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The Valentinos: Lookin’ For a Love – The Complete SAR Recordings (Ace)

The Valentinos began as the Womack Brothers, a popular Cleveland gospel group, but Sam Cooke took them to Hollywood and transformed Bobby and the brothers into soul music luminaries. While […]

Various Artists, Scratchin’: The Wild Jimmy Spruill Story (GVC Records)

Relatively obscure, yet no less prolific, Wild (and the emphasis here is on wild) Jimmy Spruill was one of the most distinctive blues guitarists of the last century. A New […]

Various Artists, Rhythm ‘n’ Bluesin’ by the Bayou: Mad Dogs, Sweet Daddies & Pretty Babies (Ace)

The tenth installment of the By the Bayou series still contains a seemingly bottomless pool of great vintage South Louisiana/East Texas blues, swamp pop and R&B. Once again, this 28- […]

Little Richard, Directly from My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years (Specialty)

Here’s a rather uneven three-disc compilation assembled from “the King and Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s” sizable catalog. Not to say there isn’t plenty of great music found throughout—but most […]

Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Father’s Day (Stony Plain)

Although the veteran guitarist lives in New England and now rarely travels, he does have connections to New Orleans, as his first three solo albums appeared on the Scott brothers’ […]

Obituary: Camille Bob

Camille Bob, known as “Lil’ Bob,” the creator of the swamp pop R&B party classic “I Got Loaded,” succumbed to cancer at Opelousas General Hospital July 6. He was 77. […]

The Soul Stirrers, Joy In My Soul: The Complete Recordings (Kent)

Here’s a welcome, renewed acquaintance with two old friends and a chance meet some new ones, as this double-CD reissues the original Soul Stirrers vinyl SAR albums and includes some […]

James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox, In Person: Guitar Heroes Making History (Stony Plain)

Like many contemporary blues/roots labels, Stony Plain’s catalog is littered with several all-star collections which pair two or more solo artists on one CD. Most aren’t bad, and they have […]

Johnny Adams, I Won’t Cry: The Complete Ric & Ron Singles 1959-1964 (Ace)

Johnny Adams has long considered by many the best vocalist to ever come out of the Crescent City. Dubbed “The Tan Canary,” he possessed a voice that could span several […]

Obituary: Harold Battiste

Harold Battiste, Jr., saxophonist, arranger, producer, label owner, educator and author, died June 19 after a lengthy illness. He was 83. “Bat” was key in the success of Sam Cooke, […]