Daddy B. Nice's - Guide to Today's Top Chitlin' Circuit Rhythm and Blues Artists


Daddy B. Nice's Corner

December 12, 2017: Daddy B. Nice reviews 3 new CD's in time for the holidays!

"Pokey sings louder and longer than anyone in the business. Every vocal is at fevered pitch. He flays his vocal cords relentlessly, the same way he whips his churning pelvis..."


"And it might be said that what Ross Music Group does better than any current label, including Memphis' redoubtable Ecko Records, is to absorb and roll out exciting new artists with astounding regularity..."

Click here to read Daddy B. Nice's triple(!) review of Pokey Bear's BEAR SEASON, Beat Flippa's TRAILRIDE MUSIC VOL.1 and Miss Portia's ALL IN MY FEELINGS albums, all in NEW CD REVIEWS. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

November 28, 2017:

Pictured: Latimore.

Daddy B. Nice Announces 2018 Blues Is Alright Tour Dates!

Click here for Concert Calendar. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

November 19, 2017: News & Notes

Local Promoter Blamed For "Disastrous" Blues Is Alright Concert In Jacksonville, Florida

The artists (Sir Charles Jones, Tucka, Bishop Bullwinkle, Pokey Bear, Jeff Floyd) come in for no blame. But Jacksonville, Florida media outlet LockedIN Magazine lambasts local promoter Jasmine Lashawn in a review of the latest Blues Is Alright tour stop November 10, 2017. (The gig made up for an earlier hurricane cancellation.) The headline proclaims:

The Disaster that The Blues Is Alright Tour Was....Penny Pinching Promoters And Other Problems Causes Horrible Show

Founded by Julius C. Lewis, the Blues Is Alright Tour is the longest-running and by far most prestigious ensemble tour in today's southern soul. For a typically enthusiastic response, click Soul Patrol's review of a 2007 Columbus, Ohio show featuring--this will make you wince --Marvin Sease, Mel Waiters, Shirley Brown, Floyd Taylor and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Virtually retired, Shirley Brown's the only one still living. And as the sterling line-up attests, in mid-rank artist circles the Blues Is Alright Tour is notorious for its refusals to sign any but the most successful and sought-after southern soul acts.

According to the unnamed writer, Lashawn's company The Opulence Firm "...didn’t promote. They Didn’t sell Tickets..." resulting in a "dismal crowd of three thousand or so".

The review continues:

"The Sound was horrible throughout the time that we were there, causing performers to run around the stage looking for a good spot. With multiple microphones going at one time, the signal was jamming shutting off one mic to allow the next one to work. Then there was the 3 Lighting pods. One on each side and one behind the performers BLINDING most people sitting in the FRONT."

Read the entirety of the LockedIN article, with photos.

A search of the Blues Is Alright Tour's "Discussion" page, currently featuring a photo of Sir Charles Jones and the particulars of the Jacksonville concert, contains no comments, positive or negative. Like other genres, southern soul has its share of "busted" gigs, but seldom in a venue as high-profile as the Blues Is Alright Tour.

Bear in mind: this is just one magazine's "take" on the concert, and the biases and preconceptions of the reviewer are unknown. A warning sign, for example, might be a bypassed, competing promoter--or someone connected to him or her--doing the reviewing.

Still, these first-hand accounts do tend to be true in a general sense, otherwise there wouldn't be sufficient motivation (anger, frustration, etc.) to write them in the first place. I wouldn't call 3,000 tickets "robust," but I wouldn't call it "dismal". If the sound and lighting truly were "horrible," that's a black mark. If any readers among the "dismal three thousand" in Jacksonville on November 10th--onstage or off--have facts or thoughts to share, your comments are welcome and will be posted.

--Daddy B. Nice

********* - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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November 6, 2017: Jeff Floyd pictured

News & Notes:

New Music, Take Me To The River Tour Review, T.K. Soul Initiates Oxford, MS.

1. A Bumper Crop of Singles

An embarrassment of riches--and a bumper crop of rookies--shoved a number of southern soul veterans off the latest Top 10 Singles. (See November 2017, right-hand column.) When looking for new music, it's the fresh stuff that gets the fans' attention, and that dynamic favors the surprising sounds of "unknowns": Suade, Aaron Cook, Candice G, Carolyn Staten and Deacon Dukes, along with the recently-arrived Miss Portia, Ra'Shad The Blues Kid, R.J. Scott, Nikita, Stan Butler and Miss Lady Blues. Katrenia Jefferson was the only "vet" to slip into the Top 10.

The glut of new material came, paradoxically, after a month (October) that was relatively thin. Some of the songs that didn't make it may yet chart in 2017, before the year's wrap-up and annual awards. But with the end of the year quickly approaching and another expected excess of singles still to arrive and compete for the only ten spots remaining (December '17), I'd be remiss not to alert fans to the over-abundance of noteworthy tunes. (Click the names to connect to the YouTube song links.)

Mr. David breaks out a new ballad guaranteed to please women, "Stretch Marks And All". Jacksonville soul man Jeff Floyd checks in with an uptempo, vintage-sounding track called "Workaholic".

Ms. Jody teams up with Val McKnight on a remix of her pleasant-rolling club anthem, "It's Party Time". Rosalyn Candy introduces a solid new club jam, "I Came To Dance".

Ra'Shad The Blues Kid brings his soft, swaying style to "Saddle Up," featuring Napoleon Demps. And J-Wonn joins Ra'Shad on a remix of the latter's signature song, "Shake It".

The Amazing Prince Of Blues is still hanging around with a cover of Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "Back It Up" that'll have you remembering how much you loved that jam. Solomon Thompson breaks out an infectious single called "Neighbor," while newcomer Tara Keith announces her presence with "Good Good Man".

I haven't even gotten to the "elephant" in the room. That would be Pokey Bear, whose new album BEAR SEASON is just beginning to make waves. Pokey pairs with Miss Portia on a steaming blues, "It Ain't Go Work". He partners with O.B. Buchana, who sounds like he's visiting a whole different planet, in "Lick That Nookie."

Then he teams up with Cupid on a really fine melody, "In The Mood." Pokey Bear is also all over the new Beat Flippa sampler TRAILRIDE MUSIC VOL. 1. Once again
Pokey duets with Miss Portia on "It's Gon' Cost You," a bluesy, wailing track similar to "It Ain't Go' Work" above. Finally, Pokey's "At The Trailride," with its chorus of "Go Pokey! Go Pokey!", is also a potent single.

(By the way, just wondering... Are we still gonna call Pokey Bear "Pokey Bear" when his poor churning hips give out?)

In addition to spinning off Katrenia Jefferson's "He's Got That Body" and newcomer Deacon Duke's "Prove My Love," both of which made the Top 10, the TRAILRIDE MUSIC VOL. 1 album features another interesting debut by an artist named Sweet Nay called "Rubbing Together". The majority of the songs in the last three paragraphs were produced by Beat Flippa.

2. The Take Me To The River Tour

I caught up with the TAKE ME TO THE RIVER tour by driving up to Fort Collins, Colorado last week. (See story "William Bell & Bobby Rush Take Southern Soul North" and tour itinerary by scrolling down this page.) The stars of the show are undoubtedly William Bell and Bobby Rush, with bluesman Charlie Musselwhite also getting a set. The show begins with a video featuring the late Otis Clay and a rapping youngster named Lil' Peanut. "Trying To Live My Life Without You" connects the show to its initial inspiration, the TAKE ME TO THE RIVER DVD of a couple of years ago starring Clay, William Bell and Snoop Dog. It also served as a "crowd-pleaser," with the audience loving the precociousness of Lil' Peanut. The concert then wisely segues into some of the great hits from yesteryear, with the emphasis on Al Green and Otis Redding, sung and performed by students from the Stax Music Academy of Memphis. The selections are also liberally sprinkled with rap, another device which wins over the crowd.

