Barry Courter's pick for Day 4 of Riverbend: Tennessee's Latimore brings the soul

Soul singer Benny Latimore's "Ladies Choice" released in 2011.

If You Go

* What: Latimore* When: 9 tonight* Where: Bessie Smith Hall Stage

The Bessie Smith Strut is about beer, barbecue and the blues. Because of the location and proximity, it's easy to get all three without too much effort. Headlining the evening is Latimore, an artist who was born up the road in Charleston, Tenn.

He grew up on country music, as well as the blues and the gospel he heard in the Baptist church. It all shows in his sound. He can go full-on blues or he can mellow it out enough to make you think of Luther Vandross or Bobby "Blue" Bland.

It was that versatility that helped him have a regional R&B hit in 1973 with a jazzy version of "Stormy Monday." His first truly big hit was, well, a big one and came a year after "Stormy Monday." "Let's Straighten It Out" No. 1 hit on the R&B charts. His other Top 10 R&B hits were "Keep The Home Fire Burnin'" in 1975 and "Somethin' 'Bout 'Cha" in 1977. But he had other singles crack to Top 40, including "There's A Red-Neck In The Soul Band (1975), "Get Lifted" (1977) and "Dig A Little Deeper" (1979).

Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.