[Courtesy of Tipitina's Record Club]

Album Review: Earl King "Street Parade"

13:00 April 03, 2024
By: Jeffrey Sladkus

NOLA Classic Rereleased

Admittedly, before I received this album, I knew very little about Earl King; so, before I even dared to pen this review, I took a deep dive into his catalogue.

Simply stated, King is one of the most exciting and versatile blues and R&B performers that I have ever heard, and it is no surprise that he played an instrumental role in fashioning New Orleans R&B. Countless highly accomplished artists have covered King's songs including Jimi Hendrix, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Fess, Johnny Winters, the Meters, and Robert Palmer. Need I say more?

Tiptina's Record Club has again outdone themselves with their release of Earl King's Street Parade, a mere 52 years after it was originally recorded in 1972 (and only released in full the UK in 1982) along with Allen Toussaint and the Meters. The title and standout track "Street Parade" (which was released as a single in '72) became a Mardi Gras classic with King injecting vitality into this track with his wah-wah infused guitar, along with strong horns, bass, and percussion. The instrumental reprise on Side B is equally enjoyable.

King's dynamic guitar skills and powerful vocals are really allowed to shine. While he shows his more sensitive and emotive side with a couple of slower ballads, it's the funk that really stands out with the remainder of the album, delivering energetic, funky, exciting and ass shaking music. With the Meters behind him, Street Parade just lives in the groove and the marriage of these artists yields tremendous results.

Equally enjoyable in a different vein, the Tipitina's Record Club curators provide a podcast with special guests to discuss the story behind the specific artist and release. As such, I highly recommend the Earl King episode. These stories are incredibly enjoyable and help provide a unique context. Tipitina's Record Club is knocking it out of the park with these releases so go out and support them and pick up this album. You will not be disappointed!

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