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Southern Soul Corner Jan 2014

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Happy 2014!

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Corner Talk:   We took a little break from Southern Soul Corner in December, to let the holidays run its course and hopefully start to see where the music is headed for 2014..........Lot's of up and coming artists in the genre, gonna be a very interesting year for sure...........Gotta give props to the hot new Lacee' and Tucka duet jam Move Something, it's not exactly the same lyrics as her hit of two years ago with the same song title..........For a recent slow groove to fill up a dance floor, it is hard to beat Avail Hollywood's Country Road. Avail is originally from Texarkana, Texas, getting his start in music as the drummer in his family's Gospel group, The Shades Of Ebony........Southern Soul biographer, columnist and expert Daddy B. Nice has been on a Stephanie McDee kick of late, his October and November Top 10 each had one of her tunes at #1 and his December chart had her at #2. I had previously reviewed her two album releases, Stephanie McDee - Greatest Hits and Return Of The Southern Soul Queen in our August 2012 edition of Southern Soul Corner. Now we are circling back to give additional consideration to Stephanie's fine work. Look for one of her songs in this month's Smokin' Top 45 below..............Daddy B's top tune for all of 2013 is one that some folks may not have heard but it is a killer pure Soul groove – I Got This Record by J Wonn, a new young gun who can flat sing. He has become almost an overnight sensation in the heart of Southern Soul music, Jackson, Mississippi...........

 

What do we know about male vocalist Leroy Allen? The veteran Houston, Texas based singer was new to the Southern Soul scene with a late 2012 release of his single I Want It The tune has been strong through most of 2013 and was sitting at #2 on SoulandBlueReport's latest Top 25. Leroy has just released another new single, Together Forever, that has real promise as well.........Speaking of that Top 25, you gotta say Malaco Records is back in the game with songs on the chart from Larome Powers, Mr. David, Billy Soul Bonds and Queen Emily...........Just out in December, Southern Soul baritone soloist El' Willies' Greatest Hits Volume 1. Not as well known as many in the genre, he has been working hard writing and producing all of his own material for many years. One of the El' written songs on this album, I'm A Man On A Mission, was also a hit for Willie Hill back in 2005......Backtracking on a 2008 album by Willie White entitled Party Hardy, some killer cuts on it that didn't much if any recognition when it was first released. The title track plus You Got The Love, I Won't Do You Wrong and It's Your Time Now Baby rock the house........

 

 

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Here comes Ms. Jody! Once again with It's All About Me!, another outstanding album released by this dynamic singer, her ninth solo effort since joining Ecko Records in 2006. I have to say it, Denise, Barbara, all the female artists new and old in the genre, I love you all and do my best to promote all of you wherever possible BUT Jody is now the reigning Queen of today's Southern Soul. Her albums have become so good that it is hard to pick just one or two tracks for air play. Jody's popularity extends over to the Beach market as well, where Still Strokin' was voted Song of the Year for 2013.

 

Ms. Jody and John Ward co-wrote several of the tunes on the latest, including the jumpin' narrative driven title track and one of the early charting dance grooves entitled The Rock. Also charting is the duet with Donnie Ray that he also penned, a back and forth ditty that professes I'm Gonna Keep My Love At Home. Her mixed emotions for the lowdown version of the opposite sex comes out on the rollicking You're The Best No Good Man I Ever Had. The frenetic He's My Candy Man leads off the drop, Ms. Jody's Boogie Slide continues the pattern of having a good line dance tune on each of her albums. The Jody/Ward written I'm Gonna Stand By You has the feel of a righteous Soul anthem. Let Me Ride is a remixed version of the hit back beat tune that took off from her last album. I'm Not A Cougar will be on my playlist at the club for a slow jam. Jody's effervescent personality is reflected in the electric energy of her vocals, no matter what the tempo.  Fourteen tracks all told, just great Southern Soul!

   

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Floyd Taylor has certainly become an established star in this business over the last ten plus years. He learned the ropes while performing with his father Johnnie, which gave him the opportunity to work with and observe the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Patti Labelle, Bobby Bland and Tyrone Davis, among others. His resonating voice has an uncanny resemblance to his father's, the first time I heard Floyd, I thought it was some Johnnie tracks being revived. It was actually music from Floyd's debut album Legacy on the Malaco label in 2002. Floyd followed that one up with successful releases No Doubt in 2005, You Still Got It in 2007 and All Of Me in 2010.

