Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
A Woman’s Touch – The 70’s diva is back and her new CD proves that music doesn’t age a soul, it lives in the moment while taking us back to our simplest of memories, protecting and preserving them in a melodic prism.
A Memory That Music Made
Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.” From the book Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, ©2006.
It might seem like an insignificant moment to you, but it hit me hard with the first note I heard Thelma sing on her new CD, A Woman’s Touch. It wasn’t the song I was listening to that gave me the flashback, no, the song on my soundtrack memory was Thelma’s 1977 hit “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, and it pierced my mind’s ear in stereo. It was my 18th birthday, disco was living, and I had the rest of my life to make a mark on the world. I was learning to be a disc jockey and working at a local dance club spinning records. Because I was suddenly deemed legal, I was promoted from “teen” nights to “adult” nights. Being 18 meant I could stand behind the turntable until 2 AM as well as sip on a 3.2% beer. I had planned my play list for this historic night in advance and Thelma’s was the first song I laid the needle on. All was well.
All is great with Thelma Houston’s new CD! I shook myself from my memory flashback and listened in the present as Thelma sang. This is her first studio release in 17 years and as I listened, I wondered about the memories it might have evoked in her.
Making A Connection
Thelma Houston’s new work is a collection of her favorite songs from some of the greatest male singers. She truly redefines the work of such legends as Luther Vandross, Rev. Al Green, and Sting, as well as Marvin Gaye. She doesn’t just cover them; she makes these songs her own.
Now, I really want to put this in the right words; her presentation of these seasoned hits was done in such a unique style. Wait, that’s too vague. What I’m trying to say is that Thelma seemed to be talking as well as singing the lyrics. She knew the ideal each song held and she conveyed it with her own message. There were actually times on the CD that it seemed she was talking to me. The topics ranged from taking time to address the world around me and taking my own stand, to the courage and heartbreak involved in leaving someone, or something, behind. I found my own personal theme in this project – I might not always like what is happening around me, but I have the right and the power to change my life and the lives around me. As a woman, I’m allowed to be weak for a moment or two, but I need to know that I’m always the rightful owner of my mistakes. I’m also the diva of my own destiny. After my tears, my celebrations should be bright and bold with a great rhythm and blues beat. It’s okay to get mad, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to leave and to laugh; at the end of the day, it’s most definitely okay to dance.
A Woman’s Touch
1. Wake Up Everybody
2. Never Too Much
3. Brand New Day
4. Ain’t That Peculiar
5. By The Time I Get To Phoenix
6. Distant Lover
7. Love And Happiness
8. Dance (Disco Heat) /You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
9. That’s The Way Of The World
10. Please Send Me Someone To Love
My personal favorites were, “Wake Up Everybody”, “Brand New Day”, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” (made me cry) and “Dance/You Make Me Feel” (made me dance).
I have listed the links for Thelma’s MySpace page and her personal website below. Here are some upcoming dates for her as well.
The Jerry Lewis Telethon – September 2, 2007 – Nationwide
Amoeba Music – September 8, 2007 – Los Angeles, California
Wet Bar Nightclub – September 29, 2007 – Atlanta, Georgia
Check out her sites for more information and performance dates.
Have a great week!