Carl Sims (21st Century)
Daddy B. Nice's #24 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues"
Carl Sims (21st Century)
Composed by John Cummings & John Ward
July 27, 2019:
I stumbled upon a rare and informative--you might almost say "first of its kind"--article on Carl Sims. You can find it at Carl Sims, Living Blues #233 by Scott M. Bock. I've occasionally commented on "Living Blues Magazine's" antipathy towards southern soul music, but this piece--part-interview--is respectful and thorough, and filled with pleasant surprises.
--Daddy B. Nice
July 1, 2018:
New Album Alert!
Sample/Buy Carl Sims new LIVING IN A ROOMING HOUSE/I LOVE YOU CD at CD Baby.
LIVING IN A ROOMING HOUSE, I LOVE YOU TRACK LIST:
1. I Love You
2. Living in a Rooming House
3. Trail Ride (feat. Renee Caldwell)
4. If You Wanna Leave Go On
5. I Choose You
6. Six Pack of Common Sense
7. Just Because
8. Country Boy
9. When Something Is Wrong with My Baby (feat. Debra Benson)
Daddy B. Nice notes:Carl Sims' new album LIVING IN A ROOMING HOUSE/I LOVE YOU is primarily a vehicle to market and make available to his audience his recent single of the same name--and a good one at that--"Living In A Rooming House," which charted here last year.
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .
...6. "I'm Living In A Rooming House (In My Own Home)"----Carl Sims
Two things you can count on. Carl Sims is still one of the great contemporary southern soul singers, and he still knows how to choose powerful material.
Listen to Carl Sims singing "Living In A Rooming House" on YouTube.
"Six Pack Of Common Sense," another good single, is reprised from 2014's ARE YOU SERIOUS. And who remembered that Carl Sims was singing about currently-popular trail rides back in 2011 on HELL ON MY HANDS? Covers of the Johnnie Taylor classic "Just Because" and the Sam And Dave standard "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" also appear.
I'm not sure if the interesting "Country Boy" is new--I haven't seen any promotional material--or if I just missed it somewhere along Sims' long career. Also uncertain about "I Love You"--new or previously released? Being included in the title hints that it's new, but I have not seen any promotion on this one either.
If you're new to southern soul music, Carl Sims is one of the best singers in the genre, with a half-dozen songs that rank with the best of Johnnie Taylor, Marvin Sease, Cicero Blake or Ronnie Lovejoy.
Listen to Carl Sims singing "Country Boy" on YouTube.
Listen to Carl Sims singing "I Love You" on YouTube.
Buy Carl Sims new LIVING IN A ROOMING HOUSE/I LOVE YOU album at CD Baby.
--Daddy B. Nice
Note: Carl Sims also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's). The "21st Century" after Carl Sims' name in the headline is to distinguish his artist-guide entries on this page from his artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's original chart.
Daddy B. Nice's Updated Profile of Carl Sims
Carl Sims is one of the "grown men" of Southern Soul. He's been doing it for years and you can still hear the umbilical cord to late-sixties and early-seventies soul in every bar he sings. Commentators have justifiably remarked on his debt to Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis.
Sims' greatest hits ("Seventeen Days Of Loving," "I'm Trapped") precede the 21st Century, although they were memorialized most significantly in the one-of-a-kind album, M & M Man, in 2001. Sims had already spent a generation in the music business by the time M & M Man popularized the songs with the contemporary Southern Soul and chitlin' circuit audience.
"Seventeen Days Of Loving," with a rare, early guitar-wielding appearance by bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd, featured Sims' unerring capability at singing straight-ahead, mid-tempo, hook-laden soul tunes.
"I'm Trapped" showcased Sims' "operatic" or "epic" style, extended ballads highlighted by dramatic swings of emotion and musical contrasts.
Listen to Carl Sims singing "I'm Trapped" on YouTube while you read.
In translating Carl Sims for the 21st Century, three albums--beginning with M & M Man--are of paramount importance.
With apologies for bypassing his first Ecko album, It's Just A Party, (2004), with its durable chitlin' circuit anthems "I Like This Place" and "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues," Sims still packed the most of himself--and the most accurate representations of his overall oeuvre--into his last Ecko release, Can't Stop Me (2007) and his first CDS release, Hell On My Hands (2011). And it's no coincidence that both CD's are attempts to recapture the musical scope and summation of M & M Man.
