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Anthony David Celebrates Bill Withers’ 80th Birthday – Hear Track from New Tribute CD!

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anthony david - desert storm

*”In 1972, Bill Withers wrote a song about the Vietnam War,” Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Anthony David intones over a stark drumbeat in his personalized and timely interpretation of “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” Withers’ haunting meditation on military and combat.

David’s connection to Withers is multi-faceted. Like the iconic singer/songwriter, David began his musical career after serving in the military; indeed he saw combat in Desert Storm. From the onset of his career, Anthony David, a longtime collaborator with India.Irie, has often been compared to Bill Withers. David has always resisted categorization by creating music that is on the one hand diverse and on the other unique even when working within a genre.

Like Withers, David plays the acoustic guitar and has a warm, resonant voice that imparts an earthy sincerity to his music. So it is no surprise that David has often been labeled as his generation’s Bill Withers.  Now, Anthony David has made the album that so many have been urging him to make for years; a heartfelt tribute to Bill Withers, an entire album of interpretations of Withers’ compositions, both famous and obscure.

David’s anticipated new CD, Hello Like Before, will be released by Shanachie Entertainment on September 21, 2018. “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” the album’s first single, will be released on July 4, 2018, the birthday of both Bill Withers and the nation.

“In many ways Bill Withers is the artist most influential to my music career,” confides Anthony David. “When I started, I considered myself more of a writer than a singer and for the subject matter and instrumentation on my first project, people would always point and mention his name on terms of my sound. Once I refreshed myself on his music that I grew up with, it gave me confidence, because up until then I wasn’t sure there was a space for me. I’ve covered some of his songs in my sets and there are so many great ones I wanted to do the big classics, plus some deeper in his catalog that I’ve always loved.”

anthony david - desert storm

(Pic from Anthony David in Desert Storm. David is second from the right.)

“I Can’t Write Left-Handed” is not one of Bill Withers’ best-known songs, as it was not released as a single or even recorded in a studio version. It was initially only available on his Live At Carnegie Hall album. It is not a conventional “anti-war” song but rather a ground-level exploration of what war means and the military to ordinary men. In Anthony David’s version, informed by his own combat experience, he emphasizes in his opening monologue: “this is not political.”

“When I first heard this song, it stopped me in my tracks.  I had gone to Desert Storm and the way he described the mentality of young men who go off, I don’t think anyone has ever really described in a song before,” shares David. “That was exactly it.  The idea that the people that are driven that way, oftentimes are just young guys looking for something to do, and don’t have much of a take on the bigger picture. For me it was a way to do something my Dad did, and maybe travel. For my Dad,  I believe it was a way to get out of small town Florida and see the world, maybe make some money to have a family. It’s not really a political thing.  We learn that stuff later. Maybe.  I met my best friends in life during that time, and we’re still family to this day.”

With American soldiers still in combat in the Middle East, “I Can’t Write Left-Handed” is just as relevant today as the day it was written.  Anthony delivers it with a moving vocal performance that is some of the strongest singing of his career.

In a time when so much music is geared toward superficial effects and titillating lyrics, and so little popular music addressing deeper issues of our time, Anthony David’s version of “I Can’t Write Left-Handed” is a timely reminder that music at its best can make a deep impact on heart, mind and soul.

anthony david - sitting - guitar

Anthony David and his guitar

Anthony David was born Anthony Harrington in Savannah, Georgia. A Gulf War vet, he began writing songs during a stint in the military in Iraq, where as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne he took part in 28 combat missions. Writing songs was a life- affirming act while facing the real possibility of dying. He got involved in the music scene in Atlanta in the late 1990s, meeting a then-unknown singer-songwriter India.Arie; they became friends and collaborators, with Anthony co-writing songs on her first three albums, which spawned a number of Grammy nominations, singing back-up for her on tour and eventually opening for her.

This visibility led to the release of Anthony’s debut album Three Chords & The Truth released in 2004 on the Atlanta independent Brash Records, carving out a unique lane with his personalized brand of acoustic soul. Extensive touring revealed Anthony to be a free-wheeling, engaging performer, able to hold a crowd with just the sound of his voice and an acoustic guitar.

