C.J. Chenier, accordion & vocals. The Fry Pharmacists.
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In this powerful, nuanced release, Zydeco master Clayton Joseph Chenier created a blues-based album in memoriam to the people (such as fellow musician Gatemouth Brown) whose homes and city were ravaged by Katrina.
"Chenier sagely reaches back into his father's songbook for some of the more effective revivals. From the Fats Domino/Professor Longhair–flavored 'Rosemary' and a harrowing 'Black Snake Blues' (with some stinging slide-work by [Jean] Falconetti) to the desolate testimonial 'Ain't No Need in Cryin'' and a feets-flying instrumental titled 'Bogalousa Boogie' (again Falconetti shines), it's obvious Chenier has absorbed the essence of his father's urgent, heartfelt sound from the decade he spent as part of his famed Red Hot Louisiana Band. A poignant version of alternative-rocker P.J. Harvey's numbing 'The Desperate Kingdom of Love' and a nuanced reading of Hank Williams' wryly philosophical 'Lost on the River' are also effective. Favorite originals include the funk-grooved commentary 'Learning to Live' and syncopated swingers 'Finger Lickin' Chicken' and 'Who's Cheatin' Who?'"—Sing Out