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Southern Soul Corner july 2014

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Corner Talk: Career opening act and background singer JJ Thames has suffered through some hard times, including being homeless at one point. The Detroit native has shared the stage with Marvin Sease, Peggy Scott-Adams, Bobby Bland, Denise LaSalle and Willie Clayton, among others.  JJ caught a positive vibe in 2013, being signed by Canton, Mississippi based DeChamp Records. Her debut album on the label, Tell You What I Know,  features thirteen tracks of golden R&B/Soul, produced in part by Grady Champion. It's great to see a hard working artist such as JJ get the break she needs to keep going upward.........Veteran bluesman Eddie Cotton is also on the DeChamp label. My Boo is a song currently making some big noise - it is from his latest album entitled Here I Come. I just last month found on Amazon.com what proved to be a scarce copy of Eddie's 2007 Extra album, great stuff!!............but wait, we were just speaking of Grady Champion, Malaco subsidiary Waldoxy Records has distributed a new Grady single. Southside is gonna be one of the hottest Southern Soul tunes of 2014!.........Malaco also officially released Mr. David's Soul Skool, which actually debuted here on the Corner chart at #7 in July 2012 but did not have a label home at that time............

 

 

Talented veteran soulster Jesse James has been recording and performing since the '60's. Several of his singles from back in the day are considered to be prized items by collectors of Northern Soul.  Always having a feel for the novelty in lyrics and titles, Jesse's signature tune in Southern Soul, I Can Do Bad By Myself, was first released in 1988 on his own Gunsmoke label. The answer song, It's Not So Bad After All, didn't come about until 2006. Now rolling with the times, Jesse's latest is entitled I Lost My Baby On Facebook......Louisiana original Ms. Charli' had a smokin' hot hit with Giddy Up in 2012. She is back now peeling off the covers on another strong groove with Jus Fell In Love.......Twerkin' is definitely where it's at, L'il Jimmie's novelty She Was Twerkin' appears to have rocket fuel tied to it as it zooms up the charts.......We reviewed songstress Lina's (Shelina Wade) album release of Love Chronicles Of A Lady Songbird here on the Corner in the January 2013 edition. Her hit single I Won't Let My Baby Down was also later covered from the man's point of view by Lewis 'Raw Shaw' Shaw. Lina has recently written and recorded a duet with Lewis entitled Ghetto Tactics.....Relative newcomer Raw Shaw also has a tune making a little noise right now called The End Of The Rainbow.............

 

 

The legendary Millie Jackson is high on the American Blues Network's Top 20 with a tune called Black B_tch Crazy. It is being distributed by the Brimstone label.........another one on their recent charts was Tonight's Another Night from Miss Genii, which originated on Ecko Records Blues Mix 11 in mid-2013...........A smokin' hot jam just released in June is from newcomer Gentry Jones which features Mr. Sam is called Roll It Roll It..........Vick Allen is the master when it comes to squeezing more charting songs than anyone out of a single album release. 2012's Soul Music has so far yielded the title track, Party All Our Blues Away, My Baby's Phone, I'm Tired Of Being Grown, Crazy Over You and True To Me. This follows the same pattern as Vick's 2009 Truth Be Told album, which produced at least five hit tunes over a period of almost three years............CDS Records has just re-released outstanding composer/arranger/producer Carl Marshall's Songs People Love The Most, Volumes 1 and 2 in a twenty-seven track package....Just out, we will review Avail Hollywood's Rehab release in next month's column........ 

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Bobby Rush was Henpecked, burdened with I Got 3 Problems, seen the struggles of a Broken Hearted Man and dealt with a low down Dirty Dog!  LOL, all song titles from this legendary Blues and Soul singer's amazing career. Born in Louisiana, his family migrated to Chicago in 1953 where  Bobby became part of the West Side Blues movement of the '60's. Fronting bands before breaking out with a few hit tunes, Bobby favored the smoky chitlin' circuit clubs for his often risque material over the higher profile Blues venues. Titling his signature sound as “folk-funk”, he had solid charters in the early '70's with Chicken Heads and Bow Legged Woman. Over the years, Bobby has recorded on the La-Jam, Jewel, Ronn, Urgent, Waldoxy and Deep Rush labels. Still going strong at 73 and a consistent crowd pleaser, he is often one of the headliners at current day Blues festivals.

