Southern Soul Corner October 2015

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Corner Talk: There are a few new grooves out there over the last month or so, the artists keep on keepin' on! Georgia based crooner Lomax, who will be joining us at this year's November Carolina Beach Music Awards in North Myrtle Beach, SC, has a smokin' new tune called The Knock Down Inn.........Memphis native and veteran singer Booker Brown had a big hit several years back with Love Is Blind. His latest single has quite a bluesy killing floor groove - it is entitled Plus Size Women...........Blues guitar virtuoso Eddie Cotton is a legend down in Mississippi. He just released One At A Time in July, a fourteen track effort with the hit tune so far being Ego At Your Door...............


Music from the divas: She is a Jackson, MS native, the very underrated Katrenia Jefferson, backed up Willie Clayton and the late J. Blackfoot before breaking out on her own just a couple of years back. She has a new single, Living A Lie, that is already charting........Memphis born Lacee' has been a force in this genre for going on ten years now. Her latest is a collaboration with Sir Charles Jones, the smooth sounds of Everybody Ain't Cheatin'.........A new lady diva on the scene, her name is Mys. Niki, her song is a mid-tempo bouncer called Candy Lover.......She goes by Ms. Yanni - she had a Bruce Billups produced cool groove earlier this year called Ooh Wee. Bruce has also been involved in another new one from this outstanding singer, I am really liking Give My Love 2 U........


Another project involving Bruce Billups we first mentioned it back in March and we still feel it is destined to be a hot track - it is Let's Party from Lebrado........Chicago based Jo Jo Murray gigs with his Top Flight Band every Thursday at the Hot City Cocktail Lounge in the Windy City. They have been a staple in the area for roughly thirty years. His recent tune, From The Inside, is making the charts, including The Boogie Report Top 20 Countdown. For vintage Jo Jo Murray, check out their 1987 single Your Love............Did we purveyors of Southern Soul miss one a couple of years back entitled Cotton Candy by Ronnie Bell? I like the jam even though he repeats the title a few too many times in the lyrics.......


I have to make mention of our friend Lee Parker, owner of Brimstone Entertainment in Huntsville, AL, who does a great job of promoting the artists he represents. The lineup includes established Southern Soul names like Wilson Meadows, Betty Padgett, Carl Sims, Bill Avery as well as relative newcomers such as Solomon Thompson, Mr. (Leon) Jones and Larry Yates. Solomon's History album and Yates' Setay Blues are hot tickets right now...........


The compilations keep coming - two more of significance just out are Club Southern Soul 4 from CDS Records, which features Ghetto Cowboy, Sir Jonathan Burton, Ricky White, Nellie Tiger Travis, Stan Mosley, the late Bobbye 'Doll' Johnson, Carl Marshall, the late Floyd Taylor, Vel Omarr, etc. and Blues Mix 18 from Ecko Records, featuring OB Buchana, Donnie Ray, Ms. Jody, Carl Sims, Jaye Hammer, Sheba Potts-Wright, David Brinston as well as newcomers Clayton Knight and LeAundra Lively. You will not find a review on either of these in this month's edition of the Corner. I am going to give these releases at least another month to inhale and exhale! Some hits will emerge from both I'm sure!



Jaye Hammer continues to be one of the more recent rising stars currently recording as part of the Memphis based Ecko Records label. The Mississippi native was originally signed to the Blues River label while still a teenager, issuing his first full length album, Work It On Me, in 2005. Losing his eyesight at the age of twenty-six has not prevented Jaye from pursuing his dream of being a successful singer. While studying the veteran performers already on board at Ecko, Jaye developed his own unique brand of Blues infused Soul. His first release on the label, Hammer,  in 2012 was well received with Party Mood and Go Ahead On  garnering the most DJ attention. 2013's I Can Lay The Hammer Down saw positive chart results for Shuckin' And Jivin', Dig A Little Deeper and One Stop Lover.  The July 2014 release of Jaye Hammer's Still Got It has been his most successful album to date continuing the same type of resonating groove that has both an old school and a young gun mix that has worked well so far. Hit tracks from that CD included:. The Longer You Love Me, Make Up Sex, Hammer's Juke Joint Shack, and This Is A Blues Club.


