Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 “BREAKING” Southern Soul Singles

TOP 10 December 2021

1. “Come Go With Me”—–T-Lyons feat. Tanji Emmeni

Talk about the “southern soul kid”. From a “grown-folks” perspective, this guy is in swaddling clothes. A New Orleans hiphop phenom at twelve, T-Lyons was “discovered” by Ronald “Slack” Jefferson and pressed into serving up a delicacy rare in southern soul annals: “Come Go With Me”— featuring an instrumental track unlike anything Slack has ever done, with a gently-played button-acordion framing childlike vocals—goes by in what seems like the most beautiful minute of your life. From his debut album, T-Lyons: Hear Me Roar.

Listen to T-Lyons and Tanji Emmeni singing “Come Go With Me” on YouTube

2. “I Don’t Play Them Games”——Mr. Cotton feat. Nore Cross

Mr. Cotton has been sending me unsuccessful submissions for years (long ago it was as 100% Cotton, which always put him at the top of my music index) and for just as many years I’ve been telling him he’s a good producer with a terrible voice. But all that is forgotten with this frothy back-and-forth between a delightfully saucy woman (Nore Cross) and a gruff, deeply-voiced and deeply-suspicious man (Cotton). The couple’s extremely polarized “conversating” is set against an exquisite and vaguely familiar melody (which funksters will abruptly connect with ConFunkShun’s “Love’s Train”), but what producer Cotton does with the song (adding the lyrics and Nore Cross) brings a whole ‘nother level of southern soul ecstasy.

Listen to Mr. Cotton and Nore Cross singing “I Don’t Play Them Games” on YouTube.

3. “Can I Ride?”——Nadia Thee Primadonna feat. Jeter Jones

Nadia’s been knocking around on the fringes for a few years but I’ve never heard her like this: powerful, swinging, seemingly voice-trained, with a tone like a chapel bell. Call this her true southern soul debut. Jeter, of course, is always Jeter, making it work.

Listen to Nadia and Jeter Jones singing “Can I Ride” on YouTube.

4. “Drinking My Problems Away”—–O.B. Buchana

This is the song O.B. Buchana has been waiting for, authentic and true to his themes (“Let’s Get Drunk,” “I Can’t Stop Drinking”), and guess who penned it? J-Wonn, the youngster who was in T-Lyon’s place a half-decade ago. Hopefully, their audience will listen along with the rest of us.

Listen to O.B. Buchana singing “Drinking My Problems Away” on YouTube.

5. “Can’t Keep No Secret”—–Fat Daddy feat. Tucka

Fat Daddy and Tucka have a special bond. They’re actually related, they often tour together and it shows on this duet, both harmonies and solo verses. Fat Daddy’s more of a squawker so that when Tucka takes over it sounds like warbling. It’s a fascinating mix (if you’re into birds and/or know what I mean).

Listen to Fat Daddy and Tucka singing “Can’t Keep No Secret” on YouTube

6. “Push It Up!”—–Radio Rasheed feat. Poo Coo

Here’s something different. A stripped-down, high-energy dance jam, simultaneously “house” and funky, that may remind hard-core old-timers of “Wobble Wobble”. The artist’s name, of course, is very close to the boombox-carrying Radio Raheem whose Floyd-like death occurs in Spike Lee’s masterpiece “Do The Right Thing”.

Listen to Radio Rasheed and Poo Coo singing “Push It Up!” on YouTube.

7. “Zydeco With Me”—–T-Lyons

More T-Lyons and more zydeco, covering the Jeter Jones original.

Listen to T-Lyons singing “Zydeco With Me” on YouTube.

8. “Love You Better”—–Ronnie Bell

Ronnie Bell just made the big leap (long overdue) all the way up to #15 on Daddy B. Nice’s New Top 100 Countdown: The New Generation.

Listen to Ronnie Bell singing “Love You Better” on YouTube.

9. “When The Tables Turn”—–Terrence Davis

Great vocal, great guitar, great background vocals. And now I remember. This is the guy who did that crazy “Why You Mad At Me?”

Listen to Terrence Davis singing “When The Tables Turn” on YouTube.

10. “So Good”—–Sojo The Ladies Champ

The most memorable track from Winter Is Coming:A Southern Soul And Blues Queens’ Christmas. Written by Dee Dee Simon. Read the review.

Listen to Sojo singing “So Good” on YouTube.



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TOP 10 November 2021

1. “Grown Man Shhh”—–Bigg Robb

The first verse sums it up: “I got a good woman/But I don’t think she understands/All that I go through/Being a dark-skinned man.” You can tell it’s from the heart, and nobody has a bigger heart than Robb. The production, complete with soulful female background, is exquisite, as is Robb’s vocal and voice-over.

Listen to Bigg Robb singing “Grown Man Shhhh” on YouTube.

2. “You Didn’t Want What You Had”—–Gerod Rayborn

The opening bars’ deep, trilling, organ chords announce you’re in store for a rant, and that’s what you get—a stirring, vintage-style weeper/scolder reminiscent of Percy Sledge, Otis Redding and James (“The Dark End Of The Street”) Carr. Read Daddy B. Nice’s 4-star CD review.

Listen to Gerod Rayborn singing “You Didn’t Want What You Had” on YouTube.

3. “Bone Of My Bone”—-James Bryant

A love song as heartfelt and masterfully-sung as the work of recently-discovered R.T. Taylor.The song also features what I used to call “cheesy programmed horns,” a fixture of southern soul records in the late nineties and early aughts. Even the great T.K. Soul’s “Try Me” had them.

