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"Golden Lady Review"

I try to learn something about an artist before writing a review. Most of these performers aren't exactly household names. That means I'm often coming into this thing blind, so I feel that I owe it to these artists to try to find learn something about their resume. I power up the computer and go where Google leads me. Mainly, the Internet leads me to a myspace page, Amazon or CD Baby. My search for information about Detroit based soul singer Jstokes lead me to You Tube. There was some live performance footage of Jstokes there. In one of them, an emcee introduced the singer by comparing her sound to Chrisette Michele.
I caught the connection on my first listen, and the similarities are strongest on some of Golden Lady's mid-tempo and slow songs, such as "Never Go Away." Still, the best moments on Golden Lady come when Jstokes showcases her individuality as well as her ability to perform styles ranging from jazz, blues and modern R&B/hip hop fusion.

Jstokes takes listeners on that tour in Golden Lady's first eight songs. The soul jam "The Rain" shows that Jstokes is a student Detroit music history with a song that covers the same musical territory as the Dramatics' "In The Rain." Of course, giving the album the same title as the classic Stevie Wonder song also shows that Jstokes knows and honors her Motown history, but I digress. In the song, Jstokes wonders why she allows her lover to cavalierly toy with her emotions. And like the Dramatics, Jstokes wants to use a rain shower to cover her tears.

Jstokes flips the script on the bluesy, slow drag tune "Good Man," in which she extols the virtue of hard working brothers and admonishes the sisters to appreciate the good guys. The singer gets assertive on the hip hop/soul cut "All Night Long." The next song, "Don't Say A Word," which is another hip-hop influenced tune, is one Golden Lady's highlights. The song propelled by a deep bass and programmed drum beat finds Jstokes telling her lover that his many explanations for his infidelity have fallen flat. It features one of those catchy lyrics and a radio friendly hook: "Don't say a word (I already know)/About her (that's why you're never around/Don't talk to me/I ain't missin' you no more/Cryin' here no more/Stayin' here."

The next two tracks, the torch song "This Kind of Blue," and "In Love With U," both show that Jstokes can more than hold her own as a jazz singer.

That kind of musical diversity means that Golden Lady is at its best during those first eight songs. There are some good moments in the album's second half with the soul jam "Love Me or Don't" and the sassy "Where Were U" being standouts. However, the lack of daring of variety makes the album's second half less interesting. But even though Golden Lady bogs down toward the end, this is still a solid effort in which Jstokes asserts her musical individuality.

By Howard Dukes

- Soul Tracks


Jstokes- Golden Lady 2007



In the city of Detroit, a place that has been historically known for producing new music and talent, it seems only right that Jstokes would be born and raised there, indulging in all that the city has to offer. If the sultry and sassy sounds of Chrisette Michelle could be mixed with the raw and authoritative grooves of Alicia Keys, somewhere in the middle you would find Jstokes.

Jstokes has been singing pretty much her entire life. Getting her start in the church at the mere age of six, music has continued to play a major role throughout her life. Looking for various opportunities to display her talents, Jstokes is no stranger to the stage. Whether it be playing the violin, performing at various venues, such as Bert’s Warehouse, Oslo, club 621 and private events, she has always been received warmly and enthusiastically. Many fans have said that it was only a matter of time before this songstress would get the opportunity to share her voice with the world.

Wanting to expand her territory in the music world, Jstokes set out to complete her self-written, independent music project, "Golden Lady". Jstokes has been writing music since she was a young teenager. She draws much of her inspiration for her lyrics from everyday life. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, many can relate to the heartfelt message in her music. “Golden Lady” is filled with a compilation of soulful R&B that will keep your head bobbing, and little bit of jazz to mellow things out. The sun is shining brightly on this golden lady, and there will surely be more to come!

Recent Appearances:
Final Four 2009--Detroit, MI
Greektown Casino--Detroit, MI 2009
Arts, Beats & Eats Festival--Pontiac, MI 2008
Dalley in the Alley Festival-- Detroit, MI 2008

She’s talented, she’s beautiful, she’s intelligent, and she can SING…
-Artist First World Radio Network