Southern Soul Corner July 2015

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Corner Talk: Houston based veteran Leroy Allen has been singing since the '70's and has opened for such groups as The O'Jays, Cameo and The Manhattans. He is the current lead singer of Orion The Band but has also been pursuing a solo career. His single I Want It first entered the Smokin' Top Southern Soul 45 chart in January 2013 for a 6 month run. A rare occurrence here at the Corner, it came back to the chart as a re-entry in January 2014 for a second shot. Another Allen single released last year was Together Forever, which also featured the band. Leroy's latest single currently in play is a mid-tempo dose of reality entitled Living On A Fixed Income......


Bobby Jones, once spelled Jonz, has his single Cheating On Me coming back around in distribution. The first pass was on his 2011 You Ain't Got No Proof album on Desert Sounds Records. Bobby has only been in the music business 60 plus years!! He was there in Chicago in the '60's when Soul music was just getting started...........T. Honey Brown has had some strong singles over the last few years including You Fooled Me This Time and Don't Waste My Time. This dynamic Alabama based singer has a new one, I'm Gonna Keep The Man I Got, released by Tony Gideon's Sound Mindz Records. A new album may be in the works as well..............


Curtis Yarboro, aka Certified Slim, has been a fave of ours since he debuted his first album, Birthday Suit, back in 2010. His single Move Somethin' exploded back in late 2012, landing at #1 here on our Smokin' Southern Soul Top 45 in January 2013. A full album release with the smash hit as the title track on the Henry Stone Music label was also a success. Slim has a smokin' new tune that is destined for chart climbing entitled I Can't Eat................


LaMorris Williams would be included as one of the 'young guns' in Southern Soul. He is a songwriter, producer, arranger and publisher of much of his own material. Guitar Song is his latest groove that does a little stretching of the imagination.......


We know that Chuck Roberson has been a heck of a talent in Southern Soul for at least 20 plus years. It is quite a shame then that last year's Roberson album The Other Side Of Me as well as this year's Over In The Woods has had no distribution channel and are not available on any of the music download websites. I don't see how this approach does either Chuck or his fans any good. Of course, we do not know the all the facts, could be a contract dispute or some other roadblock involved...........Female vocalist Raine has been on the edge of greatness for several years. Her first effort in Southern Soul was the album entitled Zipper on The Suzie Q label back in 2003. Raine's more recent rendition of I'll Play The Blues For You was voted as one of the top songs of 2014. Check it out in this month's Smokin' Top 45 - we dug up a little known Raine tune from 2011 entitled Stop Listen To Your Friends that is an absolute killer............Speaking of our bi-monthly chart, we mentioned in the story above on Leroy Allen that a re-entry of a song is rare, but, it happened again this month. I Need Your Sugar by Larome Powers is simply too hot right now to hold back. Also, a new entry this month, Dance Tonight by The Blackwater R&B Band was written by Gerald Robinson, whose performing artist name is....Larome Powers!!.......


Simone De has been a smooth and mellow voice present in Southern Soul since his single debut hit in 2006 with Show Me. His latest up and comer is is called Come And Go With Me...........Malaco Records staff writer Bobby Conerly has stepped out in the last few years as a solo Soul singer. His recent Soul Singer Tribute carries the heavy weight in paying tribute to all the great ones that have left us in recent years........Cupid has been lighting 'em up of late. He has a duet with relative newcomer with Pokey called If It Ain't The Blues and a collaboration with J Paul Jr and Messie Cee (are these real folks?) called That's Messy. Also, a reprise of I'm On Fire by JB Hendricks is now also featuring Cupid.........





Cupid's duet with Pokey mentioned above  is on I Got The Blues, Volume 1 as produced by Baton Rouge R&B artist Beat Flippa. The compilation, released by the Ross Music Group, comes seemingly out of nowhere but certainly serves to highlight some of the up and coming new artists in the business as well as a few established performers. Tyree Neal, Big Cynthia, Adrian Bagher and Vince Hutchinson are some of the recognizable names involved in the project, which infuses a touch of  Hip-HoP/R&B melded together with a Blues groove to produce some outstanding tunes. Cynthia's I'm Here For You has already hit the charts hard! I am impressed with relative newcomers like Veronica Ra'elle, Big Issac J, Rosalyn Candy, Ms. Portia, Lysa and Mz. Pat. This album brings to the forefront the fact that there is still a wealth of  untapped talent that exists on the edges of the genre in the lower Mississippi and Louisiana areas.  Good job by all involved!                                  




