Daddy B. Nice's #117 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"It's Party Time"
April 8, 2016: Re-Posted from Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews:
November 7, 2015:
VAL MCKNIGHT: Independent Woman (Ecko) Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.Listen to Val McKnight singing "It's Party Time" while you read.
Val McKnight comes from tough stock: Oprah Winfrey-in-"Beloved" tough. She personifies a distinct kind of woman--the gal who has to play "second fiddle" to the pretty girl, the gal who has to be "brash" to get attention, the gal who when she gets lucky enough to score a relationship soon has to endure the humiliation of break-up--and the tunes that impress and resonate the most from her new CD Independent Woman are the ones that plumb that human condition, Vivacious-Val style.
Thus, "Head Bitch In Charge" represents the "brash," the destroyer of all female rivals.
"Make Me Shout Ooh, Ooh, Ooh!" signifies the peak of love, the elusive "good-loving" relationship. But the wheel of love soon turns...
"I'll Be Seeing You Around" is all about dealing with rejection.
"You say want to break up with me?
Well, if you gotta do it, go ahead."
...And "Move Your Body" explores the regret and pleading for a reunion with the special poignancy of a humbled lover.
"I was in the club the other night,
And I saw my ex-lover,
And then he came over
And asked me for a dance,
And as I took him by the hand,
He whispered in my ear,
'Val, I really missed you,'
And as we began to dance
To the slow jam,
I began to get that
Same, old, good feeling again."
Three of those songs were written by Val McKnight (the fourth, "Head Bitch In Charge," was composed by Raymond Moore and John Ward), but lest you think Vivacious Val the performer sprang fully-formed from real life, don't underestimate the difficulty of forging a southern soul singing style. Many are the women who have tried it; many are the women who have failed.
A southern soul singer has to forego the histrionic, the melismatic, the slick, the delicate, the smooth. If mainstream urban r&b is 500-count silky cotton, southern soul is old gunny sack burlap, and few female singers (Ms. Jody, Karen Wolfe, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Lacee) have developed the perfect sound to capture fans. Red Hot Lover, McKnight's first album, was a first stab at joining the "ranks."
Her (Val's) long notes slide flat, and her tone has all the subtlety of a screeching alley cat cornered by a pack of dogs....as she drops one authentically memorable track after another.
...your Daddy B. Nice wrote in his review. Three of the "keepers" from that album are repeated here: "Juke Joint Party," "Move Your Body" and Val's signature club jam, "Who Doo Woman."
INDEPENDENT WOMAN, however, takes the somewhat one-dimensional, bluesy sound of RED HOT LOVER epitomized by "Who Doo Woman" to a richer, fuller, more well-rounded, southern soul sound. Two songs in particular (both composed--by the way--by the prolific Ms. McKnight) take the music to another level.
"Independent Woman" (the single) is an impressive summation of all of the themes touched upon here and an admirably forthright statement of identity.
And "It's Party Time" is simply the best song of McKnight's career--comfortable, swinging, authentic and memorable. Doze off and you might re-awake thinking you're listening to Billy Ray Charles singing "I've Been Partying All Night," and baby, that's authentic.
--Daddy B. Nice
Sample/Buy Val McKnight's INDEPENDENT WOMAN CD at Soul Blues Music.
See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Val McKnight.
Product, comments, information or questions for Daddy B. Nice?
September 5, 2015: NEW ALBUM ALERT!
Sample/Buy Val McKnight's new INDEPENDENT WOMAN CD at Blues Critic.
See Daddy B. Nice's "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles for September 2015: #8 "It's Party Time" by Val McKnight
Listen to Val McKnight singing "It's Party Time" on redmp3.
To automatically link to Val McKnight's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references on the website, go to "McKnight, Val" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Val McKnight
April 1, 2014:
Honorary "B" Side
"Two Is Company"
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