Friday, January 30 & Saturday, January 31, 2015. Bottleneck Blues Bar, 4146 Washington Street, Ameristar Casino Hotel, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grady Champion.
9 pm, Saturday, January 31, 2015. Club Oasis, 4365 Highway 45 Alt N, West Point, Mississippi. L.J. Echols.
8:30 pm, Saturday, January 31, 2015. Vernon's Place, 2224 Faulkner Lane, Waco, Texas. Avail Hollywood, Adrena. BYOB. 512-589-5973. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
Thursday & Friday, February 5 & 6, 2015. The Addition, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco, California. Irma Thomas, Lee Fields and more.
Friday, February 6, 2015. Da' House Of Khafre, 300 Main St., Indianola, Mississippi. Columbus Toy.
Saturday, February 7, 2015. Ritz Theatre, 829 N. Davis Street, Jacksonville, Florida. Syl Johnson.
8 pm, Saturday, February 7, 2015. 151 Stella Drive, Eldorado, Arkansas. Avail Hollywood.
Saturday, February 7, 2015. Ramada Inn Hotel & Convention Center, 1105 Sawmill Rd., Laurel, Mississippi. Bobby Rush.
Saturday, February 7, 2015. National Guard Armory, 515 Green St., Greensboro, Alabama. Lil' Jimmie, Chris Ivy. Doors open at 8 pm. 214-790-4477.
9 pm, Saturday, February 7, 2015. Greater Gulf States Fairground, 1035 Cody Road North, Mobile, Alabama. Lacee. 251-382-8214.
9 pm, Friday, February 13, 2015. 31 West MLK Jr. Drive, McKae-Helena, Georgia. Lomax. Doors open at 8 pm.
Friday, February 13, 2015. American Legion Post #248, 3654 Hwy. 1398, Hooks, Texas. Pre-Valentine's Blues Show. Avail Hollywood. 903-908-0266.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Next Level Party Room, 5070 Raleigh LaGrange, Memphis, Tennessee. Bertha Payne Birthday Party. Bertha Payne.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, California. Barbara Lewis, Billy Paul, Deniece Williams, Eddie Holman, The Intruders and more.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Hollywood Palace Bingo Hall, 1721 Smith St., Greenville, Mississippi. J-Wonn & Band, Wilbert Robinson & Party Hard Band, Wood & Band.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Canton Multipurpose Complex, 501 Soldier Colony Road, Canton, Mississippi. L.J. Echols, Terry Wright, J-Wonn, Krishunda Echols, Bigg Robb, Napoleon. 662-739-3803.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Vicksburg City Auditorium, 1600 Mulberry Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Shirley Brown, Carl Sims, Jaye Hammer, Wilson Meadows, Pat Brown, Adrena.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Gulf Coast Racetrack, 5302 Leopard St., Corpus Christi, Texas. Mel Waiters. 361-289-9333.
8 pm, Friday, February 13, 2015. Footprints, 4185 Snapfinger Woods Drive, Decatur, Georgia. The Like Father Like Son Legacy Tour. T.J. Taylor.
10:30 pm, Friday, February 13, 2015. (Later the same night...Venue un-announced) Talladega, Alabama. The Like Father Like Son Legacy Tour. T.J. Taylor.
Friday, February 13, 2015. 5600 McFarland Blvd., East Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Valentine's Bash. Tre' Williams, Jeff Floyd.
Friday, February 13, 2015. Club Dejavu, 441 Grace Ave., Panama City, Florida. Ms. Jody.
Saturday, February 14, Garrett Coliseum, 1555 Federal Drive, Montgomery, Alabama. Killer Diller's 27th Annual Valentine's Day Blues Show. Bigg Robb, O.B. Buchana, Tucka, Lebrado, Lomax, Toia Jones.
Saturday, February 14, 2015. Lederwite Center, Sanderville, Georgia. Ms. Jody.
9 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2015. Willie Davis Recreation Center, 110 Coxferry Road, Farmerville, Louisiana. Avail Hollywood. Dress to Impress.
9 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2015. The Elks Lodge, 2671 Dauphin Island Parkway, Mobile, Alabama. Southern Soul Party Valentine's Day Cabaret. L.J. Echols, Andre' Lee, James Payne, Geno Wesley. Host: Beverly McDowell. BYOB. 251-591-1989.
