New Releases



totnTurning On The Naughty - Paula Harris

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My Music Or Yours
by
Mike Little

July 2012

  

jrJohnny Rawls' Red Cadillac is still going strong, especially on 94.9 The Surf, where it is on rotation.  The song is the title track from Johnny's first album released on the Catfood Records label.  The El Paso, Texas label has now released their fourth Johnny Rawls album, Soul Survivor.  The title track, Soul Survivor, will probably be the most selected song and should go down in Beach Music history as another hit from this Mississippi native.  However, do not overlook Hand Me Downs.  It, too, could easily find its way into the charts.  When I first heard King Of Hearts, I thought it had been previously recorded, but it had not.  I was thinking of the title track of his previous album, Ace Of Spades.  Good song, though!  You will also want to check out Long Way From Home, Bad Little Girl and Don't Need A Gun To Steal.  Any of these would be good for play.  Johnny Rawls was born in Columbia, Mississippi and raised in Purvis and Gulfport, Mississippi.  He acquired an early interest in music from his grandfather, John Paul Newson, a blind guitarist who played around the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area.  Johnny began playing clarinet and saxophone in the third grade and began playing guitar when he was twelve years of age.  In the mid-seventies he joined O.V. Wright's band becoming his band director.  After Wright's death, Johnny continued on with The O.V. Wright Band for thirteen years following his death, touring with Little Johnny Taylor.  In the 90's, Johnny Rawls began working with L.C. Luckett, recording their first album together in 1994.  His first album with Catood Records charted number one on the Living Blues radio chart.  He was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist and Best Soul Blues Album by the Blues Foundation.  He won the Critics Blues Award for Best Album of the Year by Living Blues Magazine.  Johnny Rawls is a true Soul survivor and his new album, Soul Survivor, should do well for him.

  Rev. Bubba D. Liverance with his Cornhole Prophets has made quite a name for himself over just a shortrev period of time, throwing out hits like If You Can't Shag, Shagland and Take A Little Ocean Drive.  He and his group are back with us now with the release of the mini-CD, The Recession Sessions.  One song already has received air and club play.  Sweet Potato Pie, which is part of the compilation, is already in the charts, as it was previously released as a single.  The Recession Sessions only carries six songs, but at least half of them are worth of play.  In addition to Sweet Potato Pie, check out Why You Wanna Go And Do That.  It should be the followup charted song once Potato Pie playes out.  You should also try I'll Remember.  It is the classic belly rubber and should be played often.  The lyrics of the number are classic and should bring back lots of memories.  It is obvious that Bubba Liverance is an Auburn Tigers fan.  You will find reference to those War Eagles in just about every one of Rev. Bubba D. Liverance & The Cornhole Prophets releases.  Their song, Let The Eagle Fly, has been played at the Auburn, University stadium prior to a game.

man2010 heralded the passing of the five year anniversary marking the birth of Delta Groove Records.  Likewise, The Mannish Boys, for whom the label was conceived, celebrated five years of electrifying the Blues for audiences over the world.  The Mannish Boys  feature Finis Tasby on vocals, Sugaray Rayford on vocals, Randy Chortkoff on vocals and harmonica, Kirk Fletcher on lead and rhythm guitar, Frank Goldwasser on vocals, harmonica and lead and rhythm guitar, Willie J. Campbell on acoustic and electric Bass and Jim Bott on drums and percussion.  This fabulous group has now released their double album, Double Dynamite.  Both disks carry material that are worth of playing.  From disk one, you surely will want to check out Bricks In My Pillow and You Dogged Me.  Bricks In My Pillow is a remake of a Robert Nighthawk song.  You Dogged Me was co-written by band member Randy Chortkoff and Mitch Kashmar.  You Dogged Me is very much in the style of Jimmy Reed.  Other worth songs on disk one are Please Forgive Me and James Harmon song, Bad Detective.  James guests with the vocals and harmonica for the number.  Among the possible songs from disc two comes That Dood It, an old James Brown song.  You will only find old school dancers that will cherish the song.  The other songs on this disk to take note of are Bed For My Soul and I Woke Up Screaming.  Among the other guest artists for The Mannish Boys' Double Dynamite are Mud Morganfield, Jackie Payne Bob Corritore, Rod Piazza, Elvin Bishop and Rob Rio, just to name a few.  Double Dynamite from Delta Groove Music is dynamite.  You need to check out this explosive release.  The two CD's are dedicated to the memory of Phillip Walker, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Jerry “Boogie” McClain, Mojo Buford, Louisiana Red, Johnny Otis and Etta James.

