Lee Pons is, to put it mildly, an up-jumped-the-devil rockin’, rollickin’ New Orleans blues piano player. His latest CD, Big Boogie Voodoo from Mind Balm Records is a record of piano-filled bliss.
The very first track, The Voodoo Boogie immediately pulls the listener in and set the tone for the album. It makes skillful use of dynamic and complex rhythms and packs a full dose of energy. Lee’s vocals on the album have a uniquely Cajun feel; his singing lies somewhere between whiskey-soaked and southern drawl and perfectly compliments the feel of the album. He really uses every track to show off his wide range in style & feeling through the piano. One can hear southern gospel on one track and a very Professor Longhair New Orleans Barrelhouse on the next, with a seamless transition to a Ray Charles feel on another, all while maintaining a consistent feel on the album.
There are a few standout tracks; the third track, Blues for N’awlins, is an homage to the spirit of New Orleans after the devastation wrought by Katrina and evokes a very Ray Charles feeling. Me Minus You might be my favorite, with it’s deeply blues style and lyrics that couldn’t be more bluesy. Finally, the instrumental track The Gospel According to Lee brings you on home to southern gospel church.
All in all, it’s a wonderful album and a must-have for any blues piano lover. One interesting thing to note is that the album is strictly solo. There’s no percussion, no backing instruments; just the piano, but with the way he plays, you’ll never know they aren’t there!
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