Days Ahead
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Days Ahead

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The best kept secret in music

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"CD Review & Interview by Jazz-not-Jazz"

CD Review by Jazz-not-Jazz @
blog.jazz-not-jazz.com/archives/2006/02/14/daysahead-turning-point/

"Daysahead is a band that has truly developed their own sound that sets them apart from the rest of the new/neo/nu soul movement. What may sound odd at first is that they hardly use any keys on their debut album Turning Point. Instead they rely on the strength of guitar (acoustic and electric), bass and drums and of course on the impressive voice of Kim Leachman. And it’s this combination of musical instruments and Daysahead’s own blend of soul, funk and rock that is a welcome breath of fresh air in today’s music scene.

The album starts with the powerful, lively You Move Me, which like most of the songs explores the never ending mystery of human relationships. Things get a little smoother with Love Is Love while Falling Flower has a healthy rock element thrown into the song.
For me Daysahead sounds best when it comes to downtempo like For The Love with a nice Isley like electric guitar solo or Good Ole’ Days, my favourite song, with its beautiful melody and Kim’s personal lyrics taking a trip down memory lane (by the way the only song here with some keys).

It’s In Your Hands finally sees Daysahead with some socially conscious lyrics (”How high is the cost of war/ Who are we dying for/ Yearning to learn to live in peace/ Can’t we learn to just dance“) sung by Kim over a swinging uptempo groove.
Another highlight is the soulful Take Your Time. The song’s message not to rush anything must be made for me (and my desire to take my time with the records reviewed here is also the reason why it sometimes takes a few days until a new review is posted).
Courting A Fantasy is another winner with Kim being accompanied by Steve on acoustic guitar only.

And if you’re looking for a song that sums up what Daysahead is all about than listen to the nine and a half minute of Don’t Fall Too Fast (Directions) which successfully makes the transition from soul to rock. Maybe that’s what The Family Stand would sound today if they were still with Sandra St. Victor and if Moon In Scorpio would’ve been a successful album saleswise.

Altogether Turning Point is a very good debut album from a band with a distinctive sound that’s left field from the soul mainstream in a refreshing way.
Tracklisting of Turning Point: 1. You Move Me/ 2. Love Is Love/ 3. Falling Flower/ 4. For The Love/ 5. Good Ole’ Days/ 6. It’s In Your Hands/ 7. Days Ahead/ 8. Take Your Time/ 9. Don’t Fall Too Fast/ 10. Courting A Fantasy | released 2005 Nightingale60 Publishing, Stephen Wright

For more info visit cdbaby.com and daysaheadmusic.com."

-----Featured Interview by Dirk Binsau
@ blog.jazz-not-jazz.com/interviews/daysahead.php - Jazz-not-Jazz, by Dirk Binsau


"CD Review by Neo Soul Today"

CD Review by Neo Soul Today @ neosoultoday.blogspot.com

“…I heard an incredible, upbeat, jazzy song, led by gracefully strong female vocals and backed by a live band...The group's name was Days Ahead and the song title was "You Move Me."

"I must say, this album is very good...What caught my ear the most was the unmistakable soul interwoven in their jazzy music. What caught my interest the most was what they refer to as "maturity" and "diversity" in their sound."

"Buy it! I highly recommend buying "Turning Point" from iTunes or cdbaby.com. "

Neo Soul Today Album Rating

4 out of 5 stars

My Favorite 8 Tracks from Turning Point's 10 Tracks
1. You Move Me
2. Love Is Love
4. For the Love
5. Good Ole' Days
6. It's In Your Hands
7. Days Ahead
9. Don't Fall Too Fast
10. Courting a Fantasy - Sean, Editor-in-Chief


"CD Review by SoulTracks"

