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Southern Soul Corner June 2016

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I believe it was in our August 2015 edition that I said if I was to be in the market for a Soul/Blues star to be the headliner for a big event, Theodis Ealey would be right at the top of my call list! This came to mind recently a few weeks ago as I listened to my colleague Eric Bowman interview Theodis on his Saturday morning Countdown show. This true bluesman was right there in the early days of what has become today's Southern Soul - he was a working musician for years prior to his first notable album in the genre, 1992's Headed Back To Hurtsville on the Ichiban label. It contained such outstanding tracks as L'il Brown Eyes and I'm The Man You Need. Theodis' signature mark will forever be the ribald single Stand Up In It, which picked up speed such that it was recognized nationally - both the single and the same titled album landed on Billboard's R&B charts in 2004, not an easy feat for a Southern Soul/Blues artist. One of the most recognized songs of Southern Soul's modern era, it has spawned years of answer tunes, lyric references and double entendres. Most overlooked may be his songwriting/arranging/producing skills. Creating his own Ifgam label, he released Theodis Ealey & Friends in 2005, which included productions from Willie Hill, Lebrado and Freddie Hughes, among others. I've told this sequence of events before but the compilation included the first version of the Ealey written Think It Over, as sung by Doc Blakey and LaToya Cathey. The Beach band Sea Cruz repeated the feat in 2012 featuring Butch Barnes and Allie Privette on vocals, creating a top charting a hit with it. Theodis finally decided to record the tune himself, choosing vocal diva Lacee' to insure that it too became a big splash! He also collaborated with her on another single hitmaker, You And I Together, which was the title track of the album which was voted as Blues Critic's Best Blues Soul release of 2013. Long overdue recognition here! 2015's Theodis Ealey Presents: A Southern Soul Mix, Vol 1 constitutes his largest compilation of outstanding arrangements to date. Artists on the release include Columbus Toy, Willie Hill, Gregory P. Jones, Lacee', Heart 2 Heart Band, El Willie, Sonja Moree, Nelson Curry, Jerone Da Entertainer, J. Red the Nephew, Larry Griffith and Frank McKinney. Many of these tracks have charted right here at the Corner over the last several months. Taking time to release some of his own works, Theodis got together with Bruce Billups on a Blues banger charting single late last year called Mississippi Delta. Not letting any grass grow under his feet, he just came out with another new single, the raucous funky Don't Move The Groove. Is this outstanding all around artist the stuff of legends? Heck yes!

 

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One of the up and coming new artists in Southern Soul/Blues is a young man from Jeffersonville, Georgia named Stan Butler. I have to admit I had heard of him but did not realize he had some really good songs out there until he appeared on this month's Daddy B. Nice Top 10 list. So I contacted Stan to get some of the facts behind this rising star and here we are! Growing up in the church with a mother as a Pentecostal Holiness pastor, he sang in the choir while teaching himself how to play drums and keyboard. His spiritual upbringing and strong conviction for his religion may have created some emotional conflict when considering the pursuit of secular music. Stan decided that the music was in his soul and there was nothing wrong with creating songs about life and love. Hooking up with Quent Jackson at Big Baby Studios in Macon, GA, long recording sessions began in earnest. The album Back To Basics gradually took shape as the songs were created and laid down. Released exclusively on Stan's YouTube Channel, Caught Up was the first tune released, but the more popular one has turned out to be Took My Grandma To The Club (of course it was!!), resulting in a video shoot of the song as well. There are seven songs to date composing the album. His popularity from the releases resulted in Stan being asked to open up for Cameo at the Macon Soul Jam. The realization that he was asked to do a live performance initiated Stan to locate John Mills, the owner and director of a band called The Unit. Learning Stan's songs became a very positive experience - the band was ready to perform and so was Stan. The crowd of roughly 3,000 attendees fans in Macon absolutely loved them. Becoming front page news, the group was very pleased and has now become the Stan Butler Band. New beginnings and a successful start should lead to more good things for this young future star!

   

