Allen Toussaint / New Orleans Social Club

SXSW live shot

Cyril Neville of the New Orleans Social Club
Cyril Neville of the New Orleans Social Club (Photo By John Carrico)

Allen Toussaint / New Orleans Social Club

Auditorium Shores, Saturday, March 18

"We can't wait to get things together, so we can go back home." The New Orleans Social Club, comprised of Crescent City exiles Leo Nocentelli, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Henry Butler, and Raymond Webber, stormed Auditorium Shores with a lyrical sense yielding emotional appeals and prideful affirmations. Opening with a gutbucket cover of Creedence Clearwater's "Fortunate Son," the all-star assembly was joined by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux in full plumage, legendary pianist Willie Tee, John Boutte singing Annie Lennox's "Why," and Cyril Neville fronting a rousing performance of the Impressions' "This Is My Country." Introduced as the high priest of New Orleans music, pianist/singer Allen Toussaint followed with a classy set of contagious optimism. Toussaint staples "Big Chief," "Working in a Coal Mine," "Yes We Can Can," and "Lady Marmalade" warmed the breezy sunset as the stately landmark maintained that "if there's one man left in New Orleans, it's going to be me." Something about Toussaint's voice transmits a comforting promise that all will soon fall in place, just as his syncopated piano strokes cascade into realms of floating perfection. Toussaint's reminder that life on the bayou involves shifting resolve segued into a musical rebuilding of cultural lagniappe.

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