New Single From Gaye Adegbalola, ‘Tell Mamala’

“Tell Mamala” echoes the need for a phenomenal woman —one who can comfort, but who can inspire with her class and sass, her swagger and stank eye.

VizzTone has released Gaye Adegbalola’s “Tell Mamala,” the first single of her Freedom Song Trilogy.

Social activist and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/griot Gaye Adegbalola (pronounced AH – DEG – BA – LOLA), is a Blues Music Award (BMA) winner and a founding member of Saffire -The Uppity Blues Women (1984-2009). Gaye has received the Kristen Lems “Social Change Through Music” Award at the National Women’s Music Festival in 2018 and, in 2019 the “Koko Taylor Queen of the Blues Award” for preserving traditional blues from the Jus’ Blues Foundation. Along with her music recognition she is a former Virginia State Teacher of the Year (8th grade science) and has been honored as an OUTstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia. The Library of Virginia has recognized her as one of the 2018 Virginia Women in History Honorees (along with Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Dove and others).

Having penned many blues chestnuts, her songs are known for biting social commentary often cloaked in humor. Saffire recorded exclusively for Alligator Records. Gaye has 6 CDs on her own label, Hot Toddy Music — 3 of those in partnership with the VizzTone Label Group. Her CD about LGBTQ issues, Gaye Without Shame was nominated for a BMA and her children’s CD, Blues in All Flavors won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award.Her 2019 release, The Griot chronicles topical blues for topical times.

2021 ushered in a new spirit for singer/songwriter and activist griot Adegbalola, and that creative spark burst into flames with Gaye’s Freedom Song Trilogy. The first song of this trilogy, “Tell Mamala” echoes the need for a phenomenal woman —one who can comfort, but who can inspire with her class and sass, her swagger and stank eye; one who won’t take abuse but also brings immense joy in pearls and “chucks” and Mary J. The VP was called “Mamala” by nieces and stepchildren and that sweet title spawned this song. (Sorry, Etta James.) Gaye penned the compositions and created her Trilogy with the able assistance of engineer/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Covert of Wally Cleaver’s Studio in Fredericksburg, VA, New Orleans-flavored horn arrangements by Zachary Smith, and Executive Producer Mark Weiss.

Gaye Adegbalola

*Feature image Sylvia De Voss

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