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

Top 25 Southern Soul Singles Of 2023


“Night Time” by King George


“Grown Man (I Need Somebody)” by King George feat. CharMeka Joquelle


“Trail Ride” by Lady Redtopp feat. Bri Rocket


“Part Time Lover” by Lady Redtopp



“Real Real Woman” by J’Cenae


“Southern Man” by Cecily Wilborn feat. West Love


“Mark You Off” by Miron Simpson


“Highway 55” by Sir Charles Jones


“U’Turn” by P2K Dadiddy feat. King George



“Auntie Outside Tonight” by Mike Clark Jr.


“Southern Soul Sunday” by M. Cally


“Brown Liquor” by M. Cally



“Cowgirl Trailride” by S. Dott feat. Tonio Armani



“I Found Love” by Jeter Jones


“I Wanna Slow Dance” by Dee Dee Simon


“Got My Whiskey” by Nelson Curry feat. DJ Sean Dolby



“Big Fine Slim Fine” by Royal D


“Take Heed (The Same Thing..)” by Young Guy


“Cowgirl” by Mz. Brown Suga feat. Thrilla


“Party For A Moment (Forget Your Problems)” by T.K. Soul



“When She’s Had Enough” by Lady Q



“Take You Down Thru There” by J-Wonn


“Dip” by Cuznjed feat. Koray Broussard



“Nana Pie” by Chris Ivy



“Shot Of Moonshine” by Marcellus The Singer





TOP 10 December 2023

1. “Grown Man”—–King George feat. CharMeka Joquelle

King George closes out the year the way he started it with Tyronica Rawls: in triumph in his second year as the king ascendent of southern soul. “She gives me a lot of pleasure/And a little bit of pain.” No words more truly spoken—and in an undeniably positive context. Great production with a guitar accompaniment tweaked to a steel guitar sound—a little country with a quasi-Hawaiian flourish. Over a million YouTube views already.

Listen to King George & CharMeka Joquelle singing “Grown Man” on YouTube.

2. “Real Real Woman”—-J’Cenae

“Real Real Woman” is J’Cenae’s most significant single since “I’ll Be Down In A Minute”. She just shines throughout, mind-melding with the lyrics so well you can almost feel her physical presence standing next to you. The songwriting by Omar Cunningham is incredible, but the self-aggrandizing (not one but two “Omar wrote this!”‘s) distracts and thus detracts from the song’s inherent majesty.

Listen to J’Cenae singing “Real Real Woman” on Youtube.

3. “Trail Ride”—–Lady Redtopp feat. Bri Rocket

Three consecutive Top 10 singles! “Part Time Lover,” “Mississippi Soul Girl,” and now “Trail Ride”. Lady Redtopp’s not afraid to put her uncanny mannerisms into her unique vocals, and so far she hasn’t made a mis-step. Her vocal on “Trail Ride” is brash and tough yet devastatingly charming. When Bri Rocket comes in for her verse you instantly sense the drop-off in vocal expertise (just down to the ordinary), and yet it’s Rocket’s beautiful bridge that propels the song to an even higher level.

Listen to Lady Redtopp & Bri Rocket singing “Trail Ride” on YouTube.

4. “Do You Wanna Go?”—–Tucka

One of the very best—if not the best—cut from Tucka’s new The Guy Your Man Can’t Stand album, and without doubt the most evocative vocal.

Listen to Tucka singing “Do You Wanna Go?” on YouTube.

5. “Fallin’ For You”—–Adrian Bagher

A love song jumping up and down mattress-style on a bounce track. Bagher’s signature, syruppey tone on the vocal is just right, and the simplicity and universality of the lyrics may actually work in his favor, giving him a chance at a wider audience than his hyper-realistic domestic vignettes.

Listen to Adrian Bagher singing “Fallin’ For You” on YouTube.

6. “Walk Out On My Love”—–Dee Dee Simon

A different kind of love song, not only for Dee Dee (for whom the key was probably difficult to sing in) but for the genre. Tucka has a compositional brain unlike most southern soul songwriters and it takes a little time getting used to the novelty of hearing Tuckerish chord progressions sung by a woman. But the song ultimately pays rewards and Dee Dee’s vocal never wavers.

Listen to Dee Dee Simon singing “Walk Out On My Love” on YouTube.

7. “Party”—–Mike Clark Jr. feat. E. Realist & Charity Harris

The perfect follow-up to Mike Clark’s popular debut, “Auntie Outside Tonight” (Daddy B. Nice’s #1 Single, September ’23). Clark has a voice tailor-made for rousing anthems.

Listen to Mike Clark Jr. & friends singing “Party” on YouTube.

8. “I Need Me A Drink”—–Ju Evans

Ju Evans is one of the very few new artists Ecko Records has signed in the last decade. Cheeky guitar riff gives the tune a real boost.

Listen to Ju Evans singing “I Need Me A Drink” on YouTube.

9. “Do It Right”—–Meeka Meeka (Meeka Noble)

Starts out with Betty Wright’s “Tonight Is The Night” but takes a less traveled and danceable turn.

Listen to Meeka Meeka singing “Do It Right” on YouTube.

10. “Country Party”—–Myia Bry (Myia B)

Listen to Myia Bry singing “Country Party” on YouTube.




