SOUND OF NEW ORLEANS
Blues and Brass CDs
PO Box 770616
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 352 1303
Les Getrex Sings The Classics
$15.00 + $3.00 S&H
Les Getrex is one of New Orleans’' undiscovered musical treasures. A product of the culturally profuse 6th Ward, Les has backed up many of the Crescent City’'s most profound heavyweights, from Johnny Adams and Lee Dorsey to Ernie K-Doe, Walter “"Wolfman”" Washington, Barbara George and Marva Wright. He spent eight years in the guitar chair of the mighty Fats Domino orchestra and another five with the late Rockin’' Dopsie & his Zydeco Twisters, and he’'s recorded two previous albums, including 300 Miles that featured his own compositions and several originals by veteran Motown songwriters Greg Clark and Johnny Maxwell.
For his third outing as a leader, the versatile guitarist and powerfully persuasive singer weighs in with a set of blues, R&B and country standards. The songs belong to an eye-popping spectrum which ranges from Les’'s terrific reading of the ancient Mardi Gras Indian anthem “"Indian Red”" to Kermit Ruffin’'s great 21st-century lament, “"I Can’'t Take My Baby Nowhere,”" complete with trumpet commentary from the composer and some salacious lyrical changes wrought by Getrex himself.
Les hits a lot of musical stops along the way, swinging stone country tunes like “"Tennessee Waltz”" and Hank Williams’' “"Jambalaya”"; pumping up a pair of pop chestnuts with his groovy lounge-favorite arrangement on “"Misty”" and a hot 2nd-line romp on “"When My Dreamboat Comes Home”"; paying devout homage to personal favorites like Bobby “"Blue”" Bland (“"Farther On Up the Road”") and Otis Redding (“"Mr. Pitiful”"); digging deeper into the urban blues with John Lee Hooker’'s “"Boom Boom ”" and “"I Found A Love”" by the Falcons; striking another bawdy note with the irrepressible Chick Willis version of “"Stoop Down Mama”"; and shining brightest on three outstanding selections from the Ray Charles mid-1950s Atlantic Records catalog: “"A Fool For You,”" “"Hallelujah I Love Her So”" and “"Mary Ann.”"
Getrex is in splendid form throughout, breathing new life into these well-established standards while stamping each song with the warmth and potency of his own personality. Les is ably and abundantly abetted by an all-star cast of Crescent City characters anchored by bassists Alonzo Johnson and Vitas Paukstatis and drummers Dwayne Nelson and Ken Thomas. Raymond Fletcher (organ), Bob Andrews and Nick Farkas (piano) and Keith Vinet take care of the keyboards; Earl “"Skip”" Thompson is on percussions; and the stellar horn section of trumpeter Tracy Griffin and saxophonists Tom Fitzpatrick and Jerry Jumonville is joined by Ruffins and trombonist Corey Henry for the final cut, along with drumming legend, Shannon Powell.
Thousands of music-seeking tourists have heard Les Getrex and his band play these numbers night after night on their endless Bourbon Street gigs in the French Quarter of New Orleans, but the good news is that the songs have translated so well to disc, The result is this fine recording, produced under the careful hand of Gary Edwards at his sumptuous Sound of New Orleans studios, and it amounts to a perfect showcase for the fully-matured talent and distinctive sound of Les Getrex. Properly introduced, Les’'s new legion of fans will surely join this writer in eager anticipation of a set of the guitarist’'s own songs — but until we get it, this collection of classics will certainly provide many hours of well-rewarded listening.
New Orleans born Les Getrex, the 4th of 5 children, gives his first musical influence as his Church: Truevine Missionary Baptist Church, pastor Reverend Donald Jeanjaques. When growing up in the Desire housing project, Les had some of the great New Orleans musical artists as neighbors: Barbara George (I Know); Huey “"Piano”" Smith; Mac Rabenack “"Doctor John”"; Curly Moore, Bobby Marchand and Alvin Bridges and the Desire Mass Choir among others. Curly Moore was one of Les’' inspirations. Curly was a singer and songwriter, in the mode of Earl King, always with a note pad, scribbling words, singing melodies. Curly not only was an entertainer, but he looked the part, dressing in the “"Cool”" style of the time. Curly Moore made the young Les Getrex aware of the importance of appearance. Les lists his favorite musical artists as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder, BB King, but he loves them all!
