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Southern Soul Corner November 16

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Coming On Strong: New and/or hot tunes in Southern Soul as we speak: From the Sound Mindz Studios, Jesi Terrell is still rockin' it with My Man Is A Full Grown Dawg......... Karen Wolfe featuring Da Queen, Denise LaSalle, with Shake A Little Somethin' recently hit #1 on The Boogie Report........ Big Daddy from Cincinnati Bigg Robb is scoring high marks with the remix Got My Whiskey - speaking of remixes, what up with the latest Omar Cunningham/Bigg Robb dust up of the R. Kelly tune Sufferin'? It is pretty dawg gone good!!........we here at the Corner gotta get behind the masterful Willie Clayton's current charter  Let's Have A Good Time.......from the Bayou, we have relative newcomer Lysa giving us a hit with  Thats What Your Mouth Say, which features Tyree Neal. It was included in her  Queen With A Woman's Touch album, released earlier this year.........also from ''way down South'' (reminds me of a radio show I once knew, LOL) is Lady Soul, one of TK's protégés, with Tighten Up. She had a previous big charter early in 2015 with The Lady Soul Slide ......

Sir Jonathan Burton says he is about done!  Come on my man, you just gettin' started - he has a heartfelt tribute to the late General Norman Johnson on the charts with Gone Fishing from his latest album Lonely On The Top........A new joint just starting to smoke is Charlie Horse from Cupid.....Former contestant on The Voice Toia Jones has her second hit in a row with Shot House Blues...........Choppa Law is back ridin' the horse with I'm Crazy About You.......You gotta know Jackson, Mississippi sensation J Wonn is gonna continue to turn it out. His latest chartmaker is called Twenty Four Seven.......Cool Ricky Blues' new jam Sneaky Girl is a storied road  many men have been down....X-Man Parker,  a veteran of the Senator Jones and Mardi Gras label days, comes back hitting us with Boo Thang - it is Halloween season, ya'll!!.....Watch It Shake and Miss You Baby have made the charts for the Georgia based very talented Lomax.   Why You Wanna Do That, which went to #1 two months ago on our Beach Music Smokin' Top 45, is starting to get some play in Southern Soul as well............

From right under my own umbrella, Rocky Mount, NC's Miss Mini continues to turn out great tunes, this time it is entitled That Act Right......We are really liking Steppin' Out for little known Donna Renae. She has an outstanding single in 2014 called Mr. Right Now that pretty much got overlooked...... Recording wise, we have not heard much from Falisa Janaye since 2010, when she hit big with You Won't Miss Your Water. She has two very nice recent singles getting some burn, I Love You and It's A Shame......I've turned around and headin' back down to Cajun country, Jeter Jones is blowin' it up along with Crystal Thomas (see her CD review below) on Them Country Girls............also from the Pelican State, Nicole Jackson is hot as fire with Bag This Wagon Up (What U Gone Do For Me)..............Mo B is proclaimed as the Prince of Urban Soul. His new one, Toast It Up, may make it in this market with a little push...........

Another big man in Soul music, Richmond VA's downtown Big G, is crankin' Work That Thang from his Satisfaction Guaranteed album.........What is cookin' hot out of the Ecko studios?  Ms. Jody's new album for sure, charting singles include There's A Party Goin' On and This Place Is Hot. OB Buchana strikes a chord on Why Can't I Be Your Lover?............Wendell B is one of the smoothest crooners you will ever have the pleasure of hearing. His latest single, Put It Down Tonight is making some big noise..........Brand spanking new and in the groove for Avail Hollywood is Get Freaky In The Club......Tony Tatum, who has been red hot in 2016,  continues to light it up with his latest, Love After Hours.........Have you heard Let It Ring from LaVish TrueSoul?? Check it out, I said!....... 

 

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Bobby Rush is indeed a Soul/Blues living legend, he has been pursuing his craft for roughly 60 years. Still going as strong as ever, the title track to his latest album is making some major waves on the Southern Soul charts. Porcupine Meat is a hard lick, too fat to eat, too lean to throw away, your butt in a sling - down and dirty Blues at it's best! I also like Nighttime Gardener and I Don't Want Nobody Hanging Around from the album, which is quite a production that includes guest accompaniments from Keb Mo', Vasti Jackson, Dave Alvin and Joe Bonamassa ........... Another living superstar for 55 plus years that personifies what Soul music is all about, William Bell, has brought back the monumental Stax Sound and is taking it all over the world with his June album release of This Is Where I Live. The awesome title track is currently on several charts, including ours here at the Corner.  The Three Of Me was an advance release that we jumped on back in May of this year. William revisits Born Under A Bad Sign, a song he co-wrote with Booker T. Jones, which became a big hit on Stax for Albert King in 1967. We are also liking the rollickin' The People Want To Go Home and the downbeat on The House Always Wins, one or both of which are potential future charters here. This is a golden production for one of the true historic talents and the nicest individuals you would ever want to meet!

 

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I just recently became aware of a group out of Montgomery, Alabama that has had quite a history in the music industry. SET 4 LIFE currently has a hot tune that is getting play in the Southern Soul market - Sit Down On It will definitely make our November/December Smokin' Top 45! Jeffrey Singleton,Ted White and Brigitte Travis, individually and/or collectively  have written hit songs for such national artists as The Reddings, who are the sons of the legendary Otis Redding, Cameo and J. Blackfoot. They have toured and recorded with famed producer Jermaine Dupri, who has Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Usher on his resume. Jeffrey sang lead with The Commodores, replacing Lionel Richie on Reach High, which is one of the famed group's all time hits. Ted has previously worked with rapper T.I., jazz virtuoso Stanley Clarke and many others as well as co-writing Call The Law, which was a Billboard Top Ten hit. Brigitte has toured with The FRAT Band, playing drums and singing lead, as well as writing many songs over the years. Together, the trio has travelled nationally and abroad, lighting up the stages in such foreign lands as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Two additional single recordings, Tonight Is Yo Night and Boom, are also out there getting some burn right now. Any interest in booking them for a gig can be fulfilled by calling 334-652-1436, I promise they will rock!!