TOP 10 November 2023


1. “Southern Soul Sunday”—–M. Cally

His “Brown Liquor” announced the presence of a genuine talent, and his “Daisy Dukes & Cowboy Boots” reinforced his stature, but M. Cally’s “Southern Soul Sunday” is unique and best of all. It crosses all kinds of genre borders, yet it burns with a southern soul luminosity that will make Cally a headliner in any southern soul venue he wishes to grace.

Listen to M. Cally singing “Southern Soul Sunday” on YouTube.

2. “When She’s Had Enough”—-Lady Q

This song would have most mainstream R&B vocalists tied in knots of histrionics. Lady Q rightfully downplays the urge, delivering a somber and straightforward vocal that captures the gravity and finality of the message, making it all the more memorable.

Listen to Lady Q singing “When She’s Had Enough”

3. “Mark You Off”—-Miron Simpson

In another, less hit-laden month, this astounding debut could easily have been a #1 single. I still can’t believe more people aren’t onto it. In a genre known for its great male singers, Miron is second to none. Put him on a stage with anyone and he’s gonna hold his own—and he’s just out of the gate.

Listen to Miron Simpson singing “Mark You Off” on YouTube.

4. “I’ll Take You There”—–Jeter Jones

Captivating, gentle, come-hither song with great production (with cool percussion!) and of course vocal. The vocals, in fact, come so frequently we take them for granted. Albeit more low-key, this tune has the tempo, simplicity and charisma of Jeter’s famed “Black Horse”.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “I’ll Take You There” on YouTube.

5. “Mississippi Soul Girl”—-Lady Redtopp

What I thought might be a one-hit wonder at #1 last month wasn’t a fluke. Lady Redtopp brings her Louis-Luggage to southern soul, with lots more songs, scads of touring dates (especially for a first-timer), and props onstage with celebrities like King George. Here she tackles our beloved “Mississippi Boy” (which was a 1-hit wonder back in the day) with zest and savvy.

Listen to Lady Redtopp singing “Mississippi Soul Girl” on YouTube.

6. “Party For A Moment”—-T.K. Soul

A beautiful song that even new G’s should appreciate. It too could be a #1 single in a less hit-laden month. The string intro and coda are gorgeous, and the instrumental track rocks you like a cradle. The way T.K. addresses the audience (“Hey there, nice to meet you”) reminds me of another song from his past in which he engages with the listener to eerily empathic effect. (The song just won’t cooperate, it escapes me.) The point is, T.K. Soul does this sort of thing better than anyone. From his new SOUTHERN SOUL OG album.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing “Party For A Moment” on YouTube.

7. “Love You Down (Southern Soul Style)”—–J-Wonn feat. Melvin Riley

Listen to J-Wonn & Melvin Riley singing “Love You Down” on YouTube

8. “Southern Soul Man”—–Mr. House

Listen to Mr. House singing “Southern Soul Man” on YouTube.

9. “Who Da Hell Do You Think I Am?”—–Boss Lady

Listen to Boss Lady singing “Who Da Hell Do You Think I Am?”

10. “Ride Out”——Southern Soul Cadillac Cho

Listen to Southern Soul Cadillac Cho singing “Ride Out” on YouTube.




TOP 10 October 2023

1. Part-Time Lover”—–Lady Redtopp

Joyous, crude, earthy, unschooled. No other genre would give it a minute. Yet, Southern soul DNA courses through these admittedly ramshackle stanzas. The vocalist reminds me of the great girl-group singers of the sixties plucked from the high schools of New York and Philly for the express purpose of achieving authenticity. “I had to put my big girl panties on,” Lady Redtopp exclaims. “It took everything in me / To leave that man alone.”

Listen to Lady Redtopp singing “Part Time Lover” on YouTube.

2. “Take My Time”—–Big Mel feat. Ms. Jody

Big Mel and Ms. Jody extol the virtues of slow-rolling in one of the premier duets of 2023. Mississippian Big Mel debuted with a hiphop album in 2019 and an R&B album in 2020, but “Take My Time” marks his transformation into a southern soul singer of the first order.

Listen to Big Mel and Ms. Jody singing “Take My Time” on YouTube.

3. “Big Fine Slim Fine”—-Royal D

Royal D finally hits the southern soul jugular vein with this simple, beautifully-written song produced by Bitty Beats. His gentle vocal and focus on good eats may remind listeners of last year’s “Magic Woman” by Binky Womack (Bobby’s son).

Listen to Royal D singing “Big Fine Slim Fine” on YouTube.

4. “Country Boys”—–Al Davis feat. Ty Juan & Jeter Jones

This song has the heft and spirit of last year’s award-winning “Country Boy Remix,” although it’s a completely different song. Jeter Jones, southern soul’s #1 country boy, is what both have in common.

Listen to Al Davis and friends singing “Country Boys” on YouTube.

5. “If Heaven Had A Phone”—-Adrian Bagher

Great vocal! I can imagine choirs and congregations singing “If Heaven Had A Phone” in the hipper churches. From Adrian Bagher’s excellent, 5-star-rated release, ISM.

Listen to Adrian Bagher singing “If Heaven Had A Phone” on YouTube.

6. “That Thang I Like”——–Bre Wooten

For all its lascivious intent and content, what one takes away from this song is the softened, diplomatic and quintessentially feminine way the singer describes candy-licking as “that thang I like”.

Listen to Bre Wooten singing “That Thang I Like” on YouTube.

