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Mendenhall, Mississippi, United States | INDIE

Mendenhall, Mississippi, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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(Feb 20, 2006) - BIG K9

"*** Being billed as "The Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul""

*** Being billed as "The Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul" could make you suspicious she's just another pretty chick selling sex n' style over substance. In other words: to compensate for a lack of talent she'll intoxicate you with booty. Not so with Rhonda McCullum aka "Roni". Yes, she's got the look (and that don't hurt) but she's the complete package. Her 12-track debut "Call Me" is a well-produced set of slick Southern Soul and kickin' dance music. The genre has it's formula. "Do You Want" & "Hit It Right" are dancers. "Call Me" and "Fool On My Hands" are smooth slowies. The trick is doing it a bit better than the competition. "Let's Shake It" is a safe choice for a single- a head bobber with finger snaps and a call out to "shake your shaker" that appeals to the party circuit but the retro "Freaky" should be the smash here. "You can call me all kinda dirty names/One thing's for sure ain't no shame in my game/I need a man who's a freak and not in a little boy/And when he can't play I can play with my toy". Alright then. Despite the cheeky lyrics, the midtempo feel good groove punctuated by electric piano, synths and sexy swagger is irresistible. Did the breathy backups on the refrain. This, like 8 other songs, was written or co-written by Roni. Track 10 is an autobiographical tale of making it on the Chitlin' Circuit. She says you "Can't Stop A Good Thing" even if the road to success is rough. It's true the "Chitlin Circuit" has pros and cons. The pro is you can buck the mainstream and still make a name for yourself. The con is you get marginalized as merely a sub-genre of Soul music. Well, Roni you've made it.
(May 19, 2006) - Dylann DeAnna - Blues Critic

"Concert Review"

My homegirl(Mississippi native),Roni was the first performer of the night and just like Ms. Monique a couple of weeks ago this was a much anticipated performance for me.We both were looking forward to meeting each other and I told her that I wouldn't miss an opportunity to see her perform.She and Jackie Neal were good friends and it was in this same building that I saw Jackie perform for the first and only time.As Roni walked out on stage she made it clear that although the house wasn't packed she was ready to let it do what it do.She graced the stage with a S-E-X-Y outfit and myself and a few of the guys in attendance were simply blown away.LAWD HAVE MERCY!I got the same feeling when I saw Jackie Neal hit the stage.She truly deserves the title of "Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul".With the face of an angel she began belting out Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman" and we all gave her a nice ovation.She has an amazing voice and everybody down by the stage was feeling her."Do You Want What I Want" was her next song and the guys at the table across from us all said in unity, "hell yeah".It was nice to see with the small crowd that everyone was still having a good time.Her next three songs "Hit It Like U Miss It","Not Gonna Beg" and "Freaky" continued to keep the guys across the table from us hyped.Before she began her show Big Mike and Jackie weren't familar with Roni but by now they were loving her,her next song "Call Me" got the two of them up and slow dancing and they continued on dancing with "Cheating On Me".By now I observed that although she is a new artist she knows how to carry a show.I just hate that it wasn't a full house to see her doing her thang.She saved the best for last "A Fool On My Hand" she began to ad-lib with some explicit language which got a nice ovation from the people in attendance.Just like Denise Lasalle,Millie Jackson and Big Cynthia to name a few she delighted the crowd.She closed her performance with "Lets Shake It" and she asked the guys if anyone wanted to join her on stage?I'm from the old school and shaking it ain't my thang and I guess I hadn't had enough gin and juice to go on stage and make a damn fool of myself.I hate that the other guys in attendance didn't join her on stage but when she asked if any of the ladies wanted to join her she was able to get a fan to join her.Together Roni and the fan began to work it together and the fellas were loving it.I love how the artist in this genre of music allow the fans to be a part of the show.Before she ended her performance she said she had to really SHAKE IT and LAWD HAVE MERCY did she ever.She began to shake and wiggle like an exotic dancer and this received a nice ovation from everyone in attendance.Roni has the stage presence of a veteran recording artist.Her live vocals are terrific and those exotic dance moves makes her the total package.Sexy and soulful would describe her best.She is truly a major star on the rise.The divas of southern soul are getting stronger and along with a few more divas I can honestly see females dominating shows in the very near future.Take a bow Roni,your friend Jackie Neal is looking down smiling.This was a great performance that set the tone for the rest of the show.After her performance I had the opportunity to talk to her and like so many of these beloved artists from this genre of music she is very humble and appreciative to the fans who support their music.We took several photos and agreed to stay in touch.While taking pictures Miss Equal Opportunity,Pat Brown came over to say hello and this was my first time meeting her.She wasn't performing so I was suprised to see her,she joined me and Roni for a photo.This is why I love this blues and southern soul thang.
(Jun 3, 2006) - Big K 9

"Another up-and-coming Southern lady"

Rhonda McCullum – (another up-and-coming Southern lady) – wrote seven and co-wrote two of the twelve songs on her debut CD, Call Me (Allison Records; 06 - out of Nashville, TN), and the label boss, Steve Ganaway, took care of the rest.

