Alexis Korner

Accidentally Born in New Orleans

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In 2004, Water Records reissued Accidentally Born in New Orleans for the first time on CD, some 31 years after its initial release on Warner Bros. Credit must be given to Water for the care that was put into this project via remastered tracks and new and informative liner notes by Ian Wallace. Unfortunately, the music itself hasn't improved with age. What could have been an astounding collaboration between British blues granddaddy Alexis Korner and Snape, featuring CCS slide guitarist Peter Thorup and former King Crimson members Mel Collins, Ian Wallace, and Boz Burrell, never gets up to speed. The musicians fail to match the emotional fervor that tracks like "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" or "Rock Me" demand, while the remaining tunes definitely needed to be brightened up. Part of what makes this date so frustrating are the few shining moments that provide a window into what could have been. For instance, the overdubbed horn section in the middle of "Country Shoes" begins to boil with a dynamic blend of R&B and free jazz, before the tune inexplicably droops into generic hard rock filler. Evidently the chemistry of the band's short existence was lost somewhere between the initial tracks recorded in San Francisco and the finishing touches applied in a London studio with a smattering of special guests who included Steve Marriott, Zoot Money, Patto members Ollie Halsall and Mike Patto, and keyboardist Tim Hinkley, who was working at the time with Alvin Lee and Humble Pie. With that kind of talent, you would have expected more from this aggregation than the flat production and the overall forgettable arrangements.

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