Maurice Davis

Home
Southern Soul Blog
New Album Reviews
CD STORE
Southern Soul Charts
Southern Soul Radio
Soul Blues Artists
Blues Critic Awards
Annual Best Of
Essential 100 Albums
The Top 50 Albums
Videos
Advertising
Contact Us

 

Maurice Davis

Michigan-based Soul Blues artist and radio disc jockey. Dubbed the "King Of Party Blues".

Album Discography

"I Want Some Brown Sugar" (Serious Sounds) "I Want Some Brown Sugar" (Serious Sounds)

1.I Ain't Never Been No Fool
2.Let's Do "69"
3.Love Freak
4.Little Blue Bird
5.Blues Get Funky Too
6.Brown Sugar
7.Let Me Hold You
8.I'm Crazy

** Yes, what a difference a production budget makes. Recently I reviewed Davis' "The Right Way" for Sims Records. It's excellent and enjoys the benefit of live musicians, great tunes and a soulful performance from Davis. Interestingly, the disc opens with a blues cut that appeared on "The Right Way" but that ticking drum machine ruins it for me. Same problem with "Let's Do 69", and those pea-brained lyrics don't help either. There's good drum programming and there's "rinky-dink". These have the latter. Then, suddenly, live drums appear on the rolling blues "Love Freak" and the grinding slow blues "Brown Sugar", which appears to be a live recording. (The applause sounds more like sizzling bacon than hands clapping though!). It makes me long for a full fledged live record but it's too little too late. There ain't enough "Brown Sugar" to flavor this bland outing.

"I'm In The Mood For Love" (Touring 1998)"I'm In The Mood For Love" (Touring 1998)

1.Love Freak
2.Little Blue Bird
3.In the Mood for Love
4.Huggin and Kissin
5.Dreaming
6.House Party
7.Blues Get Funky Too
8.Intro [Live at Misty Fifty's]
9.Good Time Roll
10.Brown Sugar (Live)

"Fool For You" (Mardi Gras 2001)"Fool For You" (Mardi Gras 2001)

1. If Draws Could Talk
2. Bodily Harm
3. Something About You
4. Angel of Mercy
5. If I Had a Chance
6. Fool for You
7. If Loving You Is Wrong
8. Juke Joint
9. I'll Do Anything for You
10. Your Turn to Cry

"I've Got To Move On" (Wilson 2002)

1. I've Got To Move On
2. I'm Ready, Willing & Able
3. Reap What You Sow
4. Let's Do 69
5. I'm Having A Hard Time
6. There It Is
7. Kiss You From Head To Toe
8. In The Mood
9. Huggin And Kissin
10. House Party
11. Kiss You (Remix)

Into Something" (Wilson 2003)"Into Something" (Wilson 2003)

1. Everybody On The Dance Floor
2. Wanna Get My Groove On
3. Black Cat
4. Get It On Tonight
5. Cold Piece
6. Who Is It
7. Into Something
8. Crazy For Your Love
9. I'll never Lead You On
10. Hold On To What You Got
11. Bit Off More Than I Can Chew
12. I Can't Stop

Maurice Davis "The Right Way" (Sims)"The Right Way" (Sims 2005)

1. I Woke Up
2. Her Memory Keeps Knocking
3. Letting Go
4. I've Been Had
5. I've Got Memories
6. Trouble
7. I'm A Blues Man
8. If I Had A Chance To Love You
9. I'm No Fool
10. Leave Me Alone

****1/2 Okay there's two cats out there recording under the name "Maurice Davis". One sings standards spanning the styles of Jazzy Blues and Gospel. While the Maurice of this fabulous new release, "The Right Way", is a soul/blues/R & B singer/guitarist. Will the real Maurice Davis please stand up? Nothing against jazzy Maurice, but this Maurice gets my vote after this album. Right from the gorgeous country soul opener "I Woke Up" you feel the authenticity. A genuine organ, guitar, bass, drums band with luscious horns this cut sets the tone for on soulful experience. This is a perfect soul song- one of the best of the decade. This mood continues over the next cuts, "Her Memory Keeps Knocking" and "Letting Go", on the parallel roads that Southern Soul and country music travel. Davis already has some 4 records under his belt (his most recent being "A Fool For You" on Mardi Gras) but this one easily surpasses them all. While the first half consists of stately soul heaven (songs written by Tim Davis, Ricky Ryan, EW James & Billy Lawson), Maurice and band kick off their shoes for some sturdy blues shuffles (written mostly by Maurice) on the second half. "I've Been Had", "Trouble", I'm No Fool" all give Maurice a chance to do some cutting with his axe. There's even a darn good cover of the ubiquitous "I'm A Blues Man". I let out a sigh when I saw it listed...until I heard it and gladly make room for this version. The set then closes with two Davis originals- most notably the gritty slow blues "If I Had A Chance To Love You". Producer and label owner Russel Sims has a good thing going with Sims Records out of Franklin, TN. A few years back critics went wild over Earnest Davis' "Real Soul" disc. This one's just as good if not better.

