Monday, June 8, 2009

Diggin' Leela James

Deciding to date myself and get out and enjoy things has been the greatest decision I could have made. I have joined several email lists that send out happenings in my area. Most of them are a little "young" for me, but some are a total delight and great surprise.

Ms. Leela James came to town to play a small venue and the tickets were around $20. I decided that it was beyond what I could squeeze in the budget so image my delight when I received an email with a 2 for 1 coupon for her concert the day of the show! $10 to see Ms. James and $8 for parking meant a great show for less than $20. I grabbed my co-worker/girlfriend and off to the show we went!

I first heard of Ms. James on the B-sides of a popular radio show years ago and I thought she was more popular until we went to a favorite hang out spot after the concert and people were like "who?" Sometimes I want to scream at people "there are more stations than the one you keep your radio on, try Internet radio or Pandora!" (wooosaw!!)

Back to what I was saying...

Heston opened for her and I must admit I was distracted by his gorgeous percussionist. So much so that I asked the very nice lady next to me to take a picture and send it to me (enjoy the photo to the right). But the highlight was definitely Ms. James.

She came out to Rick James' Give it to me Baby and her full brass section made it sound better than the original. Rockin' her 3 inch boots and fantabulous (fantastic and fabulous) fro she worked that stage for over an hour. Considering I was standing in the front row, I laughed, danced and sang with Ms. James the entire time. She takes control of that stage and works it like no one else.

Here is a short clip of the Rick James cover:

We cracked up when she said she doesn't like boogie people in her audience, and started picking people out telling them to wipe that frown off their face 'cause she could see them. Why you think she squintin'? LOL!

If you ever get the chance to check her out, I would highly recommend you do so. Hopefully, you can get an intimate venue like I did. That was the best concert I have been to in a long time. Nothing like hearing my anthem "My Joy" in person. I tried to capture it on my phone, but I'm sure I got more of the off-key audience than of her. But when she picked people out the audience to join her on stage to "have a party" and step, it was the funniest thing I've seen in a minute.

She performed a lot from her new album of covers of classic R&B hits, but she does them like no one else. Ms. James works a stage like I haven't seen since the younger days of Patti LaBelle.

She enjoys what she does and my how it shows. And for my hair people out there, I have a new hair idol. When I grow up I'm going to have a fro that big :)

Not sure how much of this you can make out (the ladies behind me were singing LOUD), but this lady ROCKS on stage. My apologies...I forgot I flipped my phone to get her background singers so my video turns sideways. Will flip it when I figure out how. LOL!

Peace & Blessings...


  1. Awwww, I like your signature! So cute!

    Dwele & Leela James @ B.B. Kings on Thursday, July 9th. I already bought my ticket!

    I am glad you enjoyed yourself. And less than $20 ain't bad at all.

    Thank you for sharing. I can't wait until July!

  2. I am glad that you were able to take yourself out and enjoy the evening. . .and for under $20.

    Glad to know I am not the only one on a major budget.

  3. SHOOT! that would have been worth a fly to the ATL! LOL!

    Anybody that can rock a Rick James song is cool with me!

    I am glad you had a gooditme! and thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. MsKnowitall...Dwele and Leela James...I am soooo tempted to fly to NY! You are going to enjoy that show, keep me posted. Her voice is huge to say she is so little!

    Sharon...Girl hush, LOL! I'm cheap, it's in my DNA. Everybody keeps talking recession when I've been in one for a loooong time :) I've always had to count my pennies so I look for the cheap and/or free things to do in the city all the time.

    Lovebabz...LOL! I will keep you on my email list. Everyone is mad at me for keeping the 2 for 1 deal close to the chest. But, I got it the day of the show. Yes, she ROCKED Rick James. Her brass section of 6 or so were jammin! You know it's a good show when the background singers sweat their hair out, LOL!

  5. Hi there!

    Thanks for sharing this!

    I hadn't heard of Leela James!

    Huge 'fros are back in style!! The wilder the better!!!

  6. she's very talented and extremely underrated! i'm mad that i missed her

  7. Leela James is the truth. Though I have never seen her perform live, just from listening to her live performances and, of course, her YouTube videos, I am taken aback by her complete soulfulness.

    I first heard of her back in '08 when she covered A Change Gon' Come.

    Her rendition blew me away. Now I see where she even does some Rick James in her acts - awesome.