For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Second Listen Sunday: David Peaston, Introducing
The last great, David Peaston, was no stranger to the music industry as his mother, Martha Bass, and sister, Fontella Bass, were already well-known in gospel music. Peaston broke into the music industry after winning several competitions on the iconic television n series Showtime at the Apollo.
The robust singer won the audience with a powerful rendition of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child. Geffen Records signed him and began work on his debut album, Introducing…David Peaston, which hit record stores in early 1989. “Two Wrongs (Don’t Make It Right)” was the lead single and opening track, which featured the writing and production talents of David Jones and Ralph Hawkins, Jr. Rehearing the song the New Jack swing is evident as Gene Griffin and Teddy Riley mixed the song.
Up next, Peaston takes us to church on his cover of “God Bless The Child,” which is arranged by Michael J. Powell and features the legendary Fred Hammond on bass. Peaston quickly makes the song his own and makes Ms. Holiday proud. The final single from the album was another cover. This time, Peaston delved into the book of Mr. Eddie Kendericks. My introduction to David Peaston arrived courtesy of said song.
As you know, I spent time living in England while serving in the Air Force. One night my DJ mentor were having a friendly battle of name that tune, and “Can I” stumped me. I immediately went to Amazon and purchased the CD. Paul Riser produced this song, and Peaston outdoes Kendricks.
His range is remarkable, and he can move seamlessly between registers. His low range is particularly suited to emotional and slow-tempo tracks, while his higher register has a unique, soulful quality that adds depth to his music. His vocal control is superb, allowing him to hit powerful notes and draw out subtle nuances.
The chemistry with Riser continues with “Take Me Now,” and “Tonight,” both of which elude sensuality while avoiding crass lyrics. Riser also gives Peaston a solid album track in “We’re All In This Together.” The remaining tracks, “Eyes of Love,” “Don’t Say No,” and Thank You For The Moment are all solid album tracks.
Peaston would release one more album a year later, featuring writing from a disgraced R&B icon. Sadly he was diagnosed with diabetes in 1994, which ended his recording career. Peaston never got the recognition he deserved. If Peaston had more substantial producers like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis or Babyface, one can only wonder how much of an impact he would have on the industry.
Nevertheless, this is a solid debut worth a listen.
Final Grade: B+
Introducing…David Peaston is available on all streaming platforms
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.