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


 

Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews

May 12, 2019:

O.B. BUCHANA: Face Down (Ecko) Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

The first draft of this review started out as a 3-star rating. I noted that Parking Lot Love Affair, O.B.'s 2018 album, received a five-star ranking, while Face Down, O.B.'s new 2019 offering, disappointed by comparison.

At first I fixated negatively on the introductory song. Too often the sole function of the opening tracks of Ecko albums seems to be pleasing everyone, i.e. alienating no one, treading water musically speaking until the "meat" of the album, and as a result satisfying no one. "I Need a Drink" is such a track, with a jingle for a melody and a tempo so familiar to Ecko devotees they may have an impulse to send it sailing frisbee-style at the opposite wall.

Nor did the title track "Face Down," inspire any allegiance. Whether you really liked "Parking Lot Love Affair" as a song or not, you couldn't deny O.B. was into it, vocally-speaking. But with only a nifty bass line to recommend it, this album's title track is a negligible funk exercise sounding like some never-used Bar-Kays B-side, with a sprinkling of lounge-jazz.

In his inimitable way O.B. tries to vocalize, but like a caged dove he's held down by the B-side, disco-ey structure of the piece. At heart, "Face Down" lacks a good hook and chorus, and how it wound up as the "face" of the album is a puzzle because none of the reasons you love Buchana--the country gigantism, the free-flowing passion, the eye-winking jocularity--exist in it. They're reserved for "Just Cruzin'," the fabulous cruising song about which more in a minute.

A funny thing happened on the way to posting that three-star ranking. Are the two albums (Parking Lot Love Affair and Face Down) actually that different? (I asked myself). Each had two #1 or near-#1 singles preceding their reviews. Parking Lot Love Affair had its title track and "The Mule," but FACE DOWN also has a #1 and #2 pair of singles to recommend it.

***************

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

-------MAY 2019-------
1. "Just Cruzin'"-----O.B. Buchana

Another great, nostalgia-steeped, summer-driving song in the musical lineage of the Young Rascals' "Groovin'," from O.B.'s fresh-sounding new album, Face Down. "Just cruzin' down in Mississippi/...With the southern soul wind blowing on me."

Listen to O.B. Buchana singing "Just Cruzin'" on YouTube.

***********


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

-------JANUARY 2019-------

2. "Whipped Again"------O.B. Buchana & Big Pokey Bear

I’m encouraged when old stars (Buchana) mingle with new stars (Pokey Bear). It gives continuity to the music, bestowing legitimacy on the new star and sprinkling relevance like fairy dust on the old star.

Listen to O.B. & Pokey singing "Whipped Again" on YouTube.

**********


And make no mistake. Some--much--of Face Down the album is very good. I haven't encountered any "humping" in music since the "Humpty Dance." (Now there was some good funk--overlaid with rap.) So the oddly-titled "I Hump It" still seems a little obscene, which seems ridiculous when you consider every other salacious act incorporated into southern soul. Also, there's another song out this month called "Humping" by a new artist named Carlos G., so maybe "humping" constitutes a trend, a new catch phrase for southern soul lyrics. O.B.'s "I Hump It" is likely the best melody in the set, and it was while listening to it and "My Outside Woman" that I knew I had initially under-valued this CD.

Listen to O.B. Buchana singing"I Hump It" on YouTube.

"Zydeco Lady" is done twice, although the James Jackson/John Ward composition doesn't really deserve a redo. One of the most amusing touches on the album, however, is the vocally-enhanced Buchana on the "Zydeco Lady Club Mix".

As you may have guessed by now, the album is a buffet of genres and sub-genres. You have funk ("Face Down"), stepping ("Step 'Till The Morning Light"), mid-tempo southern soul ("My Baby Is A Sweet Thang," "Hot Doggin', Cold Lovin'"), cruising ("Just Cruzin'") zydeco ("Zydeco Lady"), and even the new Baton Rouge sound ("My Outside Woman" with Beat Flippa and "I'm Whipped Again" with Pokey Bear).

The addition of Beat Flippa unites the two most prolific southern soul producers of the last five years--John Ward and Daniel Ross--on the same album, and the unmistakable sound of Beat Flippa's organ-styled keyboards on "My Outside Woman" sounds great.

Finally, "Step Till The Morning Light" may be the best stepping song produced by Ecko Records since Donnie Ray's "Who's Rocking You?" O.B. crushes the vocal, and the production by John Ward is perfect.

So by my count there are at least four tunes on this album--maybe five--that Buchana fans will not want to do without: "Whipped Again," "Just Cruzin'," "I Hump It," "My Outside Woman" and "My Baby Is A Sweet Thang". That's definitely four-star territory. And "Just Cruzin'"? It's one for the ages. The instrumental is Ecko at its best, and if you want to introduce a friend to O.B. Buchana, there's no better place to start. Just think of the light that will come over his or her face as he/she listens.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy O.B. Buchana's new FACE DOWN CD at Amazon.

Buy O.B. Buchana's new FACE DOWN CD at iTunes.

Instantly link to the many references and citations to O.B. Buchana throughout the website.

Browse through all of O.B. Buchana's CD's.

Read Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to O.B. Buchana.

************
SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
Send CD's to Daddy B. Nice, P. O. Box 19574, Boulder, Colorado, 80308 to be eligible for review on this page.
**********



**********

April 14, 2019:

TUCKA: Working With The Feeling (Hit Nation) Five Stars ***** Can't Miss. Pure Southern Soul Heaven.

The Southern Soul singer Hollywood Hayes, best known for his tune "A.P.B. Out On Her," recorded a song last year called "Vitamin D," in which he censured his significant other as follows:

"The word on the streets,
You've been with Pokey the Bear.
You realize, ain't no pokin' in there.

And the word on the streets,
You've been chasing pretty-boy Tucka,
And you realize, he ain't lickin' that."

So I've been wondering... Did Tucka cutting off his spectacular dreads and donning Von Miller-like specs and a porkpie hat--his newest image--have anything to do with that pretty-boy shout-out from Hollywood Hayes?

