May 20, 2024

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CD review: King Louie Organ Trio – It’s About Time 2019: Video, CD cover

The King Louie Organ Trio, featuring Renato Caranto, sax; Edwin Coleman III, drums; and Louis on organ, has been playing together for years, both as an instrumental unit and with vocalist LaRhonda Steele (as “King Louie & LaRhonda Steele”).

But their first instrumental CD–featuring all-original material and appropriately titled, “It’s About Time”–is only now being released (in April, 2019). Basically, the guys just got tired of friends and fans asking when they were going to put out a CD of their own. Then Tracy Turner-Pain put her foot down and said, “It’s about time!”

Louis and soulful saxophonist Renato Caranto (Merle Haggard, Esperanza Spalding) have been musical partners for over two decades now. The two first teamed up as seminal members of the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group when that band, dubbed “Jimmy Mak’s signature group” by The Oregonian, began its 20-year run on Thursdays at Jimmy Mak’s in 1997. (The Mel Brown unit, still featuring Louis & Renato, now holds forth at the Jack London Revue).

Along the way, Louis and Renato have played countless other gigs together: at Jimmy Mak’s, the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, and elsewhere throughout the Northwest. Whether working in big venues or small, in large groups or as a duo, the chemistry between these two world-class musicians is unmatched. They simply love playing together, and audiences love watching and listening to them! The same goes for their partner in crime: the ultra-creative and entertaining drummer Edwin Coleman III.

In 2017, Louis and Renato, along with Edwin (then with Soul Vaccination), played on the critically acclaimed “Rock Me Baby” CD with LaRhonda. A year later, the three played together on Louis’ “King Louie’s Blues Revue” CD (LaRhonda was joined by additional vocalists Andy Stokes and Lisa Mann on that recording.) Both CDs, released on Louis’ “Shoug Records” label, were honored among the “Best Albums of the Year” by Downbeat (2017 & 2018 respectively).

  1. Frances J
  2. Brulie
  3. Two Leons in New Orleans
  4. Bry-Yen / I Believe in You
  5. Teener
  6. Big Brothers
  7. Island Girl
  8. Chester McGriff
  9. Marty Boy
  10. Mel Brown
  11. Blues for Merle
  12. Lupus Tylericus
  13. Blues for Pierre

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