Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino

The great R&B singer Irma Thomas summed it up nicely when she stated that Fats Domino?s seminal rock ‘n’ roll hits of the 1950s put New Orleans on the modern musical map of America. Domino was an unlikely pop star: corpulent, rooted behind a piano rather than a microphone or guitar, exuding charm rather than sex appeal, ?Fats? nonetheless captured the world?s ears with such easy rolling classics as ?Blueberry Hill,? ?I?m Walking,? ?Blue Monday,? and ?Let the Four Winds Blow.?

At 79, Domino has become a musical symbol of both his beleaguered hometown?s dogged survival instinct and its lasting cultural significance. With the all-star Goin? Home, he gets the props he deserves. The thoroughly eclectic crowd includes Neil Young, Norah Jones, Tom Petty, Elton John, Lucinda Williams, and Robert Plant, sharing space with, among others, Dr. John, B. B. King, Herbie Hancock, Willie Nelson, Randy Newman, and Irma Thomas herself, all offering personalized takes on Domino-related material. The big man?s unique ability to blend the drawl of the blues with the ?big beat? is the lasting influence that ties these sincere and often inspired performances together. That the album opens with John Lennon?s ?Ain?t That a Shame,? seems fitting — even a Beatle felt compelled to tip his hats to Fats, a true rock ‘n’ roll pioneer. —