2-6 p.m, Monday, October 16 through Friday, October 20, 2017. King's Palace Cafe Patio, 162 Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee. Sonny Mack. 901-521-1851. (DBN notes: This is a regular weekly gig.)
Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Arlene Schnitzer Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Oregon. Take Me To The River Tour. Bobby Rush, William Bell and more. 503-248-4335.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Encore Theatre, Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Las Vegas, Nevada. Diana Ross. 702-770-5320.
8 pm, Thursday, October 19, 2017. Main Street Crossing, 111 West Main St., Tomball, Texas.Trudy Lynn.
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. (DBN notes: See story opposite for the status of Denise LaSalle.)
Friday, October 20, 2017. Admiral Theatre, 515 Pacific Ave., Bremerton, Washington. Take Me To The River Tour. Bobby Rush, William Bell and more. 360-373-6743.
8 pm, Friday, October 20, 2017. Belle Of Baton Rouge Casino-The Atrium, 103 France St., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 225-242-2600.
9 pm, Friday, October 20, 2017. Good Deeds Center, 15101 Madison St., Gulfport, Mississippi. Pink & White Breast Cancer Awareness Concert. Big Pokey Bear, Veronica Ra'elle, Cold Drank. Doors open 8 pm. 228-669-1050. Host: Tyrone The Don Davis.
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. 512-301-6600.
Friday, October 20 & Saturday, October 21, 2017. Encore Theatre, Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Las Vegas, Nevada. Diana Ross. 702-770-5320.
Saturday, October 21, 2017. The Event Center, 3201 West Navy Boulevard, Pensacola, Florida. Breast Cancer Awareness Concert. Big Pokey Bear, Veronica Ra'elle, Cold Drank and more. 601-421-2022.
6 pm, Saturday, October 21, 2017. Downtown, Brownsville, Tennessee. Sweet Angel.
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.
8 pm, Saturday, October 21, 2017. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, Washington. Take Me To The River Tour. Bobby Rush, William Bell and more. 425-893-9900.
Saturday, October 21, 2017. Cypress Bayou Casino, 832 Martin Luther King Rd., Charenton, Louisiana. 337-923-7284. Cupid.
Saturday, October 21, 2017. Empire Event Center, 4905 Clio Road, Flint, Michigan. Ms. Jody.
8:30 pm, Saturday, October 21, 2017. Theatre Traversiere, 15, Rue Traversiere, Paris, France. Syl Johnson.
Saturday, October 21, 2017. The Cotton Mill, Tupelo, Mississippi. T.K. Soul.
Saturday, October 21, 2017. Underground 119, 119 S. President Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Stevie J. 601-944-0907.
8 pm, Sunday, October 22, 2017. Shrine Cultural & Event Center, 5309 Martin Luther King Blvd., Houston, Texas. Cool Ricky Blues. Doors open 7 pm.
Sunday, October 22, 2017. Pantages Theatre, Broadway Center for the Arts, 901 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, Washington. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 253-591-5894.
3 pm, Sunday, October 22, 2017. 818 12th Street, Lafayette, Louisiana. I.H.M Church Fall Festival.Cupid.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Alberta Bair Theater, 2801 3rd Avenue North, Billings, Montana. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 877-321-2074.
7:30 pm, Thursday, October 26, 2017. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, 417 West Magnolia St., Fort Collins, Colorado. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 970-221-6730.
10:30 pm, Thursday, October 26, 2017. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois.Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 773-477-4647.
Friday, October 27, 2017. Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons Street, Lone Tree, Colorado (Denver). Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more.
7 pm, Friday, October 27 & Saturday, October 28, 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. And...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.
Friday, October 27 & Saturday, October 28, 2017. Encore Theatre, Wynn Las Vegas, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Las Vegas, Nevada. Diana Ross. 702-770-5320.
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, October 28, 2017. Stiefel Theatre, 151 South Santa Fe Avenue, Salina, Kansas. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 785-827-1998.
11 pm, Saturday, October 28, 2017. Highway 480 LA-3127, Edgard, Louisiana. Cupid, Nicole Jackson.