Listen to James Bryant singing “Bone Of My Bone” on YouTube.

4. “Keep Moving On”—–Dexter Allen

This is a great single by the blues man. Leather-belt vocal, live instruments (especially those drums!) and valuable worldly wisdom dispensed.

Listen to Dexter Allen singing Keep Moving On” on YouTube.

5. “Somebody’s Been Talking Too Much”—-Gerod Rayborn

Another, more Tyrone Davis, side of Gerod Rayborn from his new I Love My Blues CD. This one’s a kinky, domestic slice-of-life with an exotic, far-Eastern, musical fillip tiptoeing through the instrumental track.

Listen to Gerod Rayborn singing “Somebody’s Been Talking Too Much” on YouTube.

6. “I’m Not Going Nowhere”—-M.P. Soul

If you’re into southern soul, you’re used to double negatives. You wouldn’t want it any other way—it wouldn’t sound right. Rousing tune and vocal wrapped up in an unmistakably L.J. Echols production.

Listen to “I’m Not Going Nowhere”

7. “Crazy Fool”—–Big Yayo

Did Chris get the inspiration for “Crazy Fool”—especially the opening bars and tempo—from Miz. B’s great underground record“What’s My Name?/My Name Is $$$$$”. That’s what great writer/producers do.

Listen to Big Yayo singing “Crazy Fool” on YouTube.

8. “Freight Train”—–B. Dupree

This is a reissue (re-mastered) from an artist who last charted on Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 Singles in 2007.

Listen to B. Dupree singing “Freight Train” on YouTube.

9. “Take You Home”—–The Night Affair Band

Another spectacular cut from the unheralded band Daddy B. Nice spotlighted at number-one last month (October).

Listen to The Night Affair Band singing “Take You Home” on YouTube.

10. “Pacifier”—-Sweet P.

Denzel Dante, who recently debuted on these charts, apparently manages Sweet P.

Listen to Sweet P singing “Pacifier” on YouTube.


1. “Drink Of You”—–The Night Affair Band

Whenever people tell me they can’t find any good new southern soul songs, I always say, “You know I get that way sometimes, but there is always more. You just have to beat the bushes, and the bushes are endless.” In this case a southern soul enthusiast named Jerry King happened to mention a deejay named DJ Haynes, and when I went to DJ Haynes he was playing a song from 2020 by a band I had never heard of—The Night Affair Band—reminiscent of (and just as good as) another band few people ever appreciated, Soul Unlimited feat. Ellis Blake. I know nothing about the Night Affair Band. I’ve tried to contact them without success. For all I know, they may have disbanded. But their song “Drink Of You” is an overlooked triumph.

Listen to The Night Affair Band singing “Drink Of You” on YouTube.

2. “I Ain’t No Sidepiece Lover”—–J’Cenae

Smoothway (Wendell B’s label) releases the second big single of 2021 from J’Cenae. The first was “I’ll Be Down In A Minute,”which has racked up almost 3 million YouTube views. “I Ain’t No Sidepiece Lover” has scored a quarter of a million views in less than a month. For fans who love Shirley Brown. A CD titled “Decency” is in the works.

Listen to J’Cenae singing “I Ain’t No Sidepiece Lover” on YouTube.

3. “We Rollin'”—–Unkle Phunk feat. Big Poppa

Unkle Phunk returns to form with this warm and fuzzy dance groove, all about him taking his 18-wheeler to the trail ride.

Listen to Unkle Phunk singing “We Rollin'” on YouTube.

4. “Mr. Hide & Go Get It”—–Arthur Young

Arthur Young recycles an old Marvin Sease riff with cool aplomb.

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Mr. Hide & Go Get It” on YouTube.

5. “Tank On E”—–DeShay

A hauntingly atmospheric piece of advice from Jones Boys Entertainment diva DeShay, following up on her 2021 singles “Cowboy Ride” and “Lay With Me”.

Listen to DeShay singing “Tank On E” on YouTube.

6. “Let Me Love You”—-Ra’Shad The Blues Kid

Beautiful melody with tasty guitar, vocal and gospel-style background vocals. From Ra’Shad’s new SOUTHERN SIDE OF SOUL CD. See Daddy B. Nice’s 4-star review. 

Listen to Ra’Shad singing “Let Me Love You” on YouTube.

7. “Wash My Hands”—-Denzel Dante

New guy, new sound, delivered with competence.

Listen to Denzel Dante singing “Wash My Hands” on YouTube.

8. “The Best Of Me”—-Mrs. Sham

“I’m open like a book. I’m giving him everything. He gets the best of me.” Stirring words from a lady promoted by J. Red The Nephew.

Listen to Mrs. Sham singing “The Best Of Me” on YouTube.

9. “Giddy Up And Let’s Ride”—-Tasha Mac feat. Jeter Jones

Interest is stirring for Tasha Mac. From her new album You’re Not My Competition.

Listen to Tasha Mac singing “Giddy Up And Let’s Ride” on YouTube.

10. “Real Man”—–Mr. Sipp

Mr. Sipp started out as a blues guitarist catering to the crossover (white blues) market but has since migrated into the southern soul scene. “Real Man,” his best southern soul effort yet, is winning over deejays across the South but still looking for those elusive fans.

Listen to Mr. Sipp singing “Real Man” on YouTube.

