Joe Krown Trio
Keyboard master Joe Krown was in Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s band for 13 years, and Russell Batiste played drums in the Funky Meters even longer than that. Singer/guitarist Walter “Wolfman” Washington is such a legend that he gets his own day in his hometown every April 30th, so it’s no surprise that a collaboration among these three stalwarts of the New Orleans music community would have a seriously bumping result.
On “Down by the River” and “Dame Dreamin,’” Krown lays down the grooves and stretches them out as far as they’ll go before bringing them back to earth, while Batiste makes it all dance. Washington is a supremely soulful singer, and on tracks like “For Your Love” and “Out of the Dark,” he sounds just as smooth and romantic as his one-time mentor, the great Johnny Adams. All three men shine on the aptly named title track, a rocking “Spirit of the Wolf” and especially on the terminally cool “Last Two Dollars.” A relatively relaxed version of “Can I Change My Mind” is elevated by Krown’s soaring B3 and punctuated by Batiste’s effortless funk and Washington’s lightning-quick, immaculate guitar.