July is shaping up to be a great month for Leela James. She’ll be performing at the 20th Essence Music Festival, joining the cast of TVOne’s “R&B Divas: LA” and releasing her highly anticipated album, “Fall for You.”
The album is her first since 2012’s Loving You More…In the Spirit of Etta James and first collection of new material since 2010’s My Soul.
The Anthony Hamilton assisted “Say That” was the first single, but Ms. James released the title track and accompanying video yesterday, a ballad that packs vulnerability, passion and introspection into a self-produced track filled with the power of her vocals.
To prepare fans for the album, Leela is playing spot dates on Ledisi’s “The Truth” tour, reacquainting fans with her music and introducing unsuspecting concertgoers not only to her catalog, but the passion behind her particular brand of soul and blues. It’s that passion that’s fueled Fall for You and conjures up the spirit of her 2005 debut A Change is Gonna Come. This new album is wrapped around the expression of the extremes she’ll go to for love and for music; her sound is an extension of her, her belief that God placed in her a voice to touch people and so she works hard to ensure that she gives the most each time she steps into the studio and even more on stage. When she took the stage of Washington D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall last Saturday night, the spirit of a jook joint was evoked as she tore through a too-short set that featured staples like “Music” and “Good Time”, “Who’s Gonna Love You More” and “Say That” (minus Anthony Hamilton), before the exclamation point of the timeless “My Joy” left the audience breathless, but wanting more.