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Smokey Mary by Harry Connick, Jr.
Released: Feb 2013
Label: Columbia
Connick's 2013 love letter to post-Katrina New Orleans -- his first since 2007's Oh, My NOLA -- is named for his Mardi Gras krewe's steam-locomotive float, and hence goes heavy on brass-band parade strutting. The swing-revival-ish "boogie woogie choo choo train" title opener and State Pen blues "Angola (At the Farm)" open with piano, but horns and drums get more play; "Cuddina Done It" and "S'pposed to Be" aim for Meters funk; "Dang You Pretty" and "Nola Girl" have horny words, too. Two songs from 1996's Star Turtle -- including the only ballad here, "City Beneath The Sea" -- reappear.
CHUCK EDDY

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