops, and sweet and spicy fried chicken. The eatery has had such high-profile visitors as President Obama, Magic Johnson and Mo’Nique.

“I went to every college and university in the area with a film department,” Tim recalled. “No one saw my vision and then I came across a group. They filmed the pilot, and took it and ran with it in less then two months.”

“We’re a working family,” Robbie said. “You’ll see the pitfalls of getting food out as we argue and fight.”

Robbie stressed that they believe in second chances in regards to their hiring practices.

OWN, a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. Debuted on January 1, 2011 on what was the Discovery Health Channel in 77 million homes, the venture also includes an Oprah.com.

For more information on the new OWN reality show “Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s,” log onto www.Oprah.com/OWN.

(Eunice Moseley is an entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertaiment.com)