Author Archives: Robert Fontenot

H.G. Breland, No Rhyme or Reason (Independent)

H.G. Breland is one of those seasoned music-business vets you’ve never heard of, a roots-rocker from the Mississippi Delta who made the scene on both coasts in the very unfolky ’70s without ever breaking out. But it’s just seasoned him to perfection—not only does he possess a big, booming baritone that variously evokes The Man [...]

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Louie Ludwig, These Are the Ways of My People (Independent)

When you think about unrepentant progressive singer-songwriters, you think of Louie Ludwig, at least locally. The portrait which graces the cover of his latest disc, a smiling President Barack Obama in front of a giant American flag, isn’t the least bit ironic, and neither is the peace sign he’s flashing. Whether you like Ludwig is [...]

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Alex Bosworth, Here for You (Pearl River Records)

There’s no reason Alex Bosworth couldn’t go as far as she wants in the music industry. Her persona is warm and accessible, and her voice follows suit—it combines the sultry languor of Norah Jones with Sarah MacLachlan’s angelic reassurance, a touch of Paula Cole’s lonesome high end coupled with Alison Krauss’ well-water clarity. That Bosworth’s [...]

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St. Cecilia’s Asylum Chorus, Recordings Vol. 1 (Independent)

St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, so it makes sense that choral director Lucas Davenport, late of the New Orleans Bingo! Show, would craft this shifting a capella sextet as a refuge for those who want to interact with musical performance on a personal, street level—it’s no coincidence that the chorus was out [...]

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Good Children, An Evening in the Rookery (Independent)

Good Children exists as a vehicle for the songs of local singer-songwriter Michael Wilder, and his decision to record this debut EP live in the studio was a wise one—in retrospect, it seems kind of silly to spend a lot of studio time and polish on your shaggy-dog tales. These seven songs don’t work too [...]

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Extrapedestrian, Tomorrow Is a Gift (Independent)

Naming yourself Extrapedestrian just begs for smart-mouth critics such as myself to throw the tag back in your face. That is, unless what you’re doing is so strange and off the wall that no one could possibly make the connection. Or unless “extra” is being used in the classicist Latin sense: meaning that it has [...]

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Doug Schmude, All These Avenues (Lost Hubcap Records)

Doug Schmude is a travelin’ man, covering more miles in the dozen songs on his second Americana-lite release than most people do in a lifetime. Naturally, he takes the scenic route, lyrically and literally, as befits someone who left his native Baton Rouge for the Southwest, where he honed his eye for character, then the [...]

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Lane Rodgers, One Man, One Band (Independent)

Even if you are a folkie singer-songwriter type, too much honesty can work against you. Lane Rodgers has a steady gig at a Mexican restaurant in Shreveport, at which he indeed acts as his own backing band, but while he’s undeniably likable on his debut, you have to wonder how his audience takes to the [...]

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Carsie Blanton, Not Old, Not New (So Ferocious)

Sex sells in almost any form of popular music, but it’s a rare bird who can create a truly sensual atmosphere that works as more than just marketing strategy. Carsie Blanton does just that with Not Old, Not New. Other than the 45-second coda she wrote herself, the whole album consists of nothing but jazz covers [...]

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Royal Southern Brotherhood, heartsoulblood (Ruf Records)

After a fine, but ultimately stop-gap, live album, here’s this rock-soul supergroup’s first true follow-up to their debut. The exciting news is that the five-piece’s personalities have already congealed—it can only be a good sign when the seams between this much Americana disappear. It’s already hard to tell where Cyril Neville ends and Mike Zito [...]

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