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Page 10

UrbanProWeekly • APRIL 4 - 10, 2013

10

Chris Ndeti & Mama Says

Local singer, songwriter rocks acoustic guitar as bandleader

Chris Ndeti has been making waves since her arrival in Augusta five years ago. Photo By Timothy Cox

Jennifer Norman-Dixon Independent Cruise & Vacation Specialist

By Timothy Cox Special to Urban Pro Media AUGUSTA Upon taking a first look at Chris Ndeti, it’s obvious that she’s a talented young lady. In fact, she admits that she’s a rarity — an African-American woman fronting a group of men, while playing an acoustic guitar. Beyond obvious comparisons to ‘80s Grammy sensation Tracy Chapman and more recently, neo-soul guitarist/vocalist, India. Arie, Ndeti (pronounced enDetty) is an Augusta woman and a self-admitted “regular girl” who just happens to have lots of talent. Ndeti can be found these days performing in the Augusta region with her band, Mama Says. As lead vocalist of the threeyear-old band, Ndeti and her

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trio of sidemen, are on a mission to re-write Augusta’s traditional focus that typically finds leading ladies fronting bands, usually while holding only a microphone. In Mama Says’ case, Ndeti and her acoustic guitar, offer a unique twist, backed by her powerful soulful vocal chops reminiscent of a blend between Aretha Franklin and Odetta, the legendary folksy-blues queen who found huge crossover success in the 1960s - this Augusta lady is making her mark, with hopes of eventually finding national acclaim. Ndeti says she enjoys a variety of music genres, thanks to her Kenyan-born father David Ndeti and her mother, Lorraine Ndeti, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native. “I have lots of influences,” said Chris Ndeti, a Charlotte-born young woman raised in suburban Atlanta, who moved to

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Augusta five years ago to work as a recreational therapist focusing on Alzheimer’s prevention. Mama Says includes veteran musician James Heath on bass guitar; Chris Powers on electric and lead guitars, with drummer/ vocalist Craig Snow as the funky foundation. Heath credits Chris Ndeti as being a talent with a bright future. “There’s no doubt, Chris can someday make it on a national stage. She sings with power and soul; has stage persona and importantly, she’s easy to work with,” said Heath who has shared stages with several national acts. “And she writes her own songs,” he continues. “That’s pure talent.” said Heath, an Augusta native who has been a band leader in Hawaii, San Francisco and in Colorado Springs, Colo., while working with the likes of Millie Jackson, Percy Sledge and The Commodores. At 30, Chris Ndeti is happily married to Rentz McCants, a forContinued on next page

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Urban Pro Weekly  

The CSRA 's free weekly - featuring entertainment, arts, news, sports, and political commentary

Urban Pro Weekly  

The CSRA 's free weekly - featuring entertainment, arts, news, sports, and political commentary

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