7 pm, Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Helsinki, Finland. William Bell. See Helsinki Festival website.
8 pm, Thursday, August 24, 2017. Oslo, Norway. William Bell. See website.
Friday, August 25, 2017. Tobin Center, 115 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, Texas. Bobby Rush. 210-223-8624.
Friday, August 25, 2017. Bon Secours Wellness Arena, 650 N. Academy St. Greenville, South Carolina. Lenny Williams, Betty Wright, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.
12 Midnight, Friday, August 25, 2017. F. Jones Corner, 303 N. Farish St., Jackson, Mississippi. Sorrento Ussery. 601-983-1148.
9 pm, Friday, August 25, and Saturday, August 26, 2017. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 312-661-0100.
6 pm, Saturday, August 26, 2017. (Re-scheduled from original August 5th date due to bad weather.) National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, 5622 US-231, Dothan, Alabama. Sir Charles Jones, Calvin Richardson, Wilson Meadows, Ms. Jody, Joe Nice. BYOB. Gates open 4 pm. 678-428-5159.
3 p.m. Saturday, August 26, 2017. 7243 Gatewood Rd. Woodford, Virginia (Richmond/Washington DC). Omar Cunningham, T.J. Hooker Taylor, Big G, Jesi Terrell, Southern Bluez. Gates open 1 pm. 804-389-3558.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Doris Miller Auditorium 2300 Rosewood Ave, Austin, Texas. Cupid.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Mann Center for the Performing Arts. 5201 Parkside Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Aretha Franklin. 215-546-7900 X100.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Cypress Bayou Casino–Baton Rouge, 832 Martin Luther King Road, Charenton, Louisiana. Chris Ardoin.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Coahoma County Expo, 1150 Wildcat Drive, Clarksdale, Mississippi. Southern Soul Classic. Bigg Robb, Big Pokey Bear, Cold Drank, Tyree Neal, Veronica Ra'elle, Avail Hollywood. 662-404-6381.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Uptown Theater, 120 Main St., Grand Prairie, Texas. Bobby Rush.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Ameristar Casino, 4116 Washington St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Mr. Sipp.
10 pm, Saturday, August 26, 2017. Rivons ABC Arena, 1828 FM 160, Raywood, Texas. Pokey Bear, Lil' Nate, Lil' Keke. 832-215-6015.
Saturday, August 26, 2017. Turning Point Outreach Center, 8356 Tom Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Beat Flippa's 40th Birthday Bash. Performers and Guests: Sharnette Hyter, Bishop Bullwinkle, Lacee, Jeter Jones, Nicole Jackson, Ms. Portia, Crystal Thomas, Hollywood Hayes, Lady Trucker, Deacon Dukes, 2Gutta. 225-349-9110. BYOB.
Sunday, August 27, 2017. Mattie's Seafood Kitchen, 13101 Kuykendahl Road, Houston, Texas.Chris Ardoin. 281-330-0423.
10:30pm, Thursday, August 31, 2017. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois.Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
9 pm, Friday, September 1, 2017. DelShawn's, 3516 East Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas. L.J. Echols. Doors open 7 pm. 682-312-0060.
8 pm, Friday, September 1, 2017. The Locale, 4128 Government Blvd., Mobile, Alabama. All White Affair. J-Wonn, Till 1, Lacee, Tyree Neal, David J, Katrenia Jefferson, Veronica Ra'elle and more. Doors open 7 pm. BYOB. 251-721-4142.
Friday, September 1, 2017. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, 201 Tallapoosa St., Montgomery, Alabama. Big Pokey Bear, Tucka, Calvin Richardson, MC Lightfoot. 334-481-5100.
8 pm, Friday, September 1, 2017. The Vault, 2801 Fair Park Blvd., Jonesboro, Arkansas. Sir Charles Jones. 870-268-8863. Doors open 7 pm.
Friday, September 1, 2017. The Grounds, 1035 N. Cody Road, Mobile, Alabama. Theodis Ealey.
