Various - Everybody Dance Now (CD)
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Like other recent southern soul-blues Narvel Echols' "Pour Me A Drank" comes to mindrap is given a verse and adds valuable contrast. Voice-overs segue into rap and vice versa, as in the ballad "Prophecy". Stevie J's vocals dominate throughout, reminding us whenever he's on the mike that he possesses one of the sweetest tones in southern soul, but this band is by no means a one-man show.
In "Trouble Man" Stevie slides from a voice-over into a quasi-rap and ultimately into a conventional balladeering. You never know what the next song may hold, nor even what direction the next verse may take. Not all of the elements in this gumbo-like approach work, but the diversity of this album makes for an appealing debut comparable to recent newcomers The Jay Morris Group, high on variety and verve.
New southern soul recording artist Volton Wright has scored a trifecta of hit singles, and they just happen to lead off his new southern soul debut album, Love On You Tha Album one-two-threetake your pick. They are, in order, "Southern Soul Girl" featuring T. I can't remember a more impressive line-up of tunes leading off an introductory CD in many years.
It could haveand might havebeen so different. He was honored with the lead-off track, "That Thang," but the first artist from the sampler who capitalized on the platform Slack had provided was not Volton Wright but R. Taylor with his hit single and subsequent album, "It's A Mule". Little did we know at the time that Volton Wright's true specialty was melodic ballads, not "That Thang"-type, mid-tempo jams, and "That Thang" remained the exclusive property of Katrenia Jefferson, who had recorded her song of the same name years earlier.
Wright's penchant for soulful slow tracks first surfaced in mid with his homage to the Temptations, "My Baby". The video featured Volton and his back-up singers, including Jeter Jones, stepping onstage in vintage Temps stage style. Suddenly, for southern soul aficionados, it all fell into place. Volton Wright had a voice perfect for covering old-school soul.
The lovely and effervescent single "Circles" subsequently surfaced, and the message was clear. Soul on one of the most soulful duets of See Daddy B. Nice's 1 Southern Soul Single for April Their harmonies on the chorus are exquisite. Nice single with Jeter Jones in February "Love You Down"the song traffics on the cryptically-named JD's knack for irrepressible, lilting melodies. Not only that, the chords mimic the famous chord washes of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," putting it in truly celestial, musical company.
JD takes the first verse, Volton the second, and then comes the unexpected treat. Jeter Jones raps! And he's great: he raps the song in his own dogged style, bringing it off with monumental brio. The song is an outright coup of musical accomplishment. Nice's New Debut Alert. Tasha Mac is Jeter Jones' little sister.
Let's get that out of the way first, because she has benefitted greatly from her big brother's artistic guidance. Tasha burst onto the scene early last year with a single entitled "Get It My Way". Other high points of the album include "Lick This Candy" with the recurring phrase, "Come and lick this candy bar," Various - Everybody Dance Now (CD) "Eat That Cake".
Both songs hinge on smile-inducing, culinary double-entendres. I made it special for you. I'm gonna let you taste. My momma told me It'll make you shake.
I know you like it. Got icing on your face. Tasha's natural register tends toward the bass clef, and as she negotiates the treble clef it's sometimes painfully obvious her range is restricted to litle more than a single octave, giving the tunes and the set as a whole an unwelcome sameness.
At the same time, Tasha lacks the ferocious power and resulting contrasts of other contemporary "big" women singers like Lady Q and Annie Washington. What Tasha Mac does have, however, is a startling similarity to southern soul's gone-but-not-forgotten and undisputed queen of "big women" vocalists, Big Cynthia, with whom she shares some of the same tics and mannerisms, including Cynthia's ability to shrug off just about any challenge and slap it down in peremptory fashion.
That's an art form in itself. Click link. Beat Flippa, P. Wendell B, Real Talk, Scroll down this column. Jeter Jones, Mufassa, Scroll down this column. Pure Southern Soul heaven. Nice, P. BoxBoulder, Colorado, to Various - Everybody Dance Now (CD) eligible for review on this page. E-mail daddybnice southernsoulrnb. I grew up in an overwhelmingly Catholic parish where we ate fish sticks or tomato soup on Fridays.
One Friday noon hour one of the strongest boys in the class ran into school from the playground and pushed his hand right through the glass of a swinging door, cutting his main artery. Blood geysered up, hitting the ceiling of the corridor outside the lunch room and bathing the floor tiles in red. We didn't have fish that day; we had tomato soup. Many other producers and writers contributed to the project, a fact I learned more from YouTube than my hard copy, and that may have also caused delay.
None of them are household names in southern souldom outside of Karen Wolfe and Crystal Thomas, but that's the way Jeter thankfully thinks. He's after talent and new sounds, not hype. Jones lays down a superb vocal reminiscent of the mellow yet swinging mid-tempo atmosphere of "Black Horse".
In fact, the set as a whole is an exercise in enchantment. Previously-released tunes like the beguililng "Southern Soul Garden" and the lively "Southern Soul Cowboy" are tailored for tender sensibilities and listening. Like the Platters from the early days of rock and roll, or the Stylistics from the early seventies, the voices-in-unison approach Jones, RnB Pooh, Volton Wright and JD on "Cowboy," King South and Jones on "Garden" produces a chorale-like serenity, a good-vibes feeling that weaves its way through many of the CD's songs.
