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


Daddy B. Nice's Corner

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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May 2, 2017:

41,000 Views In 1st Week!

Watch the official new video of Pokey Bear and Bishop Bullwinkle singing "I Can't Be Faithful" on YouTube.


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. DBN - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

May 1, 2017:

Featured Artists for May 2017:

Big G (New Album Alert),

Sweet Angel (New Album Alert),

Lacee (New Album Alert),

Joe "Blues" Butler (New 4-star CD Review)

(Click here!)

JUST ADDED 5-10-17: Lady Di (New CD Review, New Artist Guide)

(Click here!) - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

April 25, 2017:

"Joe 'Blues' Butler's FULL FIGURED WOMAN is blues even a strictly southern-soul fan can love. From the live, 'black'-sounding instrumentation to the simultaneously laid-back and feisty lead vocals, the album rocks. So move over, Bishop Bullwinkle. There's a new 70-something 'young gun' in town."

See Daddy B. Nice's new CD review. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

April 9, 2017:

"The most disconcerting thing about SWING ON WITH O.B. for a Southern Soul fan and Buchana lover is that it gets you to thinking of the things you DON’T like about O.B.-—the relentless sameness, the limp tempos, the cookie-cutter melodies..."

See Daddy B. Nice's new CD review. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

March 20, 2017:

"My estimation of Jeter Jones’ talent-—his 'gift'-—just shot through the ceiling."

Read Daddy B. Nice’s Review of Jeter Jones’ new TRAILRIDE CERTIFIED CD. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

March 19, 2017:

Chuck Berry, Father Of Us All, Dies:
See New York Times Obituary

The Year In Review / Top 25 Songs Of the Year (Scroll down this page...)

March 1, 2017:

Hot Spot Records' Robert Henderson Jr. Dies

Robert Henderson, Jr., owner of Montgomery, Alabama's indie label Hot Spot Records, passed away last week. The death was first reported by Jerry "Boogie" Mason. Hot Spot Records gained cachet in the last few years for its samplers of little-known southern soul artists. Southern Soul Blues Hot Spot, Vol. 1 (Hot Spot/CDS) featured near-forgotten tracks by Lee Fields, Lee "Shot" Williams, Keri and others. Southern Soul Blues Hot Spot: Volume 2 (Hot Spot/CDS), with contributions from RB & Company, De Carlos Bonds (Billy's son), Pat Brown, Willie B and others, was even more popular. Services for Robert Henderson Jr. will take place 12 Noon, Saturday, March 4th, at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1550 East Washington St., Montgomery, Alabama. (334-265-1807)

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

February 20, 2017:

Daddy B Nice on Stevie J Blues

...Although Bobby Rush-—Stevie’s mentor-—has done just that. Doing blues one album, doing southern soul the next. Also, Theodis Ealey. But Rush and Ealey climbed the rungs of fame by being outrageous, and Stevie hasn’t shown the stomach for that. Fear of ostracism--the ordinary man's kryptonite--the potential real-life shunning by church-going family and peers--may have stranded Stevie J in a kind of southern-soul, bad-boy, career paralysis. (One every southern soul star has had to deal with.)

Listen to Marvin Sease singing "I'm Mr. Jody" on YouTube.

See New CD Reviews! - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

February 1, 2017:

Big Cynthia Passes Away

Big Cynthia (Cynthia Walker) passed away on January 3, 2017. The southern soul performer, although only 47 years old, had recorded for Ace and Avanti in the 90's and a number of different southern soul labels through the first two decades of the 21st Century. The daughter of R&B pioneer Junior Walker, Houston native Cynthia was the quintessential "big woman" of southern soul, renowned for her girth and her many songs extolling the pleasures of being "big." Cynthia had just scored dual #1 Singles at SouthernSoulRnB in December of 2016, with the tunes "Come Saddle Up" and "Swing Out," a still-to-be-released duet with Big Pokey Bear.

--Daddy B. Nice

See more about Big Cynthia's death at Soul Tracks.

See more about Big Cynthia's death at the Big Cynthia Fan Club page.

See Big Cynthia obituary and funeral services information at Houston-Legacy.

Read Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Big Cynthia (21st Century).

Read Daddy B. Nice's original Artist Guide to Big Cynthia (90's to 00's).

See additional appearances of Big Cynthia on the website at Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

January 21, 2017:

Daddy B. Nice Announces THE WINNERS of the 2016 (10th Annual) SOUTHERN SOUL MUSIC AWARDS.

See Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2016. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

January 15, 2017: Notes

Don't forget to watch Nellie "Tiger" Travis's appearance on the Jimmy Fallon "Tonight" Show Wednesday night, January 18th! (See Nellie.) And watch for the pairing of Pokey Bear & Cold Drank with their hot "My Sidepiece" and "Three" singles, touring now! They were up in North Carolina on the 13th to kick off MLK Weekend. See Concert Calendar for upcoming dates. DBN

Watch Cold Drank and Pokey Bear performing "Three" Live.


Daddy B. Nice's 10 Annual Southern Soul Music Awards (click here).

Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul Year In Review: (Scroll down.)


January 5-6-7, 2017:

Counting Down Daddy B. Nice's Top 25 Songs Of 2016. . .

1. "Three"------Cold Drank

"Already got two house notes. / Man, I'm barely getting by." Absolutely the best "Sidepiece" response song ever. At first producer Heavy had trouble persuading Cold Drank to sing it. That is, until he threatened taking the incendiary lyrics to Big Pokey Bear, as he had "Sidepiece" a couple of years before. A masterpiece of atmosphere and compression, "Three" synthesizes so many musical elements into its vertiginous three minutes, it'll be studied by southern soul producers for years to come.

Listen to Cold Drank singing "Three (Got A Wife, The Other Woman & A Sidepiece)" on YouTube.

