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OK, I'm Back!  I am back to a certain degree after a four month absence - as many of you know, I have a developing case of carpal tunnel syndrome, which has severely limited my ability to research and write. I do feel, however, that I owe it to the artists that I have supported and who have supported me and my various radio shows over the years to provide some level of information via this column..... there will be  less detail BUT I will  try to maintain my bi-monthly Top 45 chart, as the music continues to explode in this genre.

 

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I don't want to rehash the entire year of 2016 here as I often do each January (it is already four months in to 2017 at this writing!!), as it is way too late at this point! I have had this tribute portion written since the first of the year and I do want to mention a very significant loss we sustained in the world of Soul music at just the dawning of 2017. Big Cynthia Walker passed away on January 3rd at the very young age of 47. In January 2013 I wrote an article covering all of the women in Southern Soul that I could think of at the time and how they had evolved. Included in that piece was the following excerpt:

"Following those legendary pioneers there was a brave handful that broke in the Southern Soul market ten to fifteen years ago and are still getting it done. Big Cynthia Walker, Pat Brown, Toni Green, Vickie Baker, Sheba Potts-Wright and Stephanie McDee are the names that come to mind. The late Jackie Neal in this group was also a huge influence in the business until her life was tragically ended in 2005."

Big Cynthia, the daughter of one Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr., aka the legendary Junior Walker of Motown fame, certainly was a leader in Southern Soul over the last what is now a period of right at 20 years. Originally signed by Ace Records CEO Johnny Vincent in 1997, she began collaborating with Mel Waiters on his Brittany Records label a short time later. Several albums and a very successful career followed but Cynthia may be most remembered for her kindness and assistance in the promotion of others joining the business along the way. She will most definitely be missed and remembered forever.

 

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Mind Gone - Lacee - Just hitting the streets in April, this Soul diva is another great example of gritty determination that it takes to make it in this genre - she has been at it now for over ten years! There are some dynamite tracks on this release, including the lead off album title tune. No Broke Man and Who Is It are signature Lacee grooves. There are also two really nice duets here - Marry Me with Calvin Richardson and Three Way Love Affair featuring Willie Clayton. I am struggling to decide which jam to chart first!

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Full Figured Woman - Joe 'Blues' Butler - This was a late 2016 release for this Memphis based veteran performer, it is heavy on the Blues and gritty Soul side. Joe is no stranger to the genre, having released his first album in 1996, aptly named Blues & Soul on the Nikkie label.  The title track is the cut being pushed of late, but the track that moves me is Missing My Baby. Additional strong grooves include Mojo Woman and Looking For My Woman. The juke jumping Blues Raining On Me sounds like my story lately!! LOL! Good stuff from this veteran bluesman!

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Can't Walk Away - Sweet Angel - Have loved this lady's music since her first release on the Ecko label some ten years ago. The Memphis born accomplished musician produces a unique jazzy soulful sound with a good dose of bluesy notes when she sings. From the latest CD, advance track Steps To Love hit our chart here in March of 2016. The release contains 15 tracks, including a remix of one of my all time favorites that I use at the club every time I DJ - Juking At The Hole In The Wall. Also really digging Take A Look, Thrill Is Real and I Need A Real Love. This is a great album, ya'll!!

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Swing On With OB - OB Buchana - ever the steady Eddie, this popular crooner drops his 13th release (plus a Best Of album) to date in March on the Ecko label. Consistency has been one of his key trademarks in the creation of that down home groove that works both at the club, the house party and the show circuit. Why Can't I Be Your Lover debuted on our Top 45 last October after it first appeared on Blues Mix 21.  There is a good remix of Swing On which was also on his last album. The track here that jumps out and grabs me is Good and Grown Lovin', a breakout club track for sure! A nice slow groove, You're The One Baby, features a strong vocal back and forth with rising star Lomax.

