I performed my first full Jody Watley “Unplugged” in the beautiful setting of Blue Note Hawaii. Each show had something slightly different and both audiences loved the show. There was candor, spontaneous humor, heart and soul.
There’s a purity to the Unplugged experience of vocals and the sparse instrumentation that gives a different vibe to the songs – still funky when needed, and emotional connections. In this concept I was able to share back stories and talk a bit more than I do in my more fast paced full show experience. The crowds sang along as I told them “pretend we are all at a campfire just singing songs..” That’s what we did, we also laughed, got reflective in moments and had a wonderful time.
The set list included my tribute to George Michael, my Top 10 Jazz makeover of Bob Marley ‘Waiting In Vain” many familiar Jody Watley classics, a few from my Shalamar days and the 2018 Top 2 UK Soul hit ‘The Mood’ joined by Nate Allen Smith of SRL. The Unplugged musicians were Roland Hamilton on piano and Naz Chambi from the Jody Watley & SRL music collective.
Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Nate Allen Smith and Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Roland Hamiton, Naz Chambi – Jody Watley. Unplugged.
Here are the most streamed Jody Watley, Jody Watley & SRL Avitone Recordings (my boutique imprint) releases August 16 – August 22 with Spotify as the top source from various outlets over (Apple, Tidal, Deezer, etc.). Make sure to follow my artist pages on the digital music outlet of your choice. Thanks for listening! Spotify
Sony Hall New York, August 16, 2019 was phenomenal. New York is always a special place, my Mom is from Harlem,my son graduated college there and lives there. It’s also extra special to see him when I go there to work too.
I won my Best New Artist Grammy in New York’s legendary Radio City Music Hall, been inspired to write songs from the vibes of New York, filmed my ‘Friends’ video there to capture that real authentic vibe with Eric B & Rakim, club kids and beyond, trendsetting fashion shoots for Harper’s Bazaar, Saks – cover of Essence Magazine back in the day..you name it. I’ve performed in the Big Apple countless times over the span of my over 3 decade solo career and counting..this ranks as the best.
There are so many rave reviews pics and video on social media (especially Instagram) – here are two that really say it all!
Via Twitter. Love!
Jody Watley. Photography by Trudy Giordano
Jody Watley. Photography by Trudy Giordano
Jody Watley. Photography: Dara Seans
Jody Watley and John ‘Havic’ Gregory – SRL.
Jody Watley – A Music Journey, performing a few of my Shalamar classics with SRL.
Fan photo capturing a moment, Sony Hall 2019.
Real Love. Striking a pose.
I had not planned to do ‘Still A Thrill’ in this show. The setlist included rare gems like ‘Nightlife’ Soulpersonal Classic Soul mix, Saturday Night Experience, the current SRL hits, ‘Precious Love’ soul mix, ‘Skin Deep’ from ‘Midnight Lounge’ a piano and vocal only ‘Everything’, the jazz bossa nova of ‘Waiting In Vain’ and more along with classic hit staples. I ended up taking a few spontaneous requests resulting in a spirited a cappella section. Video capture by Trudy Giordano.
Jody Watley and Nate Allen Smith. Photography Trudy Giordano. Sony Hall 8.16.19
Multi-talented Nate Allen Smith, male lead – SRL. Singer, songwriter, dancer, model.
The soul collective. Jody Watley & SRL.
Jody Watley. Wattage!
Thank you to the wattage crew and everyone who came, sold-out the venue (this means so much) and made it truly a magical night of music – a night to remember full of precious love.
After New York, we were off to Atlanta for the concert with Jeffrey Osborne.
Beautiful outdoor setting. Older more reserved crowd than I’m accustomed to and as the case with older R&B audiences – there’s always an initial sense of sitting in judgment maybe skeptical of what Jody Watley was going to bring to the evening. My perception is this age demo are more of the upset I’m not longer with Shalamar though it’s been nearly 4 decades and I’ve been successfully putting it down solo for over three decades and counting – always evolving and getting better with time.
The skeptics always learn..I bring a first class, high quality soulful show with lots of style, heart and my brand of soul, full of positive messages and hits – including a couple from my Shalamar days.
Jody Watley. Photo by Bill Coker.
Photography: Norman ‘NV’ Johnson
Jody Watley – Photography: Norman ‘NV’ Johnson
Jody Watley & SRL. Mable House Barnes Amphitheater.
