Bourbon St. Breakdown
Blues & Rhythm (UK): '...an endlessly interesting and entertaining CD.' Illinois Entertainer: '...New Orleans funk, zydeco, and swamp blues infuse the disc with a spicy Gulf Coast taste.' "...a bold album which presents an artist with multiple talents... " -- Soul Bag, (France) ABS (France): '...an inventive album...a talented artist.' Victory Review: '...well executed recording..presents an amazing gumbo of Louisiana styles. N.O. reminds me of Zappa and Beefheart...proof the blues is alive and well...' New Orleans is the other end of the train line that runs all the way to Chicago. Musically, they're opposite ends of the same line as well, the middle of which runs straight through the Mississippi Delta. The Crescent City is a melting pot of musical styles and culture, soul center for jazz and the urban destination for music of the region, from cajun and Zydeco to blues, country, and folk. With a split personality balancing Catholic morality and port-town partying, new Orleans has a musical history that gets it's rhythms from the caribbean and it's vocal styles from the church. The result is either party music that feels guilty about itself, or spiritual music that knows how to have fun. Send that music north on the river or the train (better yet, give it a train rhythm or a train lyric) and by the time it gets to Memphis or Chicago it's toned down the churchy parts and become rock 'n roll. Bourbon St. Breakdown takes a variety of forms from the region -- rhtythm & blues, zydeco, swamp blues, cajun, dixieland -- tips the cap to a few seminal influences -- Slim Harpo, Fats Domino, Boozoo Chavis, Johnny Adams, the Neville Bropthers, even Louis Armstrong & Bessie Smith -- then stirs it all around. Chainsaw's distinctive guitar still shines through, cutting a swath through the horns, accordion, and even violin, but this record displays his vocal dexterity as well, with a polished, relaxed delivery and rhythmic phrasing that is equal parts church and tavern. This isn't a New Orleans record, but it has that 'feel', it's a context and showcase for a versatile talent who absorbs influences like water and reconfigures them into stunning original tunes that are hauntingly familiar but strikingly original.'The Long Weekend', which leads off this record, is like a Chitlin-circuit singer at a tent show revival; 'N.O.' is like Chuck D fronting a funk band with second-line horns; 'Workingman's Roulette' takes the Bo Diddley/Iko beat to a minor key, adds an understated vocal, and creates a simple ballad of blue-collar anguish. With roots in the Delta, family history in Louisiana, and residence in Chicago, Chainsaw Dupont's music continues to grow in interesting directions, while retaining the restraint and respect for tradition, a style that he's called 'Delta Crush'. His live shows often have transcendent solos, but his reputation has been built just as much for the intimacy and quiet passages, often including a capella vocals and barely-amplified guitar, played with subtlety and discretion. The blues has a lot of shades, and if Chainsaw Dupont is representative of the next generation, it's future is bright. This is an enhanced CD. That doesn't mean it has more vitamins, it means you can place it in your computer and check out lyric sheets, band photos, and special hidden 'easter-egg' content. Put this CD in your computer's CD-ROM, click on 'startECD.htm', and presto!
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