Archive for G. G. Shinn

Benefit in Texas to help soul singer Jerry LaCroix

Posted in News with tags , , , , on August 27, 2010 by 30daysout

A number of the top musicians from Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana will band together this weekend in Beaumont, Texas,  to help Jerry LaCroix, the legendary R&B/rock singer.

Jerry LaCroix

LaCroix, former lead singer for the Fabulous Boogie Kings, Edgar Winter’s White Trash, Rare Earth and Blood, Sweat and Tears, experienced congestive heart failure earlier this year.  The event will raise money for medical bills and expenses LaCroix has accrued from his lengthy hospital stay.

A few years ago, LaCroix moved to the Hemphill area to help care for his ailing mother and began experiencing health problems of his own.  “I haven’t been in the best of health since last year. I was getting weaker and weaker and in a matter of days, I couldn’t stand up,” LaCroix said in an interview with the Beaumont Enterprise. “I fell down twice trying to walk with a walker and the second time, I hit my head pretty hard.”

The benefit is Sunday, at the Beaumont Crockett Street entertainment district and it will feature appearances by Wayne Toups, Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois, G.G. Shinn, Scott McGill, Charles Mann, T.K. Hulin, Ken Marvel, Gerry Mouton, Willie T. and others.

If you can’t make it to Beaumont but still want to help out, contact Don Ball at (409) 548-4444.

MP3: “Try A Little Tenderness” (live at the Bamboo Club) by the Fabulous Boogie Kings w/Jerry LaCroix

MP3: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” (live) by Edgar Winter’s White Trash

Jerry LaCroix official website

Rick Campbell’s blog in the Houston Chronicle

Jerry La Croix page on the Ponderosa Stomp website

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Chase

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , on June 27, 2010 by 30daysout

Back in the 1960s rock artists weren’t afraid to show their influences and their roots; that’s why even the big artists and bands of the era performed cover versions of songs by their contemporaries, as well as “oldies” (from the 1950s), blues and sometimes jazz and country.

Led by Al Kooper’s swaggering Blood, Sweat and Tears experiment, a number of bands in the late 60s-early 70s lathered on the horn sections and “soulful” white-boy vocals to create a new kind of rock music.  Is it really “jazz rock fusion,” as some people call the music by BST, Chicago and others?  No – but it is a form of pop-rock that was pretty popular at the time.

So today let’s spin Ennea, the second album from the rock-horn band Chase that appeared in 1972.  This band was created and led by Bill Chase, a jazz artist who played lead trumpet with Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton and later, in Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd.  Inspired by Kooper’s work with BST, and perhaps encouraged by Columbia/CBS/Epic records president Clive Davis, Chase assembled his pop-rock unit by combining veteran jazz horn players with talented rock players.  The self-titled debut album from 1971 was a success, and the single “Get It On” cracked the Top 40.

Then we get to Ennea, recorded the next year as a followup.  Chase (the band) was growing both artistically and physically (they started with six members, by the time the second album’s sessions were finished there were nine).  Bill Chase wanted to push the boundaries farther than Chicago and BST had, and as a result much of Ennea is pretty much over the top, beginning with the title (Greek for “nine,” the number of dudes in the band).  “Swanee River,” the album opener,  is Chase’s brash and brassy rewrite of the Stephen Foster classic and perhaps the only song on the entire album that doesn’t come off as completely silly.

“So Many People” was the single from the album, designed to capture attention when it was played on the radio.  Written by Paul Williams (“Old Fashioned Love Song” for Three Dog Night, “Rainy Days and Mondays” for the Carpenters, etc.) the song was one of those scattershot social commentaries that managed to mention greedy socialites, racists, warmongers and the Martin Luther King assassination in less than three minutes!  Needless to say, this one wasn’t a hit.

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