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Southern Soul Corner November 2014

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Wilson Meadows performs at the November 9th
2014 Carolina Beach Music Awards
                                       



Corner Talk:

If you were to say that legendary Soul music artists do not attend the annual Carolina Beach Music Awards weekend in North Myrtle Beach, SC every year, you would be dead wrong! This year's event marked the 20th anniversary of this very special celebration of Beach and Soul music, both new and old. Featured performances included the awesome Ms. Jody, Hardway Connection, Eddie Floyd, the Mighty Atlanta Tams, KCO and a surprise appearance from veteran crooner
t may surpass them all in years of experience was Gene Pharr. Plans going forward for future weekends include the possibility of bringing in OB Buchana, Bigg Robb, Lomax, Pat Cooley, Big G, Jaye Hammer, LGB and return appearances from Donnie Ray, Sir Jonathan Burton, Barbara Carr, Eddie Cornelius and William Bell.



 

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Ms. Jody w/ Soul Dog after the 2014 CBMA Awards

 

The musical entertainment for the weekend was simply amazing! A strong example was Hardway Connection, what a great band!! Out of the Washington, DC area, they gave us a wonderful Saturday night club performance and then delivered an outstanding set on the Sunday afternoon Awards show with Party Til The Lights Go Out, It Must Be Love and Dirty Old Man. Ms. Jody, always a crowd favorite,  came on fast and furious on the Sunday show with Still Strokin' and The Rock. The last minute arrival from Wilson Meadows allowed him to perform his big hit It Is What It Is from a few years back. Eddie Floyd is a great performer but an even better storyteller about the old days in Soul music!  I also have to talk about my good friend Ken Knox, who was a main player in the Chairmen of the Board for so many years. He is keeping the music alive with his Ken Knox & Company Band  (KCO), giving us an outstanding show Saturday night at Pirate's Cove. I also have to mention the promoters/record execs in attendance, Larry Chambers from Ecko Records and Lee Parker from Brimstone Entertainment, Inc. These guys are as important as anyone in the business in keeping things moving forward.

   

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New Music: Even though he has not yet achieved widespread acclaim, I believe Donnell Sullivan is one of the finest young artists in the business. The Louisiana native was influenced growing up by such stars as Tyrone Davis, Marvin Sease and his own bandleader father. Donnell recently released Sugar Daddy, a five track EP that includes the title cut that was a hit earlier this year. Other strong tunes on the release are Whistle and Leaving. Not on the album is an additional single, the recently dropped Swing Out, that features Donnell and sometime rapper RJ .........It has been quite a while since we have heard from veteran Soul crooner Willie Hill.  He has a new single just released entitled I Gotta Get My Groove On. It is on Theodis Ealey's IFGAM Records label..............Got a single in my email from Jay Boogie that is really good, the new artist's name is Alex and the tune is called Loveline.........

 

Stephanie McDee continues her strong comeback that began two years ago after almost a decade of hiatus. A funky new advance single, Annie Mae's Cafe Swing Out Song, is a solid groove from her forthcoming Taking Care Of Business album .........Rue Davis has been a Southern Soul mainstay since his You Are My Honey Poo album broke on the scene back in 1993. In addition to his 2014 Shake It Loose album (which was on the same Kon-Kord label as his first release twenty-one years ago), he has just dropped the single I'm Looking For A Good Thang in October, which will be debuting on our Smokin' Top 45 this month.........

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Southern Soul recording focus did somewhat turn to holiday music of late - Perhaps the most active artist/producer in the business right now, Sir Jonathan Burton released Southern Soul Christmas on CDS Records in October, a solid collection of nine pretty much traditional upbeat tracks devoted to the special time of year............ How about this one? Yes! That Is What I Call Southern Soul Xmas, just released by Music Access, is a various artists thirteen track compilation that includes songs by  J Wonn, Pokey, Stephanie McDee, Big Cynthia, Patrick Henry, Tyree Neal, LJ Echols, Tucka, Wendell B and TK Soul............Mr. X has a nice new yuletide ballad on Soundmindz Records entitled You're The Greatest Christmas Gift.........More new holiday music from comes from Willie Clayton, with a stellar performance on an original All I Need For Christmas........Many thanks to Jay Boogie, who sent the DJs a nice file of holiday tunes originating from Coday Records, some old some new, by Karen Wolfe (Mr. Claus Is Cheating, one of my definite all time faves), the late Bill Coday, James Smith, Lomax and Andre' Lee..............

