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

TOP 10 December 2022

1. “Can I Get It?—–Ciddy Boi P feat. Till 1 & Mississippi Hummin’ Boy

What a party-starter! It’s raw, “grown,” melodic and machined to groove. Ciddy Boi has a make-it-happen, follow-the-Pied-Piper voice, and the three-part verse trade-off among Ciddy Boy, Hummin’ Boy and Till 1 blesses the song with endomorphin-releasing contrasts. For more on the prolific singer/songwriter/producer, read Daddy B. Nice’s Ciddy Boi P: New Arrival/Make Way!

Listen to Ciddy Boi P, Till 1 & Mississippi Hummin’ Boy singing “Can I Get It? on YouTube.

2. “Let Me Take You There”—–Stephanie McDee

One of Stephanie McDee’s most uncompromising vocals ever. Set against a brilliant, undulating, acoustic instrumental track by (who woulda thought?) Unkle Phunk! To hear “Stef” barking out party-starter euphemisms like a dominatrix cracking a leather whip while the gorgeous guitar-picking weaves in and out like bands of silk rippling in the wind is at the least original and at best (my opinion) a little miracle sent down from southern soul heaven.

Listen to Stephanie McDee singing “Let Me Take You There” on YouTube.

3. “Whoop Dat Preacher”——Stan Butler

Stan Butler’s preacher is worse than Mr. Jody! His rustic sound recalls Nathaniel Kimble (“Can You Back It Up”) and Steve Perry (“Booty Roll”). And although the preacher gets the best of him, Butler’s blithe delivery lifts spirits and breaks out smiles. Stan Butler is celebrated this month with a new, long-overdue artist guide in Daddy B. Nice’s chart-in-progress, The New Generation Southern Soul.

P.S. Strange but true. Although they arrive at vastly different musical destinations, the rhythm track to Stan Butler’s “Whoop Dat Preacher” is identical to the rhythm track of T.J. Hooker Taylor’s “Count On Me”(#9 February 22)

Listen to Stan Butler singing “Whoop Dat Preacher” on YouTube.

4. “I Love It Here”——-Jay Morris Group

As markedly different as the preceding three songs are, this new Jay Morris Group ballad makes yet another stylistic statement. The production is more impressive on this record than most of their new album—a fuller sound (with all the trimmings) rendered all the more dramatic because of the close-to-acapella simplicity of the individual verses, taken in turn by Jay, Zee and K-Monique, Daddy B. Nice’s Best Female Vocalist of 2021. You’ll be hummin’ it.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s New Album Alert!

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing “I Love It Here” on YouTube.

5. “Let’s Play”——Karen Wolfe

This smokes, Karen. There are two versions, one explicit (“You walk around like your shit don’t stink”…). Like Karen, who titles it the “Karen Wolfe version,” I love it “bad”. Call me grown, but “That Bitch Ain’t Me” is just more real than “That Chick Ain’t Me”. Too many people censor themselves into irrelevance. Not the storied, past generation of divas (Brown, Carr, Scott-Adams, LaSalle). And not Karen.

Listen to Karen Wolfe singing “Let’s Play” on YouTube.

6. “If My Girl Can’t Come”——LaMorris Williams

The response to this unobtrusive little tune may surprise LaMorris. Women can relate, and it’s a common—some would say universal—situation.

Listen to LaMorris Williams singing “If My Girl Can’t Come” on YouTube.

7. “Ooh Aah”——Rosalyn Candy

Now this is the kind of song a man wants to listen to. Yes, sir.

Listen to Rosalyn Candy singing “Ooh Aah” on YouTube.

8. “Hot Grits”——Mz. Pat feat. Ciddy Boi P

Great tune. Scolding but lovable narrator (Mz Pat). There’s an interval in the chorus when the background voices slip into what could almost be called a prolonged moan, like wind through the trees, or a long sigh. Nice effect.

Listen to Mz. Pat feat. Ciddy Boi P singing “Hot Grits” on YouTube.

9. “Don’t Play With It”——–Breeze MrDo2Much feat. Jeter Jones

Breeze is the guy who did that stunning cover of Sir Charles Jones awhile back. He can really sing, even coaxing one of Jeter Jones’ finest guest vocals on this southern soul stepper.

Listen to Breeze MrDo2Much & Jeter Jones singing “Don’t Play With It” on YouTube.

10. “Good Woman”—–Miss Lady Blues

Miss Lady Blues has a little trouble reaching a high note midway through, then—like a lady in heels tripping on a grate—goes off-tune on a couple of notes, but the track is solid and getting good response.

Listen to Miss Lady Blues singing “Good Woman” on YouTube.

 



TOP 10 October 2022

1. “This Time It Was Me”—–Arthur Young

This insider’s delight muscled its way up the playlist by hook and by crook. Instrumentally, of course, it’s a downgrade from Ronnie Lovejoy’s magnificent “Sho’ Wasn’t Me,” and at first you’ll be fascinated by the relative drop-offs in production as Young faithfully renders the song right down to the legendary female back-up singers. But then, as you continue to hear it with other new music, it grows on you. Not only does Young throw his complete body and spirit into his most tremendous vocal ever. He gets so far into the lyrics he genuinely updates the classic “case of mistaken identity” for the new generation.

