Lacee

Daddy B. Nice's #77 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Lacee by Daddy B. Nice
 


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"I Ran A Good Man Away"

Lacee

Composed by Lamanuel Boykins, Jerry Flood & Lacy Reed


"I Ran A Good Man Away," Lacee's break-out hit from her sophomore album, Lacee's Groove (Advantage), was an exceptional song when it was released as a single in 2009, and time has only proven it to be as good or better.

Several factors combine to make it a Southern Soul classic for the ages. The song brings together a great young songstress (incidentally, the title of Lacee's debut CD, Songstress 2006, JEA), with a top-drawer composition.

The Memphis-based singer's delivery has the heft and clarity of Aretha Franklin or Tina Turner in their prime, or--more recently--the enormously popular singles of rock/folk singer Cheryl Crow.

"Ladies--"

Lacee begins--

"Can I tell you a story?
Can you listen
To what I have to say?

I want to tell you how
I ran a good man away.

I met this guy
Who showed me things,
Things I'd never seen.

The man was so good to me.
He treated me like a queen."

Like a great short story or novella, the whole of the tale is implied in those introductory words. The listener immediately senses the trajectory of the narrative. What did the heroine do to mess up this ideal situation?

Listen to Lacee singing "I Ran A Good Man Away" on YouTube while you read.

"You see, I came with a lot of baggage
From my past.
I had been with a few other guys
Who mistreated me so bad.

But there was one other guy
That stayed in my head.
He really didn't mean me no good.
He was just good in bed."

You don't have to be a detective to know Lacee's heroine is skating on thin ice, and Lacee throws out the lyrics with a passion that brooks no inattention.

In a 2006 interview with Heikki Suosalo of "Soul Express," in reply to a question about her influences, Lacee noted:

"Patti LaBelle! I love Patti LaBelle. All through school I would do Patti LaBelle, and I would do some Gladys Knight, but Patti--I love her. And I got to add my mom, too. She was ingenious in her own way.

"I learned music from my mom. She was a dynamic gospel singer, and my father was a pastor, a preacher of a church. I owe it all to my mother. She taught me everything."

You can hear echoes of Patti LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade"--

"Mmm Hmmm Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da
Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Here. . . "

--in the conversational tone and no-nonsense immediacy of "I Ran A Good Man Away." The song is compact, a scant three minutes, which further amplifies its power. None of its strengths are dissipated in an extra two minutes of needless repetitions, as is so frequently the case with chart-aspiring Southern Soul singles.

"So here I was, ladies,
Lying to my man at home.
Going behind his back
To be with the man
I know did me wrong."

The guitar hook is a key component. As Lacee sings, the guitar fills in with special poignancy and taste on the song's linchpin stanza:

"One day he pulled up in his car,
Saw me with the other guy.
He said he'd followed me
For quite some time,
And he drove away
With tears in his eyes."

And so the domestic parable comes to its succinct and bitter end.

"I ran a good man away.
I know I made a mistake."

You could throw a blanket over it--you could pour a chute full of ready-mix cement over it--and you couldn't muffle the message in "I Ran A Good Man Away."

"Lacee's Groove," the title tune from the album featuring Lacee's "I Ran A Good Man Away," can't boast the same compositional excellence as "Ran A Good Man Away," but Lacee's vocal expertise carries over, making the mid-tempo rocker an interesting bookend.

Listen to Lacee singing "Lacee's Groove" while you read.

The remix of "Lacee's Groove"--included on the Lacee's Groove album--is also noteworthy, adding some hiphop-flavored synthesizer fills that accentuate its rhythmic appeal.

Lacee's Groove is without a doubt Lacee's finest CD. Her debut disc, Songstress, while showing much promise, was an uneven effort without a true chitlin' circuit anthem on the level of "I Ran A Good Man Away" or even "Lacee's Groove." It captures a young singer searching for her style, experimenting with everything from urban R&B to lightly-flavored hiphop to tentative Southern Soul.

Lacee's third CD, Soulful, just out in 2011 (as this critique is being written), on first impression bears more similarity to the variety and urban-r&b experimentation of the SONGSTRESS CD than to the mainline Southern Soul of LACEE'S GROOVE.

(Scroll down to "Tidbits #1 below to sample two songs from the new album featured on YouTube.)

--Daddy B. Nice


About Lacee

Lacy Yvonne Reed was born in Memphis, Tennesse on July 1st in the early seventies. After winning competitions which showcased her talent, Lacee's professional career began as a background singer for Little Milton, which led to contributions to work by Memphis's Archie Love and J. Blackfoot, Shalamar's Howard Hewett and gospel singer Stevenson Clark.

Recorded at Archie Love's Loveland studios in Memphis and produced by Love and Sam Fallie, "Songstress"--Lacee's debut CD--was published in 2006 on JEA label.

Her second CD, "Lacee's Groove," appeared in 2009 on the Advantage label. The album spawned two popular chitlin' circuit singles, the title tune and "I Ran A Good Man Away."