2. "Why Can't I Be Your Lover?"----O.B. Buchana

O.B.'s breakthrough of the year arrived not on his MISSISSIPPI FOLKS album--which sounds almost archaic by comparison--but on a sweet little Ecko sampler, Blues Mix, Vol. 21: Booty Shakin' Soul, in which southern soul's premier stylist daringly re-invented himself as a simple rock 'n roller over a John Ward backing track that seamlessly integrated a brash zydeco accordion line into a typically infectious Ecko rhythm track. The result was as mesmerizing as a child's lost balloon floating into the sky.

Listen to O.B. Buchana singing "Why Can't I Be Your Lover?" on YouTube.

3. "I'm Concerned"-----LaMorris Williams

Nellie Travis stresses the positive (#18 below) between a couple. Here LaMorris describes the bond of affection between friends. And technically...well, let's not forget this is the singer who held his own with the great Al Green. This is music of a sophistication that transcends the genre.

Listen to LaMorris Williams singing "I'm Concerned" on YouTube.

4. "Boo Thang"------Chris Ardoin

The Cajun button accordion tugs at your heart strings like the memory of your first love, and the winsome melody creeps into your head like the finest, freshest air. Chris Ardoin's crossover hit follows in the sizable footsteps of fellow zydeco artist Keith Frank's southern soul crossover hits "Haterz" and "Cassanova."

Listen to Chris Ardoin singing "Boo Thang (I'm Running Back To You)" on YouTube.

5. "Sneaky Girl"-----Cool Ricky Blues w/ L.J. Echols

A decade ago there was a deserving young singer/songwriter (Ric E. Bluez) who felt overlooked and went away. In 2016 he returned under a new name (Cool Ricky Blues), touting the same, rare, vocal timbre and tone. Southern Soul-man L.J. Echols collaborates on this heart-stirring project.

Listen to Cool Ricky Blues singing "She's A Sneaky Girl" on YouTube.

6. “Trail Ride”-------------Jaye Hammer

This dance-jam anthem by southern soul stud Jaye Hammer represents the cozy marriage of southern soul power and zydeco enthusiasm your Daddy B. Nice has been ringing your bell about. Be happy. Be dancin'. Be delirious. Produced by John Ward.

Listen to Jaye Hammer singing "Trail Ride" on YouTube.

7. "Bootlegger"------Stan Butler

"They say, 'Stan, you know nothing / About this old-school stuff.' / But I know Jill never woulda got pregnant / If Jack never woulda messed with her." Inspired non sequiturs, indelible melodies, authentic vocals, soaring strings and guitar solos...The new kid on the block (Stan Butler) did it all, and this was arguably his best.

Listen to Stan Butler singing "Take Me To The Bootlegger" on YouTube.

8. ”All True Man”------Ms. Jody

Another jewel from her blockbuster CD, I GOT THE FEELING, the ballad "All True Man" (soulfully written by John Cummings, Leo Johnson & John Ward) is the latest foray into southern soul's essential and beloved "country" wing by the hardest-working diva in the business.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing ”All True Man” on YouTube.

9. “Don’t Make Me Do It"-------Mys. Niki (latterly Nikita)

Artists looking for that “sweet spot” of southern soul should track down the guitarist who laid down this five-star guitar lick. The young songstress Nikita Randle, formerly known as Mys. Niki ("Rules To The Game"), now bills herself as "Nikita."

Listen to Mys. Niki singing “Don’t Make Me Do It” on Spreaker/YouTube.

10. "Do You Think About Me?"------Wendell B. featuring Lacee

Slow jam city, baby. Barry White style. The instrumental track is like a mattress of sound you want to jump into and bury yourself. Wendell B has quietly become one of the foremost vocalists in all of R&B--and without losing his southern soul!

Listen to Wendell B. and Lacee singing "Do You Think About Me?" on YouTube.

11. "My Man Is A Full Grown Dawg"------Jesi Terrell

"He even chased my best friend / Who I thought was a friend for life." Best thing to come out of indie label Sound Mindz Records in years, or at least since Jesi's own "Love Mechanic" in 2012.

Listen to Jesi Terrell singing "My Man Is A Full Grown Dawg" on YouTube.

12. "When She Said Good-Bye"--------Tucka

With echoes of Roy C's "Morning Train," "When She Said Good-Bye" marks a new direction--rougher and more syncopated--for the brilliant Tucka, whose "Sweet Shop" sound has already blazed a new sub-genre of southern soul.

Listen to Tucka singing "When She Said Good-Bye" on YouTube.

13. "The Three Of Me"-------William Bell

This is where southern soul began, Stax Records, and William Bell was there then and he's here now, with a great new album, THIS IS WHERE I LIVE, and a single for the ages.

Listen to William Bell singing "The Three Of Me" on YouTube.

14. "Let Me Know"-------LaMorris Williams

Staggeringly original, with the sparkling, pristine quality of T.K. Soul's "Now This Is A Party (For The Grown Folks)." Here you get a true glimpse of what LaMorris is trying to do--forge a new amalgam of southern soul and hiphop/urban, with the emphasis on southern soul, of course.

Listen to LaMorris Williams singing "Let Me Know" on YouTube.

15. "Third Of The Month"------Stan Butler

A rhythm guitarist's dream from the unknown Georgia youngster who charted no less than four singles here in the course of 2016, not including his novelty YouTube sensation, "I Took My Grandma To The Club."

Listen to Stan Butler singing "Third Of The Month" on YouTube.