Sometimes it's obvious, as in Volton Wright's nostalgic "My Baby". Smoke and King South take turns on verses while even more background vocalists including female croon together on a vintage-styled chorus. Memphis' Ecko Records, the grand-daddy of contemporary southern soul labels, minimized its releases inthe year of the pandemic.
For the first time in ages, neither of the label's top two recording artists, Ms. Jody or O. Now, as kicks off, one of Ecko's most promising artists, Jaye Hammer, arrives with an album of new material recorded during the worst of Covid, It's Jaye Hammer Time. The mid-tempo, James Jackson-written gem "Come See About Me" combines a fine Hammer vocal with a unique arrangement by John Ward that adds a subtle and alluring, treble-clef keyboard fill to the instrumental track.
The unique touch it sounds like steel guitar filtered through cotton candy makes the record. A stepping-styled rhythm track and a snippet of female background make this a perfect vehicle for Jaye Hammer. This is the most original song on the album, and it wouldn't top the peak it climbs if not for Jaye Hammer's inexhaustible emotive abilities.
His ability to infuse lyrics with believable emotions also buoys the otherwise marginal "You're A Keeper," another James Jackson tune. But Hammer can't do much with the unremarkable "You Deserve Better," and the balance of the CD is compromised by less than stellar songwriting.
Hammer's "Party Mood," for instance, redone as a "Club Mix," loses much of its original fizz. Jaye Hammer is good enough that he can pretty much write his own ticket by now, but like so many other singers he needs great material, inspired material, and it's slim pickings here. Slim pickingsbut not bare. Longtime southern soul fans may remember Walter Waiters and his album Just Me featuring the singles "Don't Scratch My Back" and "Careful Woman," which worked the same chords and melodies to impressive effect.
Even Wade's vocals hew to a sexy, understated, bedroom undertone. What the set suffers in sameness is more than compensated by the unfurling serenity of its kindred melodies. The stepping song "Soul Stroke" illustrates the contradictions of Uncle Wayne's style: interesting but bereft of any southern soul technique. Pooh has an unconventional voice for southern soul, somewhat like P2K, under-stated, fresh and youthful. But he has a nose for good melodies and benefits from Slack's southern soul touch.
One thing's for sure, musically you'll find all of the southern soul memes, motifs and derivations Uncle Wayne above wanted nothing to do with.
Chuck has always been a reliable reflection of whatever is current in southern soul music, although as he's aged the emulations are sounding a bit more forced. He blames CD Baby's now defunct website, a great loss to all of us, for the lack of distribution.
Dance for me. Bojangles," the beloved folk-rock standard by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band written and also performed by Jerry Jeff Walkerwhich in turn is based on the real Mr. The lyrics are delightfully personal and detailed, but it's the music in "Cadillac Willie," and indeed throughout this, the best album of Wendell B's career, that serves as the platform for all the good wordsand "real talk". It's hard to believe Wendell B already has eight major albums to his credithard to believe "Just Don't Understand You" was fifteen years ago!
Virtually all southern soul insiders consider Wendell to be a major artist, and yet even the term "major" doesn't do justice to the man's off-the-charts vocal gift. Every time he opens his mouth, it's hard not to think in a conspiratorial whisper"He could be number one.
Browns," Wendell and Wardell the latter much better known under his recording and performance name of Big Pokey Bear. The two outsized talents form bookends at opposite ends of the southern soul spectrum. Stylistically, Pokey plays it "rough" and Wendell B plays it "smooth.
Pokey Bear presently rules the roost Various - Everybody Dance Now (CD) 1, but no one is counting Wendell B out, and to imagine southern soul without either one of the "Browns" is unimaginable. Wendell B's blockbusters from are both here. The latter amassed nearly a million YouTube views that was in the views in now number over 5 million and achieved Daddy B Nice's "Best Collaboration Various - Everybody Dance Now (CD) ," the second year in a row Wendell was an instrumental and indeed commanding cog in a southern soul communal effort.
To illustrate how long ago that now seems, the Covid pandemic hadn't yet broken. Nice's Top 10 Singles, occasioning the aside: "Wendell is this generation's Ronnie Lovejoy, and if you were going to record a new version of top-rated southern soul classic "Sho' Wasn't Me," Wendell would be the no-brainer choice to sing it. But what about the filler, you say? There is no filler. Watch for it yet to hit the charts. Background vocals lend even more to the sensation of dancing. There Various - Everybody Dance Now (CD) a bad or reptitive cut on the album.
Each song has something in common with the othersa certain style, a certain quality, Wendell's brandyet each carries its own weight. Which leads me to proclaim: Real Talk is an honest-to-God primer in the art of production.
In most of these songs, it's difficult to assess whether it's the melody or the arrangements toting the creative load. That's really remarkable. As for the lyrics, I know most fans and most recording artists, actually place the importance on the words, but the fans wouldn't be listening to the words if the music hadn't gotten their attention.
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