MP3 Tonia Woods - All That Glitters
The 12 songs on "All That Glitters" encompass and embrace up-tempo contemporary funk and gospel, all brought home by a vocal style that draws from the rich "Quite Storm" tradition of late-''80s style female soul singers: Anita Baker, Regina Belle, Miki How
12 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover, URBAN/R&B: Soul
Ohio, positioned between southern musical meccas like Memphis and northern hot spots like Detroit and Chicago, is known for being a hot bed of soul talent. Following in that great soul music tradition, comes vocalist/songwriter Tonia Woods, who - now based in Washington, DC - brings her evocative vocal style to bear on her debut CD All That Glitters.
The 12 songs on "All That Glitters" encompass and embrace up-tempo contemporary funk and gospel, all brought home by a vocal style that draws from the rich "Quite Storm" tradition of late-''80s style female soul singers: Anita Baker, Regina Belle, Miki Howard. Assisted by a top-flight band steeped in R&B/Pop and Contemporary Jazz, Woods coasts through tunes like the disc-opening funkster "Mr. Understand" and the tres-smooth ballad "On My Way." She also re-tools Ann Peebles'' classic soul nugget "I Can''t Stand the Rain." And she shows her gospel roots on a stirring rendition of "The Lord''s Prayer."
Woods co-wrote the majority of the material on "All That Glitters," working closely with producer/songwriter Tony Taylor. "I found that Tony and I balanced each other out," she said. "We complimented each other very well." Woods prowess extends beyond the studio, however. Unlike a lot of DAT-machine divas, the 29-year old Woods also has the ability to bring the heat live. She has performed with Melissa Morgan, Jeffrey Osborne, Angela Bofill and Phil Perry, among others. Her shows have won her some admirers in high places. "Every time I am on stage, I realize what an honor it is to express my thoughts, passions and love for music," she says with a smile. "Even more unbelievable is the fact that people like it. And not only that," she laughs, "but I might actually get paid for doing it!"
For Woods, this disc is the culmination of a long-term plan, which began with childhood vocalizing. Born and raised in Cleveland, she took up the violin in grade school. Soon she began working the talent show circuit in the area, acing top spot after top spot. She started her professional career while at Ohio''s Wittenberg University, singing with the Wittenberg gospel choir and on stage at the Wittstock Music Festival. After graduating with a Masters Degree in biology she did a short stint with Baltimore based top 40 band New Money. But after leaving the group, she decided to concentrate on her own voice and material, spending hours writing and honing her craft.
Interestingly, she managed to succeed in her new vocal vocation while holding down a full time job as a biology teacher at Manassas Park High School, keeping her chops up singing at school functions, and dozens of sporting events, including a Washington Wizards basketball game. I can sing the National Anthem backwards, forwards, with my hands tied behind my back and blindfolded," she says with a smile.
After two years of working in the school system, at the urging of her mother, who suggested she "use her gift" while she still had the opportunity, Woods left the school system and embarked on her music career. After years of motion, All That Glitters is her calling card to the national scene, one that is sure to embrace the emotion and passion that comes through every time she steps to a microphone. "When I make music I try to bring a smile to peoples'' faces," Woods states. "I know music can change lives and inspire, but first you have to listen. If you open your soul and listen to this album, that''s all I can ask for."