But the night belongs to Bell and Rush. In spite of the lack of southern soul headliners outside of Bell and Rush, who offer short but strong sets, the show is buoyed by an incredible live band (Stax Academy students and grads), including accomplished singers and a show-stopping, three-saxophone horn section, the entire aggregation directed by Boo Mitchell, the son of the legendary producer Willie Mitchell. (That's what not having a few extra headliners does for your budget and your backing ensemble.) Boo Mitchell and all the musicians--including both Hodges Brothers, by the way--do a great job. The show is professional and well-paced--and well-thought-out. For more "personal" takes on the show, see "RE: Charles Wilson & The 'Mississippi Boy' Controversy" in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag.

3. The "Living Blues" Comes To Oxford, MS.

For many years, your Daddy B. Nice has teased Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi and "Living Blues" magazine, for completely ignoring (in terms of gigs and media) the southern soul musicians teeming just to the south. At last, a bona fide southern soul concert will be held Saturday, November 18, 2017, at The Martin Center, 1013 Jackson Avenue East. And who else but indefatigable touring artist T.K. Soul to initiate the town in southern soul music? See Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar.

In fact, if you can visualize Mississippi-Delta-based southern soul as a pressure cooker and imagine it superimposed on a map of the southeastern United States, then Oxford, Clarksdale and Memphis form a kind of east-to-west wall at the northern latitude along the Mississippi-Tennessee border, with the impenetrable "Game of Thrones"-like wall of Nashville to the north. As a result, the pressure of all that pent-up southern soul blows out to the east, curling up through Alabama into the Carolinas, and to the west (along with zydeco), sweeping into Louisiana, Arkansas and eastern Texas. (I should draw a map.) In the meantime, the three aforementioned cities cleave to blues preservation. Stax, Hi and southern soul's glory days in the case of Memphis. Mid-20th-century guitar-blues in Clarksdale's clubs and Oxford's influential magazine. With scant nods of attention to the southern soul music teeming in the rural areas all around them.

--Daddy B. Nice - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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October 26, 2017:

FATS DOMINO FEB. 26, 1928-OCTOBER 25, 2017: Rock & Roll Pioneer, Southern Soul Forerunner Sold 110 Million Records

Listen to Fats Domino singing "I Hear You Knocking" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

October 17, 2017:

Denise LaSalle has recently undergone a leg amputation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville...

Denise LaSalle recently underwent a leg amputation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where she was transfered from a hospital in her hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, according to a news release by family spokesman Howard Rambsy. LaSalle's right leg had to be amputated to prevent further medical complications.

Ms. LaSalle said she would like for her fans and musical community to know that she has undergone her surgery and emerged "still trapped by the wonderful thing called love, and as long as there is love, the love that she has for her fans and the love that they have for her, the future will remain a bright and worthy destination.”

Only last year (2016), LaSalle underwent triple bypass surgery.

--Daddy B. Nice

See news story in the "Jackson (Tennessee) Sun".

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Denise LaSalle. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


November 15, 2017: Stan Butler THE BLUES IN ME CD

"Like the young Bob Dylan, like the young Sir Charles Jones, the young Stan Butler is on an artistic “roll” so pure and unstoppable it’s a joy to behold. I’m not comparing Stan to these greats, just drawing attention to his seemingly inexhaustible creativity, because when I say “on a roll” I mean a song a month, not a song a year. Only a handful of recording artists achieve this kind of sequential inspiration, and only for a brief period."

Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star review! - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

September 25, 2017: Mr. Sexy Man: The Album

"Great melodies, witty lyrics, powerful vocals, creative arrangements.... There's not much more you can ask from a recording artist, unless it's my opening lament that it takes so many years to compile. MR. SEXY MAN: THE ALBUM is a CD for the ages, and one of Nellie "Tiger" Travis' best."

See Daddy B. Nice’s New CD Reviews. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

September 4, 2017:

William Bell & Bobby Rush Take Southern Soul North

It had to happen sooner or later...And at last, it has. Buoyed by two of its stars "crossing over" and winning Grammies last year (Bobby Rush in "traditional blues," William Bell in "americana"), southern soul music heads north of the Mason-Dixon line in the most ambitious attempt yet to take the favored music of the Deep South beyond its traditional borders.

It may be watered down, it may be "black" music tailored for "white" audiences, it may be circumscribed to appeal to a demographic with no knowledge of or appreciation for the last quarter-century of contemporary southern soul music and southern blues. But it's the most prominent step yet in the chitlin' circuit's ongoing bid to "break out" into the national market in a manner reminiscent of the birth and glory days of rock and roll.

The Take Me To The River National Concert Tour is an offshoot of the remarkable "Take Me To River" documentary featured here in 2014-15 and starring Bell, the late Otis Clay, Snoop Dogg and others.

Listen to William Bell featuring Snoop Dog singing "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" on YouTube.

Listen to Otis Clay featuring Lil' P-Nut singing "Trying To Live My Life Without You" on YouTube.

Will these concerts approximate the excitement and X-rated ribaldry of the Dirty South? Will Bobby Rush bring his twerking dancers, lean over, hunch close and sniff that nookie thang? That's doubtful. New audiences will probably be unnecessarily polite, respectful, sedentary and--at times--perhaps a little lost. But they should also be transported and inspired.

Day-after-day intensive and months long, the tour represents a powerful surge of southern culture and marginalized musicians--in both Bell's and Rush's cases, the majority of their careers--into the country's musical heartland, and the first indication for many "national types" that rhythm and blues still produces roses amidst the thorns of hiphop.

The tour's headliners are Rush, Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, Don Bryant, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy, The Hi Rhythm Section and The Stax Academy Alumni. The tour "preps" in the comfort of the Delta before heading to college towns and other "hip" cities across the North and West, including assorted southern hubs. The only region of the country left out is the Northeast.

Here's the complete Take Me To The River tour itinerary:

Sep 26 Cleveland, MS
Sep 28 Lafayette, LA
Sep 29 Baton Rouge, LA
Sep 30 Houston, TX
Oct 01 Dallas, TX
Oct 03 Midland, TX
Oct 05 Tucson, AZ
Oct 06 Mesa, AZ
Oct 07 Solana Beach (San Diego), CA
Oct 08 Malibu (Los Angeles), CA
Oct 11 San Francisco, CA
Oct 12 Folsom, CA
Oct 13 Napa, CA
Oct 18 Portland, OR
Oct 20 Bremerton, WA
Oct 21 Kirkland, WA
Oct 22 Tacoma, WA
Oct 25 Billings, MT
Oct 26 Fort Collins, CO
Oct 27 Lone Tree (Denver), CO
Oct 28 Salina, KS
Oct 31 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 01 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 03 Kansas City, MO
Nov 05 Glen Ellyn, IL
Nov 07 Wausau, WI
Nov 08 Appleton, WI
Nov 09 Rochester, MN
Nov 10 Milwaukee, WI
Nov 12 Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 13 Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 14 Chicago, IL
Jan 25, 2018 Durham, NC
Jan 26, 2018 Roanoke, VA
Jan 27, 2018 Irmo, SC
Jan 29, 2018 Gainesville, FL
Jan 30, 2018 Jacksonville, FL
Feb 02, 2018 Tampa, FL
Feb 03, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL

The itinerary gives fans outside the southern soul concert circuit the opportunity to see two of the music's greatest living artists, Bobby Rush and William Bell.

Your Daddy B. Nice keeps wondering what that show in Malibu will look like. Full of movie stars with sand in their toes from just walking in from the restricted beach? More power to southern soul music. And hats off(!) and thank you, Al Green.

--Daddy B Nice

Listen to Al Green singing "Take Me To The River" on YouTube.

Listen to Al Green onstage, taking it to the national audience accompanied by B.B. King, Lenny Kravitz, Cheryl Crow and others singing "Take Me To The River" on YouTube.

Listen to Jeff Floyd featuring William Bell singing "Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good Woman Tonight" on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Bobby Rush.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to William Bell.

********* - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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June 10, 2017:

News & Notes:

1. Bigg Robb was visiting with DJ Big Money on-air at WAGR in Lexington, Mississippi today (Saturday, June 10th) and announced he will have a new album coming out in July (best case scenario). The title: BORN TO DO THIS. Robb is also airing a taped show on the station on Saturday afternoons.