It has been a while since we have heard fro Li'l Ronnie & The Grand Dukes.  The last time he had anything lronwas when he and the Dukes released the Young & Evil album in 2001 that had Buck Naked on it.  The new album from EllerSoul Records, Gotta Strange Feeling, carries a number of songs that will work well in our arena.  I think the key song from the album will be She's Bad Bad News.  The tune somewhat reminds me of a cross between the Jimmy Reed version of Bring It On Home and the Willie Dixon or Sonny Boy Williamson version.  It is a new song written by Li'l Ronnie Owens, as most of the songs on the album are.  Two other numbers on the album penned by Li'l Ronnie that have possibilities are Can't Buy My Love and Cold Hard Cash.  He also penned a classic-style ballad, Love Never Dies, that the dancers can relate to, from both the words and the melody.  The new album also carries two remakes, Louis Jordan's Buzz Me and Chuck Berry's C'est la Vie.  Li'l Ronnie Owens has been performing since 1963 and has been fronting his own bands for over 25 years.  Singer, writer and harmonica player Ronnie and his band, The Grand Dukes, are a critically acclaimed touring band based out of Virginia.  You may remember the group's 1999 hit with us, Cross Eyed Suzie Lee, from their Too Fast For Conditions albums.  They also scored again in 2005 with the group's Do What'cha Wanna Do album.  Two songs from the album were played by deejays across the Carolinas and beyond, Walk That Talk and Wineheaded Woman.  I got a strange feeling that Li'l Ronnie & The Grand Dukes' new album, Gotta Strange Feeling is gonna score in the Beach Music world.

 rk R. Kelly broke out at Deejay Throwdown with his single, Share My Love, which went on to become the song for the 2012 Spring Safari of the Society of Stranders.  The highly popular single is just a taste of his new follow-up release, Write Me Back.  There are two versions of the album, the other being the Deluxe Version, which adds four more songs, including You Are My World.  This song alone is worth getting the Deluxe over the regular version.  However, in my opinion, Love Is is the key song, which can be found on both versions.  This number seems to be the best to follow the popularity of Share My Love.  However, some may disagree with me as there are a number of other songs that could surely be the next hit for this seasoned Rhythm & Blues superstar.  These include Lady Sunday and Believe That It's So.  Either one of these could become the next hit for R. Kelly.  However, don't overlook Feeling Single or Fool For You.  In other words, the whole album is fabulous whether you get the regular version or Deluxe Version.  Robert Sylvester Kelly, a native of Chicago, began performing during the late 1980's with the group Public Announcement.  He went solo in 1993.  Not only is R. Kelly a singer, but he is a songwriter and recording producer, writing, producing and remixing songs for many artists, including The Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion and many others in the United States and abroad.  In March 2011, he was named Billboard magazine as the most successful Rhythm & Blues artist in the last 25 years.      

  Though The Blasters have recorded a number of albums over the past years, it has been since 1988 that we blasthave taken note of them when they recorded their Beach Music hit, Fool's Paradise.  The California-based foursome has released their latest, Fun On A Saturday Night on the Rip Cat label.  There are several songs you'll want to check out on this album, including the title track.  However, it is Breath Of My Love that will be the key track from the album.  It similar to the style that the group had with Fool's Paradise.  I Don't Want Cha is another you will want to check out.  Need a good slow song.  Listen to The Blasters' version of James Brown's Please Please Please.  They do an outstanding job with this classic.  The Blasters were formed in 1979 in Downey, California by brothers Phil Alvin, vocals and guitar, and Dave Alvin on guitar with bass guitarist John Bazz and drummer Bill Bateman.  The Alvin brothers had an early interest in Blues and attended many concerts including some by Big Joe Turner.  When coming to decide a name for the band, Phil Alvin thought of Joe Turner's backup band..  He thought it was Joe Turner's band, remembering it to be The Blues Blasters.  He just took Blues off.  Joe told him later that it was actually the name of Jimmy McCracklin's band and told Phil “you tell 'im I gave you permission to steal it.  You dancers will have fun on a Saturday night with The Blasters' latest release, Fun On A Saturday Night.

