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Southern Soul Corner Feb 14

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Corner Talk: The second single, The Other Shoe, following up the smoking hot Creepin' , is also warming up for Lola, from her latest Wilbe Records album release of Cleaning House........... Go Ahead Baby is the latest single from Cupid (with Mr. Collipark, the Atlanta based hip hop producer also known as DJ Smurf). Not sure if it is the answer to the Cupid Shuffle that this artist has been seeking, but it does have a solid dance groove. But wait, isn't Cupid also featured on the latest Wendell B. charting hit We Stepping Out Ta Night.........Former Tower of Power lead singer and later R&B soloist Lenny Williams continues to find his niche in Southern Soul with his hot new single Didn't I...............Vick Allen's Crazy Over You recently went to #1 on SoulandBluesReport's Top 25. One of the most popular vocalists in the genre, his success has been steadily climbing since his debut album Let's Dance on the Brown Hill label back in 2002.......

 LaMorris Williams matriculated from his gospel roots of his famous dad and uncles as members of The Williams Brothers. He has most recently been making some strong noise in Southern Soul with his charting single It's Whatever........Gotta circle back around on Prince Ronnie Love's Back 2 Love album from early last year. Tracks like Turn That Thang Around and Strange Love are too good not to be in the active rotation........We reviewed LGB's December 1st album release of I Am Who I Am here last month.

In addition to the title track, Country Woman and Don't Miss Your Water are already standing up and being counted in the genre.......Finally got a hold of a copy (thank you Larry Jones!)  of  'The Famous' Chuck Strong's  Can I Spend Some Money On You? I love this fabled time old story about a man, his money and the lady(s) ready to part him from it!!....... 

The Hitmaker: 10 Years of TK Soul, released in 2012, is holding strong on the Blues Critic's Top 30 Albums as a subset of his best work. One of his that I especially like that is not on this compilation is Short Skirts, Tight Jeans from 2002 – also dig the rawer version of the tune later dropped by The Love Doctor.........Nelson Curry just created a great song for February 14th entitled Special Valentine, it has that Klass Band Brotherhood sound that has been so hot for the last two years!.........Recently received an exciting new Soul laden CD from Florida native Lucious Larkins, a former member of Archie Bell & The Drells. We will have more on this album, Back In The Game, in our March issue.....

 The Blues Is Alright Tour has once again cranked up with stops in Atlanta on 2/14, Shreveport LA on 2/15, St. Louis on 3/08, Merriville IN on 3/15, New Orleans on 3/21 and Houston on 4/04.  Depending upon the dates, performers will vary but may include Mel Waiters, TK Soul, Clarence Carter, Millie Jackson, Theodis Ealey, Sir Charles Jones, Latimore, Shirley Brown, Willie Clayton, Floyd Taylor, Bobby Rush and Denise LaSalle.

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Still a young gun in Southern Soul, the dynamic Nathaniel Kimble has a Number #1 hit in the making with his January single release on CDS Records of Bad Mamma Jamma. No, it's not a remake of the Carl Carlton song (“shes's a bad mama jama, just as fine as she can be”) from back in the day, but a new straight ahead rollicking, fill up the floor groove that already has the industry folks on notice.

The Benoit, Mississippi native got indoctrinated to music participating in the church choir while growing up and at the same time, developing a love for the Blues. He began crafting his own tunes at an early age, which carried over to continuing to write much of his own material today. Nathaniel first broke loose in 2001 with his Can You Bagg It Up album, the hip hop infused title track of which quickly became a #1 hit as well as what was to become his signature song. Ecko recording artist Sheba Potts-Wright later covered the song on her Love Fest album. The Please Don't Go release followed for Kimble in 2003 on the Suzie-Q label with the title track getting sizable airplay.

