Avail Hollywood #9 The New Generation

Daddy B. Nice's #9 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Avail Hollywood #9 The New Generation by Daddy B. Nice
 




"Girl You Bad "

Avail Hollywood #9 The New Generation

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Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Girl You Bad" on YouTube.

May 16, 2021: Daddy B. Nice's Profile

The unique and relentlessly creative Avail Hollywood has taken a giant leap in stature over the last decade, from #47 on the previous chart to #9 of The New Generation. And as with his fellow, newly-minted, southern soul star Jeter Jones, your Daddy B. Nice has been closely entwined with Avail Hollywood's career from the very beginning, through all the ups and downs (mostly "ups") of an artist/critic relationship.

The "downs," since I broached the subject, came around 2016 after a poor review of his album "Wasted Confessions," at which point Avail (not only because of the review) left the southern soul circuit for a songwriting contract with a record company in Nashville. He even recorded a couple of country-western tunes. But he soon came back, and even at its worst, the relationship endured through all kinds of entertaining give-and-take which can be enjoyed in my previous artist guide to Avail Hollywood.

But in all that time Avail Hollywood's voice never failed to puzzle me. I knew it was good, I knew it was different, but I could never get a "handle" on his vocals. I could never compare his voice to anyone. In the early years the best I could come up with was there's a lot of air in it.

Avail's vocals come at you like an echo with a touch of "reverb," as slippery as a snake in water, or a smokey plume coming from the chimney of a far-off mountain cabin. "His style is unprecedented," I wrote in his latest charting single, "Da Loving Hit Different" (#2 May 2021).

And then, not long ago, it came to me. I heard some Elvis---"Heartbreak Hotel"---with whom I was interested in anyway after recently hearing a story of how a young Elvis Presley (already a black-music aficionado) searched far and wide through the chitlin' circuit and found one singer he wanted to emulate, the black Nashville musician Jimmy Sweeney. (There's that Nashville connection again.) And Elvis did.

I was just a little kid at the birth of rock and roll, more into the Everly Brothers than Elvis's "Hound Dog" or "Heartbreak Hotel," but when Presley recorded "Don't Be Cruel," which might be considered "swing-out" if recorded these days (residing in the nether territory between southern soul and zydeco), I gladly climbed on the Elvis bandwagon.

And yes, Avail Hollywood's tone and style does sound something like the rock and roll King, which is even funnier and more ironic when you realize that Avail (Christopher Estell) took his performing name (Avail Hollywood) from an Elvis Presley poster. (Scroll down to "About Artist").

It's even tempting to think of the Elvis analogy when looking at Avail Hollywood's body of work, which in the early years mined the slow, weeping ballads in the "Heartbreak Hotel" mode with such magnificent anthems to despair as "Drinking Again," "Rehab Ain't Working," and the glorious culmination of all that helplessness, "Wasted".

Along with occasional forays into clubbing and "grown-folks stuff" (aka sex), these early-album, title-track weepers defined roughly the first half of Avail Hollywood's career. The power that Avail brought to the table---the raw emotions that made him stand out from his peers---were most effectively packed into these ballads focusing on dissolution, addiction, pain and loneliness. So it has been a revelation and a real pleasure to witness Avail's growth and maturation over the last few years, recording songs that take on the "up-side" of life, especially sexual, without losing the edge and depth and lasting impressions of his early dark-side classics.

Ironically, the album that best showcases this more fully-rounded Avail is about the only CD Avail never sent me to review: 2019's Still King. (Most of the reviews can be read by scrolling down this page.) If he had, I would have given it five stars, "southern soul heaven," with at least four outright stand-outs in "Unbelievable Booty," "Girl You Bad," "Don't Rush" and "DJ Let Me Grind On Her."

And 2020's Black Locomotive, reviewed here in Tidbits #2 (scroll way down this page) continues the high level of artistry with the quasi-title-track "Love Train," a tour de force in mid-tempo time whose power matches if not exceeds any of the potent early ballads.

In spite of the millions of views racked up by his older classics, I've chosen 2019's "Girl You Bad" (with DJ Trac, a great find) as this artist guide's #1 Avail Hollywood song because it has aged so well and it fits Hollywood's vocal prowess like a glove. He's never sounded more comfortable.

"Gimme that green light," Avail sings with just the right balance of aggression and permission, "because I'm coming through".

Specializing in writing and production and the occasional hiphop voice-over, collaborator Trac has brought an impressive artistic filter to Hollywood's last couple of albums, and his arranging touch gives "Girl You Bad" a natural sound that epitomizes Avail's soulfulness. (They're currently touring together---summer of 2021---see concert calendar.)

