Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The River In Reverse

In my world, the Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint collaboration of 2006 was mammoth. The amount of hours I had invested in listening to both Costello and New Orleans music in my lifetime easily clocks in at five figures, and post-Katrina, it only became more of a problem, mostly for those around me. I was too wrapped up in it to realize I was making enemies of both the tuba and myself. Seriously, I would have happily paid for a Justin Guarini Zydeco album, if I thought it would have done New Orleans any good.

"The River In Reverse" was a good record. It had potential to be exceptional, and to be quite honest, I can't really pinpoint just what I would have done to make it better had I been in the producer's chair. Still, I played it until people screamed and begged for me to stop.

The record consisted of a half dozen Costello and /or Toussaint originals along side earlier Toussaint-penned tracks, mostly recorded by the late, great Lee Dorsey, one of Elvis C.'s favorites.

I thought it would be fun to highlight the original recordings of the older material, and replace the new originals with some related gems.

Those gems:

The first performance ever of "River In Reverse" recorded at NYC's Town Hall, at one of the many benefits to follow the disaster.

Professor Longhair's "Tipitina" which is essentially the basis of the album track "Ascension Day," which rewrote "Tipitina" in a minor key.

"The Greatest Love" by Lee Dorsey was recorded by Elvis and Allen for the record, but only released on the Japanese pressing. (should have included THAT version, as well. sorry.)

"What Do You Want The Girl To Do" was taken from the DVD that was included with the special edition of "The River In Reverse." It is incomplete, but still amazing. (If anyone knows if this was completed, please let me know. If anyone HAS the complete version and can get it to me, I will plotz.)

"Where Is The Love" was an iTunes only track.

"Fortune Teller" and the "On Your Way Down/Yes We Can Can" medley were both recorded live. The former during the 2007 tour and the latter from the "Big Apple To The Big Easy" benefit at Madison Square Garden.


On Your Way Down - Lee Dorsey
Nearer To You - Betty Harris
Tears, Tears & More Tears - Lee Dorsey
Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further - Lee Dorsey
River In Reverse - Elvis Costello
Freedom For The Stallion - Lee Dorsey
Tipitina - Professor Longhair
All These Things - Art Neville
Wonder Woman - Lee Dorsey
The Greatest Love - Lee Dorsey
What Do You Want The Girl To Do - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Where Is The Love - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
Fortune Teller - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
On Your Way Down>Yes We Can Can - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint




Anonymous said...

This looks incredible! thanks


Anonymous said...

Thank You for this. Just amazing!

Tim said...

I'm sure you know already but there's a great version of "on your way down" on "Dixie Chicken."

when I saw Little Feat back in 1974 or so, Lowell George gave a little tribute to Allen Toussaint before they played it.

Meanstreets said...

A friend of us all, " Allen Toussaint " on " Austin City Limits " at midnight tonight, Sat....Ch 21...........highlighting his latest release....