Whether it's the product of a heartthrob or a nerd (yeah, haha, nobody's buying that), Tucka's new album Working With The Feeling is, as your Daddy B. Nice has previously reported, a "bagful of hits". I've been rolling out one or two singles a month since the CD appeared in late November of 2018--a little late, unfortunately, for serious consideration in last year's awards--and still find in reviewing the album that I haven't promoted all of its pleasures.

From the singles charts at SouthernSoulRnB:

***********

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

-------DECEMBER 2018-------

1. "Ain't No Getting Over Me" -----Tucka

Cupid couldn't have shot an arrow at your heart more accurately than Tucka does with this stunning cover of the Ronnie Milsap country classic. Once you hear it, you won't be able to forget it. (I recorded a "short version" without the opening voice-over.)

Listen to Tucka singing "Ain't No Getting Over Me" on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice's Tucka: New Album Alert!

2. "Tipsy"-----Tucka

In my "New Album Alert" for Tucka I listed this song's antecedents as Frank Lucas' "The Man With The Singing Ding-A-Ling," Betty Wright's "Tonight Is The Night" and The Rascals "Groovin'". But of the three, "Tipsy" with its inebriated "brown liquor love" most resembles the sunny, romantic buzz of the original, "Groovin'/ On a Sunday afternoon..."

Listen to Tucka singing "Tipsy" on YouTube.

Buy Tucka's new WORKING WITH THE FEELING album at iTunes.

**********


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

-------JANUARY 2019-------

…3. "Big Train"-----Tucka

As a vocalist, Tucka is quite simply unsurpassed, and the driving acoustic-guitar sound of this tune and the Working With The Feeling album as a whole is intoxicating.

Listen to Tucka singing "Big Train" on YouTube.


And…

…6. "Make Me Wanna Do Wrong"-----Tucka

The Pied Piper of Louisiana will add to his long caravan of fans with this ratcheted-down, reggae-rhythm-section-dominated gem.

Listen to Tucka singing "Make Me Wanna Do Wrong" on YouTube.

***********

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

-------MARCH 2019-------

...3. "Jungle Love"----- Tucka

I hear a little Bo Diddley in the instrumental track and a little Buddy Holly in the vocal. From Tucka's new, "every-song's-a-classic" album, Working With The Feeling.

Listen to Tucka singing "Jungle Love" on YouTube.

***********


In summary, an unprecedented number of singles from WORKING WITH THE FEELING made the charts, and these tunes--"Tipsy," "Make Me Wanna Do Wrong," "Ain't No Getting Over Me," "Big Train," "Jungle Love"--surfaced in airplay across the Deep South from eastern Texas to the Carolina's. The numbers of YouTube viewings (as of 4/14/19) back up the hype: "Ain't No Getting Over Me" (76,000), "Make Me Wanna Do Wrong" (26,000), "Big Train" (27,000), "Jungle Love" (43,000) and "Tipsy" (22,000).

Actually, as time has passed and the intimacy of the album as a whole has sunk in, I even enjoy Tucka's voice-over segueing into "Ain't No Getting Over Me." And when I say "intimacy" I'm not talking about the sensual, between-the-sheets talk of "Candy Land" or "Sweet Shop". I'm talking about the intimacy with which Tucka addresses his listeners throughout the set, as if they're V.I.P. guests in the studio while he's working through these comely melodies. For example, at the beginning of "Tipsy," Tucka chuckles and says, "I'm gonna definitely need my cigar on this one." At the beginning of "Big Train" he says, "Hello? Hello?", as if he's got a bad cell-phone connection. Combined with the warm, acoustic, surround-sound feel of the instrumental tracks, Working With The Feeling is one of the most ingratiating albums I've ever experienced.

If it weren't for the hummable melodies and supple bass lines, the artist's comments before songs would be so much self-indulgence, but the album is so packed with good songs Tucka more than gets away with it. This is the kind of music that you can, as it were, fall backwards and know that you will be caught in welcoming arms and smothered in musical comfort. Baby boomers who think music like Mary Wells' "You Beat Me To The Punch" has disappeared from the face of the earth are sadly mistaken. And when zydeco star Chris Ardoin says his audiences doubled when he crossed over and got the "swing-out" crowd," you can read "Tucka," the "King Of Swing". What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that WORKING WITH THE FEELING takes you to a level seldom seen these days, a level even Tucka himself has never attained. You can revel in the instrumental tracks and the lyrics in the same way you did back in the day with Marvin Gaye, The Impressions, The Beatles or The Blue Notes. Within the southern soul market, I'd compare it to the respective, arguable masterpieces of LaMorris Williams (Mississippi Motown) and Vick Allen (Soul Music).

Tucka's WORKING WITH THE FEELING is all about separation. Strained relationships are by no means the theme of every song, but the tension that accompanies break-ups is central and stands out on some of the set's most memorable cuts.

In "Big Train" ("She took the six o'clock to Memphis/Said that she'll be back one day/But it's too late/ Big train, keep on rolling.").

In "Ain't No Getting Over Me" ("She likes to threaten, how she's going to leave me, "You're gonna miss this one day"... And I said to myself, "Shit, you're gonna miss this, too.").

And yet, Tucka doesn't get the blues; he remains buoyant and positive.

If the songs on this album are a departure--or a step up--for Tucka, how so? More mature? More down to earth? The album almost pleads for an answer, and yet the mystery of how and why remains. The new songs aren't necessarily better than "Touch Your Spot" or "Sweet Shop," but the addition of conflict as a theme does make his world more inclusive--sharper, more interesting.

Nor are the preceding songs (all charted) the only tunes of merit. "Rock Steady" (68,000 YouTube views) with its crisp percussion, charismatic bass and doodling keyboards (courtesy of producer "J Flood" (Jerry Flood) "on the track")--is another tune worthy of airplay.

A dominating, acoustic guitar-driven, instrumental track propels the roundelay "Rhythm Of My Guitar" (58,000 YouTube views). "So you think you're going to find another--another like me?" Tucka asks in "Rhythm," once again diagnosing those painful possibilities of breaking up.

And finally, and most astoundingly, with a whopping 508,000 YouTube views, boyish-sounding Audi Yo joins up with Tucka on "Until The Morning Comes," just as he did on the pair's previous and immensely popular collaboration: "Can't Nobody".

