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Spiritland - Coco Robicheaux

Coco Robicheaux celebrates his debut CD, Spiritland, Wednesday at the House of Blues.

Coco Robicheaux is a vocalist/guitarist and artist (he's responsible for the wonderful bust of Professor Longhair housed at Tipitina's). Now, he makes his recording debut on Spiritland. In time for the season, the album includes what is sure to become a New Orleans holiday classic, "The Saturday Nite Before Christmas." The warm, romantic ballad is a tear-jerker, as Robicheaux makes his Christmas request for "a moment with my darlin' once again." Fittingly, an organ fills the tune with the sound of the season while a choir echoes the vocalist's plea.

This tune is just one of the fine pieces penned by Robicheaux to be found in this truly New Orleans album. Robicheaux is steeped in this city's music traditions, and he's surrounded here by locals such as Kenny Holladay, Tommy Malone, Michael Sklar, Rick Allen, Earl Stanley, James Singleton, Spike Perkins, Alfred "Uganda" Roberts, Geri Hall and Nancy Buchan - just to name a few.

Robicheaux takes on New Orleans R&B on "We Will Fly Away," with the piano providing those essential Crescent City triplets. He creates that gris-gris atmosphere, a la Dr. John, on both the title cut and in the closing song "St. John's Eve." He writes: "Now, when the time is rite [sic] on a nite in June / All the Hoodoos dance underneath the moon."

Outsiders entering Spiritland will know that they have landed deep in the heart of the Crescent City.

---Geraldine Wyckoff


Originally posted in Gambit [December 20th, 1994], pg. 47


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