Blues Critic Awards
2018 READERS POLL (14th annual)
Southern Soul Blues
As voted by Blues Critic readers...
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Best Southern Soul/R & B Album
J-Red The Nephew & Friends "J-Red The Nephew & Friends"
This was an extremely close race. The top five albums were separated by less than a hundred votes out of 23,000 total. When the dust had settled J-Red was the winner with "J-Red & Friends" while "King Of Swing" Tucka'S "Working On A Feeling" was only 29 votes behind. Second runner-up was Sir Charles Jones' "The Masterpiece", missing out on the award by a paltry 33 votes! (Sir Charles won the 2014 Blues Critic Award in this category). Then with only 48 votes behind was Jeter Jones' "Dhis Him" and 51 votes behind was "Welcome To Da Boom Boom Room" from P2K Dadiddy. Other nominees: I'M DOIN' MY THANG Ms Jody, MY SOUTHERN SOUL Donnie Ray, CAUSE AND EFFECT NayCole, PARKING LOT LOVE AFFAIR OB Buchana, SOUTHERN SOUL MUSIC Corey Rudolph, I CAME TO PARTY Big Woo, ARTISTRY Snatch Nelson, MAGIC ONE Magic Show, GOOD WHISKEY Avail Hollywood, STROKE THE CAT Val McKnight, KITTY WHIPPED David Brinston, TOO FAR GONE Peggy Scott-Adams, LONELY TEARS Big G, MAKING LOVE TO YOUR MIND J-Wonn, FACTS OF LIFE Wilson Meadows, I MISS YOU Krishunda Echols, LET'S PARTY Lebrado
Best Soul Blues Album
Crystal Thomas "Drank Of My Love"
Very strong nominee field this year. Newcomer Crystal Thomas wins the Blues Critic Award for "Best Soul Blues Album". Second place finisher was Rue Davis & Jabo for their collaboration LP "Wanted For Playing Nothing But The Blues". Other nominees: I'M STILL AROUND Johnny Rawls, OUT OF THE BLUE Willie Hightower, BACK IN LOVE Ms. Zeno The Mojo Queen, PLUM CRAZY Keith Little, TROUBLE WATERS Ellis Blake, RECKONING Billy Price, I'M AFRAID TO ASK Travis Haddix, BACK IN BUSINESS Frank Bey
Best Southern Soul/R & B Song
"I'll Pay The Shipping Cost" by Ronnie Bell
Can't tell you how many phone calls we received from folks wanting to buy a Ronnie Bell CD. Unfortunately there isn't one yet. At least officially. Same dilemma went down with Bishop Bullwinkle when "Hell Naw" was red hot. He had some homemade ones he would sell at shows but hasn't gotten around to retail other than mp3 downloads. It's unfortunate because both artists left a lot of money on the table or in the hands of bootleggers (who are nothing but parasites). The majority of Southern Soul fans still want CDs. Anyway. Rant over. Ronnie Bell wins the Blues Critic Award for "I'll Pay The Shipping Cost". It narrowly bested runner-up Jeter Jones "Black Horse". Other nominees: ALABAMA FOLKS Rena Ree, BACK IN LOVE Ms Zeno The Mojo Queen, BLUES IS CALLING MY NAME Theodis Ealey, ROCK WITH ME BABY Johnny Rawls, PLUM CRAZY Keith Little & Nellie Tiger Travis, LOVERMAN Stevie J, DON'T DO IT FOR THE MONEY TJ Hooker-Taylor, I'M A HORNEY WOMAN Val McKnight, DON'T WANT TO LEAVE YOU BABY Carl Marshall & Rue Davis, THE BLUES IS ALRIGHT WITH ME Al Lindsey, MR AIN'T GONNA DO RIGHT Carolyn Staten
Best Slow Jam
"Tennessee Whiskey" by Omar Cunningham
The original version as done by
Chris Stapleton is a stone classic. Mr. Omar Cunningham wisely did his own cover
and it rivaled Stapleton's version. My pick is Omar. Runner-up proved to be
"Parking Lot Love Affair" by O.B. Buchana. Other nominees:
THIS TIME Billy Soul Bonds,
TENNESSEE WHISKY Omar Cunningham,
BLUES HEAVEN Jaye Hammer,
I MISS YOU Krishunda Echols,
THE BLAME Fat Daddy,
DOWN LOW BROTHER Val McKnight,
SQUEEZE ME Sir Charles Jones,
TOO FAR GONE Peggy Scott-Adams,
