Sunday, August 25, 2013

All Purpose Blues Band Likes Cornbread & Cadillacs

Led by Willie Lockett, the All Purpose Blues Band asserts to be Bourbon Street's top Blues Soul Band. This Crescent City aggregation has a new CD Cornbread & Cadillacs, on Catbone Music & Film, part of that label's Jukin' wit the Blues series. Lockett is a veteran of the New Orleans scene, having played trumpet with Professor Longhair in the sixties, shared the stage with many greats, and led The Blues Krewe with whom he had his first album in 1995. Others in the group include bassist Paul R. Boudreaux who played with Irma Thomas, the Nevilles and others; drummer Tony D'Alessandro who is another Crescent City veteran having worked with Frankie Ford, Roland Stone and Rockie Charles; and guitarist Billy Gregory, who toured with Professor Longhair, Johnny Adams, Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey,d others. Greg Villafranco guests on organ to fill out the sound on this.

I can see this be a popular band in the French Quarter based on this set of shuffles, blues and soul. It is a solid band, although nothing stands out. They are tight and Gregory is an explosive guitarists with a bit of blues-rock pyrotechnics mixed in with some jazz-laced playing. Lockett is a gruff vocalist who certainly might ignite a party on Bourbon Street as on the opening Going Back to New Orleans. He also can get a bit down and bawdy as he tells his woman I'm Your Hambone Baby. Subtlety ain't his strong suit.

I assume it is bassist Boudreaux who takes the soulful vocal on Sweet Disposition, a number that is similar to some of Zac Harmon's recordings. It sounds like he also takes the lead on the Stax-styled soul-ballad From Memphis. Boudreaux and Lockett share the vocal on I Got Everything. The rocker V-8 Ford has plenty hot guitar and I wonder if its Gregory who takes the lead vocal before channeling Alvin Lee of Ten Years After in his solo, with the speed and cleanness of his delivery notable. Lockett's trumpet provides a nice foil for Boudreaux's prime vocal on Sam Cooke's classic A Change Is Gonna Come. It ends an album of some entertaining blues and soul.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is a video of the All Purpose Blues Band.

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