Jimmy Beasley

Jimmy's Houseparty

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This 31-track CD combines 1950s Modern singles with assorted LP tracks, eight previously unissued outtakes and alternate takes, a 1965 comeback single, and a cover of "Harbor Lights" that didn't surface until a 1987 anthology. It's sometimes forgotten what a huge commercial force Fats Domino was in the 1950s, to the extent that some records were hatched with the specific intention of recreating Domino's sound. Although Beasley was not wholly a Domino imitator, it's hard to escape the feeling throughout much of this compilation that you're listening to Domino outtakes with a different vocalist. And while this does get the characteristic '50s New Orleans piano-based R&B sound down in general, and often Fats Domino-styled arrangements in particular, it's too often too derivative of Domino to enjoy, even if you're besotted with the Fats sound. The songs are simply much more formulaic than Domino's and far less musically interesting. Too, Beasley's voice, while pleasant, isn't nearly as idiosyncratic and characterful as Domino's, and while higher and more precisely enunciated, much inferior to Domino's personality-packed growl-drawl. Occasionally he breaks out of the Domino understudy role, with "Johnny's House Party Pts. 1 & 2" blatantly taking its inspiration from Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk." "Good Lovin'" has a slight rockabilly influence; "That's the Way It's Gonna Be" and "Jambalaya" a more pop-doo wop one; and the handful of mid-'60s sides a more wide-ranging R&B-rock sound which is pleasant but undistinguished. As for the main portion of the program, sure it's capable upbeat Domino-soaked New Orleans R&B. But just because it's obscure and collectable doesn't mean that it's as good, or nearly as good, as the Fat Man himself.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:20
2 2:22
3 2:43
4 2:14
5 2:15
6 2:41
7 2:15
8 2:37
9 2:21
10 2:24
11 2:02
12 1:59
13 2:07
14 2:35
15 2:14
16 2:23
17 2:17
18 2:16
19 2:06
20 3:45
21 2:00
23 2:22
25 2:00
27 2:41
29 3:23
30 2:10
blue highlight denotes track pick