Friday, February 16, 2018. North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, South Carolina. 3rd Annual Valentines Southern Soul Festival. Nelson Curry, Tucka, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Lacee, Calvin Richardson, Joe Nice, Big Ro Williams, Latrel. 843-529-5000. Doors open 5 pm.
Friday, February 16, 2018. Columbus Civic Center, 400 Fourth St., Columbus, Georgia. Betty Wright. Doors open 8 pm.
Friday & Saturday, February 16 & 17, 2018. Underground 119, 119 S. President Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Dexter Allen. 601-983-1148.
7 pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018. Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive, Montgomery, Alabama. Valentine's Day Show. Willie Clayton, Vick Allen, Tucka, Freddie Jackson. 334-356-6866. Doors open 6 pm.
Saturday, February 17, 2018. The Stage on Bay, 1200 West Bay St., Savannah, Georgia. Sir Charles Jones. 912-417-4389.
9 pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018. On The Boulevard, 4110 Arkansas Blvd., Texarkana, Arkansas. Wendell B., Magic One. BYOB. Doors open 8 pm. 903-277-7896.
8 pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018. Ruston Civic Center, 401 N. Trenton St., Ruston, Louisiana. Red & White Affair. J-Wonn, Avail Hollywood, Summer Wolfe, C'Lamont, Kiko. Hosts: P2K, DJ Big Daddy. BYOB. Doors open 7 pm. 870-866-7441.
8:30 pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018. The Private I, 2507 Thomas Lane, Augusta, Georgia. Calvin Richardson. Door opens 8 pm. 706-793-9944.
8 pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018. Cafe 35, 4521 35th Avenue, Meridian, Mississippi. David Brinston, Katrenia Jefferson. Doors open 7 pm.
8 pm, Saturday, February 17, 2018. Rita's On The Square, Meadowbrook Square, 500 West Broadway, West Memphis, Arkansas. O.B. Buchana. BYOB. 870-702-7517.
8 pm, Sunday, February 18, 2018. Coaxum’s, 1300 Iris Drive SW, Conyers, Georgia. Calvin Richardson. 770-648-8677.
9 pm, Sunday, February 18, 2018. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 312-661-0100.
10:30 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois.Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Friday, February 23, 2018. The Temple Theatre, 2320 8th St., Meridian, Mississippi. T.K. Soul. 601-693-5353.
Friday, February 23, 2018. Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas. Calvin Richardson, Lalah Hathaway. 713-772-5900.
9 pm, Saturday, February 24, 2018. The Beacon, 2737 Grays Point Road, Toppings, Virginia. J. Red The Nephew. Doors open 5 pm. BYOB. 757-621-4132.
Saturday, February 24, 2018. Underground 119, 119 S. President Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Stevie J. 601-983-1148.
Saturday, February 24, 2018. Peabody Auditorium, 600 Auditorium Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida.Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, Mary Wilson. 386-671-3460.
Saturday, February 24, 2018. The Events Center, 710 Edwards Drive #A, Harker Heights, Texas.T.K. Soul. 254-554-3600.
Saturday, February 24, 2018. Isle of Capri Casino & Hotel, 777 Isle of Capri Parkway, Lula, Mississippi. Bobby Rush. 662-363-4600.
8 pm, Saturday, February 24, 2018. Dothan Civic Center, 126 North St. Andrew's St., Dothan, Alabama. Tucka, Bishop Bullwinkle, J'Wonn. 334-615-3175.
Sunday, February 25, 2018. The Red Rooster, 13334 Almeda Road, Houston, Texas. Jeter Jones. Doors open 6 pm. 713-847-7757.
9 pm, Sunday, February 25, 2018. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 312-661-0100.
8 pm, Friday, March 2, 2018. Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Southern Soul 1st Friday. Tucka, O.B. Buchana, Tre' Williams, Karen Brown. BYOB. Doors open 7 pm. 601-955-4894.
