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postheadericon Tommy Brown in Atlanta Georgia

postheadericon Kenny Neal’s Tribute to B.B. King

postheadericon “The Thrill Has Gone”

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SEPTEMBER 16, 1925 – MAY 14, 2015

postheadericon Percy Sledge has Gone

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.52.01 AMR  and B great Percy Sledge passed on Tuesday, April 14th. He was 74 years of age.  Percy is best known for his soulful chart topping 1966 hit, “When A Man Loves a Woman. “ He died from Liver Cancer.

Percy’s humble beginnings began in Leighton Alabama where as a boy, he picked cotton and hummed and sang all day long. He sung in the church where he honed his singing skills. Later, working as an orderly in a hospital, a patient heard him singing and introduced him to a record producer.  They recorded Percy’s huge hit which sold more than a million copies and became the label first gold record.

He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.  His albums included “Warm and Tender Soul,” “The Percy Sledge Way,” “Take Time To Know Her,” and many other great hits. His first and biggest hit was covered by Michael Bolton which topped the Charts and garnered a Grammy for Michael.  Percy’s final album was “The Gospel of Percy Sledge,” released in 2013.

In an earlier interview, Percy said the song, “When a Man Loves A Woman” was in a response to a woman that left him for another man. He never received one penny of royalties from the song because he was not listed as a writer.  The royalties went to his band mates.

Percy is gone, but his soulful ballards will live on forever…

postheadericon Toni Green & Malted Milk “Just Call me”

postheadericon Take Me to the River

“Take Me To The River” is a documentary that had its world premiere in Austin Texas on Tuesday, March 11th at the South By South West (SXSW) conference.  The documentary is a celebration of music and a history of Memphis Tennessee with some of the biggest artists from that area. It’s directed by Martin Shore and the narrator is Actor Terrence Howard.  The late Bobby Blue Bland, Mavis Staples and William Bell provide the high lights from the Stax and Hi Tone recording days.

Attending the premiere was rapper Snoop Dogg, who did a duet with William Bell in the documentary.  Look at the trailer, and you’ll find a very interesting take on the history of the music, and young rappers are buying into the early days of music……


postheadericon CD Review: “It’s All About Me” by Ms. Jody

From Ms Jody
By Rojene Bailey, Host of BluesTime In The City

ms_jodyIt’s only been a few years that Ms Jody has been doing this.  In her 9 BCD’s (blues compact discs), that’s hard to believe,   she has garnered a reputation for “bashing” men, loving men, exciting men, or just letting them know what she thinks. Now, she’s back with her latest works, “It’s All About Me.”

The main reason I love the Blues is because of the stories the artists like to tell.  This one certainly does not disappoint, but she added a little more flavor to it.  Let’s take the first cut, “He’s My Candy Man.”  Ms. Jody tells of her appreciation of her man.  This song is a delight, especially if you are one of the men that have been bashed in the past by Ms. Jody. 

It is no secret, according to Ms. Jody, that if you are a woman, you’d better look out for yourself, mainly because you cannot always depend on a “Man.”  The title cut, “It’s All About Me” reminds all women and men that sometimes, you have to take your life back.  You’ve got to make yourself happy, if you are to live a happy life.  I can relate, because I am the happiest man in America. This one hit it on the head.  Not flashy, but a great story of personal survival.  And women of the world, Ms. Jody reminds you to hold you man close because there is a woman out there that’s after him.  “Every Woman For Herself” is just the right cut on this BCD to serve as a reminder that even your friend(s) may be after your man.

This is where it gets kind of strange to me.  This daughter of a preacher has a great reputation of bashing men, as I have mentioned.  The song “I’m Going to Stand By You” is the ultimate support song by a woman for a man.  Maybe Ms. Jody knows something I don’t know, but I thought it was a great touch by a woman who is obviously sympathetic, intelligent, and passionate.  Is Ms. Jody beginning to have a softer spot in her heart for us men? I doubt it.  But it’s a great song, regardless of the reason she included it on this BCD. “The Best No Good Man I Ever Had” put a touch of Reggae spin on the song that answers the age old question, Why is she with him?  She breaks it down to basics here.  In my show each week, I play a song that I call “The Low Down Dirty Lying Cheating Blues Song of the Week.”  “One Hour Baby” puts a new spin on cheating, 2014 style.  It is my new ultimate cheating song.