Paradoxically, the only song that doesn't fit into the gorgeous, homogeneously-acoustic texture of Tucka's Working With The Feeling album is the title track itself, written seemingly for a different time and place, (after the fact? before the fact?) circa seventies Average White Band. That's not a disparagement--AWB is one of the most sampled bands in R&B history--but the sound (you might call it disco-ey) is markedly different from anything else on the album. I think of the song "Working With The Feeling" as the one and only flaw in this extraordinary album--like the one sharp pinch you give yourself to make sure you're awake, you're not dreaming and this is for real.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Tucka's new WORKING WITH THE FEELING album at Amazon.

Buy Tucka's new WORKING WITH THE FEELING album at iTunes.

Read Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Tucka.

Browse Tucka CD's in Daddy B. Nice's CD/MP3 Store.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide



March 24, 2019:

JAYE HAMMER: Double Trouble (Ecko) Three Stars *** Solid. The Artist's Fans Will Enjoy.

Jaye Hammer, the southern soul singer who went blind from a detached retina at the age of twenty-six, has quietly amassed an impressive resume over the course of a half-dozen albums. His 2005 debut was followed by a fallow period during which the blindness descended, a seemingly more cruel fate (having seen the world and lost it in adulthood) than singers like Clarence Carter, blind from birth, or Ray Charles, whose blindness became complete by the age of seven.

Delta producer Aaron Weddington, who had discovered Hammer as a gospel-singing child prodigy, introduced him to Ecko Records' John Ward during this perilous transitional period, and Jaye's five albums for the Memphis label between 2012 and 2017 have positioned Hammer as a solid if second-tier contemporary southern soul performer, lacking only a significant "breakthrough" single in his quest for wider popularity.

Hammer's fans might argue that "I Ain't Leaving Mississippi"is--or should have been--that "breakthrough" single. With lyrics like--

"I got my first piece of coochie
In the middle of a cotton field,
And had my first drink of whiskey
From my grand-daddy's still."

--it's an autobiographical (or seemingly autobiographical) gem.

Listen to Jaye Hammer singing "I Ain't Leaving Mississippi" on YouTube.

Together with the anthem-like "One Stop Lover," which showcases Hammer's ability to steadily percolate authentic emotion, and the southern soul/zydeco hybrid "Trail Ride," which rocks along to an infectious cajun accompaniment, these oft'-overlooked singles ring with a muscular vocal clarity not unlike that which Clarence Carter brought to singles like "Slip Away," "Patches" and "Strokin'". In both instances--Carter's and Hammer's--the singing is professional yet laced with a rowdy, unschooled flavor that stresses naturalism and country roots.

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

Jaye Hammer's new album Double Trouble--his sixth Ecko release--has a single that begs for inclusion in that list of Hammer's "best". It's "She's My Baby Forever". A cradle-rocking tempo propels a melody that will seem familiar to soul music aficionados. That's because it's based on the old Latimore standard, "Sunshine Lady". The vocal and instrumental tracks are executed with taste and flair. It's a beautiful song and deserves to be ranked among Jaye's finest, but it's probably not that long-awaited "breakthrough hit" that some Jaye Hammer advocates may be hoping for.

And as Double Trouble's top single goes, so goes the album. This is a mellow set, cooked up much like a chef would "comfort food," with a lot of variety and lot of "tried and true" formulas. No surprises. Nothing disturbing. Even a potentially over-the-top tune like "The Groupie Girls" comes off as familiar and conversational, as if Jaye were talking to you from an adjacent airline seat.

"Buck Jumpin' Dance" will be familiar to Ecko Records fans--a booty-shaking line-dance you've heard from Ms. Jody et.al.. Ditto for "Booty Slide." The bluesy "Trouble Trouble"--or is it "Double Trouble," the title tune?--is puzzling. I was never convinced by it. I never believed in it, other than as an exercise on the level of, say, a neo-soul artist, which is an awful thing to say about a southern soul artist. And yet, for different reasons--one song is "down," the other "up"--I reacted to "She's Lovin' Me Crazy" in the same way.

On generic tunes like these, with no inspiring hooks or lyrics, Hammer's high, metallic baritone can get a little harsh and abrasive. But just when it's wearing on you, Hammer will step into a more personalized and authentic vehicle like "We're Stepping Out Tonight," a mid-tempo ode to the pleasures of domesticity, which will transport Jaye's fans to "Party At Home" territory. And occasionally, a song on the set will sneak up and surprise. Such is the case with "Coming Home To You," which begins a little shakily but matures with a dramatic, no-holds-barred chorus that at first seems jarring, then becomes the backbone of the record.

Some refreshing gravitas also embellishes the "Soul Heaven" clone, "Blues Heaven," in which, departed less than a year, Denise LaSalle is now--sadly--conspicuously listed. The smooth slow jam, "Let Me Hammerize You," ends, incidentally, with Jaye saying, "I'll even leave Mississippi for you," which fans will instantly recognize as a reference to "I Ain't Leaving Mississippi".

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Jaye Hammer's DOUBLE TROUBLE album at iTunes.

Buy Jaye Hammer's DOUBLE TROUBLE album at Amazon.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Jaye Hammer.

Browse Jaye Hammer CD's.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

March 3, 2019:

LADY Q: Class 'N Session (Jones Boys Ent.) Three Stars *** Solid Debut By A New Southern Soul Artist.

At times while listening to this new album, I felt like a TV game-show host trying to decide whether to give Class N' Session, the debut CD by Lady Q., a three-star ("solid") or four-star ("distinguished") rating. I gave the artist points for at least three radio-worthy singles and the collaborative boost realized from the contributions of hot artist Jeter Jones and producer-of-the-year Ronald "Slack" Jefferson, about which more in a minute, but I took away points for some gaffes.

The most glaring mistake is Lady Q's cover of Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It?" Turner's powerful and husky vocal style had an obvious effect on the development of Lady Q's style, and while it's interesting to be privy to one of Lady Q's influences, putting such an iconic song in the strategic final position of a debut CD is, frankly, an admission of inferiority. A debut album should represent years of pent-up and unpublished creativity; it should be a resounding statement of an artist's identity. We can imagine Lady Q singing covers, as all aspiring singers do, prior to her debut, but a debut is no place for influences, especially a blushingly faithful cover of "What's Love Got To Do With It?"