 

Floyd's latest release is entitled Shut 'Em Down on the Artia Records label.  His duet with Mel Waiters, It's On Me, is a funky Soul rhythm groove that is already red hot on the charts with number one in it's near future. Simeo did the production work on Floyd's smooth rendition of his father's original What About My Love. Can't Get Enough and Turn It Up are strong upbeat R&B contemporary style movers that will garner some burn. You gotta turn the lights down low on One Thing About and Misunderstanding. Eleven tracks in all, signature Floyd Taylor that could follow his album release pattern of a sequence of hits that occur one at a time over a period of the next several months.

 

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Ricky White was born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi, in the heart of today's Southern Soul country. He grew up musically playing in his family's  band, gigging at local venues in the area. Ricky's first commercial venture was his Mr. Juke Joint album on Brimstone Records in 2006, which was re-issued with a couple of additional tracks as Still Called The Blues in 2007.

Fully Loaded (2009) and Reloaded (2011) followed on Brimstone. Single hitmakers from these albums have included Dance Floor, Ride My Pony, I'll Still Love You and Pop It Then Drop It.

 

Joining the CDS label, Ricky was the focus of their Combination compilation album in early 2013. Featured was his smash hit Shake, which was on our Top 45 chart here at Southern Soul Corner for the first eight months of last year. Also included were Ricky's duets with Bobbye 'Doll' Johnson and Funky Larry Jones and his outstanding holiday tune with TK Soul, Just Ain't Christmas Without My Baby. Ricky's latest CDS release, Majic, contains ten grooves with several potential hits included. Sexy is the lead track that is already high on the charts – Jook Joint, Blues Is All Good and Bagg It Up are energetic club joints that register strong as well. I'm also liking Casino Blues as a mid-tempo shuffle. It would appear that Ricky White may be just now settling in to this business as a rising star with many more good things to come!

 

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Jimmy 100% Sterling got his start as a drummer in several groups within his native Detroit and the surrounding area, which included performing with the legendary Jimmy Ruffin. After meeting Chairmen of the Board member Danny Woods and later General Johnson,  Jimmy got the opportunity to record and tour with them for several years. He released a single, At Least I Tried, in the mid-90's, a killer Soul tune that became his signature song. Signing with CDS Records after leaving the Chairmen, Jimmy's inaugural album, I Lived It All was released in October of last year.

 

This album consists of thirteen tracks, primarily produced by Sir Jonathan Burton. It is made up of mainly ballads to a few mid-tempo and upbeat tunes. Now as most folks that read this column know, I am not a huge fan of slow grooves, but I am also not quick to dismiss a singer with the pure Soul vocal stylings that Jimmy possesses. He brings it deep from the heart on his two renditions of At Least I Tried, I'm In Love With A Woman Other Women Talk About, Never Gonna Give You Up, I'm The One That Should've Been and You Could Lose It All.   It turns out David Ruffin was an idol of Jimmy's, whom he had a chance to meet many years ago. Jimmy admirably covers David's music here on Heavy Love and the slow groove of Statue Of A Fool. Got To Give It Up,  the highest tempo track on the album, provides a good dance tune. I get the sense that the album title track, I Lived It All, may signify that this release is a musical biography for Jimmy – it is certainly music worthy of recognition in the genre!

 

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Allendale, SC native LGB is back with her second album entitled I Am Who I Am, following up on her 2010 release of Reality Slowly Walks Us Down. In between, there was the hit single Jealous Wo-Man Yes I Am, which is included on the latest album. I like the label name, Rock N' Stereo Records, based in Warner Robins, GA, where LGB now resides. The Allendale area, by the way, can also claim singing stalwart the late Benny Gordon as a native son.  

 

LGB's sultry raspy voice churns out a sound that we may classify as Country Soul. The nine tracks on the new CD pretty much stay true to her unique vocal styling. I'm Am Who I Am (I'm Jody's Baby Girl) has been the advance track receiving considerable notice. There is Parts 1 and 2 of You Don't Miss Your Water, upbeat duets with South Carolina's Blues Doctor, Drink Small, which is meant to be a tribute to the songwriter, William Bell. Kountry Woman, Part 1 is a Zydeco mix that would absolutely fit right in down on the bayou! Country Woman, Part 2 has the same lyrics but with  a rhythm track that is more of a tush push groove. Gonna Party is something that you can definitely get down to – overall, a strong sophomore effort for a very gracious and humble lady who continues to come to the table with more surprises in her music bag!