Listen to Arthur Young singing “This Time It Was Me” on YouTube.

2. “All For You”—–Crystal Thomas feat. Crystyle

Crystal’s finest southern soul since her stunning duet with Pokey Bear, “All I Want Is You”. Read Daddy B. Nice’s account of how southern soul fans are in a tug of war with classic blues fans for the uber-talented singer’s loyalties.

See Crystal Thomas #23 The New Generation.

Listen to Crystal Thomas singing “All For You” on YouTube.

3. “Mr. Right Now”—–J-Wonn

J-Wonn drops one for the ages, fulfilling the promise of his vaunted signature single, “I Got This Record”. Everything shimmers with excellence—melody, instrumental track and vocal—and this young performer’s production skills are second to none.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s five-star review of J-Wonn’s new MR. RIGHT NOW CD.

4. “Don’t Make Me Beg”—–Willie Clayton

There’s no moss growing under Willie Clayton. Love, integrity, wisdom and heartache mingle with astonishing force in this bluesy southern soul accounting of what happens when a man loves a woman. The searing vocal and pristine production are backed by an all-live band including live strings.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s New Album Alert of Willie Clayton’s brand new Caesar Soul & Blues CD.

5. “Ms. Fine Thang”——Mr. Hollywood

“Five foot five/ Nice long hair/ Thick in the thighs/ There she goes right there…” You’ll soon be singing it too. A new and budding star picks up the southern soul mantle and breaks the tape running across the finish line.

Listen to Mr. Hollywood singing “Ms. Fine Thang” on YouTube.

6. “I Swear”——Mr. Don’t Leave (Eric Hunter) feat. Johnny James

This guy’s too new to know what he’s doing yet. There’s no YouTube, and he’s involved in some streaming service that only parses a snippet of a sample. But what a song. And what a vocal, with the one and only Johnny James in support.

7. “One Step Closer To Home”——-William Bell

Pure, stinging, red-clay blues from a legend who really wasn’t known for blues as much as soul as a young man at Stax. Nevertheless, he kills it. Kudos to the stark, black and white video.

Listen to William Bell singing “One Step Closer To Home” on YouTube.

8. “Keep On Rolling Reply”—–DeShay

Following Redd Velvet, Carolyn Staten and other ladies, DeShay checks in with her take on King George’s “Keep On Rollin'”.

Listen to DeShay singing “Keep On Rolling Reply” on YouTube.

9. “My Lucky Day”——Big G

Big G never grows old. He still sings like a whip cracking in a Clint Eastwood western.

Listen to Big G singing “My Lucky Day” on YouTube.

10. “Look Good Look Fine”—–J-Wonn & T.K. Soul

This simple, catchy chant gives J and TK an ideal platform to experiment with their vocal chops.

Listen to J-Wonn & T.K. Soul singing “Look Good Look Fine” on YouTube.

 



TOP 10 September 2022

1. “Don’t Go”—–Volton Wright

Who knew three simple, ascend-
ing chords could mesmerize like this? Volton builds a beautiful melody line for the verses that bonds to the simple chord progression like muscle to bone, then breathes inspirational lyrics—humble, chastened and heartfelt—into the whole to give it life. From his exemplary sophomore southern soul album, Love Me Right.

Listen to Volton Wright singing “Don’t Go” on You Tube.

2. “Older Woman”——Sassy D.

A couple of new Sassy’s are trying to break into the genre but (for now, at least) they’re just imposters. The real Sassy is Sassy D, the Sassy D of “Change My Mind” and “Netflix & Chill”. Sassy has an indescribable knack for hitting the universal inflections—part streets, part youthful innocence—like the ladies from Motown and Philly back in the day. And yet on “Older Woman” she expounds (albeit just as charmingly) from the older perspective.

Listen to Sassy D singing “Older Woman” on YouTube.

3. “Just Another Friday”——-Arthur Young

I don’t understand the line that sounds like “The girl got that stallion booty” but I sure do like it. Just as much as I like the buzz I get from hearing Arthur Young singing a dance jam. Another superb tune from his latest album, Back To The Blues.

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Just Another Friday” on YouTube.

4. “That’s On Me”——Slack feat. Jeter Jones

Slack comes out from behind the producer’s scrim. It’s not the first time, but probably the best, accompanied by his mate Jeter, and they’re promising their gals everything. And I do mean everything.

Listen to Slack and Jeter Jones singing “That’s On Me” on YouTube.

5. “I’m Gonna Ride That Black Horse”—–Ms. Jody

Ms. Jody swings for the fence with this one and it’s going, going, going…gone. Home run. Best tune and best vocal since “Just Let Me Ride”.

Listen to Ms.Jody singing “I’m Gonna Ride That Black Horse” on YouTube.

6. “Luv Dem Blues”——Narvel Echols

Narvel Echols, if you’ll remember, did the mind-blowing “Pour Me A Drank” a couple of years ago. I like the way he goes out on a limb and still finds a southern soul groove.

Listen to Narvel Echols singing “Luv Dem Blues” on YouTube.