7. “Slippery (When It’s Wet)”—–S. Dott feat. Hasan Green

On the heels of S. Dott’s #1-charting August single “Cowgirl Trailride” comes yet another strong release from the young phenom.

Listen to S. Dott & Hasan Green singing “Slippery (When It’s Wet)” on YouTube.

8. “Suga Daddy”—–BadGir

This is Tyronica Rawls whose single “Steppin’ Out” with King George turned a lot of heads this spring.

Listen to BadGir singing “Suga Daddy” on YouTube.

9. “Pull Up On Me”—–DJ Chill Will Baby feat. Jeter Jones, B. Pureese & Volton Wright

Volton Wright is the engine that powers this club jam supreme.

Listen to DJ Chill Will Baby and friends singing “Pull Up On Me” on YouTube.

10.“Southern Soul Blues”——Delta Boy Soul

Listen to Delta Boy Soul singing “Southern Soul Blues” on YouTube.




TOP 10 September 2023

1.“Auntie Outside Tonight”—–Mike Clark Jr.

Macon, Georgia. First time out. Electric vocal. And without another recorded single to his name, Mike Clark, Jr. shoots like a bunny rabbit through all the other hard-working and talented, up-and-coming artists who’ve been around longer but who haven’t been lucky enough to score the right song in the right place at the right time. “Auntie Outside’s” the right song, and Mike Clark Jr.’s the man.

Listen to Mike Clark Jr. singing “Auntie Outside Tonight” on YouTube.

2. “Dip”—-Cuznjed feat. Koray Broussard

Good time music in its purest essence. Broussard’s button accordian is the best zydeco accompaniment in a southern soul song this year. Cuznjed made the Top 10 last year with “Louisiana Soulfood”.

3.Listen to Cuznjed feat. Koray Broussard singing “Dip” on YouTube.

“Gotta Do Right”—-P2K DaDiddy feat. FPJ

Musically and lyrically, “Gotta Do Right” mimics the style of “U-Turn” yet plows enough new creative ground to be original and interesting in its own right. See P2K enters the Top 100 The New Generation of Southern Soul at #31.

Listen to P2K and FPJ singing “Gotta Do Right” on YouTube.

4. “Talk My Shit”—–Jay Morris Group

Strong new single from JMG, with an edge that should have people talking about it.

Listen to the Jay Morris Group singing “Talk My Shit” on YouTube.

5. “Trail Ride Jump”—-Cheff Da Entertainer feat. Poka Jones & Sticky P

Cheff Da Entertainer’s best yet. Obsessive groove with plenty of variety and vocal toppings.

Listen to Cheff singing “Trail Ride Jump” (click “Trail Ride Jump.mp3”).

6. “I’m Packing My Clothes”—-O.C. Soul

Robust, old-school slice-of-life by a singer with a wonderful vocal tone. O.C. Soul charted with “You Can Ride It” in July of 2019.

Listen to O.C. Soul singing “I’m Packing My Clothes” on YouTube.

7. You Must Be Smokin'”—–Rodnae Da Boss

You knew it was only a matter of time before this phrase found its way into a song. Rodnae hits the sweet spot.

Listen to Rodnae singing “You Must Be Smokin’!” on YouTube.

8. “Sexy Real Bad”—-Avail Hollywood feat. DJ Trac

Avail Hollywood teams up with favorite collaborator DJ Trac to recreate that soulful ambience achieved on “Girl You Bad”.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing”Sexy Real Bad” on YouTube.

9. “Here I Stand”—–Nellie “Tiger” Travis

Impassioned personal statement transforms into tribute to Koko Taylor, Peggy Scott-Adams, Betty Wright and Denise LaSalle.

Listen to Nellie “Tiger” Travis singing “Here I Stand” on YouTube.

10. “Just Like That”—–L.J. Echols

Not to be confused with the LaMarr Deuce Lubin song that charted earlier this year.

Listen to L.J. Echols singing “Just Like That” on YouTube.



TOP 10 August 2023

1.“Cowgirl Trailride”—–S. Dott feat. Tonio Armani

Mystery, romance and excitement swirl around this masterfully-produced southern soul anthem by young zydeco sensation S. Dott (“Slow Wind”). “Horses in the stable” (or is it “Horse is in the stable”?) reverberates in the subconscious long after listening. I believe I hear it in my sleep. And “Palomino that I met in Pasadena…”? Even the rapping soothes. The addition of Armani is essential, especially on the uplifting choruses.

Listen to S. Dott and Tonio Armani singing “Cowgirl Trailride” on YouTube.

2. “Lil’ Weight (Don’t Bother Me)”—–King George

Just as I was posting this on the chart King George’s “Lil’ Weight” YouTube page hit a million views—and will hit many more millions. This tune is average “junk-yard” southern soul, and yet King George waves his magic wand and transforms it into the belle of the ball. And once again, he comes up with a memorable line: “I like a little cushion / On whatever I’m pushing”.

Listen to King George singing “Lil’ Weight Don’t Bother Me” on YouTube.

3. “Get It! Get It! Pt.2”—-Ms. Jody

“A lot of DJs speed that song up just a little bit,” Ms. Jody was told about the original “Get It! Get It!” Ms. Jody acted on it and here it is—a stunningly effective dance floor jam. From her new, club-friendly, five-star-rated album A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.

Listen to Ms. Jody singing “Get It! Get It! Pt.2” on YouTube.

