Saturday, March 28, 2009

John Boutte

I had heard the name of John Boutte long before I first saw or heard him sing. It wasn't until a French Quarter Fest that I actually saw him. It was during one of Paul Sanchez' Traveling Road Shows. Paul once played guitar and wrote a lot of the songs for Cowboy Mouth. After many years he left to go on his own, but he's really never on his own. He's always performing with other local artists. At this show he had John Boutte, Shamar Allen and Susan Cowsill with him. The show opened with John Boutte singing "City of New Orleans." I was sitting on the ground in the front and I was blown away. This man could sing. He reminded me a lot of Sam Cooke, but with his own New Orleans flavor.

I've put two songs here by him. The above mentioned "City of New Orleans" and also "Louisiana 1927" both songs are from the 2007 New Orleans Jazz Fest. The year before he did a show at Jazz Fest, the first one after Katrina. I missed his show and they didn't record that one, but the reviews said it was the show of the entire Fest. And this was the show where Springsteen performed what I thought one of the best shows ever. There wasn't a dry eye after he did 1927 from what I heard. These two versions may not be those, but they still hold a lot of power. And while you listen to "Louisiana 1927" he's updated it some, taking out President Coolidge and putting in W.

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aims said...

I stumbled across him in 2006 at the Fest, it was great, think he also covered Annie Lennox's Why - amazing! If you don't already have it, pick up his album Jambalaya. I'm gonna try and catch him again this year in the Jazz Tent.

JohnH985 said...

I was just listening to that album in my car on the way home from work. He is amazing. I missed his last two Jazz Fest appearances, but caught him at French Quarter Fest. I haven't felt like I did when I heard him sing in a long time, after hearing someone for the first time. He really floored me.

I'm probably going to miss most of Jazz Fest this year but want to at least go one day. The one day I want to go is the last Friday, he's playing and Patty Griffin, who I really want to see. But my day off that week is Saturday, so I got to see what I can arrange...I would much rather go Friday than that Saturday.

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