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


 

Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews

July 7, 2019:

Various Artists: Blues Mix 28, Dance Party Soul (Ecko). Three Stars *** Solid. The artists' fans will enjoy.

When I went to YouTube to gather music links and codes for the readers of this review, I found that the set opener, Ms. Jody's "Doin' The Electric Slide," was missing, and while I had been mildly entertained by Ms. Jody's take on the Johnnie Taylor classic while previously listening to the promotional hard copy, I perked up in pleasant surprise on hearing unknown artist KT's "Kitty Kat Tamer" begin the YouTube sequence instead. It was as if I had never heard the track before. It was like someone doing Billy "Soul" Bonds with a very different voice. Based on the prototypically southern-soul bass line from the Staple Singers' "Do It Again" (as well as The Love Doctor's "Slow Roll It" written by Charles Jones), this mid-tempo eulogy to "kitties" ("pussies"--blush--to the uninitiated) personifies the loosey-goosey charm of Blues Mix 28. As long as you're not too persnickety, this newest entry in the Ecko Records' Blues Mix series is a passable and always welcome party-music record.

The collection isn't intended as much for frenetic dancing as it is for slow-moving steppin' and party chatter, a festive atmosphere reinforced by David Brinston's laid-back "Club Booty," although the pace picks up with a head-turning remix of Jaye Hammer's signature groove, "I Ain't Leaving Mississippi," in which Hammer's strong vocal is warped (and the original soulfulness lost) by bizarre vocal-enhancing and a hard-edged instrumental track, similar to when a young Bigg Robb did an unfortunately hard-edged funk version of Mel Waiters' "Hole In The Wall".

No such robotic makeovers for Donnie Ray, however, who appears in all his original vocal glory on "Let's Get This Party Started". Sweet Angel's vocal mannerisms, on the other hand, seem somewhat dated. I remember comparing her vocal tone to Della Reese back in the day. What I was onto, I think, was her stubbornly citified delivery in a genre that elevates a cruder, rural vocal style (Peggy Scott-Adams, Lynn White, Barbara Carr, Ms. Jody, Karen Wolfe). Listen to how Sweet Angel sings--enunciates--the word "thrill" in "Don't Let The Clean-Up Woman Pick Up Your Man" She's uptown. If she lived in New York, she'd be upper East Side.

Sheba Potts-Wright, another recording artist whose glory days appear to be in the rear view mirror, is represented by "Let Your Mind Go Back," a stylistic anomaly derived from marching bands and to a lesser extent New Orleans-style street music which--along with some of Stephanie McDee's material--enjoyed a brief fling a few years ago. Think tubas.

"Hoo Doo Woman" showcases the diva who's filled some of the vacuum left in Memphis by Potts-Wright and Sweet Angel. "Hoo Doo Woman" was Val McKnight's first significant southern soul single. Songwriter Gerod Rayburn's "I Like The Blues" sounds a little out of place in this light-hearted atmosphere--until and unless, of course, you remember it's a blues party and the lyrics memorialize the experience of countless fans whose radio stations specialize in playing southern soul on Saturdays.

And of course, we can't forget the musical elephant in the room, O.B. Buchana (it won't be long before we'll be using the sobriquet "the legendary O.B. Buchana"), who contributes two tunes, "You've Been Good To Me" and "You're Welcome To The Party," both up to his demanding standards.

Finally, there's only one song we party people want to hear from the Pyramid City Band, and thank god!, after a misleading musical digression, not to mention a sneaky little title change, PCB's "Get Your Freak On" turns into the toe-tapping, dance-friendly "Party Time" we know and love from the Ecko sampler Blues Mix 25: Slammin' Southern Soul. Rarely has testing the limits of the audience with repetition turned out so well for both producer and fan.

Listen to the Pyramid City Band singing "Get Your Freak On (Party Time)" on YouTube.

It's not as good--less direct--more muffled and filtered--than the original funk groove. So let's play that original, "Party Time," and for good measure Jaye Hammer's original "I Ain't Leavin' Mississipi," just to keep it real.

Listen to the Pyramid City Band singing "Party Time" on YouTube.

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

--Daddy B. Nice

Buy Ecko Records' BLUES MIX 28: PARTY SOUL BLUES at Amazon.

Listen to all the tracks from BLUES MIX 28: PARTY SOUL BLUES on YouTube.

Listen to all the tracks from BLUES MIX 28: PARTY SOUL BLUES on Spotify.

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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.

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June 23, 2019:

2 BUCK CHUCK: Sugar Daddy EP (CD Baby). Four Stars **** Distinguished debut by a new Southern Soul Artist.

2 Buck Chuck EP (Promo, Unpublished) Two Stars ** Dubious. Not much here.

A new southern soul artist with an exotic pedigree (named after a two-dollar Charles Shaw wine sold at Trader Joe's) and unlikely origins (Des Moines, Iowa, now living in Oakland), 2 Buck Chuck slipped unnoticed into last year's southern soul market with a five-song EP called Sugar Daddy. The first single to hit the charts didn't come until January of 2019. Beginning with a raucous "Do the ladies run this mutha?" "Hell, yeahhh!", "In The Club" had an almost startling immediacy: simple, robust instrumentation, free-wheeling organ-style keyboards, and a powerful vocalist reminiscent of the late Mel Waiters.

"Sugar Daddy" followed in April of 2019, with another hard-hitting rhythm track and organ joined with a tasty, singular lead guitar and a vocal that couldn't have had more Mississippi Delta swagger if the singer had lived his entire life in Greenville, Yazoo City or Philadelphia (Mississippi, not Pennsylvania). Even the cover art, done in a colorful, cartoon style that would jump out at you from the record-store bins, reflected the simplicity and humor of the music.

