To find out more about this talented Alabama-born singer/songwriter, I’d advise you to take a look at her website. I’m going to run down the tracks on this her first solo CD.

Played on a powerful system, the bass on the opener ‘For Me’ will grab you hard. The chattering rimshots and sparse background keyboard sound great with Deirdre’s breathy vocals. This is urban music at its classiest. ‘We Just Can’t Say Goodbye’ is an anguished tale of loss and again it’s based around a skeletal production – so you’re just listening to that lyric.

My head starts nodding on the bubbling ‘This Funky Ride of Life’. The instrumentation is filled out by a subtle rhythm guitar and a nice brass hook just before the chorus. It’s my favourite track on the album. The pleading vocal on ‘What are We Going To Do’ and the bouncing synth bassline make this song commercially appealing – this was a great choice as the first single from this record.

The piano on the intro to ‘That I Am’ is right in the ‘quiet storm’ tradition. It makes the production sound grand and simple at the same time – if that makes sense. Again, we are treated to a lyric which hits as hard as the work of Jill Scott. I think that the heavy, mechanical beat of ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’ and the way it contrasts with the whispered, sexy vocals will make this song a winner with urban/R&B fans. It’s been one of the top 5 most voted-for songs on my internet radio station for over a month now. Close my eyes and I can hear this blasting out of cars all over D.C. Next single?

‘Here I Am’ features another slightly loopy synth bassline which I can feel right through the house. It’s that big, phat sort of sound. Again, the contrast with the gorgeous lead and background vocals is startling. I’d love to hear this lady record a duet with Ronald Isley in this style. It could work really well. ‘You’ chugs maybe a little too hard for me, but it’s a song that still draws me in and it’s great, how can I say it, ‘whine and grine’ music.

I might have to turn the stereo down – the bass on ‘Complete’ is mashing up my speakers. Deep, deep beats here. The lyric has a great, optimistic tone and this has to be one of my favourite songs. ‘Women’ bounces along nice and fast. It has a pretty piano backing over that snapping drum track. This isn’t going to give Chaka Khan sleepless nights but it’s a cleverly-written song, delivered with conviction. On ‘Temptation’, I come back around to the idea that backing on these songs is kept minimal to showcase two things: thoughtful lyrics and strong, strong vocals. It’s a formula that really does work.

My mention of Jill Scott earlier was quite deliberate. Not since the release of ‘Who Is Jill Scott?’ have a I heard a set of songs which lyrically hit as hard as these and which rhythmically can be equally effective on the dancefloor or at home in a more intimate setting. Keep your eyes on Deirdre Gaddis…



111 East Records   Producers - Brian “B-Flat Trax” Cook and Will aka Slick and Dboi of