Looking for a holiday present for that special music fan? You're not alone. The good news is, there's still time and also plenty of good stuff out there to give as gifts, some of which you might not even have thought of, like DVDs, concert tickets and books. So with a few gift ideas for you, here's the About.com 2011 holiday gift guide for R&B/Soul music fans.
Two and a half months after Jill Scott released her fourth studio album, The Light of the Sun in June 2011, she came back with another project, The Original Jill Scott: from the Vault, Vol. 1, which was released in the U.S. on Aug. 30, 2011. Unlike The Light of the Sun, The Vault is a compilation of leftover, years-old material that had been held onto by her previous label, Hidden Beach Recordings. The ironic thing is that the older songs, on the whole, are actually superior to the newer, supposedly fresher material on Light. If buying this as a gift, go with the deluxe version of the CD, which comes with another couple of songs and a music video.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2012 Essence Music Festival, which takes place July 4 weekend (July 6-8) in New Orleans. The Essence Fest is the music festival for R&B and Soul music fans. The lineup hasn't been announced, but every year the show attacts the biggest and brightest stars in the industry. Past performers have included Mary J. Blige, Usher, Beyonce, John Legend and many others. Single day tickets range from $40 to $250. For full details, click the link below.
Though technically not an R&B release, Adele's latest concert DVD, which was released Nov. 29, 2011 in the U.S., features the British songbird singing many of her R&B and Soul-tinged hits, including "Rolling in the Deep" and "Rumour Has It" live at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sept. 22, 2011. The package includes both a 17-song CD and 90-minute DVD (or Blu-Ray) of the show.
Back in 2008, Raphael Saadiq captured lightning in a bottle with his brilliant album of Motown-inspired songs, The Way I See It. But when the word leaked that his next album, Stone Rollin', would reach back even further in time to the music of the 1950s and early '60s, an obvious question arose: could lightning strike twice? And the short answer is yes. Stone Rollin', which was released in the U.S. on May 10, 2011, is another brilliant album of all-new retro-Soul songs by Saadiq.
This book, written by Detroit music journalist Susan Whitall with Kevin John and published in June 2011 by Titan Books, tells the story of largely forgotten R&B, Soul and blues singer Little Willie John. Before he died in prison at the age of 30, Little Willie influenced many artists who would go on to become household names, including Motown legends Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, and Marvin Gaye. The book's foreword was written by Stevie Wonder.
6. Mary J. Blige's "My Life II ... The Journey Continues (Act I)"
With an elaborate title like My Life II ... the Journey Continues (Act I), you'd naturally expect the latest album from Mary J. Blige to be a updated version of her 1994 sophomore album, My Life. And it is and isn't at the same time. It's true that the newer album, which was released in the U.S. on Nov. 22, 2011, shares some of the same traits and themes as the original, including a brilliant mixture of hip-hop, R&B and Soul, as well lyrics that explore painful relationships.
7. Beyonce's "Live at Roseland" DVD
This DVD, which dropped Nov. 29, 2011, is the latest in a seemingly annual live video releases by Beyonce Knowles. It features her performing her best solo work as well as most of her Destiny's Child hits. It comes in both a standard edition and a deluxe edition, with the two-disc edition featuring an additional seven songs and special bonus footage.