Southern Soul Corner Setember 2015

September Smokin' 45 Chart
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BBQ And Southern Soul



Corner Talk: It's fall, best season of the year for me, a great time to enjoy down home Southern cooking from a barbeque along with some good ol' Southern Soul music, we are fortunate to have an ample supply of both!!.......From the new music stacks, one of the best new songs I have heard this year has to be Robin Moet's What A Girl Needs, which is a collaboration with Katrenia Jefferson.......As always, it is great to see album releases from the ladies of Southern Soul. Check out the reviews below of three new ones...........We often write about new single releases from Mr. X aka Mark Safford. He has had several charting hits here at the corner over the last five years including Wiggle Wiggle, She Put That Stroke On Me, I Gotta Walk, Goodtime, Doing The Watusi and I'm Falling In Love Again.  From the Soundmindz Records treasure trove of tunes, Mr. X's latest hot one is called Baby Come Back Home..............


Blues/Soul diva DieDra, who gave us a monster hit with Hip Swingin' Blues a few years back, just signed with North Myrtle Beach's Sisbro Records. A CD Release Party is planned for September 23rd at Duck's on Main...........Congratulations to Charles Wilson for recently hitting #1 on the Roots Music Report's Top 50 Blues Albums chart with his latest,  Sweet And Sour Blues...........California based Larry Yates had a hit last year with I Saw It On Facebook Blues. He has just released a full album of what he is referring to as Setay Blues, which combines a hint of Funk with traditional Delta Blues. Larry glides through six tunes on the album., including a cool groove called Online Dating........

Interesting that Mardi Gras Records, who has been far removed from Southern Soul in recent years for the most part, has picked up native son Patrick Henry's Come And Get It album for distribution. We did a review on this release back in  our July  2014 edition of the Corner........ Jaye Hammer's latest album on Ecko Records just hit the streets. I'm The Right Man did not make it in time to be reviewed here at the Corner this month but we will feature it in the October edition.......Have you heard of L&L BabyBoy Recording Studios?  No?  Stay tuned, more coming on the horizon.........The Take Me To The River documentary continues its year-long plus run with a screening in Amsterdam on September 24th. Legendary Soul music principals that are part of this chronicle include William Bell, Mavis Staples, Bobby Rush, Otis Clay and the late Bobby 'Blue' Bland...........


It is time once again for our bi-monthly Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul chart. As usual, there has been a lot of movement, songs dropping off and new tunes being added. We have actually gone through dozens of tracks on many albums and compilations to come up with not only the best in new music but a few that are not as new but maybe got overlooked originally over the last year or so. For the first time in quite a while a song, Blues And BBQ from Bigg Robb featuring the Queen of the Blues, Ms. Denise LaSalle, was so undeniably hot that it has remained at #1 this time around as well. Look below for the latest chart!



Compilations and more compilations!! Blues Mix 17 Dirty Soul Blues from Ecko Records debuted this month at #3 on the Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Album chart.  I' m thinking that John and Larry were thinking it was time to highlight some of the more risque tunes in the twenty year history of the label. Barbara Carr was the first female artist to record on Ecko in the mid-'90's. Her raucous single  If  You Can't Cut The Mustard reaches all the way back to 1997, Denise LaSalle's Snap, Crackle And Pop is from 2004 and  Rick Lawson's Freak Cowboy from 2005. I am surprised that Dr. Feelgood Potts' 2004 single Make It Talk, which was an answer song to Theodis Ealey's now famous Stand Up In It, was not included in the compilation. He is on-board however, with Let's Get A Quickie from the previous year. Label veterans OB Buchana and Ms. Jody contribute here as does relative newcomer Jaye Hammer. The newest artist to the label, Val McKnight,  chips in with two tunes. Twelve tracks all told, and never fear, Blues Mix 18 Southern Soul Party is on its way with a release date of September 25th as Ecko keeps the groove rolling!




