Incipience

INCIPIENCE

© 2001 Soul Food Music (BMI)


1985 -130 E. Ellenwood, Youngstown -

Uncle Herman's bachelor party at Marty's house. It was very late. I walked home (it used to be safe!) Tejai was just turning 3. Her mom and I were contemplating marriage - but, Craig had loaned me his Brand New (Ensoniq) Mirage and we were all trippin on this technology that would soon take over the world, sampling! The piano was incredible and these chords just came out as I was pretending I was Herbie Hancock (yeah, right!)

Anyway, all three phases of the song were right there - bam! I knew the jam had continuity, yet I was disappointed with the abruptness of the transitions, but because of my presence of mind (or lack thereof), I could take it no further.When I listened to the demo the next day, I was really surprised at the possibilities - and walked over to Phil's place (I don't think I had a car then) Right off the bat I knew I was trippin on the tune A LOT harder than he was, yet we both knew I had stepped into another dimension, however brief.

I have reworked this song three times now. Gary loves the second version best and is quite hostile about that one being released- hey, my very first Artist V.S. Record Exec fight! Of course, he was there in '88when I had called off work for the second day straight and had worked on the groove continually - no shower, shave, etc - and the funk was quite apparent. I was stayin above my mom in a duplex on Lanterman Ave.

When I pulled this down for the record - I had resolved to release version 2, since I had lived with it for so long - it was sacred. I definitely did not think I would be able to replace the energy already there - even the mistakes were vital. But, something was missing and my obsessive-compulsive behavior wouldn't let it stick.

I had always wanted a real bass player to re-cut the parts I had sequenced. Chris is one of the funkiest alive - extremely true to his art and very open to experimentation. He and I are brothers for life - we met when I was in 5th grade and have played together almost constantly since that day. But, you know, after high school, everything changes. He went to the Navy and I went to tech school - and time marches on. He now resides in Baltimore with his lovely wife, Lori and family. We are always in touch and when the Holidays roll around he generally comes back home - with one of his new basses!


Thanksgiving, 2000 - he lays down 3 funky ones and a solo to boot in time for us to both sit down to dinner without making our wives (too) angry. I am very grateful for his brotherhood, musicality and incredible contribution to this noize!

Cliff Barnes. No tiny reason to give huge thanks! This young brother will soon be a force to be reckoned with-Worldwide! Our friendship developed very quickly and earnestly.

I was sitting in on the drums after church. Cliff, a good friend of our church
organist walked in and after much coaxing from those who knew him sat down at the organ, launched into this intense Jimmy Smith type groove. I followed and that was it. I had no idea how very important he would be to the process of this recording. He has reinterpreted these ideas with curiosity, sincerity and soulful elegance. He also tries to make me think I can play the boards (yeah, right!)

He was 'o-n' with the piano stuff I wanted and with Chris' parts down, the song was in the bag. Rick spent about 9 days balancing out the mix. I must have given him 90 tracks. I wanted all of the old stuff from the 4 and 8 track versions tucked away under the new stuff! Yeah, OK! - try to retain the integrity of the original groove, but make sure Chris and Cliff are the showcase. We ended up stripping ALL of the bass out of the original track - so that the real bass rode the funk, cool - We replaced other parts right at mix down! Cliff in the house like George Duke and then right when Rick was ready to pull it off his computer, I buy ACID PRO 3.0! I had worked with loops sparingly before, but this program is fantastic! The drums and percussion on the original were cool, but had always bothered me because the pattern never changed, but Rick had done a great job placing them and it's already two weeks now on this one
song - but I can't leave well enough alone!

One day, I asked Rick to give me a 'drumless' mix so that I could put it up at home and experiment with some of these new loops. I still can't believe how easy it is to work with ACID. The Beat Mapper puts everything right in sync - and no matter what you throw up against the groove - it's in perfect time.

Working with Rick (Uncle Schlickzterly, Jr.) has also been a breeze. He has become like my Right Arm in this process. The Lord truly has sent him to us. A great musician in his own right, his engineering wisdom only enhances his willingness to break technical rules when dealing with scatterbrains like me. His patience and fortitude are unwavering and I have certainly pushed them to the limits with one crazy idea after the other!