Sunday, October 29, 2017. Roc's Jazz Bar, 1000 North Carolina Music Factory Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina. Album Release Party. Calvin Richardson. Doors open 4 pm. Host: Olympia D. 980-299-5946.
Friday, November 3, 2017. Paragon Casino Resort, 711 Paragon Place, Marksville, Louisiana.Tucka, Jagged Edge. 318-253-1946.
8 pm, Friday, November 3, 2017. Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. 12th Annual Soul Blues Friday. Bigg Robb, Ms. Jody, Jeff Floyd, Chris Ivy, Rhomey. Doors open 7 pm. 601-955-4894.
Friday, November 3, 2017. Florence Civic Center, 3300 West Radio Drive, Florence, South Carolina.The Temptations feat. Dennis Edwards, The Chi-Lites, The Tams, The Dramatics.
Friday, November 3, 2017. B.B. King's Club Ebony, 404 Hannah, Indianola, Mississippi. Terry Wright, Al Chauncy. Doors open 8 pm. 662-887-9539. Host: Comedian Keith Glason.
Friday, November 3, 2017. Couples Entertainment Center, 4511 Byrd Drive, Jackson, Mississippi. Miss Hollywood Birthday Bash. Vick Allen, Big Yayo, Nikita, Ghetto Cowboy. 601-500-0667.
10:30 pm, Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4, 2017. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 773-477-4647.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 3, 4 & 5, 2017. The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana Property, LA 1, Marksville, Louisiana before Mansura city limits. 19th Annual LA. Super Ride (Trail Ride): Zydeco Meets Southern Soul. Southern Soul artists: Tyree Neal, Miss Portia, T.K. Soul, Roi Anthony, Lysa, Jaye Hammer, Cupid, Balldena, Lil' Runt. Zydeco artists: J. Paul, J.J. Callier, Leon Chavis, Nooney, Chris Ardoin, Brian Jack, Jeremy Fruge, Lil' Nate Jr., Mike Broussard. 337-739-7944, 337-945-4304.
8 pm, Saturday, November 4, 2017. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 314-726-6161.
9 pm, Saturday, November 4, 2017. Arpeggio's Lounge & Event Center, 204 N. Main St., Opelousas, Louisiana. Album Release Party. Calvin Richardson. Doors open 8 pm.
Saturday, November 4, 2017. Community Center, Highway 44, Lakeview, Arkansas. Pokey Bear, Cold Drank. 870-572-9393.
7 pm, Saturday, November 4, 2017. King George Lodge, 9019 James Madison Parkway, King George, Virginia. All White Party. J. Red, NaCole. Doors open 6 pm. 804-450-4139.
7 pm, Saturday, November 4, 2017. The Cotillion, 11120 West Kellogg St., Wichita, Kansas. Jarekus Singleton.
Thursday, November 9, 2017. Underground 119, 119 S. President Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Stevie J. 601-944-0907.
Friday, November 10, 2017. Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, 300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., Jacksonville, Florida. Blues Is Alright Tour. Bishop Bullwinkle, Tucka, T.K. Soul, Sir Charles Jones, Jeff Floyd, Pokey Bear. 904-630-3900.
Friday, November 10, 2017. Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, 929 North Water Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 414-273-7206.
Saturday, November 11, 2017. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, California. The Bar-Kays, Dazz Band, Klymaxx, Steve Arrington, Masters of Funk. 510-465-6400.
9 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017. Lincoln Auditorium, 106 Lee St., Marion, Alabama. Terry Wright, Vick Allen. Doors open 7 pm. 334-247-5481.
10 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017. Joe's Place, 303 Carrollton Avenue, Greenwood, Mississippi.Columbus Toy, Miss Lady Blues. Doors open 8 pm.
8 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017. 5 Star Bar, 4451 NW Evangeline Thruway, Carencro, Louisiana. Lil' Nate's 31st Birthday. Lil' Nate & special guests.
Saturday, November 11, 2017. Club 425, Rayville, Louisiana. T.K. Soul.
