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Southern Soul Corner June 2016

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What's New: Mys. Niki, Rosalyn Candy, Miss Mini, Shay Denise, CoCo Wade, Adrena, Miss Rebekah, Lysa, Toia Jones, LaRose Jackson, Ms. Yanni, Jesi Terrell, Jureesa McBride, LeAundra Lively, Lady Di, Veronica Ra'elle, Sonja Moree, Val McKnight, JJ Thames, Angel Faye Russell, Robin Moet, Katrenia Jefferson, Summer Wolfe, T. Honey Brown, Ms. Portia, KoKo Soul, Mi'el, Barbara White and so on! Just a few short years ago, would any of these names have been familiar to Southern Soul followers?? I could probably name at least two dozen more ladies that have released songs in the genre in the last five years, some of which have since faded from memory. But, right now, the lady divas are coming on strong in waves, I love it!! Our bi-monthly Top 45 Southern Soul chart (updates this month) continues to reflect new and exciting songs and the ladies are right at the forefront of what is breaking out! Don't stop now, divas you are doing gooood!

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Lysa is a Lafayette, Louisiana product who is emerging from the shadows with some outstanding music. She has been heard from before - albeit the local distribution of her work has not come front and center until now. Past singles that have gotten mention including Keep On Walkin' in 2012 , the spiritual Call Him Up in 2013, Got My Own in 2013 and Sweet Nukie Luvin' in 2014 (from her album Sweet Nukie). She was included as part of the Please Be My Love Jones collaboration on Beat Flippa's I Got The Blues Volume 1 last year with Pokey and Charlene Neal. Queen With A Woman's Touch, just dropped in late February comes on strong with fourteen tracks. Sweet Nukie is re-released here, a sultry groove that leads off the album. Queen can serve as a steppin' track and is the one we are currently charting here at SSC. There are contemporary style R&B licks in Good Love, SuperWoman, Grip It and Drowning. Tyree Neal is on board on the raw Soul of That What Your Mouth Say (a future charter too!). Loving Life is soulful but also very smooth. Main Piece is pure down home Southern Soul. Lysa's voice and lyrics are crystal clear - in other words, she CAN sing, ya'll! Tucka joins in on the Sweet Nukie Remix. Turnem, with DJ Super Jock, is an upbeat modern rappin' rhythm that closes out the release. This album should serve notice that Lysa has definitely arrived!

 

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Some critics in the past have referred to Ricky White productions as being somewhat artificial or superficial. Hmm, fact is, he was named the Blues Critic's Record Producer of the Year in 2013 and 2014, which should dispel that belief. The Greenville, Mississippi native started his musical career as a teenager in his own family's local band. His first foray into Southern Soul came with his 2006 release of Mr. Juke Joint on the Brimstone label. Album releases that followed were Fully Loaded in 2008 and Reloaded in 2011. Since signing on with CDS Records, Ricky has raised the bar even further as an artist, songwriter and producer. He had three successful albums of his own - Majic, At His Best and Love Zone. In addition, Ricky has produced both Combination and Combination 2 on CDS, highlighting the works of both highly recognizable Southern Soul artists and those looking to gain that recognition level. Jerry L, Betty Padgett, the late Bobbye Doll Johnson, TK Soul, Stephanie Pickett, Nathaniel Kimble, Love Doctor, Gwen White, Tonya Youngblood, Kimberly Adams, Henry Rhoades, William Calhoun and Larry Milton were featured on these two compilations. Ricky is now back with Combination 3, which is a composite primarily mid-tempo representation of some of the best recently released singles from established stars and some new talent as well. My Main Squeeze from Ghetto Cowboy, Let's Chill by Jerry L, Sneaking And Cheating from Vickie Baker, Hit It Again by Stevie J, Pop It Baby from Donnie Ray and Redbone, featuring Ricky with TK Soul have all had advance releases and genre recognition to date. Other combinations include Ricky with Nathaniel Kimble and one with Vick Allen as well as a couple of new singles from Ricky. But it is the exposure of the newer artists as in previous compilations that is key here - Henry Rhoades, Adrena and Candi Man are not just fillers but display real talent. Ricky is providing an important supporting platform for other artists to get their works out there! I hope this is appreciated by all in the genre.

