Nelson Curry (New 4-Star CD Review)
April 1, 2022:
Nelson Curry: Evolution Of The Blues (Neo Blues Music) Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new. Nelson Curry's new album, EVOLUTION OF SOUL, comes eleven years after North Augusta, South Carolina's Klass Band Brotherhood (formerly Le Klass) blew up southern soul radio with "Sugaa Shack" from their 2011 "Out Of The Shadows Of Soul CD. Curry parted with the band (including his brother Allen) shortly after their second album "We Call The Shots In Soul," which included another classic hit single, "Dance Floor". And although Nelson has enjoyed a successful solo career, including winning Daddy B. Nice's Best Male Vocalist of 2018 for "Same Hotel," like Tre' Williams after leaving The Revelations he has never regained the live-band heights he experienced with Klass's national Blues Is Alright touring after "Sugaa Shack".
Perhaps aware of that discrepancy, Evolution Of Soul slips somewhat tentatively into the musical action with "Drinks On Me" and "Liquor House," picks up gradually beginning with "Pop That Lady" and "Pop That Thang" and really hits stride with "Party With Friends". This mid-tempo gem segues into a stirring personal hymn, "Father, Father" with universal qualities that reverberate long after the play ends. Next up is "Juke Joint," a light-as-a-feather, sugar-shack-like club jam. Both songs charted on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Singles back to back in February and March.
Nor is Nelson averse to delving further into the past, reviving and reprising "Honey Hole" from Klass's first album. "You Deserve Better" gives Curry a chance to stretch out on a majestic-tempoed ballad as well as a theme current in southern soul, as does "Big Thick," which Curry at one time considered as a thematic thread for the entire album.
Curry returns to personal reminiscence in "Mamma," and although not as successful as "Father, Father," the memories embedded in the lyrics imbue Curry's already sonorous vocal skills with an added dimension of emotional depth, and fittingly, the set culminates with a tune---"Sweet As Apple Pie"---that turns the personal back into the universal.
From "Sugaa Shack" with live bandmates to "Party Starter" with rappers Joe Nice and Blackfist, Nelson Curry has proven time and again that his carillon-pealing tenor can adapt to an amazing variety of influences. With its bazaar of styles and quirky, street-sourced interludes, Evolution Of Soul could easily have wound up a mess. Yet everything is pleasing to the ear and all of a fabric---all held together by Nelson Curry's trademark soulfulness.
---Daddy B. Nice
July 1, 2020:
NEW ALBUM ALERT!: Buy Nelson Curry's new IT'S TIME FOR SOUL album at Amazon
IT'S TIME FOR SOUL Track List:1 My Woman
2 Same Hotel (Blues)
3 Love On Me
4 Wanting You
5 It's Time
6 Kitty Kandy
7 Roll With Me
8 Waiting On A Good Thang
9 Dance Floor (Remix)
10 Same Hotel (Yayo Swing Mix)
Daddy B. Nice notes: Few things are sweeter than Nelson Curry double-tracking his vocals in harmony. Take "Same Hotel (Yayo Swing Mix)," from Curry's new album, It's Time For Soul. Now this is a song you can appreciate, and if you're reasonably limber, it's a song you can't not dance to. I love Big Yayo the performer, but I miss Chris Mabry the producer. His "Yayo Swing Mix" is the work of a genius, transforming an already great tune into a song for the ages. "Same Hotel" gained Curry "Best Male Vocalist of 2018" (scroll down this page for an excerpt). The track anchors a collection brimming with Nelson Curry releases from the last few years, including "Love On Me," "Kitty Kandy," "Roll With Me" and "Dance Floor (Remix)". These are thrilling tracks, making this a sterling set. Nelson is one of the best solo vocalists at picking quality material, and when he discovers something with staying power, he's not averse to replaying it and remixing it, as well he should. In fact, the only prime cut from recent years missing from this collection is Nelson's finest collaboration with frequent partner and southern soul-loving hip-hopper Joe Nice, "Party Starter (Michael Jordan)". Also contained on this disc is a new Curry single---solid, but not quite as inspired as the singles already listed---titled "It's Time".