16. "I Got The Feeling"----Ms. Jody

Ms. Jody at her best. She'll be opening concerts with this gem, the title cut of her masterpiece of a new album. The instrumental track by Ecko Records' John Ward is taking no prisoners, steamrolling everything in its path.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "I Got The Feeling" on YouTube

17. "Dump Truck"-----Luster Baker

Brother of Vickie Baker, one of contemporary southern soul's iconic originals, Luster Baker (aka Mr. Juicy) has only begun to tap his limitless potential with this new southern soul double-entendre.

Listen to Luster Baker singing "Dump Truck" on YouTube.

18. "All The Lovers In The House"-----Nellie "Tiger" Travis

A Southern Soul vocal just doesn't get any better. Nellie transforms this flowery, Floyd Hamberlin-produced ballad into an anthem so powerful you can visualize how it's going to play out in concert, with the fans all swaying slowly from side to side with their hands in the air.

Listen to Nellie "Tiger" Travis singing"All The Lovers In The House" on YouTube.

19. "Lord, I Need To Talk To You"---------------J-Wonn

The best thing about this prayer-slash-meditation? It doesn't appear to be a conscious attempt to record a gospel song, which would have added a layer of artifice, however transparent. No, this is simply a song from J'Wonn's innermost soul, like "I Got This Record."

Listen to J'Wonn singing "Lord, I Need To Talk To You" on YouTube.

20. "Better Thangs"-----Adrena

From Adrena's terrific, Mike Darden-produced album BETTER DAYS, the relationship-ending "Better Thangs" sounds simultaneously classic-old-school and girl-next-door fresh. "Was I asking too much of you, babe?"

Listen to Adrena singing "Better Thangs" on YouTube.

21. "Just Say The Word (Remix)"--------Big G

Big G's back with SATISFACTION GUARANTEED, his best collection in years, featuring the nine-minute classic southern soul ballad, "Just Say The Word," as deep and satisfying as Carl Sims' "I'm Trapped."

Listen to Big G singing "Just Say The Word (Remix)" on YouTube

22. "I Need A Grown Woman"-----J-Wonn

Jackson, Mississippi's phenomenal young singer/writer/producer does what chitlin' circuit veterans thought impossible: he makes southern soul accessible to the young, in the process demolishing the old critical "truism" that southern soul would die with its aging audience. From his new sophomore CD, THE LEGACY BEGINS.

Listen to J'Wonn singing "I Need A Grown Woman" on YouTube.

23. "Get On Up"-----Sonny Mack

When the title track from Memphis guitarist/singer/writer Sonny Mack's new, John Ward-produced "GET ON UP" CD rears up from the stereo system with its disco-ey beat and sinuous melody line, the energy charge is like sparks flying from a jumper cable touching a battery post.

Listen to Sonny Mack singing "Get On Up" on YouTube.

24. "Enjoy Yourself"-------J. Red (The Nephew)

The sky's the limit for this consummate young songwriter/producer who broke into the southern soul market as Theodis ("Stand Up In It") Ealey's "nephew." His powerful pipes already put him on the elite level of southern soul vocalists.

Listen to J. Red singing "Enjoy Yourself" on YouTube.

25."Come Saddle Up"-------Big Cynthia

The daughter of Junior Walker and current godmother to the Louisiana southern soul scene was recording for Avanti and Ace way back in the 90's. Beat Flippa and Tyree Neal contribute the marvelously-syncopated instrumental track. "I ain't tough," Big Cynthia sings, "but I was built to last."

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Come Saddle Up" on YouTube. - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

January 1, 2017:

2016: The Year In Southern Soul

Everything seemed to come in threes in 2016. The number held some magical sway. Three dynamos of southern soul--one a performer, the other two producers--left us. And by way of explanation, in southern soul and southern blues we begin with the obituaries not out of any morbidity but because the so-called "white" mainstream "loves" its blues only after a black musician has been dead for a couple of generations. Then and only then are they raised out of anonymity into unqualified renown: it has always been so.

First was Otis Clay, the great Chicago R&B vocalist who, along with Syl Johnson, Tyrone Davis and Cicero Blake defined Chicago blues and soul singing. Late in life, his duets with Uvee Hayes stirred southern soul fans with their grit, heart and authenticity.

Second was the great Jackson, Mississippi composer/producer Harrison Calloway, the grand master of Mississippi blues and southern soul, whose credits would fill pages of this website. Spanning both Johnnie Taylor's and Floyd Taylor's generations, he worked with literally everyone in the industry from his niche at Malaco Records and beyond.

Third, and least well known, was Chicago-based Leo Graham, longtime songwriter/producer for the voluminous Tyrone Davis, whose many styles and chitlin' circuit hits bore Graham's deft touch and were among the most influential in southern soul.

"Three" also popped up often in the year's music. Stax legend William Bell recorded a much-acclaimed CD and single, "The Three Of Me," in which the gentle stylist sang:

"Last night I had a dream
And there were three of me.
There was the man I was,
The man I am,
And the man I want to be."

Then there was Stan Butler, the young "phenom" who came out of nowhere with a string of rhythmic singles, none more beguiling than "The Third Of The Month," dedicated to "all of the old school players out there who get their check on the first and the third of the month." Butler ended the year sharing the bill with southern soul star T.K. Soul.

Finally, and most dramatically, there was "Three," the astounding southern soul debut by Cold Drank.

"I used to have two.
Now I'm taking care of three,
Got a wife,
The other woman,
And a sidepiece."

Written and produced by Charles Lewis (aka Heavy), the young composer/producer responsible for Pokey Bear's "My Sidepiece," itself the biggest chitlin' circuit smash since Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In It," "Three" was the latest bombshell from Baton Rouge's boiling cauldron of contemporary southern soul (Beat Flippa, Pokey Bear, Tyree Neal, etc.)

Not much--or "light" fare--from some of southern soul's "big guns," however: Sir Charles Jones, T.K. Soul, L.J. Echols, Bigg Robb, Vick Allen, Karen Wolfe and Willie Clayton. T.K. Soul put much energy into producing new artists. Denise LaSalle was hospitalized but, ever indomitable, bounced back by year's end.