Incidentally, for those wondering if the rift had healed between Bigg Robb and Bishop Bullwinkle over Bullwinkle's use of Robb's instrumental track for his unconventional smash hit, "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" two years ago, the conclusion of the DJ Big Money interview was instructive. Big Money--after playing all Bigg Robb songs during the on-air conversation--made the faux pas of putting on "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw." Barely three bars had played before Bigg Robb snapped, "Turn that thing off. That dude owes me money!" You never heard a deejay switch tracks so fast.

Here's a thought. Since Bullwinkle wouldn't honor Robb's copyright, maybe Bigg Robb should turn the tables on Bullwinkle by covering "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" in the way he covered Carl Marshall's "Good Loving Will Make You Cry," make a smash hit of his own and finally get paid in "like" fashion.

See Daddy B. Nice's Guide to Bigg Robb.

2. The release of Ross Music Group's (Daniel Ross, Beat Flippa's) much-anticipated new compilation, TRAIL RIDE VOLUME 1 MUSIC, is imminent. The sampler features (the late) Big Cynthia, Big Pokey Bear, Tyree Neal, Jeter Jones, Katrenia Jefferson, Sharnette Hyter, Crystal Thomas, Miss Portia, G-Sky, Sweet Nay, Deacon Dykes and Laylla Fox.

Make no mistake. What this new indie label, Ross Music Group, has done for southern soul music with the Blues Brothas' Love On The Bayou, the Beat Flippa compilations and its bevy of new recording stars has been nothing short of spectacular--and not unlike the spike in blues and southern soul jump-started by Texas's Z.Z. Hill in the mid-eighties with "Down Home Blues".

And talk is fine but cheap, but when it comes to action, you'll notice in this month's Concert Calendar that it's RMG's Big Pokey Bear, along with fellow Gulf Coast southern soul stars Tucka and Cupid, doing the Mel Waiters Tribute in San Antonio on June 24th.

3. Finally, the new Jaye Hammer album's official release date is today (June 10th). The title: LAST MAN STANDING. The Ecko Records release, which contains two versions of Daddy B. Nice's Best Out-Of-Left Field Song of 2016, the zydeco-flavored "Trail Ride," will be a featured "Album Alert" next month.

Read the "Album Alert" in advance in Daddy B. Nice's Guide to Jaye Hammer.

--Daddy B. Nice - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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May 24, 2017: News & Notes: Yesterday's News

1. Your Daddy B. Nice is working behind the scenes this month....

...constructing links to the BEST OF 2016 page from the Comprehensive Index. As it says at the top of the page....

"A permanent listing and a link in the Comprehensive Index to Southern Soul Music will eventually be made on behalf of each performer for each citation listed."

Well, the "eventually" is now. So far I've made it to BEST FEMALE VOCALISTS and BEST MALE VOCALISTS (about halfway down the list of awards). The nominees for best female vocalists in 2016 were...

...Ms. Jody, Adrena, Nikita (aka Mys. Niki), Lady Soul, Falisa JaNaye, Toia Jones, Ms. Mini, Shay Denise, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Stephanie McDee, Jesi Terrell, Sweet Angel and Katrenia Jefferson. (Ms. Jody won.)

The nominees for best male vocalists in 2016 were...

LaMorris Williams, Big G, Wendell B, William Bell, Sonny Mack, Luther Lackey, X-Man Parker, El' Willie, O.B. Buchana,
J-Wonn, Jaye Hammer, Tucka, Cold Drank, Chris Ardoin, Mr. Sam, Alonzo Reid, J. Red, Black Diamond (Clarence & Ricky Fuller), Stan Butler, T.K. Soul, Cool Ricky Blues and Bobby Rush. (LaMorris Williams won.)

So, for instance, if you're Luther Lackey and you go to the "L" page of the Comprehensive Index, scroll down to your listings and do not find the link 2016 Nominee: Best Male Vocalist, or the link does not work (i.e. take you to the exact place in the BEST OF 2016 page where your nomination is listed, contact your Daddy B. Nice at

Hopefully, I'll be finishing the rest of the links soon. (Now you know what I'll be doing at least some of the Memorial Day Weekend.) I was reading in Neal Furr's Soul Dog's Southern Soul Corner--always an informative survey of the latest southern soul music--that he was out with carpal tunnel syndrome for four months! That's scary, because this tedious Comp Index data entry and coding has forced me to change from my right hand to my left hand to work the cussed mouse.

Glad you're back, Neal! And a note to readers and artists alike. Unlike your Daddy B. Nice, Neal Furr is ALWAYS nice.

2. Southern Soul CD's continue to pour in....

The latest album reviews are posted on the New CD Reviews page, including the new releases from David Brinston and Lady Di.

************ - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

May 10, 2017: News & Notes

Southern Soul's Stock Is Rising

My CD basket is overflowing and has been since the beginning of the year. Wasn't it only a few years ago the doomsayers were predicting the end of CD's, especially in the southern soul and blues markets? There were times when I'd go a week or two without a single CD appearing in my post office box. And yet, the publishing of albums in the new year has come at such a pace it's been beyond your Daddy B. Nice's ability to keep up. Not only that. In trying to monitor and review the new product, the columns (such as "News & Notes") that have been regular features on "Daddy B. Nice's Corner" have given way to blurbs from those reviews, the only commentary I've had time to produce.

CD's aren't the only harbingers of changing times and rising expectations. Promoters of southern soul concerts are at an all-time high, springing up in every city and village across the southeastern United States and beyond. What used to be a respectable few column inches of tour dates in the Concert Calendar has morphed into a seemingly unending list of performances, enough to make a thumb and forefinger arthritic from scrolling down. Promoters are making money, and they can't keep up with audience demand.

Not only are southern soul performers across the board in weekly demand in cities and hamlets across the South. A new generation of young southern soul stars is moving up and onto the national stage. It used to be only southern soul's legends--now mostly gone--who rated inclusion for ticket purchases in the national websites such as Songkick, Ticket Master, Seat Geek, Stub Hub, Bands In Town, etc. And yet, as Johnnie Taylor, Tyrone Davis, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton, Marvin Sease and even Mel Waiters have passed away, leaving only a handful of the old guard (Clarence Carter, Bobby Rush, Latimore, Shirley Brown, Millie Jackson, Peggy Scott-Adams) visible on the national stage, the death knell for southern soul still hasn't sounded.

Instead, due in part to the co-mingling of mainstream (both hiphop and urban R&B) and southern soul stars on an increasing number of venues, a new generation of southern soul artists has made the leap to national recognition, further raising the visibility of southern soul music. They include Sir Charles Jones, T.K. Soul, Calvin Richardson, Big Pokey Bear, Bigg Robb, Tucka and Cupid, among others, who have now joined "tweeners" like Theodis Ealey, Lenny Williams and Willie Clayton in appearances on the tour listings with the big stars like Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Mystikal and R. Kelly.

While southern soul is on the rise, so is zydeco. Cajun-style concerts are currently as vital to the Gulf-coast culture and as varied and voluminous as southern soul. Louisiana and eastern Texas have become hot beds for the phenomenon of "trailrides," in which horse-riding and hay-bales co-mingle with zydeco, southern soul and "blues" in euphoric, all-night escapades. Indeed, it would be difficult to name two homegrown genres in the entire country with the current cultural vitality and excitement generated by southern soul and zydeco. By contrast, fans in the North must content themselves with living in the "past," watching the perennial parade of the same old "oldies" acts from soul music's glory days.

Meanwhile, in the South, the number of new artists entering the southern soul market has exploded. A decade ago, it was easy for an unknown to put out a "southern soul" single or album and make a name, albeit limited, for him or herself. Nowadays, there are dozens of talented singers vying for attention in any given month, much less the legions of aspirants trying to find a niche in any given year.

And at the top of the market, we now have two of our most venerable stars, William Bell and Bobby Rush, as bona fide Grammy album award winners (2016), Rush in the "blues" category and Bell in the "Americana" category. Expect more confusion, such as "americana" as a mainstream byword for "southern soul," as southern soul continues to bubble up from the underground into the unsuspecting mainstream.

--Daddy B. Nice - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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Singles Charts, continued from right-hand column...