  Moving over to Mardi Gras Records, Nathaniel's  third album, Better Get Ready, dropped in 2005. Let Me Live My Life (Remix) followed by I'm Lonely and Let's Get Down Tonight garnered the attention of the Southern Soul radio jocks.   Nathaniel's song U Don't Want To Be Loved was one of the best jams on the 2006 Mardi Gras compilation Southern Soul Now! that featured such artists as Snatch Nelson, Tazz, Jody Sticker, Earl Duke and BJ Miller. I'm Back was the next release on Brimstone Entertainment, with Back In The Streets being one of my favorite Kimble grooves.   You Make Me Happy from the album also received considerable attention.

An established pattern has been to see a Kimble album release of original material, on his own Kimbarn Records, about every two years. Thus we received Sensational in 2008, Mama in 2010 and Destiny in 2012. Several singles from these drops either made noise in the genre or should have made more including Tell It, I'm Ready, Let Me Love U, Full Of That Juice, Something Real Good, 2 Steps and Get Wit It. Expect a new album later on this year and if the latest single in any indication, it will be an outstanding collection of music! Nathaniel continues to tour, with several live appearances scheduled over the next few months at selected venues in Mississippi and Louisiana. Looking for many more good things to come from this exciting young artist!

   

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Mississippi born and Chicago raised Cicero Blake may be one of the best kept secrets of all time in the world of Blues and Soul. The original lead singer of the '50's group the Golden Tones, they eventually evolved into the Kool Gents, from hence which came R&B hitmaker Dee Clark. Blake was part of the Windy City Soul scene that took wings and flew high in the mid to late '60's, with fellow artists like Jackie Wilson, Barbara Acklin, Jerry Butler, The Impressons, The Chi-Lites. etc. Cicero cut several singles in this era across multiple labels, including Brunswick. For some real down home '60's Soul, check out Cicero singles Sad Feeling, A Woman Needs To Be Loved and If I Had My Way.  

Blake continued to tour and record part time throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s while holding down a nine-to-five job working for Cook County, Illinois as one of the Maywood Park Districts' Commissioners. Dip My Dipper, the Blake single that was to become his signature song, was first recorded on the Susie-Q label in 1975.  His first foray into what has become known as Southern Soul was in 1988 with the Too Hip To Be Happy album, released on the Valley Vue label. The follow-up in 1993, Just One Of Those Things, had one of my all time favorite tracks in any genre on it, Cicero's great rendition of the Bobby Patterson classic, Girl I'm In Love With You. I'm Into Something from the same CD is a true early Southern Soul anthem of the variety that is often lost in today's edition of the genre.

 Moving to Johnny Vincent's Ace label resulted in the release of Wives Night Out in 1996. The title track was later covered by Avanti (Ace) subsidiary label mate Pat Brown.  Stand By Me on Ace in 1998 yielded such killer tracks such as Somebody Is Telling Our Business and This Time Around. Moving to the New Orleans based Mardi Gras label in 2003, Blake released Ain't Nothing Wrong. The successful album spawned hits for the title track and It's The Weekend together with a larger radio presence in the market. Here Comes The Heartache: The Soul Years released in 2004 contains re- issues of twenty-four vintage Cicero singles from back in the day. The late Senator Jones Hep Me label was the next stop for Cicero, dropping the Blues filled It's You  I Need in 2008.

 Signing with CDS in 2010, Blake recorded and released the critically acclaimed Carl Marshall produced I'm Satisfied, with a hit out of the chute on I Can't Go On Mrs. Jones.  Also reprised were some previous Blake tunes with strong remixed versions of I'm Into Something, Dip My Dipper and Here Comes The Heartache.    His latest CDS release, the self-titled Cicero, reflects the evolution of Blake's musical stylings over 55+ years.  Be Careful With My Heart is a soulful horn laden advance track that has already charted here at Southern Soul Corner. We're Gonna Have A Party   has kind of a Cajun flavor with choppy licks that really jumps off. That Love Is Gone rocks the house and will likely chart here on the next Top 45. There are also the smoky, sultry bluesy cuts like Yes I Do, It's The Blues Uprising, It's You I Need and Damn Fool.  Eleven cuts in all that serve to prove that Cicero Blake is not only legendary, he is far from being done!