4. “Southern Man (The Anthem)”—–Cecily Wilborn feat. West Love

“He kinda growl when he talk…” No, old school southern soul isn’t defunct. Not when it’s this good.

Listen to Cecily Wilborn and West Love singing “Southern Man” on YouTube.

5. “Good Ole Boyz”—–Jeter Jones

This is one of a pair of cozy, country-style southern soul tunes on Jeter Jones’ new, five-star-rated Mufassa II album, the other being the banjo-accompanied “Meet Me (In The Back Of My Truck)”.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Good Ole Boyz” on YouTube.

6. “Do The Trucker Slide”—–Arthur Young feat. DJ Trucker & Mrs. Ty

Listen to Arthur Young and Mrs. Ty singing “Do The Trucker Slide” on YouTube.

7. “Witcha When Ya Right”—–Marcellus The Singer

Listen to Marcellus singing “Witcha When Ya Right” on YouTube.

8. “Party People”——Tucka

Listen to Tucka singing “Party People” on YouTube.

9. “Most Wanted (Dead Or Alive)” —–Jeter Jones feat. Jake Carter

Listen to Jeter Jones and Jake Carter singing “Most Wanted (Dead Or Alive)” on YouTube.

10. “Man Bout A Horse”—–Mz Tequi




TOP 10 July 2023

1.“I Wanna Slow Dance”—–Dee Dee Simon

Talk about a commercial hook. Like a throwback to early-sixties doo-wop and rock and roll, the first 16 bars sound unlike any Dee Dee Simon song ever. Later, as the motif repeats in the intoxicating “bump and grind” chorus, you realize that haunting falsetto is none other than Dee Dee herself, who’s simultaneously pulling off the most heartfelt and natural—not to mention least ostentatious and most technically beautiful—vocal of her career. “I Wanna Slow Dance” opens up the whole southern soul world to Dee Dee Simon. She’s left port and sailing the ocean and need never look over her shoulder again.

Listen to Dee Dee Simon singing “I Wanna Slow Dance” on YouTube.

See Dee Dee Simon #29 The New Generation Southern Soul.

2. “Nana Pie”——Chris Ivy

I was astonished searching my own site for background on Chris Ivy (famous years ago in southern soul circles for recording “Turn Road” under the name Mr. Ivy) to discover I’d never written an artist guide for him. Chris has been recording off and on all this time, but never a song as relevant and balanced as “Nana Pie,” an instant classic and bonafide southern soul anthem.

Listen to Chris Ivy singing “Nana Pie” on YouTube.

3. “Smoke Slide”—–Mr. Smoke

Snobs and wallflowers may call it mindless. “To the left…to the right…to the back…to the front…and then…down to the floor. How many millions of boozey dance floors have played out this choreography? (Personally, I never cared for going to the floor.) Mr. Smoke & Band has been booking festivals like a seasoned veteran and now we know why. Plenty of pile-driving rhythm. From Smoke’s new STILL SMOKIN’ album.

Listen to Mr. Smoke singing “Smoke Slide” on YouTube.

4. “Back It Up Remix”—-Nellie “Tiger” Travis feat. Uncle Daddy aka ERealist

Oh, Nellie… Long-suffering Travis fans haven’t been able to really hear her voice on the experimental and novelty records since “Mr. Sexy Man”. Now they can on this terrific remix. Nellie has lost some power. It’s almost a new voice, but it’s good, crystal-clear and silky with that indescribable “Tiger” twang. So great to have her back.

Listen to Nellie “Tiger” Travis singing “Back It Up Remix” on YouTube.

5. “Second Of Your Time Reloaded”—–Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Robert Butler

“Have you ever been fucked in a five-star suite?” takes this month’s prize for most scandalous and profane lyric. But the reason for listening is, paradoxically, the dreamy melody and instrumental track. From the wild and winsome Baton Rouge frontier of southern soul and hiphop.

Listen to Highway Heavy, Dave Mack & Robert Butler singing “Second Of Your Time Reloaded”

6. “Sexy When You Stepping”—–T.K. Soul

A unique foray into zydeco (remember “Zydeco Bounce”?) is one of T.K.’s most delicate and simplified tunes in memory. You’re left with a glistening button-accordion sound and a couple of images (like the girl dancing on the truck) that you just can’t forget.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing “Sexy When You Stepping” on YouTube.

7. “Love Joy Peace Happiness”—–Malcom Simmons feat. Meme Green

Every month there’s a debut artist who just can’t be denied. Malcom Simmons, what you’re putting down is southern soul certified.

Listen to Malcom Simmons singing “Love Joy Peace Happiness” on YouTube.

8. “Black Woman Magic”—–Bigg Robb

Mid-tempo, sophisticated, vocally-enhanced in the storied tradition of “Good Loving Will Make You Cry Remix”, Bigg Robb’s “Black Woman Magic” opens up fertile ground for Robb to explore more expansive lyrical areas than his trusty drinking and big-man anthems. “She’s opened my eyes/ To all kinds of new things” says it all. Capuchinos, bookstores… “Drinking more water/ Cutting back on the fried foods /Getting more exercise…” From Robb’s new, four-star-rated Vintage release.

Listen to Bigg Robb singing “Black Woman Magic” on YouTube.

9. “Chicken And Cheeks”—–Lacee

Lacee’s got herself a hit single!

Listen to Lacee singing “Chicken And Cheeks” on YouTube.