Friday, March 2, 2018. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St., New York, New York.Kool & The Gang. 212-997-4144.
Friday, March 2, 2018. Antone's, 305 East 5th St., Austin, Texas. Bigg Robb. 512-814-0361.
7 pm, Friday, March 2, 2018. Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor St., Columbia, South Carolina. Columbia Blues Festival. Pokey Bear, Sir Charles Jones, Lebrado, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Calvin Richardson.
10 am, Saturday, March 3, 2018. Underground 119, 119 S. President Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Grady Champion 601-983-1148.
7 pm, Saturday, March 3, 2018. Canton Multipurpose Center, 501 Soldiers Colony Rd., Canton, Mississippi (Jackson). Ricky Lee Birthday Party. Grady Champion, Vick Allen, Pokey Bear, Sir Charles Jones. Doors open 5:30 pm. 601-859-4830. 601-624-7396.
Saturday, March 3, 2018. Beaufort, South Carolina. Oyster Festival 2018. Chairman Of The Board.
Saturday, March 3, 2018. Leflore County Civic Center, 200 MS-7, Greenwood, Mississippi. Ms. Jody, Calvin Richardson, L.J. Echols, Jaye Hammer . 662-453-4065.
Saturday, March 3, 2018. Any Occasion Banquet Hall, 10565 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Nathaniel Kimble, D-Whit. 225-266-4236.
8 pm, Sunday, March 4, 2018. Moody Theater, 310 West Willie Nelson Blvd. #1-A, Austin, Texas.Earth, Wind & Fire. 512-225-7999.
7 pm, Thursday, March 8, 2018. Touch Of The Past, 947 Mannheim Road, Bellwood, Illinois.Cicero Blake Tribute. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Theo Huff, Dangerous Mike Music LLC. 312-354-0300.
8 pm, Friday, March 9, 2018. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan. Motor City Blues Festival-Blues Is Alright Tour. Omar Cunningham, Sir Charles Jones, Pokey Bear, Calvin Richardson, Willie Clayton, Bobby Rush, Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 313-471-3200.
Saturday, March 10, 2018. Golden Nugget, 151 Beach Blvd., Biloxi, Mississippi. Irma Thomas. 228-435-5400.
Saturday, March 10, 2018. Odell McCallum Center, 325 Magnolia St., Wynne, Arkansas. Southern Soul Spring Fest. Big Pokey Bear, Cold Drank, Vernonica Ra'elle, Chris Ivy, Avail Hollywood. 870-318-1442.
7 pm, Saturday, March 10, 2018. Brown Theater, 315 W. Broadway, Louisville, Kentucky. Blues Is Alright Tour. Sir Charles Jones, Latimore, Theodis Ealey, Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Saturday, March 10, 2018. Boots Bar & Grill, 720 E. Oglethorpe Hwy., Hinesville, Georgia. T.K. Soul. 912-877-7175.
Sunday, March 11, 2018. Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, London, United Kingdom. Martha Reeves And The Vandellas. +44 20 7422 7505.
Friday, March 16, 2018. Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, 705 Elvis Presley Blvd., Shreveport, Louisiana. Blues Is Alright Tour. T.K. Soul, Willie Clayton, Sir Charles Jones, Tyree Neal, Tucka. Doors open 8 pm. 318-841-4000.
9 pm, Friday, March 16, & 9 pm, Saturday, March 17, 2018. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 312-661-0100.
Friday, March 16, 2018. Club O'Hara, 242 Monticello St., Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Chris Ivy, Calvin Richardson. Doors open 8 pm. 601-894-5674. 601-421-2022.
Friday, March 16, 2018. Love Civic Center, 2025 South Collegiate Drive, Paris, Texas. Pokey Bear, Cold Drank, Avail Hollywood.
Saturday, March 17, 2018. Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, Texas. Blues Is Alright Tour. Willie Clayton, Latimore, Lenny Williams, Sir Charles Jones. 972-854-5111.
