Just a bloggin' fool today, trying to get caught up before the trip so I can jabber all about that.
As mentioned in the inaugural post of this fledgling little blog, pianist/songwriter David Egan was kind enough to give me his new CD You Don't Know Your Mind at the Lil' Band O' Gold crawfish boil/movie premiere last month. He said, "Live with it a little while and let me know what you think."
Well, it's fabulous, and a must-have for anyone who digs that South Louisiana groove. And if you do, chances are you've been groovin' on a lot of David Egan's songs all along. His stuff has been covered by Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Solomon Burke, Marcia Ball, Marc Broussard, Tab Benoit, Percy Sledge, Johnny Adams, Joe Cocker, John Mayall, Filé, of course Lil' Band O' Gold, and many more.
It starts with the moody but funky title track, written with longtime friend/collaborator Buddy Flett (who guests on guitar, as does Lil' Buck Sinegal). "You're Lying Again" is an uptempo feel-good blues about a so-bad woman that I can easily see almost anyone turning into a hit. "If It Is What It Is" is a sweet preWar-sounding duet with Jennifer Niceley. Blues Revue's Tom Hyslop so rightly said it "plays like a lost Louis Armstrong chestnut."
OK, you know it's a really good album when you've just declared, "No, that's my favorite track" at least two or three times already--and you're only on track 4. But "Bourbon in My Cup" really is a standout among these other stellar songs, a straight-up piano blues with lyrics like this:
Whole world drives me crazy--but I just can't get enough
I've been down so long it starts to look like up
I got blues -- I got bourbon in my lil' Dixie cup
And then this verse knocked me flat:
Now when you viewed the ruins from your presidential plane
Made a Hollywood production to portray your grief and pain
Could all of your compassion fill this lil' Dixie cup
I would say the world was so much better
Before you gave that bourbon up
"Love Honor & Obey" is a rockin' little anthem for marital bliss gone awry. Then "Money's Farm," with its funky Cajun beat and harmonica, just showcases how Egan is a master of songwriting's spare yet full snapshots that tell a whole movie's worth of stories. He says so much in just a few lines in a few minutes. I had to stop and play this one again.
The opening to "Small Fry" sounds almost like "Spoonbread" and then turns into the classiest, coolest lullaby ever. Gorgeous slide guitar fills, but not sure by whom--the credits list all the musicians but doesn't break them down track by track. (You also know it's a really good album when you keep saying, "Oh, I've got to stop and play this one again, too...")
And I've got to say it's great to hear his own version of "Sing It!"--still one of the best and most infectious tunes I've ever heard.
Shut your eyes during "Proud Dog" and you're in the coolest bar in the Quarter.
Well, the cat gets nine and you only get one
So you better just have a little doggone fun
The whole album just lives and breathes that unmistakably South Louisiana atmosphere. It somehow pulls off roadhouse vibe with jazzy sophistication. And it was recorded at the venerable La Louisianne studio, which makes my pending visit there even that much more of a pilgrimage.
If I wasn't already heading to Louisiana tomorrow, this record would certainly have me throwin' clothes in the car.