Versatile New Orleans-born musician/producer Allen Toussaint died yesterday from a heart attack while in Spain, according to an email confirmation from his daughter today. The 77-year-old pianist, singer, songwriter, and producer, who remained consistently active in a rich and long musical career that began while in his teens, died after he collapsed following a concert in Madrid on Monday. Part of an ongoing European tour, last night's concert, which took place at Madrid's Teatro Lara, was captured on video with portions of it already posted online (see one of the clips below). Toussaint's legacy will forever be entwined with the New Orleans R&B musical scene. Growing up in New Orleans, he loved music from an early age and taught himself the piano.
Toussaint, who originally went by the stage name Tousan, began as a musician before expanding into the role of producer. He worked for a while behind the scenes for the Minit Records label, shaping hits for other artists such as Lee Dorsey and Irma Thomas. As a recording artist he was both influential and prolific with a rich catalog to his name, including a lot of singles. Among the most popular releases by Allen Toussaint found at Amoeba include the recommended collections of his work such as Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky: The Hit Songs & Productions 1957-1978, Toussaint: The Real Thing 1970-1975, and What Is Success: The Scepter and Bell Recordings.
Legendary New Orleans pianist, songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint died today. He was 77.
Toussaint died this morning of a heart attack while in his hotel room in Madrid, The Associated Press reports. Toussaint had still been touring and performing at the time of his death.
Toussaint began performing in the 1950s and wrote hundreds of hits for other artists, such classics as “Working in a Coal Mine” for Lee Dorsey and “Lady Marmalade” as performed by LaBelle. His solo career blossomed in the 1970s with releases such as his 1971 self-titled album.
Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and 2009, and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. He has performed with everyone from Paul McCartney to Elvis Costello. Toussaint is considered one of New Orleans’ most celebrated artists and often performed as a headliner at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Watch a performance of Toussaint in Madrid from from video taken yesterday below.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native JD McPherson is a roots rocker with a fresh take on early American rock 'n' roll and R&B. As a teenager, he played in a series of punk rock bands before moving toward a more roots-influenced sound with projects like The Poison Okies and The Starkweather Boys. McPherson took a chance and sent a demo recording to Jimmy Sutton, a heavy hitter in Chicago's roots and R&B scene. Sutton then agreed to produce McPherson's 2010 debut album, Signs and Signifiers, which was re-released in 2012 by Rounder Records and reached #47 on Billboard's Rock Albums chart.
In February 2015, McPherson released his followup, Let the Good Times Roll. Produced by Mark Neill (Los Straitjackets, The Black Keys), the album also features "Bridgebuilder," a track co-written with the Keys' Dan Auerbach. In summer 2015, McPherson performed at the UK's legendary Glastonbury Festival before heading out on a lengthy North American tour.
Well, here we are. We weren't thrust into a new dark age oblivion, the world didn't end and neither did my workaday quest for the best music for the day. This year was rife with records that just had to be snatched -- reissues, compilations, and a fair few newbies too.
Here follows my personal, "show and tell" style best-of list for 2012: the year that didn't stop the big wheel a-turnin'. Rather than just dicing up a list of cold-cut favorites, I've included personal events and trends herein that shaped the music I sought and gravitated towards within the past year.
BEST NEW ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Jessica Pratt - JP. No contest. I have naught but the best of things to say about this disc of spun gold and I'm not alone. It seems every Barry, Rob, and Maurice in the blogosphere has been falling all over this record like autumn leaves in the rain. If you really want to know my take check out my real talk review of JP here, otherwise please do enjoy the album's opening track, "Night Faces" below.