Saturday, September 2, 2017. Paramount Theater, 139 South Center St., Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Roy C, Maurice Wynn. 800-419-1170.
7 pm, Saturday, September 2, 2017. Union County Fairgrounds, 1430 East 19th Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. Southern Soul Showdown. L.J. Echols, Avail Hollywood, T.K. Soul, Summer Wolfe, Kiko, Da Unit Band. Gates open 6 pm. 870-866-7441.
Saturday, September 2, 2017. Carl Perkins Civic Center, 400 S. Highland Ave., Jackson, Tennessee.Theodis Ealey.
Saturday, September 2, 2017. Uj's Funk-N-Roll Plaza, Highway 43 North, Marshall, Texas. Tucka, Lacee, Crystal Thomas, Stephanie McDee. Gates open 6 pm. BYOB. 903-941-1497.
2 pm, Saturday, September 2, 2017. 300 N. Grand Ave., Lansing, Michigan. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Saturday, September 2, 2017. Harker Heights Event Center, 710 Edwards Drive # A, Harker Heights, Texas. Vick Allen, Jeter Jones.
Saturday, September 2, 2017. 116 Cotton Road, Morgan City, Louisiana. Cupid.
Saturday, September 2, 2017. Elks Lodge, 862 East Burdeshaw St., Dothan, Alabama. Wendell B. Doors open 7 pm. 334-389-6468.
5:30 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Tom Bass Park Arts Pavilion, 3452 Fellows Road, Houston, Texas. 2nd Annual Blues-Zydeco Scholarship Fund Raiser. Big Pokey Bear, Cold Drank, Brian Jack, Veronica Ra'elle, Nooney. 713-875-2407.
Sunday, September 3, 2017. Q.V. Sykes Park, Old Highway 80 West & 65th Avenue, Meridian, Mississippi. L.J. Echols, Tyree Neal, Avail Hollywood.
2 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Hub-City Race Track, 331 Eatonville Road, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Hattiesburg Music Festival. Steve Perry, Clarence Carter, Lenny Williams, Denise LaSalle, Cupid, Jo Jo Murray and more.
8 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Louisiana Purchase Gardens, 1405 Bernstein Road, Monroe, Louisiana. Ms. Jody, Kenne' Wayne, Magic One, Vickie Baker, Luster Baker, Ghetto Cowboy. Gates open 6 pm.
Sunday, September 3, 2017. Temple Theater, 2320 8th St, Meridian, Mississippi. Tucka, H-Town, Zapp. 601-693-5353.
7 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Club Ebony, 404 Hanna Avenue, Indianola, Mississippi. Eddie Cotton.
5 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. H & H Farms, Hwy. 11 South, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Steve Perry, Bishop Bullwinkle, Calvin Richardson, Big Ro Williams, Ms. Jody, Omar Cunningham, Theodis Ealey, Mose Stovall. 205-632-4994. Gates open 4 pm.
5 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Wall Hill Park, 1930 Wall Hill Road, Byhalia, Mississippi. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, T. K. Soul, Terry Wright, Sweet Angel, Big Yayo. Gates open 12 Noon. Host: Bev Johnson.
9 pm, Sunday, September 3, 2017. Brothers Nightclub, 4527 Hwy 157, Opelousas, Louisiana. Chris Ardoin.
Sunday, September 3, 2017. Bruce's Place, 910 E. Canal St., Picayune, Mississippi. Vick Allen. Doors open 8 pm. 769-717-7692.
10 am, Monday, September 4, 2017. KC Hall, 503 US 90, Iowa, Louisiana. Chris Ardoin, Keith Frank and more. 337-853-2350.
10:30 pm, Friday, September 8, 2017. Club Faces, 518 S. Hopkins St., New Iberia, Louisiana. Ms. Portia, Nicole Jackson, Candice G. Doors open 8 pm. 337-365-4565.