Clarence Carter and Latimore appeared to stop touring. Willie Clayton limited his appearances, as did Roy C, Theodis Ealey and Shirley Brown. Still going strong, however, was the indefatigable Bobby Rush. And touring more--gigging seemingly everywhere--were the charismatic new stars like Pokey Bear, J-Wonn and Big Yayo, alongside the (now) veterans like Sir Charles, T.K. and Vick Allen.

Women came back from an off-year in 2015, and none more so than Ms. Jody, with a tremendous album--I Got The Feeling--consolidating her claim to being southern soul's number-one diva. Nellie "Tiger" Travis returned with a Floyd Hamberlin-produced ballad, "All The Lovers In The House," with the lyric:

"I love a man
Who puts it in the garage
All night long."

Adrena wowed fans with a superlative new album, Better Days. Vicksburg's Nikita Randle, formerly known as Mys. Niki--now Nikita--put out two of the finest singles of the year: "Rules To The Game" and "Don't Make Me Do It." Crystal Thomas and Ms. Mini made strong debuts. And Jesi Terrell had a hit single--charted first here--with "My Man Is A Full Grown Dog."

Other women making contributions in 2016 were Stephanie McDee ("If You Lay, You Gone Pay"), Lady Di ("Love Don't Owe Nothing"), Duchess Jureesa McBride ("Personal Love Vendetta"), Rosalyn Candy ("Timeless Soul Music Never Dies") and Memphis veteran Sheba Potts-Wright's anthem "Big Hand Man" ("A man with little hands/Can't give me enough") was fondly remembered at one point in future-president Donald Trump's campaign.

Longtime vet Big Cynthia scored double # 1 singles at year's end with "Come Saddle Up" and "Swing Out," a duet with Pokey, and overlooked, relatively new female artists like Sharnette Hyter and Summer Wolfe emerged. Dallas soul singer Lady Soul ("Lady Soul Slide") returned with a strong outing, "Tighten Up," on Beat Flippa's (Daniel Ross's) new sampler, and Mystery Lady's hilarious novelty hit, "He Caught Me With The Wrong Drawers On" was resurrected.

Jackson, Mississippi's Katrenia Jefferson, southern soul's female-gender doppelganger to Lenny Williams, crushed airplay in southern Alabama with her single "Living A Lie." The talented Shay Denise put out a potent tune, "A Man's World (But Women Run It)," and Toia Jones sexed it up with "You Can Get It."

Collaborations rolled out, among them: O.B. Buchana and Mr. Sam's "I Tiptoed In It," Sir Charles Jones and Karen Wolfe's "You Think I'm Wrong (I Think I'm Right)," Denise Lasalle and Karen Wolfe's vintage acoustic blues, "Shake A Little Something," Cool Ricky Blues and L.J. Echols' "Sneaky Girl," and--recreating the atmosphere of the late Barry White--Wendell B. and Lacee's "Do You Think About Me?"

Mr. David did a southern soul send-off of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" called "Knock The Fire" (but didn't publish it for obvious copyright reasons). J-Wonn recorded a heartfelt gospel song called "Lord, I Need To Talk To You" in addition to publishing his sophomore CD. And no sketch of 2016 would be complete without mention of the stone-cold masterpiece of a CD, "Mississippi Motown," put out by southern soul's bad-boy genius, LaMorris Williams.

YouTube continued its rise as the defacto radio of southern soul, aided in ever-more-prominent form by YouTube's mixtape deejays, among them Frederick Geason, Mr. Melvin, DJ Bubba Yae, Marvelous Mark and DJ Whaltbabieluv.

Making discreet returns were Ric E. Blues under the new name Cool Ricky Blues, and Luther Lackey, who told your Daddy B. Nice the octave-lower, gospel-drenched background singer on songs like "I Don't Want To Be Alone" is actually himself, saving a buck!

Finally, Zydeco continued to influence and infiltrate southern soul, with none other than traditionalist Ecko Records' John Ward picking up tricks from newbies like Baton Rouge producer Beat Flippa (last year's winner) and giving strong proof for producer of the year. Ward incorporated the cajun-style button accordion into percolating fast jams by Jaye Hammer, ("Trail Ride") and O.B. Buchana ("Why Can't I Be Your Lover"). And on the other side, zydeco's Chris Ardoin (following in Keith Frank's footsteps) moved ever closer to a zydeco-southern soul hybrid with the rhapsodic "Boo Thang."

Here's an approximate list of the year's CD's, many reviewed here, to which your Daddy B. Nice's gives special kudos in these CD-challenged times:

Tucka Long Live The King
T.K. Soul The Legacy
Bigg Robb Got My Whiskey
Big Yayo Southern Classic
Beat Flippa I Got The Blues Vol. 2
J-Wonn The Legacy Begins
Napoleon Demps Presents
Big Poppa G I Believe
Crystal Thomas Lyrical Gumbo
David Brinston Back Seat Rider
Donnie Ray Two Way Love Affair
J. Red Soul Certified
Jeter Jones Da GQ Country Boy
Duchess Jureesa McBride Personal Love Vendetta
Lady Di Love Don't Owe Me Nothing
LaMorris Williams Mississippi Motown
Ms. Jody I Got The Feeling
Pokey Bear Mr. It Ain't Fair
O.B. Buchana Mississippi Folks
Ricky White Love Zone
Rosalyn Candy Timeless Soul Music Never Dies
Big G Satisfaction Guaranteed
Sonny Mack Get On Up
Bobby Conerly The Best Of
Adrena Better Days
Wendell B The Next 1
Stevie J Back 2 Blues