 

Bobby's latest album, Decisions, on the Silver Talon label, was just released in April. He teams up with bluesy Funk band Blinddog Smokin' for some exceptional phat grooves. Legendary multi-Grammy winner Dr. John joins Bobby and the band on Another Murder In New Orleans, a tune that personifies the violence that continues to plague the Big Easy. The song is meant to raise a new awareness to the problem – it was recently licensed to the national non-profit Crimestoppers organization. Funky Old Man reminds me of a cross between the Meters and the late Rufus Thomas. Sittin' Here Waitin' has much of the same funky backbeat sound. If That's The Way You Like It I Like It is strong on the second line horns giving it the big band effect while Bobby tells the ribald story. Stand Back is a narrative anthem that would have fit right on Robbie Robertson's 1991 Storyville album that was immersed in New Orleans lore.  Dr. Rush finds Bobby giving his wisdom out in advice to phone callers set to an electronic funkified beat. Classic Bobby can be heard throughout, this is a great album just to listen to and enjoy!

   

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A rising young star named Lacee is a product of one of those situations that we mentioned last month where a new artist releases a single or a debut album with the hopes that something takes off. The Memphis based singer got her start as a backup singer for Little Milton, which led to additional supporting gigs. Lacee's first album, Songstress, in 2006, introduced her to the general Southern Soul population but did not really have anything that jumped off in a big way. She followed that up with a single in late 2007 entitled Lacee's Groove that definitely commanded some attention. It finished at #8 on our Southern Soul Corner 2008 Top 25 Song Countdown and became the title track for her second album, released in 2009. I Ran A Good Man Away, also from the album, saw some strong chart action as well, actually coming in at #6 for the year here at the Corner. (We were huge Lacee fans before we even realized it!)

 

Lacee's music has continued to evolve, releasing Soulful in 2011. Move Something was the track that was on fire, one of the most popular tunes for the year. Quick Man and Can't Say No also got some burn with us here as well as on other charts. Late 2012 revealed a holiday spirit side of Lacee – she released an eight track CD of yuletide originals and covers with spicy versions of Merry Christmas Baby and This Christmas. A continuous string of duets involving Lacee over the past going on two years have performed really well in the genre. There has been a couple with Theodis Ealey (Think It Over, You and I Together), one with Shirley Jones (I'm At Your Mercy) and a hot jam rework of Move Something with Tucka.

 

The July 1st release of Lacee's Beautiful album leads off with a further expansion of her range with the bluesy Let The Juke Joint Jump. The title track as well as several others, including Call Me, Oh Well, Last Drink and The Diva's Ball do have more of a mainstream R&B feel to them. I'm really liking the down home soulful feel of I Got Your Back and Don't Know Where You At. A couple of domestic front warning anthems to the man who is steppin' out are what Hoe Digger and Messy are all about. Mr. Wrong is the aftermath song to dealing with the situation with that man more than once. The release is twelve tracks in all serving as another solid stepping stone in the soaring career of Lacee!

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Although Patrick Henry is not as well known as some of the more dominant male vocalists in Southern Soul, he has been around for many years. Hailing from Sunset, Louisiana, he joined a group called The Liberation Band in 1978 and, staying pretty much local, he has performed and recorded several albums with both the band and as a solo artist since that time. Notable Henry tunes over the years include: Played Cheated And Lied, Twisted Love Affair, Loving U, Shoop Do, More Than A Woman, Losing You, One Stop Shop and The PH Bounce.

 

Patrick Henry recorded on two albums that were released this past April. Louisiana Rhythm & Blues features solo efforts by Patrick as well as him performing with bluesmen Burton Gaar & The Mudcats. Twenty tracks, some from previous Henry albums, heavy on the Zydeco and Cajun riffs while being soulful all the way. I really like the solos on Good Love, How Lucky Can I Get, LB Blues and So Called Friend. The second release,   Come And Get It, which was the same title as his 1995 album on the Lanor label, is also twenty cuts, containing re-releases as well as previously unreleased tracks. I chose Do You Love Me for this month's Smokin' Top 45, as far as I can ascertain a new Patrick tune that does have a current sound to it.  A number of solid grooves can be found on this album as well, including Do You Need A Little Excitement, I Could Make It Better, I'm Leaving You, My Love, Something About You and Love Attack.  Patrick Henry & The Liberation Band are party and festival favorites throughout Louisiana. It is time the rest of the country gets exposed to their straight ahead soul grooves as well!

 

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We continue to lose individuals who were foundational members of Soul music. Just this past month, legendary song poet Bobby Womack passed on June 27th at age 70. His contributions were instrumental in the continuous  evolution of one of the great American music genres. Bobby was the quintessential Soul vocalist as well as an accomplished guitarist and amazing songwriter. His raspy, smoky, at times almost haunting vocals were captivating to an audience. The Cleveland native got his start singing Gospel with his four brothers – eventually becoming an opening act for the Soul Stirrers. There he met and be-friended Sam Cooke, which led to later recording on Sam's SAR label. The Womack Brothers soon became The Valentinos, crossing over to secular music. After Cooke's untimely death in 1964, Bobby married Sam's widow, but struggled to get his solo career off the mark. He filled the gaps with session guitar work, appearing on recordings by Ray Charles, Joe Tex and Aretha Franklin. Bobby also became one of Wilson Pickett's favorite songwriters, penning the hits I'm In Love and I'm A Midnight Mover.

