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Corner Talk: We mentioned it here at Corner Talk last July,  Lomax Spaulding's late November 2012 release of Life's Lessons may very well turn out to be one of the best Southern Soul albums of this decade. Swing It, Baby It's Over and Let Me Work It have all been big hits so far on our Top 45 chart. Put It All Up There was an advance single from the CD that also made several genre charts and Second Hand Man is a definite club slow groove floor filler. Swing It also crossed over this month to come in at #33 on the Beach Smokin' Top 45 as voted on by the DJs, where the industry professionals are just now discovering the incredible talent of Lomax.........Gotta give ongoing props to Tony Gideon at Sound Mindz Records in Birmingham for all the fine artists he tirelessly promotes – Mr. X, Willie White, Jesi Terrell, James Morgan, Jessie Clay, T. Honey Brown, Roscoe Robinson and more, some great music that we in the genre would not otherwise get to hear without the efforts of Tony........



I keep forgetting each month to talk about Terry Wright's latest single

I Done Lost My Good Thing, a slow jam that has gone to the top of the charts. Terry is a ten year veteran who had his debut album Anytime Man released on the Hep' Me label in 2004............ Just heard a new remix of  a song entitled I'll Never Let You Go by R&B diva Shele'a that is already getting some burn on the Southern Soul airwaves and projects to be on the charts very soon............You go Cupid, We Steppin' Out Tonight, your duet with Wendell B is smokin' hot right now!.....A new artist from IFGAM Records, Larry Griffith, check out his tune I Want A Big Legged Woman With Good Credit!!........Rue Davis has a new CD on a label he recorded on several years ago, Kon-Kord Records, entitled Shake It Loose. Have not had the chance to listen end to end yet, we'll do a full review on it next month.........Karen Wolfe may have a hit on her hands with the bad to the bone Ain't Nobody Got Time For That, a duet with Nelson Curry from Klass Band......................


Soul songstress Keri has drifted in and out of the genre for several years. She is featured on John Cummings' new CD (see below) on the tune Serious Love. Daddy B. Nice had her on his April 2007 chart with a song entitled Borrowed Time. She also had a couple of nice jams, Gonna Get Paid and In The Mood, on the Southern Soul Blues Hot Spot Vol 1 compilation from CDS Records in 2010..............J. Red, who is Theodis Ealey's nephew, hails from Greenville, N.C. He  has been part of the recent successful duet with Theodis on Keep On Dancing. Also serving notice are his recent singles My Good Thang and Give It To Me, AND, he is featured on a new slammin' groove If He Won't I Will with Black Diamond........... Another Carolina connection belongs to Jerry Adams, originally from Shelby, NC but now residing in Spartanburg, SC. My Girl (2013) is his February album release – several nice cuts on it, but for me, Send A Letter definitely stands up long and strong!



Veteran performer Billy 'Soul' Bonds broke into Southern Soul in the mid to late '90's on the Ace/Avanti labels, following his debut up with hot tracks such as Reverend Joe, Going Public With My Love, I Just Came Out To Party and Tell It To The Judge. He has been consistently popular on the show circuit for many years. Billy has more recently been a part of the slow but sure resurgence of Malaco Records, with a big hit over the past year on Get Her With My Twitter. He is back with a new one called Cat Daddy and reportedly a new album is the works for Billy........A couple of brand new jams from two divas that are gonna ignite a fire are Dancin' With My Baby by Miss Rebekah and I Can Be Your Dream Girl from Lady Audrey....... I missed one in 2010! Ms. Silky Sol, with her scintillating album, Grown A$$ Woman, should have gotten my attention. Some  raucous tracks on it including I Got You, Grown Woman Talkin' and Been There Done That.



