William Bell (New Album Alert!)
Daddy B. Nice's #77 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"I Forgot To Be Your Lover"
William Bell (New Album Alert!)
Composed by William Bell & Booker T. Jones
May 1, 2023:
NEW ALBUM ALERT!Buy William Bell's new ONE STEP CLOSER TO HOME album at Amazon.
ONE STEP CLOSER TO HOME TRACK LIST:Still Go To Parties
I Will Remember Tonight
In A Moment Of Weakness
Brag About You
I've Got Feet
Let's Make Loving Great Again
We Can Never Go Back
One Day Closer To Home
When I Stop Loving You
Ain't Gon' Let It Bother Me
Daddy B. Nice notes:William Bell's 2016 album THIS IS WHERE I LIVE won a Grammy in the "Americana" category because the majority of the country doesn't yet know about southern soul. Now Bell releases his first album since the Grammy winner, and once again it's impeccably produced, running the gamut from ballads with a seemingly autobiographical and personalised bent like "When I Stop Loving You" to steaming, presumabaly alter-ego blues like the title tune. Whether it's the scorching guitar accompaniment of the latter or breathtaking violin fills of the former, the lavish and live instrumental tracks will make southern soul aficionados shake their heads in amazement.
Listening to a tune like "Georgia Peach," it's easy to understand why "americana" comes up with the art of William Bell. So many influences course through his songs: country, rock and roll, southern soul, Z.Z. Hill-style blues, all filtered through what appears to be a discerning and superior intelligence, the kind of man anyone would like to have as a friend and soulmate.
"I Still Go To Parties" has a James Brownish feel, albeit filtered through Bell's mellow temperament (aptly symbolized by muted live horns), while "I Will Remember Tonight" and "In A Moment Of Weakness" have a distinct country---even folk-singing---flavor, which is to say this is southern soul music, pure and simple (an amalgam of all), only of an ivory-tower sort.
Ivory-tower, yes, but also cutting-edge. The use of live violins will make old-timers swoon, yearning for the days not only of live strings but the mysteriously missing mouth harp. Bobby Rush, with whom Bell toured a few years ago (see below), appears to be the last. Readers may also want to read my recent recent CD review of Stan Mosley's "No Soul, No Blues," wherein the gap between the "live" and the "programed" is discussed.
"One Step Closer To Home" was the #7-ranked song on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Singles October 2022.
Listen to William Bell singing "When I Stop Loving You" on YouTube.
Listen to all the tracks from William Bell's ONE DAY CLOSER TO HOME album on YouTube.
Listen to all the tracks from William Bell's ONE DAY CLOSER TO HOME album on Spotify.
September 4, 2017: Re-Posted from Daddy B. Nice's Corner
September 4, 2017:
William Bell & Bobby Rush Take Southern Soul NorthIt had to happen sooner or later...And at last, it has. Buoyed by two of its stars "crossing over" and winning Grammies last year (Bobby Rush in "traditional blues," William Bell in "americana"), southern soul music heads north of the Mason-Dixon line in the most ambitious attempt yet to take the favored music of the Deep South beyond its traditional borders.
It may be watered down, it may be "black" music tailored for "white" audiences, it may be circumscribed to appeal to a demographic with no knowledge of or appreciation for the last quarter-century of contemporary southern soul music and southern blues. But it's the most prominent step yet in the chitlin' circuit's ongoing bid to "break out" into the national market in a manner reminiscent of the birth and glory days of rock and roll.
The Take Me To The River National Concert Tour is an offshoot of the remarkable "Take Me To River" documentary featured here in 2014-15 and starring Bell, the late Otis Clay, Snoop Dogg and others.
Listen to William Bell featuring Snoop Dog singing "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" on YouTube.
Listen to Otis Clay featuring Lil' P-Nut singing "Trying To Live My Life Without You" on YouTube.
Will these concerts approximate the excitement and X-rated ribaldry of the Dirty South? Will Bobby Rush bring his twerking dancers, lean over, hunch close and sniff that nookie thang? That's doubtful. New audiences will probably be unnecessarily polite, respectful, sedentary and--at times--perhaps a little lost. But they should also be transported and inspired.
Day-after-day intensive and months long, the tour represents a powerful surge of southern culture and marginalized musicians--in both Bell's and Rush's cases, the majority of their careers--into the country's musical heartland, and the first indication for many "national types" that rhythm and blues still produces roses amidst the thorns of hiphop.
The tour's headliners are Rush, Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, Don Bryant, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy, The Hi Rhythm Section and The Stax Academy Alumni. The tour "preps" in the comfort of the Delta before heading to college towns and other "hip" cities across the North and West, including assorted southern hubs. The only region of the country left out is the Northeast.
Here's the complete Take Me To The River tour itinerary:
Sep 26 Cleveland, MS
Sep 28 Lafayette, LA
Sep 29 Baton Rouge, LA
Sep 30 Houston, TX
Oct 01 Dallas, TX
Oct 03 Midland, TX
Oct 05 Tucson, AZ
Oct 06 Mesa, AZ
Oct 07 Solana Beach (San Diego), CA
Oct 08 Malibu (Los Angeles), CA
Oct 11 San Francisco, CA
Oct 12 Folsom, CA
Oct 13 Napa, CA
Oct 18 Portland, OR
Oct 20 Bremerton, WA
Oct 21 Kirkland, WA
Oct 22 Tacoma, WA
Oct 25 Billings, MT
Oct 26 Fort Collins, CO
Oct 27 Lone Tree (Denver), CO
Oct 28 Salina, KS
Oct 31 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 01 Minneapolis, MN
Nov 03 Kansas City, MO
Nov 05 Glen Ellyn, IL
Nov 07 Wausau, WI
Nov 08 Appleton, WI
Nov 09 Rochester, MN
Nov 10 Milwaukee, WI
Nov 12 Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 13 Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 14 Chicago, IL
Jan 25, 2018 Durham, NC
Jan 26, 2018 Roanoke, VA
Jan 27, 2018 Irmo, SC
Jan 29, 2018 Gainesville, FL
Jan 30, 2018 Jacksonville, FL
Feb 02, 2018 Tampa, FL
Feb 03, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL
The itinerary gives fans outside the southern soul concert circuit the opportunity to see two of the music's greatest living artists, Bobby Rush and William Bell.
