peternovelli.com for more info on musicians and sessions /Produced by David Hyde/ EXECUTIVE PRODUCER George McEwen
PETER NOVELLI CD includes 20 page liner notes and photos!
Peter's guitar style evolved from the electric blues masters, mixed with his years playing Louisiana roots music in zydeco/cajun bands. This CD was recorded in Baton Rouge and New Orleans with former members of Gatemouth Brown's Gate's Express: David Hyde (bass), David Peters (drums) with guest appearances by other members of Gate's band (Joe Krown on B3, Bobby Henderson on alto sax, Chris Belleau on trombone. Brian Brignac (Sonny Landreth, Wayne Toups) played percussion and drums. Other guests include Dr John, Paul Barrere (Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, etc), Greg "Fingers" Taylor on harmonica, Raful Neal on harmonica, Augie Meyers on Vox organ (Texas Tornados, Sir Douglas Quintet), Olivier Scoazec (Buckwheat Zydeco, Zachary Richard), James Johnson, guitar (Slim Harpo band), David Torkanowsky on B3, Suzanne Leger (frottoir and percussion), Smoky Greenwell, harmonica (WAR), Curtis Coubello (fiddle), Nelson Blanchard on keys.
The CD includes a Tribute to Slim Harpo, two tracks (previously recorded, but unfinished) with members of Harpo's band (the late Raful Neal, James Johnson, Rudy Richard) and New Orleans legend, the late "Big" Johnny Thomassie on drums.
......as a very young guitarist I was drawn to the blues and R&B of southern Louisiana and Texas, mostly Baton Rouge and New Orleans: Guitar Slim, Slim Harpo, Raful Neal, James Johnson on guitar, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Gatemouth Brown. And Buddy Guy and James Burton, who came from Louisiana. Later, Dr. John and The Meters. Much later, Kenny Neal and then Chris Thomas King, both from Baton Rouge and each in his own way a bridge from the roots of blues to a more modern sound.
There was something unique about Baton Rouge blues, different from Chicago or Mississippi or even New Orleans. It was primal, had its own kind of groove, laidback, swampy, funky. Around Baton Rouge they play blues a certain way, like the intro on Scratch My Back and the syncopated riff. Deceptively simple, but not easy. It was an inspiration for so many rock bands that I won’t list them.
Much of the past decade I was busy playing with zydeco bands, and that brought me to Louisiana and finally into New Orleans. I got to play with characters like the late Roy Carrier – his zydeco had a lot of blues – and that helped put it all together for me.
On this project I’m doing my own thing, using what I’ve absorbed along the way. This music is blues and R&B, with some funk and what I call that whole Louisiana roots thing. And, as you’ll see on a couple of song titles, the Texas connection.
It started with David Peters and David Hyde (met while I was playing zydeco in the French Quarter with Sammy Naquin). They’d been in Gatemouth Brown=s rhythm section. Other musicians I'd admired joined the project, including more who had played with Gate, like the masterly Joe Krown.
Besides my own songs and a few covers, Hyde had two unfinished “Slim Harpo” tracks that he=d recorded with Baton Rouge bluesmen Rudy Richard, James Johnson (who came by the studio), Raful Neal on harmonica, New Orleans’ Big Johnny Thomassie on drums (the latter two since passed away), and a bunch of other great players. I wonder if anybody will play like those guys, ever again. David, Dr. John, Augie Meyers and me played on the songs, Hyde finished producing the Harpo tracks, and that brought the project full circle for me.
Thanks for listening. - Peter Novelli