7. “Toxic Love”——Marcellus The Singer

This is a chart reappearance. “Toxic Love” made the Top 40 Singles a few months ago but has remained popular and is deserving of Top 10 recognition.

Listen to Marcellus The Singer singing “Toxic Love” on YouTube.

8. “Why I’m Crying”—–Adrian Bagher

At first this didn’t sound at all like Adrian Bagher. Now, after repeated listenings, it does.

Listen to Adrian Bagher singing “Why I’m Crying” on YouTube.

9. “Catfishing”——Arthur Young

This is the original version of “Catfishing” never officially released. Much better than the previous, speeded-up version. Now if Arthur only took that old, charismatic Facebook video where he’s smiling and playing the acoustic guitar to “Catfishing” and put it on the YouTube platform, we’d be as pleased as pigs in a poke.

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Catfishing” on YouTube.

10. “Fine Ass Girl”—–Memphis Jackson

Debut of the month. Interesting name. What next? someone called Monroe Shreveport?

Listen to Memphis Jackson singing “Fine Ass Girl” on YouTube.

 



TOP 10 August 2022

1. “I’m Just A Country Boy”—–Country Boy

Raw, country-hewn, with an original and enthusiastic vocal, the debut of Country Boy would be auspicious even without his mates. But when those “mates” are T.K. Soul (whom I’m guessing is general producer) and Ronald “Slack” Jefferson (whom I’m guessing is studio producer), you’ve got a record for the ages.

Listen to Country Boy singing “I’m Just A Country Boy” on YouTube.

2. “Somebody Gotta Leave”—–Carolyn Staten

Staten-ize me, Carolyn! Sock it to me! There have been other female “answer” songs to King George’s “Keep On Rolling,” but this is the one that delivers the toughest punch.

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing “Somebody Gotta Leave” on YouTube.

3. “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”—–Jeter Jones, R&B Pooh & Volton Wright

Begins with hand-claps and minimal background, like an overly modest stepping song, but by the end the trio of Jones-Wright-and-Pooh have you clapping and singing along to a memorable anthem. From Jeter’s new collection, Da Legend Of Sweet Jeter Jones.

Listen to Jeter Jones, R&B Pooh and Volton Wright singing “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” on YouTube.

4. “Saddle Up (Remix)”——Jeter Jones, R&B Pooh, Volton Wright

Back to back Jeter Jones, who deserves the lion’s share of the credit for making trail rides and country life dominant themes in southern soul music in our time. And props to R&B Pooh for the zest and flavor of his falsetto, which makes both these tunes so special. Also our man Slack, a genius on those percolating keys.

Listen to Jeter Jones, R&B Pooh & Volton Wright singing “Saddle Up (Remix)” on YouTube.

5. “Water”——-Tye Prince Of Southern Soul feat. Sir Charles Jones

This song—performed and produced so well—could be a #1 in certain circles and formats (general or urban R&B, for instance). But here in the chitlin’ circuit it’s going to evoke some winces because it mercilessly ransacks the Staple Singer’s “Do It Again”. It’s so faithful it might almost have been better doing a cover. Let’s not forget Jones’ very first hit single, “Slow Roll It” (originally recorded by The Love Doctor), also raided “Do It Again” for its iconic bass line. Just saying…It’s hard not to think of these things.

Listen/Download Tye Prince of Southern Soul’s “Water” on his website.

6. “Nobody”—–Michael Carey

Speaking of general R&B, here’s a switch: an R&B singer—not a hiphop artist—trying out his southern soul chops like some latter-day Lenny Williams or Ricky White. Carey’s good too, although the YouTube views (so far) are perplexingly meager.

Listen to Michael Carey singing “Nobody” on YouTube.

7. “I’m A Do It All Woman”—–Val McKnight

Val McKnight has a new album out on Ecko, Ain’t Nothing Like A Country Boy, and “Do It All Woman” is one of the finest and most convincing tracks.

Listen to Val McKnight singing “I’m A Do It All Woman” on YouTube.

8. “Louisiana Soulfood”——Cuznjed feat. Prince Hodge

This is a good example of how thorough and comfortable the use of rap has become in the culture of southern soul. The rap sounds more “southern soul” than a lot of conventionally-sung southern soul verses.

Listen to Cuznjed feat. Prince Hodge singing “Louisiana Soulfood” on YouTube.

9. “Down In The Woods”—–Unckle Eddie

When you think of all the singer/songwriters dealing with (at worst) writer’s block and (at the least) with overly-generic, same-old-same-old, musical structures that scream “been there/done that,” you kinda wish they’d get naked, buckle up some triple-X overalls and go “Down In The Woods” with Unckle Eddie and his forest creatures for some bonafide inspiration.

Listen to Unckle Eddie singing “Down In The Woods” on YouTube.

10. “Good”—–Tina P. feat. Cupid

Cupid sends up a rousing vocal on this track by sweet-voiced new artist Tina P.

Listen to Tina P. and Cupid singing “Good” on YouTube.