And she did not forget those men and women that want to hit the dance floor with or without a partner.  “The Rock” will definitely take you there and “Ms. Jody’s Boogie Slide” will put you on the floor with that line dance group to slide to.

“It’s All About Me” does not break any new musical ground for Ms. Jody, but it does continue to keep her in the forefront of performing great Southern Soul music.  Look to hear cuts from this BCD on BluesTime In The City in the upcoming weekends.  It’s that good to me.

postheadericon Prince Ronnie Love, “Back 2 Love”

by Rojene Bailey

prince_ronniePrince Ronnie Love snuck one in on me.  His BCD, “Back 2 Love’ is worth a listen. 

The first track on the BCD (blues compact disc) opens by telling the story of a man that’s been in love.  If you cannot identify with this song relating to at least one past relationship, then something is wrong.  Prince Ronnie does an excellent job of setting up the BCD with what’s to come with “Daylight With A Flashlight.”  “My Love Bone” is sure to thrill you, letting all men know that love at first sight is a reality.  It does not in no way remind you of Johnnie Taylor’s “Love Bones.” It’s quite the opposite and much more “bluesy.”    Don’t let the title fool you.

Not every track is great, as in any CD distrubuted today.  But 80 percent of the tracks are really good.  His style is that of a R & B singer laced heavily with good old blues.  And he was not afraid to identify with problems so many of us have today, as in a any good blues song.

“Everytime I Turn Around” is for all of us who have family members or friends that want to take advantage of one’s success.  Always wanting to borrow money.  Listen to this song and Prince Ronnie will tell you exactly to handle the situation in a thoughtful,  psychological manner.  Great touch to the BCD.

Roy Roberts is the producer, writer and guitarist on the track list.  The brilliant guitar work reminds me of a crosss between a virtuoso and an amateur; meaning it’s a great piece of work, with the scratching out of the blues that’s gritty, but good.  Sort of like back in the day. But I must say and being honest here, the horns and the timing on a couple of the cuts are a little off.  But I don’t hold that against them because the rest of the BCD more than makes up for it.

All and all, I give Prince Ronnie Love and “Back 2 Love” four (4) blues notes out of five.  It’s on CDS Records and has only been out for a few months.  And as usual, you can hear cuts from Prince Ronnie’s BCD on BluesTime In The City with me, R-R-Rojene Bailey every weekend.  Click the tune in tab on this page to find the stations and times, or use the “Tune-In Radio App” and put “BluesTime” in the search window.  

postheadericon BOBBY BLUE BLAND JANUARY 27, 1930-JUNE 16, 2013

JANUARY 27, 1930-JUNE 16, 2013

How fortunate can one person be to have been in the presence of a great artist like Bobby Blue Bland.  A lifetime fan, I was fortunate enough to play his music on my radio program, and to have actually sat down and talked with him.  I’m a very fortunate and lucky man.

bbbMr. Bland passed on Sunday, June 16th at his home in Memphis Tennessee.  A member of the blues community, seemingly forever, he entertained us with his incredible number of hits year after year after year.

He was born in January of 1930 in Rosemark Tennessee as Robert Calvin Brooks, then he became Robert Calvin Bland, but known to the world as Bobby Blue Bland.  Bobby was a Blues and Soul icon that entertained the world with his precious style of singing. One thing everyone could say about Bobby and one thing that everybody knows, when Bobby sang, you knew immediately it was him. Nobody had that voice, that tone, that style, that distinction, nobody had THAT but him.