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There is absolutely a whole lot of roots Soul and Blues in the unique stylings of Grady Champion. He was raised on a farm in a huge family in rural Mississippi, with hard work being the norm. Singing in the church was his first real exposure to music. After a move to Florida and a series of occupational tries, Grady recorded and released his own album, deciding to try to make it as a performer. Becoming more proficient on harmonica, guitar, singing and songwriting, Champion signed on with Shanachie Records in 1999, releasing his first album on the label, Payin' For My Sins, thirteen tracks most of which Grady penned or co-wrote.  His 2001 follow-up, 2 Days Short Of A Week, contained more Champion written tunes, several of which were bold in social commentary, such as Policeman Blues and Children Of The Corn.

 

Grady Champion's first significant crossover in Southern Soul came from his 2011 Dreamin' album on GSM Records. Make That Monkey Jump was the juke joint favorite that took off for the club and radio jocks, chosen as  the Best Chitlin' Circuit Blues Song of the Year.  2013's Tough Times Don't Last on the Grady Shady Music label was the outstanding album follow-up. Trust Yourself  was the soulful groove that charted big here on our Top 45. My Time Baby, Glory Train, On The Road and Broken Down Cadillac all had that smoky barroom flavor with nice rhythm tracks that make for good dance steppers. Signing on with the Malaco label, 2014's Bootleg Whiskey album was nothing short of phenomenal - both the title cut and the advance release of South Side zoomed up all the charts, including the Top 45 here at the Corner.

 

Grady's latest, One Of A Kind, is his second drop on Malaco, continuing with another outstanding product outcome. Grady writes the tunes and masterfully brings them out with his harp and guitar playing. The advance track, Move Something, is a stone cold killer - it is currently numero uno here at the Corner (it doesn't hurt that he mentions me in the song, even though he calls me 'dirty' Soul Dog, ROTFL). The lead off track, Bump And Grind is hard Blues - Heels And Hips follows it up and evenly smooths out the rough edges. House Party is taking a sip of gin and juice while you dance - Leave Here Running, Life Support and Stone In My Path pick up the pace even further, but you can still take a draw on that drink! The album title track reverberates a slow jam that brings out a pleading soulful quality in Grady's voice - he certainly has the chops to sing it that way. Grady is very skillful at bringing out alot of the way old school days harmony of the Blues and mixing it with his own brand of modern sound. Twelve tracks in all includes guest support from Eddie Cotton, Mr. Sipp, Elvin Bishop and Theodis Ealey. Grady's star is current shining as bright as any artist in the Blues and Soul arena, and he has many more years to bring us this kind of quality entertainment.

 

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What do we know about Crystal Thomas? Well, she is another one of those fresh new female faces that are continuously emerging down in the Bayou area and turning out what has proven to be outstanding music. Hailing from Mansfield, Louisiana, she joined forces with Jeter Jones and Slick Ross to produce and release an advance single earlier this year that is included on her new album. Somebody Else's Man grinds it out - women can relate to her story of being tired of trying to find what she is looking for in someone already spoken for! 

Crystal didn't stop there: Lyrical Gumbo - The Essence of Crystal Thomas is down home gritty Blues and Soul with a Zydeco flavor, that's what I am talking about!  A few short takes included, Excuse Me Miss and Da Big Dawg, with the intro (Blocked Cell) and the outro (Until You Come Home) providing  the frame around the package of some music that gets me to thinking about sipping from the mason jar while listening. Something Something, featuring Jeter Jones with Crystal, is a sure bet to be on our next bi-monthly Top 45 here at the Corner! Work It (Dab) is a party stepper - Baby Don't Leave Me and What I Been Looking For are even paced rhythms that sway in the breeze. The slow groove Country Gurl on this album turned into the Zydeco rap of Them Country Girls, featuring Jeter and Crystal, a current hit from the Beat Flippa I Got The Blues Vol. 2 release. Crystal writes her songs with a certain flair, I just saw her music described as "soulful, sultry, old school Rhythm and Blues with a new school twist". This lady is yet another rising star from down in the Bayou!!

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Eddie LeVert on the Top 30 SouthernSoul/Blues albums for October? You better believe it, his latest solo effort, Did I Make You Go Ooh, debuts in the number 10 spot. It is not the first time Eddie has stepped out on his own,  although he is best known for his role as one of the original members of the Hall of Fame group The O'Jays as well as producing two R&B singing star sons (Gerald and Sean, tragically both now deceased). He released a solo album, I Still Have It, in 2012 and also had two albums with son Gerald, Father And Son in 1995 and Something To Talk About in 2007.  From The O'Jays first hit single, Lonely Drifter in 1963 until now, Eddie has been a model of consistency, with a distinctive singing voice and style that is all his own.

 

Primarily a mix of upbeat jams and mid-tempo to several low and slow tunes such as the title track (check out the official video). Sultry and soulful, quiet settlers like Never Miss Your Water, It's Too Late  That's The Way Love Is and How Much More Love are heartfelt tunes. Love the background singing on another lights down low one, I Let Go. I Ain't Goin' For That has that old school O'Jays feel to it. Say It Ain't So and Bang The Walls rattle the cage as well. S**t Starter is about that certain person that most of us have somewhere in our lives - the one that just cannot leave well enough alone! The Big Groove subtly touches on a larger subject - today's social issues that seem to be a constant. Released in August with twelve tracks in all, the reviews so far have been very positive for this legendary superstar!

 

 

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