We mentioned a month or two ago here at SSC about a new CD received from a former member of Archie Bell & The Drells. Lucious Larkins, a singer with a special voice, is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. Lucious went on the road with Archie and the group for an extended period of time back in the day, initially as an opening act and later on as a member of the band. Retiring from the road, Lucious focused on writing songs for others for several years. With a background in Gospel, R&B and Soul, Larkins has channeled his vocal skills into releasing an exciting album entitled Back In The Game.  A strong dose of sultry soulfulness excellent for late night listening, I am partial to several of the cuts including It's Got To Be Love, Baby I Like It and Special Love. Larkins sings with a passion that you don't always hear these days. Give it a listen - the album is available at  as well as on iTunes.





Big John Cummings has been a celebrated songwriter in the Southern Soul arena for several years, penning songs for such stars as Ms. Jody, OB Buchana, David Brinston, Lee “Shot” Williams, Barbara Carr, Donnie Ray, Carl Sims and more. He also occasionally steps out to record as well – his latest is entitled Back On The Grind on the QT Records label. It is a combination of down home Blues and raw Soul with an old school flavor.


Being a big fan of upbeat jams, I really like the groove of Mr. Do Right, Crazy Bout My Baby, Go Head, Let's Go Dancing and the mid-tempo shuffle of My Baby Right Here With Me.  We are already seeing some airwave action on the lascivious Arkansas Caramel. The aforementioned heartfelt duet with Keri (Serious Love) has hit potential as well. Big John does a solid tribute to one of the most underrated singers ever in Southern Soul, Mr. Marvin Sease. I dig the back of the house licks on Real Good Woman – sounds like a juke box selection at the hole in the wall!!

Thirteen tracks in the package, solid Soul for all music lovers!



Louisiana native Tucka is certainly not new on the Southern Soul scene. His rhythmic lyrical phrasing has produced four albums since 2011 with some killer tracks such as Sweet Shop, Work It Out, Book Of Love, Forever Swing, Candy Land and Don't Make Me Beg. Tucka is also currently on the charts with the duet Move Something that features Lacee'. This young gun is way underrated as a performer when it comes to creativity and fresh delivery. The guide lists him as a Rap artist – not so much,  this guy is smooth Soul all the way!


Tucka's new release Groove City is fourteen tracks of some outstanding R&B and Soul. Although he wasn't yet born when they came to prominence, many of his stylings sound like the smooth Soul/Doo-Wop harmony groups

from many years ago. He goes Back To The Sweet Shop here, rides the Love Train, practices as the Love Doctor in a Slow & Easy mode, asks What's Your Flavor and ends up Dancing With Fire while Blowing In The Wind! LOL....all great tracks, his tunes have a rhythmic precision with excellent production work behind the music! Gotta think stronger recognition is in the cards for this talented young artist!




The first edition of Ricky White's Combination was released a year ago on CDS Records with tunes from Ricky, Betty Padgett, Bobbye 'Doll' Johnson, Jerry L, Kimberly Adams and Gwen White. Ricky's talents were recognized by being awarded the 2013 Blues Critic Best Record Producer as well as Southern Soul Artist of the Year. His latest effort, Ricky White Presents: Combination 2 just out on CDS, is a righteous compilation of tunes, many of which jump off in fine style. Gotta give it up for the divas here, I absolutely love Gwen White's rockin' Ladies Got To Get That Money, Stephanie Pickett's rollickin' What One Man Won't Do and Betty Padgett's suitable for steppin' Can You Handle It? Definite Smokin' Top 45 chart material for next month here. Nathaniel Kimble's blazing new single Bad Mama Jamma is already a bonafide hit and on our chart! The Love Doctor continues his long awaited return to Southern Soul with Pop That Cootchie.


 What else is here? William Calhoun's Room 229 is just down the hall from the late Little Milton's Room 244!. Kenne' Wayne came along and borrowed that room from Milton many years later. TK Soul's Looking For A Lady is a smooth slow and low groove that is also on his latest album. Ricky also slows it way down on Live My Life Again as does Jerry L with She's Got Paper's On Me. There are intro tracks here from some new names to me, Tonya Youngblood, Larry Milton and Henry Rhoades.  Twelve tracks in all, certainly a compilation worth the time to give it a shot!



