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Les Kerr: What They're Saying About His Music

CRAWFISH CARAVAN

Country Music Hall of Fame member Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires
          I really enjoyed it. All of the singing is good and the music is good on every song throughout the whole album. I especially enjoyed Mardi Gras Song and Justine.

Amy Kurland, owner of the world famous Bluebird Cafe
          I love Les Kerr. He¹s multi-talented, a great songwriter and artist. Les is a favorite with Bluebird audiences, from his annual Mardi Gras crowd, to a recent group of seniors who loved his songs and stories. The Crawfish Caravan album is fun and real, and sounds like a great party. He¹s included some of my favorite songs, Camellia Grill and Magnolia Springs, and the band is terrific.

Tricia Walker, recording artist & songwriter
          Crawfish Caravan is yet another wonderful reminder of Les Kerr's love of all things Southern – soul food, New Orleans, eccentric characters, small towns, party music. I love the joy that Les shares with an audience when he sings, so listen up 'cause we all need a big dose of smiles. This CD is a little bit o' dis and a little bit o' dat, stir it all up and enjoy...just like a good gumbo...really tasty stuff!

Bob Mueller, Nashville TV news anchor and broadcast journalist
          Want to savor musically "The Big Easy?" You can almost taste the Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice and Hurricanes on Les Kerr’s new CD Crawfish Caravan. This is a party CD with the sound, tempo and feel that is all Cajun. It is a treat for the senses; all that is missing is the beignet.

Dr. Randy Cross, Humorist
          I have listened to little besides Crawfish Caravan during the past few days. What a great and diverse collection of songs. Of course I like the standards such as "Cotton Fields" and "House of the Rising Sun," but I also love "Slippin' into Slidell," "Justine," and my favorite of all, "Ink By the Barrel," a tune I cannot get out of my head. The arrangements, musicians, and vocals are just exactly right. What a great CD.

David Holt, Grammy-winning recording artist and host of NPR's Riverwalk Jazz
          [Crawfish Caravan is] a good time CD with a lot of memories for the sweet spots in life.

Howard Bahr, author (The Judas Field, The Year of Jubilo, The Black Flower)
          Nobody writes the old Coast like Les Kerr.  He is the James Lee Burke of music.

Stacy Smith Segovia, The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, TN
          Nashville has its own bayou ambassador in Les Kerr, known for his Hillbilly Blues Caribbean Rock & Roll ... the CD certainly is an energetic romp, it’s also soulful ... It’s also a reminder of just how much there is to love about life.

Don & Sheryl Crow, Music City Bluesletter
          With his latest release, Crawfish Caravan, we think it is not only his best work, but his most diverse, as well. And his stellar backing crew, The Bayou Band, seem to get better each time we hear them.

Lt, Paul Leonard, Pascagoula, MS
          Les Kerr's live performances are exciting and Crawfish Caravan captures the spirit of fun you find at one of his concerts.

Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville
          It seems that sometimes Cajun Music has become a lost art form. Outside of the Gulf area, it doesn’t get as much attention as other styles of music. That’s a shame, because if it’s done right, it can be quite entertaining. Les Kerr is a prime example of that. The singer-songwriter has released a new disc that can be summed up in one word – fun. If you want to hear something that will get your toe tapping, I think you will find it here. I like this album a lot, and tip my hat to Kerr for continuing to uphold a musical art form!
          Chuck’s Rating: Three and a Half out of four guitars

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CHRISTMAS ON THE COAST

Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN 12/14/02, Bill Ellis
          Nashville-based guitarist/ singer Les Kerr wisely employs Elvis Presley greats the Jordanaires on "Christmas on the Coast" (O.N.U. Records), a holiday album highlighted by Kerr's hillbilly title track, the John Hartford number On Christmas Eve and a cool surf-cum-cabaret retelling of Wayfaring Stranger.