randbLooking ahead, The National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays will be teaming with KHP Music to release Coast To Coast...The Music Lives On.  Dedicated to past president, the late Tom Polzin, who spearheaded the Association's previous albums, the album will be released the first of August.  Among the songs included in the project, the release will feature the hot song Wild Turkey 101 Proof, as well as the new songs from The Fantastic Shakers, Jelly Belly and Sea Cruz,  Think It Over.  The album will also feature the hot song from The Martin Davis Band, Take My Love.  This one is already receive a respectable amount of play time.  Roy Robert joins in for the compilation with Hey Baby, as will Gary Brown with Family Reunion.  Other familiar artists include Tim Clark with What's Up With That, The Entertainers with Don't Stop Now, Rhonda McDaniel with Shut Your Mouth, Tommy Black with Lucky Me and The Carolina Breakers with That Old Song.  Delbert McClinton will also be a part of the compilation when he joins with Etta Britt to sing Leap Of Faith.  The album is still in production at the moment, so there will be more to come.  You really need to look out for Coast To Coast...The Music Lives On.

Until next time...


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My Music Or Yours
by
Mike Little

May 2012

 

  I just returned from SOS held in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  I know some of you are familiar with the event.  It is held twice yearly, the Spring Safari in April and the Fall Migration in September.  The event started some thirty plus years ago to be a reunion of life guards and beach goers from the fifties and sixties.  It was successful and the Society of Stranders draws sometimes ten thousand music and dance lovers. 

rkNew music breaks out at SOS, especially during the Spring Safari following the Association of Beach & Shag Club DJ's event, Deejay Throwdown.  One of the hottest songs that was introduced at Throwdown and was played continuously at SOS was Share My Love by R. Kelly.  The song was recently released as a single and will be a part of his new full album, Write Me Back, which will be released soon.  If you do not have the song, get it.  If not already, this number is going to be hot in the Rhythm & Blues circles.  Robert Sylvester Kelly, a native of Chicago, began performing during the late 1980's and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement.  He went solo in 1993.  Not only is R. Kelly a singer, but he is a songwriter and record producer, writing, producing and remixing songs for many artists including The Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion and many others in the U.S. and abroad.  In March 2011, he was named by Billboard magazine as the most successful Rhythm & Blues Artist of the last 25 years.

  Donnie Ray's Who's Rockin You, the title track of his year old Ecko Records release, is still going strong.  The Montgomery,dr Alabama resident has released his latest, I'm Going Back, and the title track was hot at SOS.  I look for this to be in chartland in short order.  Released just the week before the Spring Safari began, I'm Going Back really caught on and was played frequently.  However, this is not the only good song on the album.   Check out Bring Back My Blues and I Remember The Good Old Days.  Both of these have potential to be played and enjoyed by the dancers.  Donnie Ray was born in Texarkana, Texas in 1959 into a musical family that taught him to believe that his talents were a gift from God.  By the time he was fifteen, he was performing in his father's band, Aldredge Brothers Band.  He learned to play the guitar, becoming an instrumentalist as well as a singer.  He later mastered lead and bass guitars, the keyboard and drums.  Donnie Ray signed with Ecko Records in 2005.  I'm Going Back is his eighth release with the Memphis record company.

ob  Memphis, Tennessee-based Ecko Records contains to maintain Top 10 positions for Ms. Jody's The Bop and Donnie Ray's Who's Rockin' You.  Ecko has just released O.B. Buchana's latest, Let Me Knock The Dust Off.  The key song from the album is Bang That Thang.  This number may just join The Bop and Who's Rockin' You in Beach Music 45's Smokin' 45Bang That Thang is more uptempo, but should do well.  There are a few more on O.B.'s release of which we should take note.  Throw Down is another uptempo number that is very similar to Band That Thang.  I don't know, but there is something about Bang That Thang that edges out Throw Down.  You also need to take a listen to the title track, Let Me Knock The Dust Off, as well as Mr. Telephone Man.  These also have some potential.  O.B. Buchana was born in Mount Bayou, Mississippi, spending his childhood in Clarksdale, the city that played a major role in the development of Blues legends.  O.B. began his musical careersinging in his church choir at an early age.  It did not take long for him to emerge as a lead singer.  As a teenager, he was lead singer of the gospel group, The Mighty Suns of God.  In the early 90's, he signed with the label, Blue River, kicking off his recording career.  In 2004, Ecko Records recognized his talents, signing him to a contract.  O.B.'s releases have received national recognition, bringing him to the limelight of the Ecko family.  Let Me Knock The Dust Off by O.B. Buchana should be easy to find.