The second major error is the inclusion of "Dancing In Da Streets (B-Day Song)," which under ordinary circumstances would be a creditable tune and another reason to give this album positive points. The caveat here, however, is that producer Ronald Jefferson has used the same chords and melody, if not quite the identical instrumental track, for another recent, high-profile single, P2K DaDiddy's "Trucker Hustle" from his five-star 2018 debut, Welcome To The Boom Boom Room.

Anyone who fell in love with P2K's album is bound to be taken aback by hearing a clone of "Trucker Hustle" on Lady Q's album, and Jeter Jones above all should have put the "nix" on the iteration, having been involved in his own gaffe earlier in his career using an Eric "Smidi" Smith instrumental track already published by both Bobby Jonz and Chuck Roberson.

(DBN notes: That particular track just won't die. I recently was e-mailed an mp3 by Cadillac Man using it yet again. You'd think Smidi would retire it as a statement of character, but it's hard to turn down the money when it's put in front of you unsolicited.)

A handful of the songs on the set occupy a middle ground, neither gaining nor losing overall points. "Treat Me Like Ya Mama," "Enough Is Enough," "Two Steps," and "Checking Out" are all pleasing at times, but also mediocre at times--you could call it "benign filler".

The songs even skeptics of this album--and buyers of my argument above--will want to download are contained in four substantial singles: "You Make Me Feel Good," "Issue It," the title track "Lumberjack" and the surprisingly delicate and affecting "Can't Come Back To You" (featuring Jeter Jones). This quartet of tunes more than makes the case that Lady Q has arrived.

"Q" debuted on the charts in June 2018 with "Lumberjack".

**************

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

-------JUNE 2018-------

…5. "Lumberjack (Good Wood/I Need A Lumberjack)"-----Lady Q featuring Jeter Jones

Another stunning, hard-hitting, dance-grooving debut by a female vocalist (making three in this month's top five picks).

Listen to Lady Q feat. Jeter Jones singing "Lumberjack".

**************

(DBN notes: The other two female singers in the top-five that month were Annie Washington ("Show Pony") and Beatrice ("I'M Gonna Wait".)


And upon release of Class N' Session, Lady Q has charted twice in two months.

**************

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

-------FEBRUARY 2019-------

…4. "You Make Me Feel Good"------Lady Q

Aided by Jeter Jones and Producer of the Year Ronald "Slack" Jefferson, the barrel-chested songstress with the masculine vocal style pounds out a gritty ballad for the ages. From her debut album Class N Session.

Listen to Lady Q. singing"You Make Me Feel Good" on YouTube.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

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

-------MARCH 2019-------

…7. "Issue It"------Lady Q featuring Jeter Jones

Speaking of good rhythm tracks, you can't do much better than Lady Q's "Issue It," another gem from her Class n Session debut album brought to fruition by Best Mid-Tempo Song Of The Year winner Jeter Jones.

Listen to Lady Q singing "Issue It" on YouTube.


***************


Good pipes, good songs, good people in her corner. She's got a lot of rough edges to hone, but the future looks bright for Lady Q, who fits the bill as a quintessential, easy-going "big lady" of southern soul music: bright, tough and beautiful.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Lady Q's Class 'N Sessin album at iTunes.

Buy Lady Q's Class 'N Sessin album at Amazon.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Send CD's to Daddy B. Nice, P. O. Box 19574, Boulder, Colorado, 80308 or e-mail to daddybnice@southernsoulrnb.com to be eligible for review on this page.

******************



**********

February 10, 2019:

VAL MCKNIGHT: Stroke That Cat (Ecko). Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

Val McKnight has quickly become a force among female southern soul singers--not quite in the first rank occupied by the likes of Ms. Jody, Nellie “Tiger” Travis, and Karen Wolfe--but close. However, you would never know it if you were in a hurry, listened to the first couple of tracks of Val's new album, Stroke That Cat, and swiftly moved on, as we all do, reluctant to engage further. The set opens with a tepid--I almost said "typical"--John Ward/Raymond Moore opening track, but it's written by Val herself. "Turn Up" is guaranteed NOT to raise your pulse, and the next song up, the title cut "Stroke That Cat," which IS written by Ward and Moore, isn't much stronger. Both tunes sport musical phrases you've heard way too many times before, and the prosaic material seeps into uninspired McKnight vocals that don't give a hint of the excitement to come.

Because, paradoxically, and with more than a little help from her friends (Ward, Moore, Henderson Thigpen, Ms. Jody), the performer absolutely "tears it up" the rest of the way. In her third long-play release (and second on Ecko), Vivacious Val grand-slams just about every bawdy theme ever explored by Memphis's latter-day flagship label. With tunes like "I'm A Horny Woman" (first published on Ecko's Blues Mix, Vol. 17: Dirty Soul Blues) and "I'm Gonna Hump Your Brains Out" (also available as an X-rated single called "I'm Gonna Fuck Your Brains Out,"), the intrepid McKnight far surpasses the flirtatious naughtiness of label-mates Sheba Potts-Wright and Ms. Jody.

"It's Booty Shakin' Time" recycles the irresistible instrumental track from Ms. Jody's "Ms. Jody's Thang", while "Down Low Brother" harks back to the man-turns-out-to-be-gay themes explored by Peggy Scott-Adams and Keisha Brown in the nineties. "Down Low Brother" hit #1 on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles chart with the following "bullet" summary:

*****************
-------JANUARY 2019-------

1. “Down Low Brother”------Val McKnight

Vivacious Val delivers a vocal so unique and unprecedented it eclipses the original recorded by the gritty Barbara Carr, whose X-rated catalog makes today’s divas look like choir girls. The tale of a woman discovering her husband with another man was one of a wave of "he-turned-out-be-gay" tunes recorded in the wake of the resounding success of Peggy Scott-Adams' "Bill". From Val's new Stroke That Cat album.

Listen to Val McKnight singing “Down Low Brother” on YouTube.
********************


That notorious Barbara Carr catalog, by the way, was and still remains on Ecko.

