Main Stage – Sunday, July 3, 2022 8:00 PM
“Authenticity: Knowing who you are and being brave enough to live it” - Unknown
For music to be considered authentic, it must convey the conviction of being original, versatile and real – qualities that are often reduced to mere symbolism due to the rare interrogation of authenticity within the context of popular music.
Enter rock/soul chanteuse Shareese Ballard aka Res. “How I Do,” her debut album, would effortlessly merge genres such as progressive soul, rock, trip hop, and reggae stylings into a potent sonic gumbo without sounding derivative. Tracks such as “Golden Boys,” “They Say Vision,” “Ice King'' and “700 Mile Situation,” would establish a unique voice, deftly able to craft a multiplicity of unique stories and narratives, ranging from cautionary tales of fame, to empowerment themes that reimagine the role of women in a male-dominated industry.
“How I Do” proved to be a complex masterpiece, a work that couldn’t be put into any one box, and which grew in scope and relevance throughout the years. Over time, it has forged a cultural significance and musical currency, the impact of which still resonates with a new generation of artists.
Independently-released follow-up albums would demonstrate Res’ ability to be a musical craftswoman of the highest order. 2009’s “Black.Girls.Rock,” a limited release that continued the sonic adventures and organic narratives of “How I Do,” served as a fitting sequel and seamless blend from that debut. 2011’s “Habits of the Heart,” a hip hop /electro/new-wave/go-go album done in collaboration with noted rapper Talib Kweli. 2013’s EP “Refried: Mac,” a 5-song release that finds RES re-imagining classic Fleetwood Mac tunes and achieving the rare threshold of crafting remakes on par with the original works.