T. K. Soul

Daddy B. Nice's #17 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of T. K. Soul by Daddy B. Nice
 


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"You Ring My Bell"

T. K. Soul

February 1, 2014: NEW ARTIST GUIDE ALERT


T. K. Soul is now the #4-ranking Southern Soul artist on Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Top 100 Countdown.

Go to Daddy B. Nice's new 21st-Century Artist Guide to T. K. Soul.

************

Author's Forward: October 31, 2009

IN PRAISE OF "REHAB"

Nobody--and I mean nobody--writes a better Southern Soul love ballad than T. K. Soul. When The Undisputed album (his last) came out, I felt lonely standing at the platform while the bandwagon for "Party Like Back In The Day" and "It Ain't Cheatin' Until You Get Caught" took off. While I acknowledged the former's danceability and the latter's thematic strength, they just didn't enthuse me.

"Try Me," the love ballad from the album, captivated me from the very beginning. I pegged it as the "soul" of the album and the "very best cut" on the album, and time has born me out. "Try Me" has gone on to become one of the most heavily-played classics on Southern Soul radio.

This time around (2009), T. K. Soul has come up with an album as different from Undisputed as Undisputed was from Love Games. With Undisputed (excepting "Try Me") you wanted to wear your pants baggy, hanging off your butt.

With T. K.'s new album, The Evolution Of Soul, you'll want to wear dress slacks (the ones your spouse likes) and the silk shirt, or--if you're the opposite gender--that short black cocktail dress.

Evolution Of Soul has a jazz feel to it. The whole album, with a couple of exceptions, is a prolonged ballad, and the gem--the "Try Me"--of this CD is the lovely and original "Rehab."

"(Going To Go To) Rehab (Just To Get Over You)" has more originality and musicality in its first couple of stanzas than a year's worth of typical ballad fare. No tinny-sounding, brash drums in your face (ala "Party Like Back In The Day") here. The atmosphere is redolent with style and class.

And yet, the emotion is upfront and one-hundred-per-cent genuine. One seldom finds such fine technique in the company of such convincing emotion. The song is tight. The vocal is as masterful as they come. Every musical phrase is a pleasant surprise. You can listen to it again and again, marvelling at this or that melodic element.

"Rehab" more or less begins in the musical territory first plowed by "It Ain't Cheatin' Until You Get Caught." But "Rehab" only takes that song's considerable accomplishments as a starting point.

T. K. pares down the sound for "Rehab," substituting a more contemplative organ-keyboard sound in addition to a traditional piano in places. His rhythm section is impeccable, finalized with simple but echoey hand-clap/wood block punctuation.

Words, however, don't do justice to the melody . Like some of those early Lennon/McCartney songs, the stanzas of "Rehab" are so musically original they almost leave you gasping. The stanzas are so good they sound like inspired bridges, and the bridge, when it comes--

"She was so stimulating,
Had me always waiting.
Wasn't loving me like she should,
So when she did I thought it was so good. . . "

--is devastatingly successful.

Whatever else can be said about Evolution Of Soul (and there is much more to the album), I can confidently predict one thing. "Rehab" will join "Try Me" and "You Ring My Bell" and "#1 Fan" as T. K. Soul slow classics for posterity. From a purely musical standpoint--disregarding lyrics, theme, and topicality--"Rehab" may very well be the best song T. K. Soul has ever recorded.

--Daddy B. Nice

*****************

See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on T. K. Soul.

To automatically link to T. K. Soul's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Soul" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

**********************

September 6, 2009: New Album Alert

Bargain Priced The Evolution Of Soul, MP3's
Comparison Priced The Evolution Of Soul CD, MP3's

Singles to watch: "Rehab," "Soul Ship," "Baby I Love You," "Soul Clap"

*****************************

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:

"The eagle flied on Friday.
Everything is all good."

T.K. Soul's debut CD, One Woman Man, arrived in 2002, and on first impression both his voice and his material sounded a little "thin" to me, but I may be prejudiced. Your Daddy B. Nice used to have the same trouble with early Michael Jackson. MJ's music (and disco in general) was too "thin," too "pop" for my taste--at least until "Billie Jean" came along.

But then, long after its release, your Daddy B. Nice kept hearing "Meet Me At The Spot" on Deep South radio outlets, the tune always announcing itself with its clarion-call opening line:

"The eagle flied on Friday.
Everything is all good.
Getting ready to party
At the spot in the 'hood."

The "eagle flies" reference, of course, was from T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday."

