RADIO INTERVIEWS w/ Ol' Man River
Lisa St. Lou - Lead vocals
Ivan Neville - Piano, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3, Clavinet, background vocals
Ian Neville - Guitar
Tony Hall - Bass
Raymond weber - drums
Walter "wolfman" washington - lead guitar
Mark Mullins - Trombone
Alonzo Bowens Jr. - Saxophone
Robert Campo - trumpet
Tor Hyams - Wurlitzer
Crystal Monee Hall - Background vocals
CeliSse Henderson - Background Vocals
produced by tor hyams & Ivan Neville
Mixed by Al Schmitt at Capitol Records
Assisted by Nick Rives
Recorded at The Parlor in New Orleans
Engineered by Nick Guttman. Assisted by Gene O'neil and Matt grondin
Additional vocals recorded by Johnny Nice at Spin Studios
and assisted by Yosimar Gomez
Background vocals recorded by Tor Hyams at Le Garage
When I first met Lisa, I heard a mixture of studied talent and raw soul that I have rarely witnessed; the passion of Billie Holiday and the soul of Bonnie Raitt. Though Lisa has an accomplished pedigree in music, she has something deeper that professional training doesn’t provide; the malaise of hardship and heartbreak. Ain’t No Good Man is a life lesson that only a woman who has been through it can profess.
St. Lou owes some of her breeding to the lineage that precedes her; Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin and most notably the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, who also appears on the duet, “Nothing Is Ever Enough (for a man).” In fact, it was Ms. Thomas’ early recordings from the 1960’s that sired the birth of this album, where the influences of “Look Up,” and “It’s Raining” are the essential ethos that permeate Ain’t No Good Man. Still, there are obvious comparisons to be made to Nina Simone, Janis Joplin and, more recently, the late Sharon Jones.
The songwriting craft is inextricably tied in homage to the late, great Allen Toussaint, the man who defined the raw material of New Orleans soul. Through the grit and truth in the writing, there is an ease to the songs; pain covered with humor, double entendre and emboldened honesty. There is no question that when Lisa sings, we relate. That voice doesn’t lie.
And speaking of authenticity, Ain’t No Good Man was recorded in the city from which it was inspired and is staffed by some of NOLA’s most renown personnel, mostly thanks to the heir of the City’s royal Neville family, Ivan (co-producer). Raymond Weber (drums) and Tony Hall (bass) anchor the rhythm section, while Ian Neville keeps a solid groove on the guitar and Ivan Neville (keys) brings his classic French Quarter piano and his signature stank on the B3 organ and clavinet.
Mark Mullins (trombone), who arranged the horn section (Alonzo Bowens Jr. on sax and Robert Campo on trumpet) adds a unique swampy texture to the record like crawfish etouffee. And the legendary NOLA guitar staple, Walter “Wolfman” Washington assists on lead guitar offering some back porch, eye-squinting solos. The two featured positions are held by Irma Thomas and Cyril Neville, who provide further evidence that New Orleans musicians age like fine wine. Given that her voice transcends age and era, it’s no surprise that St. Lou’s duets with these soul and funk icons feel as natural as moonlight on the bayou.
But no matter how great the singer, an album lives or dies by the repertoire. From top to bottom, St. Lou and her writing partner, Tor Hyams, take us on a journey through vignettes of relationships gone by. If the opening title track is any indication of an empowered woman who has already come out the other side, the journey within is certainly an exorcism of how she got there or, at the very least, a cautionary tale to women on making the same mistakes St. Lou has already traversed, vindicating the voodoo
It is more important now than ever to create art that dispels the traditional imbalance between men and women and to realign ourselves in favor of intelligence over beauty, talent over aesthetic, and to harness the power within. If this brilliant debut album is any indication, St. Lou understands all that and more.
There’s no question we all need fixing, which is, in fact, the prevailing theme on the album. Ain’t No Good Man is not anti-men, but rather an inner-soul unearthing of the singer’s attempt to understand herself better through the men who cross her path. As the truth gets shaken from the magnolia trees, it’s clear that the measure of a person is how that person empowers another. We are all souls in need of repair and the one thing I know for sure is that it will be a woman who fixes us all. As the artist herself says, “you gotta get through it if you wanna get to it.” So let’s get to it!
Eric Ruthman, Jay & Diana Baumohl, Denise Hyams, Carol Scharff Pierre Lles, Daniel Schaarf Kerri Gibbs, Gina Lu, Paul Faust, Adam & Susan Kerzner Jonathan Brielle Erika Rossa DoN Owens, Robert israel sarah passino, amy broder maimon shanon moutrie, laurie stricks & josh harrison, david sapery, emily sullivan, diane asyre, jeffry lance, jenny rothauser, mark kondracki, rob davidson, rodney hobbs, brett berlin, aaron johnston scott brockman, dick and jean jones, jenn schiller, andrea andresakis jr rothenberg, pierre alexandre, ria sharon, emily kratter, randall ian stempler, john cariani, wouter kellerman, david perlman, keith kjarval, karen azoulay, sara meltzer, barry johnson, caitlin McKoy, mark andrew altschul and babs langdon, nicola nicoletta, Olana Digirolamo, ken papagan, kevin williams, adam waldman, matt fransworth, bridget harvey, david berman, ben fuller-googins, jan candela, wendy & chris albano, lori broser, natasha and frank licari, Christopher & Kolleen Dougherty, berta willisch, christie evangelisto, jason schoen, roxie mcfarland, colleen lober, jamie & ben krone, margaret reed, parisa jaffer, pam laudenslager, aram zucker-scharff, gina goldman, daniel savage, karen scharff, carlina, richard & Mia, gina rosenberg, dima rumiantcev, sarah misiano, john killian, melanie muradian, karen & david neubauer, michelle neubauer, nolan livesay, howard dorough, marni tangney, amy carr, Rhonda Hatch, Jody Orrison, Jodi Zeitoun, david sisco, arnold brockman, Peter Adamson & Cory ford, Joann moody, Judy bronson, michele rothauser, nina nelson, erin wathen, nicole Rice, Suzanne Hasz, Tony Humrichouser, Josh & Shulie Packer, Peggy Plesia, Jon Davis, Kristin Chapman, Anne Petri, Bruno Baudet, Michael Bogus, tory ross, Kerri Miller, Regina Mandel, MIRiam tucker, Joe Roberts, Laura DOherty, Nick Keene, Ed Ed Sayles, Leida Pickett, Besson aurelie, Alison van den Heuvel, Tom Kirk, Marcus Woolen, Sally Park Rubin, Heather higgins, Brad Bolnick, Neil D'Monte, Susan Jacobs Corria, Kenneth Silverman, Lindsey Alley, Kevin McGUire, Nicole Lawrence, Richard Chapman, Susan Lehrer, Penny Cutrell, Juila Ott, Pauline Nakios, Monica West, Peggy Flesher, Howard & Nilda Weiss, Steve Tate, Elyssa Dole, Stephen Bennett, Arthur Klein, Monica West, Daniel Schneider, Danya Reich, Lucy Tupu, Carrie & Art Steinmetz, Balázs Brunner, David Carlyon, Andrew Mccarthy, andrew drafts, Francesca Williams, Daniel benjamin, Julie Jarrett, Manuel Mang, Brandon Piper, Andrea Bott, Christian & Stephanie Fletcher, Cara Marriott, Kyle Matsumura, Vini N., Dwight Henry, Radek Mroz, Scott Scaffidi, Barbara Walsh, Jim Dolan, Michelle Barback, Wilma Unfer, Ralph,