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Hoodoo Kings
The Hoodoo Kings

The Hoodoo Kings

By Todd Warnke
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CD Stock Number: Telarc CD-83532 

 

  The Hoodoo Kings, a trio of Louisiana swamp legends, are a fresh reminder of how the blues can ignite an all night party while still offering an honest helping of wisdom, sorrow and regret. A trio of veterans with a 50 year average of pro experience, The Hoodoo Kings are comprised of keyboardist Eddie Bo, harpist Raful Neal and guitarist Rockin' Tabby Thomas. And while they certainly have the credentials and the reputation, but this album is no star-turn, no legends repeating tired riffs, nor is a social security recording. No, from the opening track, a striped clean version of the Sonny Curtis classic, "I Fought The Law", to the gutbucket conclusion of "If I Ever Get Lucky", the Kings play their, and our asses off. And while being born in Louisiana gives them the birthright to cover Crescent City classics like Professor Longhair's "Big Chief", in the end it is their joy in the music making that gives their version such freshness.

This joy, even as the lyrics repeat the blues, permeates the album. For example, their take on Dylan's, "If I Don't Be There By Morning" grounds the tune in naturalness in a way Clapton never could, giving the song room to breath. And it goes on like that. On track after track these guys masterfully tell stories, share fears, extort, preach and rail at the evil in the world. But it is the way they tear into each song that they teach us the real meaning of the blues, the release at passing over the bad and the joy of being alive to sing for another day. In the end then, this is an essential blues disk, if only for that lesson.

 

Enjoyment: 97

Sound: 85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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