In basic musical structure "Girl You Bad" is just a glorified hook, not a fully-fledged, verse and chorus and bridge, but who doesn't like hooks? Sparked by a minimally-used but effervescent guitar run, "Girl You Bad" sounds at once in the moment and timeless in a way some of the older Hollywood favorites no longer do.

It conjures the kind of place you want to be in, the kind of place where physical love---slow, drawn-out, grown-folks love---is imminent... satisfaction guaranteed. It's just what grown-folk women who have made Avail a star want to hear. Love for the long term. Ongoing love. And happily, "Girl You Bad" itself holds up to the constant playing.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Girl You Bad" on YouTube.

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Scroll down for biography, discography and more. To automatically link to Avail Hollywood's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other citations on the website, go to "Avail Hollywood" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
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Note: Avail Hollywood also appears on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul (2000-2020).
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SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

--Daddy B. Nice


About Avail Hollywood #9 The New Generation

Christopher Estell, aka Avail Hollywood, was born July 24, 1983 in Texarkana, Texas. His father, Collins Estell, was a professional guitarist (R&B and gospel), and two sisters, Loraine and Donna, were gospel singers. Estell entered the music business as the drummer in Shades of Ebony, a gospel group that included his father and two sisters. The aggregation, three female singers and a full band, was signed to Claytown, Willie Clayton's label, in 1998.

Estell took the name "Avail Hollywood" from a poster that hung on the wall of the family's studio when he was growing up. The poster read: "Elvis Presley, Now Available in Hollywood." It was signed by Elvis and Lenny Lewis, the legendary owner of the seminal Southern Soul label, Suzie Q. Records which first brought such artists as David Brinston, O. B. Buchana and Maurice Wynn to the public. Christopher shortened the "available" to become Avail Hollywood.

After the break up of Shades of Ebony in 2000 Avail Hollywood produced his sister Loraine's solo album, Zipper on Shreveport's Suzie Q label, as well as her 3003 single, "Take A Lil' Risk," on the New Orleans' Baby Boy label. In 2005 he produced Donnie Ray's Bang That Thang CD for Ecko Records in Memphis.

Avail Hollywood wrote, produced, and performed his solo debut The Young Gunn Of Southern Soul, in 2009 on his own label, NLightn Records (distributed through CD Baby), and the single "Don't Leave Me" gained some attention.

In 2010 Hollywood produced Donnie Ray's well-received CD for Ecko, BYOB. Then, in 2011, he released his second Avail Hollywood CD, Drinking Again, with its hit single title track

"Drinking Again" was the first song to establish the Avail Hollywood brand and persona. "Rehab". "Alcoholic". "Drinking a lot of Hennessey" with "a dumb look on my face". These were the themes Avail would go to the well for time and again throughout his career.

"I've been in this club
And I said I wasn't gonna be drinking.
Now I'm stumbling over to this bar
With a dumb look on my face.
That's how it is
When you're drinking a lot of Hennessey,
Say you lost your girl,
Or say you lost your man.
And now you're in rehab,
Like 'Hi, my name is Hollywood.
And I'm an alcoholic.'"


"Drinking Again" was one of two songs about inebriation that charted in early 2011. The other was the late Mel Waiters' "When You Get Drunk," which garnered the lion's share of attention that year. But Hollywood's "Drinking Again" prevailed over time, gaining millions of views on YouTube.

Country Road, with a rambunctious line-up of sexually-themed adventures ("Country Road," "Club In The Woods," "Halle Berry," and "Domestic Love" reprised from the previous CD) followed in 2013.

Rehab came out the following year, featuring the title track "Rehab Ain't Working" and its most prominent stanza:

"Because every freaking night, girl,
And every freaking day,
I wanna freak your body, girl,
In every freaking way."


The club-bangers "Creole Shuffle" and "Kiss My Southern Soul" added some fist-pumping zest to the set.

Wasted Confessions followed in 2015, prompting Daddy B. Nice to write about "Wasted"---a song about when "the person you married ain't the person you fell in love with"---as follows:

Like the opening chords of the truly great songs (LaMorris Williams' "Impala," J'Wonn's "I Got This Record"), you know within the first few bars that "Wasted" is something very special and very deep. This is Hollywood's best single yet, even more remarkable than the durable "Drinking Again."

