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Southern Soul Corner September

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Corner Talk: New artists and new music, steady rollin' and it keeps on coming. Names that are not that familiar in the Southern Soul arena are popping up all over. Avana, Chili Most, Aham Smith, Moses Blu, Decarlo Bonds, Val McKnight, Ms. Tabatha,  Antoine Dunn, Greta Prince, Jarekus Singleton, Jureesa McBride, Lamont Starr,  Jerome MacKall and more. Most if not all of these artists have released new music over the last calendar year, hoping to catch a star on the rise. Although some of the recordings are not necessarily intended for this market, they ultimately have ended up on Southern Soul radio charts. I must admit I haven't fully researched all of these up and coming artists but, as time permits, I certainly intend to do so.                              

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One new star definitely on the rise is current young gun Certified Slim.  Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, he is currently based in Texas. Slim's 2010 Birthday Suit album was highly acclaimed, with the title track voted as one of the Best Debuts and Best Ballads of the year. A remix of the tune featuring Mel Waiters was also included on the release.  There is a good mix of club and dance cuts on the album, but the mid tempo grooves and ballad tracks are what really demonstrate Slim's outstanding singing talent. He has quickly become an audience favorite when performing at live shows and festivals.

Slim has recently signed on with the legendary Miami based Henry Stone Music with his new album drop targeted for September 18th.  An early limited release of the jammin' single Move Somethin' has already resulted in rave reviews. (I was fortunate enough to be able to play the song for both Southern Soul and Beach crowds with great results). Once officially released, expect this tune to rocket up the charts. I have not yet heard all the tracks on the forthcoming album but two I am familiar with, Lease To Own and A Glass Of Wine, are also gonna do well. This young 'Southern Soul Guru' is just getting warmed up and on deck for stardom!  It's Certified Slim, ya'll!                                  

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Memphis native Sweet Angel hit the ground running in Southern Soul about five years ago and has not looked back. She came in with an already polished sound that resembled a seasoned veteran of singing and recording. Her first album, initially released independently, was picked up for re-print and distribution by Ecko Records. Three more successful releases on the label have followed since that point in time. An accomplished instrumentalist on clarinet and saxophone, Angel carries over some of the jazz infused notes in her bold and straight ahead delivery of the music. A whole host of Angel's singles - Mike's Place, Another Man's Meat On My Plate, Back It Up And Slow Roll It, I'm Leaving, Good Girls Do Bad Things, Butt Up, I'm Moving Up, I'd Rather Be By Myself, Last Night Was Your Last Night, Roll, A Girl Like Me – either charted or got strong consideration and/or radio play across the genre.

Sweet Angel's latest, Mr. Wrong Gonna Get This Love Tonight, is a departure from Ecko Records, with the release coming on her own label.  The lead cut so far from this ten track effort has been Love Thief, which is already climbing the charts.  Angel takes it to the club on the rollicking Juking At The Hole In The Wall, Zydeco Funk and Blow That Thang Again. Touch Me is a strong torch melody that also has an instrumental track included as well. I've seen some positive comments on her stirring rendition of Purple Rain, a song I would love to see her perform in a live setting. The album represents another strong effort from undoubtedly one of the current leading ladies in Southern Soul!

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Louisiana native and veteran bluesman Willie West grew up listening to the likes of Guitar Slim and James 'Thunderbird' Davis. Bitten by the music bug, he formed his first band and began performing gigs in local clubs. His talent was recognized by the industry early on - Willie has recorded and performed with some of the best over the years. Along the way, he collaborated on recordings with such producers as Cosimo Matassa, Wardell Quezerque, Allen Touissaint and Marshall Sehorn. Spending the  bulk of his career in the New Orleans area, Willie provided backup working gigs with Solomon Burke, Lee Dorsey, Jimmy Reed and Freddie King, among others. He also joined the legendary Meters in the late '70's, spending several years in the band. Willie's first foray into the Southern Soul arena was a 1996 album From West With Love on the independent Nikkie label.

 

Willie now resides in the  Minneapolis area, having moved there after Hurricane Katrina. His latest album, Can't Help Myself,  on CDS subsidiary Aviara Records is hitting big, currently on the Blues Critic Top 40 albums chart. Not As Sweet As You is the one out of the gate getting air play so far, but I also like the upbeat movement of the album title track, the funky red beans and rice flavored Come On  Back To New Orleans and the straight ahead soulful grooves on Ain't Going For That. Ten tracks in all, here's hoping this is the start of more great things to come for Willie West!

