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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Professor Louie

& the Crowmatix - As The Crow Flies

Review by Gary Hill

Apparently Professor Louie was at one point a member of (or at least recorded with) The Band. Well, you could expect some of the sound of that band based on that connection. You would not be mistaken. Still, the influences of The Band only show up in a few tracks (at least blatantly). What we have here is a bluesy album that wanders between rock and roll, the blues, gospel and Zydeco sounds. For my money it’s not the most consistent disc, with a few tracks seeming below the standard of the rest, but most of the album is quite strong.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Need For You
This is a fun little, somewhat bluesy, R & B type tune with some definite old-time rock and roll elements. It seems a little too lightweight for a disc opener, but it works reasonably well in that slot. The more powered up section later is better and the vocal arrangement does a lot to redeem this.
Daughters & Sons
Here we get a track that’s more pure old-school rock and roll. This is more fun than the first track and really should have been in that slot as far as I’m concerned.

Motherless Child
Now, this is what I’m talking about! This is the strongest track we’ve heard so far. It’s bluesy and powerful and just plain killer.

Century of the Blues
A little less energetic, this is no less potent. It’s another killer blues number that just plain rocks. It also represents the third straight piece that would have made for a better opener than “Need For You.” This gets quite powerful as it carries on and might well be the strongest number on show here.

Some Bad News
They just keep ‘em coming. This is another bluesy powerhouse, but it has a lot more soul in the mix. It has a killer saxophone solo, too.

Clouds In My Heart
Far more pure blues in texture, this is another killer in a string of them.

One More Day
Here they seem to drop back a bit. Of course, that’s probably personal taste because this has closer ties to gospel music and that’s not really a favorite genre of mine.  There is still some tasty slide guitar work.

Look What You Done
Here we get a killer old school slow blues grind. I’m not crazy about the vocal arrangement on this, though.

Bull Frog
There’s a little more playful texture to this, but overall it’s just another good time bluesy rocker. The mid-section on this has a definite dated sound to it.

This has more of a real rock and roll texture to it.

Zydeco all the way could be the title of this. I personally can’t stand accordion and it’s all over this track. I’d hit “skip,” but it might be more along your tastes than mine. It does get a cool walking bass line later, though.

Mr. Luck
This is a cool ditty. It’s got a great groove to it and seems to combine old time rock and roll with the blues in a jam that’s just plain fun. It’s an instrumental and one of the highlights of the disc.

Restless Islands
Now this slow groove really feels like The Band. It’s a cool tune (if perhaps a bit too twangy) and a nice change of pace.

Over The Edge
They turn it more towards funk on this track and it’s another killer jam. It has a great retro texture and at times reminds me a bit of some of the funkier Grateful Dead music.
Tear Of The Clouds
This is a bit lighter in texture and more rock meets old school folk. It’s a nice change of pace, but not really a standout. We get more accordion on this one, meaning that it has a bit of a Zydeco feeling to it at times.

No Division (Heart & Soul)
Here they give us something that’s slower and more contemplative. It’s also quite a powerful song in terms of emotional texture. This is another that shows off some The Band roots. Despite being a mellower number it’s one of the highlights of the CD.

Life Is A Carnival
Somehow this feels to me like “Willie and the Hand Jive.” I also get a definite Blues Brothers feeling to it. Whatever you want to say about it, though, make no mistake, this is fun and energetic track and makes for an effective disc closer.

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