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Southern Soul Corner August 2015

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Blackwater R&B Band 

                    

                 

Corner Talk: It has taken me awhile this month to get cranked up on this side of the house. I work the Southern Soul singles to death on the chart publishing months (such as last month) but then go a little slack while working on the next Beach Buzz column, which is due to our webmaster the first Monday of each month. Oh well, enough excuses - let's open all the mail and see what we have coming in to the dropbox.

 

The Blackwater R&B Band is a group of guys from Eastern North Carolina

that primarily travel the Beach music circuit.  We have talked about this previously in this column but this is the latest update.  They have made the most of the Gerald Robinson (Larome Powers) written Dance Tonight, which has the lyrics "Gonna dance tonight, party to some Southern Soul". The tune has rocketed up both the Beach and Southern Soul charts and currently sits high on both.........Incoming from Keith Buckhalter, we received his own KB the Country Boy's Summertime Madness and one that has blown up recently, Bishop Bullwinkle's Hell Naw. Keith is also representing Jimmy 100% Sterling's If You Were Me What Would You Do, which is already on our Southern Soul Top 45......

 

 

Something new kinda out of left field (actually from The Boogie Report, LOL, without them we wouldn't get half of the new music out there, thank you Jerry Mason!) - From Rabbitmusicgroup LLC, the artist IS called Rabbit, the tune is Love 4 The Ghetto. Also, Alvin Garrett opens up on new groove By Myself, which features American Idol winner Ruben Studdard............From my perspective, Patrick Green is one of the most underrated male vocalists in Southern Soul. One of my all time favorites that I still use in regular rotation is his 2004 Girl U So Sexy. The Boogie Report dropped The PG Man's latest on us, entitled II Step.........More from Boogie, the balladry of  Forever And Ever, by The Pullen Project featuring Larry Dodson, Sexy Lady from Frank McKinney and a push on Gina Brown's remixed version of previously released single Can't Stop (Thinking Of You). Gina certainly seems like a star on the rise..............

 

He has been labeled both Mr. Candyman and Mr. Entertainment, working alongside of the late Joe 'Poo Nanny' Burns for several years. Birmingham, Alabama native Dee Bradley has a new one called Blues Party.....Memphis native Jerry L has given us some big hits over the last several years, including After Tha Party, Girls In Tha Hood, Ol School Party and She's Got That Ooo Wee. His latest single release is the Ricky White written Let's Chill. More on Ricky's latest below.........I don't believe this tune has been officially released, but it is something to hear the old and new in unison. Mel Waiters, God rest his soul, is sampled together with young gun J Wonn on the fast paced Jigga Jigga..........Daddy B. Nice  highlighted one we could have easily missed with his #1 singles pick for August. Hoe Digger,  from Lacee's Beautiful CD, is a surefire groove!.....................

 

Tony Gideon at Sound Mindz Records sends out good material on a regular basis. One I missed the first time around that came in the mail this month is veteran Jim Bennett's Mr. Right On Time-Dr. Feelgood, from his late 2013 Still In The Game album. The song is definitely worth some current rotational play........Young gun Donnell Sullivan keeps coming on strong. Current most requested Sullivan tunes include Whistle and Backdoored (By A Man Named Jody). Donnell has a new album currently in the works for the near future..........Have you heard Jody In Town by Mr. Melvin?  Just saw it on Youtube, was a new one to me!!........How about Green Crown (Dat Apple) from R-3?  It does taste good with a little splash of Mountain Dew.....

 

Theodis Ealey continues to turn out good production over at IFGAM Records.

One that was a recent hit for newcomer Larry Griffth was I Want A Big Legged Woman (With Good Credit)! Larry's latest from the label is You Can't Turn A Hootche Into A Housewife.........Two legendary artists in this business, Carl Marshall and Rue Davis, teamed up on Carl's  recent Love Brings Me Back To You album, with the upbeat track Laughing And Stepping..........What is the story on Jeter Jones? The album title showing up on this month's Soul Blues Top 30 is Evolution but the song that is making the most noise, Cold Pepsi (And A Hot Man) is on the late July album release entitled Da Gq Country Boy. Must admit, I'm confused!..........

 

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There is no shortage of various artist compilations in Southern Soul this summer. I particularly like the Hot Spot Records series (this is Volume 4) because we get to hear some veteran artists that are not normally front and center. Sorrento Ussery, Eric Perkins, Rudolf Flye and Willie B are strong examples showing up here. I also really like Angel Faye Russell and King Russell - Angel Faye's A New Pair Of Shoes is a likely candidate for next month's  Top 45 chart. I Miss My X was previously released from DeCarlo Bonds with strong results. One of the best of the female divas in the genre, she is a Mississippi favorite, Ms. Pat Brown checks in with Something To Hold On Too. I can remember walking around the open air joints in New Orleans twenty years ago and hearing Melvin 'Smokehouse' Moore being played from the Mardi Gras label release of the Mississippi Burnin' Blues Vol 2 CD. Now at 73 years young, he is on this release with the smooth strains of Your The Best Thing Happen To Me. Thirteen tracks in all, it is a really good package!

