Tuesday, November 10, 2015

RIP Allen Toussaint

The world lost an amazing songwriter today as it was confirmed that Allen Toussaint passed away while on tour in Madrid, he was 77 years old.
We love New Orleans and he was a titanic voice for that town, writing so many classic songs and working with everyone under the sun. Nola.com The Times and other sites have reflections on the legend and NPR is sharing a full concert you can check out from him back in '09 at The Village Vanguard.
Here at RtBE, Toussaint will always have a special place in our heart. I distinctly remember one of the major tipping points, a quick yet powerful moment that really solidified our love for The Crescent City. It wasn't one of Toussaints sets or one of his numerous sit in's we caught with great musicians. It was simply getting down to NOLA early one Wednesday in 2010 to kick off our Jazzfest experience. Dropping off my bags, getting so pumped, I headed directly to the Louisiana Music Factory for live tunes and records.

In a state of unadulterated joy I stepped off a curb a bit too quick, and looked up to see a Rolls-Royce cruising slowly through the intersection of Decatur and Conti. Never in danger, but a bit in awe, I looked in to see Mr. Toussaint himself give a warm smile and politely waving me along, guiding me up the block to see Kermit Ruffins play.

Shaking my head I realized this was the beginning of an amazing trip, in a magical city and really put things over the top before anything even happened. New Orleans is alive, and Toussaint will always live on there as a massive legend and really anywhere you get to hear his fantastic songs, sang/played by him or anyone else as he has crossed generations/races/genres. Below are just a few.       

"Riverboat" Live in NYC


Lee Dorsey and Toussaint "Working In A Coal Mine"


Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Toussaint "On Your Way Down"


Bonnie Raitt and Toussaint "What is Success?" Live


Toussaint "Tipitina & Me"


Toussaint "Soul Sister"

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