TOP 10 September 2021

1. “I’m Gonna Win”—–T.K. Soul

The title of this melodic and soulfully-sung tune is misleading. ”I’m gonna win” sounds egotistical, but the lyrics are just the opposite—humble, honest and straightforward, the thoughts of a wounded soul who at one point asks God for guidance and receives this reply:

“Get up off your knees, son.
How you gonna win if you don’t play?”

From his new album, Strawberry Jamz, “I’m Gonna Win” is a worthy successor to T.K.’s “Try Me”.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing “I’m Gonna Win” on YouTube.

2. “Knee Deep (Soul Lion Bass Mashup)”——Jay Morris Group

I’m not sure this remix is the version of “Knee Deep” that new fans should listen to first, but I do know that the twelve million YouTubers who have already fallen in love with the original will want to hear this version grafted onto vintage rhythm track samples like Soul Sonic Force. I always wondered how a slow song could inspire so much line-dancing. Now we’ve got a club version!

Listen to the Jay Morris Group featuring Zee Brownlow singing “Knee Deep (Soul Lion Bass Mashup)”.

3. “I’ll Leave The Light On”—–Karen Wolfe

It’s clear that Karen Wolfe is pursuing a more commercial and accessible sound. At the same time she’s trying to maintain the rootsy vocal chops that are her unique brand and claim to fame. Her “Motel Six” song (too bad she couldn’t have called it that) is the best evidence yet she’s bound to succeed.

Listen to Karen Wolfe singing “I’ll Leave The Light On” on YouTube.

4. “OMG”—–Cadillac Man

Cadillac Man has traveled a long and winding road to get to this high point. Assured, aggressive, funny, he’s everything we could desire in a southern-soul bluesman, including the seasoning to take us all the way back to Clarence Carter’s “Strokin’”.

Listen to Cadillac Man singing “OMG” on YouTube.

5. “Tennessee Whiskey”—–Sir Jonathan Burton

Here’s another longtime veteran who has traveled the long and winding path to his southern soul nirvana. Sir Jonathan Burton puts the chords to “I’d Rather Go Blind” in the blender and comes up with a fantastic offering brimming with energy, sweetness, wildness, incredible vocals and even saxophones!

Listen to Sir Jonathan Burton singing “Tennessee Whiskey” on YouTube.

6. “For You”—–Sean Ardoin

The brother of zydeco star Chris Ardoin and a zydeco performer of note himself, Sean Ardoin dives head-first into southern soul with impressive results.

Listen to Sean Ardoin singing “For You” on YouTube.

7. “Kush Kush”—–Lacee

This is a groove that could dislodge “Lacee’s Groove”. Its simplicity is powerful. People will be dancing to it.

Listen to Lacee singing “Kush Kush” on YouTube.

8. “Do You Wanna Ride”—–Silky G McCoy

This debut features a fine new vocalist over a simple, sparkling acoustic guitar riff.

Listen to Silky G. McCoy singing “Do You Wanna Ride” on YouTube.

9. “Imma Let Him Get It”—–Summer Wolfe

“He been doing everything he need to do,
I’ve been trying to test him.”

Ears perked up, dogs?

“But the way this Hennessy got me feeling right now,
See I just might let him.”

Listen to Summer Wolfe singing “Imma Let Him Get It” on YouTube.

10. “Rough Ride”—–Stephanie McDee

Stephanie’s back, and she’s got the zydeco accordion and the dance rhythm track. If you don’t know her, all you need to know is she was the headliner on a duet with someone named Pokey Bear (“Do The Hokey Pokey”) when the big bear was just a big cub.

Listen to Stephanie McDee singing “Rough Ride” on YouTube.


TOP 10 August 2021


1.“Dukes And Boots”—— Avail Hollywood

Who would have thought the maestro of quicksand-dense, glacially-slow, substance-abuser ballads like “Wasted,” “Drinking Again” and “Rehab Ain’t Working” would become a mid-tempo groove virtuoso? “Black Locomotive (Love Train)” was the impending thunder but “Dukes And Boots” is the lightning that strikes the blaze. Stupendous vocal. Raves for the dazzling lead guitar.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing “Dukes And Boots” on YouTube.

2. “Cowboy Style” —— Ms. Jody

This Ecko-recorded track begins like a Ronald Jefferson, Slacktraxx production, with that ubiquitous little, muffled guitar (or keyboard?) pecking sound that Slack has used on countless hit singles. What? Capitulation from Memphis? You can imagine John Ward and company tearing their hair out over the Louisianan’s success with this elementary-school sound, but it segues into one of Ms. Jody’s finest efforts. After all, Ms. Jody is the mistress of the understated vocal, and as the instrumental track blossoms into a gentle boogie-woogie the song becomes irresistible.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing “Cowboy Style” on YouTube.

3. “Evidence” —– Bigg Robb

The B-I-G-G man takes on the legendary “mistaken identity” problems of Ronnie Lovejoy’s “Sho’ Wasn’t Me” in a fiery blues. In the YouTube video his wife serves him a plate of food laced with razor blades, and as he rushes mouth bleeding to the bathroom Robb protests, “If you didn’t catch me/ Tell me where’s the evidence?”

Also, this month Bigg Robb breaks into southern soul’s The New Generation chart at #11!

Listen to Bigg Robb singing “Evidence” on YouTube.

4. “Ride It” —– Ra’Shad The Blues Kid

I see where Malaco has now signed Mr. Sipp in its Ahab-like quest to appeal to the white blues market. Nothing against Mr. Sipp, but Malaco tried the same thing with Grady Champion and Queen Emily, and where are they now? Meanwhile, just up the road, the best young blues singer in the area is rocking in anonymity with great songs, evocative vocals and scorching lead guitar.