 



TOP 10 July 2022

1. “Step Into My Room—–Lil’ CJ

A case of “young folks” living “grown folks” music. Lil’ CJ, who looks all of twenty, sings like a southern soul veteran. The hook is so basic and the tune so short, it’s easy to be dismissive, but soon—like a red-and-white bobber tugging at the end of a summertime fishing pole—you realize you’re humming “Step Into My Room unconsciously as you’re going about your business.

Listen to Lil’ CJ singing “Step Into My Room” on YouTube.

2. “Country Girl”—–Jus Epik feat. Money Waters

This is a joyous romp throbbing with authentic southern soul vibes. The instrumental track and brisk tempo furnish the momentum, while the lead vocal by newcomer Jus Epik is downright head-turning. And these guys are youngsters too. I can tell because they say “Wait a minute” a lot.

Listen to Jus Epik and Money Waters singing “Country Girl” on YouTube.

3. “Girl You Got It”—–King George

Here it is, the first single since King George gained his southern soul bonafides. Uplifting, inspirational, produced with class. I’m pinching myself, because it’s hard to believe we’re talking about someone who was unknown a year ago, a debut artist who made the unheard-of leap from newcomer to instant headliner. The latest-breaking news is that King George’s much-anticipated album (actually two albums) is out and for sale. See Daddy B. Nice’s Featured Artist for July ’22: King George #18 The New Generation Southern Soul (New Album Alert!).

Listen to King George singing “Girl You Got It” on YouTube.

4. “You Don’t Need It”—–Lacee

Lacee’s not going away. She’s more sophisticated and in-control than ever. Superb, no-frills vocal. Captivating “Lacee’s Groove”-kinda groove.

Listen to Lacee singing “You Don’t Need It” on YouTube.

5. “Tell Me How You Want It”—-Ms. Ty feat. Arthur Young

Ms. Ty’s vocal is a delight. Brings back girl-group-era memories. And Arthur Young is at his very best, personality oozing out of every bar.

Listen to Ms. Ty & Arthur Young singing “Tell Me How You Want it” on YouTube.

6. “Making Plans (Jody)”—–Harrison Hollingquest

This well-done debut mixes the music from Z.Z. Hill’s “Cheating In The Next Room” with the lyrics from Peggy Scott-Adams’ “Bill” to make a very pleasant concoction. “Y’all better do a background check” sums up the message.

Listen to Harrison Hollingquest singing “Making Plans (Jody)” on YouTube.

7. “Hard Working Brutha”—–Meme Yahsal

2020 Best Debut Finalist Meme Yahsal is also a hard-working sister, and with this single she’s knocking on the door louder than ever before.

Listen to Meme Yahsal singing “Hard Working Brutha” on YouTube.

8. “Country Girl Lovin'”—–Robb Blacc

Easy to confuse with #2 above. Another solid debut in its own right.

Listen to Robb Blacc singing “Country Girl Lovin'” on YouTube.

9. “The Remedy”——Napoleon Demps

Remember Napoleon Demps? After some interesting singles in the twenty-teens he put together a hiphop-oriented sampler he had the hubris to term “southern soul”. Naturally, I gave the CD one of my worst ratings ever (1 star) and Demps limped back to Flint, Michigan. Four years later, Napoleon’s back with a tremendous record, “The Remedy,” written by Demps and produced by Joey Quionnes. It’s soulful to the max and deserving of success, but Demps—snake-bitten once—still hasn’t summoned the courage to advertise it widely, post it on YouTube or release it for sale. Here’s hoping he does.

10. “Roll And Rock”—–Melani

A new artist who’s been popping up in the Top 40 the past two to three months scores her first Top 10 hit with a mid-tempo smoothie as sleek and svelte as a stepping song.

Listen to Melani singing “Roll And Rock” on YouTube.



TOP 10 June 2022

1. “Here Come Pokey”—–Pokey Bear

This is the hit single we’ve been waiting for. If you don’t get it at first, play it louder. If still hesitant, get a little buzz on. You’ll be busting moves you didn’t know you had. Celebratory “hands in the sky” send-ups like this don’t come around every day. What a rhythm section! What a chorus! Pokey brought in all the firepower for this one—Omar, Big Yayo—and the lyrics are straight from the big guy’s psyche. I can already see him queuing it up onstage with “They Call Me Pokey”.

Listen to Pokey Bear singing “Here Come Pokey” on YouTube.

2. “I Don’t Ever Want To Break Up”—–Wendell B & J’Cenae

This one’s from J’Cenae’s excellent debut CD Decency, but Wendell holds forth until the two-minute mark, giving it the stamp of a Wendell B record, and a glorious one at that, and God knows we need a Wendell B “fix”. J’Cenae more than holds her own technically, quite a feat in itself.

Listen to Wendell B and J’Cenae singing “I Don’t Ever Want To Break Up” on YouTube.

From #322 to #19! Read about J’Cenae’s rise to the top ranks of the “New Generation Of Southern Soul”.

3. “Come To The Trailride”—–Jeter Jones

This one will sneak up on you. About much more than what the title hints, it’s really a flat-out love song with “country” as its nexus. Once again Jeter finds the elusive vein of genuine emotion.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Come To The Trailride” on YouTube.

