We are one week away from the monumentally historic and exciting day when President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama will take the oath of office and become the 44th President of the United States. After all the excitement has quieted, it will be time to get down to business and pave a new road out of some of the worst times our country has seen.

I am fortunate (or unfortunate depending on how you look at it!) to live in the Washington, D.C. area and am preparing to attend several events over the next week. As you can imagine, the options are overwhelming. However, I tend to gravitate towards events with a progressive crowd and of course, great music. If you plan to be in the area, you can find some of my recommendations here.

One of the highlights of the weekend will be attending my first concert of the year on Sunday where one of my favorite underrated male soul singers will perform.

James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, rest his soul.

Tom Joyner is the hardest working man in radio.

Let it be known that Eric Roberson is the hardest working independent artist in soul music.

He will be performing here in D.C. this Inauguration Weekend. Ironically, he was also the first artist I saw perform live in 2008 at a New Years Day show in Philadelphia. So, I thought there was no better B-Side artist to spotlight first.

Erro has been in the game for about 14 years. His first single, “The Moon” was released back in 1994. He had a deal with a major label but a full length album never materialized. After several other failed label deals and collaborations with artists like Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Musiq Soulchild, his debut album, “Esoteric” was finally released in 2001. He hasn’t looked back since.

After enjoying four albums and a live cd/dvd later (all released on his own label, Blue Erro Soul Entertainment) I anxiously await the release of his sixth album which I hope we’ll see sometime this year. I hear he recently told an Atlanta audience that he has fifty songs recorded. If it was up to me, he could just throw them all on there and release it stat!

Meanwhile, his last release, “Left,” continues to be in constant rotation. I consider it his best album to date. So if I manage to turn you into an instant Erro stan as a result of this post and you want to rush out and collect all of his albums, I would start with that one and work your way back.

Obviously, one of the major things that I look for in artists I support is whether they are merely a singer or an all around entertainer. Anyone can buy studio time and record an album. To me, that does not make one a true artist. Can you bring those songs to life on stage? Can you connect with your audience, whether you’re performing in an intimate setting or in front of thousands?

Without a doubt, Eric Roberson is the consummate entertainer. Everytime I see this man perform is truly an experience. He doesn’t just sing, he performs. His charm and sense of humor keep you entertained during what can end up being a three-hour show. He can easily switch between rocking out to an uptempo song to the ”sexy part of the show,” or the music you can put on to “seal the deal.” His albums are full of both kinds of music and he does both equally well.

Enough telling you. Let me show you.

Erro performing, “Right or Wrong” from the album, “Left.”

Performing “Softest Lips” from the album, “Appetizer.”

If you still need convincing, check out video from a bit he does during his set where he solicits random words from the crowd and makes up a song right there on the spot. And it’s actually good!

To find out more about Eric Roberson and support his music, visit his official website and his Myspace Page. He also gives us a glimpse into the life of an independent artist on his blog.

Everyone enjoy your Inaugural Day celebrations! I leave you with one last song by Eric Roberson aptly titled, “Pave A New Road.” It was one of my top five inspirational songs of 2008 and I hope it does the same for you.

Pave a New Road

Danielle “Vivrant Thang” Hatchett is a freelance writer and blogger living life like it’s golden in the DC Metro area. She is the creator of Songs in the Key of Life, a music blog (with the occasional personal element) that spotlights underrated soul artists who “don’t be gettin no airplay.” She also maintains a companion You Tube channel where you can view footage of all of her concert adventures. Vivrant Thang has a regular spot here on Urban Thought Collective, and can be contacted at vivrantthang8@gmail.com.

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January 14th, 2009 at 10:34 am Ingrid says:

DC is gonna be bananas!
I love Eric R he is so soulful and real - love the videos!

January 14th, 2009 at 10:37 am Travis Utley says:

great blog I will definitely have to check this brother out

January 14th, 2009 at 10:38 am lolalove says:

nice sounds for the work place

January 14th, 2009 at 11:47 am Uni Tee says:

I still can’t believe this is happening!!

January 14th, 2009 at 7:25 pm thelma says:

this sounds like something i can really get into. send us video from the inaugration too!

January 14th, 2009 at 9:55 pm Krista Wills says:

I’m so happy someone finally wrote about this guy. He is really a special artists I can’t wait til he gets all the props he deserves

January 15th, 2009 at 2:13 am Lindsay Marshall says:

i’m feelin him

January 15th, 2009 at 7:33 am Nu yawk says:

my ladee might dig it

January 15th, 2009 at 8:09 am culturepop says:

you keep on bringing the music sister

January 15th, 2009 at 10:06 am Sheree says:

Look at you doing the thang. This was a great posting :) Love Erro.

January 15th, 2009 at 12:37 pm buttabrown says:

i can get into this for damn sure
i’m tired of this radio r&b if i hear one more baby baby i’m sorry i might scream

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