Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Andy Cornett’s final recording is a good one. The 61-year-old Lafayette blues harpist/bass player died Feb. 24 after a brief illness. Although Andy had been in poor health for more than a year, he did manage to blow some fine harp on Rue Boogaloo’s recently released self-titled debut. Andy was best known for his harp work — hardly to mention his role as manager and producer — with legendary blues pianist Henry Gray, although he was a fine bass player, too. And side projects like Rue Boogaloo were always right up Andy’s alley. Featuring seasoned local musicians Marty Christian (guitar, vocals), Frank Kincel (drums), Lee Zeno (bass) and Cornett (harmonica), Rue Boogaloo mines the classic blues sounds of the Delta, Texas and Chicago, adding enough of a funky South Louisiana feel to make the record at once local, universal and quintessentially accessible. The musicianship is top-notch. Christian’s twanging, nimble guitar licks play perfectly off Cornett’s wailing harp. Kincel and Zeno, meanwhile, lay down a rhythmic foundation worthy of a brick house. The record is available most everywhere local music is sold. It can also be purchased for $10.99 through the band’s website, Only one song, in light of Andy’s recent passing, is tough to get through on this 10-tune record: the soulful, plaintive, swamp pop-feeling third track, “Had a Good Run.” — Walter Pierce

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