Daddy B. Nice’s Corner 2020 – news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artists
October 18, 2020
News & Notes
Last weekend your Daddy B Nice uploaded new, upcoming southern soul concerts. It was as if someone (God?) snapped his fingers and… Presto! No Covid-stress. Ordinarily one of the most popular pages, the Concert Calendar has been less visited lately. And yet, while many of the concert-event sites around the country shut down, Southern Soul’s Concert Calendar kept on going. Just keeping track of cancellations and updating postponements was a chore. And while most of the big, multi-act, southern soul events have moved to 2021, a batch of new multi-act concerts—almost all outdoors, almost all requiring masks and social distancing—has arrived to fill the vacuum. So take care and rejoice, southern soul lovers. Live music is back.
Here’s a cautionary note, though. Outdoor venues, inherently safer than inside venues, are bound to dwindle and disappear as winter approaches. That the Concert Calendar lists no upcoming events for December or January reflects the uncertainty still looming over the club scene. On Sunday, to my surprise, I again spent most of the day transcribing concerts, among them the first gig in December! Most of these live shows are taking place in Mississippi—a few in Alabama. The other hotbed of southern soul music—Louisiana—is conspicuously lacking live music, either due to the hurricanes, Covid-19, or both.
Jeter Jones, the “King of Trail Ride Blues,” told me he’s been getting through the pandemic in better shape than a lot of recording artists. A major segment of his fan constituency is the trail-ride circuit, and that has kept him relatively busy.
Avail Hollywood asked your Daddy B. Nice to give a shout-out to all his fans. His Apple/iTunes sales and streaming passed the 3 million all-time plays mark this month. The most recent songs bringing in the bulk of the plays: “Twenty-five And Up,” “Sinking In Quicksand” and “Don’t Rush”.
Chuck Roberson released—if that’s the right word—a new album, “Let Me Put That Thang In It” before the pandemic hit, assuring your Daddy B. Nice he’d get it on CD Baby. Then CD Baby closed its doors, and the record still can’t be found on the platforms of any of the major music retailers, although I’ve been told it’s available at a local record outlet.
Another seasoned and even more obscure singer/songwriter is enjoying a resurgence—at least behind the deejay turntables. Her name is Lady J, and I’ve been getting one or two letters annually for years asking where to buy her (unfortunately out-of-print) albums. Like the late Jackie Neal, Lady J made a big impression with a very small body of work, combining svelte vocals with realistic and totally convincing lyrics. DJ Sir Rockinghood begins his latest YouTube mixtape with the most requested of her tunes, “Same Old Bullshit,” and pristine copies of “I Fell In Love” and “Part Time Lover” have just recently been posted on YouTube by DJ George S, gaining more views (along with praise-giving comments) in a month than scores of new tunes by current artists. My particular favorite Lady J song is “Part Time Lover,” which I’ve been known to play over and over for an hour at a time just to put me in a special, magical frame of mind. “Caught Up In The Wings Of Love” and “Teaser Warrant Out For A Pleaser” from Lady J’s second album, Missing You, are also worth checking out.
Listen to Lady J singing “Part Time Lover” on YouTube.
Vintage southern soul sounds carry over into this month’s Top 10 Singles, where C.C. Miles’ “Want That Feeling (Dedicated to Roy C)” is reminiscent of the great music put out by past stars like Eddie Holloway and Maurice Wynn, and where Isaac Lindsay’s gospel-tinged “Chokin’ Kind” lends new life to the great Joe Simon original.
Bigg Robb’s “black-lives-matter” single, “America” made the Top 10 this month. So many artists are recording their “takes” on this most recent push of many for true civil rights in this country, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Like the Christmas songs soon to be pouring in, they’re easy to get lost in the shuffle, but “black-lives-matter” singles by three singers besides Robb’s deserve special mention: Dr. Dee, Bill Avery and Billy “Soul” Bonds. The first two are titled “Black Lives Matter,” the third “I Can’t Breathe”.
And don’t forget to check out this month’s featured artist Syl Johnson’s perspective on “black lives matter” from many years ago. The first verse of “Is It Because I’m Black?” gives me goose pimples every time I hear it, even now. And it’s so personal and non-accusatory, making it even more powerful and damning. One of the lines runs, “You keep on putting your foot on me…” And, folks, that was some twenty years ago.
Listen to Syl Johnson singing “Is It Because I’m Black?” on YouTube.
In other featured artist news, Daddy B. Nice goes in depth on Ronnie Bell and the dear, departed Roy C, while beginning a new “labor of love”—his new “top 100” chart—at the top, where Big Pokey Bear edges out Sir Charles Jones at #1 with “My Sidepiece,” but in a new album alert pans Pokey’s new Crown Me album.
— Daddy B. Nice
October 1, 2020
OCTOBER TOP TEN “SPILLOVER”: Top 40 Southern Soul Singles
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in October 2020.
1. “Pour Me A Drank”—Narvel Echols
2. “Want That Feeling (Dedicated to Roy C”—C.C. Miles
3. “America”—Bigg Robb
4. “Swangin'”—RnB Pooh
5. “Listen Girl”—Pretty Kenny
6. “Choking Kind”—Isaac Lindsay & The Soul Experience
7. “Reasons”—Pokey Bear
8. “Tell Me Is It Love”—Beat Flippa & Sir Charles Jones
9. “Ain’t Gonna Lie”—Dee Dee Simon
10. “A Lil’ Of You Is Better Than None”—Avail Hollywood
11. “Just Good-bye”—Karen Wolfe
12. “Stir It Like Coffee”—Sojo
13. “We Need Each Other—J-Wonn
14. “In Those Jeans”—Tyree Neal
15. “Obama”—Darnell Da Bachelor
16. “901”—Mr. Sam
17. “Wipe Me Down”—Parooze feat. Lady Coco
18. “Southern Soul Cowboy”—King South feat. Jeter Jones
19. “Gary’s Juke Joint”—Gary Shelton
20. “Played Yourself”—Mr. Sipp
21. “A Taste Of Your Love”—Andre’ Lee
22. “Crazy Over You”—Benito
23. “Good Enough”—Rich Wright
24. “Run Joe (Joe Biden Shuffle)”—L.A. Creole Funk
25. “I’m Good”—Larry Dodson
26. “I Need A Man”—Lady Redd
27. “Grind On Me”—Lamar Brace
28. “Can’t Tell Nobody”—Big G
29. “Young People Love The Blues”—Mz. Hollywood (Tamara McClain)
30. “Come Go With Me”—Montrell
31. “Work For It”—P2K feat. T.K. Soul
32. “The Interview”—Mr. Amazing
33. “Norma Jean”—Napoleon Demps
34. “Tiptoe In The Bedroom”—Certified Slim
35. “Back Down Memory Lane”—Big J Southern Soul
36. “Rodeo Remix”—Jeter Jones feat. Itz Karma
37. “These Bills”—Stacii Adams
38. “Bust A Groove 2.0”—Cheff da Entertainer feat. Jennifer Watts, Unkle Phunk, Zeb Seeman
39. “Lick Dat Candy”—Stuff Music feat. Biggs & D. Rich
40. “Nosy Neighbors”—J.T. Watkins