In a recent interview with Texas Music Matters’ David Brown, Latasha Lee gave her opinion on why there’s so much attention being paid to vintage soul music these days. “People need music that’s healing,” she stated, and that certainly includes herself. Last year, Lee appeared on the hit singing competition show The X Factor, but her smooth voice unfortunately didn’t generate the headlines. During a performance, Lee forgot the words mid-song and left the stage in tears. It was a truly heartbreaking experience, but she’s all the wiser for it.
Now Lee is starting to get attention for her obvious skills instead of her flubs. She grew up listening to Etta James and Otis Redding in a particularly musical household in Corpus Christi, and she’s been singing (loudly, as her mother can attest) since she was old enough to walk. This past spring, she released her self-titled debut, featuring her band the BlackTies. The album combines the grittiness of Lee’s live performance with a deft throwback touch. Producer Salih Williams–who arguably put Houston rap on the map with his signature sound–lends a subtle hand, coating the album in a modern sheen without stepping on the toes of Lee or her crack backing band. “Can’t Walk Away” is a soul ballad of the highest order, capable of breaking your heart or healing it, depending on your circumstances. In Lee’s case, no singing competitions will be necessary anymore: she’s the real deal.
You can catch Latasha Lee & the BlackTies at ACL Fest 2013, where they’ll be performing Friday, October 4 on the Austin Ventures Stage at 11:20 AM.