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

-------APRIL 2017-------

1. ”Do You Want Somebody?”-----Alonzo Reid feat. LaKeisha Burks

I think of this as Alonzo’s “Struggling Lady” song. The guitar riff, the cradle-rocking tempo, the lead and back-up vocals are all perfect and could have been recorded around the turn of the century, when your Daddy B. Nice was blinded by the light of southern soul music. Alonzo was playing guitar for Marvin Sease at the time and LaKeisha was one of Marvin’s background singers. LaKeisha--who went on to sing with fellow Montgomery, Alabaman and most famous Sease alumnus Sir Charles Jones--had a vocal style as distinctive and important to southern soul’s legacy as Jackie Neal’s, and her superb, double-tracked singing here sounds just like she did then, the perfect foil for Alonzo’s similarly sophisticated country pleading. (Apologies to Alonzo for using LaKeisha’s drawing, one of my old favorites. DBN)

Listen to Alonzo Reid singing "Do You Want Somebody?" on YouTube.

2. ”Single Footin’”------Jeter Jones featuring DJ Big Tony

This Jeter Jones jam will sweep you away faster than Dorothy to Oz. Stan Butler, “Take Your Grandma To The Club” again and tell the deejay to play “Single Footin’”. Full of techno excitement, zydeco swagger and surround-sound percussion, one thing is guaranteed. You will not stop moving. See more on "Single Footin’" in Daddy B. Nice's five-star CD review.

Listen to Jeter Jones and Big Tony singing "Single Footin’" on YouTube.

3. "I Could Use A Drink"----Avail Hollywood

One of the puzzles of the southern soul universe is how, with his unique, almost freakish pipes (no bass, lots of falsetto-tinged treble), Avail Hollywood has fashioned hit after hit. "I Could Use A Drink"--with a typically tremendous, symphonic arrangement--is one of the best.

Sample Avail Hollywood's "I Could Use A Drink" at Napster.

4. "Super Woman"-----David J feat. Geno Wesley

Two young Gulf Coast singers collaborate on what may be the best recording of either's career to date. Crisp, guitar-dominated arrangement, fine intertwining vocals.

Listen to David J and Geno Wesley singing "Super Woman" on YouTube.

5. "My Country Girl"-----Jeter Jones

Combines the comfy melodic charm of Chris Ardoin's "Boo Thang" with the "grown-folks" heart of Little Milton's "What Do You Do When You Love Somebody?" Another soon-to-be, southern soul classic from Jeter Jones' rich and textured new CD, TRAILRIDE CERTIFIED.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing "My Country Girl" on YouTube.

(See Daddy B. Nice's five-star CD review.)

6. "I'm Living In A Rooming House (In My Own Home)"----Carl Sims

Two things you can count on. Carl Sims is still one of the great contemporary southern soul singers, and he still knows how to choose powerful material.

Sample Carl Sims singing "Living In A Rooming House" at Napster.

7. "Something To Talk About"-----Simone De

Simone De's niche is melodic ballads steeped in old-school nostalgia, and "Something To Talk About" is an outstanding example.

Listen to Simone De singing "Something To Talk About" on YouTube.

8. "Lady Luck"-----Wilson Meadows

What I said about Carl Sims? Ditto for Wilson Meadows.

Listen to Wilson Meadows singing "Lady Luck" on YouTube.

9. "Back To The Hole In The Wall"-----Little Kim Stewart

The return of another circa-early 2000's Southern Soul diva. Remember "No Bootleg, Baby"?

Listen to Little Kim Stewart singing "Back To The Hole In The Wall" on YouTube.

10. TIE:
"Sneakin' & Creepin'"----Willie Clayton (No YouTube or Download)
"Taking Me For Granted"----Willie White

Listen to Willie White singing "Taking Me For Granted" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------MARCH 2017-------

1. ”She Don’t Want Me No More”----------Mr. Sam

This is a song of majesty, not the usual chant. And if these are programmed drums, they sound as good as the real thing, as does the refreshing piano and deep-soul organ. Sam’s vocal is on fire emotionally and perfectly calibrated technically. The subtle, raised-a-chord “move on” at the end of each chorus soars into “southern soul heaven”.

Listen to Mr. Sam singing ”She Don’t Want Me No More” on YouTube.

2. ”Looking For My Woman”----Joe “Blues” Butler

Fresh, rowdy take on the blues. The production is thin and his singing is undisciplined, but Butler’s lighthearted charisma carries the song. The humor is even more apparent in “Looking For My Woman” than in his also-charting “Full-Figured Woman,” the title cut of Butler’s fifth CD on Memphis’ Nikkie Records, and first to be distributed by Memphis’ “major” indie label, Ecko Records, marking his national-distribution debut.

Listen to Joe “Blues” Butler singing “Looking For My Woman” on YouTube.

3. “Going Down Slow”----Sir Charles Jones w/ Wendell B.

Sir Charles is in fine form on this one, although he does make the uncharacteristic mistake of asking the fans for “four and a half minutes of your time,” an eternity to today’s texting generation. One peculiarity. Although Charles shouts out himself at the beginning and ending of the song, he doesn’t mention Wendell B, who background-sings throughout (although never takes a verse). Another peculiarity: it’s a Wendell B. song. Guess they worked something out.

4. “Lit (Ain’t Nobody In This Club More Lit Than Me)”
-----Cupid featuring Pokey Bear

For those Grammy judges who were good enough to award two southern soul masters—-Bobby Rush and William Bell-—in this year’s Grammies, “Lit” is the living blues straight from the new generation. Pokey is powerful and tireless, Cupid has seldom been better, and the live video (below) matches the song’s intensity.

Watch the official live-in-the-club video of Cupid & Pokey singing “Lit” on YouTube.

5. ”Don’t You Wanna Dance”-----Mr. Campbell

Great dance floor anthem. Simple, engaging, and well-sung.

Listen to Mr. Campbell singing “Don’t You Wanna Dance on YouTube.

6. "Nightime Gardener"------Bobby Rush featuring Keb' Mo'

Bobby's put down his "night-fishing" rod and he's "night-gardening"--with a lawn mower and all--accompanied by the exhilarating guitar of Keb' Mo'. From Bobby's Grammy award-winning blues album, Porcupine Meat.

Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Nighttime Gardener" on YouTube.

7. "Let's Get This Party Started"-----Lomax

Lomax Spaulding uses an old disco chord progression that I can't retrieve from my dusty memory bins. (Help, readers!) But hold on, I'm not criticizing. Just the opposite. Instead of over-reaching or trying to impress, which so often taints Lomax's singles, this one is as comfortable as an old pair of your favorite shoes. Swing it, Lomax!

Listen to Lomax singing "Let's Get This Party Started" on SoundCloud.

8. "Are You Ready To Love Again?"------Lebrado

Listen to Lebrado singing "Are You Ready To Love" on YouTube.

9. "She's Ratchet"-----Jeter Jones w/ Big Pokey Bear

Listen to Jeter Jones singing "She's Ratchet" on YouTube.

10. "Slippin'"----Summer Wolfe

Listen to Summer Wolfe singing "Slippin'" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------FEBRUARY 2017-------

1. “I Can’t Be Faithful”----Big Pokey Bear featuring Bishop Bullwinkle

The two biggest new stars in southern soul music team up for the first time on a Beat Flippa-produced track that continues Pokey’s theme of being “addicted to the women.” Hewing to his theme of preaching about worldly evils, in this case Pokey’s, Bishop Bullwinkle stuns with his crystal-clear clarity and tone, proving he’s not just a novelty act but a unique vocalist.

2. “Honey Hole”-----Vickie Baker

Whoever wrote the lyrics covered every salacious double entendre possible--“This hole is deep, / This hole is wet”—along with “long poles,” “wide poles,” and so on. Vickie’s investment in getting the male hormones flowing should shower her with new fans and righteous praise.

Listen to Vickie Baker sampling “Honey Hole” on Facebook.

3. ”I’ll Take Your Word For It”-----Vick Allen

Vick augments the light-hearted attitude of “Shawty On The Side” with another witty social commentary, this one about a man turning down a woman's high-powered advances. The rhythm track and strong keyboard line, along with a snap-to-it horn solo, contribute mightily.

Listen to Vick Allen singing “I’ll Take Your Word For It” on YouTube.

