Daddy B. Nice’s Corner 2021 – news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artists
May 12, 2021
News & Notes
Southern Soul Gets Sophisticated; Another 1-Hit Wonder; Around Southern Soul Nation…Jeter Jones, Stevie J Blues, Marcel Cassanova, Hisyde, Avail Hollywood, The Jay Morris Group and more…
1. Southern Soul Gets Sophisticated
I started out the preceding month (April) thinking the un-thinkable. Would there be enough good singles released to make a worthy Top 10 and Top 40 Singles for May 2021? Then song submissions began pouring in, and my projections flipped. How would I do justice to all?
The most interesting trend was the appearance of sophisticated, cabaret-quality singles by Karen Wolfe and Calvin Richardson(“Stay Together Remix”) and Nellie “Tiger” Travis and O.B. Buchana (“My Baby”). The “My Baby” single was written and produced by southern soul’s genius-behind-the-scenes, Omar Cunningham, who charted in February with his own romantic smoothie, “On My Way To Memphis”. Even Sir Charles Jones got into the act with “Caught Cheating,” in which he brought a Sinatra-like distance and showmanship to a song with otherwise over-the-top lyrics (a gun-toting, cheated-upon woman).
2. Another 1-Hit Wonder?
Last month I spotlighted some of southern soul’s 1-hit wonders, and the other day I thought of another, although it’s awful to put such a recent artist in that category. But here it is: Champagne, of the scandalous Highway Heavy single “Mouth On You,” the Best Female Vocalist of 2019. The no-holds-barred description of fellatio (“That’s what’s going through my mind/To make my mouth like a pussy”) isn’t that far musically from yet another candidate for one-hit status: Nicole Jackson, also still active, and her anthem to passion, albeit tamer lyrically, “Can We Go There Baby?”. Both songs are indelible, worthy of the lofty fame accorded “Sam” and “Larry Licker” and “Mississippi Boy”. And to console the artists who may be offended by being labeled a “one-hit wonder”….Is it preferable to be famous for one song, or to be an unknown with a catalog nobody remembers or cares about?
3. Around Southern Soul Nation…
Did anyone notice? No Spring Fling in Mobile, Alabama this year. The annual outdoor concert hosting thousands was usually scheduled for the first weekend in May, and in recent years had become so popular it had spawned a second area rival.
Baton Rouge has a Soul Food Festival scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 26 & 27. So just about the time the sun is coming up and they’re finished shooting their graveyard-shift music videos, Highway Heavy and his Pinky Ring Music cohorts (Tyree Neal, Dave Mack, etc.) can stroll their way through a brunch on the streets.
Jeter Jones’ next album, Trail Ride Certified 2, is on the way. It’s a 21-track, Slacktraxx-produced compilation. “TC1 was my baby,” Jeter told me, “but this right here shall be remembered as not only Country boy/ trailride blues but Southern Soul Gold.” Recently-charted “Plain Ole Country Boy” appears, but most of the set looks enticingly new and unknown.
Incidentally, Jeter Jones & King South’s “Southern Soul Cowboy” was the #1 “New Most Added” single on Billboard’s Blues Charts in April. West Love’s “Put It On Me” came in #3 in the same category.
Fresh from the debut of Urban Ladder Society’s The Summit (see review), of which he is one of the four members, and on the heels of his latest, currently-charting single “She’s A Winner,” Stevie J Blueswill release a compilation called PKMG Soul Sampler Vol. 1. featuring Urban Ladder Society, Stevie J, Larry Milton, and Stephanie Luckett, in addition to Sir Charles Jones and gospel singer Veronica Lawson.
And from the younger generation, Marcel Cassanova is releasing a compilation album called “Soul Out” by a newly-formed group called, simply enough, Soul Southern. Members include Billy Cook(formerly of H-Town), Kizzo, Ezeekiel Ain and Congo, with special appearances by Itz Karma, Johnny James, R&B Pooh and Shannon Jackson among others.
And Hisyde, fresh from two highly-charting singles—“Is It Ova?” (#1 in December) and “For Your Love” (#2 in March)—will soon release his debut album, Who Is Hisyde. Hisyde produced the set and Dirty South Journals is publishing it.
Touring is getting torrid. In addition to the usual suspects—Pokey Bear, Sir Charles Jones, Tucka and T.K. Soul—watch for extensive opportunities to see Avail Hollywood, Jeter Jones and The Jay Morris Group, all in high demand. The Jay Morris Group is hitting multiple spots in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and Avail Hollywood, who is appearing with DJ Trac, his talented musical collaborator, will fill an even more dizzying slate of dates in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and beyond.
–Daddy B. Nice
May 1, 2021
MAY TOP TEN “SPILLOVER”: Top 40 Southern Soul Singles
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in May 2021
1. “My Baby”—Nellie “Tiger” Travis feat. O.B. Buchana
2. “Da Loving Hit Different”—Avail Hollywood
3. “I Didn’t Know Your Grandma Could Drop It Like That”—Stan Butler
4. “Bring The Freak Out”—T.K. Soul
5. “Stay Together (Remix)”—Karen Wolfe feat. Calvin Richardson
6. “This Is How We Do It In The Club”—Wendell B
7. “Super Love”—H-Town
8. “Eat That Cake”—Tasha Mac
9. “Loving Me”—Joe D
10. “Mr. Good Time”—Portia P
11. “Caught Cheating”—Sir Charles Jones
12. “You Might Have To Hurt”—O.B. Buchana
13. “Ticket To Ride”—Marilyn McCoo feat. Billy Davis
14. “Cowgirl”—Soul Collective
15. “Chill Winds”—Urban Ladder Society
16. “Good Inside”—Terry Rogers feat. Jeter Jones
17. “Southern Soul Good Music”—Mr. Stuff
18. “Spend My Money”—Donyale Renee
19. “Work It Cowboy”—Meme Yahsal
20. “What You Need”—King South
21. “She’s A Winner”—Stevie J Blues
22. “”Lil Girl Games”—Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack
23. “Family Reunion”—Curley Taylor
24. “Throw That Thang”—Arthur Young
25. “Medicine Man”—Gary Shelton
26. “Hot Dog Slide”—DJ Dee
27. “Complicated”—Leela James
28. “Working On Me”—Luziana Wil
29. “All Night”—Latrell Knight
30. “Southern Soul Brothers”—O.B. Buchana
31. “Haters Gonna Be Hatin'”—Ms. Jody
32. “All Day”—Jarvis Jacobs
33. “It’s About Sex”—Chuck Strong
34. “The Mississippi Step”—Mr. Sipp
35. “What Happened To Jody”—Jim Bennett
36. “Tuesday Loving”—Mz. Brown Suga
38. “We Don’t Have To Force It”—Stephanie Luckett
39. “Don’t Ask”—Mr. Amazing
40. “Loving You”—Mr. Hot Topic