Carl Sims (21st Century)

Daddy B. Nice's #24 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Carl Sims (21st Century) by Daddy B. Nice
 



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"It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues"

Carl Sims (21st Century)

Composed by John Cummings & John Ward


March 30, 2014: NEW ALBUM ALERT!

Sample/Buy Carl Sims' ARE YOU SERIOUS CD.

Daddy B. Nice notes: The title song (and first track) from Carl Sims' new CD ARE YOU SERIOUS was originally recorded by Tyrone Davis: TYRONE DAVIS (Highrise 1982).

Listen to Carl Sims singing "Are You Serious?" on Google Play.

The album also includes last year's single, "Six Pack Of Common Sense."

Listen to Carl Sims singing "Six Pack Of Common Sense" on YouTube.

Carl also reprises Johnnie Taylor's classic ballad "Just Because" and Sam & Dave's standard "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Debra Benson shares the lead vocal on the latter. Sims' own signature tunes, "Trapped" and "17 Days Of Loving" are given "live" (although they sound like studio) treatments.

**********

Note: Carl Sims also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's). The "21st Century" after Carl Sims' name in the headline is to distinguish his artist-guide entries on this page from his artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's original chart.

***********

Carl Sims is one of the "grown men" of Southern Soul. He's been doing it for years and you can still hear the umbilical cord to late-sixties and early-seventies soul in every bar he sings. Commentators have justifiably remarked on his debt to Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis.

Sims' greatest hits ("Seventeen Days Of Loving," "I'm Trapped") precede the 21st Century, although they were memorialized most significantly in the one-of-a-kind album, M & M Man, in 2001. Sims had already spent a generation in the music business by the time M & M Man popularized the songs with the contemporary Southern Soul and chitlin' circuit audience.

"Seventeen Days Of Loving," with a rare, early guitar-wielding appearance by bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd, featured Sims' unerring capability at singing straight-ahead, mid-tempo, hook-laden soul tunes.

"I'm Trapped" showcased Sims' "operatic" or "epic" style, extended ballads highlighted by dramatic swings of emotion and musical contrasts.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "I'm Trapped" on YouTube while you read.

In translating Carl Sims for the 21st Century, three albums--beginning with M & M Man--are of paramount importance.

With apologies for bypassing his first Ecko album, It's Just A Party, (2004), with its durable chitlin' circuit anthems "I Like This Place" and "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues," Sims still packed the most of himself--and the most accurate representations of his overall oeuvre--into his last Ecko release, Can't Stop Me (2007) and his first CDS release, Hell On My Hands (2011). And it's no coincidence that both CD's are attempts to recapture the musical scope and summation of M & M Man.

Can't Stop Me features Sims' stab at recreating the hooky single success of "Seventeen Days Of Loving" in "I Like This Place." And the soap-opera-like "Daylight" is an unabashed attempt to revisit the spectacular musical dimensions of "Trapped," another domestic drama.

Can't Stop Me is also notable for its version of Johnnie Taylor's "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone," sung in a style few younger-generation stars since the death of Reggie P. can approximate.

The CD also contains "If I Could I Would," a little-known song whose background track and arrangement Al Green and LaMorris Williams borrowed mostly intact for their 2012 hit duet-single, "You Make Me Happy."

Similarly, on Sims' 2011 CDS release, Hell On My Hands, the title tune (written by singer-songwriter Charlie Brown) follows in the epic footsteps of "Daylight," which in turn stands in the formidable shadows of "Trapped," while the uptempo "Trail Ride" explores the hooky territory of "I Like This Place" and "Seventeen Days Of Loving."

The one drawback of the two later albums is a perceptible drop-off in quality. It's evident in the diminishing clarity and power of Sims' vocals, and it's evident in the "AM-quality" studio sound, which reveals itself most tellingly on the broad-canvas numbers like "Daylight" and "Hell On My Hands." The sophisticated musical textures of his nineties' anthems have receded far into the past, like some no longer accessible, snow-capped mountain region of Sims' world.

Which brings us full-circle and back to Daddy B. Nice's #1 Recommended Carl Sims single (as opposed to album) in the 21st Century:

Listen to Carl Sims singing "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues."

"It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" is a John Cummings & John Ward-written dance jam recorded in 2004 at Ecko Records in Memphis.

Fortuitously accompanied by one of the first (and still rare) internet music videos of a contemporary Southern Soul star, "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" catches Carl Sims at a mid-career peak, with the best of his youth mingling potently with the grizzled playa he has become. If the vocal was any steamier, you wouldn't be able to see out the windows.

Sims has always carried around the reputation of a hard-living hedonist, so the vaguely pimpish man-about-town he plays so convincingly in his elaborately long, immaculately-pink, three-piece suit in the song and the video suits him. This guy has always loved his threads.

Best of all, "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" captures Carl Sims' incredible blues power for all to see and hear. The sound is impeccable, the tempo is pleasurably relentless, the bass line addictive, the lyrics inspired. The song epitomizes today's Southern Soul connection to Stax and all the great soul labels of the past, and you'd have to go all the way back to Mel Waiter's "Hole In The Wall" to find anything as good or better in contemporary Southern Soul.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Carl Sims (21st Century)

Born in 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee, Carl Sims began his professional career at the age of sixteen, singing with the original BarKays. In those formative years, according to his Malaco Records biography, Sims toured continuously with Otis Redding and The BarKays. But his touring was cut short with the untimely death of Redding and three of the five members of the BarKays in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. Sims and James Alexander (one of The BarKays) flew a commercial flight carrying the musical equipment to one of the shows while Redding and The BarKays took a private flight.