   

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Texas native Donnie Ray started his Southern Soul career roughly 16 years ago, releasing his first album in 2000 on the Susie Q label. He joined on with Ecko Records in 2005, with ten albums and a Greatest Hits later he has become a bonafide superstar. A very capable songwriter as well, in addition to his many charting hits in the genre, he has also become a mainstay in the Beach music world. Some might say his work is a little too repetitive, but I prefer to call it a solid model of consistency. The more recent hits such as Who's Rockin' You, I'm Goin' Back, Bring Back My Blues, It's A Groove Party, Same Woman, Is She Waiting On You?, I'm Drowning In My Own Tears and Can We Start Our Love All Over? have served to further define and refine Donnie's distinctive style. One thing is for absolutely sure, Donnie leaves Ecko with a huge library of great tunes from A to Z. Donnie's latest, Two Way Love Affair on CDS Records, was just released the first week of May. Different label, same smooth style and delivery! The title track and Outside Love Affair have the same singular theme. Pop It Baby was the advance release of the album that has already seen chart action, including here at the Corner. Now that the album is out, I am also favoring the truly soulful grooves of Who's Loving You, Dog House and Take Care Of Your Business - all are signature rocking Donnie tunes. Mid-tempo and mellow describes Don't Want To Be Lonely, I Wanna Be Your Man and It's Time For Love. It's Friday is a celebration of.....it's time for the weekend! Donnie has no let down here and continues to scale new heights as one of the brightest stars in Southern Soul!

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Dateline March 2010 - here is what I wrote in that edition of Southern Soul Corner about Lee Roy Ward - I’m digging a new groove entitled Should Have Called by a singer named Lee Roy – he has an album out by the same name that was released last year. The advance track from the CD that was passed out to the DJ’s was Made My Move Too Late, but the album title cut is the bomb in my humble opinion. Additional strong cuts on the release include Keep That Move On and Whenever You Need Me. Look for more good things to come in the near future from Lee Roy Ward…..I recall pushing that song as hard as any I ever have - it fit both the Beach and Southern Soul market to a tee, at least in my humble opinion. The song finished #12 on our 2010 Year End Smokin' Top 45. I do remember fellow DJ Mike Little getting behind Made My Move Too Late as well from the album. Both songs actually made one of the Daddy B. Nice monthly Top 10's in 2009 and I'm Going Back To My Momma's House made one of his in 2010. Even though it received only so-so acclaim, it was a dang strong album, ya'll! Given the quality of that debut, I could not imagine that Lee Roy's latest, You Don't Know What You Do To Me, would be anything but good. It is not, however, without a little history. It was originally released in October 2014 by Lee Roy, and then re-released late last year by Blues Palace Records. A few of the tracks are somewhat more contemporary R&B and slicker grooves than his first release. The title track is soulful and certainly chart worthy. Loving Selfish Reasons, it has some great retro-Soul licks in it with a very even harmony track. Friday To Friday is dead to rights Southern Soul. Drop It Down Low and Texas Swing Slide are Zydeco laced steppin' club cuts. This is definitely another strong release from this underrated and original Soul/Blues vocalist. Keep on keepin' on, Lee Roy!

 

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Rosalyn Candy is an up and coming talent as a singer/songwriter and producer from Louisiana. She tested the waters in 2011 with a couple of released singles entitled Stroke It Like You Spoke It and Love Games. Hip-Hop/R&B purist Beat Flippa has been exposing the rest of the world to the diva talent in Bayou country and Rosalyn is no exception. She was included on his last year's I Got The Blues Volume 1 compilation on You Can't Handle This, a trilogy with Veronica Ra'elle and Ms. Portia as well as The Best You Ever Had, a duet with Veronica. Rosalyn has had has several recent single drops - Pour It Up and Talk To Me late last year, the more recent Cashing Checks, and the latest jam, Role Play. Timeless Soul Music Never Dies dropped on tax day this year, with the hopes of bringing Rosalyn from the background to the forefront. Much of the album consists of a roll up of previous output - the salacious Stroke It and Love Games are included, each with a strong dose of Zydeco hustle. The latest single and charter here, Role Play, is a seductive mid-tempo bouncer. Talk to Me is a slower jam that story lines begging her partner for the truth. The frenetic Chasing Checks serves as a good line dancer - Pour It Up is a definite party/dance cut as well.. Drummer Boy and Shake It Up are new tracks to round out the release. Here's hoping this serves as a breakout milestone for Rosalyn Candy!

