Classics: Barbara Tucker – I Get Lifted (The Underground Network Mix) (Strictly Rhythm)
‘I Get Lifted…’ A feeling I never forgot. And the first comin’ to mind whenever thinking’ of Barbara Tucker. The way I felt when she, along with Dawn Tallman, brought me to her church on the 126th Street on a Sunday morning. There, as a European, but also the only white guy at the place, I experienced what (spiritual) Love means. With the whole attendance warmly welcomin’ as one of their members. Quite an undescriptible impresion as a matter of fact. With the latter getting me to feel like something was missing when I got back to Paris.
Barbara and I met countless times in the Big Apple or in Miami during the Winter Conference. And I could tell she always amazed me with her dynamism and faith. It is to say how no one could probably better embody this song than her at the end. With long time partners Louie Vega and Kenny Dope comin’ up with the right ingredients to bring her performance to the next level. Meanwhile allowing her to score the second of her seven #1 singles on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts back in January 1995…
With a special mention to Kenny Bobien, Joi Cardwell and Eddie Stockley in the backing vocals. But also to late brother Boyd H. Jarvis on keyboards who sadly left us a few weeks ago, by the time writing these lines…
– The NYC House scene would most likely not be what it is without the unvaluable contribution of Barbara Tucker. An ambassador, an activist, but first and foremost a complete artist. From acting on various off-Broadway plays to choregraphing various artists. Beginning with Deee-Lite. But also C&C Music Factory. Not to mention Underground Network dancers.
As a singer, Ms Tucker got into her art with the help of her dad, Jayotis Washington. Himself a member of The Persuasions. Meanwhile Gospel has always been a part of her environment. With thanks to her mum who was a church minister. Thus being for much on her ability to bring songs to a rare level. Therefore, no wonder how she came to deliver countless Underground classics. With ‘I Get Lifted’, and ‘Beautiful People’ counting as the first comin’ to mind. Not to mention ‘Deep Inside’ which she recorded under the Hardrive guise along with Louie Vega and Kenny Dope.
But how to not think of the boiling ‘Stop Playing With My Mind’ along with Darryl D’Bonneau back in 2000? An essential Strictly Rhythm classic that featured Audrey Wheeler, Cindy Mizelle and Khadejia Bass in the backing vocals. Meanwhile brilliantly embedding a sample of Black Ivory‘s famous ‘Mainline’. Then how to not remember her contribution to Blaze‘s UDAUFL album on the memorable ‘Most Precious Love’.
Meanwhile she also contributed to long time friends Bobby & Steve‘s ‘Deeper In Love’ featuring Bryan Chambers back in 2004. Then, more recently, she brilliantly joined forces with Rick Galactik on ‘Can We Try’ as remixed by Lilac Jeans. This before takin’ the lead on the bumpin’ ‘Love The Hurt Away’ along with Soul Addict with remix courtesy of DJ Spen. This to name but a very few out of her brilliant performances…
– A New York City native, Joi Cardwell appeared for the very first time on stage at the early age of 5 at Carnegie Hall. And, after five years, she was pretty much accustomed to live performing. She graduated from New York University with degrees in English and Music in the mid-80’s. Eventually singin’ back-up for artists such as Melba Moore, LL Cool J and Jermaine Jackson. Then, with thanks to her connection with Kashif, she signed a record deal with Arista for her Pop/R&B girl-group The Promises. But that didn’t work back then, most likely because of saturation of the market.
She then came to collaborate with Lil’ Louis. This further to the publication of an ad on the Village Voice about an Epic recording artist looking for a background singer for a live tour. With both of them eventually recording four tracks on Louis‘ 1992 ‘Journey With The Lonely’ album. And, by that, ‘Club Lonely’, ‘Do U Love Med’, ‘Dancing In My Sleep’ and ‘Saved My Life’. This before delivering backing vocals on Barbara Tucker‘s classic ‘I Get Lifted’ in 1994.
Soon after, Cardwell signed with Eightball Records, releasing her debut-album – ‘The World Is Full of Trouble’ – in 1995. She eventually contributed to the Brooklyn Funk Essentials‘s cover version of ‘The Creator Has A Masterplan’ Then to former Deee-Lite DJ Towa Tei‘s ‘Luv Connection’. With her second (epnymous) album seeing the light in 1997.
Joi Cardwell kept on working with a bunch of extra luminaries along with time. From Blaze with whom she sung ‘Keep Hope Alive’ and ‘Be Yourself’ as parts of their Underground Dance Artists United For Life‘s 2004 ‘Keep Hope Alive’ album. To Studio Apartment, Steal Vybe and Mike Dunn. This in addition to Groove Addix (‘Je T’Adore’), Groove Junkies (‘What’s Freedom’) and Kraak & Smaak to name but a few. Eventually reappearing with Brooklyn Funk Essential back in 2014 on ‘Dance Or Die’.
More recently, in March 2018, Cardwell delivered a new version of her single titled ‘Trouble 2018’. Then on On June 01, 2018, she released her eighth album – ‘Pride And Joi’ – featuring new remixes of her previous singles.