Listen to all the tracks from Nelson Curry's IT'S TIME FOR SOUL" on YouTube.
Listen to Nelson Curry's new IT'S TIME FOR SOUL album on Spotify.
Buy Nelson Curry's new IT'S TIME FOR SOUL album at Apple.
February 1, 2019: Originally posted on Daddy B. Nice's Best Of 2018 page.
January 26, 2019:
Daddy B. Nice Announces THE WINNERS of the 2018 (12th Annual) SOUTHERN SOUL MUSIC AWARDS.
Best Male Vocalist Nominees:
"Feel Me"----J-Wonn (w/ Keith Sweat)
"Girl, You Bad"----Avail Hollywood (w/ DJ Trac)
"The Blame"----Fat Daddy
"Black Horse"----Jeter Jones
"Down In The Club"----King Fred
"Parking Lot Love Affair"----O.B. Buchana
"100 Years"----Sir Charles Jones
"Let The Rain Come Down"----Lomax
"Same Hotel (Big Yayo Soul Swing Remix)"----Nelson Curry
"Squeeze Me"----Sir Charles Jones
"Ain't No Getting Over Me"----Tucka
"Club Booty"----David Brinston
"I Want You"----Vick Allen
"This Woman Of Mine"----Lamar Brace
"It's The Weekend"--Magic One
Best Male Vocalist: "Same Hotel (Big Yayo Soul Swing Remix)" by Nelson Curry Listen to Nelson Curry singing "Same Hotel" on YouTube.
To automatically link to Nelson Curry's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Curry, Nelson" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
February 13, 2016: RE-POSTED FROM DADDY B. NICE'S CORNER....
NEWS & NOTES
1. Lead Singer Nelson Curry & Klass Band Brotherhood Go Their Separate Ways
The Klass Band Brotherhood's "Sugar Shack" came out of nowhere on the aptly-titled OUT OF THE SHADOWS OF SOUL album in 2011, five years ago. Although Klass recorded some other worthy singles ("Dance Floor," "Big Mouth Woman," "Baby's Love," "We Juking At The Juke Joint"), the band was never able to capture magic in a bottle the way they did with "Sugar Shack."
Your Daddy B. Nice has had many conversations with Nelson Curry about the group's creative direction as their material has gradually drifted away from the "southern soul sweet spot" ("Sugar Shack") to a harder-edged, funk-based sound typified by songs like "Tutti Fruitti," "Sweet Valentine," "Gitcha Love" and, most recently, "Shake It." In the meantime, other entertainers like Bigg Robb have co-opted Klass's southern soul momentum with popular covers of "Sugar Shack."
At long last, the tension between Curry, who had grown uncomfortable with the funk the other four band-members--Wayne Bowman, Curtis Knight, Derrick Thomas and his cousin, Allen Curry--favored has resulted in an amicable separation. Nelson Curry aka Sugaa Shack Man has announced his solo career with the release of a "Sugar Shack"-pedigreed single called "The Girl With The Coke Bottle Frame," while the other members, calling themselves The Original Klass Band Brotherhood, have acquired new representation in Jeni Weber (Lomax, Frederick Hicks, etc.) with Bowman taking over lead-singer duties.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Nelson Curry (New 4-Star CD Review)
August 13, 2013: Originally posted in Daddy B. Nice's New CD Reviews.
KLASS BAND BROTHERHOOD: We Call The Shots In Soul (Neo Blues Music/Music Access/MP3 Only). Five Stars ***** Can't Miss. Pure Southern Soul Heaven.
Like musical "lifer" and fellow Georgian Theodis Ealey with "Stand Up In It," Nelson Curry and the Klass Band Brotherhood came out of nowhere, as far as the Southern Soul circuit was concerned, with their hit single "Sugaa Shack" two years ago. The Brotherhood had honed their chops as a party band (called Le Klass in those days) on the Carolina "beach" circuit, which caters to white audiences demanding all-live instruments and no synthesizers.
