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Charlie Peters Is ‘Searching’ For D’Angelo


There is nothing worse than wasted talent. Spoken word artist Charlie Peters explores this theme by blending his own work with an old
and incredibly prescient interview of D'Angelo, poster child of squandered gifts, on a demo for the song "Searching For James
River." The title of the piece
is named for the James River, a historic body of water that flows through Richmond, the hometown of
the Voodoo artist and the long-rumored title of his phantom third album. Peters yearns for the soul music of the '90s over jazzy instrumentals, which makes it
easy to mistake this piece as shallow. The poem ambles slowly until it reaches the rapids of D'Angelo's
remarks, where he describes the need for musicians to protect what is "pure" in themselves and their
music lest it be destroyed by the industry. Knowing his struggle in recent years with substance abuse
and legal woes, it seems that the search for D'Angelo -- and his legacy -- will continue.
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