9 pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017. Michigan Empire Event Center, 4905 Clio Road, Flint, Michigan. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Saturday, November 11, 2017. Cypress Bayou Casino, 832 Martin Luther King Rd., Charenton, Louisiana. Chris Ardoin. 337-923-7284.
8 pm, Sunday, November 12, 2017. Shrine Cultural & Event Center, 5309 Martin Luther King Blvd., Houston, Texas. Cool Ricky Blues. Doors open 7 pm.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017. City Winery, 1200 West Randolph St., Chicago, Illinois. Take Me To The River Tour. William Bell, Bobby Rush and more. 312-733-9463.
Wednesday & Thursday, November 15 & 16, 2017. Grand Casino, Lucerne, Switzerland. Lucerne Blues Festival. Grady Champion. See festival website.
9 pm, Saturday November 18, 2017. Margaret Jean Johnson Event Center, 4737 Village Fair Drive, Suite 104, Dallas, Texas. Eddie Cotton Jr. Doors open 8 pm.
8 pm, Saturday, November 18, 2017. The Good Deeds Center, 1601 Madison Avenue, Gulfport, Mississippi. Carl Williams Birthday Bash. Ms. Portia, Lacee, Tre' Williams, Mr. Campbell, Fat Daddy. Doors open 7 pm. 228-865-4204.
Saturday, November 18, 2017. Ferdinand's, 1803 Bear Fork Road, Mobile, Alabama. Vick Allen, Terry Wright. 251-554-5740. Doors open 7 pm.
Saturday, November 18, 2017. Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian Street, Durham, North Carolina. The O'Jays, The Dramatics. 919-680-2787.
Saturday, November 11, 2017. Cypress Bayou Casino, 832 Martin Luther King Rd., Charenton, Louisiana. Keith Frank. 337-923-7284.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, 201 Tallapoosa St., Montgomery, Alabama. Bishop Bullwinkle, T.K. Soul, Cupid, J-Wonn, MC Lightfoot. 334-481-5100.
Friday, November 24, 2017. LR's Sports Bar, 103 East Jefferson Street, Quincy, Florida. Ronnie Bell. Doors open at 8 pm. 850-591-7527.
8 pm, Friday, November 24, 2017. Bottleneck Blues Bar, 4116 Washington St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Mr. Sipp.
9 pm, Friday, November 24, 2017. The Power Center, 12401 S. Post Oak Road, Houston, Texas.Big Pokey Bear, Cold Drank, Calvin Richardson, Lady Audrey, Rebekah. Doors open 8 pm. 281-633-1017.
8 pm, Saturday, November 25, 2017. Bottleneck Blues Bar, 4116 Washington St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Eddie Cotton Jr.
Saturday, November 25, 2017. North Charleston Performing Arts Center–Columbia, 5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston, South Carolina. Betty Wright, Lenny Williams.
7 pm, Saturday, November 25, 2017. Washington County Convention Center & Fairgrounds, 1040 S. Raceway Road, Greenville, Mississippi. O.B. Buchana, LaMorris Williams, Karen Brown.
8 pm, Saturday, November 25, 2017. Bill Ellis Convention Center, 3007 Downing St. SW, Wilson, North Carolina. Maurice Wynn, Tre' Williams, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Omar Cunningham, Black Diamond, J-Wonn. Doors open 7 pm.
4:30 pm, Saturday, November 25, 2017. Brazos Park East, 3516 MLK Jr. Blvd., Waco, Texas. For The Love Of Soul Tour. Pokey Bear, Tucka, Veronica Ra'elle, Cold Drank. Gates open 2 pm. 254-750-5980.
Saturday, November 25, 2017. McDowell Place, 116 McDowell Road, Jenkinsburg, Georgia. Theodis Ealey.
Saturday, November 25, 2017. Horseshoe Tunica Casino, 1021 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville, Mississippi. Ohio Players. 800-303-7463.
7 pm, Sunday, November 26, 2017. Blackmon’s Plaza, 127 Collinsville Ave., East St. Louis, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
8 pm, Sunday, November 26, 2017. Shrine Cultural & Event Center, 5309 Martin Luther King Blvd., Houston, Texas. Cool Ricky Blues. Doors open 7 pm.
