There are some special places, in the world, that make a real difference to who and what we are. It is sometimes a matter of a feeling or maybe the memory of something special happening in that specific place that stays with us forever for the rest of our lives.

Producer, guitarist, singer/songwriter and co-owner of Gulf Coast Record, the almighty Mike Zito, seemed to have perfectly perceived that New Orleans and its music had provided through the years a profound impact on the musical growth of the American Saxophone Maestro and Singer/Songwriter Jimmy Carpenter.

The 2019's last studio album from Carpenter, called Soul Doctor, was recognized unanimously by the saxophonist's many fans and the music press as one of the most impressive records in Carpenter's career, therefore the American artist might have felt, at some point, a little pressure and expectations mounting on his next album.

Mike Zito's suggestion to his old-time fellow musician and personal friend Jimmy Carpenter, on making an album that would represent Carpenter's own personal homage to a city where he had not only spent an important part of his life but where he also incorporated the vibes and the sound of a true hometown of genres like Soul, R&B, Boogie, Blues and Rock'N'Roll, was, in the end, a total no-brainer decision to be taken for Carpenter.

The outcome of the live recording sessions that Carpenter and Zito had at the Dockside Studios close to Lafayette, LA produced a truly remarkable body of work called The Louisiana Record, where Jimmy Carpenter pays a fabulous tribute not solely to some of his all-time music mentors, like Allen Toussaint, Dr. John or Sam Cooke but also to often forgotten pioneers of the New Orleans Music, such as Peppermint Harris and Earl King, among others.

Carpenter must have surely spent a huge amount of time, on working out what the choice of songs to be included on The Louisiana Record should have been, but he most certainly nailed the album's setlist, by including tunes that would display his talent at 360 degrees, both as a Sax player and as a singer.

The American artist is, undoubtedly, one of the most loved, talented and appreciated Saxophonists worldwide and sometimes, just sometimes, there would be few people forgetting how incredibly talented and soulful Carpenter can be also as a singer. His vocal deliveries on the 1951's song I Got Loaded, for example or on tunes like Allen Toussaint's All These Things, one of the many masterpieces of Sam Cooke from 1962, Bring It On Home To Me and Solomon Burke's Cry To Me, are pitch perfect and some of the best vocal performances of Jimmy Carpenter's career to date.

Sonically, the American artist is such a joy to listen to; throughout The Louisiana Record, the class and the authority of his Sax playing is extraordinary. Try to listen, for example, to Carpenter's breathtaking Sax solos on Wee Willie Wayne's classic Travelin' Mood or the one on the album's opener, Smiley Lewis' I Hear You Knocking just to have a little hint of how incredibly gifted as a Sax player Carpenter truly is.

The studio musicians playing on Carpenter's new record are all first class musicians too. Together with Carpenter himself on Sax and Vocals, Mike Zito himself does a tremendously fabulous job on Guitar throughout the record too (Zito co-produced the album with Carpenter), with a very strong Rhythm Section made by Wayne Maureau on Drums and Casandra Faulconer on Bass. A very special and well deserved mention goes to John Gros on Piano and B3 Organ too, for the incredible sonic carpet provided in the whole of Carpenter's new record.

The Louisiana Record is a true labour of love on many levels; love from Jimmy Carpenter to the sound of New Orleans and, most of all, for the timeless music that the American artist chisels always with such grace, talent and artistic integrity on each passing record.





The Louisiana Record is out now and it is available to be purchased via Amazon