TRU's DISCOGRAPHY during Donnie's Years
Looking Forward To Looking Back - 2014
LAVON D. TATEM MUSIC
BACK FOR MORE - 2014
Society Hill / EMG
Promisie Of The Future
2011 - LAVON D. TATEM
My Love Is Tru - 2010
During Love Talk - 2016 LAVON D. TATEM MUSIC
My Love Is TRU
Remastered - 2011
Society Hill / EMG
the Soul Basement Review:
DONNIE TATEM - Ain’t No Love
Society Hill/Essential Media (US) 942326190-2
Ain’t No Love (Since You’re Gone); Say You Love Me; Hope That We Can Be Together Soon; Tonight I Give In; Spend Some Time With You; It’s A Shame; Lady Love; Night And Day Dream; Once In A While; Who Do You See
This set is very much the sort of album that, back in the mid-seventies would have been classified as ‘quiet storm’ - the ten tracks all settling into moods between downtempo and midtempo, pleasant (within the bounds of programming), easy on the ear and not requiring too much in the way of concentration or analysis. The musical history of Lavon ‘Donnie’ Tatum reveals him to have a pedigree going back to the late seventies at least; he is currently lead singer of the old-school group, TRU but his early recordings include being on the soundtrack to the 1979 movie, ‘The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh’ and as a member of the Gentlemen Of Leisure, who cut ‘Never Had A Love Like This Before’ - for which label I know not - in 1980. He has also passed through the à cappella gospel group, the Stars Of Harmony. Here, on secular ground, he is joined by Ms Marki Fields for a capable revival of the Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes/Sharon Paige #1 r&b hit, ‘Hope That We Can Be Together Soon’, while other songs beyond the Society Hill family and/or Tatem’s own compositions are an inoffensive treatment of the Lou Rawls’ vehicle, ‘Lady Love’, a most commendable take on the Lana Bogan/Louie Shelton ballad, ‘Tonight I Give In’ - previously cut by both Angela Bofill and Michael Henderson - and a welcome, over six-minute visit to D.J. Rogers’ ‘Say You Love Me’. ‘Night And Day Dream’ and ‘Who Do You See’ are Donnie’s own contributions, the former an easy-flowing number one could imagine turning up on an Al Jarreau album and the latter slower and more complex but, like the bulk of the material, finding our man supported by well-arranged backing vocals. The remaining cuts, all with writing input from producer/arranger, Butch Ingram, are of equal merit and, whilst this may not be an album to quite set the world alight is more than commended for investigation.
"Looking Forward To Looking Back" is a must have Classic Soul / R&B music project written and performed by singer, songwriter LaVon Donnie Tatem. In this sophomore solo project Donnie delves into life's challenges in ways that are familiar to most of us. The stories in the tracks reveal the following: track 1. "One In A Million You" - is a dedication of this CD to you the listener, track 2. "Blessings" - deals with celebrating the power of Prayer to rise above adversity, track 3. "Cool Down " - is a breath before moving forward, track 4. "Looking Forward To Looking Back" - deals with life in a two-fold manner a.) no matter how far you have to go to get where you want to be, look at how far you've come and
b.) no matter what you have achieved don't forget where you've come from, 5. "Come On Let's Party Y'All - a chance to physically release the pressure through exercise or a good old fashioned party, 6. "My Love" - the honest expression of one's feelings toward another, 7. "The Gift Of Love... Me & You" - the wedding song, 8. "Inner Child" a glimpse at the essence of innocence between to soul-mates and their view of human inter-action, 9. "You Loved Me" - deals with love and the tragedy of gun violence, 10. "Blusey's Blues" - is a metaphoric warning about how appealing depression can become after a tragedy, 11. "Pity Party" - deals with helping someone recognize that they need to do the things necessary to get back on track in their life, 12. "Old School Party" - deals with shaking off the bondage and stepping through life as in brighter days, 13. "Before You Leave Here" - deals with a support system determined to show that you're not alone and together we'll celebrate the dance of life, 14. "I Miss You Most At Night" - deals with the struggle and times of weakness that still surface, 15. "Cool Down" - is a moment of meditation and refocus.
The third self written and self produced offering by Donnie is "During Love Talk".
"During Love Talk" is about honest, intelligent and intimate conversations with our significant other, ourselves and others. It talks about ones view of "Love" or the lack thereof and the need to change that condition. It briefly deals with ones personal assessment of life and relationships and how we plan to positively change its perspective...
The beauty of "During Love Talk" is that if you have EXPERIENCED any of life's REAL CHALLENGES, you'll immediately identify with the messages in this body of work. Even then it may miss your specific condition but will come close to something you've dealt with or wanted to say.
Real lovers of Classic Soul / R & B Music will appreciate and remember this one for a minute.
NEW MUSIC COMING SOON !!!
On the Totally Human, Looking Forward To Looking Back and During Love Talk CD's, Donnie sang every note you hear on them.
Donnie wrote every song on the Totally Human CD except "Love To The World" & "Beginnings" and every song on the Looking Forward To Looking Back and During Love Talk CD's.
Donnie's first performance with TRU was actually as a drummer more than a year before joining the group in 2008.
ALL CD'S ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE EVERYWHERE !!!
the Dusty Groove Review:
DONNIE TATEM - AIN'T NO LOVE
A contemporary singer with roots in gospel – but one who works here with some great mellow soul backings from The Ingram Family – at a level that maybe makes the set one of the best to come from their recent run of projects on the Society Hill label Donnie's voice goes nice and deep – at a level that really takes us back to quiet storm singers of years back – and the Ingram backings are more mellow 80s than any sort of 21st Century vibe – perfectly suited to Tatum's sound and spirit. Titles include "Tonight I Give In", "Ain't No Love", "Hope That We Can Be Together Soon", "It's A Shame", "Night & Day Dream", "Once In A While", and "Say You Love Me". ~ Dusty Groove
Totally Human - 2012 LAVON D. TATEM MUSIC
Ain't No Love - 2016 Society Hill / EMG
With TRU Love - 2009
Sounds Of Philly
inner feelings brought to life
"TOTALLY HUMAN" by singer/songwriter LaVon Donnie Tatem are tracks that were written as interpretations of just some of the Human Experience and how wide ranging these experiences can be. Pure music lovers will love the diversity in these tracks. Donnie as one of the lead singers and writers for the R&B Group "TRU" has put his own spin on this solo project, it shows more of the wealth of his talents. There are two cover songs "Love To The World" and "Beginnings" on this project and it should be noted that the only voice you hear on this project is LaVon Donnie Tatem.