Listen to Ra’Shad singing “Ride It” on YouTube.

5. “Rush” —– Mississippi Hummin’ Boy feat. Neicy Redd

Another young artist steeped in old-school style is rising in the southern soul firmament. Hummin’ Boy found magic with “What I Like” featuring Sir Charles Jones, Omar Cunningham and K Monique. “Rush,” assisted by the seductive Neicy Redd, emits the same, floating-on-a-cloud rapture.

See Daddy B. Nice’s New Album Alert!

Listen to Mississippi Hummin’ Boy and Neicy Redd singing “Rush” on YouTube.

6. “All Men Ain’t Bad” —— The Duchess Jureesa McBride

Jureesa McBride finally has the song of her life, and she’s ready for this moment. She sounds as real as if she were sitting six feet away from you, telling you the “difference between a boy and a man”. The Duchess will be singing “All Men Ain’t Bad” in every performance for the rest of her life.

Listen to The Duchess Jureesa McBride singing “All Men Ain’t Bad” on YouTube.

7. “Pay To Play” —– P2K Dadiddy

“Pay 2 Play” explores some of the same territory as Arthur Young’s “Funky Forty” but from a vastly different perspective and type of man. From P2K’s new Pour It Up collection, which delivers the same, disarming, guy-next-door approach to life fans remember from 2018’s Best Southern Soul CD Welcome To Da Boom Boom Room.

Listen to P2K singing “Pay To Play” on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice’s New Album Alert!

8. “Now You Wanna Come Back” —– Miss Portia

“Consistent.” “Determined.” Words I would choose to describe Miss Portia, in addition to “talented”. But the first two are the rarity in the female singer ranks, and each monthly or bi-monthly single Portia releases leaves notches on our collective brains, not to mention makes her better. It took me a couple of listens with “You Wanna Come Back” but I shouldn’t have nibbled because now I’m hooked.

Listen to Miss Portia singing “Now You Wanna Come Back” on YouTube.

9. “I Think I’m In Love” —– Coldrank feat. Omar Cunningham

I had a lot of fun teasing Coldrank about changing his name from Cold Drank to “Coldrank” (or was it “Reek” from Game of Thrones?), but I have to make amends. “I Think I’m In Love” is a lovely, positive ballad with a truly memorable melody. One of the best cuts to come out of Baton Rouge in 2021—courtesy of producer Highway Heavy, of course.

10. “I Got Fired” —– Sheila B. Sexi Jackson

The chords from B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” never grow old. Haven’t heard them in a southern soul tune for a couple of years, but Sheila Jackson does them well in this smoky and evocative tale of crisis.

Listen to Sheila B Sexi singing “I Got Fired From My Job” on YouTube.

TOP 10 July 2021


1.“Chicken Wang” —— Klay Redd

Just what we need for the summer of 2021: a funny-as-hell, chicken-clucking, slam-dunk, club jam. Nothing fancy. Just an elemental groove and country-inflected vocal crying out for future remixes. This song invites everyone to flap their wings, and let me tell you… If you see a beautiful woman in the middle of the dance floor flapping her elbows up and down, real careless-like, it’ll break your heart.

First new artist since Fat Daddy to score a #1 single first time out. Can’t wait to see the dance video!

Listen to Klay Redd singing “Chicken Wang” on YouTube.

2. “On My Way Home” —— Jeter Jones

There’s enough feeling in this song to fill a basket-full of ordinary CD’s. Structurally the simplest—and emotionally the deepest—of the many superb tunes on Jeter Jones new, five-star-rated Trailride Certified Part 2. 

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “On My Way Home” on YouTube.

3. “Down In The Kuntry” —– Stan Butler feat. West Love

I’ve been suggesting Stan adopt his
“Cowboy Ride” persona (both performance-wise and vocally) and in “Kuntry,” assisted by the powerful and gritty West Love, he kills it. This is his path to stardom, and this is a candidate for Best Duet of the Year.

Listen to Stan Butler and West Love singing”Down In The Kuntry” on YouTube.

4. “I Ain’t Giving Up My Love” —– Mizz Lowe

Bobby Rush’s most infamous stage dancer comes out with an inspired bid for a top-of-the-charts single debut, aided by the master himself, who plays Mizz Lowe’s foil in the same, hilarious way he did on Vicki Baker’s “Don’t Leave Your Wife”.

Listen to Mizz Lowe and Bobby Rush singing “I Ain’t Giving Up My Love” on YouTube.

5. “The Chosen One” —— Sir Charles Jones

The bracing, northern musical ambience (vintage Detroit, Philly) gives it away. Sir Charles is aiming for the audience beyond southern soul with this chest-pounding, selfie testimonial. And who wouldn’t want him leading the charge of southern soul into the mainstream, cape furling in the wind, shield glinting in the sun?

Listen to Sir Charles Jones singing “The Chosen One” on YouTube.

6. “On Call Plumber” —– WestDawn feat. Jeter Jones

There’s good funk and there’s bad funk. This is the good stuff.

Listen to WestDawn and Jeter Jones singing “On Call Plumber” on YouTube.

7. “Welcome To The Country” —– Arthur Young

Arthur Young gets back to the blues basics—blazing guitar and vocal—and somehow he seems more comfortable and natural.

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Welcome To The Country” on YouTube.

8. “Damn Thang Wrong” —— Highway Heavy

Highway Heavy scores his first solo southern soul single as the lead vocalist. He’s rapping over a soulful chorus.

