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Poor Man's Paradise
     

Poor Man's Paradise

by Jumpin' Johnny Sansone
 
Even though Johnny Sansone lost his "jumpin'' prefix, the accordion player/harpist/guitarist/pianist/vocalist hasn't sacrificed any of his spark for his first album in eight years. Produced by fellow New Orleans staple Anders Osborne who also contributes clavinet and slide guitar on two tracks, the album wades in a post-hurricane

Overview

Even though Johnny Sansone lost his "jumpin'' prefix, the accordion player/harpist/guitarist/pianist/vocalist hasn't sacrificed any of his spark for his first album in eight years. Produced by fellow New Orleans staple Anders Osborne who also contributes clavinet and slide guitar on two tracks, the album wades in a post-hurricane Katrina haze. Sansone doesn't waste any time attacking the Bush administration for their lackluster response to the devastating events of the storm's aftermath on the opening "Poor Man's Paradise." His accordion sets an unusually downbeat tone to the acerbic lyrics for this bitter yet melodically mid-tempo song. It doesn't really set the mood for the rest of the disc, but is clearly something Sansone needed to get off his chest. The atmosphere lightens considerably from there as he and his band breeze through nine additional tracks, most captured during their first take, live in his New Orleans residence. Even though this is a home recording of the most basic kind, the sound is full, warm, and vivid as the players feed off each other's energy. Sansone is in fine voice throughout, leading his three piece, sometimes augmented by fiddle, backing vocals, and Joe Krown's organ through a swampy set that could only have been created in New Orleans. You can practically smell the city's noted cuisine as blues, R&B, funk, and soul combine in ways that only Crescent City music can. There's occasional humor in the swagger of "Any Dog Would Do," which features a slippery slide solo from Roberto Lutti and tough Chicago styled harp from Sansone. He's witty on "Happiness, Love & Lies" as the band lays into a stripped down yet insistent beat that crackles in a way that only live music can, even if it's recorded without an audience and in a living room. It's the sound of talented friends huddled around and letting the vibe take over. There's a communal, loose knit, yet far from sloppy feel to this project that is captured on tape as the musicians follow Sansone's lead and provide the greasy fuel that powers his motor. The loping "44" sets up a lazy groove for him to glide into as he sings about a robbery gone wrong with a conversational vocal punctuated by a clinched fist harmonica solo. During "Johnny Sadsong," the band seems to be improvising as Sansone blows and the gang propels the song like the session was caught in an inspired moment that just happened to make it onto the album. The closing "I'm Goin' Home" (not the Ten Years After song), is a mournful yet spiritually uplifting gospel styled ballad that ends this sincere disc on a melancholy and introspective note. It's a fine return for a talented musician who has been out of the scene for far too long.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2007
Label:
Cd Baby
UPC:
0837101340908
catalogNumber:
34090
Rank:
201800

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jumpin' Johnny Sansone   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Mandolin,Piano,Accordion,Vocals
Waylon Thibodeaux   Fiddle,Background Vocals
Rene Coman   Bass,Background Vocals
Joe Krown   Hammond Organ
John Fohl   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Doug Garrison   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Monk Boudreaux   Tambourine,Background Vocals
Anders Osborne   Background Vocals,Clavinet,national steel guitar

Technical Credits

Jumpin' Johnny Sansone   Composer,Producer
Jeff Hannusch   Liner Notes
Anders Osborne   Producer
Andrew Gilchrist   Engineer

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