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ROLAND STONE, LIVE ON THE CREOLE QUEEN [REVIEW - Cadence]

Orleans 2011

This is one hot disc. John Sinclair's entertaining liner essay tells how high school senior Roland LeBlanc, who was singing and playing guitar with a band called the Jokers in 1959, was approached by an A&R man for Ace Records at a dance the band was playing. "How'd you like to make some records? Quit this band and join my band," said Mac Rebennack, who would be known as Dr. John in less than a decade. So LeBlanc joined Mac's group, The Skyliners, and, after acquiring the punning surname, had a few regional New Orleans hits, one of which, "Just A Moment," is heard in this live set from a 1996 gig on the Mississippi River. After a hiatus from the music business of some thirteen years, Stone reunited with Dr. John once again for an album called Remember Me, which led to a rejuvenated career and the release at hand.

Stone's voice, sort of a lighter version of latter-day Mitch Ryder, has survived the years well, with a strong vibrato on ballads like "Is It A Dream" and "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye." But it's the uptempo kickers like Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya," Eddie Bo's "Every Dog Has Its Day," and the opening "Sick And Tired" (somebody get this song some airplay!) that show Stone off to best advantage. His backing band is tight and loose in the right places, with much welcome solo space for Tommy Alfortish's greasy, big-toned tenor. Ronnie Boudreaux's slicing guitar tone is prominent throughout, with a bluesy solo on a slithering "Honky Tonk Women," and great, snarling rhythm work on "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye." If you've a predilection for NO-flavored R&B, grab a beer and pop this one in the tray for a good time.

---Larry Nai

 

Sick And Tired / Every Dog Has His Day / Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye / Just A Moment / You Cheated / Waiting At the Station / Is It A Dream / Ya Ya / Honky Tonk Woman / Go On Fool. 42:30


Stone, p, vcl; Ronnie Boudreaux, g; Barry Rodriguez, b; Donnie Burdet, d; Wilbert Tank, tpt; Tommy Alfortish, ts; Skip Easterling, Alexandra Parker, bckgrnd vcl; Earl Stanley, tambourine. 5/4/96, Mississippi.

 

Originally published in Cadence [February 1998]



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