Maurice Davis Backstabbers "Backstabbers" (Touring 2006)

1.It Ain't My Hat, It Ain't My Shoes
2.I'm a Real Man
3.Dance a Hole in the Floor
4.Never Say What You Won't Do
5.Backstabbers
6.When We Slow Jam
7.Twirk It
8.Lay Down on It
9.I'll Follow That Thang
10.Black Cat

***1/2 "I'm the king of party blues" sings Maurice on the slick "It Ain't My Hat, It Ain't My Shoes" that kicks off "Backstabbers". Sure, it's good natured boasting but the way he squeezes out those Albert King-esque tones you may just take him serious. I mean would you respect him as much if he sang "I'm the bus boy of party blues"? I venture not. It's like rocker Elvis Costello said: "If you tell people you're a genius long enough they'll start believing you!". Anyway, Davis serves up strong electric Blues here mixed with just the right amount of "Southern Soul", which is also often called "party blues". He continues on "It Ain't My Hat" singing: "I was raised up on Z.Z. Hill/B.B. King, I liked the way he played Lucille/You know what this big legged woman said?/'I'll rock you baby 'til you're back ain't got no bone/I'll be your sweet little angel/Maurice, the thrill sure ain't gone', she said/It ain't your hat, it ain't your shoes. It's the way you you play the blues". Maurice sho 'nuff can play the Blues. And, yes, the party kind too. "Black Cat" is a standout aided by a funky Zapp & Roger synth fill. Kudos to the title cut. (By the way fellow Blues & Soul nerds like myself may also notice "Backstabbers" is loosely built off Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"). But what's interesting as I've followed Davis' career is his records are not all the same. Last year I positively flipped over his sterling disc "The Right Way" on Sims Records. That outing was half gorgeous Country Soul and half downhome blues. In a somewhat similar balance here, six of the cuts on "Backstabbers" are Davis self-produced Blues originals while four were produced by Cameo's Simeo Overall (Al Lindsey, Bill Coday). Overall wrote four songs (2 with Davis). The best of the bunch being the first single, "I'll Follow That Thang", a smooth R & B slowie with Overall's sweet backing vocals and "Lay Down On It" , an irresistible dancer with jangling guitar, bass and tasty synth horns. Hitsville for sure. Davis has a cult following that's enabled him to release a half dozen records thus far but "backstabbers" may be the one that takes him to the next level.

"Rhythm & Blues" (Touring 2007)

1.Nature
2.Sho Wasn't Me
3.That's Where It's At
4.I'll Be Doggone
5.Running out of Lies
6.Turn Back the Hands of Time
7.That's the Way I Feel About Cha
8.I'll Play the Blues for You
9.I Pay the Cost to Be the Boss
10.Someone Else Is Steppin In
11.Black Cat

*** I have a feeling that had Davis NOT been such a good musician but rather had been your usual machine-backed, sexy-voiced, dance-themed singer he'd be more well known than he is. Instead, Davis plays some Albert King-like guitar and employs a larger percentage of "live" players and real Blues on his records. His obscure disc for Sims Records ("The Right Way") is a lost gem and his last outing, "Backstabbers", had all the elements for Southern Soul radio but didn't garner that elusive hit. That disc was split between Downhome Blues and programmed Southern Soul while this new one, as the title suggests, is mostly rhythmic Blues with a lil' Southern Soul sprinkled about ("Sho' Wasn't Me" for example). But first he opens with a supercool cover of James Brown's "Nature" with some nasty chicken scratch guitar and churning bass. This deserves maximum airplay!

Davis is also underrated as a singer. He may not do justice to Johnnie Taylor's "Running Out Of Lies" but his earnest tone works quite fine on "That's Where It's At" and "That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha". Mostly, "Rhythm & Blues" delivers sturdy Soul/Blues like Albert's "I'll Play The Blues For You", ZZ Hill's "Someone Else is Slippin' In" and BB's "I Pay The Cost To Be The Boss". But don't worry, this is Urban Blues not your grandpappy's crusty versions. For good measure his great "Black Cat" and Marvin Gaye's "I'll Be Doggone" are also included. (For fellow music nerds: "Doggone" is interpreted just like Albert King did on his 1972 LP "I'll Play The Blues For You").

"Soulful" (Touring 2010)

1. After the Party
2. Cold Women
3. Ain't Got No Money
4. Leaving Me
5. Just Be Thankful
6. Dedicated To the One I Love
7. I'll Follow That Thang
8. Maurice Hustle
9. When We Slow Jam
10. Yes We Can

""Play" Boy" (Touring 2011)

1. Black Cat
2. Breaking Up Somebody's Home
3. You Gonna Need Me
4. Cold Women With Warm Hearts
5. License To Steal
6. Turning Point
7. Gone Girl
8. Got To Give It Up
9. I Destroyed Your Love
10. I Could Have Saved Our Love
11. Members Only

"Whipped & Pecked" (Touring 2012)

1. Whipped & Pecked
2. Pack Your Bags
3. I Got to Move On
4. Bodily Harm
5. Hold On to What You Got
6. Never Say What You Won't Do
7. Careless Love Affair
8. Ain't Got No Money

  "Real Love" (Touring 2013)

1 Real Love
2 Here Kitty Kitty
3 Damn Fool
4 After the Party
5 Rock Me Baby
6 Nature
7 The World Got the Blues
8 Good Love
9 I Come to Have Fun

"I Have The Blues" (Touring 2016)

1 Every Day I Have the Blues
2 Farther on Down the Road
3 Just One Moment
4 Your Love Is All I Need
5 Get Up, Get Down, Get Loose
6 I Stand Accused
7 I Got Some Outside Help
8 Thrill Is Gone
9 World Got the Blues
10 King of Party Blues

Home Southern Soul Blog New Album Reviews CD STORE Southern Soul Charts Southern Soul Radio Soul Blues Artists Blues Critic Awards Annual Best Of Essential 100 Albums The Top 50 Albums Videos Advertising Contact Us