Saturday, September 9, 2017. Historic 8th Street, 708 Commercial Avenue, Cairo, Illinois. Cairo Heritage Blues and Gospel Festival. Sweet Angel. Free.
10 pm, Saturday, September 9, 2017. Lewis Johnson Senior Citizen Complex, 299 South MLK, Grenada, Mississippi. Chris Ivy, Till 1. Doors open 8 pm. 662-800-4136.
Saturday, September 9, 2017. Veterans Memorial Arena, 300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida. T.K. Soul, Sir Charles Jones, Tucka, Jeff Floyd, Bishop Bullwinkle. 904-630-3900.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Knuckleheads Saloon Outdoor Stage, 2715 Rochester Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri. Bobby Rush.
Thursday, September 14, 2017. Fairplex, 1011 W. McKinley, Pomona, California. Lenny Williams, The Stylistics. 909-623-3111.
Thursday, September 14, 20017. Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, 129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, Mississippi. Grady Champion.
Saturday, September 16, 2017. Ruston Civic Center, 401 N. Trenton St., Ruston, Louisiana. Sir Charles Jones, Magic One. 318-278-1287, 318-251-8613.
12 am, Noon, Saturday, September 16, 2017. Delta Blues Festival Park, 1135 Dycus Road, Greenville, Mississippi. 40th Annual Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival. Denise LaSalle, Vick Allen, Willie Clayton, Bobby Rush, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Sweet Angel, Grady Champion, Tucka, Nathaniel Kimble, Eden Brent, Kingfish. 662-335-3623. Gates open 10 am. See Delta Blues website.
Sunday, September 17, 2017. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Avenue, St Louis, Missouri. Grady Champion. 314-925-0016.
4:30 pm, Sunday, September 17, 2017. St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 10500 Nold Drive, Houston, Texas. Annual Bazaar. Keith Frank. 713-631-3681.
3 pm, Sunday, September 17, 2017. Ruffins' Downtown Daiquiri Lounge, 603 Main Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Miss Portia's September S'elebration. Jeter Jones, Miss Portia, Tyree Neal, Crystal Thomas, Lady Trucker, Ra'Shad The Blues Kid, Mz. Pat & more. Wear Blue. 225-250-5200.
9 pm, Friday, September 22, 2017. Rosa’s Lounge, 3420 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
8 pm, Saturday, September 23, and 8 pm, Sunday, September 24, 2017. Speak Easy Cigars & Spirits, 501 East Baars Street, Pensacola, Florida. Alonzo Reid & UCF Band.
Saturday, September 23, 2017. Wolf Creek Ampitheatre, 3025 Merk Road, College Park, Georgia. Pokey Bear, Willie Clayton, Tucka, Sir Charles Jones, Sheba Potts-Wright. 404- 613-9653.
11 am, Saturday, September 23, 2017. Lake House on the Reservoir, 135 Madison Landing Circle, Ridgeland, Mississippi. Grady Champion.
Thursday, September 28, 2017. Beaumont Civic Center, 701 Main Street, Beaumont (Houston), Texas. Smokey Robinson.
Friday, September 29, 2017. Buddy Guy’s Legends, 700 S. Wabash, Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 312-427-1190.
Friday, September 29, 2017. Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie (Dallas), Texas. Smokey Robinson.
Saturday, September 30, 2017. Richwood Park, Oak St. & S. 28th, (Richwood) Monroe, Louisiana.Theodis Ealey, Sweet Angel, Nathaniel Kimble, Till 1, Ronnie Bell, L.J. Echols, Christopher La'Mont, Magic One, Rhomey, D-Whit, Lady Trucker and more. Gates open 12 Noon. 318-348-8846.
Saturday, September 30, 2017. Moran Theater, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, 300 W. Water St., Jacksonville, Florida. The Spinners, The Chi-Lites, The Dramatics feat. L.J. Reynolds.
