Hartford R&B Singer Gets Personal In Strong Solo Debut
By Eric R. Danton
June 28, 2011
She's performed all over the world, but Hartford R&B singer Be'kah returned home to release her solo debut.
A Springfield native, Be'kah (born Rebecca Robatham) toured with the educational organization Up With People when she attended Springfield College. Now 34 and a social worker by training, she gets a little more personal on "My Story" (FrontCover Records), a collection of smooth R&B songs showcasing her versatile voice.
"My Story" delivers first-person (if not necessarily autobiographical) narratives by turns sultry, wistful, determined and defiant. Be'kah mixes and matches, too, pairing sultry with wistful on "Touched" over tinkling piano and subdued rhythm, and blending tender with determined on "Baby Girl."
She turns the middle of the 45-minute album into a seduction set piece, full of breathy vocals on "Destiny" and appreciative coos over a lover's just-right romantic gestures on "Rose Petals."
Next comes the self-actualization section, which sees the album through to the end. A steady, clapping beat frames Be'kah's anguished search for self on "Break Free," and her voice trembles with emotion on "Life" as she exhorts herself (or the narrator) to push on through the inevitable difficulties and inequities.
Over gossamer threads of piano on "Dreamer," she espouses a believe-in-your-dreams philosophy, and it would sound a little cheesy if it weren't so obviously applicable: Be'kah and "My Story" are proof that perseverance pays off.
Be'kah performs July 9 at Trinity-on-Main, 69 Main St., New Britain. Admission is $10 for the 8 p.m. show. Information: 860-229-2072.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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