Thursday, July 30, 2015. Kingston Mines, 2548 North Halsted, Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Joanna Connor. 773-477-4646.
8 pm, Friday, July 31, 2015.House of Blues, 221 Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. Cupid. 504-310-4999.
Friday, July 31, 2015. The Summit Center, Clarion Hotel, 852 N. Gloster St., Tupelo, Mississippi. T.K. Soul. 662-844-4343.
Friday, July 31, 2015. Roadhouse Casino, 1107 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville (Tunica), Mississippi. Jus' Blues Juke Joint White Affair. Andre' Lee, Lomax, Joy (Glaspie). Doors open at 10 pm. Hosts: Jazzi Anderson, Mr. Lee. 678-403-1993.
Friday, July 31, and Saturday, August 1, 2015. Bottleneck Blues Bar, 4116 Washington St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Mr. Sipp. 601-638-1000.
8:30 pm, Friday, July 31, 2015. Ducks Beach Club, 229 Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band.
9 pm, Friday, July 31, 2015. Rec Center, 2555 Twin Rivers Drive, Arkadelphia, Arkansas. L.J. Echols. 870-246-5499.
3 pm, Saturday, August 1, 2015. Central City Complex, 609 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave., Jackson, Mississippi. Billy "Soul" Bonds, Nathaniel Kimble, Ricky White, Jackie Bell, Ms. Hollywood. 601-352-9075.
6 pm, Saturday, August 1, 2015. Showplace Arena, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Legends & Heavy Hitters Of Southern Soul. Roy C, Latimore, Clarence Carter, Millie Jackson, Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 919-827-2033, 301-952-7900. Doors open at 5 pm.
7 pm, Saturday, August 1, 2015. North Charleston Performing Arts Center, North Charleston, South Carolina. Tucka, Doug E. Fresh.
Saturday, August 1, 2015. Calgary International Blues Festival, 808 Royal Ave. SW., Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bobby Rush, Jarekus Singleton, Geoff Muldaur and more. See festival website.
Saturday, August 1, 2015. Cannery Casino Hotel, 2121 East Craig Road North, North Las Vegas, Nevada. The Delfonics, The Stylistics. 702- 507-5700.
4 pm, Saturday, August 1, 2015. Roadhouse Casino, 1107 Casino Center Drive, Robinsonville (Tunica), Mississippi. Preston Shannon, Gerod Rayborn, Jureesa McBride (The Duchess). 678-403-1993.
Saturday, August 1, 2015. Club Elevations, 7200 Colonel Glenn Rd., Little Rock, Arkansas. Willie Clayton. 501-562-3317.
10 pm, Saturday, August 1, 2015. The Brickhouse, 1814 Junction City Rd, El Dorado, Arkansas. T.K. Soul. Doors open at 9 pm. 870-866-7441.
Saturday, August 1, 2015. Horseshoe Casino, 1021 Casino Center, Tunica, Mississippi. Patti LaBelle. 800-357-5600.
9 pm, Saturday, August 1, 2015. The Village, 1120 Village Road, Hwy #17 North, Lexington, Mississippi. WAGR Da' Dirty DJ Award Party. L.J. Echols, Terry Wright, JR Blu. Doors open at 8 pm. 662-834-1025.
10 pm, Saturday, August 1 & 4 pm, Sunday, August 2, 2015. I.F.B.S. Lodge, Leonville, Louisiana. Trap House Rider'z Trail Ride. J Paul Jr. & The Zydeco NuBreeds (10 pm Sat), Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band (4 pm Sun).
8 pm, Sunday, August 2, 2015. Microsoft Theater, 777 Chick Hearn Ct, Los Angeles, California.Aretha Franklin. 213-763-6030.
6 pm, Sunday, August 2, 2015. The Sun Bar & Grill, 1908 B St, Downtown, Meridian, Mississippi.Nathaniel Kimble. Doors open at 3 pm.
7:30 pm, Tuesday, August 4, 2015. The Orpheum, 203 S. Main, Memphis, Tennessee. Jill Scott. 901-525-3000.
Thursday, August 6, 2015. Santa Barbara Bowl, 1122 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara, California. Aretha Franklin. 805-962-7411.
9 pm, Friday, August 7, 2015. Thibodaux Civic Center, 310 N. Canal Blvd., Thibodaux, Louisiana. Doors open at 7 pm. Jeff Floyd, Kenne Wayne, Ronnie Bell. 504-559-2250. 985-446-7260.
Friday, August 7, 2015. Arena Theater, 7326 Southwest Fwy, Hwy 59, Houston, Texas. T.K. Soul, Tucka. 713-772-5900.
