A Sunshine State of Mind

by The Soul of John Black

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about

John A. Bigham's innovative soul-roots outfit The Soul of John Black presents A Sunshine State of Mind, a compilation of upbeat tunes that embody the "essence of summer".

The inspiration for A Sunshine State of Mind came to JB during the winter in his home town of Los Angeles. "Although the sun shines all the time here, the mood brightens even more once the summer months arrive," he explained. "I wanted to write songs that would keep that attitude going year-round." Each of the tracks in the album has a lighthearted feeling, complimenting the upbeat theme of the overall collection.

From "Higher Power", a soulful anthem with an uplifting message of community and interrelatedness, to the driving groove of "East LA Lady", Bigham displays the unique stylistic fusion that has won praise from Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and others.

"Lemonade" combines California sunshine with blues, funk and a second line beat that comes right out of New Orleans, while "Johnny Bear (Give It To Me)" is an uptempo blues romp that JB conceived as a modern-day tribute to the suggestive lyrics of classic bluesmen. "They couldn’t come out and say it, but you knew what they were talking about," he explains.

"Too Much Tequila" is an easygoing jam that could be considered a Jimmy Buffett-style "Margaritaville" for the new millennium, and "Lenny Love Cha Cha" is a remember-when tribute to classic Lenny Kravitz grooves that also nods to the golden days at the start of a new relationship.

On the album closer "Summertime Thang," JB follows his heart and embraces the soul portion of The Soul of John Black. He credits his family’s appreciation of soul music for his depth of feeling in bringing out his soulful voice. "I've been listening to more soul recently," Bigham said. "I never chose the songs. They chose me."

BeScene praised the songs as "cuts tailor-made for these popsicle-melting months" while Blinded By Sound enthusiastically admitted that "I can't get these songs out of my head and don't really want to."

Originally from Chicago, JB draws from the soul-filled South Side’s strong blues background and from the melting pot of styles that make up the Los Angeles scene, which he has been part of since the 1980’s. His musical resume is equal parts impressive and diverse, including work with Miles Davis, Dr. Dré, Nikka Costa, and Eminem, as well as an eight-year tenure playing guitar and keyboards in pioneering ska-funk-punk band Fishbone.

credits

released 04 June 2013

Written, performed, and produced by John A. Bigham aka John Black
All songs by John A. Bigham (Big Slamm Music / ASCAP)

all sounds by John A. Bigham
with
Oliver Charles - live drums (“Magic Woman”, “Beautiful Day”, “East LA Lady”, “Higher Power”, and “Too Much Tequila”)
Jacob Luttrell - electric piano (“East LA Lady”, “Lenny Love Cha Cha”, and “Too Much Tequila”)
Chris Joyner - electric piano (“Lenny Love Cha Cha”)
Andre Holmes – bass (“Shake it Off”)
Jonell Kennedy - background vocals (“Higher Power”)

Recorded at Tiger One Studio, Los Angeles
Mixed by Richard "Segal" Huredia at Hollywood Music City Studios, Los Angeles
Mastered by Robert Hadley

photo by Pep Williams
graphic design by Brooke Barnett

JB says: Thanks to everyone who participated in this project. Special thanks to the most high for bringing the sunshine…

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Track Name: Magic Woman
chorus-
oh she's a magic woman
called the sun
yeah she came runnin'
to shine on my good side
and take the clouds away

verse-
oh she's a magic woman
broke the clouds
and brought back the sun again
to shine on my good side
and take my blues away
i learned how to love again
i took to wing
and i flew to the sun again
just open my arms
and watched me float away

chorus-
oh she's a magic woman
called the sun
yeah she came runnin'
to shine on my good side
and take the clouds away

oh she's a magic woman
and i know that
i won't have to run again
she shined on my good side
and glaciers just melted away
i learned how to love again
and i flew on the wings of a dove again
just open my heart
and watched me float away

chorus-
oh she's a magic woman
called the sun
yeah she came runnin'
to shine on my good side
and take the clouds away

shine shine shine shine
down on me
oh my soul
i never felt so free
sometimes when you shine
you take my blues away
i was lost out in the woods
i never thought that i ever could
your soul made me happy
and you took my blues away

chorus-
oh she's a magic woman
called the sun
yeah she came runnin'
to shine on my good side
and take the clouds away
Track Name: Beautiful Day
such a beautiful day
and i want to spend it with you
such a beautiful day
ain't nothing that i'd rather do

verse-
darling what you doing
the day is green and blue and
let's take a walk in the park
one that's made for two
only me and you
you know that special place
i'd like to go
whisper to a flower sweetly
now we're one with mother nature

chorus-
such a beautiful day
and i want to spend it with you
such a beautiful day
ain't nothing i'd rather do

