It is with
great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Larry Jones, one of the pioneer key contributors to the evolution of what
has become today's Southern Soul. Funky Larry, as he was known in the industry,
worked diligently to promote Soul and Blues on his radio shows, as a member of Malaco Records and as the founder of SoulandBluesReport.com. Larry left us on May 6th while at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.
He leaves behind a legacy in the music business that will certainly be missed by all that knew him.
Corner Talk: Sir Jonathan Burton has a brand new
drop on CDS Records entitled Othership Connection with a variety of remixes, new jams, shout outs etc. in rowdy
Sir JB style!! We will review it here next month at SSC............Soul songstress Karen Wolfe has actually been a staple
at the Coday Records label since 2006. She has had powerful hit tunes and charters with Backdoor Love Affair, Man Enough,
Blues Me Up, One Good Man and You Ain't No Player. We mentioned last month her new one with Ain't
Nobody Got Time For That, a duet with Nelson Curry. Two additional new ones in the mix for Karen are Get Your
Lie Straight, reworked lyrics from a title and tune that the late Bill Coday first had a charting R&B hit with
back in 1971 as well as another Coday tune, a remix of You Gonna Want Me Back..............
for a speedy recovery go out to Southern Soul columnist and expert historian Daddy B. Nice, who has had two major surgeries
to remove and repair a large lung tumor.........A Soul singer from Louisiana known as Pokey has been making some noise the
last few months with tracks from his his 2013 album Josephine Son Pokey.
The CD features several collaborations, including joints with fellow bayou performers Tucka, Stephanie McDee and Tyree Neal.
I did notice that a few DJ's are listing his songs as being from Big Pokey, which is the same moniker used by the Houston
based veteran rapper who first debuted in the early '90's. Is this the same artist?
No, don't think so!.............We sent out a blast in our March column as to what is happening with veteran singer
Vince Hutchinson. Turns out Vince has a new single that is on SoulandBluesReport's Sampler 22. Grey Goose Cranberry Juice is a pretty nice
groove, a potential future charter here at SSC !!.........
The Revelations, with Reil Gaddis replacing Tre Williams on lead vocals,
have a new album just out at the end of April. The Cost Of Living, featuring eight tracks, is their fourth
release, following up Deep Soul (2008), (The Bleeding Edge
(2009) and Concrete Blues (2011)..........Fourteen or so years
ago, Sir Charles Jones was an up and coming Southern Soul young gun with a contemporary R&B edge to his music. Since that
time, he has had several critically acclaimed albums, was named the 2008 Southern Soul Artist of the Year and has produced
award winning songs for other artists. Sir Charles' latest album, Portrait Of A Balladeer, was just released
earlier this month on the Endzone Entertainment label...........Interesting that outstanding vocalist Vel Omarr was voted
Best New Artist in Blues Critic's Southern Soul/Blues 2012 Readers Poll. Vel did have an awesome album, The Greatest
Song I Ever Sang, released that year but I remember another killer release entitled Rhythms & The Blues
from Vel way back in 1999. More coming here at SSC on this veteran artist in future issues........
Sizzling: I Got
This Record by J Wonn, It's On Me from the late Floyd Taylor and Mel Waiters, Ms. Jody's The Rock,
Vick Allen's Crazy Over You, Sexy by Ricky White, Can I Spend Some Money On You
from Chuck Strong, Move Something by Lacee and Tucka, Coming On Strong: I Can Be Your Dream Girl by Lady Audrey, I
Gotta Walk from Mr. X, The Other Shoe by Lola, Bad
Mamma Jamma from Nathaniel Kimble, Dancin' With My Baby by Miss Rebekah, Do Me Right from
our May/June Top 45 at the end of this column, 20 outstanding tunes added for the first time.........
If you think O.B. Buchana's singing style has changed much
over the years, go back and listen to his original single from the '90's, Back Up Lover, or It's Over,
the title track to his first album on the Paula label. His vocal groove has pretty much stayed the same through his current
release, Pop Yo' Bottle, which is his 11th album on Ecko Records since 2004. O.B. is down home soulful Blues,
juke joint style, Mississippi country all the way with a voice that is easily recognizable in its rich uniqueness.
