The early morning sun shines brighter, birds chirp louder and my eyes water and itch a little bit more than usual, certain signs that spring is finally upon us. Yes, its time for the annual rites of renewal, when a young man's (and a young at heart man's) fancy turns to romance, baseball and, the Big Easy. New Orleans has always been a source of early spring revelry at Mardi Gras. Now, with the continual rise in popularity of its Jazz and heritage Festival, the Crescent City is THE springtime musical destination. Diversity in culture and cuisine as well as the vast musical menu are also major drawing cards.
"Late Night Gumbo Party," by Big Al and the Heavyweights with its blend of Cajun, swamp rock and blues seasonings fills the bill when a taste of the Bayou is essential, but travel isn't an option. This unpretentious, heartfelt effort does a fine job of capturing the atmosphere of leader Al Lauro's hometown. Although it was recorded at Bluesland
Studios in East Nashville, TN this is none the less, a Big Easy disc through and through.
Zydeco romp "Hey, Hey Nanette," leads off and special guest Billy Earheart adds driving accordion work that leaves no doubt as to which part of the south this music hails from. Guitarist Tim Wagoner jumps onboard with a careening solo that drives the tune to its conclusion. "Flavor of the Month," a good ensemble showcase follows bringing harp man Harmonica Red into the mix. Harp and guitar stay up front on the driving "Walk On," which also showcases the engaging aspects of Wagoner's vocals. Other highlights include, "You own Me," and the up-tempo "Real Good Time." "No Stranger to the Blues" closes out the set in style with its sparse acoustic guitar and harmonica work framing the oft-told tale of living a blues life.
Wagoner wrote or CO-wrote all of the selections with Big Al. While there isn't anything revelatory about these songs they are more than strong enough to carry
the disc. "Late Night Gumbo Party" showcases the strong studio chops of a hardworking road band that continues to bring aboard new fans with impressive live shows. May Big Al, Tim Wagoner and company continue their party like it's a springtime Saturday
on the bayou every night.
P.O. Box 68362, Nashville, TN 37206
615-228-7660, Fax: 615-228-7661
Simply click on the CD cover at left to order this CD NOW!
This review is copyright © 2002 by Bill Halaszynski, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
You can help support this blues website by making a contribution (click on the banner below for details)
Web Hosting & Design:
Web Hosting & Design.
Most affordable web hosting and design services available.
Find out how you can host your current site at Blues On Stage, or how I can help you design your own website!
If you would like your CD reviewed, please send TWO (2) copies, along with promotional material to:
Blues On Stage
PO Box 582983
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2983
E-mail Ray Stiles @ email@example.com with any questions.