Louisiana Red

A Different Shade of Red: The Woodstock Sessions

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This raw, extremely eclectic, and quirky disc works on many levels, and the natural energy of Louisiana Red comes through with the high emotion this performer brings to each session. His highly unpredictable guitar playing never fails the song, and in fact adds additional layers by being outside the anticipated (listen to "Where's My Friends?"). His singing is strong and does not always follow what you are expecting. A cut that contains some beautiful vocal work is "Sleep Little Robert." This disc was recorded in Woodstock, NY, at the studio of Levon Helm (the Band). Red is backed by a strong contingent of the musicians who inhabit this celebrated town, including Helm, handling the drums with his usual funk and drive. There is some stellar work by Garth Hudson on organ and sax, David Maxwell on piano and organ, and guitarists Jimmy Vivino and Brian Bisesi on the majority of the cuts. There are also a couple of cuts where Red gets to show off his acoustic chops; of particular note is "Laundromat Blues," where his work on the acoustic slide guitar just makes one step back and listen. Most of the disc is in the electric mode, however, and he takes off time and time again with scorching electric slide guitar work punctuating his tough vocal delivery. He was born Iverson Minter in 1932, and that is why you will see that name accompanying all the songs that he wrote on the disc (everything except "Laundromat Blues"). This is a disc filled with great surprises and deserves a good hard listen, as there is some outstanding work here.

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