10. “I’m Ready”—–Donna Renae




TOP 10 June 2023

1.“Got My Whiskey”—–Nelson Curry

It’s like DJ Sean Dolby rolls “Got My Whiskey” out the door down to the street, where a parade with floats, marching bands, samba schools and carnival dancers converge on Mel Waiters’ southern soul classic Ferris Bueller-style, with Nelson (as Ferris) crushing the vocal. Love the percussion—part-bounce, part Afro-Caribb—and when those drums and horns kick in…you know you’re in store for a “cover” song on a whole ‘nother level.

Listen to Nelson Curry singing “Got My Whiskey” on YouTube.

See Sean Dolby’s new EP (with Joe Nice): I’m The Rapper, He’s The DJ.

2. “Smiling And Crying”—–Bigg Robb

Quite simply, Bigg Robb is the “Everyman” who uses a chance meeting in the Waffle House to erect a philosophical argument for social engagement and caregiving one’s fellow man, rocking out all the while in a deep, soulful groove. Superb guitar. From his new album Vintage.

Read Daddy B. Nice’s 4-star review!

Listen to Bigg Robb singing “Smiling And Crying” on YouTube.

3. “Take Heed (The Same Thing)”—–Young Guy

Here’s a younger-generation everyman with a debut single that could become a career cornerstone. It’s an old southern soul theme (“the same thing it took to get her…the same to keep her”) done with astonishing depth and maturity. There’s some Calvin Richardson influence (a first!), but it’s incorporated into a more southern soul style, and in turn leavened by a Stan Butler influence (in the monologues).

Listen to Young Guy singing “Take Heed”on YouTube.

4. “Cowgirl”—–Mz. Brown Suga feat. LaRon Reaves

First, congratulations to those who have been digging this song and dancing to it for the past year. And to Mz Brown Suga I say, “Send me the good stuff, not the leftovers.” I first got into “Cowgirl” watching a mesmerizing TikTok video of a tall, lean, white cowboy dancing to it on a dirt-floor arena, his arms more of less locked while somehow kicking his legs backwards. So if “Cowgirl” is showing up in white rodeo settings, you know its memorable melody and danceable tempo have already traveled well.

Listen to Mz. Brown Suga singing “Cowgirl” on YouTube.

5. “The Party Ain’t Over”—–Ronnie Bell

Kenne’ Wayne has owned the title “The Party Ain’t Over” for two decades—it’s one of his signature songs—but Ronnie Bell has seized it and put out a club jam that is hard to deny and hard to sit still to.

Listen to Ronnie Bell singing “The Party Ain’t Over” on YouTube.

6. “What It Is About You”—–T.K. Soul

T.K.’s finest instrumental style: as clean and gleaming as pure Rocky Mountain water tumbling down high-country streams. The perfect backdrop for his remarkable vocal.

Listen to T.K. Soul singing “What It Is About You” on YouTube.

7. “B.Y.O.B. (Bring Yo Own Bottle)”—-Queen Denae feat. Big Yayo

Queen Denae is the roughest and toughest new diva on the scene, fresh from a Top 10 Single in April with M. Cally called “Come Get Yo Shit”. She makes it sound so easy. But if so, why aren’t all the ladies doing it?

Listen to Queen Denae singing “B.Y.O.B. (Bring Yo Own Bottle)” on YouTube.

8. “You Played Too Long”—–Terry Wright

Terry Wright hits the bullseye with this ballad done in the unmistakeable Terry Wright style.

Listen to Terry Wright singing “You Played Too Long” on YouTube.

9. “She’s The One That Do It For Me”—-Wendell B.

Wendell returns after a long, health-related hiatus. And as good as it is, he’s just warming up.

Listen to Wendell B singing “She’s The One That Do It For Me” on YouTube.

10. “(I Don’t Want) My Sidepiece (No More)”—–Pokey Bear feat. Tyree Neal.

You knew it had to come sooner or later, right? But it’s the frisky times we’ll remember.

Listen to Pokey and Tyree singing “(I Don’t Want) My Sidepiece (No More)” on YouTube.




TOP 10 May 2023


1.“Night-Time”—–King George

The first third of 2023 (already passed!) hasn’t been bad for new southern soul, but it doesn’t hold a candle to 2022 when the phenomenon that is King George came out of nowhere and hit the southern soul sweet spot. He’s had a couple of good singles since that initial explosion (since captured on Jook Joint Music), but nothing like the easy-going, slow-burning, mid-tempo, quintessentially southern-soul charm of “Night-time”. Fans, rejoice! This is King George in full flower, fulfilling his promise.

Listen to King George singing “Night-Time” on YouTube.

2. “Talk To Me”—–Arthur Young

Notice what’s different? Just what I’ve been harping on. The production! This is so good it sounds live. Robust bass and drums, a smoky soul organ, a bluesy lead guitar, even horns! This might be the most important record Arthur Young has made since “Funky Forty”. At last the finest up-and-coming vocalist in southern soul has a stage worthy of his unique pipes.

Listen to Arthur Young singing “Talk To Me” on YouTube.

3. “Brown Liquor”—–M. Cally

This is as close to an anthem as it gets for an artist breaking into the southern soul market. M. Cally has a sure artistic hand and a powerful voice, and he sounds like he’s found his one true home.

Listen to M. Cally singing “Brown Liquor” on YouTube.

