*The voice of Calvin Richardson stirs emotions deep within with his earnest delivery, but on his newest album release “All or Nothing” (Shanachie) the multi-Grammy Award nominated vocalist goes beyond that and touches the soul. Maybe its because he is older now but he stirred in me images of James Brown. Before this album it was visions of Otis Redding. Produced by Willie Clayton, the “All or Nothing” album offers 11 outstanding selections.
“I’m glad to be here,” Calvin said. “It was that time. The last album was in 2014, its been three years. It was just time to create. You have to be obedient to the universe. This particular album was put together with Willie (Clayton). Him and I decided to create.”
What a creation it is. They took the good old sounds of Soul music and mixed it with contemporary beats and rhythms. Styles borrowed from Hip-Hop, R&B, Rock and Jazz. These genres’ influences are slight but its just enough to make it the freshest Soul album to come out in a long time.
“We put it out there and radio just started playing it,” Calvin said about the album’s first single “Treat Her Right.” “The labels started coming. So I’ve been out there working. I just did the video for ‘Treat Her Right’. Lots of labels are interested in people doing things for themselves.”
Calvin Richardson was doing his thing on the Gospel circuit when he met K-Ci and JoJo (Jodeci) who inspired him with their group to create his own and their song “Love Slave” ended up on the soundtrack of the film New Jersey Drive in 1995. He was doing his thing with his group when Uptown/Universal signed him as a solo artist in 1999 and released his debut “Country Boy.” He was doing his thing at Uptown when Angie Stone heard him and did a duet with him on her album “Mahogany Soul.” Well you get the picture. Calvin is also a songwriter and has written songs for Charlie Wilson, Angie Stone, Joe, and Raphael Saadiq.
My favorite cuts on the “All or Nothing” project include #1 the title track “All or Nothing” because it’s a funky song and I like to dance, I also think the lead guitar support is awesome and the harmony tight; #2 “The Only One” because his vocals are smooth to offer an R&B number with Hip-Hop influences in the background to give it that club feel; #3 “Can’t Let Go (acoustic)” because of his old-time Soul sound that had me thinking of James Brown and I love the organ to take you to church at the end; #4, the single, “Treat Her Right” because he offers his signature Calvin Richardson vocals, that still evoked images of James Brown; #6 “Breaking Down Inside” you find his vocals are calmed down as he sings about love lost in such a meaningful way I made a note that read “there’s a new Contemporary Soul man and his name is Calvin Richardson”, and #11 “Holding On/Can’t Let Go (remix)”.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: 18th annual “Uplifting Minds II” Free Entertainment Conference (Baltimore and Los Angeles). Entertainment Business panel and national talent showcase competition (vocal, songwriting and dance) with over $13,000 in prizes. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.