We met at WKBN-AM in '96. I was training him to be a Board Op/Producer for the talk shows there. As musicians go, our conversations quickly turned into long ones about our aspirations and goals. I started bugging him about engineering this project to the point of wearing him down and he finally agreed to take it on. Now, he's training me!

This version of INCIPIENCE is still very much a melting pot of all of the previous versions (including the mistakes- for honesty's sake!) I even kept the original drums for a little bit of the groove- you hear them when Chris takes his awesome solo! Old keyboard parts mixed with new - analog stuff mixed with Soundfonts, like a stew - like life.

True to life, I added some audio from my family tapes. My oldest daughter, Tejai, begins with her 'one word' narration. The baby crying is my youngest daughter, Ayana Simone, simulating birth. The interview between my grandmother, Laura, my aunt Joan and myself is comprised of us 'interrogating' her on how she met and began dating my grandfather, Hector. As the track progresses, my aunt recounts stories he shared with her about his own childhood. Priceless. My grandmother joined Granddad in May, 2001. The Beulah Clan continues to persevere.




YoYo

(In My) Mirror

YOYO

© 2001 Soul Food Music (BMI)

James Herod



1997 - My Present Address

Funk continues to be its own reward.

I met Jaymie back in High School. I was a South High Warrior (ROOUFH!)
He was an East High Golden Bear (whimper!) But then again, so was my
lovely wife, Lori (ROOF!) – Anyway, James literally ate and drank saxophone
and his name was crawling through the streets of Ytown like the plague!

Many of my band mates had had the occasion to jam with him at one point
or another, but my first opportunity came when we were the 'House Band'
for East's Variety Show. Well I must have missed this guy at rehearsal, because
I swear the madman who assumed the stage at the set that night was the Black
David Sanborn! He chewed into 'Wake Me When It's Over' and had tore the
house down by the second chorus, people everywhere movin, including
Teachers, Chaperones and somebody said they even saw the Principal
doin the?

Seriously, this cat was so cold that I don't even remember his second song!

It would be about 10 years later when I saw Jaymie opening for a big name sax
guy, whom I personally remember seeing standing in the wings praying he
didn't have to follow this cat!

When we were putting 2E together, Bub suggested we call in Jaymie to do the
sax work to wrap around the girls, he put 'Shame' down without a prior
rehearsal and nailed it cold. So obviously, when I began compiling and
creating material, he was uno for sax. An extremely powerful brotherhood
has developed between us, as we are both on The Lord's side now.

YOYO means a lot of things that I could not tie down easily enough to reduce
to lyrics.

1) The ups and downs in life which effect some Christians with a yoyo mentality
and you never know how you will find them from day to day – Up or Down?

2) The ups and downs in life that affect me personally and my persevering
to overcome the yoyo syndrome and stay up

3) Growing up in Youngstown, Ohio and the economic and political yoyo the
valley rides almost daily

Jaymie put a whole new spin on the melody, and there was no need for words!

This track is unique in that it was one of the first that I could remember
conceiving in my mind and sitting right down and banging out all of the parts,
right then and there, bam!

The synth solo is my first, ever.

I had not purchased an MPC yet, nor did I have a computer or software.
Everything was done from my Kawai K1 II accessing my ASR 10 and
sequencing into my Alesis MMT8!

I did a rough mix into the DAT (Panasonic SV3700), thinking that I could
improve on the song at a later time, but somehow I did not save it correctly.
The next day when I came up to do just that, there was nothing there!, zilch!

One of the funkiest grooves to come up outta me, since Bub C and I were
writing together and, zero!

What you hear is that same DAT track with Jaymie, sax work mixed in.



Every Knee

Bloodline

(In My) MIRROR

© 2001 Soul Food Music (BMI)


1995 - The Stackhouse Building, Market St. Youngstown, Oh P.R.A.Y. Productions enjoyed a good run with 'In Search of an African Queen'
and I was commissioned to begin writing music for their next production. This
time my good friend Mark Douglas would be directing. He and I met to
discuss what he was looking for and after ascertaining the 'jist' of his
expectations, I set out to write some stuff with a little more than a draft of a
skeleton script.

