Larome Powers R.I.P.
Daddy B. Nice's #74 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"Shake And Shimmey"
Larome Powers R.I.P.
Composed by Gerald Robinson
June 18, 2020:
Singer/Songwriter Larome Powers Dies
The artist passed away at 67 Wednesday, June 17th, in Dallas, Texas.
March 1, 2015: NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO ALERT!
With the release of his new CD, Stepping Out, Larome Powers has ramped up his YouTube presence. Although he's taken down the long-running YouTube page referenced for years in Daddy. B. Nice's original profile of the artist (below)--the link for "Shake & Shimmy" is now gone--Larome has added a handful of new videos, including:
Listen to Larome Powers singing "What's The Name Of That Thang" on YouTube.
And, just posted....
Listen to Larome Powers singing "I'm Knockin'" on YouTube.
And, recently posted....
Listen to Larome Powers singing "I Feel Like Cheating Tonight" on YouTube.
And your Daddy B. Nice is most gratified at unearthing this delightful mutation on Pat Cooley's and Denise LaSalle's "Older Woman Younger Man." (The YouTube video is buried under the title "Various Artists," making it impossible to find doing a search under the artist's name.)
Listen to Larome Powers singing "Older Man (Looking For A) Young Thang" on YouTube.
Watch for "Older Man (Looking For A) Young Thang" on Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten Singles Review in March 2015.
Sample/Buy Larome Powers' STEPPING OUT CD.
January 4, 2015: NEW ALBUM ALERT!
Sample/Buy Larome Powers' STEPPING OUT CD, including Daddy B. Nice's #11-ranked Southern Soul Single of 2014, "What's The Name Of That Thang?"
See Daddy B. Nice's Best Of 2014.
See Heiki Suosalo's welcome and valuable new profile of previously obscure artist Larome Powers at Soul Express DEEP #6/2014 (December).
Daddy B. Nice's Original Artist Guide
Earlier this year, a new sound from an old, familiar face surfaced as follows:
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Review For. . .
3. "I'm Knocking"-----Larome Powers
Remember the "Shake And Shimmey" guy? That was a great song. Larome Powers, its author, is back with "I'm Knocking At Your Door," slower and more groove-oriented. This song is going to get inside some heads. Hypnotic.
The single of "I'm Knockin" did get inside some heads, rising as high as #2 on Soul & Blues Report's National Top 25 Southern Soul Songs Chart. As of this writing (10/16/11), "I'm Knockin'" was still holding down the #4 spot on the chart compiled from Southern Soul deejay playlists.
Even more interesting from a larger-picture standpoint, the Larome Powers single bore the mark of Waldoxy Records, the Tommy Couch Jr.-owned label that--along with parent label Malaco Records--had recently moved away from Southern Soul music.
Powers' one and only album with Waldoxy, What's Life Without Love (2006), had been a mixed blessing.
Although the Waldoxy imprint had lent an immediate credibility and prestige--altogether justified--to Larome Powers' bid to become a well-known Southern Soul artist, the label's insular approach to marketing and promotion doomed the CD to minimal exposure. Fans were lucky if they heard "Shake And Shimmy," the stunning centerpiece of the album, on a handful of key Southern Soul radio outlets little heard outside the Deep South.
With a great, deep-bass, voice-over intro, "I Feel Like Cheatin' Tonight," the follow-up single, received even less air play, and the rest of the exemplary collection was never heard from again.
How good was "Shake And Shimmy"? Written by Powers himself under his pseudonym Gerald Robinson, the uptempo anthem was not just good but crossover-good: a sumptious blending of groove, melody and arrangement anchored by one of the most interesting, man-sized voices in contemporary rhythm and blues.
Few vocalists, even in the singer-rich ranks of Southern Soul, have the deep, growling baritone power that defines Southern Soul's primary characteristic: grit. Reggie P. had it. And Larome Powers has it.
"I was at the club
The other night.
And the women
Were wall to wall.
All the fellas
Hanging down tight,
Having a ball.
Man, this girl
Was so sexy,
On so strong. . . "
The pounding rhythm section accompanying these standard, girl-on-the-dance-floor lyrics and the terrific, fully-realized, tornado-lifting-Dorothy-out-of-Kansas arrangement give "Shake And Shimmey" an almost preternatural momentum.
'I came out to rock
Gonna party big time.
I'm going to
Shake and shimmey,
Party to the limit,
Have big fun tonight."
Songs with the melodic magnetism and dancefloor appeal of "Shake & Shimmey" only come around once in a great while, and singers with the lasting, deep-soul resonance of Larome Powers are even more rare.
In fact, "Shake & Shimmy" may be the most perfectly realized picking-up-a-partner-on-the-dance-floor fantasy recorded yet in contemporary Southern Soul.
As club dancers are so well aware, the reality of dancing turning to foreplay turning to one-night-stands is "the stuff dreams are made of," especially for the lonely singles who make a practice of the pursuit.
"Shake And Shimmey" lays down the perfect script, both musically and conceptually: wading onto the dance floor on your own, keeping your cool and making your moves, attracting a like-minded, lithe-moving dance partner of the opposite sex, and wordlessly forging a bond through the music and the dance.
This is what it's all about. And, as every single knows, the highs are higher and the lows are lower. And most nights the reality sends the lonely, love-starved dancer/hunter home alone once again.
But every so often the hunter captures the game, or is simultaneously captured by the game, and it's that poignant meeting of two strangers in a whirlpool mix of music, dance and sexual give-and-take, with a happy ending in sexual bliss, that "Shake and Shimmey" memorializes to perfection.
Larome Powers contributed the vocal arrangement, as well as producing and arranging duties as a whole, to "Shake And Shimmey" and the What's Life Without Love album.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Larome Powers R.I.P.
Under his given name, "Gerald Robinson," longtime songwriter Larome Powers has 99 registered song titles at BMI, including Jesse James' "I Can Do Bad By Myself."
Song's Transcendent Moment
"I hit the dance floor
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
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