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Shelley Nicole’s blaKbushe, She Who Bleeds, Brooklyn NY, BRC

Shelley Nicole’s blaKbushe, She Who Bleeds, Brooklyn NY, BRC


Shelley Nicole’s blaKbushe

Shelley Nicole

Obviously I have seen this band perform live before. I think that they are off the hook Best description I can come up with for "Shelley Nicole’s blaKbushe" that yall could relate to is that they sound something like a combination of Living Colour and LaBelle/Betty Davis.

In fact, you can check out a sample of "Shelley Nicole’s blaKbushe" on Radio at the following link…

It’s the third track on the set!

Now I don’t want yall to think that Shelley is just a "pretty face with a bass" either. She was also one of the co-promoters of the show that we did at BB King’s in NYC a few years ago and at that show, I also had the distinct pleasure of introducing her onstage along with the BRC’s Darrell McNeill.

BOB D: "I have dealt with blaKbushe for most of my adult life, yet I have never heard what blaKbushe sounds like before…"

DARRELL MCNEILL: "Bob, stop being nasty and just introduce the band…"


As you travel the internet, please say hello to Shelley and give her all of the props in the world from Soul-Patrol.

(she’s good people)

–Bob Davis

BIOGRAPHY – Shelley Nicole’s blaKbushe

BIOGRAPHY - Shelley NicoleSo many artists today claim to be progressive, but Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe are the living, breathing embodiment. Shelley Nicole is equal parts vocalist, songwriter and bassist making blaKbüshe it’s own mash-up. Imagine Nona Hendryx meets Black Sabbath or Janis Joplin meets Grace Jones and there you will find the blaKbüshe experience. It is a blend best described by Shelley Nicole as SolaRoc; combining elements of rock, funk, soul and beyond.

Hailing from Newton, MA, Shelley Nicole began singing and playing piano at the age of five. Since her arrival on the New York music scene she’s made Brooklyn, NY home. Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe was formed out of nothing less than love in 1999. Since then the band has performed at hot spots all over New York City and the east coast including B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, The Blue Note, The Five Spot (Philadelphia) and Endenu (Atlanta).

blaKbüshe has been called reminiscent of the Soul/Pop recording group Labelle. Even Labelle member Sarah Dash agrees saying, "blaKbüshe is not to be overlooked. They are going places." Opening for Erykah Badu at the Tea Party in Brooklyn and recording with KRS-One confirms that she is on her destined path.

Before putting her band together, Shelley Nicole released "Being Me" (1998) on Imani/King Street Records. The song topped charts in London and received critical acclaim in New York and Europe’s dance music scene. Club DJs still spin "Being Me" today. Shelley Nicole is also the founder of Red Butterfly Music the label though which she released her debut album, she who bleeds….

Author and Associate Professor of Black Popular Culture at Duke University Mark Anthony Neal says, "On she who bleeds… Nicole created a vibrant synthesis of Rock and Jazz, which ultimately aimed to tweak the staid sensibilities of both mainstream America and the gatekeepers of African-American culture and identity." D-Rock-SOUL-Jah (WRFG 89.3 FM, Atlanta) says "[Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe] is definitely the future of Soul music. Her sound is ‘progressive’ rock n’ soul…giving birth to a Nu Breed of conscious artists." Get ready to experience a musical revolution. Get ready for blaKbüshe!

Concert Review: Shelley Nichole’s blaKbushe & Natural Selection in Philly

Shelley In PhillyThis is a short review of an all too short live appearance by Soul-Patrol’s own Shelley Nichole’s blaKbüshe in Philly at Maggie’s Pub.

Once again, my apologies to Rickey Vincent for the format of this review..


Here is the set list from the show as best I can recall…

* Long Train Running (Cover version of the Doobie Brothers FUNK classic)

* No Lye

* Spiritual Revolution

* America’s Secret

* Long Train Running (This time a a STANK Blues rendition of the Doobie Brothers Classic)

Shelley’s vocals were in fine form on this evening and the band brought home enough FUNK to even make the "yuppies" tap their toes for a little bit 🙂

Jerome Jordan on guitar was outstanding when he did a bottleneck slide solo during the closing song….

The show starts at about 10:15 pm and ran for about 45 min.

We also got to meet another group from Philly called Natural Selection, who started off with some serious Jazz-Funk, featuring a STANK NASTY singer on Cello and vocals.

I wasn’t able to stay for much of Natural Selection’s performance, however I did get their CD and I’ll be reviewing it later.

Here is what Soul-Patroller, brotha "T-Mad" (who got there late, so we missed each other….lol) wrote in to me about Natural Selection’s performance:

"It took too long for me to find parking so I missed most of blakBushe’s performance. I did get to enjoy Natural Selection’s performance though – they were smoking. The back in the day disco medley was funny and the cellist was funky – you can tell she loves playing the cello….:"

Natural Selection doesn’t have a website just yet, but when they get one we will tell you about it…


Maggie’s Pub is a small but funky little joint located on Sampson Street between 12th and 13th right where Center City Philadelphia meets Rittenhouse Square.

This is a "yuppie zone" that I usually refer to as "Philly’s Silk Stocking District".

Nice crowd of well behaved and cordial yuppies for the most part, with the exception of what

I have referred to in the past as…




There are about 50 people in the joint!


This was a good example of artists on the independent tip who are making it work on the real side. Obviously I am slightly biased in my view of this having worked with Shelley Nichole on various projects in the past, but it’s always good to see some real unity among folks.