4. ”A Lie Don’t Care Who Tell It”------Melody Gold

From her debut CD, Zero To A Hundred, Melody Gold’s new single pairs a first-rate vocal with a sumptuous melody line and one of producer Avail Hollywood's finest arrangements ever.

Listen to Melody Gold singing “A Lie Don’t Care Who Tell It” on YouTube.

5. ”Til The Sun Comes Up”-----Tucka

Still dealing with messy copyright litigation with a former manager, Tucka doesn’t miss a beat creatively, churning out new southern soul hits as lightly as he’d launch a Frisbee across a beach. From his latest set, Long Live The King.

Listen to Tucka singing ”Til The Sun Comes Up” on YouTube.

6. “Old Man’s Sweetheart”----Coco featuring Big Yayo

“Used to be a young man’s fool, / Now I’m an old man’s sweetheart.” Someone remind your Daddy B. Nice. Who did this song? Not Candi Staton (Candi Staton’s ’69 hit of the same name), which is the only thing I can find on Google. It’s cute and knowing, even cuter with Coco (Big Yayo producing).

7. “You’re The One, Baby”----Lomax featuring O.B. Buchana

Solid if predictable ballad, well executed by both singers.

8. ”Busted”-----Donnell Sullivan

If Donnell Sullivan keeps beating down the musical door like he does here, he’s going to go through the vaunted “green door” to southern soul’s V.I.P. His most mature vocal yet.

Listen to Donnell Sullivan singing “Busted” on YouTube.

9. ”Knock The Fire (Remix)”----Mr. David featuring Joe Nice

It’s so much fun--a southern soul fan’s vision of heaven--to hear the opening words of Mr. David’s southern soul version of this old Springsteen riff and its iconic bass line: “I was driving in my Chevy (?)-o, / JACKIE NEAL ON THE RADIO.” Hiphop/techno producer Joe Nice streamlines the remix.

Listen to Mr. David singing ”Knock The Fire (Remix)” on YouTube.

10. “Shake It”-----Kilamity Jane

Catchy, upbeat jam with quirky, merry-go-round-like instrumentation. Equally fascinating is the singing of Kilamity Jane, whose sharp, syncopated vocal took me all the way back to Dinah Washington singing “What A Difference A Day Makes,” one of the first glimmers of southern soul when I was a kid.

********* - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


Monthly Singles Charts, Continued From Right-Hand Column

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

-------JANUARY 2017-------

1. "Dirty"------Adrian Bagher

Great dance jam. In just the first few bars, with its hiphop sheen and rhythm-track "fullness," you know it's either Beat Flippa or--as it turns out--Heavy (aka Highway Heavy), Charles Lewis of "Sidepiece" and "Three" fame on the production. And doing the singing is the kid your Daddy B. Nice has been waiting to break out--a guy who's intent on expressing emotions most people won't touch--the deserving Adrian Bagher.

Listen to Adrian Bagher singing "Dirty" on YouTube.

2. "Born Under A Bad Sign"------William Bell

Where there is sun, there is shade. Maintaining the intimate acoustic sound of "The Three Of Me" and "This Is Where I Live," William Bell explores the dark classic by Albert King. Bell wrote it, by the way, during the Summer of Love, 1967.

Listen to Big Yayo, Gentry Jones & Omar Cunningham singing "Bedroom Rodeo" on YouTube.

3. "If You Need Some Tender Loving"----Ms. Mini & J. Red

In tandem with the richly-piped J. Red, who assuredly produced, Ms. Mini actually outdoes her exemplary vocal on Mike Darden's "That Act Right" with this sumptuous and melodic hymn to the joys of infidelity.

Listen to Ms. Mini & J. Red singing "If You Need Some Tender Loving" on YouTube.

4. "Room 102"-----Emerson Hill

He popped up on the concert circuit, and upon checking him out, Emerson Hill possesses a uniquely nasal vocal tone, like listening to the stereo with treble up, bass down. He's technically polished and well worth giving a listen.

Listen to Emerson Hill singing "Room 102" on YouTube

5. "Naked"------Louisiana Blues Brothas

It was the first single from last year's Beat Flippa Vol. 2, but Tyree Neal's song structure sounded as limp as a yoga-instructor. Months later, something has broken my resistance, like water running over stones, maybe Beat Flippa's tremolo organ or the street-corner-style Pokey/Tyree vocals.

Listen to The Louisiana Blues Brothas singing "Naked" on YouTube.

6. "Hold On (To What You Got)"-----Sharnette Hyter & Joe Tex II

An uplifting duet (and well-done video). As we're immersed in "sidepiece" and "other woman" tunes, Hyter and Tex II remind us of the common sense in remaining monogamous, recycling Tex's famous father's soulful ballad with an uptempo twist.

Listen to Sharnette Hyter & Joe Tex II singing "Hold On To What You Got" on YouTube.

7. "Make Time (For Her)"------Mr. Sam

An unabashed throwback to old-school romance by the melodic troubadour, Mr. Sam.

Listen to Mr. Sam singing "Make Time For Her" on YouTube.

8. "What's That Dance?"-----Rhomey

A new dance track from T.K. Soul's label, Soulful Records. Nice mix of gravel-rough rapping and melody-line vocal. No YouTube as of this posting.

9. "Why Jody Be For Me"-----T. Warner

This new artist has a fresh sound. Atmospheric arranging and street-wise voice-overs usher the melody home.

Listen to T. Warner singing "Why Jody B 4 Me" on YouTube.

10. "Turn It Out"----J. Red and Sir Charles Jones

Yet another project from the workaholic and lusty-voiced J. Red The Nephew. The Sir Charles vocal is a little washed-out, as it has been in a couple of other duets over the last year. Not sure if it's the key he's singing in, the vagaries of the mix, or if he's lost some of the projection he brought to early classics like "Better Call Jody."

Listen to J. Red and Sir Charles Jones singing "Turn It Out" on YouTube.

************* - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Souther Soul Singles

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

-------DECEMBER 2017-------

1. "Please Don't Leave My Wife Alone"-----Lomax

It starts with a Marvin Sease "Mr. Jody" echo--one man calling another--and Lomax gets it perfect. "Please Don't Leave My Wife Alone" will be dismissed by urban r&b snobs and celebrated by southern soul enthusiasts. For Lomax, it's his most masterful ballad yet, steeped in southern soul lore, both musical and lyrical.

Listen to Lomax singing "Please Don't Leave My Wife Alone" on YouTube.

Learn about and buy Lomax's new IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT CD/MP3's in Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Lomax.

2. "Watch My Boots, Pt. 2"------Deacon Dukes, Jeter Jones, Big Lee, Pokey Bear & Miss Portia

Even better than the slower-tempo-ed "Watch My Boots" original by Jeter Jones. If you like to dance, this is your jam. Deacon Dukes has a magical, musical touch, and I now sit up and take notice whenever I see his name associated with a tune.

Listen to Deacon Dukes, Jeter Jones singing "Watch My Boots, Pt. 2" on YouTube.

Learn about and buy TRAILRIDE MUSIC VOL.1 CD/MP3's in Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Beat Flippa.

3. "Groovin' Together (Remix 2)"-----Arthur Roland

This is a genuine southern soul anthem by a respected gospel artist out of Georgia. Arthur Roland has evidently been singing this for years without recording a secular release. See "Looking For A Song Letters" in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag for another new and decidedly secular offering from Roland called "Hokie Pokie".

Listen to a snippet of Arthur Roland singing "Groovin' Together" Live Onstage.

4. "Neighbor"----Solomon Thompson

There have been a lot of "neighbor" songs in the last two decades but I've never heard one with more glorious rhythm and melody--and with a voice-over that revels in its humble, ordinary-life ambience. Solomon's best yet!

Listen to Solomon Thompson singing "Neighbor" on YouTube.

5. "All I Want Is You"-----Pokey Bear featuring Crystal Thomas

How does Sam Elliot say it in "The Big Lebowski"? "Blacker than a steer's tookus on a moonless night"? Crystal Thomas has that rare "vintage" voice, and her contribution to this duet is a tour de force.

Listen to Big Pokey Bear and Crystal Thomas singing "All I Want Is You" on YouTube.

Learn about and buy Pokey Bear's new BEAR SEASON CD/MP3's in Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Pokey.

