Carolyn Staten (New 5-Star CD Review!)

Daddy B. Nice's #158 ranked Southern Soul Artist



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"Thump Mr. DJ"

Carolyn Staten (New 5-Star CD Review!)

Composed by Michael Darden




November 25, 2018:

Reprinted from Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews.

November 19, 2018:

CAROLYN STATEN: Ladies Night (Michael Darden/Firefyre Records) Five Stars ***** A Can't Miss Debut. Pure Southern Soul Heaven.

An abundance of great singles by new female artists have populated the southern soul charts the last two or three years, but great albums by women have been another story--a rung too wide, as it were, a hurdle too high. Vets Lacee and Sweet Angel and recent arrivals Adrena, Rosalyn Candy and Ms. Portia, among others, have published albums to scant reception, while labels like CDS and Coday have avoided any new females and ever-dependable Ecko Records has struggled to find fresh material for its headliner, Ms. Jody. So the emergence of an aspiring independent producer like Mike Darden, coming on the heels of Keith Taylor's emergence as producer/performer P2K (elsewhere this page) is especially welcome.

Carolyn Staten's album Ladies Night is the best debut by a female vocalist since last year's southern soul coming-out of Sharnette Hyter (strangely absent and sorely missed on both the recording and touring scenes in 2018), and Mike Darden's songs and arrangements for Staten's Ladies Night comprise the finest, album-length work by a female in the southern soul genre since Floyd Hamberlin's 2017 collaboration with Nellie "Tiger" Travis on the one indisputably successful, female collection of the last couple of years, Mr. Sexy Man: The Album. It's no coincidence that both albums, Travis' and Statens', benefit from top-notch writer/producers at the top of their game, Hamberlin the aging master and Darden the young gun.

Darden, who has been bubbling up the southern soul charts with sporadic hits for artists such as Adrena ("Better Thangs") and Miss Mini ("That Act Right"), makes good on the promise hinted at in those singles with an outstanding collection of compositions for Ms. Staten, whose husky, no-nonsense phrasings perfectly suit the steady pounding of Darden's dominant themes of female empowerment and the bawdy celebration of love.

Staten's "Thump Mr. DJ" (the only track from the album not written by Darden--Carolyn wrote it) crashed the charts exactly a year ago, November 2017, powered by Darden's seductive rhythm track and Ms. Staten's unique, low-register vocal. Lending the song even more allure was the curious title, "Thump Mr. DJ".

Does a deejay "thump"? Not really, but a "house" beat booming from gigantic speakers does. The "thump" of the title gave the tune a bit of mystery, an identity, in the way Floyd Hamberlin gave "Mr. Sexy Man" a twist--a singularity--by transforming the commonplace phrase, "What's your name?" to "What yo name is?"

Darden serves up an even more high-profile classic with "Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right," a guitar-friendly instrumental track that dollops up generous helpings of the slinky melody along with some of the most deliciously-detailed lyrics of this or any era.

"He won't keep no job.
That ship's done sailed.
And every time he goes to jail
You got to pay his bail."

Or...

"He won't feed the damned dog,
Unless you remind him,
And when you need a man around
You can never find him."

Staten's vocal (beginning with a great voice-over) is unflaggingly powerful, yet full of personality, shifting from honeyed to scathing with thrilling variance, giving you the same comfortable buzz you used to get listening to Marvin Season sing "Hoochie Momma".

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing "Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right" on YouTube.

A new single from the album, "Just The Way You Want It," has been out for a couple of months, and an even newer single, the title tune "Ladies' Night," is coming out soon. "Just The Way You Want It" has a thematic connection with another tune, "This Luvin".

"This loving don't come free,
And you ain't gone rush it,"

Staten says in "This Luvin," adding--

"You wanna get this loving,
But I ain't no fool.
You got to go to work,
And pay your dues."

"This Luvin" comes early in the album. "Just The Way You Want It" comes later, and now Carolyn is singing a different tune.

"I know I made you wait.
I had to get to know you.
You done paid your dues.
I've got some things I want to show you."

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing "Just The Way You Want It" on YouTube.