Old Skool Kinda Girl appeared in 2016, showcasing "Twenty-Five And Up," arguably the most popular single of Avail Hollywood's career, prompting him to proclaim himself the "King of Grown Folks Music," which he subsequently appropriated as his marketing moniker.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Twenty-Five And Up" on YouTube.

Good Whiskey was released in 2018, followed by Still King in 2019 and Black Locomotive in 2020, the latter two CD's charting numerous times on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Singles. (See Comprehensive Index.)

The two songs that opened the BLACK LOCOMOTIVE album, the punchy, guitar-driven "Box Top Chevy (Deep In The Woods)" and the orchestral-sounding, mid-tempo, lullaby-like "Love Train," were supremely-accomplilshed crowd-pleasers and hit singles.

In 2020 Louisiana producer extraordinaire Beat Flippa brought new artist Hisyde together with Avail Hollywood for a rousing single called "Is It Ova?" (from the album PRODUCER OF THE YEAR). Avail's vocal on his solo verse jumped off the recording, and Hisyde (whose performance itself was astonishing) was appropriately worshipful.

And in 2021, as this artist guide was being written, Avail was #2 on the charts once again with his new single "Tha Loving Hit Different."


Tidbits

1. Avail Hollywood on YouTube: Updated May 16, 2021



Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Twenty-Five And Up" at Big Pokey Bear's Birthday Bash on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Unbelievable Booty" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood and DJ Trac singing "Let's Barbeque" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Rehab Ain't Working" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "A Lil' Of You Is Better Than None" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Fatal Attraction" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Let That Hurt Go" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Creole Shuffle" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Real Love" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood & Black Zack singing "Club In Da Woods" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Country Road" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood and Sweet Nay singing "When We Make Love" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Fatal Attraction" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Domestic Love" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Drinking Again" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "I'ma Give It To You" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Forever And Always" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Lonely At Christmas" on YouTube.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

2. January 25, 2020: NEW ALBUM ALERT! NEW CD REVIEW: Black Locomotive


Sample/Buy Avail Hollywood's new BLACK LOCOMOTIVE album at CD Baby.

BLACK LOCOMOTIVE TRACK LIST:

1. Box Top Chevy (Deep 'N Tha Woods)

2. Love Train

3. That Was the Liquor Talking

4. Stop Playing with My Emotions

5. Temporary Nigga

6. Got 2 Get It

7. This Hit For Tha Grown Folks

8. The Grass Ain't Greener (But Sometimes)

9. Box Top Chevy (Music Mix)

See Daddy B. Nice's 4-star review! Scroll down...


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Buy Avail Hollywood's BLACK LOCOMOTIVE album at CD Baby.

Listen to Avail Hollywood's BLACK LOCOMOTIVE album at Spotify.

Buy Avail Hollywood's new BLACK LOCOMOTIVE album at Apple.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

January 26, 2020:

AVAIL HOLLYWOOD: Black Locomotive (Avail Hollywood / AvailMusic-Nlightnrecords). Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

Avail Hollywood's 2019 album Still King marked a major step forward for the unique tenor with the hard-to-define style. Known for his problem-drinking hit singles like "Drinking Again," "Wasted," "Rehab" and "Rehab Ain't Working"--songs that plunged into emotional darkness and resurfaced with a singular soulfulness not heard in quite the same fashion on the southern soul circuit before--the album painted a broader canvas, incorporating domestic joys and sexual pleasures. Not that Hollywood hadn't recorded other themes before ("Club In The Woods," "Fatal Attraction," "Country Road," "A Little Age On It"). But prior to STILL KING those tunes hadn't carried the heft of the drinking songs. Suddenly Hollywood was singing emotionally-convincing material on a wide range of subjects: "Girl, You Bad," "Unbelievable Booty," "Don't Rush" and "DJ Let Me Grind On Her".

Avail's new album, Black Locomotive, continues this remarkable artistic maturation. The two songs that open the album, the punchy, guitar-driven "Box Top Chevy (Deep In The Woods)" and the orchestral-sounding, mid-tempo, lullaby-like "Love Train," are surefire crowd-pleasers and potential hit singles. The latter would have been better served with the album title "Black Locomotive," but that is easily overlooked. Watch for one or both of these tunes on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Southern Soul Singles for February 2020. If they're any indication of what's to come, we're in for a marvelous year to come in southern soul.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Box Top Chevy" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Love Train" on YouTube.

Nor does the balance of the set disappoint. The ballads "Stop Playing With My Emotions" and "Temporary Nigga" combine worthy lyrics with first-rate vocals and production. What does Avail Hollywood's "Got To Get It" have in common with another new single by Narvel Echols called "Country Folks Party"? They both share the iconic horn riff (from KC & The Sunshine's Band "Boogie Shoes") used by Floyd Hamberlin to great effect in Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "If I Back It Up".

