Bobby Charles (Bonus Track Version)

Bobby Charles (Bonus Track Version)

Now, here is a recording that really deserves to be better known. This 1972 effort has been called the "great lost Band album" more than once, as all the members of the Band play on it (along with such roots-rock luminaries as Dr. John, Bobby Neuwirth, and David Sanborn). Singer-songwriter Bobby Charles, author of such classic early rock and roll songs as "See you Later Alligator" and "Walking to New Orleans," here writes tunes that mix dialect with subtle commentary, in a manner similar perhaps to Fred Neil or Randy Newman. This Louisiana native has a mellifluous, deep and soulful voice which works perfectly with the Band dudes, as it sounds almost like a mixture of Danko's, Manuel's, and Robertson's singing styles. Charles's devil-may-care vocals float lazily atop mellow backing jams that fuse laid-back swamp boogie, chooglin' rock, and outlaw country. There's not a dud among the whole bunch.

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