4. “When I Stop Loving You”——William Bell

The national powers-that-be may call it “americana” but we know who William Bell is (a soul singer) and what it is (southern soul). Beautiful, live-instrument, southern soul. And how about those violins? Along with mouth harps, so sorely missed. From Bell’s One Step Closer To Home, the follow-up to his Grammy-winning THIS IS WHERE I LIVE album.

Listen to William Bell singing “When I Stop Loving You” on YouTube.

5. “Good Ole Lovin'”——Mr. Nelson

I discuss Mr. Nelson’s “Good Ole Lovin'” (and “my meat in her oven”) in my new CD review of Jaye Hammer’s BE HAPPY album, and it’s complimentary to Nelson, not Hammer. And when I say he’s less talented…well, that’s up to this point.

Listen to Mr. Nelson singing “Good Ole Lovin'” on YouTube.

6. “Won’t Be Your Fool”—–Teslanay

This is the promising young singer (and potential heartbreaker) who recorded “Red Beans And Rice”. Check out her photos at

Listen to Teslanay singing “Won’t Be Your Fool” on YouTube.

7. “Just Came To Party”—–T. Howell

Debut artist T. Howell made Daddy B. Nice’s April “News & Notes” for confusing Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul. But that shouldn’t deter us from recognizing the fineness of his classic, throwback-sounding “Just Came To Party”.

Listen to T. Howell singing “Just Came To Party” on YouTube.

8. “Groove Together (Slide)”—–Uncle Gymini & Lady Jacquelyn (The Married Couple of Southern Soul)

This is a far-out song with a crazy, fizzy energy. At first I thought they were singing “the America of Southern Soul”. Then, after a few listenings, I began to hear it as “the miracle of Southern Soul”. Only later did I realize, “Oh yeah, it’s the married couple of southern soul”! It also uses the old disco-era “Boogie Shoes” horn riff that Nellie Travis lifted for “If I Back It Up”.

Listen to Uncle Gymini & Lady Jacquelyn singing “Groove Together (Slide)” on YouTube.

9. “Mz Connie’s Curvy Queens Slide”—–Mz Connie

Mz Connie’s the real deal. She’s already released a solid debut album and paired up with colleagues like L.J. Echols and Ciddy Boi P. Her new EP containing the zydeco/southern soul hybrid “CQ Slide” releases May 2nd. See Daddy B. Nice’s New Album Alert!

Listen to “Mz Connie singing Curvy Queens Slide” on YouTube.

10. TIE: DBN notes…Just could not leave either of these two songs off the Top 10 and there’s only one space left!

“My Own Party”—–C.J. Hill (Daddy C)

Been working its way up the charts for a while now, and deservedly so. By the way, based on two decades of doing this, I’d say C.J. Hill is a more unique name than “Daddy C”.

Listen to C.J. Hill singing “My Own Party” on YouTube.

“Hell WhenYou Well”—–Troy Murriel

You won’t be able to withstand the gravitational pull of this debut.

Listen to Troy Murriel singing “Hell WhenYou Well” on YouTube.



TOP 10 April 2023

1. “Let’s Chill”—–Carolyn Staten

Imagine the last dance before heading to the bedroom. Stepping beat. Plenty of hand-claps. Barefoot. Romantic. Rose petals on the floor. The kind of song that in the hands of most singers would dissolve into watery sentimentality. In Carolyn Staten’s hands, however, the words come across with surprising and realistic force. It’s all in the voice, which until now has transformed blues and funk-based jams. This is the first foray into love songs by the newest addition to Daddy B. Nice’s The New Generation Southern Soul, proving this trending artist can do it all.

Listen to Carolyn Staten singing “Let’s Chill” on YouTube.

2. “My Kinda Crazy”—–J-Wonn

J-Wonn has catapulted to a new high-altitude plateau with his last two albums. You’all know the kind of singer I’m talking about…My kinda crazy. From the new The Foundation album.

Listen to J-Wonn singing “My Kinda Crazy” on YouTube.

3. “Come Get Yo Shit”—–Queen Denae feat. M. Cally

Queen Denae hits the bullseye with this totally believable southern soul throwback. Whoever produced is a banger who knows his/her southern soul.

Listen to Queen Denae singing “Come Get Yo Shit” on YouTube.

4. “Get Out”——Sons Of Funk

Speed up the tempo a little, add a dancing groove, and presto! You have the male response to Queen Denae’s “Come Get Yo Shit”. Only the Sons of Funk put it like this: “I packed yo shit! / You gots to go!” Both debut singles just happened to collide this month.

Listen to the Sons Of Funk singing “Get Out” on YouTube.

5. “No Woman, No Cry”—–King Fred

What a long and winding road King Fred (Frederick Hicks) has taken in shaping his considerable mojo. Fred takes the title and chorus from Marley’s reggae classic but inserts an entirely new song and verses, reminding us of his brilliant debut, “Morning Delight,” which did something similar in taking off on another well-known pop tune of the time, “Afternoon Delight”.

Listen to King Fred singing “No Woman, No Cry” on YouTube.

6. “Lovin’ Me”—–Magic One

Magic One’s new Magic Show 3 continues his meteoric rise up the southern soul ranks with not only his usual singles-chart fare (“Henpecked,” “Super Fine”) but this short (only 2:40) and bittersweet, acapella-like bomb.

Listen to Magic One singing “Lovin’ Me” on YouTube.

7. “Just Like That” (DJ Calie Remix)”—–LaMarr Deuce Lubin

This song is soooo much fun, just like Lubin’s plaid pants in the dance-delirious, YouTube video. You can’t play this one loud enough.

