Friends & Legends of Louisiana
L & M Star Productions
Producer Lucas Spinosa is a songwriter, keyboardist and former bandleader of the Baton Rouge based “Southern Star”, a band popular in the 1990’s. Their albums include “Magic”, “Evangeline” and “From The Heart”. Way back in 1966 Spinosa was a member of the band “The Inn Crowd” with his brother Johnny. This new project is a collection of ten originals from a variety of genre’s including swamp pop, blues, rock, swing, gospel and jazz. Each song featuring a different but well-known singer from the state of Louisiana.
Keyboardist Spinosa has assembled an all-star ensemble including Cranston Clements and Bob Henderson. guitars; Ian Smith, trumpet, flugelhorn and trombone; Jason Parfait, saxophone; David Hyde, bass; and Brian Brignac, drums and percussion. Additional guitar fills are supplied by Seth Lecoq. The backing vocalists include Henderson, Elaine Foster and Taylor Lendo. The album is co-produced by Mike David; and engineered by Brignac at his Brignac Lane Studio in St. Amant, Louisiana. It was mixed and mastered by the Grammy winning Tony Daigle.
A saxophone intro from the Houma born Parfait opens “Beale Street Blues”. Parfait is also the vocalist on this infectious tune about the famous street in Memphis, before he wails on several solos. Trumpeter Ian Smith can be heard as the song fades. “While You’re Still Mine” features a fabulous vocal from Parker James who has a three octave range, once again Parfait’s sax highlights the production.
The New Orleans styled rocker “Belly of The Beast” is sung by the Crowley, Louisiana born Wayne Toups, sometimes called the Cajun Springsteen. He is a member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame and bandleader of Wayne Toups and Zydecajun; featured are Louisiana’s favorite son Lafayette native Sonny Landreth on guitar, and the fabulous horn section. “Want It To Be” is sung by the popular swamp pop singer Don Rich, with help from the background singers.
” I Believe” is sung by guitarist Henderson who also doubles on saxophone; Spinosa is featured on piano. “Southern Side of Life” is sung by the New Orleans born Kenny Neal, a five-time Blues Music Award winner, who also takes a turn on harmonica.
“Red Tail Lights On A Blues Highway” is sung by Chris LeBlanc who once recorded with the legendary Bobby Charles; Spinosa and Tillis Verdin can be heard dueling it out on their respective keyboards. “The Two of Us” is sung by the Lafayette born, swamp pop crooner Gregg Martinez, a.k.a. Mac Daddy.
“Living In A Fantasy” is sung by thirty-eight year old swamp pop singer Ryan Foret, bandleader of The Foret Tradition; he is keeping the tradition alive as their last album was released in 2014. The closer “Memories” is sung by vocalist Bryan Romano, front man for the band Rougan, their album 2018’s “Set Me Free” also featuring band member Spinosa on keyboards.
This is a fabulous album. Producer and songwriter Spinosa is doing his part, to keep the music of Louisiana thriving.