Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 “BREAKING” Southern Soul Singles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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”.
8. “Ol Skool Game” —– Chris Ivy
It’s Mr. Ivy of “Turn Road” fame, sporting a fine melody composed by Omar Cunningham.
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.
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.
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