7 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2015. Verizon Theater, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, Texas. Blues Is Alright Tour. 11th Annual Dallas Blues Festival. T.K. Soul, Theodis Ealey, Mel Waiters, Clarence Carter, Latimore, Millie Jackson. Doors open at 6 pm. 972-854-5050.
7:30 pm, February 14, 2015. Orleans Arena, 4500 West Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada. Love Affair Concert. The Manhattans, Peaches & Herb, Rose Royce, Blue Magic, Deniece Williams, Ready for the World, Eddie Holman, The Persuaders, Billy Paul. 702-284-7777, 888-234-2334.
Saturday, February 14, 2015. Queen Mary Grand Salon, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, California. Valentine's Day Oldies Love Jam. Barbara Mason, Brenton Wood, Little Willy G. and more.
8:15 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2015. Club This Is It, 346 Brewery St., Shiner, Texas. Rue Davis & Band. Doors open at 7 pm. 361-208-5318.
8 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2015. Northridge Country Club, 120 Bill Rogers Drive, Texarkana, Texas. Valentines Ball. Omar Cunningham, Wendell B. 430-200-9400, 903-794-6196.
Saturday, February 14, 2015. St. Benedict Moor Bldg., 403 Church St., Indianola, Mississippi. Chris Ivy, Rodney Gant feat. Oflava Psi, w/ special guest Lil' Jimmie. 662-374-9787.
Sunday, February 15, 2015. Thalia Hall, 1225 West 18th St. Chicago, Illinois. Lee Fields, Irma Thomas.
Friday, February 20, 2015. Don Haskins Center, Corner Of Baltimore & Mesa, El Paso, Texas. Dorothy Moore, Barbara Lynn, Gene Chandler, The Chi-Lites, The Manhattans, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Deniece Williams and more.
Friday, February 20, 2015. Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Drive, Hammond, Indiana. Blues Is Alright Tour. Millie Jackson, Willie Clayton, Sir Charles Jones, Latimore. 219-473-7000.
Saturday, February 21, 2015. Illusions Theater At The Alamodome, 100 Montana Street, San Antonio, Texas. Dorothy Moore, The Manhattans, The Chi-lites, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Deniece Williams, Eddie Holman, Gene Chandler, Barbara Lynn.
8 pm, Tuesday, February 24, 2015. City Winery, 609 Lafayette Street, Nashville, Tennessee. Booker T. 615-324-1010.
8 pm, February 25, 2015. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd Street, New York, New York. Blues At the Crossroads. Irma Thomas, Lee Fields and more. 212-997-4144.
Friday, February 27 & Saturday, February 28, 2015. Bottleneck Blues Bar, 4146 Washington Street, Ameristar Casino Hotel, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grady Champion.
8 pm, Friday, February 27, 2015. UNO Arena, 6801 Franklin Ave., New Orleans, Louisiana. Blues Is Alright Tour. Sir Charles Jones, Mel Waiters, Lenny Williams, Clarence Carter, Tucka.
Friday, February 27, 2015. Club 25, 210 Lee St., Midland, Texas. Chris Ivy, Lil' Jimmie, Rodney Gant ft. Oflava Psi. 214-552-1728, 251-554-9861. Doors open at 8 pm.
1 pm, Saturday February 28, 2015. Hope Memorial Perpetual Care Cemetery, 1730 Yale Rd. (Highway 3), Barnwell, South Carolina. Memorial Ceremony, Dedication and Unveiling of the "Beloved Marvin Sease" Grave Marker.
Saturday, February 28, 2015. The CenturyTel Center, 2000 Century Link Center Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana (Shreveport). 9th Annual Shreveport Blues Festival. Blues Is Alright Tour. T.K. Soul, Ms. Jody, Mel Waiters, Pokey, Bigg Robb, Terry Wright. 318-747-2501.
Friday, March 6, 2014. Chaifetz Arena, 1 South Compton Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. Blues Is Alright Tour. T.K. Soul, Mel Waiters, Sir Charles Jones, Lenny Williams, Bobby Rush, Shirley Brown, Theodis Ealey.
Saturday, March 7, 2015. Leflore Civic Center, 200 Mississippi 7, Greenwood, Mississippi. Mississippi Blues Fest. Ms. Jody, Bobby Rush, Vick Allen, Donnie Ray, O.B. Buchana, Lamont Hadley.