Saturday, September 30, 2017. Alabama Theatre, 4750 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Drifters, The Platters, The Coasters.
Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, 2017. Marks, Mississippi. Mules & Blues Fest. Willie Clayton, Sweet Angel, Terry Wright and more. See festival website.
Saturday, October 7, 2017. Leflore County Civic Center, 200 MS-7, Greenwood, Mississippi. Bishop Bullwinkle, Lacee, O.B. Buchana, T.K.
Soul, James Redd. 662-453-4065.
11 pm, Saturday, October 7, 2017. 7408 Cameron Rd., Austin, Texas. Cupid.
Saturday, October 7, 2017. Cook Family Park, Highway 79 North, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Sweet Angel, Big Pokey Bear, Ms. Jody, Mo' B, J'Wonn.
Friday, October 13, 2017. Uptown Theatre, 1350 3rd St., Napa, California. William Bell, Bobby Rush.
5 pm, Friday, October 13, and 11 am, Saturday, October 14, 2017. Six Shooter's 15th Annual Trailride. 809 J.J. Lemmon, Hutchins, Texas. L.J. Echols. Gates open 5 pm, Friday & 11 am, Saturday. 972-670-0648.
5:45 pm, Saturday, October 14, 2017. Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival. Grady Champion. See festival website.
Saturday, October 14, 2017. DiamondJacks Casino & Resort–Shreveport, 711 Diamondjacks Blvd., Bossier City, Louisiana. The Spinners.
7 pm, Sunday, October 15, 2017. 5:45 pm, Saturday, October 14, 2017. Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival.
Bobby Rush. See festival website.
Friday, October 20, 2017. Jackson Convention Complex, 105 East Pascagoula St., Jackson, Mississippi. Denise LaSalle, T.K. Soul, Lenny Williams, The Temptations Review. 601-960-2321.
7 pm, Saturday, October 21, 2017. 4791 Leshure Drive, Theodore, Alabama. Blues N The Bottom Trail Ride & Trina & Johnnie's Pre-B-Day Bash. Lacee, Ms. Portia, Ann, David J. Trail Ride events begin 12 Noon Friday & end 1 pm, Sunday, October 20 through 22, 2017. 985-664-7905, 885-664-7805, 504-234-8983.
October 21, 2017. Cypress Bayou Casino, 832 Martin Luther King Rd., Charenton, Louisiana. 337-923-7284. Cupid.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, October 20, 21 & 22, 2017. Austin 360 Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd., Del Valle (Austin), Texas.Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake.
Friday, October 27, 2017. 3701 Hudson Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana. Southern Soul Weekend at the Louisiana State Fair. Big Pokey Bear, Cold Drank, Veronica Ra'elle, Audi Yo. 318-635-1361. See Fair website.
Saturday, October 28, 2017.3701 Hudson Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana. Southern Soul Weekend at the Louisiana State Fair. Bigg Robb, Jeter Jones, Miss Portia. 318-635-1361. See Fair website.
Saturday, October 28, 2017. Durham Downtown Armory, 220 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina. Roy C, Sir Charles Jones, Big Pokey Bear, Calvin Richardson, Cold Drank, Black Diamond. 919-590-5896.
Saturday, October 28, 2017. Ruston Civic Center, 401 N. Trenton St., Ruston, Louisiana. Willie Clayton. 318-251-8613.
Saturday, November 25, 2017. North Charleston Performing Arts Center–Columbia, 5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston, South Carolina. Betty Wright, Lenny Williams.
Monday, November 27, 2017. Pan Piper–Paris, 2-4 impasse Lamier, 75011, Paris, France. Syl Johnson. See Pan Piper website.
Saturday, December 9, 2017. Coahoma County Expo, 1150 Wildcat Drive, Clarksdale, Mississippi.Avail Hollywood, L.J. Echols, Summer Wolfe, James Redd. 662-404-6381.
E-mail concert listings and corrections to:
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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