Big G (New Album Alert!)
Daddy B. Nice's #67 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"Thank You Girl"
Big G (New Album Alert!)
June 10, 2017: Originally posted on Daddy B. Nice's Corner
Daddy B Nice on Big G
"...He's published, by my count, some nineteen albums--twenty including his newest release, Darkest Hour--since his debut Steppin' Out in 1999. That's an average of an album a year over two decades, more than long enough to be given some genuine respect."
Listen to Big G singing "Down On My Knees".
Read Daddy B. Nice's review of Big G's THE DARKEST HOUR.
Read Daddy B. Nice's Guide to Big G.
April 15, 2017:
New Album Alert!
Sample/Buy Big G's new DARKEST HOUR CD at CD Baby.
Sample/Buy Big G's new DARKEST HOUR CD at iTunes.
DARKEST HOUR TRACK LIST:
Can You Hear Me
Down on My Knees
Wanna Go Dancing
Shake That Thang
Can't Stop Thinking About You (Remix)
Two Step in the Name of Love (Remix)
Backyard Barbecue (Instrumental)
Listen to Big G singing "Darkest Hour" on YouTube.
--Daddy B. Nice
Listen to Big G singing "Thank You Girl" on YouTube.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Profile
Big G is built like a hundred-year old tree stump. His neck alone is the size of an average man's waist. That's why they call him "big." And yet, he really doesn't sing "big," whatever that may sound like--perhaps an opera singer, or an American Idol candidate. Instead, his voice inhabits the middle ranges of the male register, as far up as a tenor, as far down as a baritone.
Big G's voice has a sweet, roughhewn quality, a cross between soul singers like Joe Simon and Clarence Carter and folksingers like Burl Ives, Jimmy Dean and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Cover songs are often revelatory. Big G hasn't done many, but in his version of "I'd Rather Go Blind" much of the dark soul of Etta Jame's original vocal falls by the wayside and one almost expects to hear "Sixteen tons/What do you get?/Another day older/And deeper in debt."
Big G. is the kind of singer who could trade verses with Johnny Cash on "Ring of Fire" without the slightest drop-off in cowpuncher credibility. There's a distinct country-western inflection to his phrasing.
Much of this has to do with Big G.'s roots in Virginia. Like Tennessee's Wilson Meadows, he's never been at the heart of the Southern Soul scene, be it with Sir Charles and friends in western Alabama or with O. B. Buchana and the dozens of Southern Soul stars from Jackson and north-central Mississippi.
Big G's mentor, Roy C, lived outside the core area for southern rhythm and blues, too, and his career suffered for it. Like Roy C, Big G soldiered on without a lot of the networking that Delta musicians take for granted, and like Roy C, he has never faltered, releasing record after record without much compensation and without much airplay.
Still, he never lost confidence, outlasting countless one-and-done and two-and-done singers, patiently building a catalog, and today, with over a dozen albums to his credit, Big G holds down a noteworthy legacy in the middle ranks of Southern Soul vocalists, his reputation secure, his albums always credible.
I first became enamored with Big G about five years into his career with the tune, "Thank You Girl" (Stone River, 2005).
"Thank You Girl" was distinguished by one of the most marvelous background textures, a kind of chitlin' circuit "wall of sound" mixing the rhythm track, a rhythm guitar, a lead guitar, a female background and some unprepossessing horns.
You can hear this background track, ironically enough, on a YouTube presentation--
Listen to the background and rhythm track from Big G's "Thank You Girl" on YouTube.
--which, unfortunately omits Big G's transforming vocal. Ironically, a full version of the complete track isn't available (at the time of this writing).
Sample Big G's "Thank You Girl" mp3 with his vocal added.
"Here I am,
Just you and I.
I'm full of fire,
You're my one desire
I want to make you my wife."
You have to get a little farther into the vocal to know without a doubt how far into this song Big G is, and how humbly entranced he is by his loved one.
It's been so good for me.
You came into my life
At a time when I was going down.
But you picked me up, baby,
And made me love again.
Taught me how it feels,
Showed me what was real.
I want to thank you, girl."
"I want to thank you, girl,
For saving me.
You made me be a man.
You made me understand
The game of love."
The sample (at the time of this writing) doesn't do justice to the effect Big G builds in the listener after a verse or two. But it's also true the song isn't perfect--marred to an extent by its programming, tentative horn lines and less than pristine mix.
Despite those flaws, however, the emotional accuracy in "Thank You Girl" is devastating. And with all those good vibes coursing through the lyrics, the background suddenly sounds perfectly apropos, gripping you you with a hypnotic power that never grows stale.
It was my fascination with the musical textures Big G achieved in "Thank You Girl" that led me to assume that was Big G's strength as an artist. Big G has recorded a steady output of CD's since 2005, and the curve in studio projection has gone accordingly up, but the most evident progress has been in his vocals, not his backgrounds.
(Big G was always a good singer--a singer who could turn your head. A great early song like "Hot Lovin'" is proof of that. What's not to like? You can hear Fats Domino in it.)
Listen to Big G singing "Hot Loving" on YouTube.
....But in the last few years, as Big G has matured, he's tackled themes and techniques that have taken his vocals to new levels--"I Can Do It," for example.
Here Big G lays out an arrangement that would do Mel Waiters proud, superimposing a drawn-out yet riveting story of man-meets-woman-and-they-get-it-on, but the surprise is Big G's novelty vocal.
Listen to Big G singing "I Can Do It" on YouTube.
Big G talks--rather than sings--the lyrics, and the effect is amazing (a throwback to top-forty pop?) but it goes beyond that. Big G times the words to the mechanically-exact beats in each bar and extends this child-like technique through entire verses. The story is worth the price, and there's a surprise ending, but the revelation is the ease with which Big G navigates the fun.
