Mr. David (New #1 Southern Soul Single!)
Daddy B. Nice's #72 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"Where U You Want Me To Put It"
Mr. David (New #1 Southern Soul Single!)
Composed by James Harris III, McKinley Horton & Terry Lewis
August 1, 2020:
Excerpted from Daddy B Nice's "New & Notes," August 1, 2020.
Hundreds of new southern soul releases come across my desk every month, and they range from the very poor to the very good and everywhere in between. Once in a great while, however, a song appears that is so good it flashes like a fist-size diamond in a pile of coal. There's no hesitation---there's no argument---among anyone who hears it. And the reaction from all of the artists who wrestle with writing good songs is: Why didn't I think of it? It's so obvious! It's so simple, so direct, so pure! Bishop Bullwinkle's "Hell Naw To The Naw Naw" was such a record. J-Wonn's "I Got This Record". Will T's "Mississippi Boy".
And Mr. David's new single "Cheatin' With The Deejay" is such a record. Like all southern soul veterans, he's struggled to replicate early successes, crafting and submitting singles for release on an annual basis, some better, some worse, but nothing in years that even comes close to "Cheatin' With The DJ".
The genesis of the song is likely a general idea to craft a tune that would catch the eye and ear of deejays, who when all is said and done are the prime distributors of popular records. What deejay could resist playing a song that features a a record-spinner who by virtue of his expertise tempts, and then succeeds, at taking the beautiful girlfriend away from a hapless club-goer?
But the record itself, in terms of both composition and production, catapulted far beyond its sly, preliminary formula. I have neither the time nor space to analyze all of the factors that make "Cheatin' With The Deejay" an exciting and potentially monster hit single, and one capable of lifting Mr. David's "pay grade" a couple of levels. Suffice it to say: Originality. Inspiration. And not least: Spontaneity.
Let's talk about spontaneity. It' so hard to maintain the spontaneous feel of a song when "cleaning up" a rough musical concept for production and release. "Cheatin' With The Deejay," like the three classic singles mentioned above, sounds like it coursed from God's extended finger through Mr. David's brain straight to the recording/mixing board.
I mention this because frequently (not always, of course, or we wouldn't have many good records) the very process of taking an inspired "demo" through the professional producing process sucks the spontaneity out of the record. And I have an example of that, too.
I was lucky enough to hear an early recording of Arthur Young's "Catfishing" on his Facebook page. Young, as southern soul insiders well know, broke out on the scene earlier this year with "Funky Forty," and just like the classic songs mentioned above, "Forty" instantly drew thousands of fans in spite of the young man being a complete unknown. (A testament and confirmation, by the way, of how great music creates its own audience.)
Young's rough recording of "Catfishing" featured himself smiling and playing an acoustic guitar. It had spontaneity. It had charm. Unfortunately, "cleaning it up," or "getting it professionally produced," did not make it better. It made it worse---it made it less than it was in "demo" form---losing the spontaneity and charm, the very qualities, mind you, that made "Funky Forty" such a hit. I don't mean to say it's a bad record. I'm just saying that somewhere between the inspiration and the outcome some key elements that made the song potentially outstanding were lost. Something incredibly easy to do.
This is why I hold recording artists in such high regard. When they're hot, when they're on "their game," they exist on a creative level that is almost unearthly. And yet, in the real world, many get lost in the forest of their own words and musical phrases and production techniques. To achieve the originality and spontaneity of a "Cheatin' With The Deejay" takes almost inhuman will power, super-relaxed prowess and lots of luck.
---Daddy B. Nice
See Daddy B Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles for August 2020.
Listen to Mr. David singing "Cheating With The DJ" on YouTube.
April 20, 2013: New Single Alert! From...
Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "BREAKING" Southern Soul Singles Review For. . .
1. "Mr. Right Now"----Mr. David
All the elements of a break-out hit--great melody, terrific lyrics, a one-of-a-kind sound, soulfulness coursing through every stanza--grace this unexpected treat. Mr. David lays down a vocal that will define him as a Southern Soul star for years to come.
Listen to Mr. David's "Mr. Right Now" on ReverbNation.
See Daddy B. Nice's #1 "Breaking" Southern Soul Single for April 2013.
Daddy B. Nice's Profile:
Under-rated, obscure even by Southern Soul standards, Mr. David is a mature artist with three solid albums and a handful of memorable songs to his credit. David has cited Bobby Womack as a big influence, and although nothing in his music reiterates Womack's music, Mr. David--along with all the other musical skills he shares with the master--has Womack's nose for great material.
Three of Mr. David's songs hold legitimate claim to being Southern Soul standards, and many fans would include a fourth. They are, in order, "Where Do You Want Me To Put It, "Slide On," "Me Loving You" and (the fourth) "Shoo Da Wop." (And where do you draw the line? This excludes Mr. David's fine tune, "Jody's Creepin'.")
The fast jams "Slide On" and "Shoo Da Wop" are self-penned and obvious club songs, and they're both very good at what they do. The operatic slow jam "Where Do You Want Me To Put It" is composed by James Harris, McKinley Horton & Terry Lewis, but Mr. David's other great ballad, "Me Loving You," is also self-penned.