I'm The Right Man dropped in early September, with no real deviation from

what has become Jaye's standard deep Soul grooves. One tune already garnering a measure of success is Jaye's duet with Donnie Ray on Is She Waiting On You?.  Originally released on Ecko's Blues Mix 16. Another advance track from Ecko land has been Lets' Hear It For The DJ. We chose Here We Go as the headliner for the most recent edition of our Top 45 chart. More future potentials include The Sweeter The Peach and I Need It, the latter of which was also first out on Blues Mix 16. Another one getting Southern Soul DJ attention is the bluesy I Ain't Leaving Mississippi.   This is another solid release for the guy who has become the brightest new star at Ecko Records!




This particular female potential star has had a heck of a time getting recognized over the last four or so years in Southern Soul. We had this to say about her in our July 2014 edition of the Corner: "I'm pretty sure I was aware of female diva Lady Di and had mentioned her before BUT her 2013 The Good The Bad & The Pain album slipped through the cracks. Strong cuts here include Backdoor Man, I Came To Party and Don't Make A Good Woman Go Bad."  As it turns out, she had a 2012 album entitled Good Time Tonight that got very little if any notice AND the Alabama native had another album, Get It Right, drop just last year. All of her releases have been on the independent Hitman Records label. Going back through these albums, Lady Di has a powerful voice that can be mellow at times and forceful at others. It is hard to believe that there is no press on her out there that I can find on the Internet.


Lack of widespread promotion and distribution may be one of the issues holding her back, I found her first three albums on CD Baby as well as a few other locations but there again, no publicity or notes to any degree at any of the retail sites. Lady Di's latest, Love Don't Owe Me Nothing, is available at's CD store - the only place I have found it so far. It debuted at #20 on the Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Albums chart for October. The album consists of eleven tracks, including the holiday season What I Want For Christmas. The title track leads off and jumps off with an upbeat groove that makes it an ideal candidate for our next edition of the Top 45. There are slow jams like How I Feel About You as well as steppin' tunes Nail It To The Wall and 2015 Shake It, which is a follow-up on her 2012 version of the tune. I am pledging right now to make it a point to go back through all of this exciting singer's albums for songs to use in radio rotation!


There is a lot of Southern Soul going on over at Coday Records! Last month here at the Corner, we reviewed Karen Wolfe's new one on the label entitled No Regrets. We also mentioned a new single above from Lomax that is on Coday.  Looks like Ms. Anna is just getting warmed up with new releases - here are two more from Andre' Lee and Terry Wright.



He's long and tall, wall to wall, Mr. Andre' Lee has proven over the years that he is a top notch songwriter and performer. Born in Chicago but raised in the heart of Mississipi, Andre' spent several years gigging with various groups before breaking out on his own. His first solo album, So Good, was released in 1997 on Ace Records' Avanti subsidiary. Andre's 2003 follow-up, Simply Dre, on the Mardi Gras label, featured a tune, No Other Lover, that made our Top 25 Southern Soul tracks for that year.  Two additional releases followed on Capetown Records, one of which was Gospel based, prior to Andre's 2012 debut on Coday with his very successful Stories Of Life album. Andre' has been a huge factor on the Beach music side of things over the last six years with big hits One Night Stand, Back In The Day Cafe and Steppin' With You.  He gave the crowd an outstanding performance at the 2013 Carolina Beach Music Awards. Along the way, a few of Andre's song composing and/or performing cohorts have included Sir Charles Jones, La Keisha, Ghetto Cowboy, Karen Wolfe and Charles Blakely.



Andre's latest, The Truth, dropped in September, featuring eleven fresh new grooves. The advance track for us here at the Corner has been the upbeat You Went And Did It, which debuted at # 11 on our May/June Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul tunes. Also digging the dance beats of It's Going Down, which includes a remix version, Let's Go Stepping and Right Kind Of Woman. A steppin' mid-tempo shuffle also works with My Girl and I'm That Man. Andre' slows it down considerably on Tell Me What You Need (which was also an advance single release) and I'm Thinking Bout Us. You are able to hear and realize Lee's skill and originality at crafting lyrics in these songs. His star continues to rise in the Soul and Blues world with this outstanding release!  





Tennessee born Terry Wright learned the performing ropes while backing up the likes of Carl Sims and the late Marvin Sease. He emerged in Southern Soul in a big way with his 2004 Anytime Man album, debuting on the late Senator Jones Hep' Me label. Two tunes from the album picked up by Mardi Gras for their Hot New Southern Soul Hits II were the title track and Ooo Wee. Sir Charles Jones later followed suit on his Southern Soul Party compilation, selecting to feature Your Love and Sophisticated Freak.  His next album, How Sweet Is Your Candy, on the in-house Mac Wright label, produced solid hits with On The Backroad and Two Women In Love With Your Husband.