The recent Ghetto Cowboy single entitled Humpin' (now that's original!) is making the rounds and is also featured on the CDS Records Sexy Southern Soul & Blues Volume 2, which was released in May. Long time favorite Vickie Baker was somewhat of a female pioneer in the modern era of Southern Soul,  having debuted in the genre in the late '90's. She weaves a nice groove on the previously unreleased Sneaking And Cheating. Chuck Roberson's I Want You To Rock Me was a previous charter here at the Corner and still works in a play mix.  Nellie Tiger Travis' Do What He Didn't Do is certainly one of her all time best! Tunes abound from Betty Padgett, TJ Taylor, Jody Sticker,  Luther Lackey, Cicero Blake and more - 14 tracks in all following up the 2013 CDS released Volume 1 in the series.



Ecko Records keeps 'em coming with Blue Mix 16 Grown Up Soul. 12 cuts,  half of which are not previously released. I'm liking the Donnie Ray/Jaye Hammer duet of Is She Waiting On You? , the radio version of Happy Tears from Sheba Potts-Wright and Jaye Hammer's I Need It. Unreleased tunes are also included from OB Buchana, Val McKnight and John Cummings. The Love You Threw Away is good time uptempo jam from Denise LaSalle's 2004 Wanted album. David Brinston collaborated with Ms. Jody on 2009's Something I Want, hailed as one of the best duets of the year. Additional tunes on the comp come from Earl Gaines, Jaye Hammer and Ms. Jody as the series continues in this, the 20th year of Ecko Records!




Omar Cunningham has been a major factor in the modern era of Southern Soul ever since his debut album Hell At The House hit the streets in 2003. The blow-up of the single Check To Check almost instantly gave him formal recognition in the genre. Since that point in time, the Gadsden, Alabama native has had so many hits that is is hard to capture them all on one album. Now also known as an outstanding songwriter as well as arranger/producer, Omar's sultry soulful voice is what made me first pay close attention. His mastering of harmonious balladry, telling the story with the song lyrics is truly a special gift.


23 tunes on All The Best, The Soul Hits does cover alot of ground. The jumpin' off jams, several on the Endzone Entertainment label,  early in Omar's rise to prominence are included and I would have to say are my favorites. They are Check To Check, Hell At The House, I Get By, I'm In Love With A Married Woman, Party Have A Good Time and She's Making Eyes At Me. Many of his later hits are here as well - The Beauty Shop, My Life, The Same Soap, If We Can't Get Along, Right Woman, That's My Jam and What You Want With My Mama. When Can't Make You Do Right came out in 2011, I pushed it as one Omar's best in some time but the industry didn't respond in kind. One solid groove that appears to be new is Send Her To Me. With digital downloads from the Internet ruling the acquisition of music these days, I do not buy as many albums. I am,  however,  buying this one - listening to 12 years of Omar Cunningham's best on my car CD player for weeks will be a pleasure indeed!


Tyree Neal has actually been a factor in Blues and Soul longer than we realize. A member of Louisiana's famed Raful Neal family, he released his first album, Stepping Out At 22, in 2003. The album run continued with All Grown Up in 2007, Youngest in Da Game in 2010, Workaholic in 2011 and Love And Hate in 2013. Solid tunes such as Juke Joint Woman, Whiskey And Beer, I Thought She Was My Girl, She Gone Make Me Fall In Love, I Want My Boo Back and Ladies Night have added to his creditability as a songwriter, producer and performer.  Tyree has collaborated in the past on tunes with Big Cynthia, Sir Charles Jones, Vince Hutchinson, Tucka, Stephanie McDee, Pokey and as a member of the ever gaining fame Louisiana Blues Brothas.


Tyree's previous albums carried more that the average number of tunes included and his latest is no exception. I'll Be The Other Man is actually a 2 CD set containing 30 dynamic tracks. Rewinds? Very few, primarily fresh material Tyree style. The album leads off with mid- tempo stepper It's The Weekend and finishes with a tune that has a theme going around among Tyree's Bayou country peers - I Came Back Home (You Can Have That Sidepiece)!   I would also classify Who With Me, Bring It Home, Temporary Lover, Sneaking Love, Blues 4 Life and My W-2's (and more)  as stepper type tunes as well.  Do It For Jackie pays tribute to a late member of the Neal family needlessly gunned down in 2005 - Tyree's sister Jackie, who was a great singer in her own right. Charters? Several potentials, but three I especially like are Dancing With Somebody's Lady, Let Her Go and She Got A Man. Plenty of good music in this overall package to choose from, my guess is several from this major player will get Southern Soul radio airtime.