Three somewhat formulaic dancers (Let’s Shake It, Hit It Writer and Freaky) and two mid-tempo beaters (Do You Want and Cheatin’ On Me) aside, we are left with seven slowies, which is more than enough to make you convinced about Roni’s vocal capabilities. Already on the first ballad, Call Me, her singing makes you a believer, but as often is the case on slow songs the scarce programming becomes too dominant in the mix. Love Grows is a gentle beauty with some sax playing, and Not Gonna is another smooth swayer. On those two Roni, however, can’t resist the fashion of listing the names of some other soul artists (such as Aretha, Latimore, James Brown, Bobby Womack, Millie Jackson, T.K. Soul, Willie Clayton and Tyrone Davis this time). For this scribe the best ballads on the set are the churchy and intense Wrong Place – a tribute to Jackie O’Neal – and the poignant and touching Same Thang’. Roni is a talented young lady, and I for one would love to see her grow, both in popularity, and as an artist.
(Jun 9, 2006) - Heikki Suosalo - Deep Online

"The Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul’ Rhonda McCullum (Roni)"

Subtitled ‘The Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul’ Rhonda McCullum (Roni) has a powerful soulful voice, which is strong throughout the album. The up beat ‘Do You Want’, and ‘Hit It Writer’ are winners, along with the more typical southern mid tempo dancers ‘Lets Shake It’ and ‘Cheatin On Me’. Roni’s voice is best suited though to the ballads ‘Call Me’ , ‘Love Grows’, ‘Not Gonna’, ‘Fool On My Hands’ and ‘Cant Stop A Good Thing’. One of the best southern soul album for a while, if liked the Ms Monique album , then you should love this.
(Aug 31, 2006) - Fabian Stephenson - Soul Brother Records

"Memphis Concert on April 1, 2007"

.......The next performer of the night was "The Sexy Lady Of Southern Soul",Roni and I was so glad to have the opportunity to see her perform again.The crowd led by myself and the Kitty Kitty Club gave her a nice ovation as she came to the stage.She received her biggest ovation from the fellas who were really captivated by this Sexy diva.This was my second time seeing her perform and just like the first time,to see her walk out on stage is truly breath-taking. She thanked the people in attendace for coming out to support her which I thought was a really nice and professional gesture especially with such a small crowd on hand.She opened up her performance with a rendition of Betty Wright's "Cleanup Woman" and man did she begin to belt out this tune.The crowd was very appreciative as they gave her another nice applause.The Kitty Kitty Club once again were making the most noise down front and you would think that it was a full house with all the love they were showing this southern soul diva.The first time I saw her peform she didn't have a live band but now she did and oh what a difference a live band can do for a performance.Her soulful voice filled the air and she had everyone feeling this cut.Her next song was "A Woman Needs Love" and she left the stage area and begin to distibute her cds to the people in attendance.How cool is that?Not only do you get to see her perform live you also receive a free cd.Now you know the audience were loving her now."Do You Want What I Want " was her next selection and me personally,I won't answer that question but I can only imagine how the fellas felt.Betty Wright must have had a big influence on her as she performed a terrific version of "Tonight Is The Night".I was blown away by the depth of her vocals as she had the small crowd all on their feet.She kept the old school theme going with a remarkable rendition of the 70's r&b trio Honey Cone's "Want Ads" and she asked if there were any single men in the house?I couldn't tell it was a small crowd on hand,like a cohesive unit a reply of yes was belted out from some of the fellas in attendance.She had the crowd involved in her show and this was making this a magnificent performance.She begin performing some of her songs from her latest cd,"Call Me" allowed her to slow this southern soul party down.This is a nice slow jam that allowed a few of the couples in attendance to get their slow dance on.Once again she was able to showcase her amazing voice.With the backing of her band this song came across very well.Her next song,"Freaky" got the crowd back their feet as she let everyone in attendance know that there is no shame in her game."Not Gonna Beg" is a nice song that had a lil Mary J Blige vibe to it.I guess the highlight of her performance came when she performed "Let's Shake It",a female fan joined her on stage and she begin to drop it like it was hot and then it was Roni's turn and LAWD HAVE MERCY!The way she shook her money maker you would think that she was back in her days with Nathaniel Kimble as she sho nuff bagged it up.She closed her performance with her biggest hit to date,"A Fool On My Hands" received the biggest ovation of the night.She ad-lib with the crowd with some explicit lyrics and you know this sits well with a southern soul crowd.She paid a tribute to her friend,our beloved Jackie Neal and people who know me well can only imagine how sentimental I felt doing this tribute.Everyone in attendance applauded as she paid tribute to our fallen angel.Roni has truly grown as an artist and performer since the last time I saw her perform.The presence of a live band really showcased her vocals on this night and with her ability to ad-lib with the crowd,those eye popping,sexy dance moves makes her show a must see.Its truly sad that more people weren't on hand to see this young lady perform but Roni my friend I commend you for giving those in attendance one hell of a show.
Big K 9 - (Apr 1, 2007)
- Big K 9


