Daddy B. Nice's #97 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"I'll Be The Other Man"
Re-Posted from Daddy B. Nice's Corner:
March 1, 2016:
POKEY'S "MY SIDEPIECE" SPAWNING COVERS & RESPONSES IN THE SAME WAY THEODIS EALEY'S "STAND UP IN IT" DID A DECADE AGOLong before texting and Twitter, a Georgia-based southern soul singer/guitarist/songwriter named Theodis Ealey with a fine song already to his credit--"(All My Baby Left Me Was) A Note, My Guitar & A Cookie Jar"--put out a new song, "Stand Up In It," that became a sensation across the southern soul and blues worlds in 2003 and 2004, reproducing itself in countless covers (Falisa JaNaye's "Can You Stand Up In It," etc.), parodies and lyrical references within other artists' songs through '05, '06 and '07, culminating in then-king-of-southern-soul Marvin Sease singing in his new song, "Sit Down On It":
"Every time I turn my radio on,
I hear this cute little song,
Just trotting along,
Giving out instructions
How lovers should get it on,
I must admit
It's a cute little song.
But don't let the instructions
Lead you wrong.
They say you ought to
Stand up in it,
But if you really want to know,
The best way to get it..."
Note the hint of condescension in Sease's twice-stated reference to the "cute little song." A little jealousy, perhaps? None of the pundits predicted "Stand Up In It"'s popularity. It wasn't an emotionally-deep or instrumentally-innovative record, and even listening to it today with all the hype that has accrued, it doesn't sound that different from other popular hits of the era. But it was. It was a touchstone, a cultural turnstile.
Now comes The Louisiana Blues Brothas (featuring Pokey's) recording of "My Sidepiece." (For those of you unfamiliar with the culture of southern soul, "a sidepiece" is a "mistress.")
"I guess I got it from my daddy,
'Cause it's all in my genes.
I'm addicted to the nonny (see Poonanny, DBN)
If you know what I mean."
And the same frenzy of copy-catting that followed "Stand Up In It" is now in full fray with "My Sidepiece." Both songs extol a symbol or metaphor--"stand up in it" in the case of "Stand Up In It," "my sidepiece" in "My Sidepiece"--and in both tunes it's a sexual double-entendre executed with a swagger powerful enough to force the words into our everyday vocabulary.
What greater gratification can there be for an artist? And what greater temptation for the artists watching this unexpected band-wagon passing them by than to jump on, too, with their own takes? At the very least, it tells the listener their songs are of recent (i.e. post-"Sidepiece") vintage.
Here's a simplified genealogy of "My Sidepiece" and its musical progeny:
First came The Louisiana Blues Brothas with....
Listen to Pokey & The Louisiana Blues Brothas singing "My Sidepiece" on YouTube..
Listen to Heavy, Tucka, Pokey & Tyree Neal singing "My Sidepiece (Remix)" on YouTube.
...Which begat a woman's response:
Listen to Veronica Ra'elle, Lacee and Ms. Portia singing "My Sidepiece (Reply)" on YouTube.
Those remakes were created within the loose circle of musicians surrounding surrounding "Sidepiece" producer Beat Flippa and the Neal family. But then Ghetto Cowboy and producer Ricky White jumped on the band-wagon with an even stronger, anti-sidepiece lyric overlaying the same instrumental track...
Listen to Ghetto Cowboy singing "My Main Squeeze" on ProBeatPort.
Meanwhile, original Louisiana Blues Brotha Tyree Neal changed sides and put out his own version of an anti-sidepiece song:
Listen to Tyree Neal singing "I Came Back Home (You Can Have That Sidepiece)" on YouTube.
But the true measure of the "Sidepiece" phenomenon has been its incidental references in the songs of female performers. Stephanie McDee brags she can co-exist with the male "sidepiece" culture in "Taking Care Of Business":
Listen to Stephanie McDee singing "Taking Care Of Business" on YouTube.
But the Duchess Jureesa McBride's "Personal Love Vendetta" is more typical, in which she sings about a woman's not-so-funny experience of "wasting years" being a sidepiece without actually uttering the word:
"It was an awkward situation.
Never met your kids.
And after a few years,
Might have met two of your friends...
...And all the times we went out,
I can count on one hand."
Listen to The Duchess singing "Personal Love Vendetta" on YouTube.
