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Mighty Sam McClain, Time and Change: Last Recordings (City Hall)

As the title indicates, former New Orleans resident “Mighty” Sam McClain is sadly no longer with us. He was a vocalist with an impressive deep soul pedigree, via tough 1960s […]

Joe Clay, 1938-2016

One of the pioneers of rockabilly, Gretna’s Joe Clay, died September 26 after losing a battle with cancer. He was 78. Clay, whose given name was Claiborne Joseph Cheramie, recorded […]

Various Artists, Alligator Records—45th Anniversary Collection (Alligator Records)

I’m showing my age here, but as a tenth grader, I hitchhiked to Toronto and bought the very first Alligator LP by Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers at the […]

Various Artists, Stony Plain—40 Years (Stony Plain Records)

Not to be outdone by Alligator’s recent double CD 45th anniversary collection, along comes a three CD set celebrating Stony Plain Records’ fourth decade. Named after a suburb of Edmonton, […]

The Bo­-Keys, Heartaches by the Number (Omnivore)

Most interesting release: You’d have to call this country/soul, performed in the noble tradition of the great Arthur Alexander, Joe Simon, Candi Staton, Jimmy Hughes and several swamp pop artists. […]

Todd Mouton, Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press)

Here’s the latest addition to the Louisiana music book collection. Mouton, a Lafayette native, has assembled a dozen biographies of South Louisiana individual musicians or bands. The 300-page book in […]

Winfield Parker, Mr. Clean: Winfield Parker at Ru-Jac (Omnivore)

Winfield Parker was a Washington/Baltimore–based soul singer who—hauntingly—had a sound both vocally and stylistically similar to Danny White. (Fast forward: White was a native of Washington who moved to New […]

Various Artists, Beef Ball Baby! The New Orleans R&B Sessions (Ace)

If New Orleans R&B could be compared to the Holy Bible, this CD would be considered the Book of Genesis—as in, “In the beginning, God created rhythm and blues.” Dating […]

Various Artists, Rare Soul Groove & Grind 1963–1973 (Rock Beat)

This sure was the year for R&B CD box sets. However, despite the Rare Soul moniker here, the quality of rarity doesn’t always translate to it being very good. While […]

Peter Guralnick, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ’n’ Roll (Little, Brown)

A Tumultuous and Eccentric Life   While this is a through and mostly enjoyable biography, some folks—especially in these parts—might take exception to the book’s title; Cosimo Matassa had a […]