Listen to LaMarr Deuce Lubin singing “Just Like That” on YouTube.

8. “The Cowboy Slide”—–Jeter Jones

Trailride stepping and sliding as only Jeter can do. Nifty synth line. Get up and party!

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “The Cowboy Slide” on YouTube.

9. “Super Fine”—–Magic One

Quintessential Magic One (pronounced Magic Juan) from his hit-laden Magic Show 3.

Listen to Magic One singing “Super Fine” on YouTube.

10. “Drink My Liquor”—–Big Mel

Ever run into a guy who’s mired in sadness, and you feel for him but don’t know what to say? “Don’t hold it against me,” Big Mel says, “if I seem to be holding my distance.”

Listen to Big Mel singing “Drink My Liquor” on YouTube.



TOP 10 March 2023

1. “Top Of The Line”—–Narvel Echols

Wild, rough, yet melodic and anthemic, it has just the right cocktail of ingredients to hit that fabled southern soul “sweet spot”. Remember “Pour Me A Drank”? Narvel has done it again. From his new For The Ladies album.

Listen to Narvel Echols singing “Top Of The Line” on You Tube.

2. “Take You Down Through There”—–J-Wonn

J-Wonn ambles through a two-stepping tempo with rock-star assurance. Love it. Do more dance jams, J-Wonn. From his new The Foundation album.

Listen to J-Wonn singing “Take You Down Through There” on YouTube.

3. “Mr. Big Stuff”—–Evette Busby

No one really knows how you get signed to Malaco Records (so many greats have tried and failed). But Evette Busby did it. Let’s hope she fares better than Grady Champion and Queen Emily, who sank faster than stones. One thing you can’t deny. When Malaco produces a record, it’s on a whole other level. Second great cover song of the year.

Listen to Evette Busby singing “Mr. Big Stuff” on YouTube.

4. “Good Time” ——Tyree Neal

I’ve often praised Tyree Neal’s guitar and instrumental work (none better than this very song) while remaining relatively unimpressed with his singing.”Good Time” holds your attention from start to end. It’s a great ballad and an impressive vocal, alluringly double-tracked at times and divided into separate harmony lines at others, with a dash of call and response, and all made more indelible by the song’s brevity (3 minutes).

Listen to Tyree Neal singing “Good Time” on YouTube.

5. “What’s Happening Now”—–Jeter Jones

Jeter Jones gets socially conscious. A good thang.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “What’s Happening Now” on YouTube.

See Daddy B. Nice’s new 5-Star (“Southern Soul Heaven”) Review of Jeter Jones’ SUGAR HILL HIGHWAY 84 .

6. “Just A Man”—–Volton Wright

It’s getting damned hard not to consider Volton Wright a top-of-the-line playa. Produced (and marketed) by Slack (Ronald Jefferson).

Listen to Volton Wright singing “Just A Man” on YouTube.

7. “Pour Up”—–Neko G (Neko Grinday)

A strong debut by a new artist.

Listen to Neko G. singing “Pour Up” on YouTube.

8. “Good Country Girl”—–Freaky B 2.0

A strong debut by a new artist.

Listen to Freaky B 2.0 singing “Good Country Girl” on YouTube.

9. “Steppin’ Out”—–Tyronica “Badgir” Rawls feat. King George

Yet another solid debut—this one assisted by King George (as forty-four thousand YouTube viewers already know).

Listen to Tyronica Rawls & King George singing “Steppin’ Out” on YouTube.

Also check out Tyronica Rawls on TikTok.

10. “Still With Her”—–F.P.J.

This is a slow turn by the young artist who had the hit single “If You Gone Pop It” with J-Wonn.

Listen to F.P.J. singing “Still With Her” on YouTube.



TOP 10 February 2023

1. “I Found Love”—–Jeter Jones

It’s not Johnnie Taylor’s gospel-drenched “I Found Love,” nor Robert “The Duke” Tillman’s, nor Jeff Floyd’s on that lonely highway. Yet Jeter Jones’ “I Found Love” succeeds on the strength of its Hemi-engine rhythm track and alluring chorus. “Good loving in the morning / Good cooking in the kitchen!” Jones’ vocal on the choruses—especially the little moans and clicks on the off-notes—accentuates the timing, transforming “I Found Love” into a sneakily pleasurable club (or kitchen) jam.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “I Found Love” on You Tube.

2. “Moving At Your Speed”—–J’Cenae feat. J-Wonn

As vocal partners J’Cenae and J-Wonn are right up there with the classic male/female duos of soul’s storied past. The song comes dripping in emotion (and commercial crossover potential), yet it’s not cloying or sentimental.

Listen to J’Cenae & J-Wonn singing “Moving At Your Speed” on YouTube.

3. “Messy”—–King George feat. Coldrank

This tune has already launched like a missile on YouTube and other outlets and for good reason. It’s got the purest KG pedigree of any single he’s recorded since his introductory run of classics. See Daddy B. Nice’s Best of 2022.

Listen to King George and Coldrank singing “Messy” on YouTube.

4. “Boy You Got It”—–Stephanie McDee

The first notable cover song of the year, by Daddy B. Nice’s Best Female Vocalist of 2022, redoing King George’s “Girl You Got It”. And the first time I heard Stephanie drawl, “Ooh girl, I could just sop him up with a biscuit,” I laughed out loud in the middle of the record. Expertly produced.