   

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You know, if I was say in the market for a Soul/Blues star to be the headliner for a big show, Theodis Ealey would be right at the top of my call list! He has been around like forever (loved his Ichiban releases) and has had hit tunes across multiple genres. His production work at his own IFGAM Records label is none too shoddy either. Ealey adds to the growing collection of compilations by producing Theodis Ealey Presents: A Southern Soul Mix, Vol. 1, consisting of eleven raucous tracks, a few already turned into hits. One of the biggest so far has been Willie Hill's I Gotta Get My Groove On. Theodis' pairing with nephew J. Red yielded Keep On Dancing, a big hit here at the Corner and in all Southern Soul circles. Mentioned above was the first Larry Griffith tune, included here, and charted high on our Top 45. Heart 2 Heart Band is currently on our Top 45 with Do You Like To Party? The Atlanta based group has two more solid selections included here. Jerone Da Entertainer joins Klass Band's Nelson Curry on a party track entitled We Jukin'. Another fine duet pairs Lacee' with Columbus Toy with Let Go. Additional cuts from El Willie, Frank McKinney, Sonia Moree and Gregory P. Jones round out an overall fine album!

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I feel like we just did a review on a new Charles Wilson album. Looking back, that's right we did in our March edition on Best Side Of Me, which was released in February. Now we have the freshly minted Sweet And Sour Blues, which reveals yet another side of this veteran performer. The album concentrates on the traditional sound of down home Blues, with most of the tracks set as mid-tempo shuffles. One exception would be the faster paced leadoff track Clean Out Of Love, which came hard right out of the gate hitting the charts.  Six Women In My Life, Good Ole Monday and 2 Steps From A Lie all pick up the tempo somewhat as well. Old Fashioned Justice, Love Coupons, Lump In My Throat, Sweet And Sour Loving and Dinner With The Devil are those late night smoky barroom down and dirty jukebox selections when it is approaching last call! Eleven tracks capture the essence of soulful Blues from this outstanding entertainer, who has only been honing his craft for oh about fifty years! I expect this album to be an awards nomination candidate in the near future.

 


 

 

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We caught up with Ricky White in our May edition by reviewing his At His Best, Volume 1 first quarter 2015 album release. The fact of the matter is - this singer/songwriter, award winning producer is hot as a firecracker in Southern Soul right now and cannot be held back! Love Zone is his latest to the table, ten album cuts just dropped in July. All songs were either written or co-written by Ricky. The advance track for the album to the DJs was Redbone, co-written with Frank O Johnson and accompanied on vocals by TK Soul. A second duet features Jerry L on the slow and way down low We Cried Together. Frenetic upbeat cuts has never been Ricky's style - he is a smooth crooning Soul singer.  Ride Your Body is my pick for potential charting here at the Corner. It has a solid groove and strong background vocals from Ms. Tonya Youngblood. Runner up pick would be the straight ahead vocalizing on I'll Always Love You Forever. I also like the blended harmonies on Strong Woman and on Angel. The production quality and clarity of the vocals on this release is outstanding - every word of the lyrics can be clearly understood. This is another win for Ricky, who is definitely a top gun right now in the world of Southern Soul!

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Ever since I bought the Ace Records compilation Ace Of Diamonds  back in the '90's that included the tune I Can Do Bad By Myself,  I have been a Jesse James fan. His unique sultry styling plus delivering product on his own Gunsmoke label (nine albums over the last twenty-seven years) has made for a very interesting and somewhat out of the norm artist in this genre. The Arkansas native has been recording and performing since the '60's, moving to the San Francisco area while still a child, growing up singing in local night clubs. His resume includes working with such greats as Sly Stone back in the day. Jesse's first Billboard charting hit, Believe In Me Baby, Pt. 1 actually occurred in 1968 and was included on his self-titled album on the 20th Century Fox label that same year. His single entitled At Last made it to #25 on the R&B chart in 1972. I Can Do Bad By Myself (incidentally, co-written by Gerald Robinson) first hit the charts in 1987. Over the years, Jesse has become quite proficient not only in performing but also arranging and producing.

 

Although the official release of the song last year was somewhat drawn out, I Lost My Baby on Facebook hit the jackpot for Jesse in 2014. Daddy B. Nice voted it the best Southern Soul Song of the Year. It went to number one here at the Corner as well as on most all of the charts. The album by the same name also lagged somewhat behind with a release that occurred earlier this year.  It contains twelve tunes, including a remix of the title track. Now it DOES make good sense that a song about the social media phenomenon that has taken over the world would turn out to be a big hit! There are a couple of reprisals on the album, including the awesome Rich And Famous, another signature song for Jesse. The remix of a previous release, If He Can't Hold Up His Pants How Can He Hold You Up is quite a telling story! Sexy Booty has an upbeat tempo with solid hit potential.   I'm liking the pure soulfulness of Why Do You Have 2 Lie, Parts 1 And 2 and Can I Still Be Your Friend. A holiday tune included,  It Doesn't Seem Like Xmas 2 Me, was co-written by the late Donald 'Duck' Dunn of Stax and Blues Brothers fame. So......by my count, Jesse has been at it now for right at fifty-five years. That is what real staying power is all about!


 

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