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It is time once again to check on what our Beach music club and radio DJs are including from the Southern Soul genre on their play lists.   We do this about every six months or so to get a reading on the ongoing influence this market has on our contributors here at beachmusic45.  Since our last report in April 2012, approximately 65% of the songs now being reported are new entries, which is a fairly good indicator that the DJ's are rotating through some of the more current releases. Here are the latest from the various charts:

 

Back In The Day Cafe – Andre' Lee 

A Love To Call Mine – Johnnie Taylor    

I'm Going Back – Donnie Ray

The Party Don't Get Started – Sir Jonathan Burton

Soul School – Mr. David

Who's Rockin' You – Donnie Ray

The Bop – Ms. Jody

Still The One – Carl Sims

Staying In Love With You – Ghetto Cowboy

From The Back – LJ Echols

I'm Gonna Try Again – Donnie Ray

I Just Love Women – David Brinston

Turn Back The Hands Of Time – Willie Clayton

Bang That Thang – O.B. Buchana

Man On A Mission – Willie Hill

Hanging On By A Thread – Barbara Carr

Smile – Willie Clayton

Quiet As It's Kept – Marvin Sease

Crazy 'Bout That Woman In Red – Floyd Taylor

So Sweet So Fine – Vick Allen

Keep Singing The Blues – Chick Willis

Not As Sweet As You – Willie West

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                                      Mr. X   

Sound Mindz Entertainment out of Birmingham, Alabama has had a significant presence in Southern Soul over the last decade but without a lot of fanfare. The man with the master plan is former Chess Records recording artist Tony Gideon, who has been in the music business oh, only for the last fifty-five years or so!! The label had early success with recordings from veteran artists Roscoe Robinson, Bill Avery and Bob Steele as well as collaborative distribution efforts with artists such as Jerry L and Pat Brown. It has been the relative newcomers, however, that have been charting in recent years. Leon McMullen's Midnight Rendevous, Gus Geeter's It's Too Late and James Morgan's I Am All Good (With My Baby) are strong examples. Currently, Sound Mindz is literally on fire with young guns and up and coming divas – Sergio Davis (Let's Go), T. Honey Brown (You Fooled Me This Time) Mr. X (Keep On Talking and She Put That Stroke On Me)  and a killer track from Jesi Terrell (Love Mechanic) are showing up on multiple radio charts. Tony has a song, I Love You Like The Wind, getting action as well. More props are needed for this fine organization delivering quality recordings consistently in Southern Soul!

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Soul Dog’s Smokin' Top 45 Southern Soul Hits

                      September/October 2012

 

  1)  I'm Goin' Back - Donnie Ray               

  2)  Love Mechanic - Jesi Terrell

  3)  Soul School – Mr. David

  4)  Got No Curfew - Mel Waiters

  5)  You Fooled Me This Time - T. Honey Brown         

  6)  Back In The Day Cafe – Andre Lee

  7)  Move Somethin' – Certified Slim

  8)  Staying In Love With You – Ghetto Cowboy  

  9)  Move Something – Lacee

10)  Good Motor -  LJ Echols ##

11)  We Gonna Party Tonight - T.K. Soul

12)  BYOB Remix – Bigg Robb & Mel Waiters  

13)  Jealous Woman Yes I Am – LGB

14)  Everyone Celebrate – Floyd Taylor 

15)  I've Done All I Can Do – Sheba Potts-Wright ##     

16)  Everybody's Dancin' – Vel Omarr

17)  Southern Soul Dip - Ms. Jody

18) Grown Man – Lenny Williams

19)  You Ain't No Player – Karen Wolfe

20)   Find A Good Woman – Omar Cunningham       

21)   Love Thief – Sweet Angel ##

22)   She Put That Stroke On Me – Mr. X

23)   Footloose – Adrena

24)   Using Me – Jeff Floyd  ## 

25)   Save Our Love – Stephanie Pickett     

26)    Not Good Enough To Marry – Peggy Scott-Adams 

27)   Mr. Telephone Man – O.B. Buchana

28)   Happy Street – Garland Green

29)   Country Boy - Sir Charles Jones   ##

30)   24 Hours -  Denise LaSalle  

31) The Party Don't Get Started  – Sir Jonathan Burton ##  (re-entry)

32)  Take My Blues To The Dance Floor – T.J. Hooker-Taylor

33)  Not As Sweet As You – Willie West ##

34)  No Mess – Pat Cooley  

35)  Go Ahead On – Jaye Hammer

36)  It's Saturday Night – Roni ##

37)  I Ain't Going Nowhere - Floyd Lawson

38)  Feels So Good - Simone De

39)  Chuck Strut – Chuck Roberson ##

40)  Institutionalize - Dorothy Moore 

41) You're The Kind Of Girl – Lee Fields & The Expressions ##

42)  Something I Want – David Brinston & Ms. Jody

43)  Big Party - Michelle Sweeney & Kenny Hamilton

44)  Here We Go – Tommy Leavel

45) Thinkin' About You – Carl Sims ##

 

              ## - new entry this month

 

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