 

 

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Southern Soul Smashes 6 - The latest compilation from CDS Records has some outstanding tunes - including previously unreleased works from Ricky White, Jerry L, William Calhoun and El' Willie. Two more new tracks that are definitely making our chart are Let's Party from Ghetto Cowboy and Back Door Lover by Stephanie Pickett. Also here - the nationally acclaimed Nellie Tiger Travis Slap Your Weave Off, which was featured on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and later on, he had Nellie there on the January 18th show performing the tune!

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TrailRide Certified - Jeter Jones  - Louisiana cowboying up, with a good taste of Zydeco and down home Soul, this guy has become a formidable force emerging from the surgence of the Beat Flippa crew over the last two plus years. He has previously made our charts here on Zydeco With Me and Da Boot Scoot Remix, which featured Cupid. There are several cool tracks here, including the title cut as well as Come Out The Bushes and Them Country Girls, which features another rising star in  Crystal Thomas.

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Three Way Love Affair - Lady Di - The Alabama native is still not a well known entity (see my review of her last CD in the October 2015 Corner archives), but this is her 5th album release in as many years. Limited distribution of the albums has not helped her cause. She had a big success on our charts in 2016 with Love Don't Owe Me Nothing. The advance track from her latest, Love On The Dance Floor, also hit the Top 45. I Came To Party   is my current charting choice but Roll It and All The Time Grooving are also most worthy. Most of the tracks are upbeat and danceable. With this latest albums' availability on Amazon and this one as well as all her previous albums now on iTunes, hopefully Lady Di will get more well deserved recognition going forward.

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Back 2 Blues - Stevie J - Jackson, MS born Stevie J Blues, the son of a minister,  released his first album in Southern Soul in 2008 (known as Stevie Jay back then). Prior to that, he spent several years touring with and learning from Bobby Rush. The latest drop is his 4th to date. He certainly impressed us with previous singles Down Home People and Come Here Party. Stevie has a pretty strong old school sound blended with his guitar playing as the base. There are several strong jams here. I'm liking Come See Me, I Ain't Gettin' That, Craddle Robber and That Party Song. 12 cuts in all, on his own label - we will see even more success from this guy in this future!

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Make Time (For Her) - Mr. Sam - He has been in the game for several years as an accomplished singer and songwriter. Sam's latest productions have been on the Ecko label. Stand By Man was last year's advance track from the album that did well on our charts. A set of good slow to mid-tempo grooves and dance tunes here, I'm digging Baby I'm Scared of You, an upbeat joint that includes some strong accompanying vocals from Ms. Genii. The dance floor will be steppin' to Go To Work and Zydeco Sum Mo. 11 tunes in all from this very talented rising star singer/songwriter.

 

Next Time: We'll cover album releases that have just hit the streets (or some I have overlooked): David Brinston, Ricky White, Mr Sipp, Tre Williams, Big G and more.....

                        

                

Ok,  we have not had a new chart since December........the new music hasn't stopped coming for a minute  and there were many already out there making a splash so.........we expanded the Top 45 this time around to add 45 more tracks......and, although we scrubbed and scrubbed, the sequential order is not as important as the mention. We felt all of these were worth reporting on...and I 'm sure we missed a few as well.                             

Soul Dog’s Top 45 (Plus 45) Southern Soul Hits

                                   

   