Saturday, March 7, 2015. Murat Theater, 502 North New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. Blues Is Alright Tour. Mel Waiters & more. 317-218-9455.
8 pm, Saturday, March 7, 2015. BJCC Concert Hall, Birmingham, 2100 Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard North,Birmingham, Alabama. Gladys Knight. 205-458-8400.
Friday, March 13, 2015. Masonic Temple, 500 Temple Ave., Detroit, Michigan. Blues Is Alright Tour. Theodis Ealey, Mel Waiters, Bobby Rush, Shirley Brown, Lenny Williams, Sir Charles Jones, Clarence Carter.
Saturday, March 14, 2015. Star Plaza Theater, 8001 Delaware Place, Merrillville, Indiana (Chicago). Blues Is Alright Tour. Theodis Ealey, Mel Waiters and more.
7 pm, Saturday, March 14, 2015. Canton Multi-Purpose Complex, 501 Soldier Colony Road, Canton, Mississippi. 2nd Annual Birthday Bash for Ricky White. Ricky White, Vick Allen, Calvin Richardson, Adrena, Omar Cunningham. 601-624-7396. Doors open at 6 pm. BYOB.
8 pm, Saturday, March 14, 2015. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey. Aretha Franklin. 973-642-8989.
Friday, March 20, 2015. PNC Arena, 1400 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. Blues Is Alright Tour. Mel Waiters and more. 919-861-2300.
8 pm, Friday, March 20, 2015. Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Aretha Franklin. 203-345-2300.
Saturday, March 21, 2015. North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, South Carolina. Blues Is Alright Tour. Mel Waiters and more. 843-529-5000.
8 pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015. L'Auberge Du Lac Casino and Resort, 777 Ave Lauberge, Lake Charles, Louisiana. Gladys Knight. 337-395-7777.
Friday, March 27, 2014. Fox Theater, 660 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia. Blues Is Alright Tour. Mel Waiters and more. 404- 881-2100.
Friday, April 3, 2015. Reliant Arena, Reliant Parkway, Houston, Texas. Blues Is Alright Tour. T.K. Soul, Mel Waiters and more. 832-667-1400.
April 4, 2015. Mobile Fairgrounds, 1035 Cody Road North, Mobile, Alabama. Blues Is Alright Tour. Ms. Jody, Mel Waiters and more. 251-344-4573.
Saturday, April 4, 2015. Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 1621 Virginia Street, Mobile, Alabama. Original Spring Fling 2015. Lacee, Tucka, Sir Charles Jones, Jeff Floyd, Lebrado, Columbus Toy, L.J. Echols. 251- 208-2500. Hosted by Nikki DeMarks and Beverley McDowell.
8 pm, Friday, April 10, 2015. Riverdome At Horseshoe Casino, 711 Horseshoe Boulevard, Bossier City, Louisiana. Smokey Robinson. 318-742-0711.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Sarasota Fairgrounds, Sarasota, Florida. Suncoast Blues Festival 2015.
Bobby Rush, Eden Brent, Zac Harmon and more.
Friday, April 17, 2015. The Barn, Camden, Alabama. Ms. Jody.
Saturday, April 18, 2015. Hauppauge Auditorium, 500 Lincoln Blvd. Hauppauge, New York. Barbara Lewis, Chuck Jackson and many more.
Saturday, May 9, 2015. Civic Center Arena, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe, Louisiana. Blues Is Alright Tour. T.K. Soul, Mel Waiters and more. 318-329-2225.
Sunday, May 10, 2015. The Fairgrounds, 1457 Ellisville Boulevard, Laurel, Mississippi. T.K. Soul & Band. 601-649-9010.
Sunday, May 10, 2015. Municipal Auditorium, 417 Fourth Ave., Nashville, Tennessee. Blues Is Alright Tour. Mel Waiters and more.
Saturday, May 16, 2015. Downtown, Dermott, Arkansas. The Crawfish Festival. T.K. Soul & Band.
Saturday, May 24, 2015. Fair Park Arena, 2231 Bessemer Road, Birmingham, Alabama. Mel Waiters.
Saturday, July 4, 2015. Nolan Norman Memorial Park, Wisner, Louisiana. 7th Annual Nolan Norman Day Celebration. T.K. Soul & Band and more.
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