More great quotations from the songs of the year:

Knick-knack, paddy whack,
I think something’s wrong.
I’m in love with a woman,
I think she’s doing me wrong.
(“Sneaky Girl” Cool Ricky Blues)

“What about me?
What about your babies?...
What are you saying?”
“I’m saying….
I used to have two.
Now I’ve taking care of three.
Got a wife, the other woman,
and a sidepiece.”
“…Don’t say no more.
I ain’t no fool!”
(“Three” Cold Drank)

Then I met a man,
And his name was Bill.
And all he wanted
Was just one more cheap thrill.
Then I met another man
And his name was Ray.
And he was just looking
For somewhere to stay.
Now that kind of action
Just won’t do.
(“All True Man” Ms. Jody)

I tried to leave her many times before
And every time I leave,
I walk back for more…
It’s like porcupine meat,
Too fat to eat,
Too lean to throw away.
(“Porcupine Meat” Bobby Rush)

--Daddy B. Nice

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

Product, comments, information or questions for Daddy B. Nice?

Write to



December 17, 2016:

Daddy B. Nice’s “Village Voice” Music Critics Poll 2016 Ballot (w/ YouTube Links Added)

New York City’s “Village Voice” is one of the nation’s first and undoubtedly the most renowned “alternative” weekly newspaper in the country. Daddy B. Nice’s “Village Voice” picks for “Top Ten Singles” and “Top Ten CD’s” are geared to the national audience and are not limited strictly to 2016 releases. Although their break-out seasons in the southern soul world, aka the chitlin’ circuit, may have come before 2016, much of the nation is only now hearing trickles of this music, if any. For instance, Big Pokey Bear’s “Sidepiece” is only now peaking in Chicago. It would be a misfortune if the first glimmers of southern soul on the national stage had no reference points on this list. Southern Soul veterans and fans will see it for what it is: a sprinkling of the recent classic (old) and new. Results will be published in print and online in the Village Voice’s January 25, 2017 issue.

Top Ten Singles

“My Sidepiece” The Louisiana Blues Brothas featuring Big Pokey Bear
From The Louisiana Blues Brothas’ LOVE ON THE BAYOU (Ross Music)
DBN: With an intensity and power not heard since the late Reggie P., Pokey sings "Sidepiece" like a hound baying at a treed coon.

Listen to Pokey Bear singing "My Sidepiece" on YouTube.

“Hell Naw To The Naw Naw Naw” Bishop Bullwinkle
YouTube Only
DBN: Once in awhile, a song comes along that makes everyone feel like they've been creating inside a "box". Listen to "retired preacher" Bullwinkle's full story in the song. You'll understand his anger and passion, and you'll realize he's following in the huge footprints of Clarence Carter, Poonanny, Marvin Sease and Bobby Rush.

Listen to Bishop Bullwinkle singing "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" on YouTube.

“I Got This Record” J-Wonn
From J-Wonn’s I GOT THIS RECORD (Saviour Music)
DBN: Sensitivity off the charts. A stunning debut, and a home-run arrangement from the young producer of the moment, Big Yayo. "I Got This Record” is J-Wonn's coming-out party, dramatic enough to recall Sir Charles Jones' "Friday" and LaMorris Williams' "Impala".

Listen to J-Wonn singing "I Got This Record" on YouTube.

“Three (Got A Wife, The Other Woman & A Sidepiece)” Cold Drank
From Go Legal Entertainment
DBN: A masterpiece of compression and atmosphere by the composer/producer of “My Sidepiece,” Heavy. Absolutely the best "Sidepiece" response song ever.

Listen to Cold Drank singing "Three” on YouTube.

“Hey Mr. Sexy Man” Nellie “Tiger” Travis
From Nellie “Tiger” Travis’s MR. SEXY MAN (Wind Chime Records)
DBN: "Heyyyyy... Mister Sexy Man, What Yo Name Is? What Yo Name Is?.....Proving once again that good English grammar ("What is your name?") just doesn't (don't?) make sense in the world of blues.

Listen to Nellie “Tiger” Travis singing "Hey Mr. Sexy Man" on YouTube.

“I Need A Cowgirl” Big Yayo featuring J-Wonn & T-Baby
From Big Yayo’s SOUTHERN CLASSIC (Saviour Music)
DBN: Southern Soul electronica, baby. The Chitlin' Circuit's #1 dance jam over the last two years.

Listen to Big Yayo singing "Cowgirl" on YouTube.

“Why Can’t I Be Your Lover?” O.B. Buchana
DBN: Accompanied by an infectious cajun accordion, Southern Soul's premier stylist re-invents himself and his vocal style. Bulletin to the world: southern soul and zydeco are merging like incestuous siblings.

Listen to O.B. Buchana singing "Why Can’t I Be Your Lover" on YouTube.

“Boo Thang (I'm Running Back To You)” Chris Ardoin
From Chris Ardoin’s ZYDEKO FEVER (Maison de Soul Records)
DBN: This is a southern soul song with zydeco accompaniment and timing: you can almost imagine it in reggae if the timing were even slower. I love the way the button accordion tugs at my heart strings like an Argentinean tango.

Listen to Chris Ardoin singing "Boo Thang" on YouTube.

“Do You Think About Me?” Wendell B. featuring Lacee
From Wendell B’s THE NEXT 1 (Wendell Brown / Smoothway Music )
DBN: Slow jam city, baby, Barry White-style. The instrumental track is like a mattress of sound you want to jump into and bury yourself. Worthy to be played with Luther Vandross' Think About You."

Listen to Wendell B. & Lacee singing "Do You Think About Me?" on YouTube.

