with special guest Timotha Lanae
A redefined, new alternative funk era has arisen out of an established band formerly known as The Family. The Family, a Prince-produced Warner Brothers release that received critical acclaim, included a top 20 hit, “Screams Of Passion” and introduced “Nothing Compares To You” which was famously covered by Sinead O’Connor. Before a second record could be considered, the band splintered and the members forged careers down separate paths. That is until mutual friend Sheila E. convinced them to reunite for a huge charity concert in L.A.’s Forum. A year later Questlove of The Roots persuaded them to appear at his hot ticket post-Grammy party. Call it fate but the gigs all but dictated that the group pool their resources and focus on what has become that highly anticipated second album. St. Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin put on their writing hats, called Eric Leeds and Jellybean Johnson into the studio, wrestled with the legal requirement of a new name and the thrilling result is fDeluxe!
Lead vocalist/composer Susannah Melvoin grew up in an L.A. based musical family, the daughter of legendary composer and keyboardist Michael Melvoin. Susannah’s resume boasts projects with Prince, Madonna, Seal, Doyle Bramhall II, Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, Trevor Horn, Questlove, Erykah Badu, William Orbit and The Grid. She has regularly toured with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and her twin sisters Wendy and Lisa.
Lead vocalist/producer/composer/instrumentalist St. Paul Peterson hails from an equally musical family. His mother Jeanne Arland is still active on the Twin Cities’ jazz scene, as are his vocalist sisters and musician brothers. At the tender age of 21 Paul became the leader of The Family and his career took off from there. A wondrously gifted multi-instrumentalist, Paul’s keyboards, bass, guitar and vocals have been featured in The Time and alongside Stevie Wonder, David Sanborn, Digital Underground, Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie and more. As a songwriter his work has been nominated for a Grammy Award.
Saxophonist/flautist Eric Leeds was not just a player but horn arranger for Prince’s Revolution, his best known band. Leeds also recorded two jazz-fusion albums with Prince under the name Madhouse and produced three solo albums. His recognizable sound has graced recordings by an enviably diverse array of legends including George Benson, George Clinton, Jimmy McGriff, James Brown, Chaka Khan and Kid Creole & The Coconuts.
As the original – and only – drummer for The Time, Jellybean Johnson is that rare musician who has loyally served the same band in the same seat for over twenty years. But in addition to patently funky beats, it’s as a guitarist that Jellybean shines with fDeluxe. As producer and/or songwriter ‘Bean has worked with Janet Jackson, New Edition, Mint Condition, Alexander O’Neal, Nona Hendryx, Karen White, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Cherelle.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“…both a continuation of the Family and a journey in new directions. In other words, it’s got plenty of sanctified funk, dreamy pop, soulful duets and jazzy saxophone.” -Star Tribune
About Timotha Lanae
Timotha Lanae is an American Soul Songstress, a dynamic dancer and an award winning theatrical performer who seamlessly joins together her passion for music and theater. Her debut album RED has received critical acclaim and reached the #1 spot on the UK Soul Charts. She describes her sound best in the lyrics of Smooth Music, the first track of her album RED, “A touch of Jazz, R&B, Soul and Hip Hop too, I mix these all together to make my grooves…”
Timotha has collaborated and shared the stage with a number of world class musicians, producers and actors including Whoopi Goldberg, Brian D’Arcy James, and R&B legend Alexander O’Neal. She has performed across the globe including South America, Japan, the UK and the US, with performances at The Tokyo International Forum, the world famous Jazz Café in London, Band on the Wall in Manchester, UK, the legendary BB Kings in New York City and the historical Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Music and performing has always been the center of Timotha Lanae’s world. Even as a baby, instead of the usual baby gab she would hum melodies. Timotha is named after her father Timothy, which is fitting being that she attributes her love for music to him. Timotha was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At an early age, her father introduced her to many genres of music including Gospel, Jazz, R&B, and Soul. Artists like The Winans, Joe Sample, Larry Carlton, The Temptations, and Sade were some of her favorites.
Before ever setting foot in a professional recording studio, Timotha created her own mini studio. Using a mic, and a dual tape deck to overdub her voice and arrange background harmonies and lead vocals, Timotha created her first recordings. While on road trips to visit family in Monroe, Louisiana and Kansas City, Missouri, her father would teach her and her sister Evelena to harmonize by singing songs like More than Words, by Extreme, and the gospel traditional Encourage My Soul.
Growing up, Timotha was always happiest when putting together a performance for her friends and family to watch. Often times she would recruit her sister, God sisters, cousins and friends to be a part of a show, make music videos or write songs with her. She would work for hours on a performance and love every minute of it. It’s only fitting that Timotha become a musical theater performer, playwright, singer/songwriter/recording artist. From the minute she entered this world she’s been preparing for this moment.
Timotha spent the past year traveling between the US and the UK for performances in support of the release of her debut album RED. Her dynamic concerts have helped to build her strong European fan base. As one fan stated “She rocked the place from the moment she hit the stage. She had us in the palm of her hand… Amazing!” Of performing she says, “It’s all about tapping into raw emotion, connecting with the people and letting the music move me. If I don’t feel something when I’m on stage, how can I expect anyone else to?”.
More than just a dynamic performer, Timotha is also an accomplished songwriter. She wrote ten of the twelve songs on RED, and speaks candidly about her love for songwriting and its process, “Songwriting is like therapy for me, it’s definitely a gift from God. At times a lyrical idea will come to me, and I can’t get the words out fast enough. I don’t have to think about it, I just have to let it flow and get out of my own way.” Timotha talks of writing for her upcoming EP REWIND, which features remixes of songs from her hit album RED along with some newly penned tracks: “Writing the title track for my EP REWIND was like a purging session. When I was done I felt lighter. I didn’t struggle with any lyric, or melodic choice…the song just wrote itself.”
Timotha is a Season 6, American Idol Hollywood finalist, and has also been featured in print ads, TV/Film, national and international commercials and voice-over ads along with a host of theatrical musical productions like Hello Dolly!, West Side Story and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She was named Outstanding Actress in a musical for her role in Respect: A musical Journey of Women by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and has now added playwright to her resume, penning her first original musical, REDdington. Timotha uses her music videos as the medium that unites her two passions of music and theater. In the videos Talkin To Myself, People Pleaser, and My Man (Jigsaw Remix) Timotha portrays herself while also portraying Eva Reddington, the main character from her original musical REDdington.
When asked, “Who is Timotha Lanae?”, she responds, “A lover of God, people and the gift of creativity.”