Professor Louie & The Crowmatix
Songs Of Inspiration CD - Review by Mike Greenblatt
The collection of Songs Of Inspiration (Woodstock Records), from Professor Louie and The Crowmatix
date back to the eighteen hundreds. It’s been five decades and counting for the Professor a/k/a Aaron Louis Hurwitz who collaborated with The Band for over 15 years and was dubbed “Professor Louie” by the late Rick Danko.
His vocals, Hammond B-3, and accordion are all over these 11 soul-saving songs.
Everybody from Blind Roosevelt Graves in 1929 to Johnny Cash in 2003 recorded the African-American spiritual
“I Shall Not Be Moved,” which became a staple of the civil rights movement. Meanwhile, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a Broadway song from the 1945 production of Carousel, was popularized by Jerry Lewis every Labor Day on his telethon, when it became sport to see when during the song Lewis would start crying (I never missed it.) “Motherless Child” dates back to slavery. Paul Robeson sung it in 1926. Richie Havens sung it at Woodstock in 1969, but I was too stoned to notice.
Louie wrote some, produced it all, and leads his Crowmatix through a rollicking version of another traditional gospel, “I’m On My Way,” written about the Underground Railroad that delivered slaves to freedom and was emphatically recorded by Odetta in 1956. Harmony abounds and the instrumentation is acoustic and organic.
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