They label themselves as “Pat Metheny meets Chaka Khan” and that’s about as good a description as I could give. daysahead is a duo consisting of rock/jazz guitarist Steve Wright and Gospel/Soul vocalist Kim Leachman. They may, at first blush, look like a Tuck and Patti-type act, but one listen their eclectic, engaging brand of music shows that this is an original group bursting with its own distinct style that incorporates many elements of rock, jazz and R&B. Based in Atlanta, daysahead is another impressive young act making its mark on that city’s vibrant musical scene.
Supported by drummer James Barrett and bassist Myron Carroll, among others, Wright and Leachman have released Turning Point, a debut album that is as unusual as it is engaging. Using Wright’s electric guitar as the musical centerpiece (there are no keyboards on the album), daysahead explores a variety of musical styles, one after another. So melodic rock cuts like “You Move Me” and “Love is Love” are countered by tender soul ballads such as “For the Love” and jazzy midtempos like “Good Ole Days” and “Don’t Fall Too Fast.” The album covers a wide enough territory that it occasionally makes it difficult to establish a consistent mood for the listener, but the common theme that holds it all together is the strong instrumentation and the “live” feel of the performance. The band is top notch and keeps the whole album sounding immediate, even on the slow songs. Special kudos also to Leachman, a wonderful smoky-voiced singer who handles the varied material well, especially shining on the more soulful cuts.
daysahead comes out of the box as a talented, original young group and Turning Point as a great showcase for their expansive vision of popular music. Recommended.
CR
The daysahead Page at Soul Tracks (www.soultracks.com) © Copyright 2006 by Chris Rizik and Soul Tracks ™
Date: May 5, 2006
Full Review @ www.soultracks.com/daysahead.htm - Chris Rizik, editor


"CD Review by RHYTHMflow"

It seems like the band concept has almost
completely left R&B altogether. While it was
nothing for R&B to boast a bunch of
self-contained musical acts throughout the
Seventies and Eighties, the concept had all
but dried up a decade later, left to
long-running warhorses like Earth, Wind & Fire
and a couple of new-jacks like Tony! Toni!
Tone! and Mint Condition.

Atlanta’s own Daysahead is the latest to make their mark on the
scene, with an album, “Turning Point”, that’s soulful yet also
reminiscent of many other musical genres. Like many of the
aforementioned acts, Daysahead boasts a sound that criss-crosses
R&B, jazz, funk and rock to create an intricate and intriguing musical
stew.

They’re definitely a tight band, but their centerpiece is undoubtedly
vocalist Kim Leachman. Her rich tones suggest India.arie with a light
sprinkling of Chaka Khan. They shine on ballads like “Love is Love”,
where Kim’s voice is seductive and smooth over a tasty bass and
drums. The song is highlighted by the rock-etched guitar riffs that run
through it. That song is followed by gems like the fiery, Latin based
“Falling Flower” and the wistful, folk-ish “Good Ole Days”. Of course,
the band can also get straight-ahead funky as evidenced by tracks
like “You Move Me”.

Daysahead is a band with a sound that’s both contemporary and
timeless. With an air-tight band and a bewitching front woman,
“Turning Point” has a sound that should definitely take this outfit far
in the R&B stakes.

Music samples and more information about the group available at:
www.daysaheadmusic.com
CD Review June 15, 2006

Full Review @ rhythmflow.net/DaysAhead.html - Michael Heyliger, editor


"CD Review by ROCKWIRED"

It's a quiet storm that passes through the night. If you are fortunate enough to be awake for the lightning and the electricity that this particular storm stirrs, you are left with an overwhelming sense of love, excitement, connectedness and abandon, all at once. It's hard to put into words but ROCKWIRED has just described the sound of daysahead, which is brought to light by their debut CD TURNING POINT.

daysahead is all about chemistry; that often times elusive element that makes everything come together. It is the combination of vocalist KIM LEACHMAN's impressive command of that indefinable voice that goes from gospel, to soul, to jazz and to rock in a seconds notice, and the dexterity of guitarist and partner-in-crime STEVE WRIGHT. Who knew such sounds, textures, and imagination could come from just six strings.

TURNING POINT is just that. It's a point in time where the groaning, moaning, mid drifts and lip synchers of pop are turned dow in favor of melody, harmony and attitude to spare. Just give the track like YOU MOVE ME, FALLING FLOWER, and DON'T FALL TOO FAST a listen. There's no neo-soul here. It's music to the ears, soul and mind.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 with Brian Lush, ROCKWIRED

Full interview @ www.rockwired.com/rockwired_interviews_daysahead.html - Brian Lush, editor


"CD Review by Jazz Pages"

"That to the quartet extended duo over the singer Kim Leachman and the guitarist Steve WRIGHT - with Myron Carroll (B) and James
Barret (dr) plays a tension-loaded
Mixture of jazz, Pop & Soul. The singer Kim Leachman oscillates between gefuehliger Ballade
and furioser jazz improvisation. WRIGHT gives that and those retains whole spice and sharpness
Music before Norah Jones icing ; -)"

----Full Review @ http://schindelbeck.blogspot.com/2006_02_06_schindelbeck_archive.html - Jazz Pages, by Frank Schindelbeck


"CD Review by Contemporary Jazz"