Saturday, March 17, 2018. Enstyle Fashions, 502 East California, Ruston, Louisiana. Jeter Jones, Dave Mack, Coupe DeVille, Christopher LaMont P2K. 318-680-5755.
6 pm, Saturday, March 17, 2018. Birmingham CrossPlex, 2331 Bessemer Road, Birmingham, Alabama. 2018 Steel City Blues Festival. Tucka, T.K. Soul, Ms. Jody, Carl Sims, J-Wonn, Omar Cunningham. 678-322-8098.
7:30 pm, Saturday, March 17, 2018. National Guard Armory, 8790 Grow Drive, Pensacola, Florida. Lomax. Doors open 7 pm. 850-433-7271.
4 pm, Saturday & Sunday, March 17 & 18, 2018. Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami, Florida. Jazz In The Gardens 2018. Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Fantasia and more.
Friday, March 23, 2018. Macon City Auditorium, 415 1st Street, Macon, Georgia. Blues Is Alright Tour. Nellie Tiger Travis, Sir Charles Jones, T.K. Soul, Pokey Bear, Tucka, J’Wonn. 478-751-9232.
7 pm, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Cobb Energy Arts Center, 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta Blues Festival: Blues Is Alright Tour. Big Pokey Bear, T.K. Soul, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, J-Wonn, Sir Charles Jones, Tucka. 770-916-2800.
6:30 pm, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Mercury Entertainment Center, 227 East Mercury Boulevard, Hampton, Virginia. J. Red The Nephew, Shay Denise, Nacole and more. Hampton Roads Soul Music Festival. Doors open 5:45 pm. 757-449-2204, 757-727-9120.
Sunday, March 25, 2018. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, One Center St., Newark, New Jersey.Aretha Franklin.
10:30 pm, Thursday, March 29, 2018. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois.Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Friday, March 30, 2018. UNO Lakefront Arena, 6801 Franklin Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Blues Is Alright Tour. Tyree Neal, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Tucka, Calvin Richardson, Sir Charles Jones, Lebrado 504-280-7222.
8 pm, Friday, March 30, 2018. The Mississippi Coliseum, 1207 Mississippi St., Jackson, Mississippi. Soul City Blues Festival. Willie Clayton, Bigg Robb, T.K. Soul, L.J. Echols, Carl Sims, Betty Wright. 678-322-8098, 601-353-0603. Doors open 7 pm.
Saturday, March 31, 2018. NRG Arena, 1 Reliant Park, Houston, Texas. H-Town Blues Festival-Blues Is Alright Tour. Sir Charles Jones, Willie Clayton, Tucka, T.K. Soul, Pokey Bear, Calvin Richardson, Tyree Neal, Omar Cunningham. 832-667-1400.
Friday, April 6, 2018. Chaifetz Arena, 1 South Compton Ave., St Louis, Missouri. Blues Is Alright Tour. Latimore, Willie Clayton, Calvin Richardson, Sir Charles Jones, Bobby Rush. 314-977-5000.
Saturday, April 7, 2018. The Fairgrounds (Outside), 1035 Cody Road, North Mobile, Alabama. Spring Fling 2018.O.B. Buchana, Wendell B., Glenn Jones, L.J. Echols, Lacee, T.K. Soul, Lebrado, Till 1, Nathaniel Kimble, Sir Charles Jones, Summer Wolfe, Ronnie Bell, Tyree Neal, Tony Tatum, Jeff Floyd, Veronica Ra'elle, Mose Stovall, Avant, Fat Daddy, Franky, Tucka, Lil' G of Silk. 251-379-8283. BYOB.
Saturday, April 7, 2018. Arie Crown Theater, 2301 Lake Shore Drive At McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. Blues Is Alright Tour. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Bobby Rush, Willie Clayton, Calvin Richardson, Latimore, Pokey Bear. 866-353-5167.