The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS 12/10/02, Sherry Lucas
          Much hits home on Les Kerr's Christmas on the Coast. Formerly of Jackson, the Nashville-based singer-songwriter has ripe, new lyrics for Jingle Bells ("Dashing through the snow is one way to go/ But I'd rather row the pirogue down the old bayou"), and a stanza on the title tune ("It might turn cold, but it might not/ Some years it was downright hot/ One thing's for sure, it never snows ...") is the perfect antidote to a White Christmas overdose.

Mobile Register, Mobile, AL 12/3/02, Lawrence Specker
          "Christmas on the Coast" carries on the style Kerr calls "Hillbilly Blues Caribbean Rock & Roll" with mellow roots-rock arrangements leaving plenty of room for sing-along vocals.

The Point, Jackson, MS 12/4/02
          A collection of unusual holiday songs, Kerr brings his characteristic Southern blues, zydeco and Gulf Coast sounds to the project, joined by the legendary gospel quartet The Jordanaires on four of the tracks, including "Jingle Bells (Christmas in New Orleans)," "Your Kiss is my Wish List," and "On Christmas Eve."

Jackson Free Press, Jackson, MS 12/5/02, Todd Stauffer
          …Kerr’s album mixes up well with the familiar songs that jingle through your head on crisp, cool days around this time every year.

OffBeat Magazine,  December, 2002, Robert Fontenot
          [The Jordanaires] go a long way towards giving a real old-fashioned Christmas feel to these simple country tunes laced with a hint of zydeco, especially Kerr’s charming original title track and John Hartford’s "On Christmas Eve."

Music City Bluesletter, Sheryl and Don Crow
          If you have ever been to one of Les Kerr's Christmas shows, then you know what good cheer this CD will bring to your holidays. If you haven't, by all means catch him live, and then buy a copy of this great Christmas CD!! A grand collection of ten originals and covers, this set will take you down to a cozy Christmas on the Gulf Coast, where Les spent many a holiday in years past.
         That "coastal Christmas" feeling comes thru on a new take on "Jingle Bells (Christmas In New Orleans)" and the title tune, where "it might get cold, but it might not." Add to that some great musicianship courtesy of the Bayou Band and stellar backing vocals from the renowned Jordanaires (of Presley fame!) and you have all you need for a down-home Christmas! "What The King Didn't Know," written by Tammy Vice, is a fine tale of the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Christ. One of our favorites, again with fine work from the Jordanaires, is a John Hartford tune, "On Christmas Eve," done up acoustically with fine "eight-stringin" from Bryan Cumming on mandolin.
         "Your Kiss Is My Wish List" is a bluesy mid-tempo description of all Les wants from Santa. Keeping in the blues vein is "Christmas By The Bar-Be-Que," with accordion from Jeff Lisenby and rubboard action from Bayou Williford. One of the highlights of Les' holiday sets is his rendition of Robert Earl Keen's "Happy Holidays, Y'all," presented here with backing vocals from several females, most notably Allison Kerr, Tammy Vice, and Gail (Mrs. Les) Kerr.
         A spoken-word "Yes, Virginia" is an account of Francis Church's editorial response to a letter from 8-year old Virginia O'Hanlon's question in 1897, "Is there really a Santa Claus?," with Caroline and Brent Stoker as Virginia and her dad. The instrumental "Wayfaring Stranger," where all the band members get a chance to shine, and a rockin' "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" closes the set. This is a fine and most welcomed addition to our holiday collection, and we encourage all our readers and members to make it a part of theirs. Happy Holidays, Y'all!!!

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RED BLUES

The Tennessean, Nashville, TN
          Nashville club favorite Les Kerr has been playing his brand of Gulf Coast-informed rhythm and country blues for years and his new album, Red Blues is his best recording to date.

InReview, Nashville, TN
          ...as I am writing this piece, his new CD is playing, and InReview's director of sales and marketing is dirty dancing in the lobby.  Expect similar results...