6. "Party Line"-----Allen "Ace" Curry

Who would have thought Nelson's brother would return to southern soul with a tune as catchy as Nelson might have come up with in the Klass days? The production is creative, like a carnival carousel with rising and falling horses going round and round.

No YouTube.

7. "Rock With Me"-----Raven Salve' featuring Big Pokey Bear

Great debut by another singer whose scarred and weathered vocal fits like an old shoe around Pokey Bear's wailing tenor.

Listen to Raven Salve' and Pokey Bear singing "Rock With Me" on YouTube.

8. "Don't Stop Moving"-----Black Diamond

Listen to Black Diamond singing "Don't Stop Moving" on YouTube.

9. "In My House"------C. La'Mont

10. "Get On Up"-----O.B. Buchana

O.B. covers a Sonny Mack tune, and it's like you think you're getting on the usual O.B. Buchana stagecoach and you find yourself on one of those 200-mile-an-hour Japanese tubes with your spine pressed against the back of your seat. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

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

1. "I Left My Woman"------Stan Butler

The sweetest guitar riff you've heard since Butler's fellow Georgian, Theodis Ealey, last took his guitar into the studio. From his new album, The Blues In Me. See Daddy B. Nice's 4-star CD Review.

Listen to Stan Butler singing "I Left My Woman" on YouTube.

2. "Work The Floor"-----R.J. Scott

Want to rap for southern soul fans? Sample southern soul--and what better sample than Pokey Bear's "My Sidepiece"? Young-gunner R.J. Scott strikes club magic. Work the flow.

Listen to R.J. Scott singing "Work The Floor" on YouTube.

3. "Sexy Swing"-----Candice G.

This young gal sings like an angel, and "Sexy Swing" ranks right up there with the best female debuts of recent southern soul times.

Listen to Candice G. singing "Sexy Swing" on YouTube.

4. "Can You Roll It?"------Suade

Great debut by a husky-voiced newcomer, brimming with swagger and atmosphere, produced by D. Scott.

Listen to Suade singing "Can You Roll It" on YouTube.

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.

6. "Stroke It"----Aaron Cook featuring Miss Lady Blues

Brawny-piped rookie Aaron Cook teams up with Miss Lady Soul on an impressive debut, full of real hormones.

Listen to Aaron Cook & Miss Lady Soul singing "Stroke It" on YouTube.

7. "Cut A Rug"----Nikita

Nikita (formerly Mys. Niki) is looking like a "keeper," a veteran in the making. People are line-dancing to this one.

Listen to Nikita singing "Cut A Rug" on YouTube.

8. "He's Got That Body"----Katrenia Jefferson

Katrenia's new song is featured on the latest Beat Flippa/Ross Music sampler, Trailride Music, Vol. 1.

9. "You're All That I Need"-----Miss Portia featuring Ra'Shad The Blues Kid

A refreshing, romantic melody from tough-gal Miss Portia, from her debut album All In My Feelings.

10. "Prove My Love"-----Deacon Dukes

Another terrific "coming-out" from Trailride Music, Vol. 1. Beat Flippa's production is especially deft.

Listen to Deacon Dukes singing "Prove My Love" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------OCTOBER 2017-------

1. "I Had To Lie"------Ms. Jody

This Ms. Jody-written tune has it all: the Ms. Jody brand (naughty gal that she is) and a terrific, layered production from 2016 Arranger/Producer of the Year John Ward, incorporating a surging rhythm track, the horn riff from Nellie Travis' "If I Back It Up" and--the pièce de résistance--a beguiling background chorus. From Ms. Jody's new album, Thunder Under Yonder.

2. "Call Me"-----Nelson Curry

Solo artist Nelson Curry has been trying to recreate that magic Klass Band "Sugar Shack" sound, and with "Call Me" he succeeds at last. Nice, double-tracked, lead vocal and textured instrumental track, and the female voice-overs add to the fun. Produced by Big Yayo.

3. "Preacher Car In My Yard"-----Luther Lackey

Luther Lackey returns with another "preacher" song. This one has the simplicity of a hit, boasting Lackey's typical rhythmic power and aggressive lead and gospel-influenced background vocals.

Sample Luther Lackey's "Preacher Car In My Yard" at Napster.

4. "Kiss It Good-Bye"-----Lomax

"Kiss It Good-Bye" carries on the unique and identifiable tradition of Lomax's signature hit, "Swing It": mid-tempo melody, intertwining acoustic and electric guitars, synth-violins and brass, impeccable mixing.

5. "Boom Boom Room"----P2K-Da Diddy

New, laid-back sound from a new artist.

Listen to P2K singing "Boom Boom Room" on YouTube.

6. "Can I Change My Mind"-----Andrew Edwards

Competent and--with a few listens--compelling redo of the Tyrone Davis classic, produced by Simeo.

7. "Walking In The Rain In Memphis"----Nellie "Tiger" Travis

The deep-soul ballad from Travis' Mr. Sexy Man: The Album. Read Daddy B. Nice's 5-star CD Review.

8. "I Stop Loving You"----Claytie Bonds

Mz. Pantheress plays bass like a Transformer. Powerful Claytie Bonds sings like the super-heroine who recorded the poem/rant "Mississippi Hustling Mother."

9. "Need A Mr. Do Right"----Sharnette Hyter featuring (the late) Big Cynthia

10. "You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure"----Mz. Connie - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------SEPTEMBER 2017-------

1. "Bedroom Rodeo Remix"------Big Yayo featuring Gentry Jones & Omar Cunningham

"This can't be. It's too weird," I thought the first time I heard this song. That, my friends, is the mark of originality, and as the droopy bass line and limp-tempo-ed intro of Yayo's lead vocal slips into an amazing double-track and, a few bars on, picks up the harmonies of Gentry Jones and Omar Cunningham, "Bedroom Rodeo" morphs into the kind of originality that transcends the genre and becomes pure pop, making you shiver like when you heard Brian Wilson's falsetto on The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry, Baby."

Listen to Big Yayo, Gentry Jones & Omar Cunningham singing "Bedroom Rodeo" on YouTube.

2. "Pretty Girl"-----J'Wonn featuring Tucka

J-Wonn and Big Yayo at the top of the charts...Seems like old times again. Showcasing J-Wonn's most sensitive and heavenly-toned vocal since "I Got This Record," and featuring a splendidly-delivered verse by rival heart-throb Tucka, "Pretty Girl" already has the women swooning and will probably be even more of a smash than "Bedroom Rodeo."

Listen to J'Wonn feat. Tucka singing "Pretty Girl" on YouTube.

3. "Call Out My Name"-----J. Red featuring

I've been playing the grooves off this record with its hooky melody, pounding bass, lush orchestral production and first-rate vocals. Alone, these two are each dynamite; together, they're the hydrogen bomb.

Listen to J. Red featuring Sharnette Hyter singing "Call Out My Name" on YouTube.

4. "Spacey Love"-----Nellie "Tiger" Travis

"Ground control to Major Tom..." Nellie "Tiger" Travis storms the chart for the second month in a row with her romantic, synth-engulfed anthem, "Spacey Love". From her new CD, Mr. Sexy Man: The Album.

Listen to Nellie "Tiger" Travis singing "Spacey Love" on YouTube.

5. "Southern Soul Party"-----David Brinston

Derived from his own oft-copied southern soul classic, "Party 'Til The Lights Go Out," this quirky-tempo, slyly-sung descendant might grow irritating like a frequently-heard commercial jingle, or so I feared a couple of months ago, when I reviewed the album. But not so. It's only gotten better. Happiness inducing, like "Party". Read the review of David Brinston's Sidepiece Motel album.

Listen to David Brinston singing "Southern Soul Party" on YouTube.

6. "Born To Do This"-----Bigg Robb

This is the title tune of Bigg Robb's new album, and I like its Chuck Berry directness. The first two stanzas are superbly compressed personal statements, the blues flip-side of Robb's recent "I Love You," his ode to his wife. And for a classic blues, the production is amazingly unique, beginning--of course--with Bigg Robb's vocal enhancer. The horn fills have a nifty note-slurring at the end, like squirting plants with a mister and watching the spray fall through the air.