Sunday, April 8, 2018. Water Works Park, 1710 North Highland Avenue, Tampa, Florida. Sir Charles Jones, Wendell B., Calvin Richardson. 813-274-8615.
8 pm, Friday, April 13, 2018. Bon Secours Wellness Arena, 650 Academy St., Greenville, South Carolina. Blues Is Alright Tour. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Sir Charles Jones, Pokey Bear, Theodis Ealey. 864-241-3800.
8 pm, Saturday, April 14, 2018. Paradise Entertainment Center, 645 East Georgia Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. Bobby Rush, Sweet Angel. Doors open 7 pm. 901-691-7373.
Saturday, April 14, 2018. The Farm, 215 Batten Rd., Selma, North Carolina. Beach Music at The Farm. Chairmen Of The Board. 919-750-5464.
2 pm, Saturday, April 14, 2018. Williamsburg Music Park, 608 George Dean Road, Bassfield, Mississippi. Mississippi Spring Fest. Steve Perry, T.K. Soul, Lenny Williams, Krishaunda Echols, JoJo Murray, Urban Mystic, Cupid, Ms. Tabatha, Tyler P. Doors open 12 pm Noon.
7 pm, Saturday, April 14, 2018. Donald Tucker Civic Center, 505 Pensacola St., Tallahassee, Florida. Blues Is Alright Tour. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Sir Charles Jones, Latimore, Lenny Williams. 850-644-7469.
7 pm, Saturday, April 21, 2018. Halifax Community College, 200 College Drive, Weldon, North Carolina. Betty Wright, LJ Echols, Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 252-536-4221.
8 pm, Thursday, April 26, 2018. Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, 310 West Willie Nelson Boulevard, Austin, Texas. Al Green. Doors open 6:30 pm. See website.
Saturday, April 28, 2018. The Brass Room, 1302 Surrey St., Lafayette, Louisiana. Tucka, Audi Yo. 225-209-4732.
7 pm, Saturday, May 5, 2018. Washington County Convention Center, 1040 South Raceway Road, Greenville, Mississippi. Sir Charles Jones, Bishop Bullwinkle, Chris Ivy, Pokey Bear. Doors open 6 pm. BYOB. 662-332-0488. 601-218-6343.
Sunday, May 27, 2018. The Stadium, Holly Springs, Mississippi. Bobby Rush, Tank. 901-355-7318.
Saturday, June 9, 2018. Andiamo Celebrity Showroom, 7096 East Fourteen Mile Road, Warren, Michigan. Millie Jackson. 586-268-3200.
June 30, 2018. One World Theater, 7701 Bee Caves Road, Austin, Texas. Chubby Checker. 512-330-9500.
6 pm, Saturday, July 7, 2018. Nolan Memorial Park (aka Ponderosa Park), Wisner, Louisiana. 10th Annual Nolan Norman Day Celebration. Sir Charles Jones, T.K. Soul & Band, Nathaniel Kimble, Avail Hollywood, Lacee.
7 pm, Friday, July 13, 2018. Brown Auditorium, Nash Community College, 522 North Old Carriage Road, Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Down East Music Festival Weekend (w/ Indoor V.I.P. Meet & Greet). J-Wonn, Karen Wolfe, Black Diamond, Maurice Wynn, Wilson Meadows and more.
5 pm, Saturday, July 14, 2018. Rocky Mount Municipal Complex, Bishop Stadium, 600 Independence Drive, Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Down East Music Festival Weekend. Pokey Bear, Glenn Jones, Tucka, Sir Charles Jones, Theodis Ealey, Omar Cunningham, Maurice Wynn, Roy C, Sunshine Anderson, Lenny Williams, Lakeside, Big G, Lacee and more. Rain or shine. Gates open 4 pm. See festival website.
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All material--written or visual--on this website is copyrighted and the exclusive property of SouthernSoulRnB.com, LLC. Any use or reproduction of the material outside the website is strictly forbidden, unless expressly authorized by SouthernSoulRnB.com.