Listen to Stephanie McDee singing “Boy You Got It” on YouTube.

5. “Free”—–Jeter Jones

This song has been working its way up the chart despite its negativity. Yes, it’s bleak. And yes, it’s weird. But once you open yourself to the weirdness—the high-pitched yells and wails etc.—and think of it as “the blues” (and divorce is definitely the blues), it all falls into place. From Jeter’s new Sugar Hill Highway 84.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Free” on YouTube.

6. “Woman In Love”—–David Brinston

Sunniest song David Brinston’s recorded in years. You may dreamily wonder why the subject of women in love (one of life’s miracles) doesn’t come up in song more often. And yet it’s there in the history. Remember Brinston’s Party Til The Lights Go Out”?

Listen to David Brinston singing “Woman In Love” on YouTube.

7. “You Know I Love You”—–J. Rizo

A strong debut by a new artist.

Listen to J. Rizo singing “You Know I Love You” on YouTube.

8. “Lick It”—–David J feat. Solomon Thompson

These two make magic when they harmonize.

Listen to David J and Solomon Thompson” singing “Lick It” on YouTube.

9. “Ooh Wee Baby”—–Jeter Jones feat. Volton Wright

Another good one from Jeter’s hit-laden Sugar Hill Highway 84.

Listen to Jeter Jones & Volton Wright singing “Ooh Wee Baby” on YouTube.

10. “It’s A Southern Soul Thang”—–DJ Harvey

Ever wonder what Lou Reed would have sounded like singing southern soul?

Listen to DJ Harvey singing “It’s A Southern Soul Thang” on YouTube.



TOP 10 January 2023

1. “Highway 55” —– Sir Charles Jones

“I put the gun to my head/ On Highway 55″… Who has the courage, character and musical palette to even deal with turning this kind of painful personal drama into art? Only Sir Charles. How about, for instance, the quick, apt, soap-opera-like trill of the organ following “Somebody’s trying to poison me”? Highway 55, of course, is I-55, the main north/south artery through the Mississippi Delta. From the King of Southern Soul’s new quasi-gospel album, My Life’s Testimony.

Listen to Sir Charles Jones singing “Highway 55” on YouTube.

2. “The Mac” —– West Love feat. King George

This feisty little lady just keeps exceeding expectations in her quest to become the #1 diva in southern soul. The title “The Mac” is puzzling. Of course, one thinks of “Return of the Mack”. The chorus is unusually sophisticated (jazzy)—mixed, filtered, enhanced—with a touch of the superb Dinah Washington in West Love’s vocal, but the verses are reassuringly down-to-earth—some of the best southern soul vocalizing in memory. Even the great King George’s vocal gets the musical version of a “perm”. Irresistible.

Listen to West Love & King George singing “The Mac” on YouTube.

3. “Church Candy”—–Jeter Jones

“Church Candy” begins unassumingly, but it’s perfect in its simplicity. A church-style organ gives the instrumental track a refreshingly original identity, and the story told in its lyrics is not only a charming vignette but a triumph of compression.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “Church Candy” on YouTube.

4. “I Ain’t Leaving My Lady” —– Jeter Jones

Jeter Jones’ bountiful, new double-album Sugar Hill Highway 84, of which “Church Candy” and “I Ain’t Leaving My Lady” are part, delves into the nasty subject of divorce in the powerful songs “Free” and “Gone,” but the melodic and hauntingly evocative “I Ain’t Leaving My Lady” provides an uplifting counterpoint.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “I Ain’t Leaving My Lady” on YouTube.

5. “Bayou Classy Lady” —– Ciddy Boi P feat. Keyun & The Zydeco Masters

Here’s the best southern soul/zydeco hybrid to come out lately. It’s my man Ciddy Boi P (“Can I Get It?,” “My Corner Sto”) once again working his feel-good magic.

Listen to Ciddy Boi P & Keyun & The Zydeco Masters singing “Bayou Classy Lady”.

6. “Hallelujah & Amen” —– Avail Hollywood

No one in current southern soul is vocalizing better than Avail Hollywood. He’s a joy to listen to, and he’s got a great vehicle in “Hallelujah & Amen”.

Listen to Avail Hollywood singing “Hallelujah & Amen” on YouTube.

7. “Bet Yo Mama Like It” —– Carlin Taylor

The instrumental track rocks. Another snappy hit from the performer who brought you the Top-25 Best of 2022 single “Keep It 100”.

Listen to Carlin Taylor singing “Bet Yo Mama Like It” on YouTube.

8. “Ol Skool Game” —– Chris Ivy

It’s Mr. Ivy of “Turn Road” fame, sporting a fine melody composed by Omar Cunningham.

Listen to Chris Ivy singing “Ol Skool Game” on YouTube.

9. “We Be Acting Up” —– Jeter Jones

Despite (or maybe because of) its minimalist, piano-pounding arrangement, this tune burns with the intensity of Jeter’s scorching blues vocal.

Listen to Jeter Jones singing “We Be Acting Up” on YouTube.

10. “Shot Of Moonshine” —– Marcellus The Singer

“Toxic Love” has accrued three million views on its various You
Tube pages, and Marcellus will only add to that audience with this mature outing, which proves he’s got this balladeering thing down.

Listen to Marcellus The Singer singing “Shot Of Moonshine” on YouTube.



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