Southern Fried Funky Soul and Blues With a Smattering of Sizzling Zydeco
Opening New Orleans bluesy-zydeco shuffle “Nobody Gotta Know” sets the tone immediately for this album of Louisiana flavoured roots – the lyrics don’t extend much beyond the title, but as it’s all about the groove, that’s hardly an issue!
Following track “Exception to the Rule” is a slower, soulful ballad that evokes Wayne Toups in vocal style and late-night feel as does “Because He Told Me So”, another prime cut of Gulf coast soul.
“Prisoner” moves into acoustic blues picking territory with a Suzie-Q-ish riff punctuated by low frequency kick drum and jazzy organ flourishes – music for warm sultry evenings.
“Tonight”, complete with its percussive rallies and shuffles, mixes up NOLA rhythms and almost psychedelic picking in a trippy nocturnal journey. “Jamie Rae” picks things up a few notches with a rhythm that sits between zydeco double-clutching and second line syncopation – tempo and instrumental shifts give the song dynamics and impetus too – and a Cajun triangle sneaks in too – what’s not to like?
“Bare Trees” keeps the piano accordion, but drops down into a Celtic tinged mellow instrumental, with soaring violin.
No time to rest though, as the train-beat of “Valley of the Chiefs” raises the tempo again, with a tale presumably inspired from Cary’s Crow tribe roots. ”Chosen Road” returns to the early-hours soul to state an acceptance of a late night lifestyle – perfect for warm evenings and a cold beer.
“Cary’s Groove” is a bass driven, accordion and barrel-house piano laced jam straight from Frenchmen Street that hits eleven on the funkometer. “Blue Delta Home” is more Gulf Coast soul with the minor key shifts that pull the emotional strings – in juxtaposition to the likes of the aforementioned Mr Toups, it’s the fiddle and not the accordion that mainly riffs against the vocal and again gives it a Celtic flavour.
The album closes with a more traditional Sonny Landreth type blues “Come the Rain” which slides things to a comfortable conclusion – if you need a soundtrack to your warm evening backyard social bubble lockdown party, and want to test the dynamics of your hi-fi, then you could do worse than having a listen to the rhythms and grooves of “Dockside Saints”.
Released August 7th 2020
Review by Nick Barber