Daddy B. Nice's #25 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"Rock Me (Until I Cannot Stand This Rocking Any...)"
July 1, 2019:
NEW ALBUM ALERT!
Buy Stan Mosley's SOUL RESURRECTION CD at Apple.
SOUL RESURRECTION TRACK LIST:
Ain't No Stoppin Us (Soul City)
You Oughta Be Here With Me
Get It and Hit It
We're Gonna Have A Good Time
If I Didn't Have You
People We Gotta Do Better
Tell Him The Way You Like Your Love
Let's Fall In Love
Ain't No Stoppin Us (Extended Remix)
Daddy B. Nice notes:At times, Stan Mosley's eleventh studio album--and his first collection of original material in a decade--appears to constitute a solid re-entry of the old master into today's volatile and ever-changing southern soul market. "Get It And Hit It" has some of the uptempo, feverish impact of "Man Up". "People We Gotta Do Better" mines one of Mosley's favorite themes: social justice.
However, two covers of "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now," placed strategically at the beginning and end of the set, inject so much 70's disco into the proceedings that the album fades in a fog of nostalgia. The disco-era strings couldn't be further from the southern soul atmosphere of Mosley's classic ballad, "Rock Me," or his uptempo paradigm, "Anybody Seen My Boo?"
For some reason (possibly because he never made any money at it), Mosley has never been content with the southern soul genre in the way fellow Chicagoans Tyrone Davis, Otis Clay and Cicero Blake were, instead restlessly moving among soul sub-genres-- a trait, coincidentally, picked up by his younger understudy, Chicagoan Theo Huff. Stan never understood how much he was cherished, if not remunerated, by the southern soul audience.
"My Problem" is in the same vein, northern retro-soul in the tradition of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, so much so that you almost expect Teddy Pendergrass to break in with a powerfully-sung verse. In spite of recording with Malaco Records and some of the greatest southern soul songwriters of the nineties and early aughts, Mosley's Soul Resurrection not only leaves a southern soul fan with the troubling thought that Stan Mosley never really became comfortable in the genre. It makes one wonder whether Stan Mosley ever found out who he really is artistically.
Listen to all the tracks from Stan Mosley's new SOUL RESURRECTION album on YouTube.
Buy Stan Mosley's new SOUL RESURRECTION album at Amazon.
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Stan Mosley: An Appreciation"Rock Me" was the tune that carried Stan Mosley into the new century, and also the song that endeared him to Southern Soul fans. And yet, Stan might never have recorded the song if the late Senator Jones hadn't convinced the hard-singing Mosley that the tender ballad, from 1998's The Soul Singer (Malaco), was the real deal, the epicenter of the Southern Soul experience.
Senator Jones had a vision of Southern Soul second to no other. The vision was of soul music with the accessibility of early rock and roll tempered and filtered through the gospel music Jones knew and loved so well. Mosley, a tried and true, blues-infused soul singer, was the perfect counterpart--the rough sandpaper, as it were--to the simple, non-hip, some-would-say sentimental lyrics of "Rock Me." Stan made the words believable, and for the fans that belief went especially deep.
A longtime Chicagoan and successor to the generation that included Tyrone Davis, Otis Clay and Cicero Blake, Mosley (along with a new generation of Chicagoans including Floyd Hamberlin, Jr., Nellie "Tiger" Travis and Floyd Taylor) found the musical going harder and the path less well-defined in the 21st Century.
Chicago-area artists like Mosley weren't encouraged to entertain Southern Soul-style locally in the way they were feted and celebrated in the South. Nor had the Chicago fan base bought into the resurgence of contemporary Southern Soul music.
Chi-town audiences preferred the blues in its historical form, as the South Side blues bars and the success of Buddy Guy and his club The Legends on Wabash Avenue attested. And when the local fans came to see local Southern Soul-oriented artists like Mosley or Nellie "Tiger" Travis, they wanted to hear what they were used to hearing on regional radio: the bluesier side of their repertoires.
Nevertheless, fans of Southern Soul may be surprised by the amount of material Stan Mosley has released in the last decade. Much of it has been in the Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett mode, hard-hitting soul and blues not that different from the records Mosley cut at Malaco in the late nineties.
And the best of it can be heard on Mosley's first disc with California-based CDS Records, Man Up. in which Mosley teamed up with fellow Chicagoan Floyd Hamberlin, Jr., who wrote and produced all the tracks.
"Man Up" is a furious and intensely-focused dance jam with a vocal that showcases all of Mosley's vintage technique. The tempo and groove are as tight as handcuffs.
But what makes the song even more peculiar and distinctive are its lyrics, in which a man lacerates himself with self-loathing in a fashion seldom heard on record. Phrases like "I'm just a lazy bum," "I've got to find me a job," "I'm tired of doing without," build towards the title's crescendo: "I've got to man up."
Underlying all of this emotion are chords (courtesy of Hamberlin) that never grow tiresome and an instrumental track steaming like an order of fajitas.
"Lockdown," from Mosley's second CDS album, I'm Comin' Back (2009), in which Stan riffs in somewhat tongue-in-cheek fashion that his lady has him on "lockdown--staying home with my baby," is another example of his ability to dramatize a domestic issue. The mid-tempo track features an almost hoarse Mosley singing with consummate passion.
I'm Comin' Back also showcases Mosley singing in a gentle falsetto on Curtis Mayfield's 1975 mega-hit, "So In Love," an exercise in inspired tenderness that brings Mosley full-circle to 1998's "Rock Me."