  Do you remember the song I Know by Barbara George?  I love that upbeat tempo song.  Nathan Jones & The Rhythm njScratchers has a song on their new CD from Delta Groove Music called What You Make Of  It.  One of the cuts from the CD reminds me an awful lot of the Barbara George classic.  The song is I'm A Slave To You.  Of course it is fast, just as I Know, is so pitch control is a necessity.  I think you will find a lot of interest from the dancers on this one.  Nathan Jones started his career as a full-time musician at age eighteen.  A year later, the San Diego area musician got the call from renowned Blues veteran James Harmon to join his band, which led Nathan touring and recording for three and a half years with The James Harmon Band.  Now with his own band, Nathan Jones & The Rhythm Scratchers, he has recorded his first CD.        

  sotKHP Music has given us numerous compilations over the years, many of which were introduced at the Society of Stranders' Spring Safaris and Fall Migrations.  Of all of the releases that really stood out, the new release, Stepping Out Tonight, introduced at Deejay Throwdown, is surely to be marked as one of the best.  Already, four of the songs grace Beach Music's Top 40 and 45 charts, and, surely, there is more to come.  L.J. Reynolds is going strong with Come Get To This, moving rapidly up the charts and now in the Top Ten.  This is the third time that this song has graced the Top Ten, originally by Marvin Gaye and just a few years ago by The Craig Woolard Band.  L.J. Reynolds is no stranger to Beach Music.  He was, and still is, lead singer of The Dramatics, who had hits with In The Rain and Be My Girl.  The Detroit native left the group to resume a solo career, giving us hit's like He Can't Love You and What's The Matter Baby.  Another hot song that is a part of Stepping Out Tonight is I'm In Heaven When I'm With You by Roy HamiltonThis song is also rapidly moving upward.  This Roy Hamilton is not to be confused as related to the late, great Roy Hamilton who gave us The Clock, Don't Let Go and many, many other songs.  The Roy Hamilton I am writing about is from England.  The release also contains the hit song, From The Back by L.J. Echols.  This one reminds me a lot of the material released by The Hardway Connection.  L.J. Echols grew up in the small town of Bassfield, Mississippi.  Like so many Rhythm & Blues artists, L.J. Started out in his family Gospel group, The Echols family.  In 1999, he moved to Dallas, Texas and started his own musical career.  In 2008, he released his second album which contains his hit From The Back.  Also gracing the Top 45 is I'm Crazy 'Bout The Woman In Red by Atlantic Groove.  The KHP compilation also features Step On By by Winzell Kelly.  Like, L.J. Reynolds, Winzell spent many years, nearly twenty, with the legendary Dramatics, and still performs with the current line-up along with L.J. Reynolds.  The Detroit native began playing both bass and saxophone as a teenager.  Stepping Out Tonight also carries Come On by The Sons Of Saint Rocco, which is a part of the Sons' latest project, Take 2.  The Sons of Saint Rocco is Phil Granito, a very talented multi-instrumented individual.  Also joining in on the compilation is Kingdaddy, hailing from the parts of Western South Carolina and Eastern North Carolina.  The relatively newcomer band gives us an original, She's The One For Me, with tight harmonies, electrifying horns and a seamless rhythm section.  The music doesn't stop here.  Stepping carries a new one from Jim Quick, All That Matters, a new one from Bo Schronce and The Fantastic Shakers, I Don't Like To Sleep Alone and Second Chance by The Carolina Breakers.  The compilation also features The Breeze Band with Being With You, Legacy with Ain't That The Way and Old Friends by Phil Wilson and Jackie Gore.  Stepping Out Tonight is no doubt one of the better compilations that KHP Music has ever released.

