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THELMA HOUSTON – A WOMAN’S TOUCH

In 2005 I began work on Grammy Award Winning Vocalist, Thelma Houston’s first recording in 17 years.  We set out to make a true R&B Soul CD breathing new life into songs which had been made hits originally by male artists. 

Combining the musicality of old school and new school to build the perfect framework for Thelma’s amazing voice we rested on 10 songs that worked lyrically and musically for Thelma’s voice.

After laying down the keyboards for the individual tracks, I brought in singers and musicians who were a perfect match in spirit for what we were going for.  The background vocals were handled most often by PAT HODGES and DENITA JAMES formerly of the 70’s Soul Group, HODGES, JAMES & SMITH, and joining them on most occasions was Portia Griffin as well as Myrna Smith from the legendary 60’s vocal group, THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS.

Rounding out the musicians on the CD were Luis Conte on percussion, John Yoakum on Flutes and Oboes, Jack Wargo on Guitars, Paul Baker on Harp and John Pena on Bass.

With all the music in place, Thelma would come in to do her final vocals and worked hard to give outstanding performances on every track.  The tracks were then mixed by Brian Springer and myself at Precision Sound.

In addition to my work arranging and producing ten tracks for the CD, I wrote and co wrote a number of intros and outros to the songs in the vein of the 70’s soul singers like, Millie Jackson and Barbara Mason.  Specifically, the three-and-a-half minute intro to “BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX," the opening to “NEVER TOO MUCH” and Thelma and I collaborated on the opening to “WAKE UP EVERYBODY."

The making of the CD, working with Thelma and the wonderful musicians and material with which I had to work with was a wonderful experience.

My personal favorites from the CD are, Luther Vandros’ “NEVER TOO MUCH," Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’, “WAKE UP EVERYBODY," the very beautiful and poignant, “BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX," and Earth, Wind & Fire’s, “THAT’S THE WAY OF THE WORLD."

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