The Original Roland Stone
When I was at the Louisiana Music Factory, I had selected a bunch of discs for purchase, and I asked co-owner Jerry Brock about anybody he would recommend. He suggested I pick up on Roland Stone, whose real name Roland LeBlanc and recorded for Ace Records in the late fifties and early sixties. Remember Me has been available for a couple years at least, but it is likely as new to you as it was to me. With Mac ‘Doctor John’ Rebennack (on piano and guitar) as part of a tight studio band that included Earl Stanley on bass, guitar and organ and some other musicians whose names may only mean something to those around New Orleans. What one gets is what the producer calls a “straight ahead R&B record.” And it’s a good one.
Roland Stone sounds as natural and soulful opening with the Smiley Lewis rocker Go On Fool, on which guitarist Stanley takes a tasty solo, followed by a New Orleans rearrangement of the Clovers’ classic Lovie Dovie, with some great piano from the good Doctor. Mix in a couple of classy pop flavored ballads, Try the Impossible, and The Masquerade is Over, with the soul of You Can Make It If You Try. Stir in Fats Domino’s rocking Please Don’t Leave Me, with more great crescent city boogie woogie, a couple of more Smiley Lewis classics and the memorable title track from Dr. John. Quite a gumbo!
Stone’s unforced delivery and the feeling he invests into these performances is matched by the delicious backing for an album of R&B that is readily remembered.
As indicated, I purchased this. This review originally appeared in the September 1995 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 204). Here in 1989 he is performing a ballad Just a Moment of Your Time.