9 pm, Friday, August 7, 2015. Thibodaux Civic Center, 310 N. Canal Blvd., Thibodaux, Louisiana.Jeff Floyd, Kenne' Wayne, Ronnie Bell, Jeff Chaz. 985-446-7260. Doors open at 7 pm.
Friday, August 7, 2015. Buddy Guy's Legends, 700 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8, 2015. AmeriStar Casino (Bottleneck Blues Bar), 4146 Washington St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grady Champion.
7:30 pm, Friday, August 7, 2015. Downtown, Clarksdale, Mississippi. Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival. Sweet Angel, Nathaniel Kimble. See festival website.
8:30 pm, Saturday, August 8, 2015. Downtown, Clarksdale, Mississippi. Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival. William Bell. See festival website.
Saturday, August 8, 2015. Touch of Class Banquet Hall, 3115 E 25th St N, Wichita, Kansas. Wendell B.
Saturday, August 8, 2015. Luf-Tex Barn, 425 Ruth Lane, Lufkin, Texas. East Texas Southern Soul Showdown. T.K. Soul, Nathaniel Kimble, Pokey, Veronica Ra'elle. 713-449-2683. BYOB.
Saturday, August 8, 2015. Carter's Lounge, (Gold Rock/Rocky Mount Exit off 95), Warrenton, North Carolina. Hardway Connection.
3 pm, Saturday, August 8, 2015. Hwy. #43, Irvon Jones Road, Magee, Mississippi. Avail Hollywood, Vick Allen. Gates open at 1 pm.
Saturday, August 8, 2015. American Legion Post 11, 11108 N. 9th Ave., Laurel, Mississippi. B-Day Bash For Ginger Love. L.J. Echols. 601-434-3408.
6 pm, Saturday, August 8, 2015. Greentrack, 159 Exit 45 Union Road, Eutaw, Alabama. Southern Soul Festival. Karen Wolfe, O.B. Buchana, The Manhattans featuring Gerald Austin. Gates open at 2 pm. 205-372-9318, 205-210-1143.
Saturday, August 8, 2015. Sidney Marcus Auditorium, Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta, Georgia. Cupid.
Midnight, Saturday, August 8, 2015. F. Jones Corner, 303 North Farish Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Pat Brown & The Millenium Band.
9 pm, Sunday, August 9, 2015. Life Lounge, Montgomery, Alabama. L.J. Echols.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave., Los Angeles, California. Booker T., Wayne Shorter. 323-850-2000.
Thursday, August 13, 2015. Slippery Noodle, 372 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, Indiana. Grady Champion. 317-631-6974.
Thursday, August 13, 2015. Chicago Bar & Grill, 1960 West, Houston, Texas. Orion The Band feat. Leroy Allen. 281-895-8711.
Friday, August 14, 2015. Club Silverado, 3600 Sandy Point Road, Bryan, Texas. Ced Wade 3rd Annual Birthday Bash. Doors open at 8 pm. T.K. Soul, Pokey.
Friday, August 14, 2015. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, 3570 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada. Aretha Franklin. 866-227-5938.
Friday, August 14, 2015. Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway, Fargo, North Dakota. Booker T.
Friday, August 14 & Saturday, August 15, 2015. Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival. Bobby Rush, Vick Allen, Chaka Khan, Macy Gray, Leela James, J.J. Thames and more (Friday), Cupid, The Isley Brothers feat. Ronald Isley, Dorothy Moore, Tre' Williams, T-Baby, Eddie Cotton and more (Saturday). 601-432-4500. See full line-up at festival website.
Friday, August 14, 2015. The Whispering Pines Club, 3954 Highway #371, Ringgold, Louisiana. Dave Mack, Uncle Wayne Morris, Jeter Jones, Lady T, C-Wright. 318-894-2445.
7 pm, Saturday, August 15, 2015. The Seanger Theatre, 201 Forest St., Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Avail Hollywood, T.K. Soul, Nathaniel Kimble, Storm, Lacee, Ms. Charli. 601-402-4868. Doors open at 6 pm.
Saturday, August 15, 2015. Hall Grove Ball Park, Munford, Alabama. L.J. Echols.
Friday, August 14, 2015. The Blue Rooster, 1525 4th St, Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Sipp. 941-388-7539.
Saturday, August 15, 2015. Bradfordville Blues Club, 7152 Moses Lane, Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Sipp. 850-906-0766.
Saturday, August 15, 2015. Landers Center, 4560 Venture Drive, Southaven, Mississippi (Memphis). Memphis Tri-State Blues Festival. Sir Charles Jones, Bobby Rush, Ms. Jody, Willie Clayton, Sheba Potts-Wright, Terry Wright, J'Wonn. 662-280-9120. A Tribute to Mel Waiters.