The remix with Ms. Jody of "It's Party Time," originally recorded for Val's Independent Woman, has all but become a southern soul classic. The interaction between Ms. Jody and McKnight is one of the under-rated collaborations of the last couple of years. They sound like sisters who've grown up together, and when Val growls, it's like a big cat purring. The synthesized background chorus works to perfection, and from a production standpoint here and throughout, John Ward plays to Ecko's strengths, using only the most tried-and-true formulas and giving the people what they want (for example the formerly-Ms. Jody vehicle "It's Booty Shaking Time"). The pace never flags.

"Can You Ride This Pony," a funky-edged dance jam, is almost on the level of "Party Time" and "Down Low Brother," while "Hoodoo Woman Pt. 2" reprises a top track from McKnight's debut, Red Hot Lover.

Finally, in the midst of all this furious, come-"atcha" lust and inflamed libidos--the very stuff of Val's persona--we're treated to two mellow cuts, "My Boo Thang," with a nice, high-pitched,"Summer Madness"-like synthesizer fill, and a quirky but catchy background chorus (something that Ecko has been getting better and better at), and a solid, even righteous ballad, "Good Loving Will Make Everything All Right".

In "Boo Thang" Val says, "We fit together like a hand and glove," and for maybe the first time in her recording career we see Val not only as an "independent woman" but a wife and/or partner--a "co-dependent". And in that sense, Stroke That Cat as an album expands Val's image: ergo, she's not just a purveyor of gross-out jams; she can summon different vocal tones for slower tempos and domesticity.

And that's the thing about Val. Even when she's singing about "humping" or "fucking," it comes off surprisingly innocent--not so much vulgar as earthy and natural. Val's so comfortable in her "own skin" that when she says, "Friendship means nothing to a horny woman," (from "I'm A Horny Woman") we take it not as an affront but a candid capsule of the facts. And in an age when women who want to make it in southern soul shy away from using their real names, Val McKnight not only has the courage to record indelicate material but, like Peggy Scott-Adams and so many others before her, to use her given name. Almost by default Val has become a light-house, a Statue of Liberty-like presence in a dimly-lit and risque corner of southern soul's universe formerly inhabited by fearlessly outspoken singers like Millie Jackson, Jackie Neal and Big Cynthia.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Val McKnight's "Stroke That Cat" album at Amazon.

Buy Val McKnight's "Stroke That Cat" album at iTunes.

Read Daddy B. Nice's "Val McKnight" Artist Guide.

**************

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Send CD's to Daddy B. Nice, P. O. Box 19574, Boulder, Colorado, 80308 or e-mail to daddybnice@southernsoulrnb.com to be eligible for review on this page.

******************



**********

May 25, 2019:

J. Red (The Nephew): Platinum Soul (Soul Mop). Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

In my enthusiastic 2016 J. Red profile and review of Soul Certified, I ended with a cautionary note:

For the most part, J. Red still hasn't put together the two opposing sides of his style--one southern soul and the other mainstream. "Step Out," for instance, is southern soul, but the production is a little thin compared to Red's "urban" side. "I Will," on the other hand, with its crisp urban production and acapella harmonies, lacks the laid-back charisma and rootsy originality of southern soul. When J. Red succeeds at fully integrating the best of the two sounds, watch out.

Well, the "watch" is officially over. Actually, it was over with J. Red the Nephew and Friends, a twelve-track collection of J. Red's notable collaborations, nearly all of which became radio hits in varying degrees throughout the Deep South. The album came out in 2016 and was re-issued in 2018, with guest stars including Sir Charles Jones, Sharnette Hyter, Willie Hill, Shay Denise and Theodis Ealey.

But if there was any doubt, Platinum Soul, J. Red's new album, renders the old dichotomy between urban and southern soul moot. This is a southern soul singer, not to mention a southern soul singer with a set of pipes to be reckoned with. And if not brimming with the diverse and spectacular firepower that distinguished 2016's Soul Certified, the set is nevertheless a triumphant artistic progression--all of a piece like no J. Red The Nephew album before--music by an artist no performer would be eager to follow onstage.

What first hooked me on J. Red's Platinum Soul was a lyrical couplet from "I Forgot I Was Married":

"She knew exactly about the things that she was doin'.
I didn't think about my marriage could be ruin'd."


What a pithy, haiku-like comment on the pros and cons of sexual infidelity. Even the title line, "I Forgot I Was Married," has a touch of conscience rare in southern soul lyrics.

"I Forgot I Was Married" is the story of a guy getting high, meeting a more-than-willing stranger in the club and going home with her. Here's an excerpt from the trip in the car:

"She starts to straddle me,
I can't see the road.
Next thing I knew,
She was taking off her clothes,
With her cleavage all up in my face,
And I was switching lanes all over the place."


Just when they're about to get it on (he's unbuckling his belt), his phone rings. It's his wife. She's in a sexy, "anything-you-want-baby" mood, which saves the day (and probably the marriage). He heads for home in a hurry. The chorus, which up to this point has been sung from the point of view of the seductress, continues co-opted, as it were, by the wife and her superior seductiveness. It's a nifty concept, the unusually close juxtaposition of marital and extra-marital ecstasies, and like so many prior J. Red productions before it (Miss Lady Blues in "Shake Something"....Miss Mini in "If You Need Some," to name only a couple), the female-sung chorus is exquisite, accentuating the song's thematic undertow.

I have been playing the grooves off "I Forgot I Was Married" and another new song from the album, "Party Hard". At first I didn't take much notice of "Party Hard". It was maybe a little repetitive and monochromatic the first couple of times I listened, but hooks from it kept returning. I'd think, "Where in the hell is this coming from? Oh yeah, that party song with the disco-pounding tempo and delicate, Van Morrison-like, saxophone fills!"

J. Red not only captures good melodies and tempos. He embellishes his tunes in places where some are content to coast. He writes full verses and choruses. He inserts bridges, harmonic chord and key changes, female background vocal tracks and his own double-tracked lead vocals and back-and-forth lead vocals, all while maintaining maximum accessibility. All are on display in the devastatingly charismatic "Party Hard," which just keeps getting better the more you play it.

