While Pierre Part’s Don Rich is often touted as a modern day swamp pop super star, truth be told, this CD should be filed under “Blue Eyed Soul.” His first release in some time, Kinda Sorta contains a profusion of ’60s classic soul covers and leans way more towards Memphis and Muscle Shoals, than say Lafayette or Lake Charles. Buy on AmazonBuy on iTunes
That’s not a criticism, just simply a fact. Even the original title track, and the splendid opening ballad, “I Don’t Want To Be Lonesome Anymore,” have Otis Redding’s and Percy Sledge’s influence stamped all over them. The list of soul covers includes “Turn On Your Love Light,” “Out In Left Field,” “Lonely Tear Drops,” and well, several other songs you’d probably have heard at an LSU frat party circa 1966. Rich handles them adeptly, but to be honest, the profusion of recycled popular hits is frankly unimaginative and quite simply lazy. It might work on a gig, but it doesn’t translate to a contemporary CD release.
As with previous Rich releases, he includes a couple of country weepers—the original “Thank You Darling” is quite appealing as is the cover of “All the Praises.” Rich’s really only tip-of-the-hat to the Bayou State is “Let’s Do the Cajun Twist”—but again it’s another cover.
There are a couple of rockers in the mix, but nothing to get excited about. Even though there are a few solid tracks here this is hardly Rich’s best effort and pales in comparison to just about all of his previous 10 CDs. Might I suggest that Mr. Rich does a little more woodshedding before he goes back in the studio again. If you’re into swamp pop, I wouldn’t go here. But, if you want to revisit your fraternity or sorority days and listen to recycled oldies, well this might be up your alley.