After singing in the army, Les learned to play the guitar. He started his career in New Orleans with “"Burnt Toast and Coffee Band”", Les later joined the AFBs playing behind Walter “"Wolfman”" Washington, and later to become the “"front man.”" The experienced players in the AFBs brought him along as an entertainer: Marcel Richardson- Keyboard; Richard “"Tricky Dick”" Dixon- Bass; Tom Ellis- Drums; Elliot “"Stackman”" Callier and Renell Simmons-Tenor Saxes. Backing up legends like Johnny Adams, Ernie K-Doe, Barbara “"Queen Bee”" Wyatt and Lee Dorsey, gave Les a great education on how to entertain an audience.
Producer’'s note: Thanks to Les and all the musicians who worked on this project. I think we all felt that something special was in the works. I hope that after listening, you will agree.
Gary J. Edwards
Vocals and Guitar: Les Getrex
Curtis Pierre - Percussion on Song #7
Rockin’' Dopsie Jr. - Vocal & Rub board on Song #13; Rub board on Song #8
Shannon Powell - Drums on Song #15
Kermit Ruffins - Trumpet on Song #15
Corey Henry - Trombone on Song #15
Ken Thomas- All Songs except 8, 11, 13, 14
Dwayne Nelson- Songs #8, 13, 14
Shannon Powell- Song #15
Raymond Fletcher- All Songs except 2, 5, 7
Keith Vinet-Electric piano- Songs # 1, 4, 6, 12, 13, 14
Bob Andrews-Piano & Organ: Songs # 2, 5, 7
Nick Farkas- 2nd part of piano intro Song #5
Alonzo Johnson- Songs All songs except 6 & 12
Vitas Paukstatis- Songs #6, 12
Horns on Songs #1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 (arranged by Jerry Jumonville)
Tracy Griffin- Trumpet
Tom Fitzpatrick- Tenor saxophone
Jerry Jumonville- Saxophone- Baritone; Tenor solos on Songs# 3, 5, 11
Horns on Song #15 Kermit Ruffins-Trumpet & Corey Henry- Trombone
Earl “"Skip”" Thompson- Songs #1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14
Curtis Pierre on Song #7
Alonzo Johnson courtesy of Rockin’' Dopsie Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters.
Tracy Griffin courtesy of The Track One Band.
Tom Fitzpatrick courtesy of Walter Washington & The Roadmasters.
Jerry Jumonville courtesy of The Jump City Band.
Kermit Ruffins & Corey Henry courtesy of The Barbecue Swingers.
Curtis Pierre courtesy of Casa Samba
01. Farther On Up The Road: Robey & Veasey - Universal Duchess Music Corp. (BMI)
02. A Fool For You: Ray Charles - Unichappell Music Inc (BMI)
03. Misty: Burke & Garner - WB Music Corp (BMI)
04. Elvina: Williams, B. - Beau Williams Music (BMI)
05. Hallelujah I Love Her So: Ray Charles - Unichappell Music Inc (BMI)
06. Tennessee Waltz: King & Stewart - Sony/ATV Acuff Rose Music (BMI)
07. Mary Ann: Ray Charles - Unichappell Music Inc (BMI)
08. Indian Red: Trad arranged by Les Gettridge - Bedico Music (BMI)
09. Mr. Pitiful: Cropper & Redding - Irving Music Inc. -East Memphis - (BMI)
10. Boom Boom: John Lee Hooker - Conrad Music (BMI)
11. When My DreamBoat Comes Home: D. Franklin & C. Friend-Witmark & Sons (BMI)
12. I Found A Love: Pickett; Schofield; West - Alibri Music Company (BMI)
13. Jambalaya: Williams, Hank - Sony/ATV Acuff Rose Music (BMI)
14. Stoop Down Mama: Les Gettridge - Bedico Music (BMI)
15. I Can’'t Take My Baby Nowhere: K. Ruffins – Kermit Ruffins Music Co. (BMI)
Recorded at Sound Of New Orleans Studio.
Engineer: David Silverman
Mastered by Joe Doherty, Factory Masters, New Orleans, LA
Photography by J.R. Thomason, New Orleans, LA
Produced by Gary J. Edwards for Sound Of New Orleans
© Sound Of New Orleans 2003
© 2011 SoundOfNewOrleans.com