Saturday, August 15, 2015. St. Joseph Fairgrounds, Corner of Jackson & Ironwood, South Bend, Indiana. SoulFest. O.B. Buchana, Omar Cunningham, Karen Wolfe, J.D. Davis, Ray Davis. 547-307-0868.
7 pm, Saturday, August 15, 2015. Hall Grove Ball Field, 1200 Campbell Rd., Munford, Alabama. Wilson Meadows, L.J. Echols, Will Easley, Diedra and more.
Saturday, August 15, 2015. St. Joseph Fairgrounds, 5117 Ironwood Rd, South Bend, Indiana. Soul Fest. Vick Allen. 574-291-4870.
Sunday, August 16, 2015. Capitol Oyster Bar, 617 Shady St., Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Sipp. 334-239-8958.
Sunday, August 16, 2015. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Thursday, August 20, 2015. Chicago Bar & Grill, 1960 West, Houston, Texas. Orion The Band feat. Leroy Allen. 281-895-8711.
Friday, August 21, Saturday, August 22, & Sunday, August 23, 2015. Blue Chicago, 536 N. Clark St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis.
Midnight, Friday, August 21, 2015. F. Jones Corner, 303 North Farish Street, Jackson, Mississippi. Sorrento Ussery.
Saturday, August 22, 2015. Temple Theater, 2320 8th St., Meridian, Mississippi. Calvin Richardson. 601-693-5353.
9 pm, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Club Diamondnd Avail Hollywood & others Club Diamond, 1206 Hwy. #15, Farmerville, Louisiana. Avail Hollywood & more.
8 pm, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Rd., Vienna, Virginia. The O'Jays, Gladys Knight. 703-255-1900.
8 pm, Saturday, August 22, 2015. St. Gabriel Community Center, 1400 Gordon Simon LeBlanc Drive, St. Gabriel, Louisiana. Blues On The River. Tucka, Lacee, Columbus Toy. Doors open at 7 pm.
8 pm, Saturday, August 22, 2015. Chene Park, Detroit, Michigan. Aretha Franklin.
7 pm, Sunday, August 23, 2015. Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian Street, Durham, North Carolina. The O'Jay's, Gladys Knight. 919- 680-2787.
Monday, August 24 (Nightly through) Sunday, August 30, 2015. 10329 Whyte Ave. NW, Edmonton, Canada. Grady Champion. +1 780-439-3981.
8 pm., Tuesday, August 25, 2015. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive NW, Atlanta, Georgia. Gladys Knight. 404-233-2227.
10:30 pm, Thursday, August 27, 2015. Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Illinois. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. 773-477-4646.
Friday, August 28, 2015. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 South Main Street, Akron, Ohio. Sir Charles Jones, Wendell B.
8 pm, Friday, August 28, 2015. The Atrium, Belle Casino of Baton Rouge, 103 France St., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Cupid. 225-218-0452.
Friday, August 28, 2015. Drifters Entertainment Center, 1511 North Leg Rd., North Augusta, South Carolina. S.C. Video Shoot. Mr. David. 404-781-8069.
Saturday, August 29, 2015. University of South Carolina, 471 University Pkwy, Aiken, South Carolina. Mr. David. 404-781-8069.
9:30 pm, Saturday, August 29, 2015. 905 County Road, Rayeville, Louisiana. Avail Hollywood & more.
Saturday, August 29, 2015. North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Dr., Charleston, South Carolina. Betty Wright.
Saturday, August 29, 2015. Arcadia Events Center, 630 Factory Outlet Dr., Arcadia, Louisiana.Avail Hollywood, Uncle Wayne, Summer Wolfe, Mp Soul. Host: Chris Foster. BYOB. 318-278-0749, 318-254-3220.
8 pm, Saturday, August 29, 2015. H.W. Pierce Memorial House, 400 Commerce St., Jackson, Alabama. Wilson Meadows, Bishop Bullwinkle, David J. Doors open at 6 pm. 860-960-8644.
Sunday, August 30, 2015. Freedom Hall, Kentucky State Fair & Expo Center, Louisville, Kentucky. Aretha Franklin, Boyz II Men, Kool & The Gang.
Saturday, September 5, 2015. The Foundation House, 2309 E. Prien Lake Rd., Lake Charles, Louisiana. T.K. Soul. 337-478-6253.
5 pm, Saturday, September 5, 2015. Cherry Street (Downtown), Helena, Arkansas. Sheba Potts-Wright, Carl Sims, Wilson Meadows and more. Gates open 3 pm. 870-572-9506.
Saturday, September 5, 2015. Nolan Norman Memorial Park, Wisner, Louisiana. 7th Annual Nolan Norman day Celebration (Rescheduled from July 4th's Rained-Out Show). T.K. Soul, Nathaniel Kimble, Luster Baker, Summer Wolf.