4. “Country Boy (Remix)”—–Chu’zu, Vince Tucker, Jeter Jones

Great song, incredibly produced, exotic and refreshing in sound. I don’t know anything about the participants excepting Jeter, but the new voices are robust and haunting.

Listen to Chu’zu, Vince Tucker and Jeter Jones singing “Country Boy (Remix)” on YouTube.

5. “Corner Sto”—–Ciddy Boi P. & Mz. Connie

The promotional copy I received has a better mix, without the Miami horns, etc. on the available YouTube version, which distracts from what are two of the grittiest vocals (male or female) of the year.

Listen to Ciddy Boi & Mz. Connie singing “Corner Sto” on YouTube.

6. “Ms. Parker”—–Kinnie Ken

Kinnie Ken debuted in July of 2020 with Sojo The Ladies Champ on the stupendously robust duet “I Got That Good Good”. “Ms. Parker” finds him in a more wistful state of mind, but the voice still sends shivers down your spine.

Listen to Kinnie Ken singing “Ms. Parker” on YouTube.

7. “Das My Kitty”—–Kandy Janai

The debut of Kandace Janai Horne is already receiving raves. The song delivers a brisk slap of reality to an entitled and clueless man.

Listen to Kandy Janai singing “Das My Kitty” on YouTube.

8. “Lucky”—–David Brinston feat. Mr. Frayser

From David Brinston’s new CD Poundtown. New artist Mr. Frayser notches a remarkable vocal that not only meshes well with David’s but lifts the tune to another level.

Listen to David Brinston and Mr. Frayser singing “Lucky” on YouTube.

9. “Truck Driving Baddie”—–Lokey Kountry

Lokey Kountry is the name of a singer, not a band, who debuted with the amazing single “Goin’ Out” in September of 2020. This time out it’s a song of praise for female truck drivers.

Listen to Lokey Kountry singing “Truck Driving Baddie” on YouTube.

10. “Get On Out Of Here”—-Tasha Mac

Tasha Mac continues to impress, decisively serving notice on her ne’er-do-well mate while burying her bitterness in an ironically romantic arrangement.

Listen to Tasha Mac singing “Get On Out Of Here” on YouTube.



TOP 10 May 2022

1. “Mr. Willy”—–C. Jones

Fans are so hungry for product—new southern soul music and sounds—deejays are scouring ever more obscure efforts before the unknown performers themselves are even ready to lace up their marching boots. That’s what happened to C. (Chad) Jones, who’s been knocking around the fringes of R&B for the better part of a decade. His “Mr. Willy” caught the attention of an alert Brit a few months ago (see Daddy B. Nice’s Mailbag) and set off a frenzied search by deejays to be the first to announce the record. Now it’s finally on sale and on YouTube. Nor has “Mr. Willy” lost any of its luster during the delay. It starts off very “middlin” (and could have been a flop) but soon soars on the wings of a fetching vocal and unique background track that weds a rhythm guitar to a tingling, bagpipe/clavichord-like sound that hovers around it like a sun-touched cloud.

Listen to C. Jones singing “Mr. Willy” on YouTube.

2. “Party 2 Hard”—–DeMond Crump

He used to be so raw (early Jackson, MS days), but this single along with last year’s #1 single “Just Love Me” mark a huge transformation. The production’s first-rate, the tempo’s irresistable and the uncredited female singer (it’s more accurately a duet) is off the charts. Actually, there may be more women singing on the choruses (or one double-tracking). Whatever, it makes the record blossom and brings out the best—the loosey-goosey—in DeMond.

Listen to DeMond Crump singing “Party 2 Hard” on YouTube.

3. “She Could Never Be Me (The Remix)”—–K. Renaa

The remix is so much better than the slower-tempoed 2017 original (which, paradoxically, has the sumptuous video) and it makes you wonder how many killer out-takes and mixes are languishing on hard drives around the circuit, discarded for inferior takes that never made it. Now, thanks to Renaa’s rousing vocal, you can dance, sing or march around the house to “She Could Never Be Me” as your own, fired-up, personal anthem.

Listen to K. Renaa singing”She Could Never Be Me” on YouTube.

4. “Grooving In Love”—–Simply Wayne

Now here’s a guy who sounds like he just walked out the back door of church on an August Sunday (in other words a gospel singer) and tossed off a quart with the guys. Pure southern soul singer with a little Reggie P. pedigree.

Listen to Simply Wayne singing “Grooving In Love” on YouTube.

6. “Sexy Lady”—–C. (Chad) Jones

In case you think C. Jones (#1 above with “Mr. Willy”) will be a one-and-done, check this out.

Listen to C. (Chad) Jones singing “Sexy Lady” on YouTube.

7. “Bae Changed Me”—–Sky Whatley

After a long absence (a decade maybe?) Redd Velvet has returned to the studio with an “answer song” to King George’s “Keep On Rolling,” but I’ll opt for Sky Whatley’s send-up of the King’s “Too Long”. It’s not an “answer” but a sampling worked into a lush and enjoyable ballad. Hope he approached George for the rights.

Listen to Sky Whatley singing “Bae Changed Me” on YouTube.