It's Memphis baby! Ecko Records has been a model of consistency in Southern Soul for almost twenty years now. The recording artists have come and gone and come again to their recording studios, but the compilations keep right on coming. Blues Mix 13, Grown Folks Soul is twelve cuts focusing on the current headliners on the label. Leading off is OB Buchana's upbeat Turn It Up, a new single with certain hit potential that will be on his upcoming May album release. Another preview tune from OB is the even keeled mid to up tempo That's My Song. Donnie Ray's slammin' Same Woman is also on his latest album – it is a duet  featuring Jaye Hammer that reminds me of a slower tune of the same title and certainly the same subject from several years ago from the late J. Blackfoot and Archie Love. That Black Magic is a previously unreleased Donnie groove.


 Two Ms. Jody tracks come from previous albums – Energizer Bunny is a mid range shuffle from 2008 and Weekend Lovin', which has the right stuff to be a charter this time around, is from her 2010 Back In The Streets Again release. Carl Sims 2007 original tune If You Can't Help Me is back here as a remix. It is one of his best singles on the Ecko label. Sheba Potts-Wright comes out of left field on a new one with a different message – Stay With Your Wife is not the norm in those three way relationships! Both Sonny Mack (What Goes Around Comes Around) and John Cummings (Bobby's Gone) debut new tracks as well. Good stuff throughout from John Ward and Company on North Hollywood Street!




Yet another just released compilation comes forth with Southern Soul Smashes 4 from the good folks at CDS Records. This one in an intertwined combination of potential new tunes with several that have already made their mark in the genre. Leading off is a remix of Sexy,  Ricky White's large and in charge hit over the last several months. Ditto for Jerry L's monster track She's Got That Ooo Wee. Sir Jonathan Burton had a modicum of success with the ribald Meat On Them Bones. Additional second time arounds include Luther Lackey's When I'm Gone, Jim Bennett's Slap It Slap It, Charles Wilson's I Dance Better, Stan Mosley's Lockdown, Uvee Hayes' Get Your Dance On, and Gregg A. Smith's Still Pretty.


There is a signature remix here of the recently departed Floyd Taylor's I Like The Way. Here's hoping we can continue to bring his songs forward

in remembrance of his special talent. Earl Duke's slow groove A Woman's Needs is a reprise from his Mardi Gras Records days with a slightly different song title. I have not previously heard the balladry of Patrick Henry's After Your Man Is Gone. Also heard for the first time is Old School Girl from the emerging talents of Blind Ricky McCants.



Is Denise LaSalle still the undisputed Queen of the Blues? Can she still rightly be called the First Lady of Southern Soul? I have to say yes on both counts. After almost fifty years in the business, the Mississippi born singer/songwriter is still out there getting it done in fine style.  From her early days at Chess Records in Chicago, her first big hit on the Westbound label (Trapped By a Thing Called Love) in 1971, her ABC albums, through her long association with Malaco Records as well as significant time spent with the Ecko label, Denise has maintained a model of  excellence that has been hard to match. LaSalle has been likened to a modern day Bessie Smith, fueled by her quick wit and the saucy lyrics found throughout her original tunes.


 Denise’s singles and albums have charted numerous times, including her 1997 Smokin’ in Bed CD, critically acclaimed as one of the best Blues/Soul albums of the decade.  She has received several honors over the last ten years including Blue Critic's Best Southern Soul Album for 2005 (Wanted) and Best Female Vocal Performance in 2010 (I'm A 24 Hour Woman). Her 2007 Pay Before You Pump album had the title track as well as Mississippi Woman and It’s Going Down all make it to #1 on the charts. Denise has been nominated seven consecutive times, including this year, for the Blues Foundations' Best Soul Blues Female Artist. She was elected to the Foundations'  Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.  Denise continues to record, perform and be a major force in the industry - and yes, to us here at SSC she is 'Still The Queen'!.



February 2014

March 2014