Listen to 2 Buck Chuck singing "Sugar Daddy" on YouTube.

With other audience-friendly songs like "I Couldn't Pull It Out" and "Clean Up On Aisle 6," the EP fairly shouted from the rooftops that here was an artist in full, fresh, first love with the southern soul genre. And there's nothing more true and satisfying than a new artist tackling southern soul with fresh perspective impossible for veteran artists to reclaim. Those first, heady days when southern soul comes through like a blazing vision are almost exclusively the purview of the uninitiated.

Listen to 2 Buck Chuck singing "I Couldn't Pull It Out" on YouTube.

So it was with some astonishment that your Daddy B. Nice received a new EP of 2 Buck Chuck songs not yet available commercially that--lo and behold--finds Chuck turning his back on the powerful simplicity and directness of the Sugar Daddy EP. Did some misguided "expert" give 2 Buck Chuck the wrong advice? Did someone tell him to "clean it up"? Did someone tell him to get more sophisticated, i.e. "urban"?

"Haters Gone Hate" is the best of the new quartet of songs (most not yet available on YouTube). Imagine a little Vick Allen-style instrumentation sprinkled on a 2 Buck Chuck track and you have a sense of the sound. Voice-overs--especially the female voice--help keep the tune in the southern soul arena, but the crude "edge" of the SUGAR DADDY EP is lost.

The balance of the tracks--"I Can Show You," "Duncan Heinz" and the pleasant "A Good Woman, A Good Man"--are likewise diluted rather than strengthened by 2 Buck Chuck's efforts to stretch out musically. Not that the songs are bad or negligible. They just don't have the raw, career-making potency of "Sugar Daddy," of which could be said, "It's been done a thousand times before, and it still sounds new."

So I am rushing out this review to warn 2 Buck Chuck: Don't sacrifice the very thing that makes you special. Don't diversify. Don't show us all the styles in your bag. Not yet, anyway. Keep that Sugar Daddy edge--that big edge--that makes you stand out from the pack.

--Daddy B. Nice.

Buy 2 Buck Chuck's Sugar Daddy EP at CD Baby.

Here's the recently released "official video" for "Sugar Daddy" by 2 Buck Chuck.

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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.

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May 27, 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.

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 to her place 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.

J. Red is known for his many collaborations with female singers (NayCole, Shay Denise, Sharnette Hyter, etc.). He told your Daddy B. Nice that the uncredited lady singing background on Platinum Soul and his other records is Sham Redmond. She is also his songwriting collaborator and vice-president of his record label, as well as his wife and a serious playwright in her own right.

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 sounded a little repetitive and monochromatic the first couple of times I heard it, but the hook kept returning, and I'd think, "Where is this coming from? Oh yeah!That party song with the disco-pounding tempo and delicate, Van Morrison-like, saxophone fills!"

Listen to J. Red (The Nephew) singing "Party Hard" on YouTube.

Jesse Redmond not only captures good melodies and tempos. He embellishes his tunes in places where many of his peers are content to coast on auto-pilot. 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. And all are on display in the charismatic "Party Hard," which just keeps getting better and better the more you play it. If you were ever smitten by U-2's "It's A Beautiful Day" (and a few of you were; it's got 126 million YouTube views), you'll find the same irresistible spell cast over you by "Party Hard".

Frankly, in my infatuation with the above-described music, there are tunes on PLATINUM SOUL I've barely begun to explore. "That Thang Was Good To Me" and "Let's Make Love Tonight" are promising southern soul projects. "Sipping Slow," in addition to being quintessential southern soul, emits an allure that could make it a fan favorite.

"Have A Good Time," features Chicago soul singer Theo Huff, who hasn't been heard in southern soul since his 2014 hit, "It's A Good Thing I Met You".

"What's Up For The Night" showcases a duet with the the always-in-demand Karen Wolfe, who invariably sounds like she's singing under the shade of a straw bonnet from the middle of a Mississippi cotton field.

Watch the new video of J. Red & Karen Wolfe singing "What's Up For The Night" on YouTube.

"Turn It Out" is this album's "I Will"--fast-tempo-ed, peppy. "I Got To Have Her" is similarly uptempo, with a tinge of the boy-group sound. Both straddle the fence between urban R&B and southern soul, and may appeal more to those whose inclinations tend to the former.

Finally, 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". Buoyancy and optimism are the orders of the day.

"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, swaying-the-shoulders, grown-folks felicity J. Red has been mining since his line-dancing break-out hit, "Step Out".

--Daddy B. Nice

Read Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to J. Red The Nephew.

Buy J. Red The Nephew's new Platinum Soul CD at Amazon.

Buy J. Red The Nephew's new album PLATINUM SOUL at iTunes.

Browse all of J. Red's albums in Daddy B. Nice's CD Store.

Listen to all of the tracks from J. Red's PLATINUM SOUL album on YouTube.

Listen to J. Red's PLATINUM SOUL on Spotify.

Watch for "I Forgot I Was Married" and "Party Hard" (probable #1 and #2 singles) in Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Singles: June 2019.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Various Artists (Ecko), Blues Mix 28, Dance Party Soul, 7-7-19

2 Buck Chuck, Sugar Daddy EP, 6-23-19

J. Red The Nephew, Platinum Soul, 5-27-19

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

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

Jaye Hammer, Double Trouble, 3-24-19

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RECENTLY REVIEWED:


Lady Q, Class 'N Session, 3-3-19 (Contained in the Lady Q Artist Guide. Click link.)

Val McKnight, Stroke That Cat, 2-10-19 (Contained in the Val McKnight Artist Guide. Click link.)

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.)

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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.


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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

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

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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.

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SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
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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

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SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide
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