8. “Brown Liquor”—–Theodis Ealey

Not that “Brown Liquor” isn’t an impressive single from the Ealey-Man (the King George of his day), but I fondly remember when “Stand Up In It” first came out—before it became famous—we media types thought of it as light and catchy, something like K. Renaa’s “She Could Never Be Me” (#3 above), never dreaming it would become a stone-cold classic.

Listen to Theodis Ealey singing “Brown Liquor” on YouTube.

9. “I Wanna Feed Ya”—–Rosalyn Candy

Listen to Rosalyn Candy singing “I Wanna Feed Ya” on YouTube.

10. “Travelin’ Man”—–K. Renaa

Listen to K. Renaa singing “Travelin’ Man” on YouTube.

 



 

TOP 10 April 2022


1. “Too Long” ——- King George

We fans can be forgiven for associating the artist’s personal life with the lyrics, as in King George’s #1-ranked, bad-boy-boasting “Keep On Rollin'” (March ’22). But George’s “Too Long,” which languished (if you can call three million views “languishing”) on YouTube for two years before “Keep On Rollin'” broke at #1, is just the opposite. The lyrics portray a conscientious and responsible man in love with his mate withstanding the temptations of touring. “Can’t stay too long / I gotta keep moving” is King George’s refrain as he navigates the women trying “to get his attention.” “Too Long” gained three million page views in just one month since “Keep On Rollin'” debuted at Daddy B. Nice’s #1.

See Daddy B. Nice’s new artist guide: King George The New Generation of Southern Soul.

Listen to King George singing “Too Long” on YouTube.

2. “Leave & Party”—– King George

Recorded two years ago, “Leave & Party” is the precursor to King George’s southern soul mega-hit, “Keep On Rollin'”. Similar in tone, tempo and chording, complete with exhilarating, gospel-style background vocals, “Leave & Party” introduces Keisha and the obliging gals from “Keep On Rollin'” who are happy to pamper George after a hard week of work when all he wants to do is “get drunk, smoke weed” and “get his party on”.

Listen to King George singing “Leave & Party” on YouTube.

3. “Country Man”—– Arthur Young

Musically, “Country Man” is more evidence (if any were needed) of how much Arthur Young loves southern soul music. The vocal’s outstanding, the instrumental track rich and full. Lyrically, it’s narrated in a third person account, as if Arthur had picked it up in a bar or truck stop booth from a guy experiencing a husband/wife mid-life crisis. Arthur calls him an “old man” because he’s been married 20 years and raised his kids, but to some of us grown folks this guy’s just getting started. Welcome to life, baby, and another funky forty years!

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Country Man” on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice’s Artist Guide to Arthur Young: The New Generation of Southern Soul.

4. “Party With Friends”—– Nelson Curry

Nelson Curry pokes his creative needle into the southern soul main-line with this exuberantly-produced, mid-tempo anthem celebrating the pleasures of conviviality. From the “Shackman’s” new album Evolution Of Soul.

Listen to Nelson Curry singing “Party With Friends” on YouTube.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s new 4-star review of Nelson Curry’s Evolution Of Soul.

5. “Let Me Ride That Pony”—– Donnie Ray

From Donnie Ray’s new album, I’m Just The Man For You, “Let Me Ride That Pony” features a bracing Donnie Ray vocal and an instrumental track that cooks like a pot of bubbling gumbo.

Listen to Donnie Ray singing “Let Me Ride That Pony” on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice’s New Album Alert.

6. “Crown Royal (Quiet Storm Mix)”—— X-Man Parker

This is a stunning record and very atypical. X-Man has toyed with the title and melody in different versions over the years, but this is by far the best. “Quiet Storm” implies a sound most southern soul fans aren’t interested in, but this isn’t “smooth”. It’s vanguard—edgy—thanks to the superb, higher-register vocal and unique production. No YouTube yet!

7. “No Worries”—– Jeter Jones

Jeter Jones shows no signs of flagging. “No Worries”—with a lilting, mid-tempo melody and a feel-good message—is yet another brick in the wall for the Kang of Trailride Blues.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “No Worries” on YouTube.

8. “Jody”—— Sheila B. Sexi feat. Jeter Jones

This song comes at you sideways, low-key, dominated by an elbow-churning rhythm track. Sheila B. Sexi is a Jeter Jones/Slacktraxx artist with a couple of charted singles and album under her belt in just her first year in southern soul. Jeter guests.

Listen to Sheila B. Sexi singing “Jody” on YouTube.

9. “Trail Ride Shawty”—– Marcellus The Singer

Listen to Marcellus The Singer singing “Trail Ride Shawty” on YouTube.

10. “Flex (Your Body)”—– Cupid

Is it just my imagination, or is this the closest Bryson Bernard has ever come to capturing the dance magic of the “Cupid Shuffle”?

Listen to Cupid singing “Flex” on YouTube.

 



 

TOP 10 MARCH 2022

1. “Keep On Rollin'” ——- King George

Three million YouTube views in less than a month! I’m in awe of the power of southern soul music to connect with the fans. It doesn’t matter if it’s an “unknown”. “Keep On Rollin” speaks to that unconscious id we all carry around, unaware we’re blinkered by social norms until we encounter someone who upsets that apple cart of civility. That’s why we’re so tickled and pleased when Pokey Bear has the boldness to sing, “But I ain’t coming home until three,” or King George sings, “One monkey don’t stop no show.”

