KING LOUIE’S BLUES REVUE: Live At Riverhouse Jazz (Shoug Records)

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Hammond B3 maestro, Louis Pain works as “King Louie” and if you’re familiar with his work, you’ll understand why he justifies the royal epithet! Consistently his recordings are joyous celebrations of old school soul, blues and soul-jazz. If you’re not familiar with his work, may we point you to this, his latest release.

Back in March, Louis brought his seasoned band to Oregon’s famed Mt Bachelor Riverhouse Club. A splendid time was had by all and, as important, the set was recorded and has now just been issued for everyone to enjoy.

The album is a ten tracker (well, eleven, but we’ll dismiss the closing, very short trombone duel) and the repertoire is a mix of originals and covers. Amongst those covers are rough and authentic versions of Rodger Collins’ ‘She’s Looking Good’, the Isleys’ ‘It’s Your Thing’ and the evergreens ‘Rock Me Baby’ and ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You’. They are as you’d expect… tough and for real with plenty of audience participation. There are surprises too…. versions of ‘Me And Mrs Jones’ and ‘Let’s Get It On’. Though respectful to the originals, these new takes are a tad more roughly hewn and, you know, no less soulful for that.

Vocals for the show were/are handled by blues award winning Lisa Mann; “Portland’s First Lady Of the Blues – LaRhonda Steele and Andy Stokes – an inductee of the Oregon Music Hall Of Fame. Throughout they’re supported by Renato Carranto (sax), Danny Armstrong (trombone) Edwin Coleman III (drums), Peter Damian (guitar) and, of course, King Louis himself on his faithful old Hammond B3. Together they concoct a spontaneous, fun-filled celebration of old style soul, blues and funk.

The album is available right now via all the usual outlets.

(BB) 4/5