Listen to Highway Heavy singing “Damn Thang Wrong” on YouTube.

9. “Love Don’t Love Nobody”—– Big Pokey Bear feat. Mister Cotton

Gravelly-voiced, soul-loving Terry Cotton finally hits the jugular with none other than the sidepiece man himself, Big Pokey Bear.

Listen to Pokey Bear and Mister Cotton singing “Love Don’t Love Nobody” on YouTube.

10. “Halfway” —— Ice Doll feat. Roi “Chip” Anthony

Ice Doll raps it well, but its Roi “Chip” Anthony who brings this soulful melody and chorus home to the southern soul audience.

Listen to Ice Doll and Roi “Chip” Anthony singing “Halfway” on SoundCloud.


TOP 10 June 2021


1. “Just Love Me”——DeMond Crump

In this start-of-summer top-ten otherwise dominated by those stalwart stars Sir Charles and Jeter Jones, it gives your Daddy B. Nice great pleasure to celebrate one of southern soul’s most under-exposed and deserving artists (“Neighborhood Rat,” “Play Your Position,” “Tore Your Drawers”) and his most accomplished bid for a southern soul hit single in a career spanning two decades. DeMond Crump’s tone is refreshingly new, his pure and unfettered southern black culture as unique as the couplet, “We were friends/Before we both jumped the broom.”

Listen to DeMond Crump singing “Just Love Me” on YouTube.

2. “Boots Knockin'”——Jeter Jones feat. Urban Mystic

Slow-motion sensuality slathered over a bed of heavenly instrumental sweetness. Jeter Jones is singing like he’s never sung before on his new Trailride Certified 2.

Listen to Jeter Jones and Urban Mystic singing “Boots Knockin'” on YouTube.

3. “Eternity”—–Sir Charles Jones

How does a 25-year veteran of southern soul music re-invent himself, approaching his music as if he were a wide-eyed kid, bringing innocence and fresh perspective to bear on all the dues he’s paid and techniques he’s acquired? Listen to “Eternity” from the new album The Chosen 1.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones singing “Eternity” on YouTube

4. “Hobo Moan”—–Columbus Toy

Sung with a Dave Mack-ish wail and hummed with a memorable chorus, Columbus Toy strikes a southern soul nerve with this stinging, hot-pepper rendering of an old blues hook.

Listen to Columbus Toy singing “Hobo Moan” on YouTube.

5. “Back That Thang Up”—–Jeter Jones

As described in my New Album Alert, the already-popular video careens from an angry mock-killing to a reality-based club scene of blissed-out dancers twerking to the song’s pleasant energy.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Back That Thang Up” on YouTube.

6. “Forever”—-Sir Charles Jones

Produced to cross over into the pop market, with a rock-and-roll-tinged piano and gorgeous synth-chorus, this tune could endear Charles to the baby-boomer audience.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones singing “Forever” on YouTube.

7. “Come On In”—–Shell-B

What every man wants to hear, sung with a velvet-softness that hints at the destination. Reminds me of the woman telling Theodis Ealey to “come in” at the finale of “Please Let Me In”. And remember? Theodis lets out a whoop of excitement.

Listen to Shell-B singing “Come On In” on YouTube.

8. “Good Lovin’ In The Morning”—–JR Blu

To call him “odd” would be an understatement. But Blu, with one fine album to his credit, is one-of-a-kind.

Listen to J.R. Blu singing “Good Lovin’ In The Morning” on YouTube.

9. “Midwest Party”—–Sir Charles Jones

The only geographical group that gets less respect than Southerners, Midwesterners (not to mention everyone else) will love this smooth-stepping hymn to the heart of the country. Even Nebraskans…”They sure know how to two-step too!”

Listen to Sir Charles Jones singing “Midwest Party” on YouTube.

10. “Just Right Girl”—-Montrell

Out of the old Anna Coday stable of artists and currently promoted by silky-singing, southern-soul “vet” Andre’ Lee, Montrell has a nose for good material and the brawny yet polished technique to make it stick to the wall.

Listen to Montrell singing “Just Right Girl” on YouTube.

TOP 10 May 2021

1. “My Baby”——-Nellie “Tiger” Travis & O.B. Buchana

In this unlikeliest of pairings, both Nellie and O.B. rise to the occasion, delivering their best vocals in years. Nellie really brings out the best in O.B. The songwriting and arranging by Omar Cunningham, who can also be heard on background vocals, is crucial. On a “forever and ever” after the bridge, Nellie’s voice wavers, flat for a split-second, then immediately recovers, like a ballerina making a bejeweled ballet audience gasp and clap after a difficult pirouette in Lincoln Center.

Listen to Nellie “Tiger” Travis and O.B. Buchana singing “My Baby” on YouTube.

2. “Da Loving Hit Different”—–Avail Hollywood

No man is an island, but Avail Hollywood comes close. His style is without precedent. Here he returns to his métier, female-swooning ballads, with devastating effectiveness. The arrangement is appropriately glamorous.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing “Da Loving Hit Different” on YouTube.

3. “I Didn’t Know Your Grandma Could Drop It Like That”——Stan Butler

Blazing guitars, simple melodies and down-home country vocals…This is the Stan Butler we want to hear. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s singing about “grandmas” again. Near the two-minute mark Stan segues into his Deacon LowDown voice from “Cowboy Ride” and it is bliss. He should adopt the Deacon garb (cowboy hat, drawers and a big bushy beard) as his stage persona.

