May 24, 2016 03:09 PM

It can be argued that the Boogie Kings aren’t as much of a band as they are a brand. By some estimates, more than 100 members have come and gone in the band’s 60 years of performing. There have been good times, knock down-drag outs and allegations of copyright infringement. Even on a national level, how many bands can say that?

Legacy might be the end of the line for them as it is the last recording done with Ned Theall, who passed away 2010. Recorded in 2009, Legacy features the trumpet player and arranger who led the band for years and was the only constant member after 1963. It was his job to take the hits and give them a more South Louisiana touch. While not exactly swamp pop, the songs are blue eyed soul, a crossover genre with much in common.

Though it is getting to the point where there aren’t many classics left to explore, here the Kings found a few that you don’t hear at every wedding band performance. Legacy avoids the trappings of “Mustang Sally” and hits the big horns on tracks like “You Left the Water Running,” “Blind, Crippled & Crazy” and “Wish Somebody Would Care.” The South Louisiana crooners do add to the well-trod “At This Moment,” “Don’t Pull Your Love out on Me,” and “You Really Got a Hold on Me.”

Throughout, it is helmed by the voices of Gregg Martinez and Parker James, the latest in a long line of Boogie Kings’ frontmen. Martinez’s voice is as tough as yesterday’s biscuits but smooth as the butter melted on top of them, just the way the genre demands. James, who worked in GG Shinn’s club, handles it nicely as well.

However, for a treasured band with a great legacy of live music and longevity, this is not exactly a must-hear record. With a title as bold as Legacy, this really should have been a live recording featuring the Boogie Kings doing what they do best — performing live.


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