Even on quite simple and straightforward tracks such as "Lockdown" and "So In Love," Stan Mosley has always infused his songs with an intelligence and character unusual in Southern Soul. Many of his lesser songs--"Change (Family Reunion)" or "So-Called Friends," also from the I'm Comin' Back CD, for instance--depict Mosley's involvement and awareness of social issues.
In fact, one can see Mosley's catalog over the years as an attempt to convey that intelligence and character while still proving his command of all the usual pleasure-seeking themes of Southern Soul (partying, lovemaking, cheating). The irony of Mosley's career is how much better the simple, Southern Soul-themed songs are in relation to the more social-minded and thinking-man's tunes.
Somehow, the intelligence and sensitivity filters through the simplicity of the low-brow tunes, making them especially full and rewarding, whereas the more purely mental and social tunes lack that extra dimension of hidden character. Maybe it's the fact that character in the service of social issues never quite carries the depth of character in love.
Listen to Stan Mosley's "Rock Me" on YouTube while you read.
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:
Like so many worthy Southern Soul artists, Stan Mosley has recorded at least two songs of such incredible merit that it's almost impossible to choose between them. "Anybody Seen My Boo" is the more well known chitlin' circuit hit, and the one your Daddy B. Nice has personally played the most. But although it's more modest, a little slower, and perhaps a little less innovative, the Stan Mosley song Daddy B. Nice would take to a desert island is Mosley's "Rock Me (Until I Cannot Stand This Rocking Any More)" from The Soul Singer CD, Malaco, 1998.
Actually, "Rock Me's" roots go all the way back to the early days of Malaco Records, when Sam (not Stan) Mosley of the R&B songwriting team and performing duo Mosley and Johnson recorded the tune. That track and another, faster version by Stan Mosley himself can be heard on Malaco's compilation box set entitled The Last Soul Company (Malaco, 1999). But the definitive version is the slow-tempo, female-backed-up, personal and passionate rendition on Stan Mosley's The Soul Singer.
"One night after my show,
I was laying on, ready to go,
And in walked this lady,
Right through the door.
And she looked so pretty,
So pretty, pretty.
Ain't it a pity,
That she's not with me."
The words may look flat and weak on the page, yet "Rock Me" is a reminder that love exists in all its fascinating coincidence and tenderness--at least, it does to people as attentive to the world and spiritually "ready" for love as the song's hero and the "apple of his eye." Mosley uses bluesy, slow-jam, vocal inflections--perhaps first used on an obscure early track entitled "Makes You Wanna Cry"--to describe the inexorable progress of a man and woman falling in love.
"So I asked her,
If she wanted to dance.
She said, 'Stan, I'm not that good,
But I'll take a chance.'"
The composer of the song is Frederick Knight, the author of Johnnie Taylor's "Big Head Hundreds" and, more recently, Shirley Brown's "Sleep With One Eye Open." But Stan Mosley scored an even bigger Southern Soul hit with another Knight composition, "Anybody Seen My Boo" (Souled Out, Malaco, 2000). "Boo" was one of the genre's first and most successful attempts to push the boundaries of Southern Soul toward the up-tempo pace of rock and roll and the state-of-the-art arranging of hiphop.
Imagine a voice like Wilson Pickett's whipping a groove like Bobby Womack's "I'm Looking For A Love," and you've got some idea of Stan Mosley's rendering of "Anybody Seen My Boo." Yet it was also a consolidation of a classic soul sound that had disappeared with the demise of artists like Junior Walker & The All Stars and Sam & Dave.
As it turned out, "Anybody Seen My Boo" has had a considerable impact. It's considered one of the best "jams" in Southern Soul. And listening to the sincerity of "Boo" or the humility of "Rock Me" makes the music fan delight in their refreshing contrast to hiphop's tiresome "fronting". And yet, all the time it's happening musically too, with the same masterful arrangements over the same creative, undulating bass lines.
Contrast that energy with the slow, burning desire in "Rock Me (Until I Cannot Stand This Rocking Any More)," and you just about have it all in Southern Soul music.
"'Rock me, baby,
You don't have to rush it,
It's all yours,
Go on and touch it.'"
It's all in the expressive vocals of Mosley, of course. As a fan, you hear this marked simplicity--this lack of attitude--in the perfectly expressed lyrics, and tears of gratitude practically well up in your eyes. And you think, "Thank you, Stan. 'Rock Me' is the kind of music I want to hear for the rest of my life."
--Daddy B. Nice
About Stan Mosley
Stan Mosley was born in 1952 in Chicago. In 1974 he moved to East St. Louis, IL. and joined a group named The Sharpees, which later toured as a back-up band for Shirley Brown.
Song's Transcendent Moment
"Rock me, baby,
Stan Mosley on YouTube
Listen to Stan Mosley singing "Rock Me" on YouTube.
Listen to Stan Mosely singing "Anybody Seen My Boo" on YouTube.
Listen to Stan Mosley singing "So In Love" on YouTube.
Listen to Stan Mosely singing "Man Up" on YouTube.
Listen to Stan Mosley singing "You Gonna Make Me Cheat" on YouTube.
Listen to Stan Mosely singing "Starting To Stop" on YouTube.
Listen to Stan Mosely singing "Your Wife Is My Woman" on YouTube.
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
"Anybody Seen My Boo"
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