Listen to King George singing “Keep On Rollin'” on YouTube.

See more Daddy B. Nice commentary on King George.

2. “I Can’t Keep Loving You” —– Willie Clayton

Late last year Willie teamed up with Tucka on “I’m Looking For A Woman,” which was as much a validation of the contemporary relevance of southern soul’s master stylist as it was a feather in the young man’s cap. Willie actually inches out the popular Tucka in this month’s top ten singles with a vocal that would do Al Green proud and an instrumental track as taut and textured as vintage Stax.

Listen to Willie Clayton singing “I Can’t Keep Loving You” on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice’s “New Album Alert” on Willie Clayton’s new “Soul Caesar” CD.

3. “Jukebox Lover” —– Tucka

Tucka revisits the smooth and breezy musical setting of “Tipsy” for this evocative ode to dancing and loving.

Listen to Tucka singing “Jukebox Lover” on YouTube.

4. “Give Me Some Credit” —– Jay Morris Group

They’ve got the formula (scintillating harmonies, organ-style keyboard fills, male and female give and take) and they’ve got the melodies, and they’re in a creative zone the likes of which we seldom have the good fortune to witness.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing “Give Me Some Credit” on YouTube.

5. “(Get It) Mr. Willie” —– C. Jones

Another southern-soul, mind-blowing “unknown”. If you’ve been following Daddy B. Nice’s Mailbag, you know that reader DeWayne has been on a mission to find this song he heard in a deejay mixtape. Ordinarily I wouldn’t feature a song not on YouTube nor for sale, especially when that same artist himself is on Facebook, but I’m now in possession of a copy, I’m playing the hell out of it, and I just emailed it to DeWayne. Readers, know that “Mr. Willie,” like this month’s #1 “Keep On Rollin’,” is mainlining southern soul, and I’m betting that within a month a link to the real thing will grace this space.

6. “Poundtown” —– David Brinston

David Brinston snags a good, ornery song and delivers it in his inimitable, ornery style.

Listen to David Brinston singing “Poundtown” on YouTube.

7. “Friday Night” —– King George

Here’s another impressive tune—an update of Sir Charles Jones’ “Friday—by the young artist taking southern soul by storm. (See #1 above.)

Listen to King George singing “Friday Night” on YouTube.

8. “Father, Father” —– Nelson Curry

One of southern soul’s premier vocalists hits an emotional peak with this searing ballad dedicated to his father. From his new album Evolution Of Soul.

Listen to Nelson Curry singing “Father, Father” on YouTube.

9. “Can’t Stop Thinking Bout You” —– Andre’ Lee

Longtime veteran Andre’ Lee crafts a lot of sensitive ballads but outdoes himself with this bonafide classic.

Listen to Andre’ Lee singing “Can’t Stop Thinking Bout You” on YouTube.

10. “Been A Boss” —– Sweet Nay

Sweet Nay follows up her pair of February top ten singles (scroll down) with this frenetic, zydeco-fired, Beat Flippa-produced club banger. From her new 4-star-rated debut album, “Good Vibes”.

Listen to Sweet Nay singing “Been A Boss” on YouTube.

TOP 10 February 2022

1. “Get My Groove On”——-Jeter Jones

Good club (dance) songs are so hard to come by. How’d we miss this one? Leave it to Jeter to remind us that “Groove On” (from Dhis Him) is as fresh as anything out there. If watching him dance free-style solo outside on the driveway and street doesn’t get you off the sofa (as it does his family and friends at the end of this mesmerizing new video), you’ll know you’re ready for the retirement community.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Get My Groove On” on YouTube.

2. “Magic Woman”—–Binky Womack

Binky Womack brings more to the table than just that famous “Womack” name. The melody and vocal on “Magic Woman” will warm your heart. The lyrics will make you smile when you realize hungry-for-love trumps hungry-for-food.

Listen to Binky Womack singing “Magic Woman” on YouTube.

3. “Whooped (I Put That Nookie On Him)”—–Sweet Nay

This mid-tempo jewel, written by Sweet Nay & P2K and produced by Avail Hollywood, will get your attention from Sweet Nay’s rousing “Someone call 911” intro. From Good Vibes, her splendid new debut album.

Listen to Sweet Nay singing “Whooped” on YouTube.

4. “Two Step”—–King Fred feat. Shae Shae

Speaking of club songs, it’s a joy to see Fred Hicks polishing his little genie’s bottle of idiosyncratic techniques, coaxing out ever more professional and lovely-sounding productions.

Listen to King Fred and Shae Shae singing “Two Step”

5. “Mississippi Girl”—–Vick Allen

Have you noticed? 2022 is starting out with a new sound: low-key (Binky Womack), folksy (King Fred), Americana-like—-in fact, more “If They Can Beat Me Rocking”-like. Even Vick is getting into it!

Listen to Vick Allen singing “Mississippi Girl” on YouTube.