Your Daddy B. Nice keeps wondering what that show in Malibu will be like. Full of movie stars with sand in their toes from just walking in from the restricted beach? More power to southern soul music.
And hats off(!) and thank you, Al Green.
--Daddy B Nice
Listen to Al Green singing "Take Me To The River" on YouTube.
Listen to Al Green onstage, taking it to the national audience accompanied by B.B. King, Lenny Kravitz, Cheryl Crow and others singing "Take Me To The River" on YouTube.
Listen to Jeff Floyd featuring William Bell singing "Somebody's Gonna Lose A Good Woman Tonight" on YouTube.
See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to Bobby Rush.
See Daddy B. Nice's Artist Guide to William Bell.
February 26, 2017:
Grammy Award Winner!: Best Americana Album: THIS IS WHERE I LIVE (Stax)Buy William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE album at Amazon.
View William Bell's Grammy Award Show performance singing "Born Under A Bad Sign" with Gary Clark Jr. on YouTube.
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .
2. "Born Under A Bad Sign"------William Bell
Where there is sun, there is shade. Maintaining the intimate acoustic sound of "The Three Of Me" and "This Is Where I Live," William Bell explores the dark classic by Albert King. Bell wrote it, by the way, during the Summer of Love, 1967.
Listen to William Bell singing "Born Under A Bad Sign" on YouTube.
Daddy B. Nice's Best Southern Soul Song By Longtime Veteran: "The Three Of Me" by William BellListen to William Bell singing "The Three Of Me" on YouTube.
See Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2016 Southern Soul Awards.
December 7, 2016:
2017 Grammy Award Nominee!
Congratulations to William Bell! Two 2017 Grammy Award Nominations!
June 1, 2016:
New Album Alert! New NPR Interview!
Listen to William Bell singing "The Three Of Me" from his new album, THIS IS WHERE I LIVE.
Daddy B. Nice notes: I heard this excellent interview with William Bell by Scott Simon by chance last Saturday on my local NPR affiliate. NPR routinely ignores southern soul music, and oh, how mighty-fine it sounded to hear William singing the stanza of "The Three Of Me" with which the audio interview begins. Oh, and not to forget: the album's out on Stax, not Wilbe.
Read the Scott Simon NPR Interview with William Bell.
Sample/Buy William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE CD at Soul Blues Music.
Listen to William Bell singing "This Is Where I Live" (from the new album) on YouTube.
Sample/Buy William Bell's THIS IS WHERE I LIVE CD at iTunes.
For the latest updates on William Bell, scroll down to the "Tidbits" section. To automatically link to William Bell's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Bell, William" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
--Daddy B. Nice
About William Bell (New Album Alert!)
William Henry Yarborough, aka legendary Stax balladeer William Bell, was born July 16, 1939. Bell (who took the name from his grandmother) grew up in a gospel-singing family in Memphis, where he attended high school (Booker T. Washington High) with future Stax peers Rufus Thomas, Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, Homer Banks, J. Blackfoot and David Porter.
Listen to William Bell featuring Snoop Dogg singing "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" on YouTube. (Link updated 2/20/16)
November 8, 2014: Postscript
Just so readers don't misconstrue my critical comments about Snoop below.... On the contrary, Snoop is the #1 artist on your Daddy B. Nice's chart The Soulful Side Of Rap & Hiphop: Daddy B. Nice's Top Twenty.
And one last thought... This isn't the first time William Bell has attracted hiphop luminaries. See the Jaheim "Put This Woman First" version of "I Forgot To Be Your Lover" story below. (Scroll down to Tidbits #1.)
November 1, 2014:
In the rap song “It’s About The Money,” Too Short and Puff Daddy (with Faith Evans background-singing) are bragging about all the money they make, when Too Short slides in with:
“I’m charging fifty
For sixteen bars now,
And if you want a whole song
It’s a hundred thou.”
Overblown as those figures may have been even then, your Daddy B. Nice was reminded of the financial chasm that separates contemporary hiphop and southern soul music while listening (and watching the video) to the new version of William Bell’s classic “I Forgot To Be Your Lover,” which could easily be (and who knows, may indeed become) #1 on the contemporary southern soul charts.
Gathering his (seemingly) hastily-scribbled lines, Snoop says,
“I filled me out a mean sixteen.
It don’t take that long, do it?”
And the other musicians laugh.
I have no idea what arrangement Snoop had with William or the “Take Me To The River” producers. All your Daddy B. Nice knows is that the song is all about William Bell.
Snoop is there to lend it cachet. Musically his contribution is nil. And yet, by his presence “I Forgot To Be Your Lover” takes on a fresh, contemporary sound.
Incidentally, check out the bespectacled, teenage-looking, white boy on lead guitar negotiating licks almost as pristine as the original.
Watch the William Bell/Snoop Dogg version of “I Forgot To Be Your Lover.”
Honorary "B" Side
"You Don't Miss Your Water"
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