9 pm, Saturday, September 5, 2015. Prime Time Club, 229 E. 9th St., Texarkana, Texas. Avail Hollywood.
Saturday, September 5, 2015. Outside, Phillip, Mississippi. Vick Allen.
3 pm, Saturday, September 5, 2015. Robert Fowler Park, Geneva, Alabama. Labor Day Weekend Blues & Bar BQ On The River. Denise LaSalle, Bigg Robb, Calvin Richardson. Gates open at 12 Noon. 334-733-5392.
6 pm, Saturday, September 5, 2015. Puga T Ranch, 329 Ellis Lane, West Columbia, Texas. Tucka, Rue Davis, Columbus Toy. Gates open at 5 pm. 979-709-2169.
8 pm, Sunday, September 6, 2015. Washington County Convention Center, 1040 S. Raceway Rd., Greenville, Mississippi. Labor Day All White Affair. LaMorris Williams, Tucka, Chris Ivy. Doors open at 7 pm. 662-645-7045.
Sunday, September 6, 2015. Lloyd Pavillion, 2616 Gamble Rd., Lloyd, Florida. Sweet Angel, Sir Charles Jones, J'Wonn, Jeff Floyd. 850-322-6585.
8 pm, Sunday, September 6, 2015. Ruston Civic Center, 401 N. Trenton St., Ruston, Louisiana. David Brinston, Vickie Baker, Urban Mystic, MP Soul. Doors open at 7 pm.
7 pm, Thursday, September 10, 2015. Riviera Hotel & Casino, 2901 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada. Big Blues Bender. Bobby Rush, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Walter Trout, Tab Benoit, Joe Louis Walker. 702-734-5110.
Thursday September 10, 2015. Orpheum Theatre, 203 South Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee. Gladys Knight.
Friday, September 11, 2015. Bexar County Center, 1123 N Main Ave #100, San Antonio, Texas. T.K. Soul. 210-208-6800.
Friday, September 11, 2015.Rough Riders Club, 455 Oxford Rd., Mansfield, Louisiana. Jeter Jones.
Friday, September 11 (Big Band), and Saturday, September 12 (Small Band), 2015. Port Credit, Canada. Southside Shuffle Music Festival. Bobby Rush.
Friday, September 12, 2015. Bright Star Riders Field, 797 Crow St., Cotton Valley, Louisiana. Southern Soul Classic. T.K. Soul, Pokey, Veronica Ra'elle, Ms. Jody, Carl Sims.
Saturday, September 12, 2015. PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio. Janet Jackson. 513-232-6220.
9 pm, Saturday, September 12, 2015. American Legion Post 248, 5070 FM1398, 505 Belt Road, Hooks, Texas. Avail Hollywood. 903-547-7248.
Thursday, September 17, 2015. Walnut Creek Amphitheater, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. Janet Jackson. 919-831-6400.
9 pm, Friday, September 18, 2015. Clarksdale Civic Auditorium, 506 E. 2nd St, Clarksdale, Mississippi. Blue Jeans Ball. Avail Hollywood, Mr. Sam. 662-404-6381. Doors open at 8 pm.
7:30 pm, Friday, September 18, 2015. Washington County Convention Center, 1040 S. Raceway Road, Greenville, Mississippi. Masters Of Funk vs. Blues. The Bar-Kays, Jeff Floyd, Lakeside, Adrena, Nellie "Tiger" Travis, Mary Jane Girls. Doors open at 6:30 pm. BYOB. 601-208-6343.
Saturday, September 19, 2015. Washington County Convention Center, 1040 S. Raceway Rd., Greenville, Mississippi. 38th Annual Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival. Bobby Rush, Theodis Ealey, Dorothy Moore, Grady Champion, Eddie Cotton, O.B. Buchana, Lacee and more. See festival website.
Saturday, September 19, 2015. EACC Fine Arts Center, 1700 New Castle Rd., Forrest City, Arkansas. T.K. Soul. 870-633-4480.
5 pm, Saturday, September 19, 2015. Baytown Fairground, 7900 N. Main, Baytown, Texas. Southern Soul Classic. Pokey, Tucka, Chris Ivy, Veronica Ra'elle, Lil' Nate. Gates open at 3 pm. 281-905-0289.
8 pm, Friday, September 25, 2015. Halifax Community College, 100 College Drive, Weldon, North Carolina. L.J. Echols. 252-536-4221.
Saturday, September 26, 2015. The Barn, Highway #5, Gloster, Louisiana. One of a Kind Riderz, Annual Trail Ride. Jeter Jones.
Saturday, September 26, 2015. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Ave., Kansas City, Missouri. Bobby Rush (solo).