6. “Thunder And Showers”—–Poka Jones feat. Sweet Nay

Another sure-fire chart-climber from Sweet Nay’s Good Vibes album. Poka Jones is the singer who debuted a year ago with the groovy and empathic single “Love Thyself”. Produced by Nil Jones.

Listen to Poka Jones and Sweet Nay singing “Thunder And Showers” on YouTube.

7. “Juke Joint 2K”—–Nelson Curry.

Cue this up after Jeter Jones’ “Get My Groove On”. From the same bag of vintage dance classics, courtesy of Curry’s new album, The Evolution Of Soul.

Listen to Nelson Curry singing “Juke Joint 2K” on YouTube.

8. “Talk To Yo Ole Lady”—–Augusta (Augusta Walker)

Strong debut single by a vocalist exploring the late Marvin Sease’s legendary territory.

Listen to Augusta Walker singing “Talk To Yo Ole Lady” on YouTube.

9. “Count On Me”—–T.J. Hooker Taylor

More Americana-like southern soul from a Taylor boy who just keeps gaining in confidence and accessibility with each new outing.

Listen to T.J. Hooker Taylor singing “(You Can) Count On Me” on YouTube.

10. “Over Night Stay”—–Dre Walker feat. J-Wonn

Pure J-Wonn, twenty-something romance and innocence. He teams up with a young singer, Dre Walker, who shares J-Wonn’s style and bedding-them-down preoccupations. Most fascinating lyric so far this year: “Whatcha mean I’m not going back home tonight? You wouldn’t be trying to kidnap me?”

Listen to Dre Walker and J-Wonn singing “Over Night Stay” on YouTube.

 



 

TOP 10 January 2022


1. “Keep It 100”
—–Carlin Taylor feat. The Soul Cartel Band

YouTube history tells us this band started out doing amateurish funk covers. Now look. They’ve matured, gotten “religion” (southern soul, that is) with their mellowed-and-polished, dance-friendly lead singer dispatching one of the catchiest tunes to ever jump-start a new year. The two best “Keep It 100” videos are here—one above in the title link and one below, right about here…

Listen to Carlin Taylor singing “Keep It 100” on YouTube.

2. “How Can You Love Me”—–Jay Morris Group

A fresh, staccato guitar and chording piano carry this latest harmony-rich tale from the Jay Morris Group with Jay and K-Monique trading the lead vocals. From their new, 5-star-rated album Long Story Short.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing “How Can You Love Me” on YouTube.

3. “Ride This Saddle”—–Christie & The Superior Band

Produced by Ves (Kenne’ Wayne’s “We Do We”) and featuring Curley Taylor on button accordion, good times abound in this zydeco-flavored party jam sung with joyous verve by Houston’s Christa Norris.

Listen to Christie and The Superior Band singing “Ride This Saddle” on YouTube.

4. “My Baby Don’t Love Me No More”—–Jay Morris Group

The Jay Morris group revitalizes another worn-out, chitlin-circuit theme (a cheating man losing his woman) with typically rich details and original results, and I’m proud to be documenting their meteoric rise. The trio is now the twelfth-ranked southern soul artist on Daddy B. Nice’s newest Top 100 Countdown: The New Generation.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing “My Baby Don’t Love Me No More” on YouTube.

5. “Good Wood”—–Big Yayo feat. Kenne’ Wayne.

Wayne and Yayo sound as good as The Isley Brothers on this one. Mabry’s (Big Yayo’s) synthesized instrumental flourishes update the sound but even better is the harmony line Yayo finds on their choruses. All Yayo does is make hits, and with remarkable consistency. That is why he’s now the newest entry (at #16) in Daddy B. Nice’s Top 100 Countdown: The New Generation.

Listen to Big Yayo and Kenne’ Wayne singing “Good Wood” on YouTube.

6. “Knee Deep Part II”—–Jay Morris Group

This is the new southern soul single currently getting the most YouTube views (one million in its first month). And if you’re really mired in the deep artistic mud of both “Knee Deeps,” check out DJ Sir Rockinghood’s special mix, Jay Morris Group: Knee Deep Pt 1 & 2 Special Mix), with an entire, verse-long cameo by Lenny Williams, whose iconic “Ooh-ooh-ooooh” was referenced in the first “Knee Deep”.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing “Knee Deep Part II” on YouTube.

7. “You Ain’t Gotta Cry No More”—–J’Cenae feat. Wendell B

In effect, Wendell has found a female counterpart to himself, nearly his equal in talent. And when you put them together, it’s something like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell back in the day.

Listen to J’Cenae and Wendell B singing “You Ain’t Gotta Cry No More” on YouTube.

8. “It Sounds Like I’m Lying”—–Jay Morris Group

It’s never happened before, and these charts go back to 2005. “It Sounds Like I’m Lying” is the fourth of four JMG singles posted in a single month, and it may be the best.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing”It Sounds Like I’m Lying” on YouTube.

9. “Saddle Up”—–Jeter Jones feat. Volton Wright & R&B Pooh

Listen to Jeter Jones, Volton Wright & R&B Pooh singing”Saddle Up” onYouTube.

10. “You Deserve Better”—–Avail Hollywood feat. P2K

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing “You Deserve Better” on YouTube.

 



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