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A Crescent City treasure

Since the Blues Began
Since the Blues Began
By Tommy Ridgley

Black Top Records: 1995

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This review first appeared in the May 5, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

A veteran New Orleans composer and vocalist, Tommy Ridgley is one of those Crescent City treasures whom too few of us outside the Big Easy have heard. Like contemporaries Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair and Aaron Neville, Ridgley seamlessly blends blues, soul, jazz, R&B, Cajun and creole into a stew that is uniquely Louisianan.

Nearly 70 years old, Ridgley nonetheless has a sound that is completely modern, and he has assembled 11 of his own compositions from through the years that all swing with abandon. The backing band assembled for this date consists of some of New Orleans' finest – including Snooks Eaglin on guitar, George Porter Jr. on bass and Sammy Berfect on piano and organ.