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It has been well over three years since Ms. Sheba Potts-Wright has released a full album, her last effort being the very successful Let Your Mind Go Back in mid-2011. She has been recording for Ecko Records since 2001 with many previous hits including:  You Were Wrong (probably my favorite of all her tunes, I pushed it hard on the Beach music scene at the time of release), Slow Roll It, Lipstick On His Pants, Love Fest, I Need A Cowboy To Ride My Pony, I Can Hear Your Macaroni, Lover, Big Hand Man and I'm A Bluesman's Daughter (which she is, being the daughter of Blues shouter Dr. Feelgood Potts).  Sheba's resonating voice almost has a pleading pitch to it as she weaves the lyrics of a song.

 

 Sheba's latest CD, released on November 18th on Ecko, is entitled I Came To Get Down. Jumping off immediately is the lead track, I Didn't Come To Sit Down (great play on words with the CD title!), a raucous party groove! More celebratory music is readily available with Happy Tears, Where The Party's At, A Weak Man Can Make A Woman Strong and I Want Yo' Man. I'm liking the mid-tempo shuffles of both I've Done All I Can Do (Remix) and Old School Lovin'. Stay With Your Wife was previously featured on the Blues Mix 13: Grown Folks Soul compilation. Eleven cuts in all with solid understandable lyrics and strong rhythm tracks, this is another fine release from this well established Southern Soul artist who deserves more recognition in the genre.

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It was truly an honor to meet outstanding Soul music veteran Wilson Meadows at this month's Carolina Beach Music Awards. He seemed to be duly impressed at my knowledge of his music and career, of which I have followed for many years. The Chattanooga, TN native, a member of the Doo Wop group the Zircons back in the '60's,  later changed over to performing with his siblings as the Meadows Brothers. Wilson's Southern Soul career took off with his album release of Memories in 1997 (what a great song, Memories Keep Hangin' On!). Eight albums over the next sixteen years yielded such favorite Meadows classics as: Explain It, Go Get That Love, Still My Love, Go On And Cry, Finders Keepers, When You're Getting My Love, I Got The Right One, Love Bomb, I Wanna Get Witcha Baby and Personal Matter.  In addition to being a captivating performer, Wilson is also an accomplished songwriter, penning much of his own recorded material. 

 

Wilson's latest album, The Gentleman Of Soul - Tighten Up is being distributed by Music Access. Wilson is also represetned in the business by Brimstone Entertainment. Can You Hang was an advance release that stayed at #2 here for the first four months of 2014. I have recently warmed up to I'm Gonna Tighten Up,  which is a sure fire charter here at the Corner.

Studio remakes here of previous Meadows hits include Don't Take It Away, I Promise, Let's Do That Thang, Go On And Cry and his ongoing smash single and signature tune, Still My Love. The remorse of losing the one you love is the theme on She's Gone. Staying with that woman no one around you approves of is the message in Sweet It Be. Twelve tracks all told, another solid release for a consistently strong Soul singer who unfortunately is not always recognized by the mainstream of the genre. Wilson Meadows is a craftsman and a survivor who definitely deserves all the recognition us writers can muster for him!

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This dynamic young gun in Southern Soul continues to impress fans and critics alike with his vocal prowess.   Nathaniel Kimble had an explosive hit (included here) with his January 2014 single release on CDS Records of the Ricky White composed Bad Mama Jama. 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 creating his own tunes at an early age, which carried over to continuing to write a good portion 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. An album drop of fresh material every two years has kept Kimble in the mix of the Southern Soul male soloists. Additional significant charting singles have included You Make Me Happy,  Better Get Ready, Tell It, Dancing Shoes, Back In The Streets,  Gotta Get You Back and Full Of That Juice.

 

His latest album, Still Here, was recently released on Nathaniel's own Kimbarn label. It consists of ten tracks, combining a mellow smoothness on the slow jams with raw vocal power on the tunes that jump off,  Bad Mama Jama included. I am having to make a hard choice between three solid groove tracks for this month's chart -  U Got Me Walking, Rock It Slowly and Move Baby Move.  All have hit potential. Slow downs and low downs for easy listening include Can't Let You Go, Let's Get Serious, 1 More Chance, Man To Treat U Right  and Stay Wit Me 2. An outstanding mix here, we may have still only scratched the surface of the talent this exciting young artist!