  Phil Granito has released the sophomore album of The Sons of Saint Rocco, Take 2.  One of the album's songs, Come On, is srpart of KHP's new compilation, Stepping Out Tonight.  This song, re-recorded from the vaults of The “5” Royales and is representative of what The Sons of Saint Rocco is all about.  The name is taken from the Catholic school that Phil attened in his youthful years.  He pays homage through the music in appreciation to the music instruction that he received from the nuns at the school.  One of my favorites from Take 2 is Tell Me What I Did Wrong.  This jewel is a fine rendition of the James Brown classic.  She Did Me Wrong and It Was You also caught my attention.  Take 2 music and vocals are provided by a fine array of polished musicians.  Phil Granito provides lead vocals, as well as background vocals.  Included in the cast of musicians are Bobby Jay on bass and baritone vocals and Angel Rissoff on background vocals.  The horn section is provided by The Eternal Souls.  Hand claps come from Bobby, Angel and Phil.  Phil provides the trombone music.  I first became aware of The Sons of Saint Rocco when fellow deejay Riki Vernon pointed out some of the songs from the self-titled debut album, The Sons Of Saint Rocco.  This album features a couple of strong numbers, Baby Don't Do It, originally recorded by The “5” Royales, and I Used To Cry Mercy, originally recorded by The Lamplighters.  Both albums, The Sons Of Saint Rocco and Take 2, can be ordered online at Phil Granito's website, sonsofsaintroccco.com.   

  rm

Rhonda McDaniel has given us numerous hits over the years.  As a result, among her numerous awards for songs and albums, the talented upstate singing sensation has won the Carolina Beach Music Awards' Female Vocalist of the Year award 4 years running.  Her hits, Lighten Up and Touching In The Dark prompted the voters to select her as the 2011 Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2011 CBMA Awards held in November at the Alabama Theater in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Rhonda now has released her latest, Where The Boys Are, on the KHP label.  Rhonda's Where The Boys Are is a remake of the 1960 hit by Connie Frances.  The number was the title song of the movie by the same name, filmed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida about college students on Spring Break in the sixties.  The movie has always been one of my favorites, and so has the song.  Look for Rhonda's version to be played often during.  The key song of Rhonda's release, in my opinion, is Look Before You Leap.  This one is a remake of a Marcia Ball number.  Look for it to make quite a splash during the Spring Safari.  Rhonda also sings Sneakin' Around.  Rhonda's rendition of this song is not to be confused with Tommy Black's Sneakin' Around.  This version was originally done by famed New York Jazz singer, Veronica Martell.  The new release also features more new material, including, Power In The Music, Teardrops From My Eyes, We're Tight, Look Me In The Heart, I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind and another ballad, Be Serious.  The album also features some of Rhonda's previously recorded songs, the hits Lighten Up, Touching In The Dark and the duet with Mike Taylor of The Holiday Band, You Bug Me Baby.  Also included is We're Tight from KHP's Ready To Party compilation.  The McCormick, South Carolina resident has been singing since she could talk.  She joined her first band, Southern Comfort, at age thirteen.  In 1991, she joined Brasstown Ball, now know as BrassTyme, as vocalist and keyboard player.  She was with the group for over eighteen years.

  When two veteran Blues musicians and longtime friends come together to record an album, it's got to be good.  That is what bcLongtime Friends In The Blues is.  Good!  Bob Corritore, a lifelong advocate of the Blues, and Chicago Blues veteran James Vancy Jones, a.k.a. as Tail Dragger, have come together to record a CD that is packed with plain, good ole Blues music that will satisfy the soul.  Of the ten cuts on the Delta Groove Music release, there are at least five that will work well.  Joining Bob and Tail Dragger are Henry Gray on piano and vocals on several of the tracks, Kirk Fletcher on guitar and Chris James on guitar.  Check out I'm Worried and So Ezee.  I especially liked Done Got Old.  I believe that the dancers who like to get out on the floor with some good Blues music will especially like this one.  Bob and Tail Dragger come together for the vocals on this one.  Boogie Woogie Ball also caught my attention.  It is mostly instrumental with Henry Gray on the keyboards giving vocals like Champion Jack Dupree used to do on so many of his recordings.  Chicago-born producer and harmonica player Bob Corritore began collecting Blues albums, playing harmonica and attending Blues gigs after hearing Muddy Waters on the radio when he was twelve.  Over the years, Bob has played at many of Chicago’s clubs and even formed his own Blues record label.  Tail Dragger was born in Altheimer, Arkansas and ,like so many other Blues artists, moved to the Chicago Blues scene.  He has been recording under the name of Tail Dragger for over fifteen years.  

