Review: Louisiana Red and Little Victor’s Juke Joint

Posted on: Sunday, Dec 4, 2011

Louisiana Red Memphis Mojo CD

Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint
“Memphis Mojo”
(Ruf Records RUF 1171)

The release of Back To The Black Bayou on Ruf Records in 2009 showcased the well-received collaboration between singer/guitarist Louisiana Red and producer/guitarist Little Victor. That album earned acclaim in Europe with the award of the Grand Prix Du Disque in France and the Record Critics’ Award in Germany.

Memphis Mojo comprises twelve tracks of down-home blues, all but one of which were written by Louisiana Red. The backing band is completed by Alex Pettersen on drums, David Maxwell on piano, Bob Corritore on harp, upright bass players Bill Troiani (on nine tracks) and Mookie Brill (on three tracks) and The Hawk on percussion and guitar.

“Goodbye Blues” rocks along as a lively opener, followed by “I Had Troubles All My Life”, the first of four shuffles that permeate the album. There is a fine version of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”, after which the pace is picked up with “No More Whiskey”. “Just Take Your Time” provides a hint of rumba rhythm and is enriched by some tasty guitar riffs from The Hawk, while “Boogie Woogie Boogie” is exactly what its title implies.

“I’m Getting Tired” continues the boogie beat before the slow blues “So Long, So Long” features Louisiana Red on slide guitar and Bob Corritore on harp. The album is concluded by the final shuffle, “Why Don’t You Come On Home”, and “Grandmother’s Death”, another slow blues, suitably enhanced by a splendid helping of soulful harp.

Louisiana Red was born in 1932 and it is very much to his credit that in his eightieth year his vocals are still impressively robust. Credit is also due to Little Victor for his exemplary production and to Ruf Records for championing the cause of the effectively complementary duo and their band.

Ruf Records website

Lionel Ross

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