In the wake of a major hurricane and a giant oil spill in the last five years, Louisiana remains in need of considerable assistance, but this charity album is a benefit for a more specific concern, with all the proceeds going to the Northern Louisiana Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Foundation (NLBSCIF). The inspiration for the charity is guitarist Buddy Flett's nearly fatal bout of viral encephalitis in 2008. Happily, Flett was well enough to contribute to the album himself, singing and playing all the instruments on his appropriately titled original, "Livin' Ain't Easy." He is joined on the various-artists album by a bevy of New Orleans and Chicago musicians who turn the disc into a recorded blues festival. Louisiana is home to many styles of music, but the blues is paramount on this set; even Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, on "Traveling Man," sound more bluesy than zydeco. Other than Lil' Buck Sinegal's version of "Don't You Lie to Me" and Omar Coleman's of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Mojo Hand," the songs are all originals written by Flett and the other participants. But the sound is traditional electric blues for the most part, with the performers taking a gutbucket approach. Purchase of the album serves a good cause, and the disc itself also serves as an advertisement for the quality of the blues community in Louisiana (with a few Northern enthusiasts sitting in).
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann