WCP: Are you familiar at all with southern soul artists on labels like Ecko and Malaco—folks like Miss Jody, Denise Lasalle, Mel Waiters, and O.B. Buchana? What do you think?
RF: I am very familiar with the Malaco music family. I grew up, through my mother’s Zenith console stereo, listening to cuts from Z.Z. Hill, Denise LaSalle, King Floyd, and Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue," as well as the Muscle Shoals influence and connection to that label. My uncle was a truck driver and kept his record collection at our house, so I got a great soul/blues education. This music will always be a part of me, mostly because it reminds me of watching my mother smile and sway while snapping her fingers and singing to them.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 7 March 2012 18:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
Have been catching up, a little. I like these tracks (singles? if he says so) recommended by Daddy B Nice in 2012, more or less in this order:
Avail Hollywood – Domestic LoveVel Omarr – Everybody’s Dancin’Carl Marshall - Show Some Sign (New Version)The Revelations feat. Tre Williams – Until You Get Enough Of MeTK Soul – We Gonna Party TonightDonnie Ray – She Was At The HideawayKing Loverr – Island Girl
The Revelations album (released last November, I think) is really good as whole, too -- It's kind of amazing that they're based in Brooklyn.
― xhuxk, Friday, 9 March 2012 04:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Don't know the Revelations. Will have to investigate
― curmudgeon, Friday, 9 March 2012 13:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
So I thought it would be interesting to visit a few of Southern Soul's most prominent artists and put a representative track from their "classic" phase against a representative track from their recent work, with a few comments to stir the pot.
Is Southern Soul slipping in quality?
Readers are welcome to chime in at:
Theodis EaleyClassic track: "Stand Up In It"
New track: "Slow Grindin'"
Status: Slipping. Since the heart attack, it hasn't been quite the same for Theodis.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
This screed isn't so much about the artists as it is about the deejays. The music of the last fifteen years is the backbone--the substance--of 21st Century Southern Soul. Go to it. Remember it. Play it. Don't allow the great Southern Soul music of yesteryear to die from neglect.
In a genre as tender and young and unknown as contemporary Southern Soul, anything produced in the last fifteen years is like yesterday. Since the original classics were heard by so few people, it's important to spread the word about these songs as if they were brand new.
--Daddy B. Nice
P.S. And let's thank the artists for releasing ALL the songs, the favorites and not-so-favorites, giving us fans something to talk about. The world is a better place for having BOTH Floyd Taylor songs
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
Heard some Southern soul on Saturday WPFW radio, but still have not latest albums and tracks highlighted above. Need to find the time.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 14:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
Wonder if I'd like retro soul guy Charles Bradley. He's getting attention in indie circles but not Southern soul ones.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 19:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
He's got a great throwback voice and the Daptone folks do a their standard revivalist soul backing
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 5 April 2012 12:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
Saw Bobby Rush at Jazzfest in New Orleans. He has got a tight, well-rehearsed band and he and his booty shaking dancers have their schtick down. A bit one-dimensional, but he has some good songs too.
I read Christgau refer to Irma Thomas as overrated in his piece on Dr. John's special series of shows in NYC. I saw Irma do a spell-binding tribute to Mahalia Jackson at the gospel tent at Jazzfest, and I saw Dr. John another day, plus the good doctor did a song with Springsteen. I think maybe Dr. John might be the overrated one (although I still liked him).
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 15:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
I missed Lee Fields (he was just playing at night at a club in New Orleans but was not at Jazzfest). Brother Tyrone and the Mindbenders were good but not brilliant deep soul. I heard lots of stunning voices at the gospel tent.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 1 May 2012 15:47 (1 year ago) Permalink
Another show missed (busy with family): Saturday's Chick Willis (the Stoop Down Man)gig at Lamont's in Pomonkey, Maryland. Needless to say, there was no review in the Washington Post (or elsewhere online I'd guess)
― curmudgeon, Monday, 21 May 2012 14:41 (11 months ago) Permalink
Not Southern soul--obscure DC soul from DC producer's tapes coming out on hipster Numero label
― curmudgeon, Monday, 21 May 2012 16:00 (11 months ago) Permalink
likened to Bobby Bland and Little Milton and Johnny Taylor. I need to listen to him.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 14:41 (11 months ago) Permalink
blue-eyed dude into late 50s and early 60s r'n'b not soul. But has he ever listened to current Souther chitlin circuit sounds?
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 14:43 (11 months ago) Permalink
Waterhouse is playing a Village Voice sponsored-show I think, but there's not any Southern soul on the bill. Oh well.
Meanwhile down the New Jersey Turnpike and 95 to 495 to Indian Head Highway:
Saturday June 9
Lamont's 22nd Anniversary with Eddie Lavert (Lead singer of the O'Jays) ; Frank Washington (Singer of The Spinners); Captain Frye of the Intruders Review Band; Hardway Connection; B.A.D.D; DJ Wayne/Ultramixx $35.00 (Advance) $40.00 (Gate)Gates: open 12:00pm, Showtime: 2:00pm in Pomonkey, MD (Indian Head Highway)
― curmudgeon, Monday, 4 June 2012 15:00 (11 months ago) Permalink
Old-school Alabama soul artist returns
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 21 June 2012 13:57 (10 months ago) Permalink
grrr, missed DC old-school soul guy Skip Mahoney Saturday night at Lamont's
― curmudgeon, Monday, 25 June 2012 14:42 (10 months ago) Permalink
I'm so out of touch with this scene these days. Bad bad bad
― curmudgeon, Friday, 13 July 2012 18:34 (10 months ago) Permalink
I will need to study this link and listen to the stuff mentioned (you should too)
― curmudgeon, Friday, 13 July 2012 18:40 (10 months ago) Permalink
Finally saw Little Royal, longtime obscure Southern soul singer and James Brown imitator. He was at the Westminster Church in DC Blue Monday series for only $5. Alas, he recently had a self-described "mild stroke" and so his voice was not quite what it once was. But his dancing and James Brown-style hair and clothes were awesome and the band was great.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 17 July 2012 20:27 (10 months ago) Permalink
I do not think NPR will have him do a "tiny desk" concert for their website, but they should.
Even my kid hates the standard synth pre-sets on Southern soul. I don't mind 'em. You may hear some next Saturday:
2 pm, Saturday, August 4, 2012. Lamont’s Entertainment Complex, 4400 Livingston Road, Pomonkey, Maryland. Battle of The Rock, Roll & Shakin’, Roy C Birthday Celebration, New CD Release. Roy C, Prince Mekel (formerly Steve Perry), Nellie “Tiger” Travis, Sir Jonathan Burton. Gates open at 12 Noon. 301-283-0225.
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 28 July 2012 20:47 (9 months ago) Permalink
Gonna miss Millie Jackson with Al Johnson tonight at the Howard Theatre. Oh well. Wonder what she sounds like these days.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 3 August 2012 21:04 (9 months ago) Permalink
Saw Aaron Neville last night but missed Mr. Booty Shakin Goin On Jonathan Burton with Roy C et al. at Lamonts Saturday, and Millie Jackson Friday. I am ashamed
― curmudgeon, Monday, 6 August 2012 16:08 (9 months ago) Permalink
Its funny to me how the record collecting soul purists avoid this thread
― curmudgeon, Monday, 6 August 2012 16:10 (9 months ago) Permalink
― curmudgeon, Monday, 6 August 2012 17:06 (9 months ago) Permalink
Missed the tv doc on her. Earlier this year she performed with Lattimore and Bobby Womack in the Chicago area. Now that woulda been nice to see.
I still have some catching up to do on current Southern soul also
― curmudgeon, Friday, 10 August 2012 19:52 (9 months ago) Permalink
Bobby Blue Bland and Clarence Carter are gonna be at the 20th anniversary Bluebird Fest at PG Community College in Largo, MD in September. It's free. They're the godfathers of this stuff.
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:32 (8 months ago) Permalink
Been reading Daddy B. Nice's southern soul website. Now I just have to catch up on listening to everything he's writing about.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 30 August 2012 15:01 (8 months ago) Permalink
Just saw Little Milton tv footage from 1966 show The !!! Beat. Great passionate singing
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 8 September 2012 15:39 (8 months ago) Permalink
And this past weekend as I noted on other threads I saw Bobby Blue Bland and Clarence Carter live. Was surprised how good Bland still sounds (overlooking that snort). Clarence Carter looks and sounds just like he did when I first saw him ages ago.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 25 September 2012 16:11 (7 months ago) Permalink
We just learned our friend Paul Kelly, creator of “The Upset”, passed on back in August. His long and storied career was briefly touched upon in our two Deep City compilations, but there’s so much more which remains thinly documented. We send our condolences to his friends and family who are grieving and hope to be able to share more of his music with you soon.
from the Numero group people re Miami born soul singer Paul Kelly
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 9 October 2012 16:46 (7 months ago) Permalink
Saw NPR's Bob Boilen (of their "All" music considered website) out at a (mostly all indie-rock) fest. Chose not to beg him to cover Miss Jody or to read Daddy B. Nice's column.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 9 October 2012 17:00 (7 months ago) Permalink
But NPR's Ann Powers is living in Alabama now, so maybe she'd be more open to checking out Southern soul
― curmudgeon, Friday, 19 October 2012 15:44 (7 months ago) Permalink
Not a big fan of blue-eyed soul singer Eli Paperboy Reed, but if I was in NYC I might want to see him with Roscoe Robinson at this special gig:
For one night only on Friday, November 9th at Rockwood Music Hall Stage Two I'll be performing with one of my great inspirations, Soul and Gospel music legend Roscoe Robinson. Roscoe has been a mentor to me since we first met in 2007 and he's a true titan of American music. He first started recording in 1950 with Gospel group the Southern Sons and went on to record with both The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi and Alabama among other Gospel groups. In 1963 he made the switch to R&B with the hit "That's Enough" and his career took off from there.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 15:29 (6 months ago) Permalink
Rockwood Music Hall Stage Two 196 Allen St. @ Houston ST , NYC
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 15:30 (6 months ago) Permalink
I never cut-and-paste press releases, but this is pretty big news, so:
GRAMMY NOMINATED BLUES INNOVATOR BOBBY RUSHSTAKES HIS CLAIM AS A LIVING LEGEND
New studio album Down in Louisiana, due February 19, updates the sounds of the swamps and the juke joints JACKSON, Miss. —Bobby Rush’s new Down in Louisiana, out February 19, 2013 on Deep Rush Productions through Thirty Tigers, is the work of a funky fire-breathing legend. Its 11 songs revel in the grit, grind and soul that’s been the blues innovator’s trademark since the 1960s, when he stood shoulder to shoulder on the stages of Chicago with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and other giants. Of course, it’s hard to recognize a future giant when he’s standing among his mentors. But five decades later Down in Louisiana’s blend of deep roots, eclectic arrangements and raw modern production is clearly the stuff of towering artistry. “This album started in the swamps and the juke joints, where my music started, and it’s also a brand new thing,” says the Grammy-nominated adopted son of Jackson, Mississippi. “Fifty years ago I put funk together with down-home blues to create my own style. Now, with Down in Louisiana, I’ve done the same thing with Cajun, reggae, pop, rock and blues, and it all sounds only like Bobby Rush.” At 77, Rush still has an energy level that fits his name. He’s a prolific songwriter and one of the most vital live performers in the blues, able to execute daredevil splits on stage with the finesse of a young James Brown while singing and playing harmonica and guitar. Those talents have earned him multiple Blues Music Awards including Soul Blues Album of the Year, Acoustic Album of the Year, and, almost perennially, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year. As Down in Louisiana attests, he’s also one of the music’s finest storytellers, whether he’s evoking the thrill of finding love in “Down in Louisiana” — a song whose rhythmic accordion and churning beat evoke his Bayou State youth — or romping through one of his patented double-entendre funk rave-ups like “You’re Just Like a Dresser.” Songs like the latter — with the tag line “You’re just like a dresser/Somebody’s always ramblin’ in your drawers” — and a stage show built around big-bottomed female dancers, ribald humor and hip-shaking grooves have made Rush today’s most popular blues attraction among African-American audiences. With more than 100 albums on his résumé, he’s the reigning king of the Chitlin’ Circuit, the network of clubs, theaters, halls and juke joints that first sprang up in the 1920s to cater to black audiences in the bad old days of segregation. A range of historic entertainers that includes Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, B.B. King, Nat “King” Cole and Ray Charles emerged from this milieu. And Rush is proud to bear the torch for that tradition, and more.
