Thursday, July 06, 2006:

Alvin Robinson -- Down Home Girl

Alvin Robinson -- Down Home Girl
Great things about this song (credits in order of appearance):
  • the horns
  • the choice of acoustic bass
  • the bassline (this needs sampling, if it hasn't been already)
  • the interplay of trumpet and bass
  • Lord I swear, the perfume you wear / Is made out of turnip greens / Every time I kiss you, girl / It tastes like pork & beans
  • the vocal delivery: gritty, soulful, with a slightly throttled intensity that makes it come off as sincere rather than theatrical
  • the piano. It's low in the mix, but it's doing good things
  • Every time you move like that / I got to go to Sunday Mass
  • the drum fill right before the bridge
  • the horn on the bridge
  • the piano under the horn on the bridge
  • the piano on the outro
  • the way the songs gets in, gets the job done, gets out
This came from a New Orleans R&B compilation LP that camped out on my turntable for so long that I forgot that, since it's not a Möbius strip or a Klein bottle, it has more than one side. Which is all the better since I flipped it over one early morning to listen to side two and scratched the hell out of it, ruining every track on that side except (oddly enough) track two.

Alvin Robinson's version of the track has made it onto a couple of CD comps, so you can pick it up there if you need. New Orleans Party Classics got a good review at allmusic.com, though I haven't heard it personally.

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And here's some more mefi music goodness. MeFi Music is destined for greatness.

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Actually, "Down Home Girl" is on the sequel album, "More New Orleans Party Classics." The original has lots of the really classic New Orleans songs like Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise," Dr. John's "Iko Iko," Fats Domino's "Jambalaya" and two from Professor Longhair: "Go to the Mardi Gras" and "Big Chief - Part One."

The sequel is completely different. No famous songs but lots of lesser-known funk -- like, well, Alvin Robinson's "Down Home Girl" along with The Meters' "Cabbage Alley," Sugar Boy Crawford's "Jock-a-Mo," Robert Parker's "All Night Long (Part One)" and an odd brass-band version of "Tipitina" by Bo Dollis and the Rebirth Brass Band. It's more of a mixed bag: I prefer the original but the sequel has its gems, too. Together, they're a great introduction to New Orleans R&B. (In fact, they were some of my first New Orleans records.)

Huh. Amazon is showing that as a two-disc set with the song on it.

I'll have to pick it up; what I've heard on this LP I ruined (Irma Thomas and Lee Dorsey, mostly, but also the Alvin Robinson and a Barbara Lynn track I'll post soon) has been amazing.

Oh, yeah, you're right -- and I am, too. You can buy the records separately or as a two-record set. Either way, there's a lot of great music.

Tuwa, I love your chronological inventory!

what's good about this track: complete and utter agreement with the entire list. yeah!

Woohoo! I knocked one out of the park. :-)

Thanks, Girish, Lorezsky.

Dan has a version of this that he just sent me which is very good, too; maybe he'll post it here or in a separate post. It's well-worth hearing.

there's also a Coasters version of this which you can hear if you find it's entry on theCoasters Discography

trace down to 1966

Oh wow. I could imagine that horn/drum/vibes bit samples in some stoned-out hip hop.

Taj Mahal has a version of the song too, but I don't think it's his finest hour. It's fairly close to the Alvin Robinson version, except with a sax on that's not right for the song at all.

DoorKeeper, you've just reminded me of a mix set I'd wanted to do: three discs where the track list is the same on every disc but the artists are different. I never get all the right tracks for it to have a good mix with good versions all around.

This has just popped into my ears courtesy of my ipod shuffle (which seems to be liking the hot weather and behaving in a truly random manner).
Fantastic record! Thanks!

Heard that Coasters version last night on University radio and it was THE best version I have ever heard! Played some with the timing so you just can't sing along, but all in all, more humerously rendered IOP.

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