Putamayo Presents – New Orleans Playground

Putamayo Presents
New Orleans Playground
(Putamayo – 2007)
by Matthew Robinson

While the Big Easy’s body continues to rebuild, there continue to be no doubt that its spirit is still alive and well.

The latest proof of that is this latest compilation of some of the Crescent City’s greatest musical ambassadors.

From the kiddie chorus of Kermit Ruffins’ “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner” to Clarence Henry’s old frog chorus for “I Ain’t Got No Home,” and from an early recording of Dr. John’s “Row Row Your Boat” to Hack Bartholomew’s take on the timeless “Saints,” this album has something for (and from) every age and Southern-friend style. Unfortunately, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Neville Brothers are notably absent, as is The Meters’ signature funk on “They All Asked for You.”

Even so, soul-singing sister Charmaine Neville offers her tuneful two cents on “Second Line.” And while the words of Clifton Chenier’s “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” and Lee Dorsey’s “Ya Ya” may not always make sense (at least not outside of the Bayou), the passion and fun are undeniable. As it will be these elements of the New Orleans soul that will be the city’s salvation, is supporting it is both responsible. And with this new CD, it is also darn enjoyable!

©2007 Matthew S. Robinson, arr.