Review – This is It! Carolina's Callin' Me

Released in the nick of time for Mid-Winter, KHP Music has kicked of 2008 with an outstanding collection of fifteen original and cover tunes for your dancing and listening pleasure. Mike Stewart kicks things off with his own “Carolina’s Callin’ Me” that is delivered in his usual laid back style The youthful and talented Taylor Manning is next with a song written by her and her dad, Doug, “Piece of Your Heart”. She sang this one during CBMA weekend to great responses from the audiences. DJ, vocalist, harmonica player and auctioneer Gary Bass follows with “Fresh Coat of Paint”, one that is sure to keep the dance floor occupied. The Holiday Band is well represented here with their upbeat and very shaggable version of Chris Rea’s “Fool (If You Think It’s Over), with Mike Neese on lead vocals. The multi-talented Jeff Grimes is the featured lead vocalist on The Legends of Beach tune, “I Ain’t Got Nothing To Lose”, penned by the equally talented Mark Black. Karen Clayton takes the lead on The Castaways’ “Good Timin’ Man”, a good original song by former Castaway Duane Neese and Mike Taylor, Neese’s band mate in The Holiday Band. Veteran performer and regular DJ at Creek Ratz, Gary Brown delivers in his usual style and finesse with “Ocean Drive”, another Doug Manning original. Around 1983 I bought a 45 by The Castaways called “It’s You”. I always liked that song, but like many other great tunes, it got pushed to the back of the box to make way for the newer records after a few years. Well, to my surprise and joy, the song has found a second life with a re-recorded version by The Fabulous Hot Dog Daddy-O’s. It’s only fitting this group record the song since it was written by Pat Christie and Tracy King of The Daddy-O’s, who recorded the original version with The Castaways back in ’83. Tiff Wheeler received considerable airplay with “Wade In The Water”; now she is back with her own composition, “Do Ya’ Like”. She got the idea for this song while she worked as a DJ in her teens, watching the guys watching the ladies in the clubs. A guy that can sing falsetto like Eddie Kendricks and waddle like Aretha Franklin, Doug Winstead of The Coco Loco Party Band is in top form with his original “Ooo-I-She’s So Fine”. My buddy Bill Ballard wrote the next tune, “On The Beach Tonight” and former long time Breeze member, John Franklin, brought his “A Game” when he recorded the vocals. Tommy Black is back with “Lalita”, one he wrote that has a Latin beat great for the Cha Cha or Shag. They may be a new band, but the members of Hip Pocket are seasoned performers and that shows with their top shelf version of Edwin Starr’s “Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.)”. Brian Hatley, formerly with The Entertainers and Full House Band nails the lead vocals on this one with 100% unadulterated soul. The Mighty Saints of Soul are next with “Love Me Or Let Me Go”, featuring Randy Hignite on lead. In case you didn’t know, he has been a member of The Band of Oz and The Embers during his musical career. Last but not least is “Taylor’s Dad”, uh, I mean, Doug Manning with the upbeat “Can’t Stop Thinkin’ About Ya”. Doug stepped out of the proverbial box on this one. First time I heard it I was like “This IS different…But I likes it”. With the number of potential hits on this project, this CD will sell fast, so do not delay in adding this one to your collection.

Buy it now from Southern Soul

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