Monday, December 24, 2012

Elena's Soul Lounge Gone

So just imagine once upon a time in Philly….. Good old Philly… Our rich and profound town filled with music and entertainment, that there would be a little lounge in west philly called Leroy's Showcase Lounge.
Legendary it was….most nights it would showcase famous acts from Patti LaBelle, The Staple singers, The O'Jays, Harold Melvin in The Blue Notes…. Just insane.
Not just showcasing their talent, but this was one of their spots,  where they came to chill, get smashed and have fun together, through music, drinks, whatever.
Walking into Elena's Soul…I always felt that it was a place filled with so many vibes and memories of the past, but the great thing about it was, it never left. Everytime i stepped foot in that place and we jammed among friends and family, even folks from out of town would stop in. One thing for sure is that you were guaranteed a great time and a weird always, but cool and funny vibe.
I mean, I felt it almost every single time i went there and now it's gone?

December 24, 2012 Elena's Soul caught fire. It was a place that was building back a tradition that once lived there for many years, socializing, drinking, eating, and hearing great music, whether it was on the turntables or with the live musicians.

The first time I found out about it was from my great friend and partner DJ Danophonic….he told me that this place Leroy's at the time was gonna be a cool spot in west philly… of course i Believed him but it took awhile and he would usually hang there a bunch, and i came a few times but the place was so filled with cigarette smoke, i couldn't stand to be in there too long.

Yes it was a gritty bar, that all the cats came to hang and drink of course, and bless the place with their gifts of music.
good times at elena's

It made sense that whenever anyone played, it always had a vibe….the sound system wasn't the best, but you were hands on with the musicians, entertainers, bar tenders, Dj's, even the owner of the place took the mic a few times while we jammed and had fun. I can't believe its gone.

Sad is not the word for the moment, you try to not have selfish thoughts  about the things you remember of the place, so you think about everything.
People first met there, people went there to hang and have a good time in a cool neighborhood. People come from shows, all parts of philly because they know they are gonna be entertained, folks even drive in from out of town to catch the vibe.

Me and Bilal at Elena's

It's hard to even write this blog post due to everything that one can endure at a time and you wake up and now this.
That place burned to the ground! 
I was just sitting here in the studio thinking, well, at least i have the jam session this week, where i can meet up with friends and family, and look towards a brighter day… now, i just sit and cherish memories… which puts a deeper dent on the outlook of things.

You just hate to see something built from the ground up to only be knocked down.
They worked hard there….they built a respectable spot for people to lounge at. 

We played so many hours there, Original Music always…We had so many great times there. i know…. i keep saying it, but it's just a sad deal, i feel like i lost something too man.
Everybody have their spots in philly, the jams, whatever, but nothing was EVER like Elena's……..EVER
Some jam sessions are jams made up with people doing covers or whatever they know how to play, at this jam, we basically freestyle with the notions that your gonna vibe with us, keep in mind, most songs, great songs are made up that way!

I'm glad and thankful nobody got hurt…and i just wanna take the time to thank thee entire staff over there, you provided us with a comfortable place to play, you catered to us with the coolest service, you became family to us, and we will always be around when you need us. Thank You.

Algernong Allen…. Thank you for taking your hard earned time and money to keep that place going… I'm sure only bigger and better things are on the horizon.
It has to be…that place was offered a living room atmosphere to so so many people.
You made that happen and now that its gone, its a really sad man, and i'm sorry.

I wanted to remember those times, so for most of the day, i found some recordings that we did there, of the jam session… I managed to take a whole night of jamming, all types of funny things you will hear on the recording, and got it to a cool 27 minutes.... Please listen... and share of course with everyone you know, keep the memories going and just keep eachother in prayer.

Merry Christmas and A happy new year.


  1. Thank you Steve, Danophonic, Hezekiah and all the players.. We made some beautiful music together...Although, I had a silent role usually, listening to this audio, I will miss the energy of the Jam Session. Best to you all. - Algernong

  2. It still hasnt sunken in. I planned on doing something different this New Year and it was going to include my favorite spot of all time, Elenas! All I have now are the memories & lot of "should haves". Missing everyone of the staff, old & new. Dont let this be the end of the era, it just cant be. Lesley <3

  3. This is a great article and as I read it I found myself reminiscing about all of my great experiences i've had there. I lived in Northeast Philly most of my time here until I moved to West and I am grateful that my Monica, Ibe, and Danno introduced me to this place. It definitely felt like home everytime I walked in there. I want to especially thank Algernong for letting me hang my artwork in his establishment so I could sell it and donate proceeds to the PCA. I simply looooved Elena's and as I said before Elena's SOUL will never cease!!!