Watch Stan Butler singing “Grandma Drop It Like That” with live grandma dancers from the audience.

4. “Bring The Freak Out”—–T.K. Soul

What begins as an ultra-simple, synth-hook exercise takes on texture and depth the minute T.K. sings, “Fellas…/Let me tell you ’bout this woman I admire…” You know instantly you’re in the presence of an inspired vocalist.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing “Bring The Freak Out In Me” on YouTube.

5. “Stay Together (Remix)”——Karen Wolfe feat. Calvin Richardson 

“Stay Together” walks a very fine line for a secular song. When Karen sings, “The family that prays together/Stays together…,” it verges on gospel—old-school, smooth and sentimental—and the original release a month ago exhibited some of those flaws. The remix, on the other hand, captures the magic of Karen’s authentic southern soul voice, grounding “Stay Together” in a reality the audience can relate to. Partner Calvin Richardson lends a searing vocal. 

Listen to Karen Wolfe and Calvin Richardson singing “Stay Together (Remix)” on YouTube.

6. “This Is How We Do It In The Club”——Wendell B.

“In The Club” is about the only song I haven’t featured from Real Talk in the last six months. What turned me around was the video—seeing all those sophisticated St. Louis friends of Wendell’s grooving on the dance floor—and I’ve been grooving to it ever since.

Listen to Wendell B singing “This Is How We Do It In The Club” on YouTube.

7. “Super Love”——H-Town

Am I permitted to feature a successful mainstream R&B group? Daddy B Nice is nodding yes. “Super Love” sure sounds like southern soul to me.

Listen to H-Town (Shazam Conner & GI Jackson) singing “Super Love” on YouTube.

8. “Eat That Cake”—-Tasha Mac

What appears on first impression to be a simple pound cake is actually a multi-layered wedding cake with all the special icings. The instrumental track is inspired and generous, and the slow-motion vocal unexpectedly refined. From Tasha Mac’s new You’re Not My Competition CD.

Listen to Tasha Mac singing “Eat That Cake” on YouTube.

9. “Loving Me”—–Joe D

The best of many male debut artist tracks this month.

Listen to Joe D singing “Loving Me” on YouTube.

10. “Mr. Good Time”———Portia P

The best of many female debut artist tracks this month.

Listen to Portia P singing “Mr. Good Time” on YouTube.



TOP 10 APRIL 2021


1. “Southern Soul Girl”—-Volton Wright feat. T.K. Soul

In my 4-star CD review I admit I considered giving Volton Wright a “trifecta” of top three singles on this month’s Top 10 (“Southern Soul Girl,” “Super Woman” & “Circles”), but I just couldn’t justify taking away that much space from others. Wright is a tremendous new talent, and his collaboration with T.K. Soul on “Southern Soul Girl” will go down as one of southern soul’s finest harmonizings. You can imagine stepping to it or slow-dancing: the song’s romantic tide pulls you both ways.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s 4-star CD Review.

Listen to Volton Wright and T.K. Soul singing “Southern Soul Girl” on YouTube.

2. “Super Woman”—-Volton Wright feat. J.D. and Jeter Jones

Volton Wright redux. This tune starts out with the same gorgeous keyboard chords that lifted Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” so right away you’re in seventh heaven. J.D. (#1 in February, remember?) is spectacular on his introductory verse, and Jeter Jones raps the final verse all the way to the pearly gates!

Listen to Volton Wright, JD and Jeter Jones singing “She’s My Super Woman” on YouTube.

3. “Keep It Country”—–B Cam & The Zydeco Young Bucks

The sheer lyricism of this song will win you over, and the zydeco accordion fills will make you gush. A special treat is the video, a perfect representation of a trailride, and a modest (not even hay bales), rain-soaked one at that, with the horses and ATV’s mingling, with the band, the bonfire and the dancing.

Listen to B Cam singing “Keep It Country” on YouTube.

4. “Plain Ole Country Boy”—–Jeter Jones

Then there’s the guy who made all this country trailride stuff relevant: Jeter Jones. He’s singing about a simple man “doing what he’s supposed to do,” including “going to church on Sunday” and “work on Monday’. It’s a great ballad with a unique point of view.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Plain Ole Country Boy” on YouTube.

5. “Unkle Phunk’s Juke Joint”—-Unkle Phunk feat. Luster Baker

Yes, Unkle Phunk’s back with a new collection, and if this fizzy title track featuring Luster Baker is any indicator, the anticipation will be justified.

Listen to Unkle Phunk & Luster Baker singing “Unkle Phunk’s Juke Joint” on YouTube.

6. “Toes Curl”—–Sojo feat. Methrone

Like Ann Peebles singing about the rain, this song will work its way so far into your head you’ll need one of those Matrix machines to get it out.

Listen to Sojo and Methrone singing “Toes Curl” on YouTube.

7. “Put It On Me”——West Love

A Staples-like vocal arrangement from the powerful singer who gave us “He’s Doing That Donald Trump” and “You Better Go”. West Love’s video has a 100K views and she recently headlined a multi-act concert.

Listen to West Love singing “Put It On Me” on YouTube.

8. “Stay The Night”—-Jesi Terrell feat. Theo Huff.

Jesi Terrell is one of the finest vocalists of the new generation, with a great nose for material. And it’s so good to hear some southern soul from her partner, Chicago’s Theo Huff, who hasn’t charted since his #1 single in September of 2014, “It’s A Good Thing I Met You”.

Listen to Jesi Terrell and Theo Huff singing “Stay The Night” on YouTube.