2nd verse
when the sun is rising
we walking ocean side and
leaving our foot prints in the sand
anywhere together
i think it's perfect weather
for trying something old school
like holding hands
underneath the sweet magnolia
now we're one with mother nature

chorus-
such a beautiful day
and i want to spend it with you
such a beautiful day
ain't nothing that i'd rather do
Track Name: East LA Lady
i took the freeway
to where i like to play
on the other side of town
they got some pretty little spicy things
you know they never let me down
sippin' on corazón and i'm in the zone
you know i never felt so good
she sangin' hey lover if you wanna dance
then make your way over to my hood oh

chorus--
east la, andale'! i'm on my way
to the other side of town
i wanna dance with you chica
cause you know how to shake it down, oh!

tejano mama oh you makin' me wanna
try something that i never tried
she said, i wanna take you to a special place
and hopped up on my electra glide
she talkin',
you got some cheddar
that could make it even better
i'll show you things that you won't forget
i said, tell me your name one more time
she said,
they call me little red corvette, oohhh!!

east la, andale'! i'm on my way
to the other side of town
i wanna dance with you chica
cause you know how to shake it down, oh!

she shimmy shimmy and
she shake shake shake
until i just couldn't take no more
news flash!
they found your boy
he was laying half dead
still on that dancing floor, ooh!

east la, andale'! i'm on my way
to the other side of town
i wanna dance with you chica
cause you know how to shake it down, oh!

east la, andale'! i'm on my way
to the other side of town
i wanna dance with you chica
cause you know how to shake it down, oh!
Track Name: Higher Power
i was makin' plans
when the real life hit me
i woke up and found a message waitin' for me
on the table by the clock and the humidifier
i smoke too much these days
i need to get a little higher

i read some books and
i've been tryin' to find myself within
you know we get like that
when good times start to runnin' thin
first thing you wanna do is try to change your life
find that higher power get back to the real light

2 x
we vibrate we resonate
with a higher power

i was feelin' good
but didn't recognize the feelin'
it's been so long
i even thought that i was somewhere dreamin'
on a river by a tree and sitting in the shade
it don't take much to satisfy my restless heart these days

i read some books and
i've been tryin' to find myself within
you know it gets like that sometimes
when we just need a friend
someone to let you know it's still alright to cry
find that higher power get back to the real light

3 x
we vibrate we resonate
with a higher power
Track Name: Johnny Bear (Give It To Me)
i wanna love you baby
but you won't let me take a chance
i wanna stir your gravy
all you got to do is ask
if you're hot blooded for a pillow babe
you can't satisfy your cat
if you wanna hug a sweet johnny bear
i have to volunteer for that

give it to me hey hey hey hey hey
give it to me hey hey hey hey hey

gonna get tired of that rabbit babe
runnin' all under your chin
i'm gonna let you try it babe
i bet you be my new best friend
i you're hot blooded for a pillow babe
you gonna want a little more
it's just a house call for the doctor babe
and i'll be knockin' at your door

give it to me hey hey hey hey hey
give it to me hey hey hey hey hey

i wanna hug you baby
and ain't nothing wrong with that
i'm a chiropractic genius babe
i got to straighten out your back
if your hot blooded for a pillow babe
i bet you'll be up all night
i don't care how much you wiggle
a pillow can't treat you right

give it to me hey hey hey hey hey
i'll be your johnny baby, johnny bear
Track Name: Lenny Love Cha Cha
intro-
you remember we used to listen to lenny kravitz?
he had a few jams like this.
a little cha cha vibe, nice for the lovers

do you remember the time when
everything was fine
and we used to go out at night
a few drinks with friends
and we're back on the floor again
dancing under the moonlight
well, this is a dedication
to all those occasions when we had a good time
oh! sangria wine
it was always cool to hang
do a cha cha salsa thang
we could dance with the moon
and play our favorite tunes