  fjrThe Fabulous Jelly Rolls began their road to fame in the spring of 1996, when Russ Riley, a.k.a. Blind Jelly Melon, Chigger Woods, Frank Brantley, Rommie Tyndall, Mike Tewell, Gene Pope, Larry Mangum and Scott Utley came together to perform at local clubs and events in and around Durham, North Carolina. On a cold afternoon in 1999, the group got together and recorded their first efforts, one of which was Bring Your Own Money, a tune written by Russ, Frank and Scott. First performed in 1999, the acceptance of the song from the crowds led them to record the number for Ripete Records for the compilation, Life's A Beach Volume 2. Over the years, the Jellyrolls recorded ten more songs as a part of various compilations.  Fast forwarding the clock fifteen years, The Jelly Rolls introduce their first full album, Blind Jelly Melon And The Fabulous Jellyrolls...From The Beginning. The album includes all of their previously recorded material, including the previously unreleased song from the first recording session, Don't Make Me Beg. The album features a typical Jellyroll-type song, You Never Had It So Good. Scottie Utley, who sings with the group from time to time, shares the lead vocals with Russ Riley. Russ Riley along with Frank Brantley wrote many of the early songs with Russ writing all the new ones. Another one to pay close attention to is Mini-Foo-Foo, which has a "Blues Brothers" flavor to it. Other new songs included Little Things, a slow one with a country flavor, a Gospel number, Leavin' It Up To You and the comical song, Red Neck In A Beach Music Band. Durwood Martin formally of The Embers plays the piano for all of the new songs. Of the other previously recorded numbers, From The Beginning carries Don't Get Between A Dog And His Meat from the 2001 album, A Tribute To Fat Harold, Like The Rain from 2003's Beach Party 2, a shagger's Favorite, Rita Mae with Gary Bass and The Jellyrolls from 2005's If Tens Gonna Kill Me Give Me Nine, Lie To Mefrom 2006's Locals Only 2, Suffer With The Blues,written and lead vocals by Scott Utley, from 2007's Forever Summer, Red Shagging Shoes from the album Get Ready For Showtime and I Wanna Win from Tobacco Road's Carolina Soul Collection. Also on the album is the Jellyroll's recording of Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer from KHP's Ocean Drive Christmas Volume 2, recorded in 2007 and Rock This House from the Old School Shag album, recorded in 2008. Blind Jelly Melon And The Fabulous Jellyrolls From The Beginning was produced under the direction of Chigger Woods, Frank Brantley and Russ Riley with special assistance from Julian Fowler and Chris Jennings, guitarist for The Fantastic Shakers. The album was mixed, mastered and edited by Keith Houston of KHP Music. gl

 

Gary Lowder has released his latest, just in time for the Spring Safari.  The title of the CD is Coastin' and is being released by KHP Records.  Coastin' has already caught on along the coast of the Carolinas and is doing well in inland clubs.  Another song that should do well after Coastin' plays out is Never Never.  In fact, even though I like Coastin' a lot, I like Never Never slightly better.  Another number you might want to check out is Then Love Came.  The album all original material was written by Gary.  Coastin' is one you don't want to miss out on.  Gary Lowder is a native of  China Grove, North Carolina.  Work later took him to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he had spent eighteen years.  One day while battling a snowstorm on the way to work, Gary decided it was time for him to return home to the Carolinas.  He has found success in coming home, developing his own solo career and singing with The Carolina Breakers and The Legends Of The Beach.  Gary is married and has two grown children, both of whom live in Minneapolis and have provided him with three grandchildren.

  Until next time...

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My Music Or Yours
by
Mike Little

February 2012

 

It's been a while, but I'm back.  Here's some R&B music you might want to check out.