9. “Kick Out”—-Mr. Fredlo feat. Omar Cunningham

Listen to Mr. Fredlo and Omar Cunningham singing “Kick Out” on YouTube.

10. “Cowboy Ride”—-DeShay

Listen to DeShay singing “Cowboy Ride” on YouTube.

TOP 10 MARCH 2021

1. “Take Your Time”—–Joe Nice feat. Sean Dolby

I nearly crumbled from the full upright position the first time I heard this song. I just couldn’t get over Sean Dolby’s vocal. Sounds like he’s on his back. The vocal’s so wasted, so tentative, a whisper compared to the percussion intro, the best rhythm track since Mr. David’s “Cheating With The DJ”. But what can I say? The Dolby vocal turns into a blues miracle on the scale of the loaves and fishes. And Joe Nice?…he’s perfect. He makes it sound oh so natural, like the Fresh Prince back in the day. Oh and by the way, they’re singing my favorite Lynn White song, “Take Your Time.” I just didn’t recognize it at first. “Props” to DJ Sir Rockinghood for this one.

Listen to Joe Nice and Sean Dolby singing “Take Your Time” on YouTube.

2. “For Your Love”—–Hisyde

Hisyde is really coming on. Two in a row! “For Your Love” comes at you as easily as Mr. Campbell’s “I’m Stepping Out” a couple years ago. This song plus “Is It Ova?” should catapult Hisyde above the rank-and-file for good.

Listen to Hisyde singing “For Your Love” on YouTube.

3. “Good Booty Judy”—–Arthur Young

Lyrically, we haven’t seen a songwriter this enthused and engaged and in love with his craft since Luther Lackey. “Sometimes I call her Geico/Because fifteen minutes is all I need/Sometimes I call her All-State/Because that girl got her good hands on me…” See Daddy B. Nice’s New Arthur Young Album Alert!

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Good Booty Judy” on YouTube.

4. “Singing The Blues”—-Ra’Shad The Blues Kid

The best young blues I’ve heard in a while. It doesn’t get any better. But I can’t find a YouTube link to share!

Updated 3/6/21: Listen to Ra’Shad The Blues Kid singing “Singing The Blues” on YouTube.

5. “Save Me, Baby”—–Tameka Jackson

Great instrumental track, with touches of Motown (Supremes), and nice fresh vocal. And again, no YouTube! Reminds me of 2006-2007, before I could furnish readers with YouTube links.

6. “Tip-Toe In The Bedroom”—–Certified Slim

This may be Certified’s strongest track ever. Love the slowed-down tempo of the Tyrone Davis classic, and the instrumental track and the vocal never flag.

Listen to Certified Slim singing “Tip-Toe In The Bedroom” on YouTube.

7. “Just One Lifetime”—–Stevie J. Bluez feat. Shunte Hendricks

The words of ardent love sound just as stirring as when J. Blackfoot sang them, and Stevie’s back-up singer even sounds like Ann Hines, who did the original with Blackfoot. From Stevie’s new Quarantined album.

Listen to Stevie J. Bluez and Shante’ singing “Just One Lifetime” on YouTube.

8. “Kickin’ Dirt Up”—–Mz. Connie feat. Jeter Jones

One of the most irresistable tracks from Mz. Connie’s new Stir It Like Coffee album.

Listen to Mz. Connie and Jeter Jones singing “Kickin’ Dirt Up” on YouTube.

9. “South’N Lady”—–Darnell Da Bachelor

Listen to Darnell Da Bachelor singing “South’N Lady” on YouTube.

10. “Paper Or Plastic”—–Margo Thunder feat. Bigg Robb

Listen to Margo Thunder singing “Paper Or Plastic” on YouTube.


1. “Love You Down”—–JD feat. Jeter Jones

“It never really mattered too much to me, / That you were just too damned old for me….” JD and Jeter Jones turn “grown folks music” on its head. Now it’s young folks banging on the green door, wanting to get in on the excitement. “I can do what guys their age can do,” JD insists. If this song doesn’t get you dancing, nothing will. From Jeter’s new, dulcet-sounding sampler, Da Fish Grease Friday.

Listen to JD and Jeter Jones singing “Love You Down” on YouTube.

2. “It’s About To Go Down”—–Jeter Jones feat. Billy Cook

“About To Go Down” eulogizes the moment every man in love fixes his every waking thought upon. “She ain’t had a man in awhile,/ But she said tonight it’s about to go down.” Another tuneful single from Jeter Jones’ new Fish Grease Friday sampler.

Listen to Jeter Jones and Billy Cook singing “It’s About To Go Down” on YouTube.

3. “All Because Of Me”—–Stevie J. Bluez

In 2008 a new artist named Stevie Jay recorded the song that would make him a name in southern soul music. The original online platform for “Because Of Me” was removed but Stevie J. (his new name) republished “Because Of Me” on his double-album DIVERSITY PROJECT in 2012. Now Stevie J. Bluez (his latest name) presents the first full and satisfying remix of “Because Of Me” on his new 2021 album, Quarantined.

Listen to Stevie J. Blues singing “All Because Of Me” on YouTube.

4. “Headz Or Tailz: The Crawfish Song”—–Hump Dogg feat. Nebu

This entertaining ditty on the pleasures of eating crawfish came out in mid-2020 but failed to make an impression. Now Cupid has recorded an equally amusing (and perhaps a little slicker and commercial) version called, simply, “Crawfish”. The husky-voiced Nebu guests on both versions and delivers the chorus with amiable verve.