and do the lenny lenny love cha cha
all night long
lenny lenny love cha cha

and do the lenny lenny love cha cha
all night long
lenny lenny love cha cha

now do you remember when
i used to pick you up
and you wouldn't let me even take
one picture of your sweet sexy body
i had to put it in my mind
you used to sing that song
those were some good times
well, i remember the time i stood in line for the lenny
but when i got to the front
no tickets, not any
my man called on the phone said...
i got two tickets for you homes
you take your girl to the show
i know you wanna go

and do the lenny lenny love cha cha
all night long
lenny lenny love cha cha

do the lenny lenny love cha cha
all night long
lenny lenny love cha cha

goof it now
like an ocean breeze you and me
don't it feel good, don't it feel real good now
yes it do, yes it do
cha cha cha cha cha, che cha cha cha
cha cha cha cha cha, che cha cha cha
Track Name: Too Much Tequila
too much tequila
and i don't think i can make it home
i gave my keys to rosita
and she said she would make sure
that i got back home

there's a real thin line
between love and mistakes
and i make lots of both all the time
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
sorry if i'm crossing the line

sometimes i tend to wear my feelings
so i'm rolling up my sleeves with a grin
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
drinkin' with the champion
she knock me out again oh!

too much tequila
and i don't think i can make it home
i gave my keys to rosita
and she said she would make sure
that i got back home

i should have kept my cool
not acting like a fool
sorry but it happens sometimes
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
lickin' salt and squeezin' the lime

sometimes i'm dealing
and i'm feelin' pretty good
it's so nice to see a real live friend
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
drinkin' with the champion
she knock me out again, oh!

too much tequila
and i don't think i can make it home
i gave my keys to rosita
and she said she would make sure
that i got back home
Track Name: Shake It Off
shake shake off that voodoo
shake shake off that voodoo

we've been talkin' bout sunshine
but we ain't said nothing bout this rain
for every drop of that goodness
you know there's gonna be
a little pain
creepin' up your neck
and down your iliac
ooh you were cool
you were made in the shade
until you got something on your back
you gotta

chorus -
shake shake off that voodoo
shake shake off that voodoo

we've been talkin' bout sunshine
but we ain't said nothing bout this night
she's the one who's takes over
when you turn out all the lights
creepin' up your neck
and down your iliac
ooh you was cool
you were made in the shade
until you got something on your back
you gotta
Track Name: Lemonade
chorus-
i got a lemon tree in my backyard baby
pickin' lemons all day long
i got a lemon tree in my backyard baby
pickin' lemons all day long
and then i squeeze em' all night
oh! lemonade! all night long

verse -
oh i like the way you shake that thang
whip it up real good
got lemon meringue?
squeeze a little bit
in ya ice tea glass
drink it down slow
don't you move too fast

chorus-

2nd verse-
do i have to tell you
you should already know
the best fruit is at the bottom
come on let's go
get down off the ladder
take a look at these
ain't even gotta peel
just cut and squeeze
Track Name: Summertime Thang
verse-
would you mind if we turn up the heat
make it feel like june
in the middle of spring
i'm wondering can we have
a summer time thang
we got cozy in the winter time
so intertwined
but summer you get so free
and i'm wondering
can we have
a summer time thang

chorus-
oh! we made love
thru the winter
then winter turned to spring
and i'm wondering
can we have
a summer time thang x2

verse-
can you see the splendor on the green
it's just a natural thing
two people coming together
i'm wondering
can we have a summer time thang
and i knew it when i saw you
you were everything in my
summer time dream
and i'm wondering
can we have
a summer time thang

chorus-
Track Name: Too Much Tequila - JB remix
too much tequila
and i don't think i can make it home
i gave my keys to rosita
and she said she would make sure
that i got back home

there's a real thin line
between love and mistakes
and i make lots of both all the time
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
sorry if i'm crossing the line

sometimes i tend to wear my feelings
so i'm rolling up my sleeves with a grin
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
drinkin' with the champion
she knock me out again oh!

too much tequila
and i don't think i can make it home
i gave my keys to rosita
and she said she would make sure
that i got back home

i should have kept my cool
not acting like a fool
sorry but it happens sometimes
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
lickin' salt and squeezin' the lime

sometimes i'm dealing
and i'm feelin' pretty good
it's so nice to see a real live friend
i think i know my limit
i just got caught up in it
drinkin' with the champion
she knock me out again, oh!

too much tequila
and i don't think i can make it home
i gave my keys to rosita
and she said she would make sure
that i got back home