"'Metheny meets Chaka Khan,' this is what critics are saying about this dynamic duo that hails from Atlanta guitarist Steve Wright and lyricist and vocalist Kim Leachman.
First off, the group "daysahead" is not exactly jazz. With that said, if you dig high energy music with lyrical substance that “rocks” embroidered with the fabric of jazz, soul and occasional Latin influences then you’ve discovered “Tuck & Patty” reincarnated in a quartet setting.
The opening track “You Move Me,” explodes with raw detailed vigor and style you rarely hear in music these days. Wright’s guitar licks thrust forward defining his purpose as a soloist therefore, his voice merges seamlessly the complimenting the talented vocalesse of Kim Leachman.
On “Love Is Love” the duo, playfully engage in lyrical and instrumental foreplay. This track is very much like the previous one it has strong crossover appeal.
At the third spot is “Falling Flower,” it has a cool Santana vibe. Bassist Jeff Smith and drummer James Barrett intercede as accomplishes by weaving in and out by attacking their instruments skillfully with reverie. Ms Leachman contribution as lyricist and vocalist are amazing on this track.
On “For The Love and Good Ole Days,” I hear the sentiments and influences of Patti Cathart with note vocally. What I find endearing is Leachman’s honesty and maturity as a vocalist, the lyrics gracefully oozes out slow and easy with conviction.
“It’s In Your Hands,” reminds me of a very popular group from the seventies called Seawind (without horns). The bands cohesiveness is definitely noteworthy.
“Days Ahead,” the only instrumental on the cd has a nice reggae flavor showcases Steve Wright on guitar. What I dig most about this project it cross-pollinates musically and culturally beyond the soundscape of most genres.
The mysteries of what makes a great song is underscored internally and externally on “Don’t Fall Too Fast.” The lyrics, instrumentation, and the improvisation are on the mark. No doubt, overall this is my favorite.
daysahead closes out this provocative session with a beautiful duo piece titled “Courting A Fantasy,” which features Wright on guitar and Leachman vocalist!
"Turning Point" by daysahead features the compelling voice of Kim Leachman and energetic artistry of guitarist Steve Wright is the near perfect marriage artistically. Their debut should garner richly deserved attention from music connoisseurs globally.
The voices behind guitarist Steve Wright & vocalist Kim Leachman dayshead ..."

Kim Leachman, vocals
Steve Wright, acoustic & electric guitar
Myron Carroll & Jeff Smith, bass
James Barrett, drums

Visit, daysahead web space: daysaheadmusic

Listen & Purchase: CDBaby.com

---Full Review @
http://www.contemporaryjazz.com/rob's-corner/daysahead_turningpoint.html - Contemporary Jazz, by Rob Young


"CD Review by Funkjunkiez"

The best thing about dedicating a site and radio station to the services of music you love has to be the opportunity to experience music from artists that normally wouldn’t appear on the radar. I’d guess that 98% of the music reviewed and played is bought as a result of my weekly journeys to the record shop. Fortunately I have a few to choose from and they are very good, but they don’t stock everything ever made. The other 2% comes from submissions from artists who have either heard the station and like what we play, or read the reviews for artists within a similar genre and want us to check out their material. In this second category falls daysahead, an Atlanta based duo (Kim Leachman & Steve Wright) who produce an interesting fusion of jazz, soul and rock. Now I’ll be upfront when I say, anything with the word rock in its description doesn’t usually get much consideration round these parts, but having listened to “Turning Point”, I can say that I’m developing a tolerance to rock that I didn’t have before. Now, before the hate mail starts flooding in, it’s worth pointing out that this album does deliberately seek to cross the genre boundaries and as such may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that aside there are some excellent tracks on offer, and a whole lot of potential with excellent musicians and a great vocal talent. The project has 10 tracks on offer, so what are the highlights? “You Move Me”, the first track is well worth a mention, the upbeat jazzy percussion and dynamic upbeats within the chorus are sweet. Kim’s vocals are strong and vibrant and the jazzy riffs are quite catchy. There is a raucous guitar solo in the middle, but it doesn’t detract at all. “Love Is Love” is a smooth and sexy almost neo-soul vibe that does rock-up during the chorus, but the verses are pure soul. “Falling Flower” starts off with a real manic jazz-funk feel. It does orient towards being more of a rock-track as it goes on, which is a shame. “For The Love” takes the form of a really smooth ballad, it’s touching, emotive and walks the line between jazz and soul quite sublimely. “It’s In Your Hands” has been a regular on the station for awhile and is consistently popular with FJ’z listeners. It’s an almost retro jazz-funk groove that does remind you of The Brand New Heavies, with its heavy rolling b-line and trippy vocals and divine breaks. One of the best tracks on the album, even if the whole project won’t appeal to you, this will. “Days Ahead” is a curious instrumental that fuses jazz with a reggae tip. “Take Your Time” and “Don’t Fall Too Fast” are laid-back soulful vibes that could best be described as easy-listening, but are nice to have playing in the car. “Don’t Fall Too Fast” weighs in at a mighty 9:30 so be prepared to be chilled well and truly.