Listen to Bigg Robb sing "Born To Do This" on YouTube.

7. "Sugar Daddy"-----Nadia Green featuring Big Pokey Bear

DUPLICATE RIFF ALERT! Yes, it's one of those "who-stole-what-from-whom" moments that your Daddy B. Nice loves to investigate---the stolen object being a really great chord progression. Ross Music Group's Beat Flippa production of "Sugar Daddy" with Nadia Green and Pokey Bear was posted to YouTube on May 10th of this year. D-Whit's "Super Model," which I received first and charted here in July (scroll down), was posted to YouTube on June 13th. Of course, that doesn't speak to when the song was recorded, nor the original composer. So I sniffed around and guess what. An original (or at least earlier) Nadia Green recording of "Sugar Daddy" was produced by Eric Bardales and Rawdizzy and posted to YouTube October 6, 2016. I like all three versions, but still prefer likely copier D-Whit's more stripped-down, streamlined and percussive "Super Model" a little more. (P.S. Copying a "riff" isn't necessarily--or even usually--a breach of copyright.)

Listen to Nadia Green featuring Pokey Bear singing "Sugar Daddy" on YouTube.

8. "Go Get It"-----Ra'shad The Blues Kid featuring L.J. Echols

About the only time we get to hear L.J. lately is on other people's (Krishaunda,'s Ricky's, etc.) records. You know you're going to get a great, "chunky" rhythm track with L.J or he won't bother to put out the record. Here it's almost like listening to reggae's archetypal rhythm section, Sly & Robbie. From Ra'shad's debut album Country Soul.

9. "I Got That Thunder Under Yonder"------Ms. Jody

Listening to Ms. Jody's pristine voice as she lingers on the "R's" in "thunder" and "yonder" from the title cut of her new album is like quaffing long gulps of San Pellegrino with ice and lime wedges after going through a long bout drinking farm pond water infested with leached herbicides, carp and suckers.

10. "Party At Home"-----Jaye Hammer

And what a way to close out the top ten. Sweet soul singing by Jaye Hammer.

Listen to Jaye Hammer singing "Party At Home" on YouTube.

************* - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------AUGUST 2017-------

1. "Stilettos And Jeans"------Sharnette Hyter featuring J.J. Callier

"Stilettos and Jeans" may be the most easy-going, organic cloning of a southern soul melody with a zydeco arrangement yet forged--a dance floor anthem that will crush it in the club for both southern soul and zydeco fans.

Listen to Sharnette Hyter featuring J.J. Callier singing "Stilettos And Jeans" on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice's new 4-star Review of Sharnette Hyter's GROWN FOLKS TALKIN' CD.

2. "Textual Harassment"-----Nellie "Tiger" Travis

Sure, the words are timely, funny and apropos, but it's the musical groove and horn section riff (courtesy of producer Floyd Hamberlin) that really hooks you. From Nellie's new MR. SEXY MAN: THE ALBUM CD.

Listen to Nellie "Tiger" Travis singing "Textual Harassment" on YouTube.

3. "Sweet Tooth"-----Tucka

Is Tucka the new Sir Charles Jones? He radiates romance. He slays the women with his casual, instantly-identifiable style. His fans love him--and justifiably so.

Listen to Tucka singing "Sweet Tooth" on YouTube.

4. "Mississippi Style"-----Jaye Hammer

Great, solid piece of music, awesome vocal, but it's the lyrics that take this tune over the rainbow. Like the line: "Got kids in eleven counties / Calling me Dad." From Jaye Hammer's new CD, LAST MAN STANDING.

Listen to Jaye Hammer singing "Mississippi Style" on YouTube.

5. "I Got Your Back"-----Sweet Angel

This song features... A lead guitar stroking a nice chord progression. Female background singers caroling like angels on the choruses. And Sweet Angel herself from the "angel" annex of southern soul heaven.

Listen to Sweet Angel singing "I Got Your Back" on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice's new 4-star review of Sweet Angel's CAN'T WALK AWAY CD.

6. "Put It On Paper"-----Sharnette Hyter featuring Patrick Henry

A stunning cover of the Ann Nesby/Al Green southern soul classic from 2005.

Listen to Sharnette Hyter & Patrick Henry singing "Put It On Paper" on YouTube.

7. "Booty Strut"-----Ms. Jody

Ms. Jody's new dance jam anchors the new Ecko compilation Blues Mix 23: Ultimate Southern Soul.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "Booty Strut" on YouTube.

8. "C'Mon, C'Mon"-----Gentry-Jones

Listen to Gentry-Jones singing "C'Mon, C'Mon" on YouTube.

9. "Trying To Love Two"-----Lady Audrey featuring Rebekah

Listen to Lady Audrey featuring Rebekah singing "Trying To Love 2" on The Boogie Report.

10. "(You Don't Need) No Side Piece"-----D-Whit

Listen to D-Whit singing "No Side Piece" on YouTube.

************ - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------JULY 2017-------

1. "I'm In Love By Myself"-----Peggy Scott-Adams

After a long time away in Gospel, Peggy Scott-Adams was just getting her big toe wet in the southern soul ocean on her last album, the somewhat tentative comeback, Life After Bill. With this single, "I'm In Love By Myself," she comes into her own again, immersing herself totally in the genre. The Queen of Southern Soul we all know and love is back.

Listen to Peggy Scott-Adams singing "I'm In Love By Myself" on YouTube.

2. "3 Rounds"----Tre' Williams

Speaking of comebacks, this is Tre's best performance since The Revelations. This is real southern soul, the way the masters sang it.

Listen to Tre' Williams singing "3 Rounds" on YouTube.

3. "(You Don't Have To Be A) Super Model"-----D-Whit

Powerful debut. Incredibly arranged and performed by a new guy with ultra-unique pipes, it's unfortunate the title ends up glorifying--or at least memorializing--the very super model type the song contradicts in praising the everyday woman.

Listen to D-Whit singing "Super Model" on D Whit Media.

4. "If You Come Back"-----Sebastian

Another impressive new voice, Sebastian Gowdy, delivers an original ballad drenched in traditional southern soul technique, including great female background singing.

Listen to Sebastian singing "If You Come Back" on YouTube.

5. "Caller I.D."-----El' Willie

El' has just recorded the album of his life, to date, with everything finally falling into place for the singer/songwriter who never gave up on pursuing his dream. "Caller I.D." is one of the finest selections among many on The Game Changer.

Listen to El' Willie singing "Caller I.D." on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star "Distinguished Effort" CD review.

6. "Shake Something (Remix)"-----J. Red featuring Columbus Toy & Ms. Lady Blues

J. Red's energy and creativity is hard to top on this overlooked gem recorded in 2016. You could rock and roll your baby--no matter how big--to sleep with the melody line/chorus sung by the inimitable Ms. Lady Blues.

Listen to J. Red & Friends singing "Shake Something (Remix)" on YouTube.

7. "It's The Weekend"---Magic One

One of those T.K. Soul beats, with a simplistic but mesmerizing chord progression slow-rolling by like a sun-speckled stream, sung by one of his most talented protégés, Magic One.

Listen to Magic One singing "It's The Weekend" on YouTube.

8. "Clap Your Hands (Club Mix)"----Kings Of Soul

Sent to me as an mp3 by Christopher Johnson, a Georgia promoter who has worked with Big "Ro" Williams, Jarvis Greene and Arthur Robert Roland, I can't find anything on YouTube for readers to sample. Catchy and memorable.

9. "Slow Motion"----LaMorris Williams

Leave it to LaMorris to pounce on and lavish a new single and video on the one song overlooked by everybody on his album of the year (2016), Mississippi Motown.

Listen to LaMorris William's official new video for "Slow Motion" on YouTube.

10. "Rockin'"----Gentry-Jones featuring Joe Nice

Who knew Gentry-Jones could sing? This one has line-dancers rejoicing across the South.

Listen to Gentry-Jones & Joe Nice singing "Rockin'" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------JUNE 2017-------

1. "Don't Blame It On Jody"-----Adrian Bagher

Like "Stand Up In It" or "My Sidepiece," "Don't Blame It On Jody" proves that lyrics still rule the collective southern soul imagination. And here's the "nitty-grittiest":

"The whole damn time,
It wasn't a man.
It was ol' Sophia,
Down there licking that thing."