I had parted ways with Chocolate Pulse. I had felt that in a company that
was supposed to be 4 men working together and sharing equal duties that I
was doing more than my fair share. I had felt that I was exhibiting more drive,
effort and determination than my partners. Also, since becoming a Christian,
the constant party atmosphere began to wear on me. To make matters worse,
Bub had moved down to Columbia, S.C.

Thinking back as I write this, I realize that although some of these things may
have been true, I probably did more damage in the way that I left than by
just breaking camp – but you live, learn and (hopefully) grow!

I moved my equipment into shared office/studio space with Jeff Green and Earnest Walker. Their production company – Midi Mix, was on the second floor of The Stackhouse Building on Market St. More than anything, this move taught me a lot of dues and don'ts in business and was my first introduction to computer sequencing.

I was alone the night MIRROR came about. It's something about being in a
new environment, a different keyboard with different sounds and another approach to recording that when married to pointless experimentation wakes up the muse and inspiration hits, especially when you hit a strange chord by accident!

Gail Harris is too bad for her own good! Literally and Figuratively!!!

I don't remember exactly how we hooked up. I first met her when she and Craig were dating heavily and she became the mother of their first child, Shyla. I had heard that she sang rather well – then sometime later I heard her. This was the voice unlike any I have ever heard and I was sure she wouldn't be in town for long – but through a series of bad relationships, fate and a hint of Bub's opportunistic tendencies, somehow Gail ended up down at Chocolate Pulse, Winona Dr.

When we heard her again, after so many years, everybody immediately dropped their personal projects and set out to put together a project on Gail. She mentioned she had a sister Angela who might be interested in doing some background vocals for her and wanted to bring her in. A week later we did and I may have cried or something when you heard them sing together. Everyone, Phil, Bub, Drew and I knew we were on the brink of something bigger than we had ever known before and pitched that they should
stay a duet and go out together.

Well, Angela was married with children and had no intention to come in full time. Although Gail herself had children also, she had felt that she was placed here to do nothing else. Finally, we convinced Angela, but she needed to consult her husband. Obviously, no one could smell what was coming next, as he not only agreed to our recording his wife, but, insisted that he represented her and Gail as their manager!

!!@#$%^&*()!!, And all of our worse fears were soon confirmed!

NEVER WORK IN A HUSBAND- AS- MANAGER SITUATION IF
YOU CAN HELP IT!

Maybe Father, Maybe-Brother, Maybe even the Cousin, Maybe, But
NEVER THE HUSBAND!

In spite of it all, we created an incredible body of work that continues to encourage me. In the studio, we could do no wrong. Gail is the consummate composer. She oozes music and reeks of profound inspiration. Her songwriting is on another totally different level, I stand in awe!

We put them together as a duo '2 Elegant', a name I did not completely, uh, support.

We released a cassingle on them to test the market featuring 2 of Phil's tunes, 'Anticipation' and 'Make It With You.' Frankie 'Mr. Lucky' Halfacre of 101.9 FM (102 JAMZ) gave us tremendous support. He was all over their sound and they even recorded liners for him! For the Live Gigs, we enlisted Carla to try to whip them into shape, but Angela was married, remember?

Marital struggles, control freaks, sisterhood (the ups and downs), the lack of business acumen, the video age and the group 'Jhane' (remember them?) burning up the charts, thwarted all of our attempts to put 2E on the big map. After only two performances, one well received and the other, well not so, the group hung up their hats, although Gail continued to come by occasionally, making tepid attempts to pursue a solo career.

Again, throughout this entire process I had gone from radical party animal to radical for CHRIST, so I was really struggling between the two loyalties of secular and gospel music. I can say that during the transition, I was quite confused, being so new in my walk and lack of identity. I thought I should make decisions based upon what other Christians thought and/or said as opposed to what THE HOLY SPIRIT through The Word was speaking to me. I have since learned that the combination of Prayer,
Bible Study, Conversations with my Wife, Pastor and other trusted Elders help to lead me to make decisions within the will of The Lord for those particular seasons in my life.