Together, the two tunes form a satisfying arc of emotional involvement that gives the album a story-like quality. Both songs are lovingly produced, "Just The Way You Want It" with an acoustic interlude. There's a timelessness to the arrangements. They sound modest yet pack a punch, and Darden has so thoroughly absorbed southern soul techniques these songs could have been recorded twenty years ago. Still, they're absolutely up to date and cutting-edge.

"Wall To Wall" and "Ladies Night" also share a duality. They're party songs, but party songs with a distinct romantic bent. "Wall To Wall" cruises along on a "stepping" tempo. The attention to detail is amazing, with string backgrounds, keyboard fills, background singing (including male) all contributing to the flow.

One of the charms of this album is its grit, and grit is the very essence of a pair of bluesier vehicles, "Jody Ain't Got No Job" and "Used To Stay". The uptempo "Jody Ain't Got No Job" features an amusing, deep-voiced "Jody," while "Used To Stay" ("This is not your home/It's where you used to stay.") is a blues lament in the style of David Brinston's "Somebody's Cuttin' My Cake". Once again, the hook is a keeper, and Carolyn's vocal meshes with Darden's textured instrumental track like Crystal Thomas on a Beat Flippa track. The comparison is apt, because Staten resembles no other current singer as much as Thomas in her God-given talent and larger-than-life ability to project.

There really isn't a tune on Carolyn Staten's debut you wouldn't want to hear coming over your radio or streaming device. Thanks to producer Michael Darden, Ms. Staten has delighted us with one of those rare albums you can listen to over and over again with renewed pleasure and surprise.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Carolyn Staten's new Ladies Night album at Amazon.

Buy Carolyn Staten's new LADIES NIGHT album at CD Baby.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Carolyn Staten.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

October 1, 2018:

Debut Album Alert!

Buy Carolyn Staten's new LADIES' NIGHT album at CD Baby.

LADIES' NIGHT TRACK LIST:


1. Thump Mr DJ

2. This Luvin'

3. Wall 2 Wall

4. Ladies Night

5. Mr Ain't Gone Do Right

6. Used to Stay

7. Just the Way You Want It

8. Jody Ain't Got No Job

9. Wobble Wobble (feat. Kandi Man)

10. Thump Mr DJ (Remix) [feat. Ms Diva Dee]

Daddy B. Nice notes:

Carolyn Staten was A Best Southern Soul Debut Artist contender for 2017 for her "Thump Mr. DeeJay".

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------NOVEMBER 2017-------

...5. "Thump Mr. DJ"---- Carolyn Staten

Great title--and yet another great debut. Mike Darden produced. No YouTube yet, but you can hear it on two dance-inspired YouTube mix-tapes, Mo Betta Blues & Southern Soul "Labor Day Mix" or (Southern Soul) Super Soul R&B II by Mr Melvin.


She returned this year with another significant single:

Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------MAY 2018-------

…5. "Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right"----- Carolyn Staten

This is the young singer who debuted last year with the smashing "Thump Mr. DJ". She's mentored by up-and-coming producer Mike Darden, who serves up possibly his finest instrumental track to date.


And Carolyn Staten has just released her newest single:

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing "Just The Way You Want It" on YouTube.

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing "Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right" on YouTube.

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing "Thump Mr. DJ" on YouTube.

Buy Carolyn Staten's new LADIES' NIGHT album at CD Baby.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

--Daddy B. Nice


About Carolyn Staten (New 5-Star CD Review!)

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To automatically link to Carolyn Staten’s charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Staten, Carolyn" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
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Honorary "B" Side

"Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Thump Mr. DJ by Carolyn Staten (New 5-Star CD Review!)
Thump Mr. DJ


CD: Ladies' Night
Label: Michael Darden / Firefyre Records

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Night


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right by Carolyn Staten (New 5-Star CD Review!)
Mr. Ain't Gone Do Right


CD: Ladies' Night
Label: Michael Darden / Firefyre Records

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Night


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Just The Way You Want It by Carolyn Staten (New 5-Star CD Review!)
Just The Way You Want It


CD: Ladies' Night
Label: Michael Darden / Firefyre Records

Sample or Buy
Ladies' Night


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