I COULD USE A DRINK Avail Hollywood,
IN THE MORNING Cupid
Best Dance Or Funk Song
"Black Horse" by Jeter Jones
Another bountiful crop of club jams we had. Southern Soul is known for it's dance tracks and dirty Blues tunes. Winner this year was "Black Horse" by Jeter Jones. A very close second place was "Tipsy" from Tucka. Other nominees: MISSISSIPPI LIT Chris Ivy, TIGHTEN UP William Calhoun, WORK IT GIRL Ricky White, SHE PUT THAT THANG ON ME Ghetto Cowboy, HOW LOW CAN YOU GO LJ Echols, THE MULE OB Buchana, I'LL DO ME A BIG GIRL David Brinston, HIGH HEELS & JEANS (REMIX) Magic One, Wendell B, Vick Allen, LJ Echols & Avail Hollywood, LUMBER JACK Lady Q, ROCK ME ALL NIGHT Lamar Brace, POKEY AT THE TRAIL RIDE Pokey, SOUTHERN SOUL BOUNCE Ms. Jody, I'M GONNA HIT THAT THANG Jaye Hammer, WANNA PARTY Solomon Thompson, TICKLE BOX C-Wright, SAME HOTEL (SOUL SWING REMIX) Nelson Curry
Best Down Home Blues Song
Donnie Ray "Still Called The Blues"
Donnie Ray doesn't cut many traditional blues songs but when he does they hit their target. He won this category back in 2012 for "Bring Back My Blues" and wins here in 2018 for the aptly-titled "Still Called The Blues". Runner-up was Omar Cunningham for "Shirely Got A Gun". Other nominees: ALABAMA FOLKS Rena Ree, BACK IN LOVE Ms Zeno The Mojo Queen. BLUES IS CALLING MY NAME Theodis Ealey ROCK WITH ME BABY Johnny Rawls, PLUM CRAZY Keith Little & Nellie Tiger Travis, LOVERMAN Stevie J, DON'T DO IT FOR THE MONEY TJ Hooker-Taylor, I'M A HORNEY WOMAN Val McKnight, DON'T WANT TO LEAVE YOU BABY Carl Marshall & Rue Davis, THE BLUES IS ALRIGHT WITH ME Al Lindsey, MR AIN'T GONNA DO RIGHT Carolyn Staten
Best Vocal Performance FEMALE
Peggy Scott-Adams "Too Far Gone"
Peggy Scott-Adams released an album this year. It was basically a reissue of the 34 year old LP "Nothing Can Stand In Our Way" with a recent track swapping in over the title cut. It was an obscure record so for most people this may as well have been a new release albeit with a retro 80s Soul production. It worked. She wins this year's Blues Critic Award for "Too Far Gone". Newcomer Nay Cole placed second with "Somebody Else Will and rookie Lady Q placed third with her "Lumber Jack". Other nominees: KRISHUNDA ECHOLS for Put It On Me, MS. JODY for Let's Play Hide & Seek, TOIA JONES for Sleeping With The Enemy, UVEE HAYES FOR Basement Party, CRYSTAL THOMAS for Drank Of My Love, VAL MCKNIGHT for Down Low Brother, SWEET ANGEL for That Good Good, MZ CONNIE for Why You Act Like That, MS ZENO THE MOJO QUEEN for Back In Love, LADY AUDREY for I Can Be Your Dream Girl, PAT COOLEY for I Need A Fix It Man, MISS LADY BLUES for Party Tonight, JUDY TONEY for Come Back Home To Me, CAROLYN STATEN for Mr. Ain't Gonna Do Right, STEPHANIE LUCKETT Right Thing, Wrong Man
Best Vocal Performance MALE
Sir Charles Jones "100 Years"
Runner-Up Omar Cunningham ("Tennessee Whiskey") wasn't too far behind winner Sir Charles Jones ("100 Years"). It was a matter of 89 votes out of 19, 000+. Other contenders were: DONNIE RAY for Still Called The Blues, WILLIE CLAYTON for Sidepiece On The Side, J WONN for Be Patient, OB BUCHANA Parking Lot Love Affair, JAYE HAMMER for Blues Heaven, VICK ALLEN for I Want You, AVAIL HOLLYWOOD for Good Whiskey, LE VELLE for Big Beautiful Woman, NELSON CURRY for Same Hotel, ANDRE LEE for I Won't Give You Up, DAVID BRINSTON for Kitty Whipped, KING FRED for Dippin' In My Puddin', WILSON MEADOWS for At-Ti-Tude, ELLIS BLAKE for Trouble Waters, CALVIN NAPPER for It Is What Is Is, BIG G for You're Not The Only One, STAN MOSLEY for People We Gotta Do Better, AL LINDSEY for Cotton Candy