"Called my girl to remind her
To wear something sexy I like.
Called all my friends to remind them
It's B.Y.O.B. tonight."

And then, in getting to know the artist, I discovered that T. K. Soul (with the mastering help of Larry Nix) had self-produced One Woman Man, a substantial feat given the scope and sophistication of the material. And that young T. K. Soul, under the songwriter title "T. Kimble," had penned Willie Clayton's slow-motion dance floor hit, "Wiggle" (one of Daddy B. Nice's favorites) in addition to other Clayton tracks.

Then T. K. Soul recorded his CD, Love Games. Once again, all the tracks were self-written and self-produced. And, once again, T. K. Soul had scored a chitlin' circuit hit. But the radio single "Cheating and Lying" drew even more fan response than "Meet Me At The Spot" had. Deejays played "Cheating And Lying" to death and listeners still requested more.

"I asked my wife
One night while we were in bed,
'Honey, you've been cheating on me.'
This is what she said.

'I put it on my mama,
I ain't cheating on you.
I put it all on our children,
I ain't cheating on you.

'Said I swear to God,
I ain't cheating on you.'
Knowing all the time,
She was cheating and lying."

Clearly, a lot of R&B fans had no trouble with the pop angle T. K. Soul brought to Southern Soul. And clearly, T. K. Soul's artistry was entering a new stage. Whereas many of the tunes (solemn testimonials of the heart) buried on T. K. Soul's first CD (i.e. "Straight No Chaser" and "My Life") were earnest to a fault, the audience's instincts favored the light-as-a-feather, up-tempo T.K. Soul.

Or at least your Daddy B. Nice thought so until he heard "You Ring My Bell," which defied expectations in being not only a slow song but a knock-out example of a more substantial sound. "You Ring My Bell" was simultaneously less slick and less fervent than earlier T. K. Soul tracks.

The vocal performance was easily the most mature and layered of T. K. Soul's career. From the same CD, Love Games (Soulful, 2004), that spawned "Cheating And Lying," "You Ring My Bell" gathered momentum in terms of radio airplay in the autumn of 2005, assuring T. K. Soul a growing stature among new male vocalists of the chitlin' circuit.

--Daddy B. Nice


About T. K. Soul

T. K. Soul is the pseudonym of Terence Kimble (born in Winnfield, La. in 1964), also the credited songwriter of all tracks on the One Woman Man CD, his debut, released in 2002 (Soulful Records/Raw Entertainment). Kimble started out as a songwriter for Willie Clayton ("Wiggle," "Party Like We Used To Do"), for whom he also played keyboards. (See Willie Clayton Artist Guide: Tidbit #3 for related story.)

Notice of a second T. K. Soul CD, The Bad Boy Of Southern Soul , was posted on the Internet in 2004 with an "item location" in Haynesville, La. Since the radio single "My Kind Of Girl" ("Beautiful lady, shining star") was included in no other CD's, one assumes it was the centerpiece of this hard-to-get LP. (Note: It's now available through CD Baby.)

Love Games appeared in late 2004 (Soulful), and its material, particularly the catchy "Cheating And Lying," was still dominating air time across the chitlin' circuit throughout the the first half of 2005. Once again, Kimble wrote all the tracks, this time crediting them to T. K. Soul.

T. K. Soul is based in Jackson, Mississippi. He tours frequently and is an established chitlin' circuit headliner, drawing in fans across the Deep South.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"And you let me have my way
With your body. . . "


Tidbits

1. March 16, 2006. T. K. Soul's "You Ring My Bell" continues to please. In fact, the Love Games CD, with both "Cheating And Lying" and "You Ring My Bell," is slowly but surely headed for Southern Soul classic status. In an informal survey of chitlin' circuit station playlists through the first quarter of 2006, it was hard to find a deejay who was not including either "Cheating And Lying" or "You Ring My Bell" in his priority queue. This is an incredible feat when you recall that material from Love Games hit the air waves back in 2004. That's over a year of constant radio exposure for "Cheating And Lying" in particular.

So why does Daddy B. Nice have such a fondness for "You Ring My Bell"? T. K. Soul delivers his best vocal ever on this track, and the chorus is a roundelay with a tidal pull as strong as the full moon.

Meanwhile, T. K. Soul is capitalizing on his success by touring extensively, including spring dates headlining concerts at the Main Street Heritage Fest in Port Gibson, Ms. and a date (along with Reggie P. of "Why Me" fame) at the Vicksburg, Ms. City Auditorium.