“The Guitar Song” --- LaMorris Williams
From Lamorris Williams’ Mississippi Motown (Lamorris Williams/ Rockslandon Entertainment )
DBN: Just when we'd begun to overlook him with the emergence of even younger new stars like J'Wonn, Tucka and Pokey, LaMorris reminds us of why we thought he was such a unique vocalist when he hit the scene.

Listen to LaMorris Williams singing "The Guitar Song" on YouTube.

Top Ten CD’s

LaMorris Williams --- Mississippi Motown (LaMorris Williams/ Rockslandon Entertainment )
DBN: Here you get a true glimpse of what LaMorris is trying to do--forge a new amalgam of southern soul and hiphop/urban R&B.

Listen to LaMorris Williams singing "Let Me Know" on YouTube.

William Bell --- This Is Where I Live (Stax Records)
DBN: So glad William Bell is recording, both for the pleasure of listening to his pure southern soul voice and accomplished sound but also for the example he sets the new generation of southern soul artists who will steer better for his shining beacon.

Listen to William Bell singing "The Three Of Me" on YouTube.

Various Artists --- Beat Flippa: I Got The Blues Vol. 1 (Ross Music/Music Access)
DBN: Baton Rouge-based Beat Flippa, Heavy, Pokey Bear, Tyree Neal et. al. have revolutionized contemporary southern soul with their simultaneously hiphop-savvy and bluesy sound and their chitlin’ circuit-steeped wit.

Listen to Pokey Bear, Adrian Bagher & Vince Hutchison singing "(Thank God It’s Friday) T.G.I.F." on YouTube.

Bigg Robb --- Showtime (Robbmusic / Over25sound)
DBN: The real mainstream in southern soul at the moment is a kind of Bigg Robb-derived, hiphop-influenced production. Here’s the bass-heavy template.

Listen to Bigg Robb singing "Good Good" on YouTube.

Adrena --- Better Days (Bone 40 Records)
DBN: Adrena's wispy alto-soprano annoys you with its amateurism even as it beckons you with its earnestness, Her vocals may not warrant putting her on the lofty level of stylists like Ms. Jody and Karen Wolfe, but your Daddy B. Nice would be hard-pressed to say they ever put out an album as good as this one.

Listen to Adrena singing "Better Thangs" on YouTube.

Tucka --- Long Live The King (Groove City Music)
DBN: Does the Deity have a pipeline to Tucka? He is like Cupid brought to real life. But then, we already have a Cupid, don’t we?

Listen to Tucka singing "When She Said Good-Bye" on YouTube.

Bobby Rush --- Porcupine Meat (Rounder)
DBN: Bobby Rush is the only guy your Daddy B. Nice would fall to his knees in the “face Mecca” position and chant, “I am not worthy, I am not worthy,” even as he chattered utter nonsense.

Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Porcupine Meat" on YouTube.

Ms. Jody --- I Got The Feeling (Ecko Records)
DBN: With this outing Ms. Jody consolidates her claim to being contemporary southern soul's number one diva. P.S. I had a reverie the other day of Ms. Jody recording Lesley Gore's rock and roll classic, "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)". Maybe she'll do it in concert?

Listen to Ms. Jody singing "All True Man" on YouTube.

J-Wonn --- The Legacy Begins (I Got This Record Publishing)
DBN: J’Wonn does what old-timers thought impossible: he makes the music accessible to the young, in the process demolishing the old critical "truism" that southern soul would die with its aging audience.

Listen to J-Wonn singing "I Need A Grown Woman" on YouTube.

Willie Clayton --- Heart And Soul (Endzone Entertainment)
Given the obscurity of the genre, the remaking of southern soul classics--in this case, "Your Man Is Home Tonight," the Tony Troutman song popularized by Artie “Blues Boy” White--makes super sense, and to hear a master vocalist like Willie Clayton playin’ on the sophisticated texture of the guitars, a “wall of sound,” is worth the price of admission.

Listen to Willie Clayton singing "Your Man Is Home Tonight" on YouTube.

--Daddy B. Nice


************ - 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. . .

-------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

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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. (No YouTube or Download)

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

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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

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P.O. Box 19574
Boulder, Colorado 80308

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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

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 William Bell singing "Born Under A Bad Sign" 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

A 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 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------DECEMBER 2016-------

1."Come Saddle Up" / "Swing Out"-------Big Cynthia / Big Cynthia featuring Pokey Bear

Cynthia never met a note she wanted to bend, which has arguably limited her appeal over the years. One of the longest-tenured artists in southern soul, this daughter of Junior Walker and current godmother to the Louisiana southern soul scene was recording for Avanti and Ace in the 90's. I succumbed to "Saddle Up" after a couple of plays. The energy is too electric to do without. And man-of-the-moment Big Pokey joins Cynthia on "Swing Out," submitting an especially "grainy" and vintage-sounding vocal. (No You-Tube as of this posting.)

Listen to Big Cynthia singing "Come Saddle Up" on YouTube.

2. "Do You Think About Me?"------Wendell B. featuring Lacee

Slow jam city, baby. The instrumental track is like a mattress of sound you want to jump into and bury yourself. Wendell B has quietly become one of the foremost vocalists in all of R&B--and without losing his southern soul! Lacee's terrific. Check out the poignant, Ms. Tabatha-like guitar. Worthy to be played with Luther Vandross' "Think About You."

Listen to Wendell B. and Lacee singing "Do You Think About Me?" on YouTube.

3. "All The Lovers In The House"-----Nellie "Tiger" Travis

If this song hadn't come from composer/producer Floyd Hamberlin, I might not have made it past the first few bars: flowery and flaccid, hinting of elevator music. Then Nellie starts singing. A Southern Soul vocal just doesn't get any better. She transforms it into an anthem so powerful you can visualize how it's going to play out in concert, with the fans all swaying slowly from side to side with their hands in the air. It's so positive--full of warmth, love and community. Check out the early Sir Charles Jones production effects.