Bobby was honored by The Jus Blues Music Foundation with an Award that was named in his honor in  August of 2011.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992: He received the Recording Academy’s “Lifetime Achievement” Grammy in 1997:  In 1998, he received the Blues Foundations’ “Lifetime Achievement Award, and there were many other honors and awards including the Tennessee Governors Arts Award in April of this year.  All of this from very humble beginnings going back to parking cars on Beale Street in Memphis Tennessee in the late 40’s, to singing in a group called The Beale Streeters with BB King, Johnny Ace, Junior Parker, Roscoe Gordon and Earl Forrest, to serving as a chauffeur and valet for Junior Parker and B.B. King to recording for Modern Records, Chess Records, on to Duke Records, to headlining his shows and to Malaco Records in 1985 where he cut a series of albums that appealed to his people.  He had 63 singles on the charts from 1957 to 1985, an incredible feat for a Blues Man.  His music has been covered by rock artists and covered some more by rock artists, and even some of his music was sampled by Jay Z.  He was admired by young and old alike.

Some of the articles over the past week on Bobby Blue Bland said that “Bobby did not reach the heights that artists such as BB King, Ray Charles and others of that genre reached.”  I totally disagree.  When you attended a Bobby Blue Bland Concert, and saw the people that he appealed to, he was at the summit.  You did not see the same type people at B.B. King’s concerts or the Ray Charles concerts that you saw at Bobby Blue Bland concert.   Bobby knew his audience, and some of those writers totally did not understand Bobby Blue Bland or his music.

Bobby, another great Blues Man, has gone.  His memory will live forever in the music he made, and through the messages that comprised his music.  Here’s a quote from an interview Bobby did on The House of Blues Radio Show.  ”I’d like to be remembered as just a good old country boy that did his best to give us something to listen to and help them through a lot of sad moments, happy moments, whatever.”

I’m happy:  Happy to have had Bobby Blue Bland as a part of my life.  This weekend on BluesTime In The City, the entire second hour will be dedicated to Bobby, with music, sound bites, and just fun with “THE MAN.”  Rest in Peace Mr. Bland….




postheadericon Theodis Ealey, “You and I Together”


theodisTheodis Ealey is “The Man In Black,” “The Stand Up In It Man,” “The BluesMan Lover,” and on top of all of that, he’s a great bluesman.

His latest works is “You and I Together,” which was just released.  I think Theo put a lot of thought in this one, not that he did not put a lot of thought in his prior releases.  I really think he got kind of stuck in “The Stand Up In It” label and did not know how to get out of it for a while.  With this release, he’s definitely lost that label and is forging ahead.  Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing wrong with “Stand Up In It” but it was a little over the edge for me. He even went as far as to employ the services of some former Curtis Mayfield and Lenny Kravitz personnel for this one.

And speaking of over the edge, you can easily miss a beat on the first cut of this BCD (blues compact disc) and hear something that is not there.  The cut, “Shut The Puck Up” can easily be heard as something that rhymes with “Puck.”  Not to worry, I’ve listened to it many times over and it is very clean.  He does a couple of tunes with Lacee Reed, an up and coming Southern Soul star of “I Ran a Good Man Away” fame.  The songs, “You and I Together” and “Think It Over” were beautifully done.  Theodis really lets Lacee showcase her talents in both of these songs.  On a side note, Theodis is quite known for letting artists on his shows showcase their talents.

The remake of the old Wilson Pickett tune “634-5789” just seemed to be a natural for Theo.  He put his special bluesy, soul, rockin touch to the song, and I predict that this tune will do much greater than even Theodis anticipates.  If he used this song to “add another track” to the BCD, I think he will be very surprised.  It’s a great remake.  And cut number 8, The Old Man Story, aka (MBFDD) may be a little provocative, if not raunchy.  But keep in mind, this is grown folk music.  And grown folk music will bring the girls that got “Them Blue Jeans On” which is cut number 11, and a pleasant addition to the Album.  But my favorite on the entire BCD is the everyday life, everyday situation, everyday story, “Number One Baby.” This is a great story that only a bluesman can put into a song.

Overall, I like it that Theodis is back with such a powerful piece of work.  You will hear cuts from it on BluesTime In The City.  And thinking about it, that’s what Theodis does….Whether he’s “The Stand Up In It Man,” “The Blues Man Lover,” or “The Man In Black,”….he makes great Blues.

Ro’s Tweets