Saturday September 26, 2015. Aberdeen Park, Aberdeen, Mississippi. L.J. Echols, Chris Ivy, Crossroads Band, J. Fitz. 662-436-4447.
9 pm, Friday, October 2, 2015. Four Points by Sheraton, 8110 Aero Drive, San Diego, California. Cupid. 858-277-8888.
Friday, October 2, and Saturday, October 3, 2015. Rock 'n' Bowl, 3016 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana. Irma Thomas and more. 504-861-1700.
Saturday, October 3, 2015. Ritz Theatre, 829 N. Davis Street, Jacksonville, Florida. Booker T. Jones.
7:30 pm and 9:45 pm (2 shows), Saturday, October 3, 2015. Corner Theater, 211 E. Pleasant Run Rd., DeSoto, Texas. Eddie Cotton Jr., James Butler Revue, Scottie Too Hottie. 972-524-8900.
Saturday, October 3, 2015. Main Street, El Dorado, Arkansas. 28th Annual El Dorado Music Festival. Cupid and more.
5 pm, Sunday, October 4, 2015. Washington Festival Grounds, 143 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Washington, Louisiana. Cupid. 337-826-3627.
Thursday, October 8, 2015. Downtown, Helena, Arkansas. Zac Harmon (4 pm), Bobby Rush (8:30 pm). 2015 King Biscuit Blues Festival. See Festival Website.
7:20 pm, Friday, October 9, 2015. Downtown, Helena, Arkansas. Sweet Angel. 2015 King Biscuit Blues Festival. See Festival Website.
Saturday, October 17, 2015. Alabama Theatre, 4750 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Drifters feat. Clyde McPhatter, The Coasters, The Platters.
Saturday, October 24, 2015. U.N.O. Lakefront Arena, 6801 Franklin Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana. R. Kelly.
Sunday, October 25, 2015. Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle, Denver, Colorado. Janet Jackson. 303-405-1100.
8 pm, Friday, October 30, 2015. Vicksburg Auditorium, 901 Monroe St., Vicksburg, Mississippi. Boys' Night Out. Pokey, T.K. Soul, Jeff Floyd. 601-634-4511.
8 pm, Saturday, October 31, 2015. Evangeline Downs Event Center, 2235 Creswell Lane Extension, Opelousas, Louisiana. Cupid. 866-472-2466.
Saturday, October 31, 2015. Washington County Convention Center, 1040 S. Raceway Road, Greenville, Mississippi. T.K. Soul, JR Blu, Anthony Hamilton, Adrena. 601-218-6343.
Saturday, November 14, 2015.Travis County Exposition Center, 7311 Decker Lane, Austin, Texas. Clarence Carter, Cupid, Millie Jackson. 512-854-4900.
Saturday, November 21, 2015. Ballroom, Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., Fort Worth, Texas. Lenny Williams, Cupid, Millie Jackson. 817-392-6338.
8:45 pm, Friday, November 27, 2015. Lewis Johnson Complex, 299 MLK Blvd., Grenada, Mississippi. J'Wonn. Doors open at 7 pm. 662-417-8778.
E-mail concert listings and corrections to:
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To be published at the top and bottom of any reproduction of Daddy B. Nice’s Concert Calendar:
From Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2014
January 2, 2015: DADDY B. NICE'S...
2014: THE YEAR IN SOUTHERN SOUL
The year did not begin auspiciously. Floyd Taylor, son of the late great Johnnie Taylor and a contemporary southern soul headliner in his own right, passed away on February 21st, causing his stepbrother TJ to remark, "He died pretty much the way my dad died: a heart attack (at too young an age)." A masterful and discerning vocal interpreter, Taylor's career was notable for spanning southern soul's two generations of songwriters, from the best of Charles Richard Cason and Lawrence Harper (of his father's generation) to Simeo Overall of the new.
A few days later Eddie Holloway, a lesser-known but seminal figure renowned for contemporary southern soul classics like "I Had A Good Time," "Poor Boy" and "My Mind's Too Strong," passed away in obscurity, without fanfare.
A young recording artist (Jeter Jones) trying to break into the southern soul market released an album whose instrumental tracks Daddy B. Nice--in a CD review--recognized as identical to certain Bobby Jones and Chuck Roberson songs of the recent past, setting off a firestorm of litigation between Desert Sounds CEO Charles Peterson and his former producer, Eric "Smidi" Smith.
Daddy B. Nice himself underwent a lung cancer scare and finally had surgery in May, returning successfully after two bouts in the hospital to discover that "Funky" Larry Jones, owner of the Soul & Blues Report, a monthly compendium and summary of southern soul deejay playlists and a vital niche in the southern soul internet community, had died. Other websites (Boogie, Blues Critic) made attempts to provide the same function, but at year's end the loss was still felt and seemed irrevocable.