Awash in gorgeous swaths of synthesizer/keyboards, "Enjoy Yourself" is in the romantic tradition of Ollie Nightingale's "She's In A Midnight Mood In The Middle Of The Day" and Jeff Floyd's "I Found Love On A Lonely Highway" or....--more recently--Big Yayo's "Bedroom Rodeo" and Magic One's "High Heels & Jeans". "Enjoy Yourself" is also the only holdover from a previous release, J. Red's 2016 Infinity album, which served as a companion piece to its better-known SOUL CERTIFIED CD. It's the same, benign, buoyant, swaying-the-shoulders, grown-folks felicity J. Red has been mining since his line-dancing break-out hit, "Step Out". And, just as in "Step Out," J. Red pulls out all of the stops in the chorus.

J. Red not only captures good melodies and tempos. He embellishes his tunes in places where some are content to coast. He writes full verses and choruses. He inserts bridges, harmonic chord and key changes, female background vocal tracks, in addition to his own double-tracked lead vocals and back-and-forth lead vocals, aall while maintaining accessibility, all part of a layering effect aimed at establishing depth, and all or most of which are on display in "Party Hard" and "Enjoy Yourself".



"What's Up For The Night," a duet with the most rural of southern soul divas, the always-in-demand Karen Wolfe, is all about punch. The song




has no lyrical pretensions. What commends it is the "wall of sound" the piece weaves.
************

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

Send CD's to Daddy B. Nice, P. O. Box 19574, Boulder, Colorado, 80308 to be eligible for review on this page.

**********



**********

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

O.B. Buchana, Face Down, 5-12-19

Tucka, Working With The Feeling, 4-14-19

Jaye Hammer, Double Trouble, 3-24-19

Lady Q, Class 'N Session, 3-3-19

Val McKnight, Stroke That Cat, 2-10-19

********


RECENTLY REVIEWED:

Various Artists (Ecko), Blues Mix 27: Ultimate Soul Blues, 2-2-19 (Scroll down this column.)

Crystal Thomas, Drank Of My Love, 12-1-18 (Contained in the Crystal Thomas Artist Guide. Click link.)

Carolyn Staten, Drank Of My Love, Ladies Night, 11-19-18 (Contained in the Carolyn Staten Artist Guide. Click link.)

P2K Dadiddy, Welcome To The Boom Boom Room, 10-30-18 (Contained in the P2K Artist Guide. Click link.)

Ms. Jody, I'm Doin' My Thang, 10-14-18 (Contained in the Ms. Jody Artist Guide. Click link.)

Various Artists (Ecko), Blues Mix 25: Slammin' Southern Soul, 9-16-18 (Scroll down this column.)

Jeter Jones, Dhis Him, 9-3-18 (Contained in the Jeter Jones Artist Guide. Click link.)

David Brinston, Kitty Whipped, 8-12-18 (Contained in the David Brinston Artist Guide. Click link.)

Big G, Lonely Tears, 7-15-18 (Contained in the Big G Artist Guide. Click link.)

Various Artists (CDS), Southern Soul Smashes 7, 7-9-18 (Scroll down this column.)

C-Wright, I Bluez Myself, 6-18-18 (Contained in the new C-Wright Artist Guide. Click link.)

Solomon Thompson, Good Damn Music, 6-6-18 (Contained in the new Solomon Thompson Artist Guide. Click link.)

*********

Rating Guide:

Five Stars ***** Can't miss. Pure Southern Soul heaven.

Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

Three Stars *** Solid. The artist's fans will enjoy.

Two Stars ** Dubious. Not much here.

One Star * A disappointment. Avoid.


********
Send CD's to Daddy B. Nice, P. O. Box 19574, Boulder, Colorado, 80308 to be eligible for review on this page. Or... E-mail daddybnice@southernsoulrnb.com

********

**********
SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
*********

February 2, 2019:

VARIOUS ARTISTS (ECKO): Blues Mix 27: Ultimate Soul Blues. Four Stars **** Disting-
uished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.


This is one of the best compilations in Ecko's Blues Mix series, and ten bucks well spent by anyone who loves southern soul. The latest sampler from the venerable label out of Memphis begins with a bang with a new song featuring the label's mainstay O.B. Buchana collaborating with Ross Music Group's (out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana) hot new artist Big Pokey Bear of "My Sidepiece" fame. Written by James Jackson, "I'm Whipped Again," rocks to a mid-tempo beat while offering insights into the vocal styles of both artists, with Buchana coming off as the more powerfully-equipped singer and Pokey Bear's more amorphous style clarifying like butter in contrast--a wailing, pleading falsetto. Charting #2 in January's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles, your Daddy B. Nice noted:

I’m encouraged when old stars (Buchana) mingle with new stars (Pokey Bear). It gives continuity to the music, bestowing legitimacy on the new star and sprinkling relevance like fairy dust on the old star.

"Down Low Brother" references Daddy B. Nice's #1 Southern Soul Single for the same month and the third track from the sampler:

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

-------JANUARY 2019-------

1. “Down Low Brother”------Val McKnight

Vivacious Val delivers a vocal so unique and unprecedented it eclipses the original recorded by the gritty Barbara Carr, whose X-rated catalog makes today’s divas look like choir girls. The tale of a woman discovering her husband with another man was one of a wave of "he-turned-out-be-gay" tunes recorded in the wake of the resounding success of Peggy Scott-Adams' "Bill". From Val's new Stroke That Cat album.

Listen to Val McKnight singing “Down Low Brother” on YouTube.

**********


A third new track, Jaye Hammer's "Blues Heaven," from Ham-
mer's
upcoming CD Double Trouble, is a "Soul Heaven" (Johnnie Taylor) -styled tribute to deceased stars. One of the ancillary benefits of southern soul artists recording commemorative songs like "Blues Heaven" is the road map they provide the national audience, which instantly recognizes legends like Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor and B.B. King but has no idea who Denise LaSalle, Mel Waiters and Reggie P. are. Human nature being what it is, few people can admit they don't know of an artist they "should" know: once warned, as in a song like "Blues Heaven," they're motivated to familiarize themselves with the artist, so they won't be considered "ignorant" by their peers. So the juxtaposition of these "unknowns" with the "knowns" will gradually bring southern soul's marginalized artists into the ranks of the legends. Or, at the least, let's hope so. That's the way it has always worked, especially for black artists, every legend having once been a "complete unknown--like a rolling stone".