1.                    Good And Grown Lovin' - OB Buchana

2.                   I Need A Real Love - Sweet Angel  

3.                   Back Door Lover - Stephanie Pickett

4.                   Sneakin and Creepin  - Willie Clayton    

5.                    Back To The Hole In The Wall - Little Kim Stewart 

6.                   Hypnotized - Cool Rickey Blues                           

7.                   Come On - Ms Jody

8.                   Get This Party Started - Lomax          

9.                   Sufferin' - Bigg Robb/Omar Cunningham/R. Kelly  

10.               Babysitter - Charles Wilson       

11.               Nighttime Gardener - Bobby Rush w/ Keb Mo

12.               That Act Right - Miss Mini  

13.                Living In A Rooming House - Carl Sims   

14.               Lady Luck - Wilson Meadows                 

15.               Magic - Superior Band w/ Miss Rebekah   

16.               Who Is It - Lacee

17.               Let's Party - Ghetto Cowboy              

18.               I'll Take Your Word For It - Vick Allen             

19.               Laundromat Blues - Pat Cooley          

20.               Leave Here Running -  Grady Champion            

21.               That Party Song - Stevie J

22.               Nothing Else To Talk About - Wendell B

23.               Are You Ready 2 Luv - Lebrado

24.               She Got It Like That - Ricky White  

25.               Slippin' - Summer Wolfe   

26.               Dance With Me - David Brinston

27.               Busted - Donnell Sullivan     

28.               BYOB Party - Tre Williams and Jerry Flood

29.                Come See About Me - Omar Cunningham

30.               Grown Folk Party - Nelson Curry

31.                What You Moma Gave You - J Red w/ Willie Hill

32.               Til The Sun Comes Up - Tucka

33.               Don't You Wanna Dance - Mr. Campbell   

34.               Missing My Baby - Joe 'Blues' Butler   

35.               Come Out The Bushes - Jeter Jones

36.               Come Saddle Up - Big Cynthia      

37.               Something To Talk About - Simone De  

38.               Your Love's Gotta Hold On Me - Uvee Hayes  

39.               Gone Fishin' - Sir Jonathan Burton      

40.               Single Husband -  Jureesa 'The Duchess' McBride 

41.               I Came To Party - Lady Di                                

42.               Baby I'm Scared Of You - Mr Sam & Ms Genii

43.                I Don't Want Yo Mane - Jewel J                                      

44.               Turn It Up - Mr. Sipp                 

45.               Stay Home Kitty Kitty - Jesi Terrell 

46.               Who's Lovin' You - Donnie  Ray     

47.               She Said Ooh - Lenny Williams 

48.               Wanna Go Dancing - Big G           

49.               This Is Where I Live - William Bell

50.               Ol' School Dance - Mr. David

51.                I Wanna Fall In Love - JJ Thames

52.               In The Club - Avail Hollywood

53.               Shake A Little Something - Karen Wolfe & Denise LaSalle 

54.                Saturday's A Prime Time Party - Booker Brown              

55.               Take Me To the Bootlegger - Stan Butler          

56.                All the Lovers - Nellie Tiger Travis

57.               Sit Down On It (Remix) - Mr X           

58.                I Got To Have You - Leroy Allen

59.               Sit Down (On It) - Jeff Singleton & Set 4 Life Band           

60.               Hold On - Sharnette Hyter w/ Joe Tex II        

61.                Something Something - Crystal Thomas w/ Jeter Jones   

62.               Shot House - Toia Jones w/ Bigg Robb     

63.               In The Rinse - JT Hooker-Taylor

64.               I'm Coming Home Soon - Vel Omarr w/ Womack Sisters

65.                Room 102 - Emerson Hill

66.               What You Go Do For Me - Nicole Jackson

67.               That's How Heartaches Are Made - Al Lindsey

68.               Here Kitty Kitty - Mo B                                                

69.                My Baby's On The Phone - Leon McMullen      

70.                Twenty Four Seven - J Wonn      

71.                Come Back Home - Dabron

72.               Saddle Up On It - Diva Dee         

73.                I'm Crazy About You - Choppa Law

74.               We Gone Do It Again - Coco           

75.                Swing Out - Cupid     

76.                You've Been Busted By Cellphone - Lil Jimmie            

77.                Treat Her Right - Calvin Richardson

78.               Tha Baddest - Magic One

79.                New Thang - Bianca                                               

80.                Superwoman - David J with Geno Wesley

81.               I'm Gone - Falisa Janaye

82.                Do You Want Somebody?  -  Alonzo Reid w/ LaKeisha

83.               Trailride Slide - Angel Faye Russell

84.               I'll Pay The Shipping Cost - Ronnie Bell

85.               Don't Waste My Time - T. Honey Brown

86.               Let It Ring - Lavish Truesoul                                

87.               Holiday Inn - Tootie Malone 

88.                Dance The Night Away (Remix) - Snatch Nelson     

89.               Steppin' Out - Donna Renae                                

90.               Blow Me A Kiss - Till 1

 

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