That, along with the June death of Don Davis (the producing genius behind Johnnie Taylor) and the early-September passing of Joe Poonanny, the Weird Al Yankovich of the chitlin' circuit and the last of a dying breed of blues parodists, was the bad news.
The good news was that, stimulated by an invitation to Kim Cole's Celebrity Birthday Bash in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in July, your Daddy B. Nice rebounded to attend (and chronicle) three multi-act southern soul concerts in thirty hours, including getting out on the dance floor.
There was cause. Southern Soul stars were appearing everywhere across the Deep South, from Texas to the Carolinas. A month later, Southern Soul Labor Day concerts and associated sales would surpass a million, and the concerts continued to proliferate, populating weekends throughout the calendar that would have been few and far between ten years ago.
But what really uncorked the euphoria in 2014 was the return to recording of southern soul's younger-generation leading lights, Sir Charles Jones and T.K. Soul. After long absences (especially in Sir Charles' case), both performers produced sets of significant material with fresh yet authentic sounds, in T.K.'s case stripped-down, acoustic-dominated arrangements.
The two CD's, combined with the much-anticipated debut by J'Wonn (I GOT THIS RECORD) and the latest drop from O.B. Buchana, made it a banner year for male vocalists.
Women, not so much. For the second year in a row Denise LaSalle and Shirley Brown were sorely missed. Both appeared only rarely, and neither released new product. Ms. Jody and Nellie "Tiger" Travis were relatively quiet after big years in 2013. Sweet Angel reposed and, as expected, Peggy Scott-Adams (whose early partner, JoJo Benson, died just before Christmas) failed to follow up on her 2012 return to southern soul. Candi Staton and Uvee Hayes returned with new CD's, however.
Some of the major male stars--known for productivity--were also MIA in 2014. Mel Waiters, Theodis Ealey, Latimore and Bobby Rush produced little new studio work, and in pursuit of an elusive Grammy that even the late Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis never won, Willie Clayton's new album disconcerted some longtime fans with its slide into atmospheric, Isley-style soul.
Young Grady Champion was the year's sensation (following fellow Jacksonian J'Wonn in 2013). Champion drew a cover story in "Living Blues" magazine after signing with Malaco Records for his new album BOOTLEG WHISKEY. Rare for a Delta artist, Champion drew national interest and crossover appeal.
Waiting in the wings, and getting no respect, was Chicago phenomenon Theo Huff, whose "It's A Good Thing I Met You" drew high praise (#5 for the year) from Daddy B. Nice for its approximation of--you guessed it--vintage Willie Clayton.
Lil' Jimmie's dance jam "She Was Twerkin'" was the underground sensation of the year, the subject of constant fan queries on where to buy--the answer was always, "Nowhere." Which reminded your Daddy B. Nice of an old Lil' Jimmie song called "I'm Not Going Nowhere," a song so full of double-negatives you're not sure what he means.
A young artist named Wood redid Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "Mr. Sexy Man" with a lounge-band sound ("Foxy Lady"), drawing copyright ire.
Tyree Neal, Pokey and Adrian Bagher formed a group called The Louisiana Blues Brothers.
Memphis-based Anita Love (Humphrey), former back-up singer for Sweet Angel, had an out-of-left-field smash with "Keep Knockin'", while Memphis-based songwriter John Cummings continued his transformation into a first-rate recording artist.
Vick Allen was in a stage play in Jackson, Mississippi, while singles ("Crazy Over You," "True To Me") continued to spit out of his going-on-three-year-old SOUL MUSIC album like candy from a child's Christmas wind-up toy.
Steve Perry of "Booty Roll" fame thought better of his name change to Prince Mekl and became good old Steve Perry again.
WAGR in Lexington, Mississippi and its colorful deejay, Big Money, became the exciting new southern soul station to stream on the Internet.
And last but not least, storied DJ Ragman returned in December to WMPR in Jackson, Mississippi--also on the Web--doling out southern soul music in the afternoons with his trademark, champagne-fizz optimism.
By the end of the year, life in Southern Soul was good.
--Daddy B. Nice
From Daddy B. Nice's BEST OF 2013 :
SOUTHERN SOUL MUSIC: THE YEAR IN REVIEW Despite the usual attrition 2013 was a fantastic year for the last "segregated music" in America (as singer/songwriter Luther Lackey called Southern Soul music in an insightful "farewell" interview with Daddy B. Nice in January), with steady output from veterans and buzz-filled epiphanies seemingly on a monthly basis by a parade of bright new and/or little-known performers.