--Daddy B. Nice
Overflow From Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2015 page...
2015: THE YEAR IN SOUTHERN SOUL
January began without holiday hangover, as up-and-coming producer Big Yayo debuted as a performer with a piece of "southern soul electronica" called "Cowgirl" featuring his protege, "I Got This Record's" J'Wonn, the ultimate balladeer, singing an uptempo chorus on his first-ever club jam.
February ushered in a Valentine's Day weekend to be remembered with southern soul concerts across a broad spectrum of the South, from Hooks, Texas (Avail Hollywood) to Memphis (Bertha Payne) to south Atlanta (Lomax) to Greenville, Ms. (J'Wonn) to Canton, Ms. (L.J. Echols, Terry Wright, J-Wonn, Krishunda Echols, Bigg Robb, Napoleon) to Vicksburg (Shirley Brown, Carl Sims, Jaye Hammer, Wilson Meadows, Pat Brown, Adrena) to Corpus Christi (Mel Waiters) to Decatur, Ga. and Talladega, Alabama (T.J. Hooker Taylor) to Tuscaloosa (Tre' Williams, Jeff Floyd) to Panama City, Florida (Ms. Jody) to Germantown, Tenn. (Mavis Staples) to Montgomery (Bigg Robb, O.B. Buchana, Tucka, Lebrado, Lomax, Toia Jones) to Farmerville, La. (Avail Hollywood) to Mobile (L.J. Echols, Andre' Lee, James Payne, Geno Wesley) to Dallas and the annual Blues Is Alright Tour (T.K. Soul, Theodis Ealey, Mel Waiters, Clarence Carter, Latimore, Millie Jackson) to Shiner, Texas (Rue Davis) to Texarkana (Omar Cunningham, Wendell B) to Indianola, Ms., B.B. King's hometown (Chris Ivy, Lil' Jimmie) to Baytown, Texas (Kenne' Wayne, AP Heavy But Sweet) to East Tyler, Texas (R. Kelly, Avail Hollywood) and back to Memphis (Jarekus Singleton), setting the bar for a record-breaking year in Southern Soul clubs.
Mindful of the concert bonanza, Daddy B. Nice urged fans in March to get out of the airport hubs (Memphis, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans) and "walk on the wild side," visiting the "holes-in-the-walls" in the verdant countryside where the true contemporary blues reigns supreme. In Jackson, premier nineties' vocalist Robert "The Duke" Tillman (Ace, Ichiban) re-emerged, as did storied DJ Outlaw at WMPR, while young Jackson guitar-blues stars Jarekus Singleton, Grady Champion and Mr. Sipp parlayed their mass audience-friendly blues far beyond the Delta.
April saw the breakthrough collection THE LOUISIANA BLUES BROTHERS, explode in the southern soul demographic via its suddenly iconic single,
"My Sidepiece," featuring the powerful-piped, Reggie P.-like vocalist Pokey (or Big Pokey Bear), whose electric stage show featured the singer thrusting and gyrating with a passion not seen since Bobby Rush's twerking dancers.
The song's message that it was okay to have a "woman on the side" because it's in the "genes" alternately fascinated and disgusted listeners, and not always along gender lines, and the "sidepiece" theme became a motif in countless new southern soul songs. Meanwhile, Pokey et. al.'s new album, BEAT FLIPPA I GOT THE BLUES VOL. 1., released in February, shot up the charts, bringing a rock-and-roll-like energy, immediacy and accessibility to the southern soul scene that thrust its brilliant producer (Beat Flippa) and roster of talented artists (Pokey, Tyree Neal, Adrian Bagher, Vince Hutchinson, Mz. Pat, Veronica Ra'elle, Rosalyn Candy, etc.) into a level of popularity even southern soul's veteran artists had to envy.