Listen to Nellie "Tiger" Travis singing"All The Lovers In The House" on YouTube.

4. "Nobody"-----El' Willie

Ever wonder what Willie would sound like on a professionally-produced record? Pretty impressive, as it turns out. Willie told me he sent me the wrong mix, and I said, "No, you didn't." A long, leisurely, Herbie Hancock-ish, instrumental intro leads into El's intimate, velvet-baritone vocal, and it's worth the wait--justified in the way you would wait to be ushered into a bishop's inner chambers. Reminscent of the jazz/blues of Charles Brown.

Listen to El' Willie singing "Nobody" on YouTube.

5. "(They Say I'm) Classy"----Sharnette Hyter

Another find for Daniel Ross (Beat Flippa) and the Baton Rouge-based Ross Music Group, Sharnette Hyter is too good to ignore, and surrounded by Beat Flippa's richly-textured production, she comes across like a tough and passionate southern soul diva.

Listen to Sharnette Hyter singing "Classy" on YouTube.

6. "I Don't Want To Be Alone"-----Luther Lackey

Temperamental. Paranoid. Vacillates between music and comedy. Quits, comes back. We can only hope that Luther Lackey's bleeding-ulcer-like, perennial dissatisfaction with southern soul flows into a cauldron of creativity, because the gentleman is a musical genius, as attested to by this amazing new tune, which harks back to the seminal, early-century southern soul work of producer Senator Jones at Mardi Gras and Hep'Me Records, gospel ensembles and choruses with a hint of singing-cowboys, a beautiful and almost forgotten direction for the music.

Listen to Luther Lackey singing "I Don't Want To Be Alone" on YouTube.

7. "I Ain't Gettin' That Shit"-----Stevie J.

Welcome to southern soul punk rock. I can't imagine fans NOT dancing to this steamrolling slice of blues. From Stevie J's newest, Back 2 Blues.

Listen to Stevie J. singing "I Ain't Gettin' That" on YouTube

8. "I'm Taking It To My Grave"-----J-Wonn

The most southern soul track from J-Wonn's surprisingly pop-ish, new THE LEGACY BEGINS CD.

Listen to J'Wonn singing "Taking It To My Grave" on YouTube.

9. "Zydeco Blues & Trail Ride" (ZBT Anthem)-----Ross Music Group (Pokey Bear, Crystal Thomas, Jeter Jones, Ms. Portia

Late-breaking with a bullet.

Listen to RMG singing "ZBT Anthem" on YouTube.

10. "BYOB Party"----Tre' Williams featuring Jerry Flood

Humble but durable tune to close out the last chart spot of 2016. Full of realistic details like...

"I don't want anyone I don't know
Sitting at my table..."

Listen to Tre' Williams singing "BYOB Party" on YouTube.

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

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

-------NOVEMBER 2016-------

1. ”Preacher Was A Home Wrecker”-----Stan Butler

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.

Listen to Stan Butler singing ”Preacher Was A Home Wrecker” on YouTube.

2. ”All True Man”------Ms. Jody

I once criticized an approximation of the background vocal of this song’s chorus, in another Ecko-produced single, as “nerdy” and maybe even, God forbid, “white,” but here—-vocally-enhanced--it’s perfect, joining a guitar riff of mesmerizing simplicity and a typically soulful lead vocal, just “another day at the office” for Ms. Jody. And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the second verse swings open the gates to Soul Heaven with these simple but somehow indelible lines:

“Then I met this man/ And his name was Bill/ And all he wanted/ Was just one more cheap thrill./ Then I met another man/ And his name was Ray/ And he was just looking/ For somewhere to stay.”

Listen to Ms. Jody’s ”All True Man” on YouTube.

Buy Ms. Jody’s “All True Man” single or I GOT THE FEELING CD at iTunes.

3. "The Thrill Is Gone"------Gene “Poo Poo Man” Anderson

The P-Funk All-Stars alumnus drops a slinky, irresistible, quasi-blues-quasi-funk-quasi-alternative tune on the southern soul circuit. The torrid rhythm track reminds me of the theme from a new, pretty obscure “Adult Swim” (Brad Neeley) cartoon on the Cartoon Channel, in which the animated lead character dances to this beat. Pity there’s no YouTube.

11/12/16 Update: Here's the newly-posted YouTube link: Listen to Poo Poo Man singing "The Thrill Is Gone" on YouTube.

4. ”If You Lay, You Gone Pay”-----Stephanie McDee

Stephanie takes what’s essentially a “lounge” song (the melody could be from any era of cabaret) and transforms it into an up-to-date, gritty, street-wise manifesto on sexual relations. “I’m a good woman, and you’re a no good man.” That says it all, especially when Stephanie is singing (growling) it.

Listen to Stephanie McDee singing “If You Lay, You Gone Pay” on You Tube.

Listen to Stephanie McDee introducing her new single and upcoming album on You Tube.

5. ”24/7”----------J-Wonn

Should this song (with a real sax, by the way) be #1, not #5? Some deejays might argue a new single from Southern Soul’s “young gun,” coinciding with the release of a new album, deserves as much, and the question itself implies the respect your Daddy B. Nice has for this wunderkind of southern soul music. And how can you criticize a young artist for singing about young topics (infatuation with a new lover)? But we are miles from the celestial heights of J’Wonn’s classic, ”I Got This Record.”

Although songs like “24/7” and “Daddy’s Girl” are creating a new generation of young southern soul fans, I can’t help comparing these tunes to the similarly light-weight, borderline-fluffy, follow-up efforts of LaMorris Williams—“Pretty Lady,” etc.--to his breakthrough classic, “Impala.” I hope to see J-Wonn rediscover the ageless depth and soulfulness of “I Got This Record” in the same way LaMorris eventually did with this year’s classic album, Mississippi Motown.