As debut albums go… I can foresee nothing but successful Days Ahead.
Added: April 8th 2006
Reviewer: funkjunk

Full review @ www.funkjunkiez.biz/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=116 - Funkjunkiez, by Alfie da Funkjunky


"Apache Cafe' Hot List"

"Days Ahead...fusing funk, jazz, and rock into a tastey blend that just doesn't sound like anything else... think Mother's Finest-meets-Incognito. There isn't a dull moment at a Days Ahead show...a great new band...seasoned musicians...this band is HOT!" - Creative Loafing Atlanta


"Richmond Music and Arts Festival"

"Special Guest Days Ahead has a jazz-rock-soul sound all their own...this band brought good music crossing all ages, genders, and cultures. It's what the people, young and old, want and need to hear. The CD is fresh, new, exciting, melodic, soulful, classic, jazzy and very cool. I especially like the chemistry between the artists and how they bridge phrases. The CD has everything a true listener of good music want to hear. Steve laid the licks down just right in his improvisations, I could have listen to him forever. Kim’s talent just blows me away. I get lost in her voice reflecting on Al Jarreau and Stevie Wonder’s Music. The entire group is tight and the rhythm section is really driving them to cook. FALLING FLOWER IS THE BOMB!! The Drummer is just going crazy with tremendous technique. It is great to hear the interplay between Steve and Kim they are so wonderful together as musicians and as people. The CD is one of my best to listen and each time I hear it there is something new, fresh, and different. Blessed! Food for the soul not damaging but repairing!! Great Job for Days Ahead!" - Clarence Nicholas, music/program director


Discography

Debut CD "Turning Point" released September 1, 2005. Full length cd (10 songs).

***RADIO Play

WCLK 91.9fm (Atlanta, GA) www.wclk.com
Request Line: (404) 880-9255

WRFG 89.3fm (Atlanta, GA) www.wrfg.org
Request Line: (404) 523-8989
Super Dee - World Party, Mon. 1p.-4p.
Black Ice - Against The Grain Radio, Fri. 10a.- 12p.

WBCX 89.1fm (Gainesville, GA) www.brenau.edu/about/wbcx
Request Line: (770) 538-4744
Scott Fugate - Funky Fridays, Fri. 5p.-7p.
Jodine Dorce - Soulful Saturdays, Sat. 12p.- 2p.

WUHT 107.7fm (Birmingham, AL) www.hot1077radio.com
Request Line: (205) 741-1077
Rahdu - The Throwback Lunch, M-F 12p.-1p.

WVKR 91.3fm (Hudson Valley, NY) www.wvkr.org
Request Line: (845) 437-7178
Contact Various DJ's

WAER 88.3fm (Syracuse, NY) www.waer.org
Request Line: (315) 443-4021
Contact Various DJ's

***WebRADIO Play

LiquidSoulRadio.com
Amplified-online.co.uk
www.skyjazz.com
Live365.com/stations/radiopellenera (Italy)
IM4Radio.com
4dasoul.com
Caferadio.org
SolarRadio.com (UK)
WarpRadio.com
WVKR.org
SwissGroove.ch (Switzerland)
Rhythmflow.net/Radio
LiquidSoulElements.com
Streaming.wrfg.org
CuadernosdeJazz.com (Portugal)
www.KTSTFM.com
web.tiscali.it/RadioRock (Italy)
MyOwnCafe.org
Live365.com/stations/funkjunkiez
Sky channel 0129 (UK)
RCF.fr (France and Belgium)
WCLK.com
Radio42.com (Germany)
TheSoulOfAmsterdam.com

Tunes getting continual radio play - "You Move Me", "Good Ole' Days", "Falling Flower", "It's In Your Hands", "Days Ahead", "Love Is Love", "For The Love", "Don't Fall Too Fast", "Courting A Fantasy"

Retail Distribution: Retail Price $15. CDBaby.com, TowerRecords.com, BestBuy.com, Digital-DJs.com, Tower Records (Atlanta), Moods Music (Atlanta), EarWax Records (Atlanta), Pulp On The Hill (D.C.)