2. August 10, 2007. T. K. Soul's new disc, Undisputed: The Album, powered by two strong chitlin' circuit singles, "Party Like Back In The Day" and "It Ain't Cheatin' Til You Get Caught," has entered the Billboard R&B chart at #85, not to mention the Billboard Blues chart at #9, a rare feat for a Southern Soul album. The chart success testifies to the pent-up demand for the CD, released and distributed nationally in late June, due to heavy airplay of the two singles on the Stations of the Deep South throughout the late winter and spring.

The CD artwork features T.K. in the boxing robe (emblazoned with "undisputed bad boy of Southern Soul") he uses onstage in concert. DBN.

3. October 1, 2007. I've finally awarded the top spot in T. K. Soul's "recommended tracks" section to "You Ring My Bell." I've also made it T. K. Soul's first five-star track--long overdue. "Meet Me At The Spot"--which represented in fine fashion over a run of five years--will still be featured as the "B-side." DBN.

4. December 1, 2007. T. K. Soul first entered Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul Chart after the release of his debut album, One Woman Man . Originally pegged at #70, he has rapidly ascended the chart to #31 in the course of three subsequent CD's: the largely unheralded sophomore disc, The Bad Boy Of Southern Soul, the momentum-changing, head-turning Love Games and, most recently, the blockbuster CD, Undisputed: The Album.

In truth, there are any number of young Southern Soul performers with more accomplished vocal gifts-- Sir Charles Jones, O. B. Buchana, Reggie P., Jeff Floyd, Robert "The Duke" Tillman, to name only a few--but with the exception of Jones, none of these young Southern Soul contemporaries has been able to parlay composing, arranging, performing and touring skills over the last half-decade into the consistently upward velocity of Soul's career.

Much of this has to do with T. K. Soul's uncanny gift for writing pop-oriented Southern Soul songs. In one of my earliest critiques of the One Woman Man album, your Daddy B. Nice noted that although Soul's personal songs "from the heart" on that debut CD--"Straight No Chaser," "My Life," and the like--were admirable accomplishments, I suspected that Soul would have to move into a more pop-oriented, traditional-themed, compositional arena if he wanted to achieve the kind of recognition that would catapult him into the first rank of Southern Soul performers.

But even your Daddy B. Nice was taken aback by the single-minded aggressiveness with which T. K. Soul would pursue that hit-making agenda. The turning point was the Love Games album (Bargain-Priced Love Games CD) and the astounding success of the song "Cheating And Lying." The tune combined a pop-like melody with a sure-fire chitlin' circuit theme, and in a pattern of success reminiscent of Mel Waiters' "Hole In The Wall," Deep South deejays loved the track to death--playing it so much your Daddy B. Nice actually developed an aversion to it. That's when I first realized I had a problem with T. K. Soul's music.

Then--in 2006--came the single, "It Ain't Cheatin' Til U Get Caught," (Bargain-Priced Undisputed: The Album CD) the follow-up to "Cheating And Lying": I immediately recognized its worth, and I put it in my Top Ten Singles, alerting deejays it was going to be big. But I never, ever expected it to become as big as it became, playing everywhere across the chitlin' circuit six and more months after its release.

And, once again, I grew a little tired of hearing it over and over again. Maybe I was just a victim of its success and my habit of listening to too much Southern Soul radio. But I never grew tired of hearing Theodis Ealey's "Please Let Me In" or Willie Clayton's "Boom Boom Boom." If I'm permitted a female sexual analogy: T. K. Soul was giving me pleasure; Ealey and Clayton were hitting my "G" spot.

Then came the single, "Party Like Back In The Day." Lots of Southern Soul deejays and media guys loved it. Not so much here. Yes, it had the big back-beat, but something about the in-your-face drums and the T. K. Soul tenor left me unmoved.

It wasn't that I didn't like blissfully-mindless or fast music. "Party Like Back In The Day" was just too predictable, too formulaic--a pastiche bereft of any of the surprises I like in a record.

Since the release of the CD, I've discovered much to like and admire in Undisputed, most notably "# 1 Fan" and "Try Me," both in the mold of "You Ring My Bell."

But--and this is just one #1 Fan's opinion--too much of what T. K. Soul is doing exhibits an overly-high ratio of showmanship-to-soul, with a glint of the mercenary in the artistic vision. If T. K. Soul were in the movie "Pirates of The Caribbean"--and remember, T. K. Soul does host an annual Caribbean cruise--he'd be head pirate Johnny Depp, every ounce of his body oozing greed for gold, the gold in this case being Southern Soul supremacy.

