7 pm, Wednesday, October 29, 2014. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 9300 U.S. Highway 98 W, Destin, Florida. Grady Champion. 800-622-1038.
Just Added! Thursday, October 30, 2014. Paradise Bar & Grill, 21 Via De Luna Drive, Pensacola Beach, Pensacola, Florida. Grady Champion. 850-916-5087.
Friday, October 31, 2014. Couples Entertainment Center, 4511 Byrd Drive, Jackson, Mississippi. Ms. Hollywood's Halloween Extravaganza Birthday Bash. Vick Allen, Bigg Robb, J-Wonn, Nellie "Tiger" Travis. Hosted by DJ Outlaw and Big Yayo. 601-500-0667.
8:30 pm, Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014. Almanette Guest House, 1514 18th Ave, Gulfport, Mississippi.Grady Champion. 228-865-9901.
Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1, 2014. The Planetarium, 201 East Pascagoula, Jackson, Mississippi. 9th Annual Tommy Johnson Blues Festival. Sweet Angel, Jureesa "The Duchess" McBride, Larry Milton, Andre' Lee and more. See festival website.
Saturday, November 1, 2014. Tha Cattle Gap, 602 Jackson Road, Pachuta, Mississippi. Avail Hollywood.
8 pm, Saturday, November 1, 2014. Ft. Worth Convention Center Ballroom, 1300 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, Texas. T.K. Soul, Sir Charles Jones, T.J. Hooker Taylor. 214-732-1066.
Saturday, November 1, 2014. Washington County Convention Center, 1040 S. Raceway Rd., Greenville, Mississippi. Willie Clayton.
Saturday, November 1, 2014. American Legion Post #197, 2179 Benedict Road, Jacksonville, Florida. Jeff Floyd. 904-768-1206. Doors open at 8 pm.
Saturday, November 1, 2014. Evangeline Downs Convention Center, I Miss USL 6, Opelousas, Louisiana. Cupid.
Saturday, November 1, 2014. The Village Club, 1120 Village Road, Highway 17 North, Lexington, Mississippi. Terry Wright, Charles Wilson. 901-949-3000.
Sunday, November 2, 2014. The State Fair, 3701 Hudson Ave., Shreveport, Louisiana. T.K. Soul & Band. 318-635-1361.
3 pm, Sunday, November 2, 2014. Wilson's Lounge (Outside), Hwy #27, Utica/Crystal Springs, Mississippi. Vick Allen, J-Wonn, Fredrick Brinson. Gates open at 12 Noon. Tents, coolers, grills and lawn chairs welcome. 601-613-3016.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014. Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW, Washington, DC. Syleena Johnson. 202-803-2899.
8 pm, Friday, November 7, 2014. Vicksburg City Auditorium, Vicksburg, Mississippi. 9th Annual Soul Blues Friday. Cupid & Band, Kenne' Wayne, O.B. Buchana, Karen Wolfe, Chuck Strong. BYOB. Doors open at 7 pm. 601-755-4894.
Friday, November 7, 2014. Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main St, Memphis, Tennessee. Jerry Lee Lewis. 901-576-1200.
Friday, November 7, 2014. FeFe's Lounge, 124 Main St., Easton, Texas. T.K. Soul. 903-231-3747. Doors open at 8 pm.
9 pm, Friday, November 7, 2014. Club Hole In The Wall, 10126 Jensen Drive, Houston, Texas. Avail Hollywood, Raine.
Saturday, November 8, 2014. Elks Lodge, 1010 Sgt. John Pittman Drive, Greenwood, Mississippi. L.J. Echols. 662-453-3626.
Saturday, November 8, 2014. Heymann Performing Arts Center, 1373 S. College Rd., Lafayette, Louisiana. Cupid, Jagged Edge, SWV. 337-291-5540.
6 pm, Saturday, November 8, 2014. 1028 Pecan Park Circle (next to WMPR Radio), Jackson, Mississippi. Val McKnight, Doctor Dee, Randy "Wildman" Brown. BYOB. Hosted by DJ Handyman. 601-665-8395.
Saturday, November 8, 2014. Travis County Exposition Center, 7311 Decker Lane, Austin, Texas. Capital City Music Festival. Sir Charles Jones, T.K. Soul, Lenny Williams, Willie Clayton, Step Redeau & Zydeco Outlaws, T. J. Taylor and more. 512-854-4900.
8 pm, Saturday, November 8, 2014. IP Casino Resort & Spa, 850 Bayview Ave., Biloxi, Mississippi. 228-436-3000. The O'Jays.