Sims soon returned to Memphis to find solace in Denise LaSalle. They began a four-year tour together until LaSalle convinced Sims to go on tour solo.

Sims scored his first solo success with his hit "Seventeen Days of Loving" on the Jewel/Paula label, which hit the charts as a single in 26 countries in 1988.

Sims teamed up with guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd to release his solo album debut, House of Love, in 1995 on the Jewel/Paula label. The album included "Seventeen Days Of Loving, "I'm Trapped" and "Shot to the Curb."

In the late 1990s, Carl headed to Jackson, Mississippi and signed a contract with Waldoxy Records, a subsidiary of Malaco, where he collaborated with producer Charles Richard Cason to release his second CD, Let Me Be The One, a collection of seventies-based soul music.

But it was his second set on Waldoxy Records, The M & M Man, produced by Harrison Calloway and released in 2001, that solidified Sims as a star of the emerging contemporary Southern Soul scene. The album brought together Sims' signature hits, "Seventeen Days Of Loving" and "I'm Trapped," with other well-done originals and covers including Sims' masterful redoing (and, in effect, fulfilling) of Johnnie Taylor's "Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now."

After a quick detour to Entune Records for the CD Brick House (2003), Sims signed with Memphis' Ecko Records for a series of CD's including It's Just A Party (2004), I'm Ready (2006) and Can't Stop Me (2007). It's Just A Party also spawned one of the first and most significant Southern Soul internet videos, "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues."

Sims then took a hiatus of four years before recording the CD Hell On My Hands for California-based CDS Records in 2011.

Carl Sims Discography:

1995 House of Love (Paula/Jewel)

1998 Let Me Be the One (Waldoxy)

1999 Testimony Of Carl Sims (Gospel album) (Restoration)

2001 M and M Man (Waldoxy)

2003 Brick House (Entune)

2004 It's Just a Party (Ecko)

2006 I'm Ready (Ecko)

2007 Can't Stop Me (Ecko)

2011 Hell On My Hands (CDS)


Song's Transcendent Moment

"You got a 40-ounce
on the table.
You got a trash-talking
Woman named Mabel.

You got a whiskey bottle
In your sack.
You got a crap game
in the back. . .

You got food in the kitchen
Getting hot.
You got a fight breaking out
On the lot.

You got married men
Trying to cheat.
You got a --- in the corner
Going to sleep. . .

But it ain't a juke joint
Without the blues.

It ain't a hole in the wall
Without the blues."


Tidbits

1. July 29, 2012: Here are some of the Carl Sims songs currently available on YouTube:

Listen to Carl Sims singing "I'm Trapped" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues."

Listen to Carl Sims singing "Hell On My Hands" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "House Of Love" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "Taxi" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "I'm Sending You Back To Him" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "I Never Had A Lover Like You" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "I Ain't Hanging Around" on YouTube.

Listen to Carl Sims singing "Tie Me Up" on YouTube.

2.

July 29, 2012: Daddy B. Nice's Archives


To read Daddy B. Nice's CD Review of Carl Sims' Hell On My Hands, go to Daddy B. Nice's Original Artist Guide to Carl Sims and scroll down to Tidbits #5.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked O. V. Wright's "A Nickel And A Nail," you'll love, Carl Sims' "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues."


Honorary "B" Side

"Seventeen Days Of Loving"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues by Carl Sims (21st Century)
It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues


CD: It's Just A Party
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
It's Just A Party


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Seventeen Days Of Loving by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Seventeen Days Of Loving


CD: M & M Man
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
M & M Man


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now


CD: M & M Man
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
M & M Man


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Trapped by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Trapped


CD: M & M Man
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
M & M Man


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Daylight by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Daylight


CD: Can't Stop Me
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Can't Stop Me


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Like This Place by Carl Sims (21st Century)
I Like This Place


CD: Can't Stop Me

Sample or Buy
Can't Stop Me


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone


CD: Can't Stop Me
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Can't Stop Me


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Six Pack Of Common Sense by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Six Pack Of Common Sense


CD: Are You Serious?
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
Are You Serious


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Go On by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Go On


CD: Hell On My Hands
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Hell On My Hands


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy House Of Love by Carl Sims (21st Century)
House Of Love


CD: House Of Love
Label: Paula

Sample or Buy
House Of Love


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Never Had A Lover Like You by Carl Sims (21st Century)
I Never Had A Lover Like You


CD: Brick House
Label: Entune

Sample or Buy
Brick House


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm A Hustler by Carl Sims (21st Century)
I'm A Hustler


CD: I'm Ready
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
I'm Ready


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy If I Could I Would by Carl Sims (21st Century)
If I Could I Would


CD: Can't Stop Me
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Can't Stop Me


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy It's Just A Party by Carl Sims (21st Century)
It's Just A Party


CD: It's Just A Party
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
It's Just A Party


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Just One Night by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Just One Night


CD: Hell On My Hands
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Hell On My Hands


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Taxi by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Taxi


CD: Let Me Be The One
Label: Waldoxy

Sample or Buy
Let Me Be The One


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Memories by Carl Sims (21st Century)
The Memories


CD: I'm Ready
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
I'm Ready


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Trail Ride by Carl Sims (21st Century)
Trail Ride


CD: Hell On My Hands
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Hell On My Hands


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