Hello Blues and Southern Soul fans, the Big Dawg was able to get away from work and attend "The 2010 Mississippi Blues Fest". This was also my first show of the year and what a show it was.The Leflore County Civic Center in Greenwood,Mississippi played host for this blues and southern soul gathering.The lineup for this show included Wilson Meadows,Wendell B,O.B. Buchana,Lebrado and Denise Lasalle. It was a nice crowd on hand and it was a festive atmosphere as the sound man had the likes of Sir Charles,Omar Cunningham,Tyrone Davis,Johnnie Taylor and J. Blackfoot pumping the crowd up for this show.I was joined in the "Dawg Pound" by my fellow member,Octavious Pates a.k.a. O-Dawg.There were also a lot of familar faces joining me in the dawg pound including Angela "Ms. Von" Sims,George Hines,southern soul recording artists,Mr. Sam,Joy(Shirley Brown's sister) and one of the best producers in the industry,Bruce Billups.So with my gin and juice on hand chased by some cold bud light good people allow me to take you on this blues and southern soul ride.
The first artist on the night was Wilson Meadows and he kicked off his set with a tribute to late r&b artist,Gerald Levert."Casanova" quickly got the crowd up on their feet and dancing.He continued with a rendition of Johnnie Taylor's "Last Two Dollars" and this kept everyone dancing.I guess the theme for his performance was a dance theme because his next song "Shake" really had the sexy ladies down stage shaking what they mama gave them.He slowed down his set with a medley of some of his classic hits including my personal favorite,"I Promise","When You Really Love Somebody","I Wanna Be With You","Just Like I Promised" and "It Is What It Is" which showcased some sweet vocals from his trio of sexy backup singers.Those ladies really had it going on fellas.He received a big ovation with his rendition of "Slow Roll It".He closed his show with the southern soul classic "Still My Love" and me and O-Dawg were joined in "da dawg pound" by my homegirls Veronica Rice and Tracy and we all begin to cut a rug(blame it on the alcohol) together.Yes the Big Dawg had on his dancing shoes.Wilson Meadows was the perfect opening act for this show.He has been a constant mainstay in this genre of music for a long time.I don't think he has received the much deserved recognition as most of the other artist in the industry but he remains popular with the fans of this genre of music.For all the latest news from Wilson Meadows please checkout his myspace page at www.myspace.com/yourwilsonmeadows
Up next was Wendell B and this was a much anticipated performance for me.I've known him a couple of years now but this was my first opportunity to see him perform.As we waited for him to hit the stage his band member, Wild Man(talented brother) performed "Live Without Your love" and this was a John Legend type vibe and the ladies loved it.Believe me folks this brother sounded damn good.My man Wendell B hit the stage and I was trying to see what type of reaction he would get from the crowd on hand.The Mississippi Delta is a hotbed for the blues and southern soul music and the fans are the best critics for an artist and he received a warm reception from the crowd.The first thing he did and I thought this was brillant of him was to introduce himself to the crowd and he even asked,"Do the Mississippi Delta know Wendell B"? It was a few who seemed to be familar with him but I loved his response as he told the crowd by the time I'm finished, everyone will know Wendell B and this went over very well.He opened his performance with "Good Times" and thats exactly what the civic center was having with Wendell B as his deep neo-soulful voice filled the air.My man had Veronica,Tracy and all the women melting as he left the stage area and performed "Best Time of My Life" and my personal favorite "Heaven Sent Me An Angel".Wendell B is a St. Louis native but I swear the "philly soul" sound of the late great Teddy Pendergrass was on display.Now most artist return back to the stage after one song but he recognized that the crowd was feeling him and he continued to swoon the ladies with "Can't Get Enough Of Your love".He had a circle of women following every step as he worked the civic center floor.He returned to the stage and told the Mississippi Delta how he roll with "St. L. Thang" and this jam had a hip-hop,r&b and ballad vibe all rolled up in one.Again me and "da dawg pound" had on our dancing shoes.He continued his performance with "ABC's","When I Did What I Did" and "Gone Be Alright" and during this medley of songs his backup singers were able to shine as well.All night long he was a balladeer and the crowd especially the ladies loved him but he showed he had some blues in him as well. He closed his show with "Mississippi Girl" and this allowed the country folks to really get their "juke" on.For all of you fans who've seen Wendell B perform before already know the words I'm about to speak.Without a shadow of a doubt Wendell B is a r&b,soul singer.I'm not trying to offend anyone when I say this but how is this brother not on mainstream television and radio?I've been to a lot of shows and I've listened to a lot of singers,this guy has the best seasoned voice of any artist that I've heard at a blues and southern soul show.He is a blend of Luther Vandross,Teddy Pendergrass and Barry White all put together.I was blown away by his performance.I had the chance to speak with him after his performance and I asked him honestly how did he feel not being on mainstream radio and television? With a smile on his face, he gave a humble response. He simply told me ,he's been there and done that.Of course he said he would love to have a broader audience but he genuinely loves and appreciate all you fans in this blues and southern soul genre of music.This was just the damnest thing I've ever heard.There is no doubt that he will be brought back to Greenwood and to all you promoters out there who is looking for an artist with a real mainstream profile and a sure fire hit with fans,look no further than my man Wendell B.After tonight I dubbed him simply "Da Balladeer".It was a pleasure to be in his presence and I can't wait to see him perform again very soon.Welcome to the club man.For all the latest news on Wendell B please visit his website at www.wendellbsounds.com
and on his myspace page at www.myspace.com/wendellb