Can't Stop Me features Sims' stab at recreating the hooky single success of "Seventeen Days Of Loving" in "I Like This Place." And the soap-opera-like "Daylight" is an unabashed attempt to revisit the spectacular musical dimensions of "Trapped," another domestic drama.
Can't Stop Me is also notable for its version of Johnnie Taylor's "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone," sung in a style few younger-generation stars since the death of Reggie P. can approximate.
The CD also contains "If I Could I Would," a little-known song whose background track and arrangement Al Green and LaMorris Williams borrowed mostly intact for their 2012 hit duet-single, "You Make Me Happy."
Similarly, on Sims' 2011 CDS release, Hell On My Hands, the title tune (written by singer-songwriter Charlie Brown) follows in the epic footsteps of "Daylight," which in turn stands in the formidable shadows of "Trapped," while the uptempo "Trail Ride" explores the hooky territory of "I Like This Place" and "Seventeen Days Of Loving."
The one drawback of the two later albums is a perceptible drop-off in quality. It's evident in the diminishing clarity and power of Sims' vocals, and it's evident in the "AM-quality" studio sound, which reveals itself most tellingly on the broad-canvas numbers like "Daylight" and "Hell On My Hands." The sophisticated musical textures of his nineties' anthems have receded far into the past, like some no longer accessible, snow-capped mountain region of Sims' world.
Which brings us full-circle and back to Daddy B. Nice's #1 Recommended Carl Sims single (as opposed to album) in the 21st Century:
Listen to Carl Sims singing "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues."
"It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" is a John Cummings & John Ward-written dance jam recorded in 2004 at Ecko Records in Memphis.
Fortuitously accompanied by one of the first (and still rare) internet music videos of a contemporary Southern Soul star, "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" catches Carl Sims at a mid-career peak, with the best of his youth mingling potently with the grizzled playa he has become. If the vocal was any steamier, you wouldn't be able to see out the windows.
Sims has always carried around the reputation of a hard-living hedonist, so the vaguely pimpish man-about-town he plays so convincingly in his elaborately long, immaculately-pink, three-piece suit in the song and the video suits him. This guy has always loved his threads.
Best of all, "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues" captures Carl Sims' incredible blues power for all to see and hear. The sound is impeccable, the tempo is pleasurably relentless, the bass line addictive, the lyrics inspired. The song epitomizes today's Southern Soul connection to Stax and all the great soul labels of the past, and you'd have to go all the way back to Mel Waiter's "Hole In The Wall" to find anything as good or better in contemporary Southern Soul.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Carl Sims (21st Century)
Born in 1949 in Memphis, Tennessee, Carl Sims began his professional career at the age of sixteen, singing with the original BarKays. In those formative years, according to his Malaco Records biography, Sims toured continuously with Otis Redding and The BarKays. But his touring was cut short with the untimely death of Redding and three of the five members of the BarKays in a plane crash on December 10, 1967. Sims and James Alexander (one of The BarKays) flew a commercial flight carrying the musical equipment to one of the shows while Redding and The BarKays took a private flight.
Song's Transcendent Moment
"You got a 40-ounce
1. July 29, 2012: Here are some of the Carl Sims songs currently available on YouTube:
March 30, 2014: NEW ALBUM ALERT!
Sample/Buy Carl Sims' ARE YOU SERIOUS CD.
Daddy B. Nice notes: The title song (and first track) from Carl Sims' new CD ARE YOU SERIOUS was originally recorded by Tyrone Davis: TYRONE DAVIS (Highrise 1982).
Listen to Carl Sims singing "Are You Serious?" on Google Play.
The album also includes last year's single, "Six Pack Of Common Sense."
Listen to Carl Sims singing "Six Pack Of Common Sense" on YouTube.
Carl also reprises Johnnie Taylor's classic ballad "Just Because" and Sam & Dave's standard "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Debra Benson shares the lead vocal on the latter. Sims' own signature tunes, "Trapped" and "17 Days Of Loving" are given "live" (although they sound like studio) treatments.
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
If you liked O. V. Wright's "A Nickel And A Nail," you'll love, Carl Sims' "It Ain't A Juke Joint Without The Blues."
Honorary "B" Side
"Seventeen Days Of Loving"
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.)