Based in Augusta, Georgia (Curry's actually from North Augusta, just across the state border in South Carolina), they might as well have been headquartered in Alaska. And yet, after "Sugar Shack" hit the Delta in 2011--one of the purest, mid-tempo, "sweet-spot" singles to grace Southern Soul music in ages--the Klass Band Brotherhood was thrust into the "national" spotlight on the Blues Is Alright Tour two years running.
Immediate acceptance. That's how good they were.
Now the band--Nelson Curry on lead vocals and overall production, Wayne Bowman on keyboards, Curtis Knight on bass guitar, Allen Curry on keyboards, Derrick Thomas on electronic pads (percussion) and Paisley Gordon on lead guitar--is back with their second CD, We Call The Shots In Soul, and the new disc is a keeper.
Three of the songs (well, actually four, "Good Love," the first single, was released and cited here earlier in the year) have already charted on Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles Reviews:
Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles Review for. . .
1. "My Baby's Love"------------Klass Band Brotherhood
Uncommonly deep and majestic, this is a brave new sound for Nelson Curry and the Klass Brotherhood, more like one might expect from the other great all-live-instruments band to arrive with Klass on the scene a couple of years ago, The Revelations featuring Tre' Williams (the latter unfortunately disbanded).
When I asked Nelson Curry if it was really him singing the lead vocal, he said, "On 'Baby's Love' I was trying to imagine if Otis Redding and Jackie Wilson sang together on a track."
Sample/Pre-Order Klass Band Brotherhood singing "My Baby's Love" from their new WE CALL THE SHOTS IN SOUL CD.
…….3. "We Jukin' (Juke Joint)"------------Klass Band Brotherhood
A Klass Band Brotherhood, mid-tempo Southern Soul classic, complete with a sugary Nelson Curry vocal, ingratiatingly restrained organ-style keyboards, and--yes--even a casual whistling phrase reminiscent of "Sugar Shack." From the terrific-sounding new CD from Nelson Curry, Wayne Bowman, Curtis Knight, Allen Curry and Derrick Thomas.
Sample/Pre-Order "We Jukin' At The Juke Joint" on new Klass Band Brotherhood WE CALL THE SHOTS IN SOUL CD.
Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles Review for. . .
4. "Dance Floor"--------Klass Band Brotherhood
Another plum of a single to be plucked from the upcoming Klass Band album. Memorable melody, inspired arrangement, passionate Curry vocal. A remix of "Dance Floor" with Mel Waiters trading vocals with Nelson Curry is also available.
Sample "Dance Floor" on Amazon.
These three near-masterpieces and the first single, "Good Love" (an uptempo jam executed with scathing ferocity) are bolstered by a supporting cast of worthy, second-tier songs. In "Olden Days" Curry just wants to "make it through the rain and the heartache." The melodies in "My Angel and "I'm Back (Soldier Song)" take a little longer to recognize, but once they gel they too become almost addictive. In "Best Day (My Wife)"--(Curry does have a hard time deciding on a single title)--he's intent on "making you my wife," and on "Blues Is Alright" he returns to "Olden Days" nostalgia with lots of references to Southern Soul and its stars.
At times Curry strays so far from the "Sugar Shack" sound--stretching out one way (Waiters-like nostalgia) in "Olden Days" and another Womackian way in "My Angel" and yet another, Staples-style way in "The Blues Is Alright" and still another way in the country-western-sounding "I'm Back (The Soldier)"--you fear the band will lose its focus altogether.
Thematically, though, the songs are all of a fabric, bonded by Curry's love for all things Southern Soul. And the musicianship is some of the best heard in Southern Soul music since the glory days of Malaco/Waldoxy (90's, early 00's).
It's almost impossible to explain to people outside of the chitlin' circuit why the genre disdains live instruments. It's not really disdain, it's the budget. But there was a time when I grew to love the very sound of synthetic rhythm sections, keyboards and horns because I understood the likelihood that the song wrapped in this low-brow production would be real--original, compelling music--as opposed to the formulaic, tiresome, technique-conscious albeit "live-instrument" blues so often heard.