A second independent album, The Red Clay Chronicles, led to a deal with Universal Records, which released Acey Duecy, a compilation of the best tracks from his first two albums, yielding a hitduet with India.Arie and a Grammy nomination.Thanks to the release of his albums by labels in the UK and Japan, Anthonytoured extensively abroad, building aninternational audience.

His star continued to rise as he signed a dealwith Purpose Records/eOne Entertainment whichled to the release of his fourth album As Above, So Below in 2011, whichfeatured guest vocalists Algebra, Phone ofLittle Brother and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men; his duet with Algebra,”4Evermore,” became a #1 hit at adult urban radiowhile the reggae/Latin-tinged “Body Language” tore up dance floors in theUK.

A tour in Kenya inspired Anthony tobecome part of the Give Africa Hope campaign that brought awareness tofamine in East Africa. He shot the video forthe title track of the album in Kenya. He also became involved with AWOL (All Walks of Life), an arts program for children in his hometown of Savannah, pushing to establish it in Atlanta in 2013. He quickly followed the release of As Above, So Below with Love Out Loud, another album on Purpose/eOne. Signing with Shanachie Entertainment in 2015, he released The PowerFUL Now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

source:
Monifa Brown
Monifa Brown/Shanachie Entertainment
[email protected]>

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** FEATURED STORY **

Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)

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Pastor Cal - Calvin Roberson

eur mafs poster

*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.

If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.

The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.

MORE NEWS: The Pulse of Entertainment: Gospel’s Brianna Collins Shows God ‘Honor & Praise’ with New Single

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Pastor Calvin Roberson (Pastor Cal) is one of the experts matching couples on “Married at First Sight.” (Photo: Lifetime)

While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.

“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”

As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”

Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.

“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”

EUR MAFS-S11-Couples_Woodrow-Amani

Woody and Amani in current season (11) of “Married at First Sight.” (Photo: Lifetime)

He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”

The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.

“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”

MAFS Houston Flyer

Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.

While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”

And how does the church feel about the show?

“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”

Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.

If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.

For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.

 

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Nigerian Bread Seller Lands Modeling Contract After Photobombing Rapper’s Shoot

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Olajumoke Orisaguna

*27-year-old former bread seller Olajumoke Orisaguna captured the world’s attention a few years ago when a photo of her carrying a massive bag of bread loafs ontop of her head went viral.

She was discovered on the streets of the city of Lagos by international photographer Ty Bello, who was shooting with English rapper Tinie Tempah. Unintentionally, Orisaguna came out in one of the images.

Days later, Bello shared pictures from that shoot on his social media but with interest of finding out who the bread seller was in the photo.

“WHO IS SHE? Everyone has been asking if this lady is a model… She definitely SHOULD be a model… I’ll find a way to track her down somehow. You guys can also help,“ the photographer captioned the post.

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As PEOPLE notes, from that moment on, her life changed forever. In less than a year, Orisaguna managed to sign contracts with recognized agencies. Earlier this year, she wrapped up her tour of South Africa and she also launched a vlog and reality show.

“I never expected this would ever happen to me,” she told CNN. “My friends have told me they saw me on the TV and they are really happy. My parents cannot believe their own child can become such a success.”

In March, she celebrated the one year anniversary of her discovery. In an exclusive interview with Pulse in January, Orisaguna spoke about the people who have been influential in her rise to fame. During the interview, she thanked Azuka Ogujuiba of ThisDay Newspaper, as she was instrumental in Olajumoke’s success story.

Orisaguna, who left her two children and husband to sell bread, is now being offered by a bank to pay for her kid’s education through college.

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** FEATURED STORY **

‘Origin of Everything’ on PBS Sparks Interest with Controversial & Everyday Topics (EUR Exclusive!)

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Origin of Everything

*“Origin of Everything,” available on PBS.org, has been exploring topics since 2017 that run the gamut. The show jumps into a variety of subjects by investigating daily life like the words we use, pop culture, and why we are hooked on technology.