DBN.

(The above article ran on Daddy B. Nice's Corner under the title, "T. K. Soul: Pirate of The Caribbean," in 2007.)

5. February 1, 2009:

After a hiatus of the better part of a year since T. K. Soul's hit-filled Undisputed album, new singles are at last beginning to leak out. "Soul Clap," a club-dance, funk-dominated number, will hit deejay turntables this month (February 2009).

But your Daddy B. Nice has become fascinated with a new "stepping" song--very mellow and mid-tempo--with a chunky, ingratiating bass line at one end and a romantic, string-laden arrangement at the other.

I'm not even sure of the title of this song, nor where I heard it, but the title "Soul Ship" sticks in my mind.

The niftiest section of "Soul Ship" plays off the bass line, which morphs into a bridge that perfectly mimics a Sugar Hill-style 70's rap ala "Rapper's Delight." It's inserted towards the end of the song, and if you're not watching and listening you'll miss it completely.

Just as quickly, the song returns to the hypnotic "stepping" theme. This song has whetted my appetite for new Soul product as has no new T. K. Soul single since "Try Me."

--Daddy B. Nice

P.S. 2/1/09: T. K. Soul has just informed your Daddy B. Nice that the full title of the "Soul Ship" song is "Steppin' On the Soul Ship." It's the theme song for T. K. Soul's annual Carribean cruise (he was one of the first to utilize the cruise-performance format), and he lets his cruise fans download the song for free, which may explain why it hasn't turned up on an album yet.

Speaking of albums, T. K. says his new one is just around the corner. The CD will be called Evolution Of Soul, the first single (as reported above) "Soul Clap."

--Daddy B. Nice

Note: Avid T. K. Soul fans are directed to Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index, where they can automatically link to every reference (including honors, chart positions and awards) to T. K. Soul on the Southern Soul RnB website. DBN



If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me By Now," you'll love T. K. Soul's "You Ring My Bell."


Honorary "B" Side

"Try Me"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Ring My Bell by T. K. Soul
You Ring My Bell


CD: Love Games
Label: Soulful

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Love Games


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Sample or Buy Try Me by T. K. Soul
Try Me


CD: Undisputed: The Album
Label: T. K. Soul

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Undisputed: The Album


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Sample or Buy Rehab by T. K. Soul
Rehab


CD: The Evolution Of Soul
Label: Soulful

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The Evolution Of Soul


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy #1 Fan by T. K. Soul
#1 Fan


CD: Undisputed: The Album
Label: Soulful/Brimstone

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Undisputed: The Album


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Cheating And Lying by T. K. Soul
Cheating And Lying


CD: Love Games
Label: Soulful

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Love Games


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy It Ain't Cheatin Til U Get Caught by T. K. Soul
It Ain't Cheatin Til U Get Caught


CD: Undisputed: The Album
Label: Soulful/Brimstone

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Undisputed: The Album


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Let's Stay Home Tonight by T. K. Soul
Let's Stay Home Tonight


CD: Love Games
Label: Soulful

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Love Games


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Sample or Buy Meet Me At The Spot by T. K. Soul
Meet Me At The Spot


CD: One Woman Man
Label: Raw Entertainment

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One Woman Man


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Sample or Buy Soul Ship by T. K. Soul
Soul Ship


CD: The Evolution Of Soul
Label: Soulful

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The Evolution Of Soul


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Baby I Love You by T. K. Soul
Baby I Love You


CD: The Evolution Of Soul
Label: Soulful

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The Evolution Of Soul


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Sample or Buy My Kind Of Girl by T. K. Soul
My Kind Of Girl


CD: The Bad Boy Of Southern Soul

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The Bad Boy Of Southern Soul


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy My Life by T. K. Soul
My Life


CD: One Woman Man
Label: Raw Entertainment

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One Woman Man


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Party Like Back In The Day by T. K. Soul
Party Like Back In The Day


CD: Undisputed: The Album
Label: Soulful/Brimstone

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Undisputed: The Album


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Straight No Chaser by T. K. Soul
Straight No Chaser


CD: One Woman Man
Label: Raw Entertainment

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One Woman Man


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Candy Girl by T. K. Soul
Candy Girl


CD: Love Games
Label: Soulful

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Love Games


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm In Love (She Already Knows) by T. K. Soul
I'm In Love (She Already Knows)


CD: One Woman Man
Label: Raw Entertainment

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One Woman Man


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