Up next and closing out summer 2019:
Saturday August 24, 2019 – Groove 99.3 and Pacific Concert Group Present – Summer Bash, Bakersfield, CA Stramler Park (multiple acts) – Tickets
August 31, 2019 – WorldOne Concerts Presents Rewind Funk & Soul – Thunder Valley Outdoor Amphitheater – Tickets (Multiple acts)
September 7, 2019 – Blue Note Hawaii – Jody Watley ‘UnPlugged’ – Tickets
Two sold out shows – one fabulous evening of music, “An Intimate Evening of Love, Jazz & Soul.” Thanks to all who came out for this special set list primarily deep cuts. On both shows there were spontaneous moments of course and I ended up going off what we’d planned ..’what do you want to hear?’ which led to stripped down versions of a few mainstream hits, deep cuts like ‘Stolen Moments’ from “Affairs of The Heart” “Off the Hook” and several others.
It was a groovy night full of good summer vibes and ambience. SRL’s Nate Allen Smith and John ‘Havic’ Gregory joined me to close the shows out with two of our recent singles “The Passion” and fan favorite “The Mood” before ending on my ambient ‘Saturday Night Experience’ with full drum and bass jazz funk.
As an artist it’s always important to continue to hone my craft, explore my versatility and of course to create joy for the audience and myself. This format also allowed for a bit more storytelling tidbits of my songwriting tidbits and challenges as well as few off the cuff quips of fun shade unlike like my hits and new music driven show that is far more fast paced and not much talking – always a satisfying experience for all in attendance no matter the format. It was really nice to do this though.
Sound-checking “Skin Deep” from Midnight Lounge (my best album, in my opinion!) these lyrics.. loved the impromptu sing-along at the shows for this “beauty will not keep us together – it’s love that will weather the storm..”
Repeat engagement after 4 years playing the Shalamar Reloaded featuring Jody Watley concept show was another incredible experience- sold out again. Thank you Michael Dawson, An Evening With and staff as well as all of the loving Dutch fans! Danke Je!
Photography Marcel Pelgrim, Your Way Of Music and John Klijn
Though I’ve performed in London a hand full of times over the past 32 years of my solo career – it’s an understatement to say it was a long time coming to finally bring my comprehensive concert experience to the U.K. The venue ‘Under The Bridge’ was ambient, chic and state of the art – the perfect setting for this personally monumental occasion. Kudos to AGMP Concerts for the choice.
The music journey into sound was full of Jody Watley solo hits, a couple of Shalamar classics joined by Nate Allen Smith of SRL,, an acoustic tribute to George Michael and 4Hero ( performing our collaboration ‘Bed of Roses’), some house music from my repertoire as well as the recent two Top 5 UK Soul Chart hits ‘The Mood’ and ‘The Passion’ – capped off with my new single with DJ/Producer Brian Power ‘Good Good Reason.’ The visual wall was everything and a special thank you to Ray Easmon for the epic designs.
To anyone who didn’t make it – a great time was missed and because I’m rarely there..it meant even more for those who turned out, showed me love from start to finish – not to mention the lovely Wattage crew I met in the meet and greet – thank you!
Thank you to my squad, SRL, band (including a few brilliant UK based musicians) – Steve Ripley at Soulfood Music for the key radio promotions as well.
With Ronnie Herel Mi-Soul Radio – probing interview (he was curious about Shalamar) and lots of music from my catalog, included the new single with Brian Power “Good Hood Reason”
Fun interview.. I streamed the full video live on Facebook. Great song selection. The U.K. radio DJ’s know their music beyond the obvious hit singles – I love that.
With Mike Vitti – Mi-Soul Radio.
With June Furlong Solar Radio.
Visual backdrops were epic courtesy of Ray Easmon.
Always find your best light..and often it will find you.
Jody Watley & SRL squad – John “Havic” Gregory and Nate Allen Smith.
Soundcheck vibes “The Passion” in Philly last Saturday – Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don’t miss uploads!
Over on Instagram, really loved the comments in this post..hearing what Jody Watley Music was on playlists..originated by a fan who shared what he was listening to from 4 of of my albums. If you stopped at the first two and most commercial albums..you really are missing a lot of great music. Mix it up. Though streaming sucks for artists – I still recommend them for listening and checking out music you may have missed..and then go buy (download) to your collections. Read some of the comments to check out the diverse range..I love it when the deep cuts are mentioned..that’s a real music appreciator for any artist to go beyond the radio.
This concert for March 23, 2019 Pala Jam, San Diego at the The Pala Resort and Casiono is now – SOLD OUT. This will be one funky night of music classics.