The Louisiana Blues Brothas original was just an ornery, meant-for-fun-loving song, many men (and a sprinkling of women) might respond--not to be taken so seriously. And yet men, too, have taken up the cause from the more realistic female perspective. In his upcoming single, "Can I Be (The One You Make Love To?)," new artist Till 1 sings:
"Like my mommy and daddy told me,
Son, stay home.
You don't need no sidepiece."
To which Pokey might reply (from "My Sidepiece"):
"This is the definition
Of a real man.
When I’m with my sidepiece
About my situation
Perhaps the ultimate "Sidepiece" response song is Tha Don's "Hell Naw":
Listen to Tha Don singing "Hell Naw" on YouTube.
In an R. Kelly-inspired vocal, he advises a female friend to say "Hell Naw" to being a "sidepiece," thereby referencing in one fell swoop the two most popular songs of 2015, Pokey's "My Sidepiece" and Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw".
--Daddy B. Nice
September 1, 2015:
Tyree Neal Enters Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Countdown: 21st Century Southern Soul Artists at #97!See the chart, which encompasses a fifteen-year period in southern soul music.
September 1, 2015: NEW ALBUM ALERT!
Sample/Buy Tyree Neal's I'LL BE THE OTHER MAN CD at Blues Critic.
To automatically link to Tyree Neal's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Neal, Tyree" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
Listen to Tyree Neal and Sir Charles Jones singing "Whiskey And Beer" on YouTube.
September 1, 2015:
Daddy B. Nice's Profile
Tyree Neal is one of the Louisiana-based performers--Stephanie McDee, Tucka, Cupid, Rude, Simone De, Pokey and more--exerting a powerful new creative force in Southern Soul. Their forerunners include the late Jackie Neal (Tyree's cousin), T.K. Soul, Kenne' Wayne, Lebrado and Big Cynthia.
Tyree's reputation has been built as a guitarist and producer more so than a vocalist. His looping guitar riff on Stephanie McDee's "When I Step In The Club" was the key element in McDee's triumphant return to recording after a decade away. Taken as an instrumental track in its own right, "When I Step In The Club" constitutes the finest piece of "bumper music" available to deejays in the contemporary southern soul catalog. The song is basically an acapella tour de force by McDee highlighted against Tyree Neal's equally illuminating yet lunch-bucket--almost monotonous--well, let's settle on mesmerizing--lead guitar.
Listen to Tyree Neal playing guitar and Stephanie McDee singing "When I Step In The Club" on YouTube.
Meanwhile, Tyree kept working on his vocals, fashioning a low-key, casual style that fit his modest pipes, relying on his "nose" for rhythms, melodies and traditional themes in such early songs as "Whiskey And Beer," "I Heard It In The Neighborhood," "I Want My Boo Back" and "She Gone Make Me Fall In Love," as well as working with his frequent Louisiana zydeco influence in songs like "Dat Girl."
The most momentous break in Tyree Neal's careeer, however, came about through another collaboration, this time with a powerful and brash new vocalist called Pokey, who debuted in 2013 with the folksy-titled album, JOSEPHINE SON POKEY. The album featured one of the biggest hit singles of the last couple of years, "My Sidepiece," and--along with another emerging Louisiana star, Tucka--Tyree Neal was a featured vocalist on the "My Sidepiece (Remix)."
The single's popularity (and the rapport among the principles) resulted in a southern soul super-group, The Louisiana Blues Brothers, composed of Neal, Pokey and Adrian Bagher, who released their album LOVE ON THE BAYOU in 2014. Since then, Tyree has been on a roll, culminating with a two-record CD set (2015) featuring "I Heard It In The Neighborhood" (for the first time) and a brand new title song, "I'll Be The Other Man," which coincidentally is Neal's best lead vocal to date.
Listen to Tyree Neal singing "I Heard It In The Neighborhood" on YouTube.
Listen to Tyree Neal singing "I'll Be The Other Man" on YouTube.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Tyree Neal
Tyree Neal is a member of the Raful Neal clan, Louisiana's famed blues & southern soul family. Often confused as the son of Raful and the sibling of well-known bluesman Kenny Neal and the late southern soul singer Jackie Neal, Tyree is actually the latters' cousin and Raful's nephew.
Honorary "B" Side
"I Heard It Through The Neighborhood"
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