This is close to saying a live band needs to apologize for being "live," which of course is ridiculous, but that in fact is the ironic gap that the Klass Band Brotherhood has traversed--for me, at least. Along with The Revelations featuring Tre' Williams, Klass has succeeded in doing what countless neo-soul aggregations (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, etc.) have failed to do--that is, sound real--not recycled.
And I'm increasingly coming to believe that if Southern Soul can combine the real thing--its authentic grit, passion, and unparalleled singing and songwriting originality--with an increasingly live-instrument sound (something, to tell you the truth, I never seriously imagined before) it could blow the top off popular music. With their tight-knit, audience-seasoned, dues-paying musicianship and Nelson Curry's ambitious musical vision, Klass is poised to do it--and become a major influence and role player in Southern Soul for years to come.
Preview Klass Band "We Call The Shots" mp3 singles on Amazon.
Go to Klass Band Brotherhood official website.
See 2012 Southern Soul Awards: Best Songwriter--Nelson Curry.
Klass Band Brotherhood on YouTube:
Listen to the Klass Band Brotherhood singing "Sugaa Shack" on YouTube.
Listen to the Klass Band Brotherhood singing "Sugaa Shack" (The Official Video) on YouTube.
Read about the Klass Band Brotherhood on their Facebook page.
Sample and Buy the Klass Band Brotherhood OUT OF THE SHADOWS OF SOUL mp3's/CD on iTunes.
Read feature on the Klass Band Brotherhood in "The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle."
Sample and Buy the Klass Band Brotherhood's Sugar Shack mp3 at CD Baby.
Listen to the Klass Band Brotherhood featuring Nelson Curry singing "Sugar Shack" Live Onstage on YouTube.
Listen to the pre-Southern Soul Klass Band back in the day, singing "That's What Love Can Do" on YouTube.
Listen and watch a booty-licious video of the DJ Steel Will Remix of the Klass Band Brotherhood's "Sugar Shack" on YouTube.
Learn to line-dance to the Klass Band Brotherhood's "Sugar Shack" on YouTube.
Watch a strange, prolonged, but ultimately rewarding, black-and-white promotional video for "Sugar Shack" and the Klass Band Brotherhood on YouTube.
Watch the Klass Band Brotherhood singing "Sugaa Shack" Live Onstage in Thomasville, Alabama on YouTube.
Listen to the Klass Band Brotherhood singing "Honey Hole" Live Onstage on YouTube.
Listen to the Klass Band Brotherhood singing "How Can You" Live Onstage on YouTube.
Listen to the Klass Band Brotherhood singing "Sugaa Shack Christmas" on YouTube.
Listen to Nelson Curry singing "Dock Of The Bay" on YouTube.
Listen to the original Fireball's "Sugar Shack" that baby-boomers listened to in the sixties (no relation to the Klass Band version) on YouTube.
Listen to the Bigg Robb Remix of the Klass Band's "Sugar Shack" on YouTube, also featuring Mz. Jackson.
Listen to Shaunda singing her remix of the Klass Band's "Sugaa Shack" via "Back To The Sugar Shack" on YouTube.
January 1, 2014:
CHART CLIMBERS 2014:
Long overdue, The Klass Band Brotherhood and their hit Southern Soul single "Sugar Shack" debuts at #50 on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul Artist Countdown.
Go to the complete library for Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Countdown: 21st Century Southern Soul Artists
Honorary "B" Side
CD: Sugaa Shack (Single)
Label: Nelson Curry / Neo Blues
CD: We Call The Shots In Soul
My Baby's Love
CD: We Call The Shots In Soul
Label: Neo Blues / Access
The Same Hotel (Big Yayo Soul Swing Remix) Single
CD: The Same Hotel (Big Yayo Soul Swing Remix)
Label: Neo Blues Music
Big Mouth Woman
CD: Out Of The Shadows Of Soul
Label: Nelson Curry / Neo Blues