So, as I sat listening to this music flow through me, I heard Gail's voice. After hunting her down, I gave provided her with a skeleton lyric sheet and a copy of the script and with no rehearsal she walked into the vocal booth and nailed it! I wasn't even finished with the music! Just Gail singing against the computer and it was a bona fide hit. She filled in all of my sketchy lines and sang as if she knew the little child she was giving advice. Fortunately I had my DAT player rolling. The play never got off the ground, which I didn't mind very much as I thought the music being composed at this time would be better served in other mediums.

When I pulled this one down for this project, I had to hunt Gail down again. We had talked off and on, but she was moving around a lot, so our communication was minimal.

When I finally caught up with her to try to schedule some time to re-record
the track, she said, 'Sorry, I am moving to Florida Saturday, I can't do it! 'What?!!

'Well, can you do it Friday?'

'I'll be packing all day Friday.'

'You've gotta do this! No One Else Alive can do This Song!! Pleeeeze
Help Me!!!'

'You Know I love Ya, B – but there's Nothin I can Do.'

'Gimme an hour, Saturday Morning! – Gimme a half hour, pleeeze, just come and drop the tracks and you are on your way, I promise, Gimme 15 minutes!'

'Saturday Morning, around 10, but I gotta hit the road, please Jere,
don't turn this into a session – I gotta drop and run!'

'I promise, thanks!'

Well this was a Wednesday! I called Phil and discussed my dilemma. He had a Roland VS880 and perhaps we should drop the instrumental 2 track into your unit and just have her sing the others into the box on top. After doing so, we can pour her vocals into SOUNDFORGE and I can continue editing later. Cool, but Phil can't do it until Friday Night. Late Friday Night. Phil gets off work after 10pm. It'll have to be around
midnight.

It is and the transfer is a pretty easy process. The next morning, Phil shows back up and we set up a mock studio in my living room. No isolation or sound proofing, though and our neighbor's dog is notorious for barking every time the wind blows. We set up 2 mikes (SM57s), plugged them into the VS880, set up the headphones and made tea.

A Ryder Rent a Truck pulls up and Gail jumps out, wearing a hanky wrapped around her head, house shoes, jeans and sweatshirt. I had been photographing everything for posterity's sake and to catch some shots for the web site and CD cover. Gail threatened me within an inch of my life if I so much as raised the camera within her peripheral vision! I didn't. She ran through the song once, needing to brush up on the lyrics. Then she dropped two tracks, gave me a hug and left for Florida, just like that!

Tejai, who had been sitting on the floor listening was truly mesmerized, as we all were.

It was only when we sat listening to the playback that we realized what had just happened. It was really God's Blessing and her genius muse how she put down two tracks, which truly complimented each other within the span of about 20 minutes, after not hearing or singing this song for about 5 years! We must have played that track back 35 times and just for the record, I took a picture of the spot where she was standing and her teacup!

The next day, Phil and I transferred her tracks into the computer and overtime
I continued to edit and tweak. When I got to Rick's, he used Sonic Foundry's ACOUSTIC MIRROR. The Microphone Modeler smoothed out her transients. Phil had done a remarkable job tracking her, but my mike placement left a lot to be desired and we had picked up some distortion, but no barking dog!

This was actually the first time I placed Cliff and James into VEGAS and began editing in a 'cut and paste' type of style. Although I know almost that 99% of popular music is put together this way, this was actually my first foray in working with digital audio. Fortunately, my 'pause mix' days on cassette helped me understand sequencing, so midi was no problem. Digital Audio editing is total freedom. At this point (and also STIL PHIL) Cliff and James had not yet met. Nor had either of them met Gail. It was a great experience placing them into the same 'room' and making them all flow together! What was most interesting to me was that Gail had somehow sang those vocals in such a way that she was singing to herself in a mirror, something
I wasted no time capitalizing on.