This trifecta of opening cuts insures that BLUES MIX 27 roars out of the starting gate with authority, and the sampler cruises the rest of the way with a highly- sustainable mix of old songs, remixes and the like, highlighted by Ms. Jody's redo of "Where I Come From" and interesting new label-mate Randolph Walker's previously-unpublished "Bouquet Of Roses". Ms. Jody's remix of "Where I Come From" (called the "country soul version") is a marked improvement over the original. Scary, how much the production--"the mix"--of a song dictates the success or failure of that song. This mix dissolves all skepticism and distance and makes you want to get your ass back to Ms. Jody and that "old pickup on the old country road".

Finally, no one who loves southern soul will dispute the inclusion of perennially-enjoyable classics like O. B. Buchana's "Southern Soul Country Boy," Sonny Mack's "Goody Good Good Stuff," Rick Lawson's "If You Hit It" and Sheba Potts-Wright's "Big Boy Stuff".

David Brinston's "Back Up Man," Jaye Hammer's "Go Ahead On" and the late Quinn Golden's "I've Got A Schedule To Keep" fill out this highly satisfying set.

--Daddy B. Nice

Listen to all the tracks from Blues Mix 27 on YouTube.

Buy Ecko Records' BLUES MIX 27: Ultimate Soul Blues at iTunes.

Buy Ecko Records' BLUES MIX 27: Ultimate Soul Blues at Amazon.

************

**********
SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
*********

September 16, 2018:

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Blues Mix 25: Slammin' Southern Soul (Ecko Records) Three Stars *** Solid. The Artists' Fans Will Enjoy.

The new sampler from Ecko Records in Memphis, BLUES MIX VOL. 25: SLAMMIN' SOUTHERN SOUL, features Rick Lawson's "I Done Found Your Good Thang," an "answer" song to Terry Wright's popular "I Done Lost My Good Thang" (Coday Records).

Listen to Terry Wright singing "I Done Lost My Good Thang" on YouTube.

The Lawson single debuted to a mixed reception this past summer. Currently (September 2018) a Daddy B. Nice Featured Artist of the Month, the formerly gospel-based Lawson recorded a series of albums for Ecko Records in the first five years of the new century, establishing himself as a respected journeyman artist in the southern soul genre but never achieving a breakthrough hit single. The new single is his first newly-minted record in over a decade.

The late Denise LaSalle's "I'm Still The Queen (Blues Mix)" with a nice bass line and stepping tempo, was first recorded at Ecko Records for her 2002 Still The Queen album. This updated version features a little more guitar, courtesy of John Ward.

Mr. Sam and O.B. Buchana team up on the well-received "Did You Put Your Foot In It?" The baffling lyrics (to the uninitiated) are a take-off on Theodis Ealey's southern soul classic, "Stand Up In It". The liner notes say the song was previously unreleased, but O.B. recorded it on his Ecko-label album of 2009, It's My Time, and Mr. Sam recorded a slightly different version for his Make Time For Her album in 2017. This one's a classic, if you consider yourself a southern soul fan, and the back-and-forth between Sam and O.B., with Sam obligingly taking on the "younger" role, is a high moment in contemporary chitlin' circuit annals.

"Party Time," listed in the album liner notes as performed by the Pyramid City Band ("pyramid city" a reference to Memphis), is also listed in YouTube as the Paul Child Band. (Lee Gibbs is given credit for the songwriting.) The deep bass lead vocal of "Party Time" will have longtime music fans scratching their heads trying to figure out the song's antecedent, and after some scratching of my bald pate I finally hit on it. It's Laid Back's (a white Euro dance band's) huge club hit from the 80's, "The White Horse," and "Party Time" swipes not only the original's cavernous-bass vocal but hook and tempo as well, with predictably catchy results.

The rest of the collection features seamlessly-transitioned, professionally-produced--yet derivative and on the whole forgettable--outings by Ecko-affiliated artists spanning the last twenty years, with sexual hijinks the unapologetic order of the day. Val McKnight checks in with "Watch That Booty Do". Rick Lawson appears a second time with "Cheatin' Ain't Easy To Do". David Brinston signs in with "Bounce That Booty," and Luther Lackey makes a rare Ecko-label appearance with "Jody's Got My Problems".

With another nod to Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In It," O.B. Buchana extols the virtues of "Slow Lick It," while Donnie Ray "answers" Rue Davis's "Honey Poo" with "She's My Honey Bee". Jaye Hammer sings "I'm Gonna Hit That Thang," and Ms. Jody sums up the set's tongue-in-cheek cheating and fucking preoccupations with a routine blues called "We Got To Cheat On Schedule".

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Ecko Records' VARIOUS ARTISTS: BLUES MIX VOL. 25: SLAMMIN' SOUTHERN SOUL (explicit) at Amazon.

Listen to full cuts of VARIOUS ARTISTS: BLUES MIX VOL. 25: SLAMMIN' SOUTHERN SOUL on YouTube.

Buy Ecko Records' VARIOUS ARTISTS: BLUES MIX VOL. 25: SLAMMIN' SOUTHERN SOUL at iTunes.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

July 9, 2018:
VARIOUS ARTISTS: Southern Soul Smashes 7 (CDS Records) Three Stars *** Solid. The Artists' Fans Will Enjoy.


First, a disclaimer. Southern Soul Smashes 7 contains one of my favorite songs of all time, Carl Marshall's "I've Lived It All". I put it right up there with Peggy Scott-Adams' "I'm Willing To Be Your Friend" as one of the greatest rants-slash-sermons--and songs--ever recorded. In the barnyard of southern soul, Carl Marshall's "I've Lived It All" is the rooster crowing at dawn, and his gutsy, vividly autobiographical vocal is the farmer calling his hogs--"Soooooo-eeiiiee!"--(think of them as his fellow artists) to the morning trough.

Carl Marshall had actually lost this song from his early career. I had to send my copy of "I Lived It All" back to him to remaster and publish, which he has now done two or three times since. "I've Lived It All" is distinguished by a template-forging, gut-bucket-raw rhythm track, an amazingly communicative lead guitar, and--topping it all off--a soaring, swooping, bagpipe-like keyboard/organ flying the melody like a tattered flag.

"I was out on my own
At the age of twelve,
From a kid to a man,
I caught plenty of hell."

Listen to Carl Marshall singing "I've Lived It All" on YouTube.