Some of the folks in the crowd…




Shelley In Philly

Are people that I know are working very hard to preserve the integrity of both their music and their commitment to the extension of our culture and they put on a display of such that has little to do with music, but has everything to do with the future. It’s a well-oiled, organized and efficient cadre of artists, promoters, hairdressers, salespeople and fans that all come together to try and create a music/cultural scene that is un-corrupted by the music industry. They worked the crowd before, during and after the show, gathering up email addresses, selling CD’s and exchanging information with a crowd that on the surface they would seem to have little in common with.

Quoting myself (once again)…

I just wanted to let all of you "OL’ FUNKATEERS" out there know that…


"Some of them actually paid attention to the messages and the music of the 1970’s and REJECTED much of what the world was serving up to them during the 1980’s and 1990’s. These folks have not only caught that "universal groove" called "FUNK", but they have adopted it as a lifestyle that goes FAR BEYOND MUSIC.

They have incorporated that "universal groove" into a lifestyle where "jazz, blues, rock, soul, gospel and hip hop" all coexist/blend with each other in "perfect harmony"

Of special note is the fact that apparently Natural Selection provided much support and love for Shelley Nichole’s blaKbüshe during their weekend in Philly, including a special performance at the home of one of their members and more.

Of course props were given onstage…

When I see things like this happening at a grass roots level it makes me smile.

UNITY is a rare and fragile thing.

When I see people working together in a pro-active manner to actually foster it, then it also becomes something that I want to help foster. Another example of this on display was the pleasant surprise of seeing Achuziam Maha as one of Shelley Nicole’s background singers.

Of course some of you will recall Achuziam Maha as being the lead singer of a group called

"Every And AnyThing",

whose concert appearance we reviewed in the Soul-Patrol Newsletter , last year:

It’s important that we do so.

We are beginning to emerge from a period of negativity in music that has manifested itself in the larger society. Emerging artists like Shelley Nichole’s blaKbüshe and Natural Selection (and there are many others, below the radar of KNEE-GRO radio ) are in fact the people who hold the key to the extension of OUR music and culture into the future.

Go out and support these artists when they appear in your city.

People ask me all of the time…


Well the answer to that question is often found in small big city nightclubs in under publicized appearances by folks with…




–Bob Davis

CD REVIEW – Shelley Nicole’s Blakbüshe – "She Who Bleeds…"

She Who Bleeds...This is a highly political album, but that is what I would expect from Shelley Nichole. She is not only an artist but also an activist on several different fronts including artist rights and human rights.

1. Who is blaKbushe (Intro) Nice spoken word intro by NYC DJ Supreme Ian Friday, making the obvious commentary about brotha’s and "Blakbhshe" 🙂

2. Scorpio Chile Starts out with a space age riff that sounds like a cut from 70’s funkmasters "Ripple", then turns into Led Zepplineque hard rockin groove. The song is about birth and life. At the end of the song there is a spoken word part that talks about "traveling to a land where your mind can be free". I suspect that it’s autobiographical?

3. Spiritual Revolution Starts out with "sitar like sounds" reminiscent of a "phunky Ravi Shankar", then the percussion kicks in with some jazz type congas/bongos and some alien twilight zone music. The vocals are cool and the intent is clear. Shelley wants us to join the "spiritual revolution" and lead ourselves to "self determination". This song would not be out of place on an early 70’s EWF album.

4. Americas’ Secret Most of you here have already heard this song. The "dirty little secret" of course is the oppressive society that flourishes in the United States. The music is of course in a serious funk/rock groove and the vocal harmonies are inspired by LaBelle. This song would be a hit record if it were ever to be played on eMpTyV.

5. 3/4 Sh*t SUPER FUNKY JOINT (period..end of story). It has a serious instrumental groove that if thrown in the middle of a club set would keep the crowd grooving or wouldn’t be out of place on a 70’s blaxploitation soundtrack. The vocals come in and are in keeping with the general theme of dealing with issues, in this case health issues such as HIV and Smallpox..

6. Cheatin’ Baby Daddy Starts out with a funky "Living Colouresque" bassline and then the vocals kick in with a serious feminist message (as you could probably guess from the It’s basicly about a ‘Baby Daddy’ who hasn’t been living up to his responsibilities.

7. Release Punk rock/speed metal beginning, that makes me think of the Ramones?

8. Getting Yo Head Did (Skit) As the title indicates this is s skit. It takes place in a beauty parlor and you hear the usual assortment of NYC multi ethnic female voices chattering about things that females chatter about inside of hair salons? In any case this seemingly meaningless vocal chatter serves as a perfect intro to the next song.

9. No Lye "Hair Issues" have been a constant topic of conversation in the Black community for as long as I can remember. Back in the 1970’s hairstyles (ex: straight vs. natural) defined in some respect what your persona, political and otherwise was. In this song Shelly Nichole makes a stand on this issue. She objects to getting her hair fried, "chemicalized" or anything else "ized" in the "all amerikan pursuit of beauty". The occasional horse sounds in the background are a commentary on those who choose to purchase "fake hair". The song ends with a sort of ode to WAR with the words "Slippin Into Process."

10. Love Triangle: Self, Family, Goddess/God

11. Real to Me

12. Dance (Flying Home) Overall this is a strong debut CD from an artist that we are likely to hear some big things from over time.

The CD contains some strong music and some strong ideas that are designed to make you think about the world around you and your place in it.

–Bob Davis

–Bob Davis (7/2006)

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