Eleven tracks on the latest CD, only two slow and lows,
It Should Have Been Me and We Just Can't Leave Each Other Alone, the rest are all mid to up tempo. The
title track, You're Welcome To The Party, Turn It Up, Take My Wife Back and What's The Deal,
every one rock the house! The O.B. Shuffle is most definitely suitable for line dancing. There have been several
songs in Southern Soul titled Party On The Weekend, including versions by Kenne Wayne, Tyree Neal and the late
Quinn Golden, this one is none of those, but an all new version. I seem to have a habit of saying this on every new O.B. release
on Ecko but I think this is his best one yet!!
I stated we would do a review in this edition on the new Rue Davis CD entitled Shake
It Loose. I don't yet have the album, and it took me quite a bit of searching of music websites to find one that had
a full track listing with preview capability. Unfortunately, it was not on iTunes, eMusic,
CD Baby or Amazon.com. Finally found the ability to listen on CD Universe. Davis is back to the label, the California based
Kon-Kord Records, where his Southern Soul career took off as well as where I first heard him. The 1995 You Are My Honey
Poo album was the launching pad for the phenomenal I'm In Love
With The Girl Next Door. That tune spent 59 weeks on the Rhythm 'n' Beach Top 40 charts across two years, finishing
at #17 in 1995 and at #15 in 1996. Rue is a tremendous talent, a little bit Johnnie Taylor, a little Al Green, with a straight
ahead delivery, all the while teetering on the edge of major stardom. Also too often overlooked is his vast song writing skills,
penning tunes for dozens of artists over the years.
album is a smorgasbord of tunes in a predominantly mid-tempo bluesy shuffle style. There are a few high energy jams like the
as a cover of the Sterling Harrison 1999 (also on Kon-Kord) Two Way
Love Affair and a beach flavored Let's Do The Shag. Rue
also does creditable, albeit slower tempo, covers of Sam Cooke's Bring
It On Home To Me, the O.V. Wright penned I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled And Crazy, the Joe Seneca written
Pop classic Talk To Me and You Can't Have Your Cake And Eat It Too, first created by Ike Turner. I love the groove of I Got A Crazy Woman,
it will work well for the dancers. Eleven cuts in all with the 12th being a 'Thank You' Greeting. We are fortunate to have an original such as Rue Davis in this industry!!
David Brinston may very well be one of the hardest working
performers in Southern
Soul. Many folks do not realize that he has been at it for years. From his first album release in the genre, Hit And Run, which was on the JoMar Records label
in 1995, all the way through his latest, David has been a model of consistency. The title track from his initial release,
by the way, stayed on the Top 40 Rhythm 'n' Beach charts for almost two years! By my count, Brinston has released 14 albums
all told across the JoMar, R&B, Susie Q, Waldoxy, Ecko and Delta Down labels. Some of the outstanding tracks over the
years include Trouble Maker, Dirty Lover, Two Way Love Affair, You're So
Freak Girl, Too Many Women, After Party, Bus Stop, I Just Love Women, Something I Want (with Ms. Jody), Dirty
Woman, Beat It Up, Fool and Hold On Me.
Back On Track was just released in March of this year. It is pretty much traditional Brinston,
with his raspy vocal styling prominent across the eight cuts. Already receiving DJ attention are upbeat jams Diamond
In The Middle and Tragic Love. I am also liking the steady pace of One Way and 911.
The mid to up tempo What You Gonna Do (In The Morning) contains both Blues and Soul elements blended in the
groove. Lonely Guy closes the album with a down low vibe that would work for slow dancing. I have had a real
dilemma choosing one song here to focus on for our Top 45 chart, there are at least four or five that would work!
