Southern Soul Corner January 2016

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2015 In Review: Southern Soul is changing - a bold new presence is emerging with young artists popping up with lyrical stylings that dare to be different. Meanwhile, the old guard, the veterans continue to hold court, fill the concert bills and record music, but maybe not quite as aggressively as we have seen in the past. Ecko and CDS (and its subsidiaries) continue to be the dominant record labels in terms of turning out new music. The granddaddy of them all, Malaco Records, does just enough to keep their hand in the pot. The independents weigh in strong as well - Coday, Brimstone, Ifgam, Endzone, Sound Mindz, Neckbone, Soul 1st, Over 25, Groove City and more, some only supporting a single artist in releases. The concerts and festivals grow each year, covering from Dallas to Memphis to Montgomery to St. Louis to Hattiesburg to Charlotte and beyond. The established stars like Ms. Jody, Theodis Ealey, TK Soul, Willie Clayton, Betty Wright, Wilson Meadows, Jeff Floyd etc. shared the stage with the relative newcomers such a J Wonn, Lomax, Cupid, J Red, Krishunda Echols, and so on.






New artists (or relatively new) making Southern Soul  splashes in 2015 included Miss Mini, Bishop Bullwinkle, Pokey, Luster Baker, Till 1, Mr. Sipp, Jeter Jones, LeAundra Lively, Clayton Knight, Mys. Niki, Veronica Ra'elle, Mz. Pat, Zeke Potter, Lady Soul,  Geno Wesley, Ms. Portia, Urban Mystic, Brenda Williams, Big Poppa G, Mi'el, Big Issac J, Robin Moet, Coco Wade, Rosalyn Candy, Jr. Blu, Ms. Yanni, Rabbit, KoKo Soul,  and more that I have surely missed!!   The sheer number of up and coming artists participating in the genre, and particularly this past year from the ladies, is a sign that Southern Soul continues to show signs of upward growth and sustainability.




The flow of new albums in Southern Soul in 2015 was not lacking. At the top was a new release by the late great Mr. Mel Waiters, who we lost not long afterwards. Individual artist releases included albums by  Billy 'Soul' Bonds, Ms. Jody, Calvin Richardson, Donnie Ray, Sir Jonathan Burton, Pat Cooley, Bigg Robb, Willie Clayton, Carl Marshall, Charles Wilson, Stephanie Pickett, Omar Cunningham, Big Cynthia, Avail Hollywood, OB Buchana, Stephanie McDee, Mr. David, L'il Jimmie, Ricky White, Karen Wolfe, Jesse James, The Duchess Jureesa McBride, Andre' Lee, Jr. Blu, Earl Duke, Terry Wright, David Brinston, LJ Echols, Bigg Poppa G, Mr. Sipp, Tyree Neal, Val McKnight, Zac Harmon, Lady Di, Adrian Bagher, Jaye Hammer, Rue Davis, Veronica Ra'elle. Whew! A whole raft of albums, and another positive sign that the genre is alive and well.


Many of the hit songs that end up on the Southern Soul charts come from various artist compilations and 2015 was no exception. Ecko Records gave us more of their ongoing series with Blues Mix, Volumes 15, 16, 17, and 18, highlighting both new and veteran artists. CDS Records had quite a variety of outstanding compilations in 2015. Included were Sexy Southern Soul & Blues Volume 2, Hot Spot Records Volume 4, Southern Soul & Party Blues Volume 7 and Club Southern Soul 4.  The most intriguing comp of the year, however, had to be I Got The Blues Volume 1 as produced by R&B artist Beat Flippa. Entertaining fresh talent, bold new grooves, could it be what the future holds? Another accomplished producer, Theodis Ealey, came out with A Southern Soul Mix Volume 1, which ended up with quite a number of hit tracks on it.




Songs for 2015?  Well, there is no officially declared chart that covers radio and club DJ input. The Boogie Report does a good job with their Top 20 and Daddy B. Nice gives us his ten up and coming new tracks each month. Here at the Corner we do a bi-monthly Top 45. The most controversial tune in 2015 had to be Bishop Bullwinkle's video track of Hell Naw To The Naw Naw, which went viral with what eventually amounted to several million Youtube hits. The tune was also under scrutiny for possible copyright infringement on the instrumental track. Instant notoriety for sure but to date I don't believe the song has really been published! We highlighted many songs here at the Corner in 2015, but for us the ones that hit the top: Wilson Meadow's I'm Gonna Tighten Up started off the year at #1, Grady Champion's Bootleg Whiskey debuted at #1 in March, Sir Jonathan Burton's Southern Soul Showdown claimed the top spot in May, Blues And BBQ by Bigg Robb with Denise LaSalle was so strong in popularity that it moved to #1 in July and stayed there for four months, replaced by Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band's Dance Tonight in November.


We have no major predictions for the direction Southern Soul will take in 2016 other than I think it is safe to say that we should see more new artists emerge in the genre and many of the up and comers continue to grow in stature. It is a somewhat open playing field within what is referred to as Soul music when it comes to what is produced and that makes for some very interesting results. Lots of room for innovation, which is a good thing. If this past year's album output in the genre is any indication, 2016 should be another bountiful year when it comes to music possibilities.



         The new #1 song on the chart is found on this compilation                     




 Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                           January/February    2016


       # - new entry

1.    We Jukin' - Nelson Curry & Jerome Da Entertainer         

2.    Double Dealer - Ms. Jody      

3.    Satisfy My Woman - Entertainers      

4.    Baby Come Back Home - Mr. X                             

5.    What A Girl Needs - Robin Moet with Katrenia Jefferson  

6.    Knock Down Inn - Lomax     

7.    Here We Go - Jaye Hammer        

8.    Ole School Style - Miss Mini   

9.    Dance Tonight - Blackwater R&B Band                   

10. True Love - Carolina Soul Band           

11. Do You Wanta Party - Steve Perry        

12. Swing On - OB Buchana 

13. He Put A Rockin' Chair On Me - LeAundra Lively

14. Let Me See You Back It Up - Charles Wilson 

15. Give My Love 2 U - Ms Yanni                             

16. A Man Who Understands - Clayton Knight    

17. Your Man Is Home Tonight - Willie Clayton

18. I Want Me A Country Girl - Terry Wright   

19. Cornbread & Greens - Cupid w/ Pokey     

20. You Can Get It - Toia Jones                                         #

21. My Main Squeeze - Ghetto Cowboy             

22. Love Don't Owe Me Nothing - Lady Di                       

23. Let's Get It Started - Lady Audrey                                 #

24. II Step - Patrick Green

25. Big Hip Woman - Rue Davis                                        #

26. Juke Joint Party - Val McKnight                                             

27. Ohhh Baby - Till 1                                                       #

28. She Made A Freak Out Of Me - Willie B           

29. Sugar Daddy - Veronica Ra'elle      

30. Mr Right On Time Dr. Feelgood - Jim Bennett            

31. A New Pair Of Shoes - Angel Faye Russell           

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

33. Mississippi Delta - Theodis Ealey                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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

35. Get Loose - CoCo Wade                                               #

36. Angel - Ricky White                 

37. Junk In The Trunk - Sonja Moree       

38. Cancel Him - LaRose Jackson                                     #     

39. Zydeco With Me - Jeter Jones                                      #

40. I Had To Tell Somebody - LJ Echols                          #        

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

42. Right Kind Of Woman - Andre' Lee                            #

43. Blues Party - Dee        

44. You Gotta Let It Go - Carl Marshall w/ Gary Brown   #

45. Candy Lover - Mys. Niki                                              




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