The song has captured 150,000 YouTube views in just two months, and the young artist's not being opportunistically sensational, either. From his very first single, "Around The Corner (99 Problems I Can Help You Solve)," Adrian Bagher's been drawn to domestic melodrama like a bumblebee to flowering clover. He's the forgotten Louisiana Blues Brotha (with Pokey Bear and Tyree Neal), and his "Dirty" was Daddy B. Nice's #1 in January (scroll down), making two number-one's in six months.

Listen to the official video of Adrian Bagher singing "Don't Blame It On Jody" on YouTube.

2. "I'm Steppin' Out"----Mr. Campbell

It's a catchy song, and Mr. Campbell's vocal is impressively self-possessed. There's a modest but effective rhythm track to power the seductive groove, and behind that throbs another layer of Chaka Khan "Ain't Nobody"-like rhythm guitar, culminating in a final, celebratory verse with a soaring synth solo.

Listen to Mr. Campbell singing "I'm Steppin' Out" on YouTube.

3. "Bobalagaboom"----Wendell B

I never dreamed I would encounter a totally fresh and dance-inducing take on James Brown at this late date in my life, and to experience it within a southern soul context--sung by a true-blue southern soul singer--is such an unexpected joy! Wendell's vocal is superb, at times almost invisible (“godlike” in the Joycean sense) within the ferociously percussive arrangement. The “bobba-laga-boom” chorus?...Priceless!

4. "Somewhere"-------Uncle Wayne

You can tell Uncle Wayne listens to more urban r&b than southern soul, and even the dazzling final verse is more Boyz 2 Men than Marvin Sease, but the sheer beauty of the melody and the skill of the vocal is hard to resist. Not on Wayne's recently-released The Birth of Hithm & Bluez, "Somewhere" is nevertheless his best yet. By the way, Uncle Wayne's "Red House" was a Best Southern Soul Club Jam nominee way back in 2007.

5. "The Thrill Is Real"-----Sweet Angel

"The Thrill Is Real" reminds me of "The Thrill Is Gone Again," Denise LaSalle's evocative reworking of the B.B. King classic in 2005. These ladies know how to sing the Boss. Sweet Angel's abrupt transition to a reggae interlude, complete with a staccato-flourished saxophone solo, also works to perfection.

Listen to Sweet Angel singing "The Thrill Is Real" on YouTube

Listen to Sweet Angel (poorly miked) singing "The Thrill Is Real" live onstage on YouTube.

6. "She's Knocking At My Door, Ringing My Bell"------Tyree Neal

Can't get enough of the shimmering background instrumentation, at times sounding like steel guitar, at others like reverb'ed acoustic guitar, at others like wind-chimes blowing in a bayou breeze. One of Tyree's best vocals ever.

Listen to Tyree Neal singing "Knocking At My Door, Ringing My Bell" on YouTube

7. "Sidepiece Motel"-------David Brinston

How happy and fulfilled David Brinston sounds on this song and the album of the same name in its entirety--like Rip Van Winkle waking from a refreshing slumber, or like a "Game Of Thrones" king re-occupying his throne.

Listen to David Brinston singing "Sidepiece Motel" on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star review.

8. "I'll Be Your Freak"-----King Fred Hicks

The latest and finest from a unique vocalist who's been on your Daddy B. Nice's radar ever since the intimate "When I Think Of You," first recorded in 2008.

Listen to King Fred Hicks singing "I'll Be Your Freak" on YouTube.

9. "It's Gone Cost You (To Ride This Pony)"-----Miss Portia

A strong and appealing, flamenco-like, acoustic guitar riff, perhaps wielded by Tyree Neal, kicks off this repetitive, in-your-face dance chant by a young lady whose sheer "want-to" grows and transforms in power before your very eyes.

Listen to Miss Portia singing "It's Gone Cost You" on YouTube.

10. "Haters Gone Hate"----Jeter Jones

Charming melody, with sober if not sad, confessional, seemingly-autobiographical lyrics. I'm sure the growing number of Jeter Jones fans will find the official video as fascinating as I did for its boondocks starkness and spookiness. There are literally NO people out anywhere in the extensive outdoors scenes, which is often the case when anomalies (like video shoots) occur in such small, rural enclaves. It's tempting to say the "haters" are hiding in their houses, but that wouldn't be fair.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing "Haters Gone Hate" on YouTube.

************ - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------MAY 2017-------

1. "Mojo Woman" / "You're My Gold"------Joe "Blues" Butler

"Mojo Woman" is a funky blues-slash-southern soul groove. // "You're My Gold" is a melodic anthem to timeless love. Both songs are performed with consummate grit by the 72-year-old Butler fronting a rousing live rhythm section and lead guitar. Leroy Hodges ties weight to those bass notes like he's fishing for catfish with a long leader and sinker.

Listen to Joe "Blues" Butler singing "Mojo Woman" on YouTube.

Listen to Joe "Blues" Butler singing "You're My Gold" on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star CD Review.

2. "All The Time Grooving" / "Love On The Dance Floor"----Lady Di

Now this is a strain of southern soul (Bobbye Johnson, Gina Brown, Renea Mitchell, Lina) we must not lose. Romantic melodies, pop-friendly arrangements, caressing female vocals. It's so hard to get it just right as "southern soul," but Lady Di does here. From her creatively-produced new album, THREE WAY LOVE AFFAIR.

Listen to Lady Di singing "All The Time Grooving" on YouTube.

Listen to Lady Di singing "Love On The Dance Floor" on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice's 4-star CD Review.

3. "I Drinks My Whiskey"-----David Brinston.

Ohhh, David. My-oh-myyy. You haven't sounded this "wasted" in years, and it is a beautiful thing to hear. And just so readers don't get the wrong impression...It takes supreme alertness and the technique of a star to pull off this kind of authentic "oneness" with a song. From Brinston's new album, SIDEPIECE MOTEL.

Listen to David Brinston singing "I Drinks My Whiskey" on YouTube.

4. Trail Ride Certified"----Jeter Jones featuring Crystal Thomas

The infectious title tune of Jeter Jones' exciting new album, TRAILRIDE CERTIFIED.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing "Trailride Certified" on YouTube.

5. "I Wanna Ride It" / "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"-----Sweet Angel

CAN'T WALK AWAY is Sweet Angel's first album in five years--since her deep and mysterious "Mr. Wrong's Gonna Get This Love Tonight."

(Click links in titles to listen.)

6. "If Loving You Is Wrong"----Bigg Robb

Millie Jackson's classic "If Loving You Is Wrong" occasions one of Bigg Robb's most soulful vocals--never mind the vocal enhancer. And when Robb sings the famous couplet "Am I wrong for trying to hold on / To the best sex I ever had?", it's like hearing it for the first time.

Listen to Bigg Robb singing "If Loving You Is Wrong" on YouTube.

7. "I Let A Woman Take My Woman From Me" / "Whine It Up"----Stan Butler

2016's newcomer of the year has recorded three new songs, arguably the best two being a lesbian twist on Peggy Scott-Adam's "Bill"--"I Let A Woman..."--and a shuffling line dance--"Whine It Up"--not to be confused with Carl Marshall's "Wind It Up." (Click links in titles to listen.)

8. "You Do Too"-----Bishop Bullwinkle

One of those sneaky, good-time grooves that just gets better every darned time you listen to it.

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing"You Do Too" on YouTube.

9. "Operator"-----C-Wright featuring Tucka

The simplest and most melodically effective tune from C-Wright's new album, I BLUEZ MYSELF, "Operator" would be the signature song from the set even without guest star Tucka.

Listen to C-Wright singing "Operator" on YouTube.

10. TIE:

"Darkest Hour"----Big G

Listen to Big G singing "Darkest Hour" on YouTube.

"Laundromat Blues"----Pat Cooley

************ - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Send product to:
P.O. Box 19574
Boulder, Colorado 80308

Or e-mail:


*********** - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Send product to:
P.O. Box 19574
Boulder, Colorado 80308

Or e-Mail:




************ - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide



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