Monday, November 27, 2017. Pan Piper–Paris, 2-4 impasse Lamier, 75011, Paris, France. Syl Johnson. See Pan Piper website.
10:30 pm, Thursday, November 30, 2017. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 773-477-4647.
Saturday, December 2, 2017. Guys & Dolls, 813 Southway Circle, Fort Worth, Texas. T.K. Soul. 817-926-6619.
Friday, December 8, 2017. Odell Williamson Auditorium, Brunswick Community College, 150 College Road NE, Bolivia, North Carolina. Blues & Beach. Clarence Carter, Theodis Ealey, Pat Cooley and more. Doors open at 7 pm. 910-755-7416.
8 pm, Saturday, December 9, 2017. Caswell County Civic Center, 536 Main St., Yanceyville, North Carolina. Blues & Beach. Clarence Carter, Theodis Ealey, Pat Cooley. 800-419-1170.
Saturday, December 9, 2017. Coahoma County Expo, 1150 Wildcat Drive, Clarksdale, Mississippi.Avail Hollywood, L.J. Echols, Summer Wolfe, James Redd. 662-404-6381.
Saturday, December 9, 2017. The Oil Palace, 10408 TX-64, Tyler, Texas. T.K. Soul. 903-566-2120.
Saturday, December 9, 2017. Underground 119, 119 South President St., Jackson, Mississippi. Grady Champion. 601-944-0907.
9:30 pm, Friday, December 15, 2017. Addis Community Center, 7520 Hwy. 1 South, Addis, Louisiana. Cupid.
Friday, December 15, 2017. Horseshoe Tunica Casino, 1021 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville, Mississippi. Gladys Knight. 800-303-7463.
Saturday, December 16, 2017. West Monroe Convention Center, 901 Ridge Avenue, West Monroe, Louisiana. T.K. Soul. 318-396-5000.
8 pm, Saturday, December 16, 2017. Clarksdale Civic Auditorum, 506 East 2nd St., Clarksdale, Mississippi. Big Yayo, O.B. Buchana, L.J. Echols. Doors open 7 pm. 662-404-6381, 662-627-8431.
Sunday, December 17, 2017. Landers Center, 4560 Venture Drive, Southaven, Mississippi. T.K. Soul, Lenny Williams, Doug E. Fresh. Doors open 5:30 pm.
7 pm, Wednesday, December 20, 2017. T & JJ’s, 718 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 708-338-1185.
Friday, December 22, 2017. Sumter Civic Center, 700 West Liberty Street, Sumter, South Carolina.T.K. Soul. 803-436-2270.
Saturday, December 23, 2017. Municipal Auditorium, 705 Grand Ave, Shreveport, Louisiana. T.K. Soul. 318-841-4000.
10:30 pm, Thursday, December 28, 2017. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 773-477-4647.
Friday, December 29, 2017. Boutwell Auditorium, 1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama. Latimore, Sir Charles Jones, Theodis Ealey, Calvin Richardson, Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 205-254-2820.
7 pm, Saturday, December 30, 2017. Mississippi Coliseum, 1207 Mississippi St., Jackson, Mississippi. Peggy Scott-Adams, Bobby Rush, Big Pokey Bear, Omar Cunningham, Adrian Bagher, Calvin Richardson. 678-322-8098, 601-353-0603.
Saturday, December 30, 2017. Temple Theater, 47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, Washington. T.K. Soul. 253-272-2042.
Sunday, December 31, 2017. The Detroit Rescue Mission, 3535 Third Street, Detroit, Michigan. T.K. Soul. 313-993-6703.
E-mail concert listings and corrections to:
ATTENTION: DADDY B. NICE'S CONCERT CALENDAR IS THE MOST PIRATED PAGE IN THE SOUTHERN SOUL MEDIA. THIS FEATURE REQUIRES PAINSTAKING WORK AND RESEARCH AND HOURS OF TIME TO COMPILE. DO NOT COPY THIS CONCERT CALENDAR WITHOUT READING THE FOLLOWING:
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