Southern Soul & Party Blues Vol 7 debuted at #5 on the September Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Album chart.  CDS Records owns this one, with several strong grooves, which is a roll-up of previously released tunes along with some new jams from some of the best artists in today's Southern Soul. The late Lee Shot Williams' I Hurt Myself is alone worth the price of the compilation.  The lead off track, My Ship from Jerry L, is an upbeat previously unreleased track. Ditto for Charles Wilson, who has taken the Blues market by storm lately, has a solidly even smoothie here with Ride Your Body Tonight. Bobby Stringer displays his vocal talent, which has not always been highlighted, on Before Me.  Barbara Carr and Roy Roberts pay homage to Beach music with Shaggin' Down in Carolina. Stephanie Pickett's Lie To Me is one of her best but, originally released on her A Woman's Soul album in 2011, it was overshadowed by such charting hits as I'm Takin' My Man Back and The Only Time I Get Lonely.  Rue Davis spinning Food And Blues At The Sugar Shack is a new groove. Tracks from Carl Marshall, Nellie 'Tiger' Travis, Stan Mosley, Jimmy 100% Sterling and Chick Willis round out the solid release.




Vivacious Val McKnight hails from the great city of St. Louis. Together with her Powerhouse Band, she has gained notoriety in the last few years throughout the  Soul/Blues community. Val's first album, Red Hot Lover, featured the hit track Who Doo Woman, a juke-joint style number that took off on Southern Soul radio. Other strong cuts included Freak In Me and Two Is Serious Company. Signing on with Ecko Records, she has been included on recent compilations Blues Mix 15 (Who Doo Woman) and Blues Mix 16 (Watch That Booty Do). Both songs are on her brand new album release on Ecko, Independent Woman. Val actually wrote nine of the twelve tracks on the release. Cranking up the jam is the common characteristic of the first three cuts on the album - the title track plus It's Party Time and Juke Joint Party.  I'm A Love Starved Woman is getting early notice as a potential hit. Good Lovin' Daddy and I'll Be Seeing You Around blues it up but good! When you join Ecko it always becomes official - it's a warm welcome for this up and coming singer/songwriter to the world of Southern Soul!




Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Zac Harmon grew up to be an accomplished guitarist, organist, singer, and songwriter. Early in his career he  backed up the likes of Dorothy Moore, Z.Z. Hill, Sam Myers and McKinley Mitchell. Moving to Los Angeles, Zac worked as a session musician which led to opportunities as a composer and producer. Harmon wrote songs that were recorded by such stars as Evelyn "Champagne" King, Freddie Jackson, The Whispers, K-Ci & Jo Jo, Alexander O'Neal, Cherrelle and the O'Jays. Zac's first solo album was entitled Live at Babe and Ricky's Inn, released in 2002.  Six additional albums have been released to date from this soulful Blues artist. Harmon's distinctive style combines the best of old-school Soul/Blues with modern lyrics and themes. Of particular note was a tune from his 2009 From The Root album entitled The Older Woman, a smash on the Beach music side, was on our year-end Smokin' Top 45 for both 2009 and 2010.

Zac Harmon's latest release, Right Man Right Now, just dropped in late August on the Blind Pig label. The title track has gotten some early action as has Hump In Your Back, which features the legendary Bobby Rush. Anson Funderburgh and Lucky Peterson are also key contributors on the album.  I am loving the straight ahead upbeat but still bluesy strains of Back Of The Yard, Raising Hell, Ain't No Big Deal On You and Good Thing Found. How about a run through tune like I'm Bad Like Jesse James? Gotta love any song with a title of Long Live The Blues. The guitar work in this album emulates electric Mississippi Blues that is reminiscent of musicians like Eddie Cotton. This is definitely a showcase effort for Harmon - it wouldn't surprise me to see this one in several awards possibilities in the near future!


I have nothing but respect for the work that Coday Records has done (or any of the labels for that matter) over the last several years. The late Bill Coday and his wife Anna took budding young vocalist Karen Wolfe, who was singing background for Denise LaSalle, under their wing, grooming her to be a bonafide star in Southern Soul. Karen's initial album, First Time Out, debuted on the Coday's B&J label in 2006. The Arkansas native has had several hits since that point in time, including Backdoor Love Affair, Man Enough, It Ain't That Kind Of Party, Southern Soul Party Mood, Stuttering and You Ain't No Player. One of my all time favorite holiday tunes is Karen's ribald Mr. Claus Is Cheating.