'MIRROR' was the anticipated first single, hands down, although 'BLOODLINE'
or 'KEEP MOVIN' also competed for the spot. I settled on 'MIRROR' primarily because of its message, my love for Gail and her devotion to me always and the very humorous example of PERSEVERANCE of our racing to get this song recorded! Dreams do come true.


BLOODLINE
Words & Music: G.H.Beulah, Jr.
© 2001 Soul Food Music (BMI)

 
Janis Jones

















1999 -Present Address- Youngstown, Oh

Married with Children.

I fell in love with my wife instantly. A Straight Up Love Story! I had known her from my days of playing drums at Price Memorial, where she sang in the choir. But there was minimal communication with her and no consideration of romance either way.

Fast Forward - February, 1994, New Bethel Church, having committed myself to The Lord and being delivered from a lot of baggage. The very last thing I wanted to do was become involved in a romantic relationship. Thankfully, The Lord had preserved me from any STD's that could have (and should have) taken my life. I had also dedicated myself toward strengthening my relationship with Tejai (now 10) and being the very best father she deserved. Being that I had exposed her to some very unhealthy and volatile situations with other women, there was no way I would shove another woman in her face anytime soon.

And then I saw Lori.

True to my word, I did NOT approach her, though I stared at her an awful lot!

After observing her commitment to her Lord and her Church for a few months, I began to pray for her. I noticed that she was not like other single women in such situations, 'looking for a husband' ,she seemed perfectly content, working with the youth, teaching Sunday School, doing part time secretarial work for the pastor and always in Bible Study. I prayed that The Lord would continue to bless her, provide for and minister to her spirit.

Then my prayers changed. Slowly enough, but I began to sense that she would be my wife. I still had not said more than 4 or 5 words to her, other than the customary greeting, without any hint that I was now praying for her in that light.

By the 4th Sunday in May, I could not hold my peace after church, I specifically walked in her direction (and she mine) and told her I had been praying 'about' her. She commented that she had been doing the same. Talk about embarrassed! I felt she was patronizing me and told her I didn't believe her. She assured me that she felt the same way about me and suddenly I was 14 years old again!

I left the church on Cloud Nine, got into my car and suddenly felt like an idiot!
'I should have asked her out to dinner!' I literally sprinted back inside and posed the question. Lori told me that her and some friends were on their way to cook dinner for a girlfriend who had just got out of the hospital. Of course I understood and when I returned to my car, The HOLY SPIRIT spoke to me (this time I heard a voice), asking me "Are you gonna let ME do this?" Yes Lord!

The following Wednesday, after Bible Study, June 1, 1994, Lori and I went on our first date – to Chi Chi's. I told her how busy I was, really wasn't looking for a serious relationship, had very little time etc., etc.; she agreed and stated the same.

We went out again on Friday and have been together ever since!

I proposed to her 4 months later in front of our congregation, much to her surprise. She accepted and we were married the following April 8, 1995.

Tejai came to live with us and Lori raised her as her own. Nia Joi was born two years later, September 18, 1998. Ayana Simone was born on August 7, 2000. Life is very interesting!

I had always wanted a marriage like my grandparents (both sets). They had each been married to each forever! The stability and traditions their marriages provided have meant my very life! Being that my mother and father divorced when I was 2, I've always sought a stable environment and my grandfathers became surrogates to me, even when my mom remarried.

Lori and I have that relationship I saw in my grandparents. We are both old school and committed to 'Till Death Do Us Part'. My life has not been the same since Lori came into my life.

The music for BLOODLINE was originally titled 'On Line Love' and was the title track for the independent movie of the same name, which was written and directed by my good friend Art Byrd.

Anyone who has known me longer than 20 minutes knows that it has always been my passion to write and produce music for film. I love Soundtrack themes, opening music for T.V. Shows and wacky jingle music. Art gave me my first shot and I am sure that I did not do him justice. Nonetheless, he allowed me a second shot for another movie he was directing entitled 'The Doctor is Upstairs.'

In most cases, music I write for film is usually instrumental. BLOODLINE had not matured to the level I had wanted, but had worked fairly well as a theme. When I began to pull music for this project, I felt this tune had the vibe but needed 'something' to bring it up to par. Jan Jones was the solution.

