Katrenia Jefferson (aka Katrenia)
Daddy B. Nice's #100 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"The Chance Of A Lifetime"
Katrenia Jefferson (aka Katrenia)
April 4, 2015: NEW SINGLE ALERT
Katrenia Jefferson debuts at #100 on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st-Century Southern Soul Countdown.
Of all the great, largely-unrecorded divas in contemporary southern soul music, Katrenia Jefferson has to rank at or near the top. A gospel-singing child prodigy who grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and toured with many gospel groups (including her mother's) before branching out into R&B, including back-up stints with Willie Clayton and J. Blackfoot, Katrenia Jefferson broke out in 2012 with the Mel Waiters-produced "That Thang."
The as-written-fairly-raunchy single ironically showcased a southern soul vocalist who recalled Peggy Scott-Adams in her underlying religiosity and conviction and even her gospel-drenched carrying power.
From Daddy B. Nice's Best of 2012:
Daddy B. Nice Announces The Winners of the 2012 (6th Annual) Southern Soul Music Awards.
Best Female Vocalist: "That Thang" by Katrenia
Listen to Katrenia singing "That Thang" on YouTube.
However, years before the Waiters-produced single brought her some national visibility, Katrenia Jefferson was on Jackson (and surrounding areas) radio with a locally-produced CD on a label called Finesse, aided by legendary veterans Harrison Calloway, Frederick Knight and Rue Davis.
This undistributed CD spawned two local underground singles--both passionate but stately, amply-produced ballads in the mode of Carl Sims' "I'm Trapped" or McKinley Mitchell's "The End Of The Rainbow"--that much more accurately define Katrenia's legitimate claim to fame.
The first--now on YouTube!--is "Holding On."
Listen to Katrenia Jefferson singing "Holding On" on YouTube.
The second underground classic--not on YouTube or anywhere where the uninitiated can hear it--is "The Chance Of A Lifetime."
These two songs, with singularly-powerful lead vocals by Katrenia and full-bodied, all-embracing female choruses, are drenched in gospel atmosphere so thick that listening to them is like wrapping yourself in a southern-soul comforter.
Think of any majestic R&B song of the last fifty years--Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come"--and Katrenia Jefferson's "Holding On" can be said to continue its tradition.
"Chance Of A Lifetime," which would benefit from some exposure, is even better. Cynics might label the song sentimental, but they would be wrong. Chance Of A Lifetime is thought and feeling delivered with street-level directness, in the grittiest--yet most uplifting--way imaginable.
The song has for too long languished in southern soul limbo. Already a regional legend, Katrenia must find the courage to take the next step, however difficult, in getting the totality of her work front-and-center for a new and larger southern soul audience.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Katrenia Jefferson (aka Katrenia)
June 1, 2014:
Honorary "B" Side
"Holding On (The Love That Keeps Us Holding On)"
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