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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