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Maryland native Jim Bennett has been involved with music practically his entire life. Learning to play many instruments while growing up, he early on formed his own group known as The Family Reunion Band. He later worked with many headliners including Sonny Till and the Orioles, The Manhattans, Roy C, Millie Jackson, Lee Fields and Clarence Carter. Jim along with frequent singing partner Lady Mary spent time in the '90's as members of the D.C. based Hardway Connection before releasing their own record as a duet in 1999. In the 16 plus years that has followed, Jim has released by my count eighteen albums either on his own Ja Ben label or with CDS Records. This includes 2014's Southern Soul Highway - The Essential Jim Bennett, showcasing some of his best work. It's My Time To Get Down is the new album - the title track is an absolute killer!! Even the instrumental version is radio worthy! Included in the release is a previous charter here - the strong licks of Mr. Right On Time Dr. Feelgood. Right Man Wrong Doctor is classic formula Southern Soul as is Is He Treating You Right. I see multiple potential charters flowing from this release. Let's Get Married is an upbeat while pleading my case type groove. How Many More slows it down and pays tribute to those who have gone on to Soul heaven. Come To Me and Stop Lying To Me are mid-tempo ballads that show off Jim's strong warbling vocal skills, which has been somewhat overlooked throughout the years. Jim Bennett is an excellent songwriter and performer - it is past time this is more recognized within the ranks of Southern Soul!

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 Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                                                  May/June 2016

 

       % - new entry

1. You Can Get It - Toia Jones
2. Trail Ride - Jaye Hammer
3. A Man's World - Shay Denise
4. Coke Bottle Frame - Nelson Curry
5. Old School Jam - Willie Clayton
6. If You Need Some - Miss Mini & J Red %
7. My Time To Shine - Shirley Jones
8. Pop It Baby - Donnie Ray
9. When She Said Goodbye - Tucka
10. Why You Wanna Do That - Lomax %
11. Stand By Man - Mr. Sam
12. Don't Back Up Off It - Ms. Jody %
13. Move Something - Grady Champion %
14. Steps To Love - Sweet Angel
15. Drop That (Thang) - J Red w/ D Aaron & J Nice
16. Make Her Feel It - Tony Tatum
17. It's Da Weekend - Jerone Da Entertainer %
18. Little Bit - Rob Hewz
19. Mississippi Folks - OB Buchana
20. Do It Up - Adrena %
21. The Three Of Me - William Bell %
22. Cheatin' Is The Only Way To Go - Sonny Mack
23. Standing Here Knocking - Avail Hollywood
24. Slow Motion - LaMorris Williams %
25. You're My Craving - Summer Wolfe %
26. Give It Up, Turn It Loose - Sir Jonathan Burton %
27. We Gone Party - J Wonn
28. I Found You - Big G
29. Dancin' - Klass Band Brotherhood
30. It's My Time To Get Down - Jim Bennett %
31. I Will (Remix) - Black Diamond w/ J Red
32. My Man Is A Full Grown Dawg - Jesi Terrell %
33. That's My Baby - Superior Band with Miss Rebekah
34. Role Play - Rosalyn Candy %
35. Ole School Style - Miss Mini
36. Hush Money - Alonzo Reid %
37. You Don't Know What You Do To Me - Lee Roy Ward %
38. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It - Pokey Bear
39. Queen - Lysa %
40. Love On The Dance Floor - Lady Di
41. Stop That Knockin' _ Jo Jo Murray %
42. (Let Me See You) Back It Up - Charles Wilson
43. My Lady's My Queen - TJ Hooker-Taylor %
44. You Knew What You Had - Rue Davis %
45. Let's Get It Started - Lady Audrey

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