Digital Distribution incl.: iTunes.com; Launchcast.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

"Pat Metheny meets Chaka Khan", this is what critics are saying about this dynamic duo, Daysahead. Guitarist/Producer Steve Wright and Vocalist/Lyricist Kim Leachman, produces music that is what Contemporary Jazz magazine feels is "high energy music with lyrical substance that 'rocks', embroidered with the fabric of jazz, soul and occasional Latin influences". They hail Daysahead as "Tuck and Patty reincarnated in a quartet setting". SoulTracks magazine agrees and concludes "They may, at first blush, look like a Tuck and Patty-type act, but one listen their eclectic, engaging brand of music shows that this is an original group bursting with its own distinct style that incorporates many elements of rock, jazz and R and B."

When labels don't seem to quite fit in a world where labels are deemed so necessary and critical to creating an awareness, some artists tend to take matters in their own hands to help you understand them a little better. JAZZ-N-ROLL is a label Daysahead created to capture what their music is about. Based in Atlanta, GA "Daysahead is another impressive young act making its mark on that city’s vibrant musical scene." SoulTracks further states that "Daysahead comes out of the box as a talented, original young group...the band is top notch and keeps (Turning Point) sounding immediate...it is a great showcase for their expansive vision of popular music."

Daysahead's debut album Turning Point features the "compelling voice of Kim Leachman and energetic artistry of guitarist Steve Wright, and is the perfect marriage artistically" (Contemporary Jazz). The group was born out of the partnership between Steve Wright (Richmond, VA) and Kim Leachman (Baton Rouge, LA). While performing as electric guitarist and background singer, respectively, for Aezra Records recording artist Crea, Steve approached Kim to co-write and demo a few of his songs. After one writing session together the duo knew they were on to something special. Steve called up a few musician friends, and the group immediately began recording Turning Point. Since it's release in September 2005, Turning Point has received critical acclaim.

Jazz-not-Jazz magazine says "Daysahead is a band that has truly developed their own sound that sets them apart from the rest of the new/neo/nu soul movement...it is this combination of musical instruments and Daysahead's own blend of soul, funk and rock that is a welcome breath of fresh air in today's music scene...the strength of guitar, bass, drums and impressive vocals offer a distinctive sound that’s left field from the soul mainstream in a refreshing way...". JAZZ-N-ROLL you say! With their debut cd, Turning Point "...revives the spirit of the golden era of R and B/Soul bands of the 70's and 80's...Daysahead is a band with a sound that’s both contemporary and timeless" (RHYTHMflow magazine).

Relying solely on the strength of guitar (acoustic and electric), bass and drums, and vocals, one would never realize the absence of keys on 9 of 10 tunes on Turning Point. The duo's first collaboration, the opening track "You Move Me", is an up-tempo love song with sultry vocals on the verse that are sexy and melodic followed up by a world beat chorus. According to Contemporary Jazz magazine "'You Move Me' explodes with raw detailed vigor and style you rarely hear in music these days. Wright's guitar licks thrust forward defining his purpose as a soloist, therefore, his voice merges seamlessly complimenting the talented vocalesse of Kim Leachman." On "Love Is Love" the duo "playfully engage in lyrical and instrumental foreplay. This track, (very much like "You Move Me"), has strong crossover appeal" (Contemporary Jazz). Rock and Latin influenced "Falling Flower" is energetic and passionate. Advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility best describes this tune that's filled with amazing guitar and vocal scat lines, grooving bass and explosive drums. Slated as having a cool Santana vibe, this song highlights Bassist Jeff Smith and Drummer James Barrett as they weave in and out by attacking their instruments skillfully with reverie. "Days Ahead", the only instrumental on the album, has a nice 6/8 reggae feel showcasing Steve Wright on guitar. His very expressive guitar melody lines are modal and fluent.

Other album highlights emphasing Daysahead's ability to set a thematic tone, without being preachy, are the soulful and encouraging "Take Your Time" and the socially consious "It's In Your Hands" with its swinging uptempo groove. According to Funkjunkiez magazine, "It's In Your Hands" is "...an almost retro jazz-funk groove that does remind you of The Brand New Heavies, with its heavy rolling b-line and trippy vocals and divine breaks". "Courting A Fantasy", a beautiful duet between Steve and Kim, offers jazz authenticity with guitar and vocals. "Leachman's honesty and maturity as a vocalist is the canvas for her graceful lyrics as they ooze out slow and easy with conviction",