Canal Street by spunkybrewstar

Where ya’ll been?  Somewhere listening to Sam Smith, I would hope.  The album officially dropped last week and man, what a banger (just like I told you *ahem*).  If you’re planning on catching the US tour, I hope you already copped your tickets ‘cause, uh, the whole tour is pretty much sold out.  Fret not, though, I’ve got someone else you can check out and it’s just the kind of music you need for these sultry summer nights.  It’s the kind of music that’s a backdrop for summertime memories…get your listening ears on.

Who Dat, Harpo? Joonie

Hailin’ FromJacksonville, North Carolina

Spunky Calls It (Genre): Neo-Soul/R&B

What’s to like?If you’re a fan of artists like Bilal, Dwele, Eric Roberson, D’Angelo, Donny Hathaway or Van Hunt …you’re really gonna thank me for introducing you to Joonie.  His music is…well, it’s love music.  New love.  Old love.  And everything in between.  His latest project, Contrast, admires love on first sight, dances with the idea of forever and laments losing love.  You’ll find yourself not only singing along, but FEELING along.

Need a lil’ taaaaste?  Okay.

[Embed Youtube video   ]

“Hey lover, you’re the essence of the song I sing and I’d do crazy things, crazy things, to show you what you mean to me/I could have the world but it could all fade away, I tell you this, I give it all up, baby, for you”

Listen …literally.  You need to jump into the links, immediately.

Website: JOONIE


-Spunky, out.



Every day millions of people begin their day by reading social media feeds; social media feeds that are filled with stories of heartbreak and heartache.  And let’s be honest with ourselves, the majority of these posts are made by women.  Before the male readers begin to draw conclusions, let’s clarify; these women were not originally filled with delusions of grandeur.  They once believed in love, and probably still do, but they were given a reason to feel the pain they feel.  And most of this could have been avoided if men simply knew how to love women better.  Whether men choose to believe it or not, we do play a role and must accept accountability for causing broken hearts.  The reason for this is quite simple:  most men simply do not know how to love.  Well at least they don’t know how to love properly.

There once was a time when a man could sit down, put on a Lenny Williams record, listen to “Because I Love You” and at least have an idea of what real love should feel like.  Unfortunately we no longer live in that era.  With roughly 84 percent of single parents being women, there are just not enough fathers out there passing down the lessons and traditions of old fashioned love.  Let’s face it; today’s men are pretty selfish with love.  We feel that as long as we say it, then that’s all that matters.  We however miss the point that love is a verb, it requires action.  And although I look at the diluted version of love that is given by most of us men and shake my head at it, I do however feel that this misguided love isn’t necessarily on purpose.  For the most part it is simply a lack of understanding and knowledge.

There is hope!  Social media and television have simply desensitized us and watered everything down.  If you want to understand and get a clearer picture on how to love, you don’t have to search to the ends of the earth.  Simply look around you, some of the best resources are right before our eyes and often overlooked.  When was the last time you saw an older married couple walking around the mall shopping together, or at a baseball game?  These couples are all around us; living proof and testimonies of real tried and true love.  Many of these couples are our parents, aunts, uncles, even our President and First Lady.  I challenge you next time you encounter one of these couples to study them.  Watch how they enjoy each other’s company, how they engage in conversation, how they hold each other’s hands, how they embrace each other.  All of these are strong signs of affection and good communication skills, small but pivotal keys to building a strong foundation for everlasting love and a great relationship.

Men, the resources are out there and very prevalent.  All it takes is just a little time and patience.  Once you learn how to communicate and listen to the women you care about, you will then learn to listen to her heart and will soon find the key to loving her the right way.  It is important to know that you can’t love every woman the same way.  That’s why good communication is important.  If you truly want to give her the love she needs, learn to embrace her as an individual.  And the best thing about love is that it is infectious.  It will spread between the two of you and then soon those around you will feel the impact.  Remember, it’s never too late for love.


True love endures, true love conquers. –Epic-





BY Sylvia TruGem Warren Woods

Statistically, marriage has become less common among African Americans.  According to the U.S. Census, African American households are the least likely to contain a married couple, compared to other racial/ethnic groups.  Marriage appears to contribute greatly to the economic well-being of African-American families.   During the last decades, the rates of marriage in the black community have declined while the rates of divorce, separation, cohabitation, out-of-wedlock births, and children residing in female-headed households have increased (  With that, more than ever, America needs the Black family.  So what happened?  There are many factors to consider obviously but I’ll speak on one issue; longevity.


Our parents, grandparents and great grandparents knew what it was like to stick it out.  If they were having problems, it was nobody’s business but their own.  If they no longer loved each other, they saved face by acting normal yet slept in separate beds.  If there were any indiscretions it was hushed and not flashed around town.  Were the methods they used effective?  Yes.  Some methods of course weren’t ideal, but were still effective and ultimately saved the family.  Today, sticking it out and making it work seems to be a past time in the Black community.  The words “I do” should possess permanent power.  Those words were not taken lightly then and shouldn’t be taken lightly now with what seems to be a combination of a self and societal annihilation of the Black family.  Traditional vows are widely held and highly respected by many, including myself, however I do believe the willingness to compromise should be a part of a tradition the Black family seems to have lost in the ruins over the years. 


A marriage is sure to fail without compromise.  Can compromise take place when two people aren’t happy and neither are willing to find out why?  Not likely.  Can compromise take place when one person feels they are always right and the other is always wrong?  Won’t happen.  Can compromise take place when one person’s flesh begins to cloud their judgment on what’s best for the family?  Not ever.  Can compromise take place between two people who haven’t a clue how to not only suffer but also accept the trials and tribulations that seem to go hand in hand in marriage?  Not likely. 


Love is equally important in a marriage but even it is not possible without the willingness to brave the waves, walk over coal, take a few punches and sustain a few setbacks all with the willingness to repeatedly take one for the team.


Compromise, stronger than love.  


Sylvia TruGem Warren Woods