“What I do goes back to the days of black vaudeville and Broadway, and — with my dancers on stage — even back to Africa,” Rush says. “It’s a spiritual thing, entwined with the deepest black roots, and with Down in Louisiana I’m taking those roots in a new direction so all kinds of audiences can experience my music and what it’s about.” Compared to the big-band arrangements of the 13 albums Rush made while signed to Malaco Records, the Mississippi-based pre-eminent soul-blues label of the ’80s and ’90s, Down In Louisiana is a stripped down affair. The album ignited 18 months ago when Rush and producer Paul Brown, who’s played keyboards in Rush’s touring band, got together at Brown’s Nashville-based Ocean Soul Studios to build songs from the bones up. “Everything started with just me and my guitar,” Rush explains. “Then Paul created the arrangements around what I’d done. It’s the first time I made an album like that and it felt really good.” Rush plans to tour behind the disc, his debut on Thirty Tigers, with a similar-sized group. Down in Louisiana is spare on Rush’s usual personnel, — Brown on keys, drummer Pete Mendillo, guitarist Lou Rodriguez and longtime Rush bassist Terry Richardson — but doesn’t scrimp on funk. Every song is propelled by an appealing groove. Even the semi-autobiographical hard-times story “Tight Money,” which floats in on the call of Rush’s haunted harmonica, has a magnetic pull toward the dance floor. And “Don’t You Cry,” which Rush describes as “a new classic,” employs its lilting sway to evoke the vintage sound of electrified Delta blues à la Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Rush counts those artists, along with B.B King, Ray Charles and Sonny Boy Williamson II, as major influences. “You hear all of these elements in me,” Rush allows, “but nobody sounds like Bobby Rush.” Rush began absorbing the blues almost from his birth in Homer, Louisiana, on November 10, 1935. “My first guitar was a piece of wire nailed up on a wall with a brick keeping it raised up on top and a bottle keeping it raised on the bottom,” he relates. “One day the brick fell out and hit me in the head, so I reversed the brick and the bottle. “I might be hard-headed,” he adds, chuckling, “but I’m a fast learner.” Rush quickly moved on to an actual six-string and the harmonica. He started playing juke joints in his teens, wearing a fake mustache so owners would think him old enough to perform in their clubs. In 1953 his family relocated to Chicago, where his musical education shifted to hyperspeed under the spell of Waters, Wolf, Williamson and the rest of the big dogs on the scene. Rush ran errands for slide six-string king Elmore James and got guitar lessons from Howlin’ Wolf. He traded harmonica licks with Little Walter and begin sitting in with his heroes. In the ’60s Rush became a bandleader in order to realize the fresh funky soul-blues sound that he was developing in his head. “James Brown was just two years older than me, and we both focused on that funk thing, driving on that one-chord beat,” Rush explains. “But James put modern words to it. I was walking the funk walk and talking the countrified blues talk — with the kinds of stories and lyrics that people who grew up down South listening to John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and bluesmen like that could relate to. And that’s been my trademark.” After 1971’s percolating “Chicken Heads” became his first hit and cracked the R&B Top 40, Rush’s dedication increased. He relocated to Mississippi to be among the highest population of his core black blues-loving audience and put together a 12-piece touring ensemble. Record deals with Philadelphia International and Malaco came as his star rose, and his performances kept growing from the small juke joints where he’d started into nightclubs, civic