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Joe Krown - Exposed

Self Release


Joe Krown paid his dues for many years as the keyboard player for the legendary Gatemouth Brown’s Gate’s Express. His current outfit is The Joe Krown Trio that features New Orleans fixture Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste Jr.. The main thrust of this solo piano recording is New Orleans style R&B, along with a healthy dose of boogie woogie and blues. The seven out of twelve originals could easily pass for performances from some past piano masters. The ghosts of Professor Longhair, Tuts (pronounced Toots) Washington and other piano greats have left their marks all this release. As well as the very much alive patriarch of the New Orleans sound Allen Toussaint. Joe is one of the few current piano players keeping this music alive for new generations to appreciate. This stuff is right up my alley. Long time fans of this music as well as those being exposed (no pun intended) to it for the first time will get endless hours of enjoyment.

He manages to create his own slices of the New Orleans sound that remain true to the style while still coming off as fresh. He does this to great effect on the title track, as well as on “13th Ward Boogie”. He also does faithful renditions of classics by Professor Longhair and others. His take on “Rum & Coca Cola” is a sprightly workout of The Andrews Sister’s fifties hit that was a staple of Professor Longhair’s repertoire.

Fess’ “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” is taken a half step slower, but Joe comes as close to Fess’ piano-fingering technique as is humanly possible. He also covers “Pop’s Dilemma” by the late New Orleans eccentric and troubled mad-genius James Booker. I’m not familiar with that particular tune of his, but this rendition is a bouncy and tuneful romp. The Allen Toussaint written Ernie K-doe hit “Mother In Law” is readily recognizable in its instrumental version here. Joe is certainly no slouch either in crafting a slow blues of his own. He offers up four that conjure up legendary blues piano greats such as Big Maceo, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins and endless others.

The love of a genre along with the talent to give the music its fair due is what makes this such a fulfilling project. To hear the songs in their stripped down state, much as you would in a tiny dive bar in New Orleans, makes this an intimate and pleasurable listening experience. If you are new to this type of music this is a good starting place to discover it and then seek out the originators. Old-time fans will derive enjoyment that will evoke memories.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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