Listen to J-Wonn singing “24/7” on YouTube.

Buy J’Wonn’s “24/7” mp3 or THE LEGACY BEGINS CD at iTunes.

6. “Shake What Your Mama Gave You”-----J. Red featuring Willie Hill

Willie Hill, one of the great, under-appreciated vocalists of southern soul, is in top form on this J. Red record. Terrific bridge.

Listen to J. Red & Willie Hill singing “Shake What Your Mama Gave You.”

Buy J.Red’s/Willie Hill’s “Shake What Your Mama Gave You” mp3 or J. Red The Nephew & Friends CD.

7. ”Charlie Horse” -------Cupid featuring Dana Jackson

One of Cupid’s best and most melodic.

Listen to Cupid & Dana Jackson singing ”Charlie Horse” on YouTube.

8. "Shothouse Blues"------Toia Jones

A new one, in the Bigg Robb style, from the songstress who gave us last winter's "You Can Get It" (DBN's Top 10, #6 January 16).

9. “Sit Down On It (Remix)” -------------Mr. X

This old (2008-2010) “minor” classic (which sounds better than ever) came through the mail with the announcement that it had made the ITUNES 'NEW BLUES CHART @ #78' (OCT. 8, 2016). I had never heard of this chart, so I checked it out, too late--evidently--to find Mr. X still charting, but I always encourage southern soul producers to recycle their "hits," given the limited exposure of the chitlin' circuit. The iTunes chart is fascinating because it is based on up-to-the moment sales of "blues" tunes--old and new--including a constantly-changing (and very encouraging) sprinkling of southern soul standards ("Hole In The Wall," "My Sidepiece," etc.).

Listen to Mr. X singing “Sit Down On It (Remix)” on YouTube.

10. "Dance The Night Away (Remix)"-----Snatch Nelson

A rare recording from the singer who gave us "Ride It Like A Pony" in 2007.

Listen to Snatch Nelson singing "Dance The Night Away (Remix)" on YouTube.

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

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P.O. Box 19574
Boulder, Colorado 80308

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

-------OCTOBER 2016---------

1. "Sneaky Girl"-----Cool Ricky Blues w/ L.J. Echols

Authentic yet restrained emotion. A lead vocal boasting a rare, gratifying timbre and tone. And aiding Cool Ricky Blues with a back-up vocal and arrangement emphasizing the "one-and-TWO-and" sweet-spot of southern soul he knows so well: L.J. Echols.

Listen to Cool Ricky Blues singing "She's A Sneaky Girl" on YouTube.

Buy Cool Ricky Blues' "Sneaky Girl" single from his new A FRESH BOWL OF SOUL CD at CD Baby.

2. "Porcupine Meat"----Bobby Rush

Who says "slow" doesn't "swing"? Published by straight-blues label Rounder (a first for Rush), the promotional copies may not be flowing to the usual chitlin' circuit deejays, but that doesn't mean we can't partake. As legendary deejays like Ragman at Jackson, Mississippi's WMPR have long schooled us, you can't have your southern soul without a little blues, be it Albert King, B.B. King, Little Milton or Bobby Rush. Vasti Jackson's on lead guitar, Rush on his signature mouth harp.

Listen to Bobby Rush singing "Porcupine Meat" on YouTube.

Buy Bobby Rush's "Porcupine Meat" single from his new PORCUPINE MEAT CD at Amazon.

3. "Boo Thang"-----X-Man Parker

"Boo Thang" is a smashing comeback for the Ultimate Southern Soul alumnus. Yes, X-Man was there when Senator Jones gave "birth" to contemporary southern soul, thanks to Sir Charles Jones and The Love Doctor.

Listen to X-Man Parker singing "Boo Thang" (the official video) on YouTube.

4. "That Act Right"------Miss Mini

The best of the crop of new dance singles by female artists. Good groove, well-sung, written and produced by Mike Darden, who was a major collaborator on Adrena's recent, successful album.

Listen to Miss Mini singing "That Act Right" on YouTube.

5. "Catch A Groove (Dancing Shoes)"-----Christopher La'Mont

It's hiphop--I don't deny it. But what a hook. And the lyrics, well, they're steeped in southern soul and eventually win you over.

"...Listen to some southern soul and old school..."

Listen to Christopher La'Mont singing "Dancing Shoes" on YouTube.

6. "Them Country Girls"------Jeter Jones w/ Crystal Thomas

Jeter Jones is another vocalist with a unique and pleasing timbre, and Crystal Thomas delivers one of her most original vocals yet. Beat Flippa on the production.

Listen to Jeter Jones & Crystal Thomas singing "Them Country Girls" on YouTube.

Buy the Jeter Jones/Crystal Thomas "Them Country Girls" single on the BEAT FLIPPA VOL. 2 album at iTunes.

7. "Cowgirl Remix"------Big Yayo, J'Wonn & Rosalyn Candy

The Rosalyn Candy verse is good, but the show-stopper is the Ray Charles "Hit The Road Jack" verse by Big Yayo.

Listen to "Behind The Cowgirl" Remix with Big Yayo on YouTube

8. "Get Freaky In The Club"-----Avail Hollywood

Brand new single--an erotic ballad--from Hollywood showcasing superb writing, vocal and production.

9. "Love After Hours"-----Tony Tatum

The production skills are still rough, but the inspiration and creativity behind the material signal a potential Jeff Floyd-like star in the making.

Listen to Tony Tatum singing "Love After Hours" on YouTube.

10. "Don't Wanna Lose My Baby"-----Coupe DeVille

A new singer with a name like a vintage car, produced by T.K. Soul with lavish attention to detail.

*********** - 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
******** - 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:






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