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Labelle: Back to Now (Verve)

Kandia Crazy Horse, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 29 October 2008

A FEW weekends back, I rose at the crack of dawn to see Allen Toussaint perform at Joe's Pub in Manhattan for the venue's 10th anniversary celebrations. Although it was Sunday morning and the show was free, nary any Negroes on site for the New Orleans master. However shameful this lack, the show was well worth it, especially for Toussaint's mesmerizing extended version of 'Southern Nights', replete with rich anecdotes about midcentury black life in Louisiana's parishes. Right before this transcendent trip, a middle-aged lady fan down front cried out for him to perform the Labelle hit he produced, 'Lady Marmalade'. Toussaint obliged with a few lines before jokingly gesturing into the air before him, "Take it, Patti!"

Total word count of piece: 696

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