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There is no doubt in my mind that Willie Clayton is a Soul/Blues icon. After all, he has been recording and performing for over 50 years, starting when he left his native Mississippi home as a teenager for the music scene in Chicago. Quickly catching on there with the local radio jocks, Willie shortly thereafter was recording on the fabled Memphis based Hi Records label in the '70's as well as on it's Pawn subsidiary with the likes of Willie Mitchell, Al Green, Otis Clay and Ann Peebles. He followed up in the '80's with a few regional hits that were distributed by Polygram, then recorded multiple  notable albums on the Atlanta based Ichiban Records as well as on Johnny Vincent's Ace label. Willie later had several releases on Malaco as well as his own Claytown and Endzone Entertainment labels. He currently carries on the legacy left behind by the Soul greats like Tyrone Davis, Johnnie Taylor, Marvin Sease and J. Blackfoot. One of my absolute favorite songs of all time is Clayton's Dancing With My Baby from his 1994 Simply Beautiful album.

 

Willie had some very pointed comments recently in David Whiteis' book entitled Southern Soul Blues regarding his dislike for being characterized as a 'Southern Soul' artist. He prefers to be known as an old school Soul stylist, further supported by the fact that there is no Grammy Awards category for music known as Southern Soul. As one of the most visible Soul singers that are from the old days, he is often in an almost untenable position. What I believe Willie has tried to accomplish in recent years is to bridge the music of days gone by with today's more modern contemporary sound.

 

If I am correct in my assumptions,  his strategy is evident in his latest release, Untamable, on the Endzone label. It is fifteen mostly slow to mid-tempo tunes in which you can almost hear Willie tying together all of the Soul music styles that have transcended the last fifty years. Tunes on the release such as All My Love, Missing You and Easy To Love are vocal interpretations that sound somewhat similiar to an early '90's Kenny "Babyface'' Edmonds production. Not a bad thing at all, Willie has the chops to carry styles such as new jack swing and quiet storm. Girl I Love You and Let Me Be With You are examples on the album of a little more upbeat straight ahead soulful jams that seem to tie the past with the present.  I can honestly say this is not one of my favorite Clayton albums; but, I understand and absolutely respect his position as one of the few remaining Soul superstars from back in the day that has to make sure both the old and the new are well heard! Thank you Willie Clayton for all that you have given us over the years!

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Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                             November/December 2014

 

   

      Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                             November/December 2014

 

       @ - new entry

 

  1.  Lost My Baby On Facebook - Jesse James           

  2. South Side - Grady Champion

  3. She Was Twerkin' - Lil' Jimmie

  4.  Dancin' With My Baby - Miss Rebekah

  5. Hammer's Juke Joint Shack - Jaye Hammer           

  6. Jus Fell In Love - Ms. Charli'

  7. We Do We - Ves featuring Kenne' Wayne

  8. Loveline - Alex                                                                     @          

 9.  Cold Feet - Nellie 'Tiger' Travis             

10. I.m Gonna Tighten Up - Wilson Meadows                          @         

11. Blues Is Alright - Klass  Band Brotherhood

12. Love On Me - Nelson Curry               

13. I'm Looking For The Real Thang - Rue Davis                     @

14. In This Club Tonight - Adrena                                            @

15. You're Welcome To The Party - OB Buchana        

16. U Got Me Walking - Nathaniel Kimble                              @           

17. Annie Mae's Cafe Swing Out Song - Stephanie McDee     @

18. True To Me - Vick Allen                                                        

19. I Didn't Come To Sit Down - Sheba Potts-Wright              @

20. Born To Sing Southern Soul Blues -  Sir Jonathan Burton                         

21. Ms. Jody's Boogie Slide - Ms. Jody                                    @

22. You Make Me Happy - Uvee Hayes                

23. Swing Out - Donnell & RJ                                                 @

24. Come Get It - Rita Monroe aka Lady E                                

25. You're Right For Me - Willie White                                        

26.  If You Got A Good Woman -  Roy C                     

27. Sugah Sugah - Leon McMullen                                          @

28.  Ain't No Telling - Vel Omarr                                                                         

29. Next Time -   L'il Jimmie                                                    @

30.  How Come The Dog Ain't Barking  - Simeo         

31. Ladies Gotta Get That Money - Gwen White

32. Lone Ranger - Willie P                                            

33. Old School Girl – Blind Ricky McCants                                 

34.  NightTime Lover - J-Wonn                                                    

35.  Gonna Party - LGB  

36.  I Need Your Sugar - Larome Powers                                 @

37. Rock Me -  Miss Lady Blues                                                              

38.  Blues Is Here To Stay - Willie Clayton/Bobby Warren     @       
39.  Gotta Get My Groove On - Willie Hill                              @

40. The Other Shoe – Lola                    

41. Keep Knockin' - Anita Love                                   

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

43.  Doing The Watusi - Mr. X                                                @

44.  Something's Telling Me - Big G                                        @     

45.  Don't Know Where You At – Lacee 

Archives:

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

 

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