The show does not shy away from controversial topics such as slavery, race and ethnicity, and mass incarceration of African Americans.

Danielle Bainbridge, Ph.D., the host and lead writer of “Origin of Everything,” told the EUR in a recent interview that the series is about making people think beyond the restrictive ways we have been taught to view history.

“It’s a show about our collective story and how we are envisioning history,” Dr. Bainbridge said. ”How do we think about history that includes all of us and just not the figures and facts that we were taught in school. So, it’s a show about under told and underrepresented history. We’re trying to make history feel very present to the people who watch it.”

She continued, “One of the reasons to watch it is if you’re curious about how did we get to our current moment? How do small things such as why do we eat popcorn at the movies or what is the origin of ethnicity and how do these things still impact the way we think about the world?”

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EUR PBS Danielle Bainbridge

Dr. Danielle Bainbridge, host of “Origin of Everything,” available on PBS.org. (Courtesy of PBS)

Deftly equipped to talk about controversial topics, Dr. Bainbridge holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English & Theatre Arts. She is also a faculty member at Northwestern University in Theatre and African American Studies

In early 2017, when she was a graduate student, she was contacted by PBS about working on the show and thought it was a joke.

“When they first reached out to me, I thought it was a hoax,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I was thinking how would they even know who I am because I was a graduate student? But I think they found me through a since defunct janky website that I had set up. They reached out to me, I auditioned, did a screen test, and a writing sample and after that I was hired to help develop the show.”

Viewers are encouraged to be interactive with the series because it is digital. With instant commentary from the audience, the show knows immediately what viewers think, which for the most part is positive. However, when it delves into controversial subject matters things can get sticky.

“I would say overall people are pretty positive about the series because most of the folks who watch it are longtime watchers who tune in every week for episodes,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “The only exception is if we cover more sensitive topics like, race, gender, or sexuality we will get some pushback. I think that’s just the cost of doing business with open discourse.”

One of the most controversial shows was about the transatlantic slave trade.

“We did one episode on why Europeans enslaved Africans and that was probably our most viewed episode as well as our most critiqued one,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I think often times if you view yourself as pretty well versed in history from what you learn in school and then you learn something that goes in the opposite direction it can be jarring or for some people upsetting. We think of it as our value or service to our audience to present accurate history or history that doesn’t get told that often so that people can be informed with the whole picture.”

She added that she has an answer for those who point out that Africans sold slaves to Europeans.

“Slavery was not invented with West Africans and Europeans,” Dr. Bainbridge continued. “Some form of enslavement – whether through war, becoming a prisoner of war, or through different systems – goes back to ancient societies from around the world. So, it is not distinct to West Africa or Europe or any other region of the world.”

Dr. Bainbridge added, “But the difference with this particular moment in slavery was that it intersected with capitalism in a way that was very different with slavery that preceded it. People were taken into the system and their children inherited their status as a slave and that is where the differences started to emerge. We have to think about these things as distinct only because the system that existed with chattel slavery was so radically different than the slavery that existed around the world beforehand.”

With the ongoing protests against police brutality, “Origin of Everything” has also tackled the racist beginnings of United States law. Dr. Bainbridge breaks down the discriminatory history by looking at colonialism, slavery, the Jim Crow era, and mass incarceration.

“I decided to write this episode about legal discrimination, and I didn’t have a particular agenda in mind,” she said. “As I started doing the research it was overwhelming. I started to find (material) that just dealt with legal discrimination about black people in this country from its origin to now. I thought it was something that people needed to know.”

“I was never taught in any history class that I took through high school any of the information from that episode. I was taught that things are fair and that a lot of the blame was placed inadvertently or inherently on black communities, impoverished communities, or communities that struggle. When I saw that in some ways the law was stacked against black people and certain other populations, I thought that was important to bring to light. In this moment, people are looking for reliable sources and this could add to the conversation.”

New episodes of “Origin of Everything” are available on PBS.org and the PBS Digital Studios’ YouTube Channel. Join the conversation by visiting Twitter-@PBSOrigin and Instagram-@pbsoriginofeverything.

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TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens

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