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Where can I find this new CD called The Legacy from TK Soul which is on the Top 30 Southern Soul/Blues chart? Wait, I did find it on Amazon.com. It is a composite roll up of sixteen of his best tunes, all of which I believe we mention below, covering pretty much end to end of his outstanding career so far. TK Soul is what I would refer to as one of the very early 'young guns' of Southern Soul. He has always had a little Hip-Hop in his groove, (and got a 'bad boy' tag early on) which just enhances his style and delivery as one of the hardest working and top performing artists on the live circuit. TK, birth name Terence Kimble, who hails from Winnfield, LA, got his start in local bands before taking on playing keys and writing songs for Willie Clayton. His first solo album, One Woman Man, was released in 2002 on his own Soulful Records label. The Bad Boy Of Southern Soul and Love Games followed in quick succession. These albums of original material spawned hit singles such as Meet Me At The Spot, My Kind Of Girl, My Life, Cheating And Lying, All The Man You Need, If U Don't Want Me and Where Jody Stay. My favorite TK track, Party Like Back In The Day, was featured on 2007's Undisputed release. The Evolution Of Soul (2009), Ghetto Superstar (2012) and 10 Years Of TK Soul (2012) were more successful album releases with charting hits like Try Me, They Wanna Party, Rehab, We Gonna Party Tonight, It Ain't Cheating Til U Get Caught, Zydeco Bounce, Soul Ship and You Got To Cheat. 2014's Life After Love album went to #1 and proved to be full of chart toppers including I'm Looking For A Lady (voted Best Slow Jam of 2014), Caught Up In Doing Wrong, Now This Is A Party and I Stay Ready. TK's skill as a songwriter, arranger, producer and team player has not gone without notice. He has also collaborated with such notables as Ricky White, Nathaniel Kimble, Omar Cunningham, Vick Allen, Vickie Baker and Stevie J. In recent months he has been spending time mentoring some of the new artists on the scene - Lady Soul, Luster Baker and Ms. Nyki (maybe now known as Nikita?) The latest album as well as the work he is doing throughout the genre represents continued star success for the ''Undisputed Bad Boy of Southern Soul''!

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The following paragraph was originally published in our March 2011 edition of Southern Soul Corner: I recently ran across a new album entitled Southern Soul Party Every Night by an artist named Sharnette Hyter. The release contained several strong grooves so I decided to look a little deeper. It turns out Sharnette is a radio/television veteran from the Dallas, Texas area who has also channeled her performing talents into several genres of music. Her first hit song, Hooked On Luv, came about in the mid’90’s on the European K4B Records label in the House music arena. Sharnette has been tabbed ‘The Queen of Underground Music’ in the Dallas area for her work in showcasing young talent while in club management. She has recently recorded both a Gospel and a Jazz album as well as having a Zydeco hit tune entitled If You Want It. A very interesting and diverse performer across many venues!............ The album I was referring to above actually was released in August of 2010. The Southern Soul community took very little notice at that time outside of Sharnette's immediate area. She is back with an even stronger release that features collaborations with several artists. Grown Folks Talkin' is made up of twelve slammin' Soul cuts, starting with the harmonious I Got A Love, which will surely be on the Corner's new Top 45 next month. Sharnette teams up with Patrick Henry for their stirring rendition of the classic Put It On Paper. How about Hold On featuring Joe Tex II? That's right! Big Cynthia joins Sharnette on Need A Mr. Do Right. Jeter Jones has been on our chart recently - a little Zydeco flavor breaks through on their collaboration of So Much Better. There are several Sharnette solos that are mid-tempo raw Soul singin'. I'm Classy, Hit My Spot Right and Still Don't Pay My Bills fit that description. Sharnette has the pipes to carry big songs but she tempers the pitch just right when needed. Strong production and good instrumentation throughout - this time Sharnette should register on the Southern Soul rolls of significant releases!

 

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I am not sure exactly what it takes to get your own artist page on soulbluesmusic.com, but it would seem that Charles 'Big Daddy' Stallings has certainly released enough music over the last several years to qualify. And dang, he is goood!! His music is filled with life stories, accentuating the Blues, which spills over into what we call today's Southern Soul. He was born in Columbia, SC and raised on a farm in Hobbsville, NC, with ten brothers and sisters. Music became his escape with the first song he learned to play being the Jimmy Reed classic Big Boss Man. After migrating to Baltimore, MD, Big Daddy continued to develop as a musician, performing in local R&B and Jazz bands, all the while dreaming of recording his own Blues project. Writing his own music, Big Daddy's first album in the genre was One Night Lover in 2004, which received critical acclaim and a strong review in Living Blues magazine. He followed that one up with Blues Evolution in 2007, which was nominated for a Blues Foundation Best Self-Produced Album in 2008. Key singles on the release include Let's Boogie, Goin' Down South and Blues Line Dance, which made the Southern Soul charts. 2010's Blues Party album on the Tai Jeria Record label yielded notable hits with the title track as well as In Love By Yourself. The latter tune was voted Best Ballad for 2011 bySouthernSoulRnB.com. Call Me Big Daddy dropped in late 2012 - the title cut charted here at the Corner. Boody Pop And Lock # 1 and version #2 also got some significant recognition. It is pretty evident that Big Daddy has been working hard at his craft for many years! Slow Rollin' is the latest strong album from Charles 'Big Daddy' Stallings. Blues with a whole lotta Soul is the way I would describe the release. The advance track, out last year, is At The Club which jumps off at a party mood pace. I expect it to chart next month here at the Corner. The same high energy can be said for Dance All Night and Tonkin U.S. of A. The 3rd Ward is an instrumental that has that New Orleans pocky way feel to it. There are the bluesy numbers - the title track, a rendition of What You Want Me To Do, the down home Goodbye You Gone. Twelve solid cuts does for an album make! Keep rollin', Charles 'Big Daddy' Stallings, we gonna take notice!

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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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