Affectionately known as “the little show that can,” Soul Factory’s monthly showcase featuring “Souled Out” live music at Drom features a variety of soul/neo-soul/R&B artists. For three months, I was the woman who couldn’t get her act together and get to a show – until Noel Gourdin hit the bill, that is.
Gourdin first got my attention back in 2008 when his debut album After My Time and it’s gospel-infused single “The River” put everyone on note that the R&B game had a new player in its midst. A guy whose Southern roots, church upbringing, and early exposure to soul music greats like Otis Redding seemed to have primed and prepared him for music industry success. With the 2011 release of Fresh: The Definition and its lead single “Beautiful,” Noel continued to gain fans and make a name for himself.
But it was a Love and Hip Hop Atlanta placement this past April – as part of Stevie J and Joseline’s tumultuous, love/hate storyline – that made my awareness and appreciation topple into obsession. Hearing “Don’t You Wanna” in the show for the first time, I thought it was actually R&B veteran Joe; it wasn’t until I checked the VH1 As Heard On site that I realized it was Noel who’d lit the wick in me that burns for good “groove to” music. Fast forward to this past Saturday’s Soul Factory showcase and I knew I had to be there, front and center, so I could see him perform “my song.” Right? Wrong.
— Noel Gourdin (@NoelGourdin) July 27, 2013