8 pm, Saturday, November 8, 2014. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree S., Atlanta, Georgia. Aretha Franklin. 404-881-2100.
2 pm, Saturday, November 8, 2014. Johnny Baldwin Race Track, 820 Sulphur Spring Road, Canton, Mississippi. Rocking & Racking Horse Show. Kenne' Wayne. Gates open at 12 Noon.
Saturday, November 8, 2014. Frank Cochran Center, 1725 Carousel Drive, Meridian, Mississippi. Kenne' Wayne. Doors open at 7 pm. 850-549-3513.
9 pm, Saturday, November 9, 2014. The House Of Blues, 501 S. Hwy #59, Houston, Texas. Avail Hollywood.
Friday, November 14, 2014. Ritz Theatre, 829 North Davis Street, Jacksonville, Florida. Clarence Carter.
Friday, November 14, 2014. The Ambassador, 9800 Halls Ferry Road North, St. Louis, Missouri. Willie Clayton.
Friday, November 14, 2014. Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Dr., Montgomery, Alabama. The Delfonics, The Temptations, The Manhattans and more. 334-356-6866.
Friday, November 14, 2014. Grown & Sexy Sports Bar, 15394 Highway #49, Belzoni, Mississippi. Avail Hollywood, Adrena. 662-719-9009. Hosted by WAGR DJ Big Money.
Saturday, November 15, 2014. Cowboy Lounge, 3016 Colonial Ave., Dallas, Texas. L.J. Echols. 214-426-6655.
Saturday, November 15, 2014. Club Elevations, 7200 Colonel Glenn Rd., Little Rock, Arkansas. Willie Clayton.
Saturday, November 15, 2014. The Junction, 8949 Texas 6, Navasota, Texas. Omar Cunningham. 936-870-3160.
Saturday, November 15, 2014. Tri-District Boys' Club, 2920 Louberta St., Monroe, Louisiana. Sweet November Birthday Bash. Nellie "Tiger" Travis. Doors open at 7 pm. BYOB. 318-547-0853.
Friday, November 21, 2014. Baton Rouge River Center Arena, 275 S. River Rd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Tucka. 225-389-3030.
Saturday, November 22, 2014. Ritz Theatre, 829 N. Davis Street, Jacksonville, Florida. Otis Clay.
7 pm, Saturday, November 22, 2014. Leflore County Civic Center, 200 Mississippi #7, Greenwood, Mississippi. Comedy & Blues Show. Sir Charles Jones. 662-704-0370, 662-453-4065.
Friday, November 28, 2014. Restaurant Tyler, Downtown, Starkville, Mississippi. Black Friday. L.J. Echols.
8 pm, Friday, November 28, 2014. Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, 103 France St., Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mel Waiters.
8 pm, Saturday, November 29, 2014. Triple K Ranch, 505 Big Branch Road, Delco, North Carolina. After Thanksgiving Dance. Roy C. Doors open at 6 pm.
Friday, December 5, 2014. The Shrine, 112 E. 18th St., Tulsa, Oklahoma. Southern Soul Sagittarius Jam. L.J. Echols & Neckbone Band.
Saturday, December 6, 2014. Gulf City Lodge, 601 State St., Mobile, Alabama. Lil' Jimmie, Adrena, Miss Lady Blues, David J., Mister Zay. 251-554-9861.
Sunday, December 13, 2014. Coahoma County Expo Center, 1150 Wildcat Drive, Clarksdale, Mississippi. L.J. Echols, Equanya, Sweet Angel.
Saturday, December 20, 2014. Minglewood Hall, 1555 Madison Ave., Memphis, Tennessee. Bobby Rush. 901-312-6058.
9 pm, Friday, December 26, and Saturday, December 27, 2014. Bottleneck Blues Bar, Ameristar Casino Hotel, Vickburg, Mississippi. Grady Champion.
Sunday, December 28, 2014. Cypress Bayou Casino, 832 Martin Luther King Rd., Charenton, Louisiana. Mel Waiters. 337-923-7284.
6 pm, January 10, 2015. Trotter Convention Center, 402 2nd Avenue North, Columbus, Mississippi. Vick Allen. 662-769-6712.
Saturday, January 17, 2015. L.T. Miller Community Center, 900 Lamar Avenue, Yazoo City, Mississippi. Purple & Black Celebrity Blues Birthday Party. L.J. Echols, Omar Cunningham, Dr. Dee. Hosted by WAGR DJ Big Money. 601-573-0821.
E-mail concert listings and corrections to:
FROM THE ARCHIVES: January 1, 2014:
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