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Ernie K-Doe - Here Come the Girls

  by Andrew Carver

published: 2 / 4 / 2009

Ernie K-Doe - Here Come the Girls
Label: Acadia
Format: CD


Essential reissue and repackaging inlcuding extra songs of 1971 album from New Orleans soul legend Ernie K-Doe, whose career has gone through a major revival and ressassment because of the power of advertising

Ernie K-Doe was a New Orleans institution. The man born Ernest Kador Jr. in 1936 got his start in gospel groups, his musical education in Chicago vocal groups following the Second World War before heading back to his hometown to cut the eternal ‘Mother In Law’ on the Minit label with famed Crescent City music kingpin Allen Toussaint along with other, less successful sides for the plethora of labels big and small that sprang up during that fertile era. Always an eccentric, outgoing character, K-Doe was not a man known for being overly serious, and as other soul singers began asking ‘What’s Going On’ and asserting the world was a ‘Ball of Confusion’, his brand of party-happy R&B began to lose traction, though he did release several popular 7 inches on Houston’s Duke label. By the time 1970 rolled around, he was back with Toussaint and laying down the tracks for a self-titled album released on the Janus label in 1971. After that, he might as well have dropped off the face of the Earth for all the record-buying public was concerned, but after crawling into and out of the battle he refashioned himself as a radio personality and club owner of the famed Mother-In-Law Lounge, whose unfortunate recent claim to fame is being wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. K-Doe released a few CDs in the 1990s as his popularity revived. He might have experienced a critical rebirth along the lines of Bettye Lavette, but he died in July 2001. There his career might have remained, apart from a posthumous run for Mayor of New Orleans, had his 1971 record received a sudden pharmaceutical boost, courtesy of a series of advertisements for the Boots chain which used his track ‘Here Come The Girls’. Repackaged with ugly new cover art, and sporting the name of the track that returned it to fame as the title, K-Doe’s 1971 LP is now available again. This particular version appears to have two extra tracks on it (‘Hotcha Mama’ and the burning ‘(I Can't Believe) She Gave It All to Me’), down one from a previous 2008 reissue which slapped an alternative version of ‘Mother-In-Law’ on the end. Apart from the title track, there’s plenty of tasty soul, garnished with such treats such as the backing chorus requesting he “Lay that lovin’ on me!’ on ‘Back Street Lover’, the tremelo guitar on ‘Whoever Is Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)’. More perspicacious ears than mine claim to hear the musical chops of funk champions the Meters (who did record some music with K-Doe and others during an early career doldrums), and some of the tracks – most notably ‘Fly Away With Me’ - do seem to have that certain something. K-Doe himself can growl, croon and plead along with soul music’s finest, and Allen Toussaint’s production is also in fine fettle. Although some of the music might have seemed a trifle dated at the time, after almost four decades a few years either way hardly matter, and most soul fans (and Meters aficionados) will have a good reason to pick up ‘Here Come The Girls’.

Track Listing:-
1 Here Come The Girls
2 Back Street Lover
3 A Place Where We Can Be Free
4 Whoever Is Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)
5 I'm Only Human
6 Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
7 Fly Away With Me
8 A Long Way Back Home
9 Lawdy Mama
10 Talkin' 'Bout That Woman
11 Hotcha Mama
12 (I Can't Believe) She Gave It All To Me
13 Mother-In-Law (Alternate Version)

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