Last Train to Memphis [Proper]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Not quite a new album and not quite a compilation, Bobby Charles' 2004 release Last Train to Memphis is closer to a clearing-house for little-heard recordings than a proper album. Billed as a single-disc release paired with a bonus disc, the two-CD set contains a total of 34 songs, and since there is no distinct difference between the two discs, it only seems appropriate to treat it all as a sprawling double album. Jim Bateman says in his perfunctory, largely biographical liner notes that this album "fills in the years between his critically acclaimed 1972 Bearsville release and today," which is certainly true, since all 34 songs on the two discs were recorded ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Not quite a new album and not quite a compilation, Bobby Charles' 2004 release Last Train to Memphis is closer to a clearing-house for little-heard recordings than a proper album. Billed as a single-disc release paired with a bonus disc, the two-CD set contains a total of 34 songs, and since there is no distinct difference between the two discs, it only seems appropriate to treat it all as a sprawling double album. Jim Bateman says in his perfunctory, largely biographical liner notes that this album "fills in the years between his critically acclaimed 1972 Bearsville release and today," which is certainly true, since all 34 songs on the two discs were recorded sometime between 1971 and 2001. The liners do detail the individual recording dates and lineups for the tracks, but it's hard to tell when and where -- or even if -- these songs came out prior to this release. This is particularly true because not only does the sequencing make no chronological sense -- the first disc hopscotches from 1999 to 1979 back to 1975 then leaps ahead to 1997 before going back to 1984 -- but because Charles' music is so consistent in both tone and quality it's hard to tell when these recordings are from, based on the production or performance. Of course, there's a certain charm to that. Very few artists could have such a patchwork assembled and make it sound cohesive, which this certainly does. This all flows from his brilliant eponymous 1972 album for Bearsville, which blended his signature spin on New Orleans R&B with an Americana bent borrowed from his friends in the Band. Overall, it's a little slicker and smoother than the loose-limbed, rustic Bobby Charles -- plus, its sprawling nature means it's not nearly the compulsive listen as that underappreciated gem -- but it's consistently satisfying, filled with satisfyingly modest new Charles originals and friendly, engaging reworkings of warhorses like "See You Later Alligator." So, even if Last Train to Memphis is frustrating when closely inspected, if it's taken as just a collection of 34 fine Bobby Charles recordings, it's very pleasurable, and not in the least because there are so few Charles recordings that it only seems right to savor every one.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2004
  • Label: Proper Records Uk
  • UPC: 805520030168
  • Catalog Number: 16

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bobby Charles Primary Artist, Vocals
Delbert McClinton Harmonica, Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
Rufus Thibodeaux Fiddle
Willie Nelson Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Geoff Muldaur Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
Neil Young Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Guest Appearance
Billy Gene English Drums
Tracy Nelson Vocal Harmony
Maria Muldaur Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
Martin Simpson Slide Guitar
Larry Marshall Piano, Vocals
Ben Keith Bass, Percussion, Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar, cowbell, Lap Steel Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Sonny Landreth Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Soloist, Guest Appearance
Mickey Raphael Harmonica
Tommy Smiley Vocals
Dan Penn Acoustic Guitar
George Bitzer Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano
Pat Breaux Accordion
Sam Broussard Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Stephen Bruton Mandolin
Mike Burch Drums
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Bobby Campo Percussion, Trumpet
Charlie Chappelear Bass
Cranston Clements Acoustic Guitar
Charles Cochran Organ, Piano
Fats Domino Vocals, Guest Appearance
Floyd Domino Piano
Jerry Embree Baritone Saxophone
Chris Ethridge Bass
Elaine Foster Background Vocals
Lisa Foster Background Vocals
Scott Goudeau Guitar
Clarence "Frogman" Henry Piano, Guest Appearance
Karl Himmel Percussion, Drums
Eddie Hinton Electric Guitar
Jim Horn Horn
Wayne Jackson Horn, Vocals
Leo Jackson Acoustic Guitar
Jerry Jumonville Tenor Saxophone
Joe Krown Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Dickie Landry Saxophone
Roger Lewis Baritone Saxophone
Kenny Malone Percussion
Jody Maphis Acoustic Guitar
Jerry McEwen Electric Guitar
Terry McMillan Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Joey Miskulin Accordion
Spooner Oldham Organ
Jody Payne Electric Guitar
Norbert Putnam Bass
Wardell Quezergue Conductor
David Ranson Bass
Hargus "Pig" Robbins Piano
Bill "Foots" Samuel Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Bee Spears Bass
Jackie Street Bass, Percussion
Eric Traub Tenor Saxophone
Derek Trucks Guitar
Leeland Waddell Drums
Reese Wynans Piano, Keyboards
Erica Falls Background Vocals
Burt Callahan Violin
Brian Brignac Drums
Phil Chandler Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Marshall Cyr Trumpet
Bobby "BB" Broussard Electric Guitar
Fred Carter Jr. Electric Guitar
David Hyde Bass
Divisia Vocals
Daniel Cassin Cello
Tommy Moran Electric Guitar
William Rainsford Piano
Charlene Howard Background Vocals
Brian Tabor Vocals
Mike Elliott Bouzouki, Guitar
Adrianna Hulscher Violin
Ann Taylor Viola
Nick Daniels Background Vocals
Jo Smith Tenor Saxophone, Soloist
Joe "Public" Allen Bass
David Peters Drums
Bob & Pauline Wilson Piano
4 Nuns Background Vocals
Jennifer Cassin Viola
Chamisa Cook Vocals
Terry Irwin Electric Guitar
Ronauld "Rome" Langlinais Spoons
Layton Martens Cello
Ziva Patt Violin
David Briggs Piano
Technical Credits
Dave Bartholomew Composer
Bobby Charles Composer, Producer
Ben Keith Producer, drum programming
Jim Bateman Producer, Liner Notes
Tony Daigle Engineer
Fats Domino Composer
David Farrell Engineer
Larry Greenhill Engineer
George Marino Mastering
Norbert Putnam Engineer
Wardell Quezergue String Arrangements
Steve Reynolds Engineer
Randy King Mastering
Robert Guidry Composer
Mike Elliott Engineer, drum programming
Peter J. Moore Mastering
Cheryl Moss Craig Graphic Design
Al Bob McQuire Engineer
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