Mississippi native David Brinston hit it big with the monster single Hit And Run, released on the independent Jomar Records label in 1995. Huge in Southern Soul, the tune may have been even bigger in the Beach market, staying on the charts for nearly 2 years. It finished  at #4 for the 1996 Beach Music Top 40 and at #37 for 1997,  giving Brinston widespread recognition across the Southeast. 15 albums and 20 years later he is still going strong, having had multiple releases across the Malaco, Susie Q, Ecko and his own Delta Down labels. David's raw Al Green style vocals have kept him in the forefront in terms of significant male artists in the genre.


Brinston's latest just released album, Backseat Rider, is the third on his own Delta Down label. I found it available on CD Baby (and Blues Critic's CD store) but not on such heavy traffic sites as iTunes, Amazon, Tower Records or eMusic. David's signature vocal sound has remained consistent throughout his career, this being once again evident in the title track, Just Like Your Mama, I'm Gonna Wait On You and Damn Near Hate Each Other. Strong hit potential? I like the way uptempo grooves of Running On Empty and I Was Wrong. Only eight tracks here but all are powerful - David closes with an emotional mid-range tune called I Want To Thank You Baby.  This release hit #7 on the Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Albums it's first month on the chart!



 Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                                      July/August 2015


       $ - new entry


  1. Blues And BBQ - Bigg Robb w/ Denise LaSalle              

  2. V.I.P - Mr. Sipp                                                                            

  3. You Got Your Hooks In Me - Ms. Jody                             

  4. Come On Rock Me - Willie Clayton                                  

  5. Dance Tonight - Blackwater R&B Band                                            $

  6. I'm Falling In Love Again - Mr X                                       

  7. Going Out Tonight - Mel Waiters                                                       $

  8. Big Girl Love - Lady Audrey                       

  9. Is She Waiting On You? - Donnie Ray & Jaye Hammer                   $        

  10. Put It On Ya - Mr. David 

  11. @ Tha Sugga Hole - Avail Hollywood                                              $ 

  12. I Don't Need You No More - Pat Cooley                                                    

  13. Do You Like To Party - Heart 2 Heart Band                     

  14. People Are Going Out - Jeff Floyd w/ William Bell                                       

  15. Don't Say I Love You - Ms Jody                                                        $ 

  16. You Went And Did It - Andre' Lee                                          

  17. Southern Soul Showdown - Sir Jonathan Burton                           

  18. Send Her To Me - Omar Cunningham                                              $

  19. I Can't Eat - Certified Slim                                                                 $

  20. Handy Man - Uvee Hayes                                                    

  21. Bootleg Whiskey - Grady Champion                                                           

  22. Dancing With Somebody's Lady - Tyree Neal                                  $

  23. If You Sexy  -  TK Soul w/ Nathaniel Kimble                   

  24. The Party Fever - Vickie Baker                                                         $

  25. Much Right Man - Billy 'Soul' Bonds                                               $

  26. If You Were Me What Would You Do - Jimmy 100% Sterling      $

  27. I Got A Good Man - Big Cynthia                                       

  28. Clean Out Of Love - Charles Wilson                                               $               

  29. Backdoored (By A Man Named Jody) - Donnell Sullivan  

  30. Step Out  - J. Red                                                                             $

  31. You Make Me Cry -  Stephanie McDee                              

  32. Move Baby Move - Nathaniel Kimble                                                 

  33. Happy Tears (radio mix) - Sheba Potts-Wright                                 $   

  34. Stop Listen To Your Friends - Raine                                                 $ 

  35. I Need Your Sugar - Larome Powers                                     re-entry

  36. Sweet It Be - Wilson Meadows                                                            

  37. My Main Thang - Luster Baker w/ TK Soul                                    $

  38. Want For Nothing  - Greg Watson                                                              

  39. Pretty Girl -  Big Issac J                                                                    $

  40. Come And Go With Me - Simone De                                              $

  41. Southern Soul Party - Bertha Payne                                       

  42. You Can't Handle This - Ms. Portia, Veronica R and Rosalyn C     $  

  43. Down Home People  - Stevie J                                                          

  44. Shake It Up And Get On Down -  Barbara White                             $

  45. Live To Love Again - Sugaray Rayford                                            $





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