Professor Louie & The Crowmatix
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2006, Volume 13, #12
Written by John Metzger
Professor Louie & The Crowmatix’s recently issued Holiday Time feels like a slapdash effort. Not only does the set oddly include a cover of the traditional Motherless Child, but much like the group’s previous albums, it also jumps from Disney-esque pop (Christmas in My Heart) to shimmering R&B (Winter Morning) and from New Orleans-tinged barroom raucousness (Frosty the Snowman) to Band-appropriated folk rock (Christmas Must Be Tonight). In addition, the children’s choir that is featured on the endeavor’s pseudo-title track Holiday Time Is Here feels out of place; Melody of Peace begs for the late Rick Danko’s sweetly soulful voice; and the radio identification-style greeting that is affixed to the beginning of Santa Loves to Boogie mars what otherwise is a snarling, ornery barnburner. Nevertheless, Professor Louie & The Crowmatix’s exuberant energy and eclectic tastes function better here than on its earlier outings. By placing a Motown-imbued spin upon the Crescent City-derived blues of Nick’s Takin’ the Reindeer Home, the ensemble simultaneously evokes the influences of Ray Charles, Professor Longhair, and Marcia Ball, while on the collection’s second rendition of Frosty the Snowman, the outfit slathers Jimmy Smith-style keyboards over the top of a burbling, Big Easy groove. Even with its miscues, Holiday Time, more often than not, hits its mark, and in the end, it manages to congeal into a sturdy, if inessential soundtrack for the Yuletide season.
Holiday Time is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box