Ms Jody
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Ms Jody


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The best kept secret in music


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You're My Angel (Ecko, 2006)

What You Gonna Do When The Rent Is Due (Ecko, 2006)

I Never Take A Day Off (Ecko, 2008)

It's A Ms. Jody Thang (Ecko, 2009)

Ms. Jody's In The Streets Again (Ecko, 2010)

Ms. Jody's Keeping It Real (Ecko, 2011)

Ms. Jody's In The House (Ecko, 2011)

Still Strokin' (Ecko 2013)



Vertie Joanne Delapaz (aka Ms. Jody) was born on November 10th in Chicago, Illinois. Two years after she was born, her parents--contractors in the Chicago area--returned to their former home in Bay Springs, Mississippi, a farm about 65 miles southeast of Jackson, where they continued to live (and listen to a lot of R&B around the house) through Ms. Jody's childhood.

In 2005 Vertie's brother, Dale Pickens, took her to her first blues show--Denise LaSalle--and the experience inspired Ms. Jody to consider performing herself. "I can do that," she remembers thinking.

That fall in 2005, O. B. Buchana and his band, Total Control, were celebrating a CD Release Party in Meridian, Mississippi, just up the road from Bay Springs. Pickens knew some of the band members, and he introduced Ms. Jody to them and the band's manager, William Day.

Day was so enamored of Ms. Jody's talent that he asked her if she'd like to travel to Memphis and meet John Ward and Morris "J" of Ecko Records. Ecko released Ms. Jody's first album, You're My Angel, in March of 2006.

The first single from the album--at any rate the track that first played in central Mississippi--was a Lillie Pickens-composed song entitled, aptly enough. "Ms. Jody." At the time, no one had ever heard of Ms. Jody, and the upbeat number, although diverting, wasn't strong enough to make an impression. Soon after, however, critics and deejays discovered a country-influenced song on the album called "I Never Take A Day Off (From Loving My Baby)."

"I Never Take A Day Off," with Ms. Jody's unaffected, Nashville-inflected vocal riffing over the solid, soul-blues Ecko house band, sounded almost revolutionary in a soul context, and the record soon caught on across the South.

Ms. Jody's What You Gonna Do When the Rent Is Due, a more than adequate sophomore effort, came out surprisingly soon, on Ecko in November of 2006. The new disk also featured an against-the-grain, novel-sounding single, "Your Dog's About To Kill My Cat," with a vintage, throwback-sounding, string section-drenched arrangement.

Once again, the Stations of the Deep South loved the track, with its "you're-wearing-me-out" lyrics from Ms. Jody's protagonist, a sexually-beleaguered woman saddled with a man with unquenchable appetites.

The album was fuller and more professional overall than her debut, with tracks such as "Big Daddy Don't You Come," "One Way Love" (with O. B. Buchana), and "You Got To Know How To Work It" showcasing Ms. Jody's unique vocal qualities.

The songs carried Ms. Jody through 2007 on virtually all Southern Soul play lists and served notice that the artist wouldn't "fade" as do so many female performers in the hard-to-crack, male-dominated Southern Soul market.

I Never Take A Day Off, Ms. Jody's third album, brought the title cut (the gem from her debut) to a larger audience while recycling the previous year's success with "Your Dog Is Killing My Cat" (2007 "Daddy" for Best Female Southern Soul Vocal) into the less original, more overtly formulaic "Energizer Bunny."

Amongst other radio singles--"It's The Weekend," "I'm So Thankful" and "Lonely Housewife"--the most compelling song from the album, according to Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 "Breaking" Southern Soul Singles for March 2008, was "Ms. Jody's Thing," with the Ecko rhythm section in "a groove as tight as a condom on a stud bull."

And It's a Ms. Jody Thang, Ms. Jody's fourth release on Ecko Records, followed in 2009. Besides a "Ms. Jody's Thang (Remix)," however, the CD lacked the spectacular song that anchored the three previous Ms. Jody albums.

Ms. Jody's In The Streets Again (Ecko, 2010) returned Ms. Jody to the top of the Southern Soul singles charts with the throwback-sounding, mid-tempo "The Bop," but there was little else of enduring value on the set, and the follow-up, Ms. Jody's Keepin' It Real (Ecko 2011), failed to generate much enthusiasm, gaining a rare two-star rating from Daddy B. Nice.

Over time the frequency of Ms. Jody's roughly-annual CD issuing--while keeping her highly visible in the Southern Soul market--had leached away much of the depth and quality.

Give Ms. Jody and Ecko's John Ward credit for recognizing the problem. 2011's Ms. Jody's In The House righted the ship in resounding fashion, showcasing a revitalized Ms. Jody negotiating some of the finest material since her early CD's. In actuality, the music was even better.

The centerpiece of Ms. Jody's In The House was a song that both broadened and amplified the musical virtues of Ms. Jody's signature hit, "I Never Take A Day Off." The song, recorded in both a radio version and a long, voice-over (talking) version spanning over six minutes, was "When Your Give A Damn Just Don't Give A Damn Any More."

The album represented a career-defining pinnacle for Ms. Jody, with almost every selection garnering airplay and acclaim. Memorable singles included: "Southern Soul Dip," "I Did It," "I Never Knew Good Love Coul