Veteran Soul and Blues vocalist Lou Pride passed away in June
of 2012. Born in Chicago, he spent many of his early recording years living in Texas and New Mexico, but he always remained
true to his Windy City roots, to which he eventually returned. Several single releases in the early to mid '70's preceded
Lou's first album, Very Special, in 1979. Releasing new music was more or less a sideline for Lou – his
thing was delivering electrifying performances before live audiences whenever he could. He did, however, record on several
labels over his long career including Black Gold, Curtom, WMB, Ichiban and Icehouse. Lou's studio time for the last several
years was spent with the Maryland based Severn Records.
The last Pride album after Lou's passing was targeted for
release on Severn in the fall of 2012. Ain't No More Love In This House
was another year in the making, actually being released in October of 2013. The album is true to the standard that Lou set
for himself – solid performances with a mesmerizing voice that is reminiscent of the likes of B.B. King, Z.Z. Hill and
Bobby 'Blue' Bland. Soulful Blues with strong instrumentation is heard throughout, like the title track which is an anthem
to classic R&B that builds a strong foundation for the rest of the album. Tunes like I Didn't Take Your Woman, Never,
Love Come Got Me and I Gotta Move On Up are mid-tempo rhythms in which
the instruments don't overpower but rather complement Lou's heartfelt lyrics. To hear some of the best vintage Lou Pride,
I would also recommend The Memphis/El Paso Sessions 1970-1973 on
the Severn label, which is a great collection of his early '70's single recordings. Many folks are just now discovering the
hidden talent that was the late Lou Pride!
Barbara Carr was singing her heart out and recording at a
major label long before many of today's Southern Soul artists were even born. She was turning out singles at Chicago's famed
Chess Records back in the mid-'60's. Originally Barbara Crosby from St. Louis, she took her husband's last name early in her
career (I was fortunate enough to meet both her and her husband Charles several years ago). She alternated between raising
a family, singing in local bands, working a day job and recording songs along the way for many years, including some produced
at Muscle Shoals Studios. Barbara and Charles formed their own record label,
Bar-Car, in the early '80's. Her early single recordings served as the basis of Barbara's breakthrough album Good Woman
Gone Bad in 1989.
Signing with newly formed Ecko Records in the mid-'90's, Barbara's
first album on the label, Footprints On The Ceiling, met with rousing success. Bone Me Like You Own Me
was the almost immediate follow up second album release. Barbara quickly became notably established for her sultry
Blues delivery often coupled with ribald lyrics. The result was a ten year run
of outstanding releases - What A Woman Wants (1999), Stroke
It (2000), The Best Woman (2001), On My Own (2002), Talk To Me (2003), Down
Low Brother (2006) and It's My Time (2007). Barbara moved over to CDS Records for a brief period, releasing
Savvy Woman in 2009. Meanwhile, Ecko released The Best of Barbara Carr Volume 1 in 2003 and The
Best Of Barbara Carr Volume 2 in 2011.
The outstanding singles from all of Carr's album releases
are almost overwhelming. Footprints On The Ceiling, Bone Me Like You Own Me, If You Can't Cut The Mustard, Let A Real
Woman Try, Bo Hawk Grind, Hootchie Dance, I've Been Partying At The Hole In The Wall, The Right Kind Of Love, Juke Joint Jumpin',
Sick And Tired Of Your Mess, You've Got To Right The Wrong, Ya'll Know How To Party, Scat Cat, While You Was Out Playing Jody,
I'm Just A Lucky Girl, Long On Talk Short On Love, The Heart You Break...and so on. She has twice won
the Living Blues Readers Award as the Best Female Artist. Carr has been nominated for The Blues Foundation's Best Soul
Blues Female Artist Award five times over the past seven years.
Barbara was working with award winning
song writer/producer Johnny Rawls the last couple of years, releasing Keep The Fire Burning on the Texas based
Catfood Records label in 2012. Strong radio and club cuts include the title track, Come On Home, Hanging By A Thread
and What You Gonna Do. We just confirmed that the deal
has been signed with the song material under way for a new album from Barbara returning to the Ecko Records label. An expected
target release is within the next few months. Barbara Carr continues to sing from the heart while staying young at heart as
a Southern Soul treasure!