Paul “Lil Buck” Sinegal: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Independent)

Paul "Lil Buck" Sinegal, Greatest Hits Vol. 1, album cover

These days the 71-year-old Lafayette bluesman is the guitar-scorching sideman for Buckwheat Zydeco and Corey “Lil Pop” Ledet. But from 1959 to 1971 he fronted his own 11-piece horn-powered funk/R&B/soul aggregation, Lil Buck and the Topcats. During its decade-plus run, the group cut two 45’s with a limited 200-copy pressing that now fetches $2,500 and up on the collector’s market.

While the eight tracks from 1999’s The Buck Starts Here and 2007’s Bad Situation are worth revisiting—especially the heavenly “The Blues Is Killing Me” and “If You Want Me to Leave”—they also reveal that Sinegal is the last of his kind as a bluesman. Three of the four Topcats’ tracks are wicked instrumental funksters that are much akin to James Brown’s legendary supporting squadron The J.B.’s. “Monkey in the Sack” and “Cat Scream” are pretty similar; the horn men hit hard while the rhythm section gyrates between blasts, only to eventually launch a soloing saxman airborne. “You Got the Power” is the lone vocal track, revealing how Sinegal held his own as a conviction