Buddy Guy’s Stone Crazy and Professor Longhair’s Crawfish Fiesta, both out of print for decades, will be remastered for 180-gram vinyl reissues.
Stone Crazy, originally issued on the Isabel imprint in 1981, has been hailed by Rolling Stone for its ferocious guitar playing: The magazine said the project finds “the artist at his frantic and frenzied best,” with “savage guitar and fiery vocals.” Highlights include “I Smell a Rat,” which bears a striking resemblance to Guy’s subsequent “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues.” The Isabel label was named after Guy’s late mother, who famously never had a chance to see her son perform.
Crawfish Fiesta, which also includes a previously unreleased rehearsal of “River’s Invitation” by Percy Mayfield, was recorded at Allen Toussaint’s SeaSaint Studio in New Orleans in 1979 and earned the first-ever W.C. Handy blues album of the year award in 1980. Crawfish Fiesta was called “a masterpiece” by the Village Voice. Dr. John appears on guitar, as Fess does signature versions of Earl King’s “Big Chief,” “Red Beans,” “Bald Head” and Fat Domino’s “Whole Lotta Lovin.’”
Both will be reissued by Alligator on October 16, 2012.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Buddy Guy, Professor Longhair, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
BUDDY GUY – LIVING PROOF (2012): Easily the Lettsworth, Louisiana, native’s most consistent recording in years, and one that most resembles the liquid-fire aggression of his live performances. Buddy Guy is not disappearing quietly into any good night. In fact, if he ever goes down, this record makes clear that it’ll be swinging.
SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: LEGENDARY WRITER/PRODUCER ALLEN TOUSSAINT: Allen Toussaint, fonky-fonky pianist, writer and producer of untold hit songs, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and first-chair favorite son, makes his annual appearance this week at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – a tradition, he says, “which I dearly, dearly love.” Then, he plans to resume a completely revitalized solo recording career alongside Joe Henry, who oversaw Toussaint’s swinging triumph Bright Mississippi a couple of years ago. Toussaint talked about his stirring late-career resurgence, about the lasting influence of New Orleans folk hero Professor Longhair, and about the thrilling experience of hearing others transform his work …
DR. JOHN – LOCKED DOWN (2012): The project begins with a humid closeness, as night sounds surround the title track’s lean rhythms, and it never backs away. Auerbach matches Dr. John’s cranky hoodoo-man vocals, song by song, with his own brown-gravy groove — and, in a move that gives the album its signature sound, encouraged Dr. John to explore his familiar penchant for spooky funk at the organ. What you end up with is the best Dr. John album in ages, as swampy and oozy as the Night Tripper’s 1968 triumph Gris Gris but as gnarled and tough as 1998′s Anutha Zone.
ALLEN TOUSSAINT ON DR. JOHN AND THE METERS, LEE DORSEY, THE BAND AND ERNIE K-DOE: n this special edition of Something Else Reviews’ One Track Mind, we hand the reins over to Allen Toussaint, who was inducted on May 9, 2012 into the Blues Hall of Fame. He takes us inside his collaborative relationship with happy-go-lucky hitmaker Lee Dorsey, talks about his Grammy-nominated jazz-themed project with Joe Henry, and frames Dr. John’s legacy as successor to Louis Armstrong in the role of New Orleans ambassador. Toussaint also reminisces about his long-standing relationship with the Band, and reveals his true feelings about mothers in law.