"This Hit For The Grown Folks" is a novelty tune with nifty special effects including a cartoon-character-like voice over. "The Grass Ain't Greener (But Sometimes)" is a Hollywood ballad with a simple message: Sometimes it is greener. "That Was The Liquor Talking" mines Avail's specialty, the ballad, extracting a surprisingly strong message of apology. The instrumental track and production are sure-handed and impressively distinct. as they are throughout. Finally, "Box Top Chevy (Music Mix)" reprises the opening track with its influences made more prominent: namely Curtis Mayfield's beloved masterpiece, "Diamond In The Back". And like Curtis, we can...

"Just be thankful
For what Avail's got".

--Daddy B. Nice

Listen to all the tracks from Avail Hollywood's new Black Locomotive album on YouTube.

Download all the songs from Avail Hollywood's Black Locomotive album at CD Baby.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

3. STILL KING


March 2, 2019:

NEW ALBUM ALERT!:


Sample/Buy Avail Hollywood's new STILL KING album at Amazon.

STILL KING TRACK LIST:


1
Unbelievable Booty

2
Honey and Lemon Juice

3
No More Tears Baby

4
Don't Rush

5
DJ Let Me Grind on Her

6
Mess Around and Loose

7
You're My Sugar Foot

8
Girl You Bad (feat. DJ Trac)

9
Go to Work (feat. DJ Trac)

Daddy B. Nice notes:

"Unbelievable Booty" charted at #2 on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles for March 2019.

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Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------MARCH 2019-------

2. "Unbelievable Booty"-----Avail Hollywood

With this song and new album, Still King, Avail Hollywood is officially back, singing with a strength and panoramic scope that eclipses his already significant catalog.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Unbelievable Booty" on YouTube.

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The ballad "Don't Rush" charted at #4 in December 2018.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Don't Rush" on YouTube.

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"You Bad" charted in June 2018:

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Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Preview For. . .

-------JUNE 2018-------

10. "Girl You Bad"----Avail Hollywood featuring DJ Trac

Atmospheric and hiphoppy. From the upcoming Hollywood CD, Still King.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Girl You Bad" on YouTube.

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Buy Avail Hollywood's Still King album at CD Baby.

Buy Avail Hollywood's Still King album at iTunes.

Browse Avail Hollywood albums at Daddy B. Nice's CD Store.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

4. February 1, 2018: NEW ALBUM ALERT!:


GOOD WHISKEY TRACK LIST:


1. Twerk That (Booty Song)

2. Going Down

3. Kisses (Island Style Remix)

4. Good Whiskey

5. Zodiac Swing

6. Sinking in Quick Sand

7. A Little Age on It

8. Stay out Your Feelings

9. I Could Use a Drink

Sample/Buy Avail Hollywood's new GOOD WHISKEY album at CD Baby.

Sample/Buy Avail Hollywood's new GOOD WHISKEY album at iTunes.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "I Could Use A Drink" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "A Little Age On It" on YouTube.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing "Going Down" on YouTube.

February 3, 2018: Enjoy the "official" video of "Sinking In Quicksand" on YouTube while you read.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide

5.


Go to the "Tidbits" section of Daddy B. Nice's 21st Century Artist Guide to Avail Hollywood (2000-2020) to read all of the early CD reviews of Avail Hollywood's albums.

SouthernSoulRnB.com - Chitlin' Circuit Southern Soul Music Guide


Honorary "B" Side

"Wasted"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Girl You Bad  by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Girl You Bad


CD: Still King
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Still King


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Wasted by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Wasted


CD: Wasted Confessions
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Wasted Confessions


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Club in Tha Woods  by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Club in Tha Woods


CD: Country Road
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Country Road


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Don't Rush by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Don't Rush


CD: Still King
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Still King


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Drinking Again by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Drinking Again


CD: Drinking Again
Label: Desert Sound/Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Drinking Again


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Love Train by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Love Train


CD: Black Locomotive
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Black Locomotive


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Rehab Ain't Working by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Rehab Ain't Working


CD: Rehab
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Rehab


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Twenty-Five And Up by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Twenty-Five And Up


CD: Old Skool Kinda Girl
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Old Skool Kinda Girl


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Unbelievable Booty by Avail  Hollywood #9 The New Generation
Unbelievable Booty


CD: Still King
Label: Nlightn

Sample or Buy
Still King


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