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Music Review

Coco (Arceneaux) Robicheaux is a New Orleans singer/songwriter who sounds like a swampy Howlin' Wolf. "Walking In The Spirit" is a gospel/soul ballad featuring some great harmonica in the background. "Pit Bull" sounds like a track from Howlin' Wolf's London Sessions that featured Eric Clapton on guitar. The title track is very melancholy, featuring the delightfully moody violin playing of Nancy Buchan. Every working musician can identify with "Broken String" and the problems that musical relationships quite often bring. "We Will Fly Away" reminds me of the great soul singer Soloman Burke. "Working Man" has a British 60's blues sound and some excellent Hammond organ backing. "I Knew Without Asking" is one of the most endearing songs on Spiritland and very similar to some of the blues Dr John has performed. "The Saturday Night Before Christmas" is so soulful that it would have been perfect for the late Brook Benton to have performed. "Crying Inside" is a slow blues-rock ballad. "St.John's Eve" has an eerie New Orleans atmosphere and some great solos from Boo LaCrosse (trumpet), Tom Fitzpatrick (tenor sax), Hart McNee (baritone sax), and flowing behind all these solos is Peter Nu with his steel pans. Spiritland is one of those unusual albums that is so hard to find, but when you do, it is a true gem to own.


This is the city of New Orleans's own Howlin' Wolf, and his musical style is Swamp Blues. Louisiana Medicine Man opens with "Cottonmouth," which has added swamp-jungle sounds and doesn't sound too much removed from Kenny Roger's & The First Editions "Just Dropped In (to see what condition my condition was in)." "Tumblin' Out" has got that hands-clapping gospel rhythm that would get Aretha Franklin excited! Generating that 'Big Easy' atmosphere is the Pin Strip Brass Band on "Weight Of The World." "Love Of A Woman" has some of the most beautiful, poetic lyrics I've ever heard without getting schmaltzy. "Juanita" shows off a country side to this 90's hippy. "Where Do You Go To Pray" is a song Sam Cooke and Otis Redding should have recorded had they been alive today. "When The Nightingale Sings" has it's Allen Toussaint influences, and that's real New Orleans SOUL! "3:33 Blues" is typical smokey, duke joint blues, and it also features some great harp playing from Smokey Greenwell and, exceptionally, complimentary guitar playing from Kenny Holladay. I would buy L.M.M. just for that track! "Whatever I Want" would make a great bikey anthem. The title track sounds like a reprise of "Cottonmouth," and it has a ton of atmospherics thrown in to leave you wanting more. Also, check out Spiritland, which was Coco's brilliant 1994 debut. Coco's new album is titled Hoodoo Party, and to learn and see more details about this album, go to the big album covers, where I've listed Coco's URL for his website.


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