Not to be mistaken for your mama's southern soul, 2013 was the year of Nellie "Tiger" Travis's "Mr. Sexy Man," called in many quarters the "number-one song" in America. Even Medea (aka comedian Tyler Perry), boasted that the song--the result of Travis' reunion with writer/producer Floyd Hamberlin--was her favorite during a guest stint on The Steve Harvey show.
One of the keys to the song's popularity was the line in the chorus, "what-yo-name-is?" (which Medea mimicked perfectly), proving once again that good English grammar ("What is your name?") just doesn't (don't?) make sense in the world of blues.
Like a 100-year flood, "Mr. Sexy Man" crept into media outlets long known for eschewing southern soul music, but close in its wake, especially throughout the established chitlin' circuit, was Ms. Jody's "Just Let Me Ride," in which the fiercely competitive diva "saved the horse and rode the cowboy," in the process notching her finest club song to date.
And Ms. Jody also took the music beyond its roots, winning (and triumphantly performing) at the Carolina Beach Music Awards for her single "Still Strokin'," the title tune from the same CD featuring "Just Let Me Ride."
The successes of Nellie "Tiger" Travis and Ms. Jody marked the ascension of a new generation of divas: both had started out as the best of a class of newcomers around 2005.
But the ultimate southern soul high of the year, at least for the insiders fortunate enough to hear his debut in the Delta (Jackson, Mississippi, the heart of the music), was the Big Yayo-tutored singer J-Wonn's "I Got This Record."
With only word-of-mouth, local air-play and one meagerly-recorded live-with-boombox YouTube video on the sidewalk of Farish Street (remember the Rue Davis song?), J-Wonn became an overnight sensation, the charisma and sensitivity of his vocal compelling your Daddy B. Nice to call his coming-out party "dramatic enough to recall Sir Charles Jones' 'Friday' or LaMorris Williams' 'We Can Do It (Impala)'."
Deejays called this song "the #1 song in the WORLD," (How's that, Nellie Travis?), but it was really the #1 Song in the Delta, where its popularity thrust J-Wonn on stage with Willie Clayton and subsequently led to headlining gigs with the likes of respected Southern Soul veterans Wilson Meadows and Dave Mack.
J-Wonn's lightning-speed acceptance--without a published CD--wasn't unique. Only a few months earlier, during the heat of the summer, a young performer whose only claim to fame was being the little sister of singer/songwriter L. J. Echols, put out a single called "Mad Dog 20-20."
An anthem to low-budget, country-style inebriation, with brother L.J.'s admirably rustic guitar picking for background, Krishaunda Echols' "Mad Dog" (which your Daddy B. Nice called "the best thing since the late Jackie Neal") broke with only a YouTube video, without the benefit of distributed single or CD.
In the span of two months, Ms. Echols became a feted headliner at Mississippi southern soul concerts, most exceptionally headlining a show at the Laurel, Mississippi fairgrounds with the greatest divas in Southern Soul (Peggy Scott-Adams, Denise LaSalle and Shirley Brown), with the radio spot featuring Krishunda's "Mad Dog 20-20" exclusively in the commercial.
So fast did events unfold, there was often a disconnect between the day-to-day Southern Soul media, which catered to and supported the small but vital network of established Southern Soul artists, and the emerging younger generation of new acts, largely introduced by Daddy B. Nice, often with little distributed product--J-Wonn, Krishunda Echols, T-Baby, Fredrick (King Fred) Hicks, Adrian Bagher among them--who more often than not had little access to the chitlin' circuit network of the older generation.
Unheralded, young, Delta-based producer Big Yayo (Stevie J's "Because Of Me," LaMorris Williams' "Impala"), was again at the heart of the action, producing not only T-Baby's "The Swag" but J-Wonn's resplendently-arranged ballad, "I Got This Record." And Big Yayo's 2012 success with the disco-edged, Dave Mack-sung, club anthem "Booty Talking" presaged the success of Nellie Travis' similarly-driven "Mr. Sexy Man" in 2013.
Another vital stream of new southern soul music came from a traditional bastion of the genre, southern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, where--with the demise of the once-invaluable Chico's Radio--WDLT Mobile's deejay Nikki DeMarks fought the good fight, championing artists like Stephanie McDee, Cupid and Tucka, whose "Sweet Shop" seduced listeners.
"Twerking" finally hit the mainstream. Hey, America: Louisiana's Jackie Neal was doing it and singing about it a dozen years ago.
And Jackie Neal's little brother Tyree finally moved out of her shadow, producing Big Cynthia's best work in years, not to mention producing fellow Louisianan Pokey and providing the irrepressible guitar lick in the Louisiana-based, "return-of-the-southern-soul-queen" Stephanie McDee's instant classic, "When I Step In The Club."