Mobile Register, Mobile AL
          Songwriter and former Mobile resident Les Kerr once again celebrates the area he used to call home on "Red Blues," his third album...

Offbeat.com, Kathleen A. Rippy
           Red Blues, Nashville singer songwriter Les Kerr's third CD, more than qualifies for "blues" status by anyone's standards. It is a cryin', blues guitar slidin', jumpin' and jivin' paean to lost love, roots and homestead. In nearly every song, he is yearning to be somewhere else, most often New Orleans, doin' something else.
           Kerr's musical stylings aptly cover the gamut from rockabilly to boogie to Caribbean beats with ease. He calls his music "Hillbilly Blues Caribbean Rock and Roll." Kerr's strong suit is his songwriting and his lyrics paint vivid and often amusing pictures: about riding the streetcar line in New Orleans on "Streetcar in the Rain," the kids on Bourbon Street who tell you "where you got them shoes" (for a small fee) in "The Sun Also Rises" and on his ode to his true loves, Memphis and New Orleans, on "My Mistresses" where he laments "Both live on the river and they both will take me in anytime that I may be inclined. Neither one is jealous and I really do regret, I can't be with them both at the same time." He gets off the yearning track for a bit on a cleverly written tribute to gonzo journalist and certified madman, Hunter S. Thompson. In a funny biographical sketch Kerr sings, "I got tired of being told of what to do and where to go, I took a leap and just said no from workin' nine to five. With a case of beer and my left brain, I began my own campaign to rule all of my domain, I'll be king here 'til I die." And then reveals Thompson's credo to the blues world: "Hunter Thompson told me so, when the going gets weird, the weird the weird turn pro. Here's to you the great Gonzo, it's getting strange so here I go."
           Kerr hails from Mississippi and developed a deep love of the blues while growing up. His deep voice is reminiscent of a bluesy Johnny Cash and his well-crafted guitar playing lays down the perfect accompaniment for each song, be it electric, slide or acoustic. Les Kerr is no stranger to the Crescent City–he's performed at Margaritaville, the Maple Leaf and Carrollton Station.

Music City Bluesletter, Nashville, TN, Shannon Williford
          "...stories that tell of life in the Tennessee-Gulf Coast strip of America, where Les Kerr is at home anywhere."
          "southerners and Irishmen...Buffett would have been proud to have written this one."
          "Sharecropping Cotton chopping Delta blues oughta be the Mississippi Delta blues theme song."
          "Streetcar in the Rain and Pray for New Orleans are other tunes set in NOLA (New Orleans), lovely little sorrow songs that leave the listener upbeat, which is, after all, the mark of a working blues song."
          "Wanna hear some long lasting strong Southern music? Buy this disc."

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BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE SEA

The Tennessean, Nashville, TN
           Go back to the bayou tonight with the Cajun music of Les Kerr.  A native of Mississippi's Gulf Coast, Kerr...performs throughout the South.  He debuts his new CD, Below the Level of the Sea, at...the Bluebird Cafe.

Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN
           Below the Level of the Sea, a fun, upbeat combination of blues, bluegrass, rock, New Orleans and island rhythms.

Belle Meade News, Nashville, TN
           Below the Level of the Sea...contains ten songs, including eight written by the singer.  The songs reflect Kerr's Gulf Coast background and interest in numerous musical styles.  Cajun influences are also present in several of the album's recordings.

Music City Bluesletter, Nashville, TN
           Kerr is not just a singer, not just a guitar player, not just a songwriter. He is indeed an entertainer, bringing his own brand of savory Cajun, rock and blues music.

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HOME | ABOUT LES | CONCERT PHOTOS | CDs & OTHER MDSE | THE TENNESSEE BOOK | THE COOKBOOK | BOOKS & JOURNALISM | MARDI GRAS | PRESS ABOUT LES | ORDER LES ONLINE @ CDBABY | LES LINKS | CONTACT US | SITE MAP

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