 th Delta Groove recently released Terry Hanck's latest, Look Out.  The album got the attention of the nominating committee of the Blues Music Awards, and Appreciate What You Got, one of the featured songs on the album, was nominated for Best Song of the Year.  The Blues Music Awards is what they used to call the W.C. Hamby Awards, and is held in Memphis annually.  Though Appreciate What You Got is one of the better songs on the album, and one that I had picked out, it may not be the best song on the release.  Check out the lead track on the album, Here It Comes.  It sounds like it came straight from the mid-sixties, of course, with more modern instrumentation.  Dancers should love this song.  Also, check out Just One More Time. It has some great vocal twists, and some great horn work.  This may be the on the disk.  You also need to listen to My Girl Josephine.  Terry and his band do a good job with this Fats Domino classic.  Speaking of the band, there are some well known artists performing on the release, including Chris “Kid” Andersen on guitar and Bob Welsh on piano and the B3 organ.  Terry Hanck hails from Chicago, but it took only one cross-country trip in the early 60's to convince Terry that that was where he wanted to live.  And by his twenty-first birthday, he had purchased his first saxophone and moved.  Six years later, he moved to the Bay Area, forming his first band.  In 1972, after hearing the band, Elvin Bishop offered Terry or his harmonica player to join his band.  Terry declined; the harmonica player did not.  However, a friendship between Terry and Elvin developed, and Bishop asked Terry and his band to open for him.  For over a decade, this provided Hanck with a worldwide stage to growl, squonk, soar and soothe on his tenor sax.  As Elvin Bishop stated, “Terry Hanck is a fine vocalist, an amazing showman and my favorite sax player”.  Look out!  Terry Hank's latest album, Look Out!, is now available at your favorite musical outlet. 

  ab I've always liked the song, Blue Suede Shoes.  Not that it is a good dance song, but it brings back memories of the Rock & Roll era of the fifties.  Carl Perkins wrote and recorded the song in 1955.  It is considered one of the first Rockabilly numbers, incorporating Blues, Country and Rock & Roll.  Perkins received a Gold Record for the hit.  Elvis Presley began performing the song in concert in 1956, recording the number in the late fifties.  He rerecorded the song in 1960 for his movie, G.I. Blues.  However, it was in 1999 before a Gold Recorded was certified for Elvis' version.  As I said, it does not make for a good shag song, but have you heard Corey Stevens' version.  He has taken this classic and rerecorded the song making a good dance number of it.  The song comes from his Albertville release in 2007.  Born and raised in Illinois, Corey was eleven years old when he first picked up a guitar.  After earning a degree in music from college, he moved to Los Angeles to solidify his dream.  He took a job teaching third grade, which allowed him time to keep a band together and begin his first recording project.  Along the way, Corey met and married Linda, who gave him his only child, a daughter who truly is the apple of her father's eye.  After spending ten years teaching, which helped him build character, a comparison to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan was a mixed blessing which pushed him to make his own statement.  And that he did.

 nd I first became aware of Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires when they released the group's New Sounds From Kansas City with the hit song, Heavy Weight Baby.  The group is back now with a new album and a new addition for lead vocals.  71 year old Jackson, Mississippi Blues singer James “Rocky” Gray has now become a permanent member of The National Debonaires, and will be featured along with the great Kansas City-based singer, Dave “Elmo” Bailey.  Gray was a contemporary and good friend of legendary Jackson, Mississippi singer, drummer and harmonica player Sam Meyers, who spent the last years of his life fronting Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets.  The new album from The National Debornaires comes from Blue Edge Records and is titled Voodoo Workin'.  The song Michelle jumped right out at me when I was first reviewing the album.  Don't think The Beatles.  Don't think Paul McCartney.  This is an entirely different song, written by Willie Mabon, and sounding a lot like Fats Domino.  We should be hearing this number in the clubs in short order, as well as on the radio.  Speaking of Fats Domino, the album carries one of his hits, My Girl Josephine.  The release also features the ballad, There Is Something On Your Mind, written by Big Jay McNeely and popularized by Bobby Marchan.       

 ab Al Basile has released The Goods on his own Sweetspot Records label.  This is his eighth release on the label.  The album is probably his best release yet from the multi-talented musician thus for the Beach Music and Southern Soul markets.  The Goods was produced by Duke Robillard, who also provides the guitar licks for the project.  Horn arrangements were provided by Doug James and Al Basile.  The Blind Boys of Alabama make a guest appearance on one of the tracks for the release.  There are two songs that really caught my attention and should go well for the dancers.  The Price (I Got To Pay) was initially written for Duke Robillard, but Al easily substituted “horn” for “guitar” in the lyrics.  The arrangement of the song sound a lot like The Holiday Band.  In fact, Al's up-front vocals even sound like Mike Taylor's on this one.  The other song that caught my ear is She's A Taker.  This song lyrics on this were inspired by a particular woman, and we all know people like this, both women and men.  Two other songs that should not be overlooked are I Want To Put It There and Reality Show.  Al Basile was originally a poet and fiction writer.  He was the first to get a masters degree from Brown University's Creative Writing program.  He also wrote musicals as an undergraduate.  He met Duke Robillard in 1969, which changed his artistic direction.  He began his performing career in 1973, when Duke hired him as first trumpet player for Roomful of Blues.  Some of the songs Al co-wrote with Duke have appeared on television.  Ruth Brown recorded one of his songs for Handy Award winning R&B=Ruth Brown, which was later nominated for a Grammy.  His second Grammy nomination came on Duke Robillard's Guitar Groove-a-Rama.  He continues to work with Duke on various projects.  The Goods by Al Basil is one record you really need to check into.