Mr. David's lyrics are often buried in the mix, and blurred even further by the vocal timbre Mr. David achieves when he bends and extends notes and his habit of swallowing words at the end of phrases. The songs--the best ones--are unabashedly melodic, with appeal in any market if only they weren't so doggoned gritty and soulful, which is of course what makes them manna for the Southern Soul faithful.
I'll admit to hardly knowing any of the lyrics to Mr. David's songs. The songs have a heft born of their compositional excellence that almost makes the lyrics irrelevant.
"Me Loving You" is the song with the dominant line that runs, "There's nothing wrong with me." For a long time I thought that was all there was to it, until I was unable to find any song by that title on a Mr. David album. Only then did I click samples on all three Mr. David CD's until I found "Me Loving You" and gradually clued into the fact Mr. David's singing, "There's / Nothing wrong with me / Loving you."
"Me Loving You" possesses a melancholic, yearning power--an emotion commonly associated with being in love--and even if one were incapable of catching the few intelligible lyrics, Mr. David creates an entire world of tension and romantic love, a kind of shelter-from-the-storm haven for troubled lovers.
"I don't know
Just how you were brought up,
But my daddy taught me
Never put my hands on a woman
Unless you were lifting her up."
"Me Loving You" is an anthem to civility, tenderness and respect in young men's dealings with young women. Originally a rapper, Mr. David knows well the corrosive effect on young people of the hiphop ethic of flashy possessions and the objectification of women, and he contrasts the drooping pants, naked butts and "bitch-this, bitch-that" of the hiphop lifestyle with the maturity of the "grown" men who respect the opposite sex.
"This goes out to the young boys
Who's (sic) thinking that it's cool
Walking around with teeth
Full of gold and diamonds,
Looking like a fool.
Then they wonder
Why their girlfriends
Ended up with an older man.
Because we know how
To treat and respect our women
Better than those young boys can."
Mr. David refers to a Marvin Gaye song from long ago--I still haven't caught the title--and sums up with the refrain:
"Marvin and my daddy said,
'There's nothing wrong with me
Mr. David means there is nothing wrong with showing love, rather than disdain and contempt, for women, and Southern Soul music, by extension, is the vehicle for mature love, and the best conduit for Mr. David to express it.
"Slide On," a slide-and-steppin' song with shout-outs to Denise LaSalle, Jesse James, Mel Waiters, Betty Wright, Sir Charles Jones and Millie Jackson, is one of the legitimate, best 21st-century Southern Soul fast jams, as is its club-jam bookend, "Shoo Da Wop."
Listen to Mr. David singing "Shoo Da Wop" with Sir Charles Jones on YouTube.
The original "Shoo Da Wop" with background by Mr. David (without Sir Charles) is actually the purest version. In spite of his star power, Sir Charles actually distracts somewhat from the intense focus of the original. For fans it's a toss-up, and luckily both versions are included on Jody Is Back .
The phrase "Shoo Da Wop" also figures as a constant refrain in "Where Do You Want Me To Put It?," although it takes a back seat to the overwhelming intensity with which Mr. David delivers the vivid ballad's melodic groove.
Sample Mr. David's "Where You Want Me To Put It" on Amazon.
A fascinating song in terms of tempo, with one of the most unique arrangements in Southern Soul, "Where Do You Want Me To Put It" has the structure of a ballad but seemingly morphs into a fast song. The phrase "Where do you want me to put it?" bobs up repeatedly in what seems like a whirlpool of slow and fast musical currents, both running simultaneously.
As for exactly what "it" is, and "where" Mr. David's putting it, the song leaves much to the imagination of the listener. Sometimes the "it" appears to be a metaphor for intercourse and its sexual options, at other times "it" seems like some object Mr. David has brought to his loved one--perhaps flowers, groceries, candy or lingerie--and as the stanzas circle ever and ever deeper, David's repeated refrain of "Where do you want me to put it?" gathers emotional power.
The multiple meanings fold onto one another, giving the song's tight-lipped mystery first one interpretation, then another. Atmospheric keyboards and strings emphasize the romanticism. Mr. David pleads again and again for his loved one to "communicate," but the song has none of the double entendres of more salacious Southern Soul songs.
"It's time to come closer.
We've got the urge.
So baby, can we do it
Once or twice
Just to be heard?
We can work it out
Where can we break it down?
Or do you like it
When I get my groove on,
Round and round
And round and round?"
So a ballad that appears to be all about lovemaking really is all about the intricacies of communication and finding common ground--again, like "Me Loving You"--a mature and sophisticated approach to romance and lovemaking.
"Let's get it on.
Any time you're in the mood,
Give me a call.
Baby, say the word,
And I'll be right there.
I'm going to fill you up
With tender loving care."
Listen to "Where You Want Me To Put It" and other samples from SOUTHERN SOUL SINGER on Amazon.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Mr. David (New #1 Southern Soul Single!)
David Jones, aka Mr. David, grew up in Aiken, South Carolina, a small town across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia. As a teen Jones met Tony Mercedes, an oft-travelled military brat whose father had relocated to Augusta.
Song's Transcendent Moment
"I'll make you feel good.
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
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