Get Low Down!: The Soul of New Orleans, '65-'67

Various Artists

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Get Low Down!: The Soul of New Orleans, '65-'67 Review

by Richie Unterberger

Although it wasn't the most renowned phase of his career, in the mid-'60s Allen Toussaint did a great deal of arranging, producing, and songwriting for the Sansu label. This double CD has 50 songs that came out on Sansu, and occasionally on Bell and Tou-Sea, during that era, including four previously unreleased tracks. Of all these tunes, just two, Lee Dorsey's "Ride Your Pony" and "Holy Cow," were sizable national hits, and indeed other than Dorsey none of the performers are that famed, though Benny Spellman, Betty Harris, Earl King, and Art Neville all made some noted marks on the R&B scene. This is the sound of early New Orleans rock and R&B turning into full-fledged soul music, although New Orleans soul would never became as successful and identifiable a brand as Detroit, Memphis, Philadelphia, or New York soul. While it's fairly strong stuff with a distinctively New Orleans pre-funk beat and some bluesy licks, it lacks the classic melodies and hooks of the best 1960s soul, and there's some sameyness to much of the material, a little over half of which was penned by Toussaint. It does much to fill in an under-documented part of New Orleans rock history, though, since many of these releases, by such obscure singers as Curly Moore, Eldridge Holmes, Diamond Joe, and Willie Harper, have rarely or never been reissued. While it might seem that Dorsey and Harris are under-represented by this compilation (with just two songs each), note that each is well represented by single-artist anthologies should you want to take a deeper dive.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Lee Dorsey 02:56 SpotifyAmazon
2 Benny Spellman 02:30 SpotifyAmazon
3 Wallace Johnson 02:37 SpotifyAmazon
4 Eldridge Holmes 02:46 SpotifyAmazon
5 Betty Harris 02:32 SpotifyAmazon
6 Curley Moore 02:28 SpotifyAmazon
7 Curley Moore 02:23 SpotifyAmazon
8 Diamond Joe 02:52 SpotifyAmazon
9 Raymond Lewis 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
10 Earl King 02:15 SpotifyAmazon
11 Bobby Lu Cure 03:05 SpotifyAmazon
12 Willie Harper 02:18 SpotifyAmazon
13 The Rubaiyats 02:15 SpotifyAmazon
14 Diamond Joe 02:27 SpotifyAmazon
15 Art Neville 02:52 SpotifyAmazon
16 Eldridge Holmes 02:57 SpotifyAmazon
17 John Williams & the Tick Tocks 02:18 SpotifyAmazon
18 Willie & Allen 01:44 SpotifyAmazon
19 Lee Calvin 02:10 SpotifyAmazon
20 Wallace Johnson 03:13 SpotifyAmazon
21 Diamond Joe 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
22 Curley Moore 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
23 John Williams & the Tick Tocks 01:55 SpotifyAmazon
24 Willie Harper 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
The Prime Mates 02:39 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Diamond Joe 02:27 SpotifyAmazon
2 Wallace Johnson 02:48 SpotifyAmazon
3 John Williams & the Tick Tocks 01:59 SpotifyAmazon
4 Ray Algere 02:23 SpotifyAmazon
5 Curley Moore 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
6 Eldridge Holmes 02:53 SpotifyAmazon
7 Betty Harris 02:56 SpotifyAmazon
8 Willie Harper 02:37 SpotifyAmazon
9 The Rubaiyats 02:43 SpotifyAmazon
10 Lee Dorsey 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
11 Earl King 03:01 SpotifyAmazon
12 Bobby Lu Cure 02:53 SpotifyAmazon
13 Lee Calvin 02:02 SpotifyAmazon
14 John Williams & the Tick Tocks 03:05 SpotifyAmazon
15 Benny Spellman 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
16 Curley Moore 02:48 SpotifyAmazon
17 Willie & Allen 02:20 SpotifyAmazon
18 Raymond Lewis 02:59 SpotifyAmazon
19 Wallace Johnson 02:19 SpotifyAmazon
20 Eldridge Holmes 02:28 SpotifyAmazon
21 Diamond Joe 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
22 Willie Harper 02:16 SpotifyAmazon
23 Curley Moore 02:21 SpotifyAmazon
24 Art Neville 02:44 SpotifyAmazon
The Prime Mates 02:52 SpotifyAmazon
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