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Friday, March 15, 2024

Ronnie Barron - Reverend Ether (1971 us, splendid rhythm 'n' blues, swamp rock, 2022 korean remaster)

Born Ronald Raymond Barrosse in 1943, Barron worked with Rebennack during his early days as an A&R man for Specialty and Ace records in the late 1950s and early '60s. Rebennack produced Barron's first single, "Bad Neighborhood," which was credited to Ronnie and the Delinquents. The pair later recorded "Talk That Talk" under the name "Drits and Dravey" for Harold Battiste's AFO label. Barron also served some time in a group called the Prime Ministers, featuring fellow New Orleanians Freddie Staehle (drums), Bobby Lonero (guitar), Eddie Zip (bass), Jerry Jumonville (tenor sax), and Wayne DeVilliere (organ).

After moving to California and declining the Dr. John role, Barron worked for Louie Prima for several years and concocted his own mystical stage persona, "Reverend Ether," recording an album by that name for Decca.

By the 1970s, Barron had moved to Woodstock, N.Y., where he worked again with Rebennack as well as fellow Louisiana expatriate Bobby Charles, joining harmonica wizard Paul Butterfield's Better Days group. This group cut a couple of standout albums - "Better Days" and "It All Comes Back" - featuring Charles and Barron compositions like "Small Town Talk" and "Louisiana Flood," as well as great vocal performances from Barron. Besides doing some acting, Barron worked with BB King, Ry Cooder, John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Canned Heat, and Tom Waits.

He was married to Linda Kelly and had two children, Ronald Raymond, Jr. and Ava. He died in 1997 from complications of heart problems.

1. Ol' Chatnooga - 3:24
2. Duke Of Crenshaw - 3:44
3. Don't Let My Husband Catch You - 3:29
4. Sweet Simplicity - 2:35
5. Freeway Mamma - 6:06
6. Lousianna Flood - 3:08
7. Mamma's Kind Of Song - 3:26
8. Happy, Happy, Happy - 3:47
9. Let It Shine - 3:09
10.Eighteen Sixty Two - 3:39
All compositions by Ronnie Barron

*Ronnie Barron - Vocals, Keyboards