Karen's latest album, No Regrets, was just released in July. Advance tracks that already charted and/or received considerable airplay include B.O.B. (that would be Battery Operated Boyfriend), Ain't Nobody Got Time For That (a collaboration with Nelson Curry that charted here at the Corner) and the most recent raw Soul of Don't Nothing Here Belong to You, which is on the Boogie Report's current Top 20. There are two versions of the previous hit Get Your Lie Straight that went to #14 on the Billboard R&B chart for Bill Coday in 1971. Karen takes the song back to the well with homage on two versions, the second being a remix.  Her style is real and the lyrics can be harsh - the truth in life sometimes hurts, is a point I think many of Karen's songs try to convey. She is a solid member of the 21st Century set of divas that are leading the way in Southern Soul.



What do we know about Veronica Ra'elle? She is an emerging artist from Louisiana who has stepped up to the plate with a new album in the genre. Veronica was featured as a collaborator on Lady Lexx's 2012 Tha 1st Lady, which was primarily a Hip-Hop album with a touch of Rap. She was also was a principal on a few songs in Southern Hip-Hop/R&B producer Beat Flippa's  Ross Music Group Street Certified III compilation. The entrepreneurial production master took a right turn with his next compilation, embracing the genre with  I Got The Blues, Volume 1 (see the review on this one in our July 2015 edition). Ms. Veronica soloed on the somewhat frenetic Sugar Daddy, which is also included on her new album. She joins newcomers Ms. Portia and Rosalyn Candy on additional tunes on the comp. Her self-titled album, dropped in early August on Ross, contains seven tracks, including My Sidepiece Reply with Lacee' and Ms. Portia, the answer song to My Sidepiece from Pokey, Tucka and Tyree Neal. Tyree also appears here on a raucous duet with Ra'elle called Groove It How You Move It. Rosalyn Candy joins her on a bangin' The Best You Ever Had. Down home Blues shines through on Feeling Some Type of Way and I'm Tired. It is certainly great to see another new and exciting female artist come on board to Southern Soul!  


Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                            September/October 2015


       @ - new entry


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

2.                    Dance Tonight - Blackwater R&B Band   

3.                    Don't Say I Love You - Ms Jody                            

4.                   @ Tha Sugga Hole - Avail Hollywood    

5.                    Clean Out Of Love - Charles Wilson   

6.                   Happy Tears (radio mix) - Sheba Potts-Wright   

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

8.                   The Party Fever - Vickie Baker  

9.                    What A Girl Needs - Robin Moet w/ Katrenia Jefferson       @ 

10.               Much Right Man - Billy 'Soul' Bonds 

11.                Going Out Tonight - Mel Waiters

12.                Send Her To Me - Omar Cunningham 

13.               A New Pair Of Shoes - Angel Faye Russell                          @

14.                Step Out  - J. Red                                        

15.               V.I.P - Mr. Sipp                                                              

16.                Satisfy My Woman - Entertainers                                        @ 

17.                Stop Listen To Your Friends - Raine                                                

18.                Now I Know What - Bobby Conerly                                    @

19.                II Step - Patrick Green                                                           @

20.               Ain't No Big Deal On You - Zac Harmon                             @ 

21.               My Main Thang - Luster Baker w/ TK Soul                                   

22.               Dancing With Somebody's Lady - Tyree Neal                                 

23.               Mr Right On Time Dr. Feelgood - Jim Bennett                   @

24.               We Jukin' - Nelson Curry & Jerome Da Entertainer            @     

25.               Pretty Girl -  Big Issac J                                                                

26.               Come And Go With Me - Simone De                                             

27.               Baby Come Back Home - Mr. X                                          @

28.               Cheating Town  - Carl Marshall                                           @

29.               Shake It Up And Get On Down -  Barbara White                   

30.               Angel - Ricky White                                                             @ 

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

32.               Juke Joint Party - Val McKnight                                           @

33.               I Can't Eat - Certified Slim                

34.               Right Kind Of Woman - Sorrento Ussery                              @

35.               You Can't Handle This - Ms. Portia, V. Ra'elle and R. Candy  

36.                Da Boot Scoot Remix - Jeter Jones w/ Cupid                       @      

37.                Junk In The Trunk - Sonja Moree                                         @    

38.                Sugar Daddy - Veronica Ra'elle                                             @ 

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

40.               I'm Gonna Keep The Man I Got - T. Honey Brown              @

41.                She Made A Freak Out Of Me - Willie B                             @

42.                Southern Soul Showdown - Sir Jonathan Burton                          

43.                Here We Go - Jaye Hammer                                           @        

44.                Drinking Again - KoKo Soul                                          @                   

45.                Blues Party - Dee Bradley                                               @       





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