Listen to Hump Dog and Nebu singing “The Crawfish Song” on YouTube.

5. “Come See About Me”—–Jaye Hammer

Jaye Hammer rocks his way home with one of the best mid-tempo tunes of the new year, from his new “It’s Jaye Hammer Time” CD.

Listen to Jaye Hammer singing “Come See About Me” on YouTube.

6. “On My Way To Memphis”—-Omar Cunningham

Can southern soul be this unashamedly romantic and beautiful? That’s the question that’s been floating around in my mind the last few months as I’ve debated whether “On My Way To Memphis” is a potential hit single. I finally have the answer. Yes. From Omar’s new album, Certified.

Listen to Omar Cunningham singing “On My Way To Memphis” on YouTube.

7. “My Weakness”—-Baby Drew feat. Sir Charles Jones & Nina Stacks

Whoooah! Sir Charles The Balladeer would kill for a tough club jam like this, and indeed he kills it. One of his finest non-ballad projects in a long time.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones, Baby Drew & Nina Stacks singing “My Weakness” on YouTube.

8. “Lay With Me Tonight”—-DeShay feat. Volton Wright

Volton Wright is making a name for himself as a premier slow-jam singer, and I think we can safely say that DeShay grew up on Beyonce.

Listen to Volton Wright and DeShay singing “Lay With Me Tonight” on YouTube.

9. “(You Know) What I Like”—-Mississippi Hummin’ Boy feat. Omar Cunningham, Sir Charles Jones & K. Monique

A dazzling ballad brimming with vocal talent.

Listen to the Mississippi Hummin’ Boy and friends singing “You Know What I Like” on YouTube.

10. “Time To Let Go”—-Vick Allen

A typical Vick Allen repast with all the musical trimmings.

Listen to Vick Allen singing “Time To Let Go” on YouTube.

TOP 10 January 2021

1. “Excuse Me”——-Big Pokey Bear

“I was just sipping on the Hennessy,” Pokey sings in one of his finest vocals, “Me and my homies chilling V.I.P.” In poetry that’s called iambic pentameter, and I could give a lecture on all the things this song does, among them nailing a surefire melodic riff (Beat Flippa on the track!) and, foremost, bringing a Notorious B.I.G., hiphop-at-its-best “coolness” to southern soul. Even if you don’t like rap culture, you can feel the relevance, the feeling that this is the music of “now,” oozing out of every bar Pokey Bear sings.

Listen to Pokey Bear singing “Excuse Me” on YouTube.

2. “Southern Soul Woman”——Cadillac Man

This artist has been beating on your Daddy B Nice’s “green door” for a couple of years now, at first with reggae-based, southern-soul submissions that confounded me and then other, expedient projects that alienated me. And yet, in that same time Cadillac Man has transformed himself into a true southern soul singer, as this anthem to southern soul women attests. It just goes to show what true “want-to” will do.

Listen to Cadillac Man singing “Southern Soul Woman” on YouTube.

3. “When You Work It”——P2K feat. T.K. Soul

P2K Dadiddy, the singer/songwriter behind the popular singles “Soul Brothers Moonshine” (with Sir Charles and Jeter Jones) and “Bottle After Bottle,” returns with another cozy, guy-next-door groove, assisted ably by T.K. Soul.

Listen to P2K and TK singing “When You Work It” on YouTube.

4.“A Little Freaky”——Big Yayo

Written by Omar Cunningham, from Big Yayo’s just-released album Electric Cowboy, the risque’ yet tender ballad “A Little Freaky” showcases Big Yayo singing without any enhancement and very little accompaniment, and guess what. Yayo kills it. He can really sing.

Listen to Big Yayo singing “A Little Freaky” on YouTube.

5. “Southern Soul Man”——Mr. Nelson feat. Sonya B.

A dynamic pairing of two new southern soul singers perfectly captures southern soul culture. Impressively produced and arranged.

Listen to Mr. Nelson and Sonya B singing “Southern Soul Man” on YouTube.

6. “Bout To Go Stepping”——T.K. Soul

T.K. Soul harks back to the electronic good vibes of “The Ladies Love To Slide” with this new single from his new album Chocolate Jamz. And don’t miss Daddy B Nice’s new profile of T.K. Soul—#4 The New Generation.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing “Bout To Go Stepping” on YouTube

7. “Work That”——Tha Party King

He’s the brother of young diva Donyale Renee and guested on her “Backyard Booty” single. Both siblings forge a hiphop-hybrid southern soul, but “Work That” surpasses anything the duo’s yet recorded, and just when you think Party King might falter or get repetitive, an uncredited rapper (or Party King himself in a different rap style?) comes in with a verse that makes it a certified hit.

Listen to Tha Party King singing “Work That” on YouTube.

8. “That Bomb Love”—–J. Red The Nephew

J. Red shines in another of his signature, mid-tempo ballads with all the finely-wrought trimmings.

Listen to J. Red The Nephew singing “That Bomb Love” on YouTube.

9. “Torn Between The Two”——Lady Q

Fresh from rousing turns on “Lumberjack (I Need That Good Wood)” and “Nose Wide Open,”Lady Q goes solo to remake the legendary Carl Sims’ “Trapped”.

Listen to Lady Q singing “Torn Between The Two” on YouTube.

10. “Different From The Rest”——King Fred

Singing with unaccustomed swagger, King Fred testifies to his southern soul “cred” in ways that have never been recorded before.

Listen to King Fred singing “Different From The Rest” on YouTube.



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Comprehensive Index

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