Janis is Gary's younger sister. Although I had known the Jones' since childhood
(they stayed down the street from us), they were younger and I was running with Tyrone and the gang. Everyone in the neighborhood respected their father, the great 'Hump' Jones as being the genius musician he was. Gary (who graduated with my sister, Roz) was becoming well known in our school as a remarkable artist and later in high school as a fantastic dancer, who performed regularly in the Variety Shows in the monster group 'Master Jam.'

Until I had joined New Bethel, I had no idea how great a singer Janis was.

Interpretation, Passion and that Tone! Janis Jones is an amazing talent, totally into her art and committed to honing her skills as a composer. I definitely had to have her participate in this project.

I gave this track and asked her to write the lyrics. I asked her to take us back to our childhood and paint pictures to make us long for the return of days gone by, perhaps even suggesting we do just that. She completely outdid herself.
I can't wait to see what The Lord has in store for her!

This was another track that made it to DAT, but somehow eluded the saving process of the MMT8. So I made it the foundation and poured it into SOUNDFORGE. Tyrone came in and dropped the beautiful guitar right into the computer. We tracked Jan over at Rixmix and then this guy came into and talkedover most of it to reminisce.



EVERY KNEE

© 2001 Soul Food Music (BMI)


1994 - 721 Winona - Youngstown

My very first foray into messing with loops and trying to come anywhere near hip-hop. I was starting to collaborate with Drew Machen a little more and he is a true Sampling King. He ate and drank this stuff and rap was his vehicle into the industry. I had known Drew and his twin sister Toddia, since the second grade. They were both drummers, yet Drew and I resented the fact that she wanted to hang out with us when we got together to practice, and she was a very good drummer! This, of course was before Shelia E, The Bangles or Klymaxx brought female drummers into the forefront.

Drew taught me an incredible amount about keeping the technology musical. His grooves were never sterile or robotic and he could take the simplest beats and make them cook with very little processing. When it came to loops, he had no problem mixing six of them together and making you think it was one kit, this was before ACID PRO! Maybe he was a consultant.

Anyway, this track was a result of his tutelage. I was pretty excited about finally coming close to what he had been showing me. I added the bells, still trying to soften the edge, in case anyone wouldn't accuse me of trying to sabotage rap music.

I respect Rap and Hip-Hop to a certain point. I have watched it evolve, morph and de-evolve. I just don't think that I am called to use it as a medium in my personal ministry. Although there has been a lot of innovation, there has also been a tremendous lack of musicianship and morality that's not apart of my musical DNA, but that's me.

This track sat for the longest time with no lyrics. The hook came right before I made the move over to Midi Mix, but I would not complete the lyrics until just before the session was to begin with April.

I was cutting my front lawn and was sort of remembering how I wasn't ready to trust CHRIST as my Personal Savior and Lord, no matter what anyone said to me. JESUS clearly said in John…that no one came unless the Spirit drew him. I was remembering how arrogant I used to be concerning salvation. My mother kept my sisters and I in church all through our childhood and what with my grandmother being the Superintendent of the Sunday School, there was virtually nothing anyone could say to me, I had heard it all.

At that moment I looked up to see one of those Viciously Decorated S. U. V's, it's owner looking as if he had the whole world in the palm of his hands. Not long after, I saw some teens walking along on the other side of the street, dressed in what appeared to me as 'thug wear' with the same look and attitude on their faces as the earlier driver had. Two thoughts crowded into my mind almost simultaneously. The first was that, it is true I am getting old! The second was, how I might speak both to and against this attitude in song, pointing toward man's Eternal Destination.

These were the words that came out. The lawnmower motor provided the rhythm, which somehow synched right up with the beat.

This too was a track that I just pulled right off the DAT, although I did try to redo it, figuring since I had updated my technology, I could do a better job with the placement of certain parts. Yet, as I "A/B'd" the two, the original retained the attitude I was trying to capture.

Lisa added the right amount of sarcasm to make the point clear.

Rick's swift guitar supplies the added irritant to make sure you're paying
close attention!


Power

Under The Shadow