 

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Alabama based Hot Spot Records has just come out with a rousing new third edition of the series compilation that has a combination of familiar names and some that are not as well known. If my memory serves me correctly, Volume 1 was distributed in 2010 by the CDS label while both CDS and Hot Spot have released Volume 2's containing the same songs.

Headliners for Hot Spot Volume 3 include legendary veteran Pat Brown with an upbeat jam entitled Do Me Right and the not so subtle I'm Taking Out The Trash. RB & Company had a smash hit on Volume 2 with You Can't Watch Your Wife (And Your Woman Too). They are back here with a beautiful slow and low Having A Hard Time Getting Over U and the bluesy mover Woman With A Mess Up Mind. Willie B., who had a 2010 album release entitled  Hard Times, checks in here with a couple of progressive grooves, Same Thang and a reprise of Volume 2's mighty fine My Queen.

Eric P. is known more for his engineering and production work for the likes of Marvin Sease, La Keisha, Lee Shot Williams Ms. Jody and The King Tutt Band. He did have a solo album as Eric Perkins, entitled Hood Rat, on the Mardi Gras label in 2003. The rap infused Enough Is Enough is his  contribution on this compilation. I'm liking newcomer Angel Faye Russell's booty mover My Sugar Daddy as well as the melodic anthem I Am A Helova Woman. The twelve track comp is rounded out with singles from Lisa Perkins, James Robinson and King Russell. A solid output of new material in the genre!  

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Do you remember Melinda Doolittle, a somewhat small in stature lady with a big ol' powerful voice? The college student and part-time backup vocalist placed third in American Idol's sixth season (the winner was Jordin Sparks). She had previously performed session vocal work with Jonny Lang, Vickie and CeCe Winans, Aaron Neville, Alabama and Kirk Whalum. Two years after Idol, she emerged with a dynamite retro-Soul release in Coming Back To You, which made it all the way up to #3 in 2009 on the Top Independent Albums chart. Smokin' Soul/R&B tracks included It's Your Love,  Fundamental Things, Wonderful and bang up bluesy renditions of Dust My Broom and Walkin' Blues.

 

Since then, she has written an inspirational book, Beyond Me: Finding Your Way To Life's Next Level, appeared in a children's animated series, produced a documentary album, graduated with a Degree in Music from Belmont University in Nashville and worked for several notable charities. Most recently, Melinda released an EP entitled You're The Reason made up of seven a little more contemporary tunes than her previous 2009 album.  I'm liking the title track as well as the hard charging Without You. We too often think that talented individuals such as Melinda who are not in the constant spotlight have disappeared but no - they are out there, working hard and keep on keeping on!

 

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Another of the high profile Internet radio stations playing the best in Beach, Boogie and Southern Soul is YourBeachMusic.com. Formed as a partnership by Joey Warren, Ray Scott, Freddy Priest and Ricky Dennis, YBM features live shows with on air personalities Joey and Ray as well as the best in syndicated programs in the industry. YBM was the winner of the Best Internet Radio Show at the 2013 Carolina Beach Music Awards.  Listed below are ten of the hottest Southern Soul and Boogie selections that are requested through this network as YourBeachMusic.Com takes pride in playing such a great genre of music!!!   

 

 

Ms. Jody                     The Rock

 

Gina Sicilia                  Before The Night Is Through

Jim Quick                    All That Matters To Me

Donnie Ray                 I’m Gonna Try Again

Albert Rogers             She Caught The Katy

Cash Box Kings           She Wants To Sell My Monkey

Ms. Jody                      Still Strokin

Bill Perry                     I Ain’t Lying    

Roy C                           I Should Have Shot The Man

Ms. Jody                      He's My Candy Man

HONORABLE MENTION

Taj Mahal                    Hello Josephine

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