auditoriums and, by the mid-’80s, Las Vegas casinos and the world’s most prominent blues festivals. Rush’s ascent was depicted in The Road to Memphis, a film co-starring B.B. King that was part of the 2003 PBS series Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues. In 2003 he established his own label, Deep Rush Productions, and has released nine titles under that imprint including his 2003 DVD+CD set Live At Ground Zero and 2007’s solo Raw. That disc led to his current relationship with Thirty Tigers, which distributed Raw and his two most recent albums, 2009’s Blind Snake and 2011’s Show You A Good Time (which took Best Soul Blues Album of the year that’s the 2012 BMAs), before signing him as an artist for Down in Louisiana. Although his TV appearances, gigs at Lincoln Center and numerous Blues Music Awards attest to his acceptance by all blues fans, Rush hopes that the blend of the eclectic, inventive and down-home on Down in Louisiana will help further expand his audience. “But no matter how much I cross over, whether it’s to a larger white audience or to college listeners or fans of Americana, I’ll never cross out who I am and where I’ve come from,” Rush promises. “My music’s always gonna be funky and honest, and it’s always gonna sound like Bobby Rush.”
― xhuxk, Friday, 16 November 2012 17:55 (6 months ago) Permalink
Hmmmmm, minimalist Bobby Rush on a new label. Will wait and see.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 16 November 2012 19:07 (6 months ago) Permalink
Johnnie Taylor's son keeping the "Jody" thang going
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 21 November 2012 05:49 (5 months ago) Permalink
Liking some of the Jeff Floyd album. He's got that timeless raspy, church-rooted voice.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 22 November 2012 06:12 (5 months ago) Permalink
This year's Mel Waiters is not so good
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 22 November 2012 07:11 (5 months ago) Permalink
Finally listened to some of the new Bobby Womack album that Brit Mojo mag critics and NPR Music folks love. Womack's voice is still nice enough for me, but that polished, triphoppy D. Alborn/Jamie XX production and the Gil Scott-Heron sample is just a copy of what they did last year with Gil Scott-Heron.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 23 November 2012 20:30 (5 months ago) Permalink
The Jeff Floyd album is better
Bet I will be the only person to put Jeff Floyd on a year-end list. The Southern soul genre continues to be ignored-- the labels don't push it to the crossover media (which does not seek it out on its own); there's no real indie-crossover or mainstream billboard r'n'b crossover; the performers are older but don't make boomer or Mojo mag or soul fanatic friendly sounds with "real instruments". blah blah blah. I'm a broken record or is that a non-working soundcloud link on this.
― curmudgeon, Monday, 26 November 2012 15:33 (5 months ago) Permalink
1 Good Motor LJ Echols Neckbone 11 3 2 Country Boy Sir Charles Jones KISS 14 1 3 Not Good Enough To Marry Peggy Scott-Adams Desert Sounds 9 4 4 Bring Back My Blues Donnie Ray Ecko 8 6 5 Meat On Them Bones Sir Jonathan Burton Aviara 8 5 6 Slow Grindin' Theodis Ealey IFGAM 11 7 7 Using Me Jeff Floyd Wilbe
― curmudgeon, Wednesday, 28 November 2012 19:37 (5 months ago) Permalink
Peggy Scott-Adams has a great voice
― curmudgeon, Monday, 10 December 2012 06:33 (5 months ago) Permalink
Sir Charles Jones too
― curmudgeon, Monday, 10 December 2012 06:37 (5 months ago) Permalink
Sir Charles Jones "Country Boy" is a song of the year
― curmudgeon, Monday, 10 December 2012 15:38 (5 months ago) Permalink
It's better than any Scott Walker song I have heard so far
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 18:02 (5 months ago) Permalink