Daddy B. Nice’s Top 10 “BREAKING” Southern Soul Singles
TOP 10 April 2020
1. “Nukie Pie”—–Caroline Staten feat. Jennifer Watts & Unkle Phunk
Unkle Phunk is the second southern soul producer in less than a month (after Ricky White) to use the suddenly “in” riff from the 80’s New Wave band Laid Back’s “White Horse,” and Carolyn Staten, the most under-rated female singer in southern soul music, absolutely mugs it, obliterating any memory of the original. The three words, “My, My, My…” never sounded so good. Jennifer Watts admirably grafts her vocal onto Staten’s tour de force, making it even more powerful, and Unkle Phunk mixes this club classic to perfection. From the best new southern soul compilation since Slack’s award-winning “My Music, My Friends”. It’s called Unkle Phunk’s Juke Joint, Vol. 1. and it’s going to be a thing.
2. “Stroking”—-Arthur Young
Clarence Carter would be proud of this young man’s authoritative “Stroking”. Young has already brought us the surefire classic “Funky Forty” (See #3, Top 10 Singles February 2020), and just as with that hit single, he has a knack for the right phrase. “I’ll be crying in the morning/ I’ll be begging in the evening/ But I bet I’ll be strokin’ tonight.” From Arthur Young’s Funky Forty EP.
3. “Tasty Girl”—–Ju Evans
A John Ward (Ecko Records) discovery, Ju Evans is the latest recording artist to testify to the changing mores among young black males about “going down”. “Candy-licking” no longer repulses; Ju likes “that apple pie between those thighs”. From his Ecko debut, All About Soul.
4. “Just Hang Tonight”—-Sir Charles Jones feat. Wilson Meadows
First impressions of this song might be too slow and ponderous, too much style over substance, too long. Second impressions might be: But what style! We tend to forget what a great producer Charles is. And what a vocal! Charles puts his (“The Letter/Guilty”) all into it, as does Wilson. I’ve played it a lot, and it grows on you.
5. “I Wanna Love You”—-West Dawn
Not to be confused with West Love (a Stan Butler discovery), West Dawn is yet another great find by the indefatigable Jeter Jones. Dawn’s song belongs to the Staples’ “Do It Again” family tree, insuring its southern soul bonafides, but it’s also different in that it hinges on the melody, not the iconic bass line (as in “Slow Roll It” etc.).
6. “Southern Soul Train”—–Luster Baker feat. Unkle Phunk
All grown up, Vickie Baker’s little brother Luster, aka Mr. Juicy, records one of his best tunes yet: another compelling (I was going to say “infectious” but I may have to retire that term) track from Unkle Phunk’s Juke Joint Vol.1. Choo-chooo!
7. “While You Was With Your Sidepiece”—–Certified Slim
Certified Slim is a talented guy with a good singing voice and a good grasp of the genre. The only thing holding him back? He needs to record a lot more material–good stuff like this.
8. “Take It Off”—–Bigg Robb feat. Wendell B.
Whew! What a team these two musical giants would make. From Bigg Robb’s otherwise marginal new album, Smooth, Grown & Sexy, this tune shoots up from the “smooth” debris like an awesome rhythm and blues star-ship. Unlike Wendell’s own overly-dense mixes, you can hear his phenomenal voice with crystal-clear brilliance.
9. “Private Party”—–Highway Heavy feat. Dave Mack & Tyree Neal
If many of us old-guard guys were young again, this is very likely the kind of lyrics we’d sing, exulting in our newfound notoriety.
10. “Come To Daddy”——Stevie J. Blues
Stevie J.’s newest.
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