 

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Have to admit, I don't know a lot about Southern Soul vocalist Snatch Nelson, with very little research information available on the Internet. I do know that he had a song several years back, Get Out Of Town, that I played quite a bit. It was featured on both the Mardi Gras compilation album Southern Soul Now! as well as Snatch's Ride It Like A Pony album in 2007. The title track from that release did see considerable chart action and air play.  His latest effort, the ten track Let's Get It On, was just released in November with several creditable tunes on board.  It is currently sitting at #20 on the January edition of the Top 30 Southern Soul Albums chart.

 

The title track is an original, not a cover of the Marvin Gaye standard. The tune demonstrates Snatch has the raw warbling pipes to authenticate his standing as a true Southern Soul singer. My pick on the release to make a move is Dance The Night Away. There are a couple of very nice slow tunes here, Say U Will and  Let Cha Know. A couple of carryovers from a previous release, Body and Ebony Woman, are both worth a second listen.  I'm down with it, keep on keepin' on Snatch Nelson!

 

 

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                                        Robert 'Chick' Willis

                                            1934 - 2013

 

It is sad to note the passing in December of one of the long time greats of Soul Blues, Mr. Chick Willis. Chick began his music career as a singer and later guitarist in his cousin Chuck Willis' band in the mid-'50's. Chuck had a string of hits before passing away of a stomach disorder in 1958. Chick continued on, becoming a sideman in Elmore James' Chicago based band for a time. He was best known for many years for his single release of Stoop Down Baby in 1972, which reportedly sold over three million copies. Recognized for his risque brand of Blues,  Chick recorded six albums for the Atlanta based Ichiban label between 1988 and 1994. Later albums were released on the Paula, Ifgam, Rock House, CML, Old School, Benevolent Blues and CDS labels. His 2002 song Keep Singing The Blues became a shag club staple over the last couple of years. Chick performed both nationally and abroad pretty much up until he received a diagnosis of cancer in mid-2012. He will certainly be missed but not forgotten in the world of Southern Soul.

 

 

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         Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                            January/February 2014

 

        

1. Creepin – Lola           

2. Can You Hang – Wilson Meadows                                   

3. The Rock  - Ms. Jody                                                  

4.  It's On Me – Floyd Taylor & Mel Waiters                  

5.  Just Go Dancin' – OB Buchana                             

6.  Dance Floor – Klass Band Brotherhood                        

7.   It's A Groove Party - Donnie Ray         

8.   Move Something – Lacee' with Tucka                            &

9.    Goin' Crazy - Queen Emily                                        

10.   Keep On Dancing -   Theodis Ealey and J Red    

11.   Pouring Salt - Mel Waiters    

12.    Red Shoes - Diedra

13.   I'm Gonna Keep My Love At Home – Donnie Ray & Ms. Jody      

14.   Baby It's Over - Lomax  

15.   I Want It – LeRoy Allen                                               re-entry       

16.   I Don't Need No Man – Stephanie Pickett  

17.   Don't Blame The Man - Walt Luv w/ Roy C              

18.   I Got This Record – J Wonn                                              &     

19.   Down To Earth Woman – Patrick Green                       

20.   Mr. Right Now – Mr. David               

21.   Can't Touch This – Sir Jonathan Burton  

22.   Cheat Up – Simeo                                                           

23.   Sexy – Rickey White                                                          &

24.   Crazy For You - Vick Allen                                        

25.   Sexy Man – Nellie Travis       

26.   Stepping With You - Andre Lee                                 

27.   Tell Somebody -  Gina Brown  

28.   Dance The Night Away – Snatch Nelson                         &

29.   Looking For A Good Thing – Jesi Terrell

30.  Never Gonna Give You Up = Jimmy 100% Sterling       &

31.   When I Step Into The Club - Stephanie McDee               &

32.   Bring It Baby – Pat Cooley

33.   Good Woman - Bill Avery             

34.   Fill It Up – Bigg Robb     

35.   I Am Who I Am (Jody's Baby Girl) – LGB

36.   Shuckin' And Jivin' – Jaye Hammer     

37.   Juking At The Hole In The Wall – Sweet Angel        

38.   Bad Boy - Simone De  

39.    Bring It Back - Mr Sam

40. Get It Get It Man - Chandra Calloway

41.  I Need It – Gerod Rayborn                 

42.    I'm Having A Party – Alonzo Reid                                    &  

43.    It's Your Time Now Baby – Willie White                         &

44.   Carolina Shuffle – KCO                                                                            

45.   Sugar Daddy – Donnell Sullivan                                        &  

Archives:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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