2013 was noteworthy for the publication of David Whiteis's monumental primer to contemporary Southern Soul: Southern Soul Blues (University of Illinois Press).
The overwhelmingly-accurate, exhaustively-researched tome was the first up-to-date analysis of contemporary Southern Soul in cloth and paper, lending further credence (in the mainstream) to the genre's still obscure existence.
Whiteis wrote (and confirmed with your Daddy B. Nice) that the term "southern soul blues" was a compromise--that the phrases "southern soul," "soul-blues" and "southern soul blues" were all used interchangeably in the book. Yet, such was the heft of the book's influence that respected European online critic Heikki Suosalo wrote that:
“Soul-Blues” is now in the U.S.A. the common term for the music we used to call and still call in Europe “southern soul.” Even though some artists like Willie Clayton don’t like the phrase “southern soul” in terms of describing his music – and Chicago isn’t very south, I agree – I’ll still use it anyhow, because it’s an established, respectable term, going all the way to the 60s. Among European soul music lovers, it’s a positive term and it conjures up an image of certain kind of music, highly emotional and powerful. It’s not necessarily tied up with geography, but purely sound. We also have “northern soul”, and every black music fan and club-goer in Europe understands what we’re talking about."
In the critical sphere, 2013 was also the year Daddy B. Nice completed his Top 100 21st Century Countdown, two and a half years in the making, and the first ranking of southern soul artists since his Top 100 Southern Soul Artists a decade earlier, with Sir Charles Jones replacing the late Johnnie Taylor as the #1 Southern Soul Artist. Mel Waiters, Willie Clayton, T.K. Soul, Bobby Rush, Ms. Jody, Shirley Brown, Theodis Ealey, O.B. Buchana and Bigg Robb rounded out the top ten.
A vocalist some industry people doubted existed emerged from anonymity in an interview with Daddy B. Nice: Will T., the mysterious singer of the original "Mississippi Boy," (often attributed to Charles Wilson), one of the most iconic and oft-covered songs in contemporary Southern Soul. It was written by the same Floyd Hamberlin of this year's "Mr. Sexy Man" fame and most recently covered by Sir Charles Jones under the title "Country Boy."
2013 posted outstanding CD's by some of Southern Soul's banner artists: Theodis Ealey, Vick Allen, Mel Waiters, Ms. Jody, O.B. Buchana, Klass Band Brotherhood and Donnie Ray, to cite only a few.
2013 witnessed the passing of some of the music's most beloved practitioners: Artie "Blues Boy" White, Gus Geeter (of Alabama's King Tutt Band) and Tina Diamond. And in December, to the consternation of the blues community, Robert "Chick" Willis--in his heyday one of the most risque of performers--passed on to Soul Heaven.
Onetime enfants terribles Bobby Rush and Willie Clayton found themselves the elder statesmen of traditional rhythm and blues, with old classics like Rush's "Hard Feelin' With Me" (from Blind Snake)...
For different folks.
Special kind of stroke
For the soulful folks."
...and Clayton's "Can We Talk" (from Full Circle), dressed up with reggae dancehall trimmings, rematerializing in current air play and wowing a new generation.
Lyrical highlights that made 2013 a little more distinctive:
"Hey mista sexy man,
What yo name is?"
Nellie "Tiger" Travis, "Mr. Sexy Man"
"Everyone's watching you throughout this room,
Women watching men watching you.
Jealousy is kicking in."
Mel Waiters, "Hottest Thing"
"Tonight we're eating perch with tartar sauce."
Big "Ro" Williams, "Good Love Muscle"
"They conversated (sic) for awhile."
Vick Allen, "My Baby's Phone"
"Just like Al Green said,
'I'm tired of being alone,'
Thank God for the men
That made these smart phones."
Billy "Soul" Bonds, "Get Her With My Twitter"
"They call me Pokey,
Big pokey bear,
Anytime you need me, baby,
I'll be there."
Pokey, "They Call Me Pokey"
(from an album entitled JOSEPHINE SON POKEY)
"We didn't know a damn thing about bills.
Thought we were living it up like in Beverly Hills.
Plenty of Kool-Aid and government cheese,
Collard greens and black-eyed peas.
Man, those were the good old days."
Vick Allen, "I'm Tired Of Being Grown"
"I'll tell you what.
Stop giving up the cookie
And see how long he stays around."
Nellie "Tiger" Travis to Adrena in "Another Woman's Man"
And, from the debut of the year...
"I caught 'em at the grocery store.
I caught 'em in the Mall.
Saw 'em at the casino,
But my grandma even caught 'em at bingo."
J-Wonn, "I Got This Record"
--Daddy B. Nice
Daddy B. Nice
P.O. Box 19574
Boulder, Colorado 80308