Marshall's vocal fuses the desperation of the blues with the zealotry of a preacher and the immediacy of a rapper. When I asked Marshall in a 2009 interview about his early life, he actually broke out into the lyrics of "I've Lived It All" without realizing it. I immediately roared with recognition and the success of the interview was assured.

I've always thought "I've Lived It All" was Carl's true signature song, that it's more relevant and accessible, that it would pull in a lot more audience than "Good Loving Will Make You Cry," which--let's face it--came to its fullest fruition with the Bigg Robb/Carl Marshall collaboration on "Good Lovin' Will Make You Cry (Remix)". Bowing to popular opinion and Marshall's own perspective, however, I've kept "Good Lovin' Will Make You Cry" at #1 and "I've Lived It All" at #2.

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Carl Marshall.

Southern Soul Smashes, along with companion series Southern Soul and Party Blues, is the brainchild of CDS Records' executive producer Dylann DeAnna (formerly out of California, now Ohio), and his samplers are a version of Ecko Records' longer-lived Blues Mix compilations.

CDS also publishes the Ricky White / Combination series of samplers, and White, like former CDS producer Marshall before him, mans the production on three of this album's generous fourteen tracks.

I'm on record as wishing Ricky White never touched the "programming horns" lever, but even the Ricky White-produced tracks--Donnie Ray's "Grown Folks Spot" (remember, Donnie Ray recently left Ecko for CDS), Gregg A. Smith's "Can You Still Drop It," and Ricky's own "Grown & Sexy"--are professionally done, with strong, bouncing rhythm tracks that are hard to deny. In fact, there really isn't a bad tune on this entire album.

My least favorite is probably everybody else's favorite: Donnie Ray's. "Grown Folks Spot" is too brassy and gleaming in Ricky White's style. My vision of who Donnie Ray is...Dare I say more homespun?

And although Donnie Ray's "Grown Folks Spot" has 5,000 YouTube views (I didn't expect that many), nothing speaks to the disconnect between the southern soul old guard of Donnie Ray's day and the much more vibrant and expansive southern soul scene of 2018 than the fact that even a song by a relatively new and largely unknown performer like Adrian Bagher can routinely draw 100,000 (!) YouTube views.

On his own song, "Grown And Sexy," White tones down the faux-horns, while the solid rhythm track, decent melody and worthy vocal result in a more satisfying record. In fact, in spite of my aversion to the programmed horns, I found myself grooving to "Grown And Sexy" with ease.

Gregg A. Smith is represented by "Can You Still Drop It?" He was one of Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (1990-2010), and yet, so quiescent has the Texas recording artist's career been that his #1-rated tune all these years, "Stacked In The Back," has never found its way to YouTube.

Ironically, the gap between what Smith has "done" and what's "out there" for people to hear is what makes Southern Soul Smashes 7 such a compelling document. One needs to catch up.

Take Mr. Zay, another "blast from the past" and, like Gregg A. Smith, an original and permanent member of Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (1990-2010). Zay did the first version of Luther Lackey's "She Only Wants To See Me On Friday".

See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Mr. Zay.

This is a sampler that's easy to overlook because it lacks contemporary "A-list" performers. Nellie "Tiger" Travis is on deck with "Let's Get It Poppin'", from her 2009 I'm In Love With A Man I Can't Stand album.

But while Nellie and the late Big Cynthia appear, most of the artists featured on Southern Soul Smashes 7 are not household names, even in the Deep South.

And DeAnna isn't searching for the new (i.e. the hottest, the latest) talent here. He's ferreting in the niches and crevices, the borders and frontiers, of southern soul, looking for the questionably-authentic or unjustifiably-overlooked. His is a search for "B-list" and even more obscure veterans who, through whatever exigencies, have been unable to bring their creative dreams to full fruition.

And the best tracks on this album? Those by the "unknowns". Blind Ricky McCants, Jim Bennett, Garland Green, Vel Omarr and Lonnie Robinson. Even Clarence Dobbins--an original partner of DeAnna's in forming CDS Records, the "C" in "CDS".

Garland Green's "Happy Street" typifies the rewards of this sampler. An obscure artist, a never-heard song, and yet a surprisingly professional outing, with a hook that makes one want to listen again.

Same goes for Vel Omarr's "My Love Grows". Everything about this ballad pleases: the modest arrangement, the vulnerable vocal. At times you expect Omarr to break into Ben E. King's "Stand By Me"; at others, into Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come".

The most original music in the set belongs to the still largely unknown Blind Ricky McCants. Possessing an idiosyncratic and memorable voice, the Charleston, South Carolina artist is a singer, writer and producer who has worked as a bassist and background singer with the likes of Clarence Carter, Roy C and many others. McCants' "Sugar Daddy" reworks the melodic structure of Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "If I Back It Up," forging something new. McCants also checks in with "Hot Damn! (Jook & Jam)".

Jim Bennett's "Right Man, Wrong Doctor" is another fascinating song by an artist who's never had a break-through hit. If you like "Right Man, Wrong Doctor," check out Bennett's "Body Roll" and his performances with Lady Mary on YouTube. See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Jim Bennett.

Lonnie Robinson closes the set with "Two Women". The title should really be "Two Women For Every Man In This Club". Robinson charted here with "Outside Woman" in 2011. Following Carl Marshall's "I Lived It All" is a hard act to follow; to Robinson's immense credit, he has the depth to do it.

This album is a low-key alternative and respite from the roller-coaster of excitement, profanity and hyperbole (i.e. Big Pokey Bear, Bishop Bullwinkle, O.B. Buchana, Big Yayo, Johnny James, Cold Drank, not to mention numerous female singers) that is currently--and probably always was and always will be--the rage in southern soul.

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Southern Soul Smashes 7 at Amazon.

Buy Southern Soul Smashes 7 at iTunes.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

**********
SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
*********






 


©2005-2019 SouthernSoulRnB.com

All material--written or visual--on this website is copyrighted and the exclusive property of SouthernSoulRnB.com, LLC. Any use or reproduction of the material outside the website is strictly forbidden, unless expressly authorized by SouthernSoulRnB.com. (Material up to 300 words may be quoted without permission if "Daddy B. Nice's Southern Soul RnB.com" is listed as the source and a link to http://www.southernsoulrnb.com/ is provided.)