Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blue-Eyed Soul's Top Ten Females

I don't know if you've noticed but we've been having a tremendous tidal wave of white women that are just putting it down in R&B. Oddly, most of the women are coming to us from across the ocean. Amazing vocalists like Duffy, Adele, and the ghetto mess Amy Winehouse are totally changing the image we have in our minds when we think of powerful female vocalist.

This recent trend started me thinking about those great talents of the Caucasion persuasion that I've admired through the years. There are some tremendouse blue-eyed soul male singers (like Michael McDonald, Robin Thicke, and Hall & Oates), but today I'm focusing on the ladies that have blown me away. So here is the list of my ten favorite lighter shade ladies of soul . . .

10 - Joss Stone. One Friday night I was hanging out with my friend Brandon and he put in this CD from this new chick Joss Stone. The girl definitely had a voice. The track that did me in was her cover of the Joe Simon classic The Chokin' Kind. The next day I went out and bought that CD. She has since dropped 3 more CDs and all have been fabulous. Check out her skills here.

9 - Eva Cassidy. The first time I heard Eva Cassidy sing I was watching Smallville. All I remember is that at the end of the episode someone had died. As Clark was standing over the gravesite the song Time After Time started playing and the credits to the show started to roll. I was crying like a kid and I was thinking to myself, "Oh my god, who in the world is this woman with this amazing voice?" Luckily they listed Eva in the closing credits. She's phenomenal. Check her out here. Sadly as I was researching her I learned she was taken from us at a very young age. But before this songbird left us she managed to record many beautiful songs that will continue to be her legacy.

8 - Susan Tedischi. This is one bluesy white woman. She has a strong, raspy voice (kinda Janis Joplin- ish) and can pick a guitar like no one's business. One day I was working late in the office and I was the only person left. The silence was sickening and I noticed a CD player in the cubicle across from mine. It was my friend Raquel's and I knew she wouldn't mind so I hit play. The CD she had loaded was the best of the Grammy nominees from that particular year. I just hit play and went back to work. The CD was entertaining enough. Nothing I heard was exceptional until I heard Tedischi screaming, "It hurts, it hurts, it hurst so bad . . ." I played that song about 10 times in a row that night. Check it out here. I'm now the owner of 4 CDs by Susan Tedischi (and all are terrific).

7 - Norah Jones. When Norah burst on the scene in 2002 she was a breath of fresh air. For me it wasn't her talent that was surprising, it was her success that was surprising. She wasn't gimmicky. She wasn't trying to be sexy. It was just her and her piano and it was brilliant. After years of so many untalented people making it to the top of the charts, it was nice to see (and hear) something different yet pleasant. Check out her sultry voice here.

6 - Amy Winehouse. Yes, she's as nutty as can of Planters peanuts, but you can't deny her talent. She has a beatiful, beautiful voice (if you disagree make your own list). She wasn't a household name in the U.S. until the release of her sophomore CD Back to Black but I think her first album Frank was much better. I'm still hoping she can get off the drugs and get herself together. Check her out live here.

5 - Adele. She's another talent that rode over during the recent British invasion. She was on heavy rotation while I was working at the Virgin Megastore. First time I heard her singing I thought Amy Winehouse had unbeknownst to me released a new CD. So I ran to the counter to find out what I was listening to. Her CD is what I was hoping for in a new Winehouse CD. Love, love, love me some Adele. Hands down her best track is her cover of the Bob Dylan classic Make You Feel My Love. Get into it here.

4 - Taylor Dane. She has been one of the best ladies of soul for years. I'm a product of the 80s so I grew up loving her. Hits like Tell It to My Heart, I'll Be Your Shelter, and Don't Rush Me gave this young queer lots of wonderful stuff to groove to. Her dances songs were fabulous but it was her ballads that made me fall in love with her. Love Will Lead You Back is still one of my all-time favorite songs. Check it out here.

3 - Lisa Stansfield. Extremely underrated. She did get the love she deserved when she first came over our radios with Been Around the World. And she got made love from me (and all women around the world) when she released All Woman. But Lisa disappeared on us. But don't get it twisted. She is still one of the best neo-soul talents we've seen in years. The song here is fastly becoming my new favorite Stansfield song.

2 - Christina Aguilera. This list was not that difficult for me to create, but it was extremely hard for me to determine how I would rank each person on my list. It was painfully difficult for me to choose between my top two candidates. But the number two spot goes to Xtina. This girl can sang ya'll. But you know this already. She has proven she's got pipes over and over again. The little person with the big voice has blown us away singing like a pre-crack Whitney. Let's be real - it takes talent to be able to deliver on songs like Reflection, Beautiful and Voice Within. But for me she brings it home best when she teams up with Herbie Hancock on A Song for You. Get into the voice here.

And now, drumroll please . . .

1 - The best soul white girl on the planet, defeating them all with a TKO in the first round is the phenomenal, the incomparable, the one and only first lady of funk - Ms. Teena Marie. If you don't know now you know. Teena gets mad love from me. When her first album I'm Just A Sucka for your Love dropped, there was no image on the cover. Everybody thought Lady T was black. Can you blame us - the girl sounded good. When we finally caught a glimpse of the Rick James protegee I think the entire country had to take a deep breath. We were not ready for a white girl that could do what this girl do. I still get the urge to pop lock everytime I hear Lovergirl (it was my anthem back in the day by the way). Check her out live on-stage here.

I have to add this one honorable mention. Duffy blew me away singing Syrup and Honey here. She didn't make the top ten list but if she keeps putting it down like this she may take someone out of there spot real soon. Keep and eye on this girl.
So tell me what you think. Is there anyone on the list you disagree with? Did I omit someone that should be on the list? Is the list in the wrong order? Holla back and let me knowwhat you think.


SGL Café.com said...

YOu go boy. I totally agree. Ms. Teena Marie is the original Blue-eyed soultress .....

WhozHe said...

yeah, Teena is one of my favorites.

Vincetastic said...

Hey Blue Boy,
Love Teena and Amy Winehouse, and your list. This is a really great top ten list, you can post this to our site http://www.toptentopten.com/ and then link back to your site. We are looking for top ten lists and our users can track back to your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

Michelle said...

Awesome!! I would have to add Dusty Springfield, and even though she was country, Patsy Cline hade soulfull pipes. Damn, now I gotta go listen to some "Fire & Desire"!