Wright debuts on Coday with the just released You're Standing In A Good Man's Way, ten tracks of vintage rich Terry vocals. From a genre perspective, his delivery is most definitely mainstream, mixed with contemporary sounding inflections. Included on the album is the several months earlier released I Done Lost My Good Thang and the more recently dropped upbeat She Whooped Me Good. One or more of the tunes will make our upcoming Top 45 charts, I just have not quite decided which ones will emerge. Partiality has us listing Make That Body Rock, I'm Missing My Baby and I Want Me A Country Girl. Yes indeed! This is a quality release, end-to-end, for my money one of the best of 2015!


Willie, Willie Willie!  How many years, how many albums, how many songs have you composed, sung, produced, arranged etc.? In terms of longevity and pure talent, the man is simply amazing! Willie Clayton's phenomenal career stretches all the way back to the '60's. An important part of the Chicago Soul/Blues scene of the '70's and '80's, he has recorded over the years for Polygram, Hi, Ichiban, Ace, Malaco and several others as well as his own Claytown and current Endzone Entertainment labels. Along the way, Willie has worked with many of the greats - Al Green, Willie Mitchell, Tyrone Davis, Barry White, James Brown, Cicero Blake, Charles Wilson, Johnnie Taylor, Ann Peebles, Bobby McClure, Johnny Vincent, Pat Brown, Harrison Calloway, Otis Clay, Little Milton, etc. Today's Willie Clayton is a transcendentalist of Soul music - his ties to the past and so many that have gone on is a bridge to the legacy that he carries forward now and in to the future.


The Top 30 Southern Soul/R&B Albums chart for October has Willie's latest, Heart And Soul, at #1 right out of the gate! The lead off track is a stellar version of the Tony Troutman written Your Man Is Home Tonight. Willie brought the song up to today's media reality -  the 1997 Artie 'Blues Boy' White release of the tune did not have the lyrics "I'm gonna text my baby, tell her I'm on my way" . Come On Rock Me was an advance track that has charted heavily over the last several months, including here at the Corner. You know Soul Dog, he likes upbeat grooves - Old School Jam, Let's Dance and Ain't No Party fill that bill but good!  Mend Your Broken Heart is a smooth, easy riding Clayton written tune. Another even flow mid-tempo cut is Your Love Is Wonderful. A Clayton album would not be complete without some turn down the lights jams - Please Don't Leave Me and Slow Good fall right in line. A solid effort all the way around for the little giant of Soul music!


LJ Echols comes from a heritage of entertainers. Growing up in small town Mississippi, he became part of the Echols Family gospel group at an early age. Later moving to Dallas, LJ crossed over to secular music, joining an R&B group that was still a family affair with three brothers and a cousin as group members. He ventured out on his own as a solo artist, songwriter and producer in 2004. LJ's first album in Southern Soul, Well Runs Dry, received critical acclaim as a solid initial effort. LJ stepped it up big time with his 2009 release of Another Level on his own Neckbone Records label. Hit singles included I'm Gone Party, 14-16 and Taking Candy From A Baby. The smoker, however, was the colorful single From The Back, which took off like a rocket ship on the Southern Soul side. As an example as to how songs like this often come around years later on the Beach side, it  finished on the year-ending Smokin' Top 45 both for 2012 and 2013.


 LJ developed a reputation over time as being one of the hardest touring crowds pleasers on the circuit. New Beginning, his 2012 album release, charted with the rollickin' Good Motor, the story of a man's scorn on Peter Pumpkin Eater and the dance track In The Hips. Fast forward to 2015 - no, now wait a minute, LJ's sister Krishunda made her debut with a couple of hit tunes over the last two years that he had a production hand in helping craft. Taste Like Candy is the 2015 release from LJ on Neckbone Records. Draggin' That Wagon was the advance release - a snappy club tune that highlights LJ's ability to create a somewhat falsetto sound. Louisiana based Luster Baker has recorded and/or performed with TK Soul, Tyree Neal and others. He contributes here with LJ on Big Leg Woman. From a pure 'what we might chart' perspective, I'm liking I Had To Tell Somebody. Other possibilites include Sookie Sookie Now and I'll Be Just Fine. This is original material all the way here, good stuff which has become trademark LJ Echols!



We re-printed September's bi-monthy chart again for October since it applies to both, to keep the readers aware of what is new and fresh!




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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