Also in April, the great sixties' artist Percy Sledge, who recorded one of the most powerful southern soul songs of the last fifty years, "When A Man Loves A Woman," passed away with scant fanfare.
May was the worst month, the cruelest month... ....Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekends witnessed another slew of record-breaking fan-friendly southern soul concerts, but the nation and entire world mourned the passing of B.B. King, whose ties to Indianola and Jackson, Mississippi were real and renewed each summer, when B.B. always returned for the Medgar Evers Homecoming Celebration and played for his original chitlin' circuit fans in the Delta.
But for contemporary southern soul fans it was the passing of song-master Mel Waiters that really hurt. Unknown outside of blues circles (unlike the world-famous B.B. King), Waiters was an irreplaceable part of the southern soul pantheon of recording artists, having largely kicked off the contemporary scene with his "Hole In The Wall," fashioned in the late nineties in the tradition of Mel's inspirations, Z.Z. Hill and Buddy Ace. For many fans, Waiters was the number-one performer in the South, and Mel never shied away from the kudos. YouTube videos document his exciting "contests" with Sir Charles Jones, which did so much to enliven the concert scene.
June marked the appearance of a rapping preacher named Bishop Bullwinkle, whose "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" continued a trend of unknown artists (like J'Wonn, Tucka, Pokey) eclipsing southern soul's veteran artists in notoriety-slash-popularity in one fell swoop (be it a single or album). Whereas J'Wonn had stunned the southern soul community a couple of years earlier with his straight-forward youth and sensitivity, the nearly seventy-something Bishop Bullwinkle simultaneously astonished and dumbfounded fans with his fearless, back-woods vision of the world compressed into a six-minute, no-holds-barred sermon castigating hypocrisy in the church and gangsterism in the hood.
While J'Wonn had seemingly thrust the entire world off his back with the momentous words, "I Got This Record," the grizzled Bullwinkle did the same with his proclamation, "My name is Bishop Bullwinkle / From the church of nothing but the truth..." ....In less than a month his YouTube video (there was no published record) had a million views--unheard-of for a southern soul song--and by the end of the year it was approaching ten million. Clearly, Bullwinkle's "Hell To The Naw Naw" had cut through layers of padding and pretension to strike a deeply-felt, common nerve with fans.
In August Tucka and T.K. Soul sold out the 3,000-seat Houston Arena Theatre, notching a new high in audience numbers for a pair of southern soul acts.
Jackson's own James "Hot Dog" Lewis, keyboardist, performer and producer, passed away in October.
Late summer sizzled with gigs--July 4th, Labor Day--the fans' thirst for the music couldn't be slaked--culminating in the biggest concert-venue weekend ever Thanksgiving.
From Thibodeaux, Louisiana (Cupid, Lebrado, Pokey) to Montgomery, Alabama (T.K. Soul) to Canton-Jackson, Ms. (J'Wonn, Big Yayo) to Opelika, Alabama (T.K. Soul) to Hattiesburg, Ms. (J'Wonn, Big Yayo) to Tchula, Ms. (Tre' Williams) to Grenada, Ms. (J'Wonn) to DC area Pomonkey, Md. (Jeff Floyd, J. Red, Hardway Connection) to Birmingham, Alabama (Calvin Richardson, Nellie "Tiger" Travis) and back to Hattiesburg (T.K. Soul) and way out to San Diego (Cupid) and back to Vicksburg (Bishop Bullwinkle, Terry Wright, Bigg Robb, Lacee, Stevie J) to New Orleans (T.K. Soul) to El Dorado, Arkansas (T.K. Soul, Ghetto Cowboy, Summer Wolfe) to Charlotte, North Carolina (Lenny Williams, Ann Nesby) and Wilson, North Carolina (Jeff Floyd, Wilson Meadows, Hardway Connection) down to Tampa, Florida (Clarence Carter, Bishop Bullwinkle, Betty Wright, Shirley Murdoch) and Sebring, Florida (Bobby Rush, Theodis Ealey) and way up to Gary, Indiana (Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Willie Clayton, Latimore, Otis Clay) and back to the Delta in Tchula, Mississippi (Big Yayo, J'Wonn) and Pickens, Ms. (The Love Doctor, Terry Wright, Sorrento Ussery, Pat Brown, Nathaniel Kimble, Doctor Dee, Lady Di) to Meridian, Ms. (Big Robb, Vick Allen, Lacee, JR Blu) and thence back north to St. Louis (Bobby Rush, David Dee) and Chicago (Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Willie Clayton, Otis Clay, Latimore) and back home to Jackson (Andre' Lee, T-Baby) and the re-opened Evers Blues Lounge on Pecan Park Circle next to WMPR (Roy C., LGB, Doctor Dee, Dennis Fountain).... From all of these venues, enthusiastic fans supplemented their turkey with southern soul music.