"Misunderstood" has a similar low-budget, supermarket-counter appeal, but here Big G adopts a slower style, with a heightened clarity and emotive power. Big G also adds a female vocal cameo which adds immeasurably and by contrast highlights his own.
Likewise for the Roy Orbison-like "Walk Away." In awarding his album All About Me a four-star, "distinguished effort" rating in November 2011 (see Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews) and picking his song "Walk Away," for DBN's Top Ten, I noted--
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Review For. . .
1. "Walk Away"----------Big G.
A singer develops a technique (in this case artfully cracked vocals) through years of hard experience to be able to define the hurt Big G conveys in the lines--
"I'm not a play-thing,
I'm a full-grown man."
The heir apparent to Roy C.
Big G has become one of Southern Soul's natural resources, and it's about time he put out a "Greatest Hits" album. With one exception, his many CD's have been published by his own indie label, Stone River Records, so there are no copyright issues to complicate such a project. The album would surely be his best-seller.
Sample and Buy Big G songs on I-Tunes.
"All About Me confirms Big G as heir apparent to his onetime mentor, Roy C." Daddy B. Nice(Scroll down to Tidbits #2.)
--Daddy B. Nice
About Big G (New Album Alert!)
George Staten Sr., aka Big G, was born in Charlotte County, Virginia on July 4, 1957. He began his professional singing career in 1997 opening for Roy C at the elder artist's performances in the mid-Atlantic states.
Song's Transcendent Moment
"I couldn't see
November 29, 2011: Updated May 1, 2016:
Here are some YouTube videos for Big G:
Listen to Big G singing "Somebody Like You" on YouTube.
Listen to Big G singing "Yellow Ribbon" on YouTube.
Listen to Big G singing "Last Paycheck" on YouTube.
Listen to Big G singing "Tear Drops" on YouTube.
Listen to Big G singing "Somebody Loves You Back" on YouTube.
Watch Big G singing "Misunderstood" on YouTube.
Listen to Big G singing songs from the SPECIAL DELIVERY album on YouTube.
Listen to Big G. singing "I Can Do It" on YouTube.
Listen To Big G singing "Two Step" on YouTube.
Listen to Big singing "Hot Lovin'" on YouTube.
November 12, 2011:
BIG G: All About Me (Stone River) Four Stars **** Distinguished Effort. Should please old fans and gain new.Big G breathes new life into the clichés of domestic life on his new CD, All About Me.
"Walk Away," the thematic heart of the album (see Daddy B. Nice's #1 "Breaking" Southern Soul Single for October 2011) reworks "The Hands Of Time," a tune Big G recorded previously on the Special Delivery album.
A singer develops a technique (in this case artfully cracked vocals) through years of hard experience to be able to convey the hurt, disillusionment and realistic self-appraisal Big G. conveys in the lines--
"I'm not a play-thing,
I'm a full-grown man."
--from "Walk Away."
The album as a whole mixes three perspectives on love and relationships: the pain of losing love ("Walk Away"), the joy of requited love (the first track, "Get It On") and the energetic pursuit of it.
"Get It On"will remind longtime fans of "Hot Lovin,'" the iconic Big G tune that in one way or another graced many of Big G's early CD's. The loping, mid-tempo beat provides the perfect backdrop for G's twanging country tenor.
Then the masculine sensitivity of "Walk Away" segues into "Love Me Right," representing the desperate search for new love and companionship.
"She don't have to be a beauty queen," Big G reports,
"An everyday girl will do."
While the mainstream music world may still look at this kind of music as embarrassingly outmoded, Southern Soul fans will know better. It's still the substance of real life and as such valid material if the true emotion shines through--and it does. Big G's plaintive verses and empathy-provoking voice-overs make sure of that.
"Have A Good Time" is generic, but Track #5, "Bad Self,"another home-breaking domestic ode with familiar Big G chords, has a nice refrain:
"Go on with your bad self."
The ballad "My Special Prayer" has a throwback feel to it, so much so that it sounds like a cover of an old standard your Daddy B. Nice couldn't put his finger on. Big G excels at vintage sounds.
The niftily-titled "Small Brown Frame" redoes such Big G uptempo tunes as "Pop That Thang" and the even better "Chillin'" slows it down with a winsome melody and a refreshing female chorus. In fact, after "Walk Away," "Chillin'" holds the most potential as a Southern Soul single, with a swaying, rocking hook that revels in its romantic message: spending time with a loved one.
The title cut, "All About Me," and the slow jam, "So Long," bring the album to its beach-music finale, "Myrtle Beach," "just a few hours away" from this Carolina native's home.
"It's a place I love. . .
Sometimes I wanna go there
And make a new start."
Big G acquits himself with customary professionalism and guy-next-door immediacy on this, his umpteenth album. With a catalog that makes most Southern musicians seem like johnnie-come-lately's, Big G is still an underground phenomenon, but his audience continues to grow, and justifiably so. He has a unique sound and a disciplined approach to his career.
All About Me confirms Big G as heir apparent to his onetime mentor, Roy C.
--Daddy B. Nice
Bargain-Priced All About Me CD, MP3's.
Browse other Big G CD's in Daddy B. Nice's CD Store.
May 1, 2016: NEW ALBUM ALERTSample/Buy Big G's new SATISFACTION GUARANTEED CD at CD Baby.
Sample/Buy Big G's new SATISFACTION GUARANTEED CD at iTunes.
See Daddy B. Nice's upcoming Southern Soul Singles Preview for May 2016.
Listen to Big G singing "Work That Thang" on YouTube (from the new album).
Listen to Big G singing "Just Say The Word (Remix)" on YouTube (from the new album).
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
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