 tn Tracy Nelson, in the past, has probably been best known for her collaboration with Angela Strehli and Marcia Ball on the Ike & Tine Turner rerecording of Fool In Love in 1990.  Today, she is back with a new recording, Victim Of The Blues, on the Delta Groove label.  There are several good songs on the release that would easily fit into our market.  Take Shoot My Baby, for instance.  The song has an intro like Johnny Rivers had on his Memphis recording, but the song jumps right into a very danceable, upbeat tune.  The song was written and previously recorded by the late Jimmy Reed.  Great 88's coming from Tracy on this one, as well as all the other songs on the album.  Also, check out Howlin' For My Baby.  Co-written by Willie Dixon for Howlin' Wolf, Tracy takes the number to the next level.  You also need to listen to Without Love (There Is Nothing).  Tracy does a fine job with this Ben E. King classic.  The very versatile and talented Tracy Nelson is probably better know for her role as lead singer of Mother Earth.  Born in California and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, Tracy began playing music when she was a student at the University of Wisconsin.  In 1966, she headed to the West Coast, settling in San Francisco, and formed Mother Earth.  In 1993, she released her  first straight Blues record since she had started recording in the 60's.

monMo Music Records & Entertainment has released Sista Monica Parker's latest, Living In The Danger Zone.  Monica wrote or co-wrote almost  all of the songs on the 14-cut release, with the exception of one, written by Robert Cray.  Sending You On Your Way is a killer song.  Opening with plenty of horn, the number should do well throughout the Carolinas and beyond.  Also, check out, Hug Me Like You Love Me.  This upbeat song also has potential in our arena of music.  Like so many other powerful contemporary Blues women, Sista Monica Parker got her start singing in church.   When she came of age, she joined the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of sergeant after three years of service.  Following her service in the Corps, she was inspired by her neighbor, MC Hammer and started sharing stages in Northern California clubs and festivals with many Blues and classic R & B artists.  In 2001, she released her first Gospel album, shortly thereafter going secular.  In 2002, she was presented with the Blues Artist of the Year at the 17th Annual Montgomery Bay Blues Festival.  In late 2002, she discovered a lump under her right arm, later finding out that it was a rare and severe form of cancer.  She went through a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, always holding on to her faith in God and her will to live.  In 2004, she re-emerged on the scene and recorded an album of Soul and Jazz standards.  Sista Monica Parker's abilities as a Blues and classic R & B vocalist makes her one of today's most powerful singers of Blues, Gospel, classic R & B and Soul singers in America.         

 mj Ms. Jody is still bopping on the charts with her smash hit, The Bop, from her Ecko Records release.  Her new release from Ecko Records, Ms. Jody's Keepin' It Real, contains several songs that could easily slip into beachmusic45's hot 45 or John Hook's Top 40.  I'm not sure any of them could outpace The Bop, but check out I Thank You For A Job Well Done.  It has the right beat.  It has the right rhythm.  The song may just go places.  Also, try Move On.  This one also has potential.  Other songs on the album that should not be overlooked are Take Me and I'm Keeping It Real.  You might want to listen to The Spank.  Could it be that we of the Old School are going to have a line dance?  Ms. Jody started singing when she was just a little girl.  In 2006, she made a visit to Ecko Records, where she was thereafter signed and cut her first album.  In 2008 she was nominated for several awards, including the Jackson Music Awards' International Female Vocalist of the Year and Jus Blues Music Awards' Best New Southern Soul Artist of the Year.  Ms. Jody has made quite a name for herself in just a very short period of time.

Until next time...