"Songful," Lacee's third CD, was released in 2011, also on Advantage.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"So here I was, ladies,
Lying to my man at home.
Going behind his back
To be with the man
I know did me wrong."


Tidbits

1.

October 27, 2011:

Listen to Lacee singing "Can't Say No" on YouTube.

Listen to Lacee singing "Don't You Hate It" on YouTube.

2.

September 29, 2011:

Lacee was given prominent mention in Daddy B. Nice's year-end review of Southern Soul in 2009 as follows:

The best lines of the year came from Lacee Reed's "I Ran A Good Man Away"--also one of the best titles of the year.

"You see, I came with
A lot of baggage from my past.
I had been with a few other guys
Who mistreated me so bad."


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Tina Turner's version of "Proud Mary," you'll love Lacee's "I Ran A Good Man Away."



EDITOR'S NOTE

Over the last year I've been dropping hints to the younger musicians.

"Be watching because there's going to be something coming on the site that'll be a real blessing for the younger people."

And I've also been telling a lot of deserving new artists to bide their time, that their day to be featured in a Daddy B. Nice Artist Guide was coming, and long overdue.

Now, at last, the day has come.

The great Southern Soul stars are mostly gone. There's a new generation clamoring to be heard.

Rather than waiting years to go online as I did with the original Top 100, this chart will be a work-in-progress.

Each month five new and never-before-featured artists will be showcased, starting at #100 and counting down to #1.

I estimate 50-75 new Artist Guides will be created by the time I finish. The other 25-50 Guides will feature artists from the old chart who are holding their own or scaling the peaks in the 21st Century.

Absent will be the masters who have wandered off to Soul Heaven. And missing will be the older artists who for one reason or another have slowed down, become inactive or left the scene.

The older generation's contributions to Southern Soul music, however, will not be forgotten.

That is why it was so important to your Daddy B. Nice to maintain the integrity of the original Top 100 and not continue updating it indefinitely.

(Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul covered the period from 1990-2010. Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Southern Soul will cover the period from 2000-2020.)

When I constructed the first chart, I wanted to preserve a piece of musical history. I heard a cultural phenomenon I was afraid might be lost forever unless I wrote about it.

There will be no more changes to the original chart. Those performers' place in Southern Soul music will stand.

But I see a new scene today, a scene just as starved for publicity and definition, a scene missing only a mirror to reflect back its reality.

The prospect of a grueling schedule of five new artist pages a month will be daunting, and I hope readers will bear with me as I gradually fill out what may seem at first inadequate Artist Guides.

Information from readers will always be welcome. That's how I learn. That's how I add to the data.

I'm excited to get started. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I've already done the bulk of the drawings.

In a funny way, the most rewarding thing has been getting back to doing the drawings, and imagining what recording artists are going to feel like when they see their mugs in a black and white cartoon. Hopefully----high! An artist hasn't really "made it" until he or she's been caricatured by Daddy B. Nice.

In the beginning months, the suspense will be in what new stars make the chart. In the final months, the suspense will be in who amongst the big dogs and the new stars is in the top twenty, the top ten, and finally. . . the top spot.

I'm not tellin'.

Not yet.

--Daddy B. Nice

Go to Top 100 Countdown: 21st Century Southern Soul


Honorary "B" Side

"Lacee's Groove"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Ran A Good Man Away by  Lacee
I Ran A Good Man Away


CD: Lacee's Groove
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Lacee's Groove


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Lacee's Groove by  Lacee
Lacee's Groove


CD: Lacee's Groove
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Lacee's Groove


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Give It To Me by  Lacee
Give It To Me


CD: Soulful
Label: Advantage



4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Lacee's Groove (Remix) by  Lacee
Lacee's Groove (Remix)


CD: Lacee's Groove
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Lacee's Groove


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Sex You Up by  Lacee
Sex You Up


CD: Lacee's Groove
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Lacee's Groove


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Sweetest Hangover by  Lacee
Sweetest Hangover


CD: Songstress
Label: JEA

Sample or Buy
Songstress


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Can't Say No by  Lacee
Can't Say No


CD: Soulful

Sample or Buy
Soulful


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Don't You Hate It by  Lacee
Don't You Hate It


CD: Soulful
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Soulful


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Juicy Lips by  Lacee
Juicy Lips


CD: Lacee's Groove
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Lacee's Groove


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ooh Wee (w/ Archie Love) by  Lacee
Ooh Wee (w/ Archie Love)


CD: Songstress
Label: JEA

Sample or Buy
Songstress


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right by  Lacee
Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right


CD: Songstress
Label: JEA

Sample or Buy
Songstress


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Why You Want To Make Me Clown by  Lacee
Why You Want To Make Me Clown


CD: Lacee's Groove
Label: Advantage

Sample or Buy
Lacee's Groove


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm In Over My Head by  Lacee
I'm In Over My Head


CD: Soulful
Label: JEA

Sample or Buy
Songstress


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