The next performer on the night was "The Gentle Giant Of Southern Soul",O.B. Buchana.As he walked out on stage the crowd erupted and there is no doubt that Greenwood is O.B. Buchana territory.He opened his performance with "Come And Get It" and he displayed some hellified dance moves to be such a large man and this was one of the reasons I dubbed him "the gentle giant".His next song was "Groove Thang" and he too had a dance theme going tonight.Its been a long time since "da dawg pound" cut a rug like this.He got a big ovation on "Lets Get Drunk" as he pulled out his bottle of crown royal and everyone in attendance held up their drinks and guzzled along with him.His next song was one of my personal favorites, "Its Over" and I was now down by the stage and dancing with some young lady who literally begged me too.He left the stage and entered the crowd for his next two songs "Just Because He's Good To You" and "You Just Playing With It" and security had to hold off some of the women as they mobbed "the gentle giant".The highlight of his performance came when he was joined on stage by recording artist,Mr. Sam to perform their smash single "Put Your Foot In It".The chemistry between the two of them were like a hand and glove as they ad-lib with the crowd and went into a slick synchronized foot kicking dance routine.My homegirl Veronica was chilling in "da dawg pound" when all of a sudden O.B. grabbed her(damn she was shocked) and pulled her out on stage and good people what happened next could get you a ticket straight to hell.I would go into details but my momma love to read my reviews and its just too x-rated for me to describe,let me just say they definetly put their foot,tongue and damn near every other body part in her.Whew only at a blues and southern soul show.The crowd got a big laugh and they gave Mr. Sam a big ovation as he left the stage.He closed his show with the southern soul classic "Backup Lover" and he tried to get Tracy to come on stage but after what happened to Veronica she wouldn't have no part of it.This was another crowd pleasing performance by "The Gentle Giant Of Southern Soul".O.B. Buchana has become arguably one of the top and probably the most popular artist in the industry.Its really a joy to see all the fans having a great time at his shows and he really does an excellent job keeping the fans entertained.For all the latest news on O.B. buchana please checkout his myspace page at www.myspace.com/obbuchana1
The next performer was Make Cents recording artist,Lebrado.For those of you not familar with him he is the younger brother of r&b singers K-Ci & JoJo.As he was introduced,the stage area quickly became packed with female fans who all were screaming profusely as he hit the stage.He opened his performance with "Coffee" and this one was definetly for the ladies.He makes no secret about the kind of woman he perfers-hot,black and strong.His next song was "Sure Wasn't Me" and I was blown away by his vocals on this song.He gave a superb renditon that probably had our beloved Tyrone Davis and Ronnie Lovejoy looking down smiling.His next song was "You're So Sexy" and the women were quite familar with this jam."Try Me" and "Like It Like That" allowed him to showcase his bad boy skills as he banged and thrust in the direction of all the women packed down by the stage.On his next song "I'll Do Anything" broke new grounds at these shows.This one female who was thicker than a snicker literally crawled up on the stage and stayed on her knees and simulated on Lebrado what a lil kid does to a lollipop.She started in the front and ended up in the back.This woman would truly have done anything on this night.Grown folks music went to another level tonight.Eat your heart out deep throat.After that rather lewd performance he turned the civic center into a dance party with his smash hit "Missing You Babe".He closed his performance with "Fire" and he asked some ladies to join him and this really set the stage on fire as about twenty or more women rushed the staged and got their five minutes of fame.He received a big ovation as he exited the stage.Lebrado is truly one of my favorite newcomers.He has really matured as a performer and has also become very popular especially with the female fans.For all the latest news on Lebrado please visit his website at www.lebrado.net
and his other website at www.lebrado.com
The final performer of the night was my Godmother and the official Queen of the blues,Denise Lasalle.She was led on stage by her son and my good friend Ray.She received a thunderous ovation from the crowd who still remained(it was late) to see her performance.This wasn't a "juke joint" but she was still explicit like it was.Can't no one in this industry male or female talk more sh*t than Denise Lasalle and tonight would be no different.I've seen her show so many times and I'm not tired of it yet.She opened her performance with "Run Tell That".She continued her performance with "I Forgot To Remember".She got the civic center rocking with her version of "Down Home Blues" as she paid a tribute to our beloved Z.Z. Hill.Her next performance was my personal favorite"Trapped By This Thing Called Love" and once again me and another female begin to cut a rug.With this song I'll dance with the anti-christ(thats how much I love this song).I couldn't believe she did "The Walls Were Paper Thin".I've heard it a thousand times but this was my first time hearing her sing it live and it sounded oh so good.Her next song was "Drop That Zero" and the ladies were feeling this one."Snap,Crackle And Pop" was the best part of her performance as she had the crowd cracking up with her raw and explicit lyrics.Her reference to Clarence Carter(Strokin'),Love Doctor(Slow Roll It),Theodis Ealey(Stand Up In It) and Marvin Sease(Candy Licker) went over very well.She closed her performance with "My Toot Toot" and she was joined on stage by her son Ray as he received a nice ovation from the women on hand as he begin to display his freaky side.It is always a pleasure for me to see a Denise Lasalle performance and I hope and pray that I will be able to see her for many more years to come.For all the latest news on Denise Lasalle please visit her myspace page at www.myspace.com/msdeniselasalle
In closing I would just like to thank Wendell B,O.B. Buchana,Lebrado and Denise Lasalle for taking the time to meet,greet and converse with me.As always I'm very appreciative for the opportunity to be in your presence.I want to give shout outs to Angela Sims, Joy(it was nice to see you sweetie),Ray(Denise Lasalle son),Darrayl(sound man),Bruce Billups,Lamont Leak,Derek Dabbs,George Hines,my main man Mr. Sam,William,Tammy,Felicia Chambers & Beverly Singleton(thanks for showing me some love),Tracy,Veronica and Peaches(Arkansas Peach) and O-Dawg.I had a great time at this show and I just wanted to share it with the greatest fans in the world.Take care and MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.I'll see you down by the stage.