Album: Call Me (2006)
Roni The Sexy Lady of Southern Soul
Nominated Soul and Blues Woman of the Year 2006 Jus Blues Awards

Album: Come Back Kind of Love (2007)
Roni The Sexy Lady of Southern Soul

Streaming and Radio airplay: Call Me, Let's Shake It, Fool On My Hands, Love Grows, Do You Want, Can't Stop A Good Thang', Freaky, Not Gonna Beg, Wrong Place, Same Thang it Took, Hit it, Cheatin' On Me, Come Back Kind of Love, Mr. Right



Classy, deep, sexy, soulful and poetic is a short description that does not give the correct justice to this remarkable vocalist’s talent.
You are being introduced to the Sexy Lady of Southern Soul. She’s hot, smooth, and exhilarating.

Call Me is the much-anticipated stunning sophomore release from acclaimed Nashville-based singer songwriter Roni.
Roni’s debut, Call Me, released 02/12/06, has began to slowly but surely climb the Southern Soul market and steadily picking up speed (Charting daily/weekly).

Born January 25th and raised in Mendenhall, MS Rhonda is a mere amateur to the music scene. She began her singing at the age of 5 in her home church choir well into adulthood. Rhonda first came on the music scene as a background singer for Nathaniel Kimble then went on to background for Sir Charles Jones "The King of Southern Soul," the legendary Bobby Rush, and the amazing "Jazzy Jeff Floyd."

During this time she opened for a number of different artists on a number of shows from the year of 1995 when she first won a talent show in Vicksburg, MS until presently.

Some of you may remember Rhonda from the song "Fool On My Hands," that she says she just wanted to see what it would do over the air waves and it did, it is was hot then and still is now, the song is included on her new album.

Rhonda acquired many relationships throughout her career with many artists sealing the deal for her to get any professional help needed to advance in her career.

She prides herself with the accomplishments she has made despite some downfalls along the way that she soon overcame when she was introduced to the owner of the record label "Allison Records," in Nashville , TN and this is when she says her career was really born and that it was her time to shine.

Rhonda says now she has someone that believes in her, took her love of singing and music seriously, and knows that she is a rising star in this industry, the famous chittlin' circuit.

Debuting her long awaited album entitled "Call Me." Also on the full album she says she wrote (Can't Stop A Good Thang') from experiences of all the obstacles that she faced in getting to where she is now, she shows extraordinary strength in showing everyone that when you got it, nothing or no one can stop a good thang'.

Rhonda introduces you, the fans to her heart and her dreams as well as her thoughts. She is not afraid to show her many qualities that have left the men mesmerized with her voice and beauty. As for the ladies Rhonda has songs that speak for us all with her true and meaningful writing skills.

Roni has opened for Willie Clayton, Nathaniel Kimble, Jeff Floyd, and Ying Yang Twins. Performed in front of over 8600 on the Huntsville Down Home Blues Festival and crowds of less than 300. This Mississippi Native is a star on the rise for this circuit.

Roni, who played some of the keyboard parts, wrote 9 of the 12 tracks.

With an array of musical talent, beauty, and respectful yet challenging persona Rhonda is more than qualified to carry the title "Sexy Lady of Southern Soul"!