Best Performance By A Duo Or Group
"High Heels & Jeans (Remix)" by Magic One, Wendell B, Vick Allen, LJ Echols & Avail Hollywood
Just like 2017 this year was another year of fabulous collaborations. So many it's hard to keep track! Cutting to the chase the winner is "High Heels & Jeans (Remix)" by Magic One, Wendell B, Vick Allen, LJ Echols & Avail Hollywood. A VERY close second (by 47 votes!) was "Soul Brothers" by P2K Dadiddy, Sir Charles Jones & Jeter Jones. Other nominees: OB BUCHANA & POKEY I'm Whipped Again, SIR CHARLES JONES, CALVIN RICHARDSON & OMAR CUNNINGHAM Call On Me, J WONN & KEITH SWEAT Feel Me, J RED & SHAY DENISE Rock With You, AUDI YO & TUCKA Can't Nobody, GENTRY-JONES Southern Soul Fresh, JETER JONES & OMAR CUNNINGHAM She Gone With Jody, JOHNNY JAMES & HIGHWAY HEAVY Sweet Dick Johnny, ADRIAN BAGHER, TYREE NEAL, JOHNNY JAMES Come Ride With Me, MR KEITH LITTLE & NELLIE TIGER TRAVIS Plum Crazy, DONNIE RAY With TONYA YOUNGBLOOD She's Got That Ooh Wee, P2K DADIDDY & VICK ALLEN Caught In The Middle
Best New Artist
P2K Dadiddy (Bryant Keith Taylor)
"Best New Artist" is always the most hotly-contested race annually with fans of each artist voting incessantly to help the artist get noticed. We repeat that sentence every year. It's true then and true now. Best new Artist is Bryant Keith Taylor aka "P2K Dadiddy". Runner-up this year was Lady Q closely followed by Mz. Connie, Big Woo and Fat Daddy. Other nominees: RENA REE, LAMAR BRACE, BEATRICE, LE VELLE, MONTRELL, BIG WOO,, JOHNNY JAMES & HIGHWAY HEAVY, ANNIE WASHINGTON
Best Record Producer(s) Of The Year
Ronald "Slack" Jefferson
Ronald "Slack" Jefferson produced two of the best and most successful albums of 2018: Jeter Jones' "Dhis Him" (our pick for "Best Album Of 2018") and Best New Artist of 2018 P2K Dadiddy's "Welcome To The Boom Boom Room". He also produced this year's "Best Performance For A Duo Or Group"-winning track "High Heels & Jeans (Remix)". Jefferson was the drummer for the group H-Town and founded Slacktraxx Entertainment in 1999. Other nominees were: JOHN WARD (Ms. Jody, OB Buchana, Jaye Hammer, David Brinston, Ms. Jody), BIGG ROBB (Bigg Robb, Toia Jones), BEAT FLIPPA (DANIEL ROSS) (Jeter Jones, Vick Allen, More), RICKY WHITE (Ricky White, Donnie Ray, Billy Soul Bonds), CHARLES LEWIS (HIGHWAY HEAVY) (Highway Heavy, Adrian Bagher, others), BIG YAYO (CHRIS MABRY) (Big Yayo, Nelson Curry, Others), LJ ECHOLS (LJ Echols, Krishunda Echols), JETER JONES (Jeter Jones, Lady Q, etc) and runner-up J-RED (J-Red, Shay Denise, Naycole)
The BLUES CRITIC staff picks...
SOUTHERN SOUL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jesse Redmond aka J-Red aka J-Red The Nephew
Jesse Redmond aka J-Red has been a major force in Southern Soul the past several years with two great selling CDs ("Soul Certified" and this year's Best Southern Soul Album "J-Red The Nephew & Friends") and introduced us to two very promising new artists (Nay Cole and Shay Denise) on his own Soul Mop record label. Feedback from our CD Store customers has been uniformly positive- with folks frequently asking "does J-Red have a new one?". Stage is set for Redmond to ascend to the A List with his next project. Other noteworthies were Jeter Jones (winner of Best Dance Or Funk Song), Sir Charles Jones, Omar Cunningham, record producers Beat Flippa and Ronald "Slack" Jefferson, Best New Artist P2K Dadiddy, etc...
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