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Luke Winslow-King

Luke Winslow-King

Everlasting Arms

(Bloodshot Records)

This new record from Luke Winslow-King is more than several steps up from his previous fine record. That one, The Coming Tide, had great songs and good playing but, compared to this one, he and the band sounded like they were skating over the top of the music. Here, Winslow-King and his band seriously dig [...]

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Tuba Skinny

Tuba Skinny

Owl Call Blues

(Independent)

To call Tuba Skinny revivalists would be to miss the point. The New Orleans ensemble, often seen busking on Royal Street, have never conceded the death of the early jazz and blues they play. In their able hands, a tune like “Willie the Weeper” (likely written around 1904) is as relevant as ever. That’s a [...]

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Andre Williams

A Fortune of Hits

(Night Train)

To his eternal credit, R&B maestro Andre Williams always had a very strange idea of what constitutes a hit record. Aside from the dance-craze tune “Bacon Fat”—which never tells you how the dance is done, or why it would be so named—his most notorious record is the 1957 single “Jail Bait.” A tune about the [...]

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Cristina Perez

Cristina Perez

The Sweetest Thing

(Independent)

Cristina Perez’ new recording has all the traits of a classic jazz vocal recording. Her voice is light and bouncy. She has a flirtatious tone that invites the listener in. The arrangements are simple and uncluttered (by her husband, banjoist and composer Chris Edmunds) which allows for her voice to shine through. There are few [...]

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Various Artists

Various Artists

Cracking the Cosimo Code: ’60s New Orleans R&B and Soul

(Ace Records)

Not the first CD inspired by a website, but Cracking the Cosimo Code is certainly the first one inspired by a website devoted to researching New Orleans R&B. (For more on the Cosimo Code, check Offbeat’s May 2013 issue or go to Cosimocode.com.) Obviously a tribute to the late architect of the New Orleans Sound [...]

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Rod Bernard & Clifton Chenier

Rod Bernard & Clifton Chenier

Boogie in Black & White

(Jin)

A reissue of a 1976 album, this is an unlikely collaboration between two legends of South Louisiana music. At the time, Rod Bernard’s swamp pop hit records (“This Should Go on Forever,” “Colinda”) had long been considered oldies and he was pursuing a career as a TV station ad rep. Chenier was then the “King [...]

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Elvin Bishop

Elvin Bishop

Can’t Even Do Wrong Right

(Alligator Records)

Elvin Bishop was never the deepest of bluesmen—he’s a good-timey entertainer and proud of it. And if you boogied to his Struttin My Stuff album back in high school, you’ll find here that he’s still throwing the same party 40 years later: The most angst-ridden this album gets is on the title tune’s story of [...]

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Michael Cerveris & Loose Cattle

Michael Cerveris & Loose Cattle

North of Houston

(Broadway Records)

As a fan of the Who dating back to the band’s earliest American performances, I approached the Broadway production of Tommy with trepidation, fearful of another degradation of Pete Townshend’s spiritually sophisticated rock masterpiece. Not only did I find myself enjoying the production, I was knocked out by the young actor who played the title [...]

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Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

Ironing Board Sam & the Sticks

(Music Maker)

Ironing Board Sam is quirky, though always in a magically creative kind of way. The 75-year-old keyboardist, vocalist and composer is blessed with an imaginative mind that often moves his music into surprising places. Take, for instance, his version of “Summertime,” off his new, self-titled release on the Music Maker label. The tune is considered [...]

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Good Children

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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