Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Some people really hate on tribute albums: not me. A worst... well, they can be pretty bad, but it's not like they're hurting anyone. At the very least, they probably turn on new fans to older artists. And, if you're lucky, there will be a couple of great cover tracks that put a new spin on a great song. In the pre-iTunes era, I was a real sucker for buying tributes, soundtracks, and other various compilations: it seemed like they all had one song I had to have: these days, iTunes makes it so much easier.
This Fats Domino tribute album is obviously well-timed and well-deserved. According to amazon, the album "will help raise desperately needed funds specifically earmarked for instruments to be donated to New Orleans public school children. Monies raised from the sales of Goin Home will also go toward the rebuilding of Fats Domino's home and to create a community center in the Crescent City s still ravaged Lower 9th Ward. Proceeds of Goin Home will fund additional community related programs." I'm not planning on making this blog too political (check out Product Shop NYC for a good mix), but this addresses two tragdies: the bigger one being the fact that New Orleans is still ravaged by the effects of Katrina. The other being: Fats Domino is one of the architects of rock and roll and pop music. It wouldn't take most contemporary stars over two years to rebuild thier homes, but obviously Fats isn't in their tax bracket. What an injustice. With artists like Fats Domino, I've always felt that you just can't overstate their importance to music. Of course, "importance" helps you to appreciate music, but not necessarily to enjoy it. Fats Domino's music is beautiful, everyone should hear it. I was actually turned on to it by a 1994 tribute - it was the soundtrack to Fast Track To Nowhere, which featured Iggy Pop, Sheryl Crow, The Smithereens, The Meat Puppets and Los Lobos. That turned me on to some of his stuff other than "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That A Shame."
Anyway, I'm looking forward to buying the album, which will feature Neil Young (doing "Walking To New Orleans," which he recorded for a New Orleans fund raiser post-Katrina), Robert Plant, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, Ben Harper, Toots & The Maytals, Willie Nelson and Los Lobos, among others.

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