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CoCo Robicheaux - Louisiana Medicine Man (REVIEW - Dirty Linen)

[Orleans OR2211 (1998)]

In Creole folklore, a "coco robicheaux" is an impish spirit that's blamed for things like raiding a cookie jar or tracking mud inside. The spirit of CoCo Robicheaux, the New Orleans swampy-blues singer, is a similar one, but brooding and mystical, as well. Robicheaux's songs are spiritual in nature, like being alone in a swamp ("Cottonmouth") or casting a gris-gris spell ("Louisiana Medicine Man"). His throaty muscular singing is a cross between Joe Cocker and a were wolfish Dr. John, which, along with the vertigo fiddling, howling harmonicas, and ethereal female vocals, makes for an edgy, voodoo-ish listen. Additionally, Robicheaux covers a palette of Louisiana/Southern musical styles. "Weight of the World" features the Pinstripe Brass Band; "3:33 Blues" inflicts with the toughest of juke joints. With its infectious hand clapping, the gospel overtones of "Tumblin' Out" delivers a heartfelt message to reach out to the lonely. His musical styles may be all over the map, but it's a Louisiana map (and an intriguingly dark one at that).



Originally published in Dirty Linen (mid-1998), pg. 79


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