 

Bobby finally achieved a measure of success in the late '60's, scoring hits  with What Is This? and Fly Me To The Moon on the Minit label. After a period of sustained accomplishments,  he signed with United Artists in 1971, further enjoying a string of twenty charting singles over the next six years, including That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha, Across 110th Street, Harry Hippie, Woman's Gotta Have It and the #1 R&B smash Lookin' For A Love. Two years later, I Feel A Groove Comin' On, climbed all the way to #1 on the Billboard Disco Singles chart. From there, Bobby went on to release albums on the Columbia and Arista labels to close out the decade. Womack's was a life not without tragedy - struggling with his own demons, the murder of his brother Harry along with battles with depression often sent Bobby into periods of heavy partying and drug abuse.

 

Over the next several years, Womack recorded albums with the Beverly Glen  MCA, Sony, Universal, Capitol and Slide labels. Although never considered a Pop music star, many of the lyrics he crafted were covered by  headline artists in that genre. That list includes Rod Stewart, Rolling Stones, Jackie DeShannon, Todd Rundgren, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Ricky Nelson, George Benson, Donny Osmond, Rita Coolidge, J. Geils Band and Tom Petty, just to name a few.  All told, Womack recordings resulted in twenty albums and forty-two singles appearing on the various Billboard charts during his long career.  Some of our Bobby favorite tunes that were not as well known: How I Miss You Baby, So Many Sides Of You, It's Party Time, Tried And Convicted, I Don't Wanna Be Hurt By Love Again, Home Is Where The Heart Is and Check It Out. Bobby Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                July/August 2014

% - new entry

  1.  Blues Is Alright - Klass Band Brotherhood

  2.  The Other Shoe – Lola   

  3.  Turn It Up – OB Buchana 

  4.  She Was Twerkin' - Lil' Jimmie                                            %  

  5.  What One Man Won't Do – Stephanie Pickett   

  6.  Born To Sing Southern Soul Blues -  Sir Jonathan Burton   %  

  7.  Same Woman – Donnie Ray with Jaye Hammer         

  8.   Dancin' With My Baby - Miss Rebekah              

  9.  Dig A Little Deeper – Jaye Hammer           

  10. Can You Handle It? - Betty   

  11. Southside – Grady Champion                                           %

  12. Can I Spend Some Money On You – Chuck Strong                     

  13. Gonna Party – LGB                                                            %  

  14. I Sing The Blues – Patrick Green         

  15. I'm Gonna Stand By You – Ms. Jody                  

  16. True To Me - Vick Allen                                                    %

  17.  Ladies Gotta Get That Money – Gwen White 

  18. Don't Know Where You At – Lacee                                  %

  19. Do You Feel -  Sir Charles & Willie Clayton     

  20. Goodtime – Mr. X                                                              %

  21. I Can Be Your Dream Girl - Lady Audrey                    

  22. Got To Give It Up – Jimmy 100% Sterling                      

  23. Ain't Nobody Got Time - Karen Wolfe w/ Nelson Curry    

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

  25. Jus Fell In Love – Ms. Charli'                                            %  

  26. Cat Daddy – Billy 'Soul' Bonds                            

  27. Beware, She's After Your Man - Candi Staton                   %

  28. Roll It Roll It – Gentry Jones w/ Mr. Sam                           %             

  29. Send A Letter – Jerry Adams                

  30. Old School Girl – Blind Ricky McCants

  31. Do You Love Me - Patrick Henry                                        %           

  32. I Got This Record – J Wonn                                                        

  33. Rock Me -  Miss Lady Blues                                                %

  34. Back To The Sweet Shop  - Tucka                                            

  35. Mr. Do Right – John Cummings                                              

  36. To The Moon And Back – Cupid                                         %     

  38. A Big Legged Woman w/ Good Credit - Larry Grittith                         

  39. Bad Mamma Jamma – Nathaniel Kimble             

  40. Let Me Work It – Lomax                                            

  41. Hey You - JJ Thames                                                             %

  42. Grey Goose & Cranberry Juice - Vince Hutchinson              %

  43. Give Me That Love – J. Diamond Washington                     % 

  44. Jukebox Party – Sir Jonathan Burton  

  45. Now This Is A Party – TK Soul 

 

Archives:

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

 


 


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