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Dr. John’s Best Albums

Posted by Joe Goldmark, February 11, 2018 06:06pm | Post a Comment



Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

Dr. John is the funkiest white dude. Listen to his vocals, relate to the lyrics, enjoy his wonderful piano playing, and dig the arrangements. His bag includes blues and soul music, street parade music, trad jazz, and rock & roll, all played with N’awlinz sensibilities. Any questions? Here’s the four albums that move me the most:

Dr John Gris Gris

Gris-Gris

This is Dr. John’s masterpiece and it still sounds fresh and unique. When this album came out in 1968, it was played on underground rock radio and sounded otherworldly. With tunes like “I Walk On Gilded Splinters,” “Mama Roux," and “Jump Sturdy,” you can see how alien it was from a West Coast perspective. In retrospect, some of the production credit has to go to Harold Battiste, the legendary N.O. horn player and producer.


 

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Rock’n’Roll Pioneer Fats Domino Dead At Age 89

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2017 01:23pm | Post a Comment
Album cover of Live In Austin, TX LP (also on CD) issue by Fats Domino who died today at age 89.

Today it was announced that Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., aka American music icon Fats Domino, has died at age 89. The influential  rhythm-and-blues (R&B) vocal powerhouse / boogie-woogie piano player and rock’n’roll pioneer was responsible for literally dozens of timeless hit singles from over half a century ago such as "Ain't That a Shame," “Blueberry Hill,” “I Hear You Knocking,” “The Fat Man,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Whole Lotta Lovin,” “I’m Ready,” “Blue Monday” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.” The New Orleans, Louisiana born and perennially proud native, who grew up in the Big Easy’s Ninth Ward and always lived in N.O.  (famously refusing to leave his home during Hurricane Katrina in 2005), died at his latter era Louisiana home located just seven miles outside New Orleans, according to a statement by his brother-in-law Reggie Hall who was his former road manager. So far no exact cause of death has been announced.

Proudly rotund, “Fats” was long known for being an upbeat happy music loving character and the life of the  party whenever he played in clubs, beginning in his teens. From age ten Fats Domino was drawn to the piano, an instrument that he mostly self-taught himself to play to accompany his powerful singing voice. His boogie-woogie styled playing and commanding soulful head-nodding singing, that was often sprinkled with words he’d make up, led to him landing a record deal at age 21 with Imperial Records. His first big hit for that label was “The Fat Man” (also his nick name) recorded in 1949 and becoming a hit two years later. That track, like many of his later hits, was technically a "rhythm and blues" song. However this African American created music would soon after morph into and/or be considered “rock’n’roll.” That was back in a racially segregated era (both societal and music chart wise) when R&B music was adapted and revised for white audiences to become rock'n'roll. Routinely black artists’ music would be covered by white artists to be marketed with a white face to a mainstream audience. A prime example was Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” (aka “Ain’t It a Shame”) that comparatively soul-less white singer Pat Boone would cover and score a number one pop hit with. Over time Fats Domino would get the mainstream exposure and acceptance that he deserved, ultimately leaving a legacy unmatched by anyone else.

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King In The Shadows: Elvis Presley's "King Creole"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 5, 2016 01:16pm | Post a Comment

King Creole, Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones

-- Brett Stillo

Hollywood was starting to show its age in 1958. The Old Guard, who’d turned the town into an assembly King Creoleline of fantasy and illusion in the '30s and '40s, were slowing down. Staring at them right in their faces, was the future: teenagers, Rock n' Roll, and the financial reality of the Saturday night double feature at the Drive-In.

King Creole, which was released in July of that year, straddles the line, one foot planted in old school Hollywood genre storytelling of Film Noir, the other sliding towards the juvenile market of the Rock n' Roll film. The film’s storyline is firmly planted in the former: a guy with a troubled past is just looking to get a break, but fate pulls him into a raw deal that sets him up to take a big fall. However, this particular fall guy is a sneering, hip-shaking teenager, swinging to a rockin’ beat in double-four time. And oh yes, the actor playing said fall guy happens to be one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Presley was a singer who dreamed of being an actor. He idolized Brando and Dean, and King Creole was his chance to show his dramatic potential on the screen. In King Creole, Presley plays Danny Fisher, a streetwise kid living in the French Quarter of New Orleans, trying to support his down-and-out family by working in a tough joint run by notorious gangster, Maxie Fields (played with brutish charm by a seething Walter Matthau).

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21 Essential New Orleans Records for Fat Tuesday

Posted by Amoebite, February 8, 2016 04:01pm | Post a Comment

21 Essentisl New Orleans Records for Fat Tuesday

If you are just dipping your toe into the mighty muddy Mississippi-sludge sounds of New Orleans music, here is a list to get your mojo workin', courtesy of members of the Amoeba family who are lifelong New Orleans music fanatics.

KAREN: The New Orleans sound is that rare gumbo of musical complements: a meaty stew of blues, R&B, jazz, African rhythms, Cuban, French, country Cajun, hip hop and so much more. But what defines New Orleans music? That is the unanswerable question. You can say it's this or it's that — it's the syncopation or the bass or the raw, funky rhythm. But really it's the soul of the music — the undefinable "Get Down" or "Get On Up." This is the music that carries your soul down the block on a second-line funeral procession — and gets your feet dancing in a musky club on Frenchman Street. It is playful. Funky. Deep and swampy. Raw and dirty. Mournful. Plaintive. And everything in between. It isn't defined by a drum beat. Or maybe it is. You've just got to listen for yourself.

Here are my top picks for records you need to own. Essential New Orleans listening, in no particular order. This is my own Dirty Dozen:

the wild tchoupitoulas

The Wild Tchoupitoulas - The Wild Tchoupitoulas

R.I.P. Allen Toussaint

Posted by Billy Gil, November 10, 2015 01:37pm | Post a Comment

allen toussaint

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.

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