Professor Louie & The Crowmatix

Whispering Pines

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Professor Louie and the Crowmatix aren't exactly a tribute group for the Band; they are more a group inspired by the Band and devoted to music in the same style. Singer/keyboard player Aaron Louis Hurwitz, aka Professor Louie (a name bestowed upon him by the Band's Rick Danko), worked with the Band in the latter stages of its career, and with singer/pianist "Miss Marie" Spinosa, he leads the Crowmatix, also consisting of guitarist Josh Colow, bassist Frank Campbell, and drummer Gary Burke, in a selection of Band favorites, covers of songs in a similar country/blues/rock vein, and a few originals on their seventh studio CD, Whispering Pines. The title song is, of course, a Band song from the 1969 album The Band, faithfully rendered here in Hurwitz's soulful, vulnerable tenor, which suggests the voices of Danko and the tune's co-writer, Richard Manuel. Spinosa is more of a blues belter, and she shows that off in her lead vocals on "I Wouldn't Do It That Way," Leonard Cohen's "In My Secret Life," and Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody." Sans the other Crowmatix, Hurwitz and Spinosa travel to the Czech Republic to sing with the Czech Radio Symphony on their ambitious original, the closing song, "Melody of Peace." But this group is at its most characteristic in the live take of the Band's signature song, "The Weight."

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