2016 marked Southern Soul's most serious forays into the mainstream yet, and Bishop Bullwinkle was southern soul's "Donald Trump," refreshingly candid, wildly off-the-wall. At year's end, Bigg Robb took down Bullwinkle's video for copyright infringement. Turns out the Bishop had used the instrumental track from Robb's "Looking For A Country Girl" for the backing track to "Naw Naw," but Bishop Bullwinkle was uncontrite, telling Daddy B. Nice in a profanity-laced interview that he "dared" Robb to take him to court. As one industry insider noted, it didn't matter that the song hadn't been published (as a record); its online streaming revenues alone amounted to the same thing. And so it went in the raucous, wild-west-like cradle of the musical universe--the Deep South--where the music is as primeval and super-sized as the SEC. (And still unknown nationally...Go figure!) And as Jaye Hammer (one of 2015's finest vocalists) says in his juking new ode to the Delta, "I Ain't Leaving Mississippi." ....
"You know, someone came up to me the other day and said, 'Hammer! They told me you had moved to Chicago."
I said, "What? Man! People are always spreading rumors. But let me say this. I ain't leaving Mississippi. Mississippi is my home. If you think I'm gonna leave Mississippi, you might as well leave me alone."
--Daddy B. Nice
From Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2014 page...
2014: THE YEAR IN SOUTHERN SOUL
The year did not begin auspiciously. Floyd Taylor, son of the late great Johnnie Taylor and a contemporary southern soul headliner in his own right, passed away on February 21st, causing his stepbrother TJ to remark, "He died pretty much the way my dad died: a heart attack (at too young an age)." A masterful and discerning vocal interpreter, Taylor's career was notable for spanning southern soul's two generations of songwriters, from the best of Charles Richard Cason and Lawrence Harper (of his father's generation) to Simeo Overall of the new.
A few days later Eddie Holloway, a lesser-known but seminal figure renowned for contemporary southern soul classics like "I Had A Good Time," "Poor Boy" and "My Mind's Too Strong," passed away in obscurity, without fanfare.
A young recording artist (Jeter Jones) trying to break into the southern soul market released an album whose instrumental tracks Daddy B. Nice--in a CD review--recognized as identical to certain Bobby Jones and Chuck Roberson songs of the recent past, setting off a firestorm of litigation between Desert Sounds CEO Charles Peterson and his former producer, Eric "Smidi" Smith.
Daddy B. Nice himself underwent a lung cancer scare and finally had surgery in May, returning successfully after two bouts in the hospital to discover that "Funky" Larry Jones, owner of the Soul & Blues Report, a monthly compendium and summary of southern soul deejay playlists and a vital niche in the southern soul internet community, had died. Other websites (Boogie, Blues Critic) made attempts to provide the same function, but at year's end the loss was still felt and seemed irrevocable.
That, along with the June death of Don Davis (the producing genius behind Johnnie Taylor) and the early-September passing of Joe Poonanny, the Weird Al Yankovich of the chitlin' circuit and the last of a dying breed of blues parodists, was the bad news.
The good news was that, stimulated by an invitation to Kim Cole's Celebrity Birthday Bash in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in July, your Daddy B. Nice rebounded to attend (and chronicle) three multi-act southern soul concerts in thirty hours, including getting out on the dance floor.
There was cause. Southern Soul stars were appearing everywhere across the Deep South, from Texas to the Carolinas. A month later, Southern Soul Labor Day concerts and associated sales would surpass a million, and the concerts continued to proliferate, populating weekends throughout the calendar that would have been few and far between ten years ago.
But what really uncorked the euphoria in 2014 was the return to recording of southern soul's younger-generation leading lights, Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul. After long absences (especially in Sir Charles' case), both performers produced sets of significant material with fresh yet authentic sounds, in T.K.'s case stripped-down, acoustic-dominated arrangements.
The two CD's, combined with the much-anticipated debut by J'Wonn (I GOT THIS RECORD) and the latest drop from O.B. Buchana, made it a banner year for male vocalists.
Women, not so much. For the second year in a row Denise LaSalle and Shirley Brown were sorely missed. Both appeared only rarely, and neither released new product. Ms. Jody and Nellie "Tiger" Travis were relatively quiet after big years in 2013. Sweet Angel reposed and, as expected, Peggy Scott-Adams (whose early partner, JoJo Benson, died just before Christmas) failed to follow up on her 2012 return to southern soul. Candi Staton and Uvee Hayes returned with new CD's, however.
Some of the major male stars--known for productivity--were also MIA in 2014. Mel Waiters, Theodis Ealey, Latimore and Bobby Rush produced little new studio work, and in pursuit of an elusive Grammy that even the late Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis never won, Willie Clayton's new album disconcerted some longtime fans with its slide into atmospheric, Isley-style soul.
Young Grady Champion was the year's sensation (following fellow Jacksonian J'Wonn in 2013). Champion drew a cover story in "Living Blues" magazine after signing with Malaco Records for his new album BOOTLEG WHISKEY. Rare for a Delta artist, Champion drew national interest and crossover appeal.
Waiting in the wings, and getting no respect, was Chicago phenomenon Theo Huff, whose "It's A Good Thing I Met You" drew high praise (#5 for the year) from Daddy B. Nice for its approximation of--you guessed it--vintage Willie Clayton.
Lil' Jimmie's dance jam "She Was Twerkin'" was the underground sensation of the year, the subject of constant fan queries on where to buy--the answer was always, "Nowhere." Which reminded your Daddy B. Nice of an old Lil' Jimmie song called "I'm Not Going Nowhere," a song so full of double-negatives you're not sure what he means.
A young artist named Wood redid Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "Mr. Sexy Man" with a lounge-band sound ("Foxy Lady"), drawing copyright ire.
Tyree Neal, Pokey and Adrian Bagher formed a group called The Louisiana Blues Brothers.
Memphis-based Anita Love (Humphrey), former back-up singer for Sweet Angel, had an out-of-left-field smash with "Keep Knockin'", while Memphis-based songwriter John Cummings continued his transformation into a first-rate recording artist.
Vick Allen was in a stage play in Jackson, Mississippi, while singles ("Crazy Over You," "True To Me") continued to spit out of his going-on-three-year-old SOUL MUSIC album like candy from a child's Christmas wind-up toy.
Steve Perry of "Booty Roll" fame thought better of his name change to Prince Mekl and became good old Steve Perry again.
WAGR in Lexington, Mississippi and its colorful deejay, Big Money, became the exciting new southern soul station to stream on the Internet.
And last but not least, storied DJ Ragman returned in December to WMPR in Jackson, Mississippi--also on the Web--doling out southern soul music in the afternoons with his trademark, champagne-fizz optimism.
By the end of the year, life in Southern Soul was good.
--Daddy B. Nice