NORMAN — Album name: Self-titled (2013, Rhonda Sue Records)
Musician: David Egan
Why you should listen: David Egan has been around the block a few times and that acquired wisdom is to our advantage in this set of tunes straight from the heart. The Shreveport pianist and gentleman crooner’s original album epitomizes the soul of southern America.
Egan spent the early part of his career on the Cajun music circuit as a band member. In 2001 he broke out on his own and the artistic results have been extraordinary. There’s a relaxed fluidity in Egan’s pipes that suggest heat, humidity and drowsy Louisiana summer afternoons.
Lyrics manage to combine a poetic sensibility of “helpless hopeless dreams” with the gritty reality of an irate lover bouncing an empty bottle off his head and breaking the sliding glass door. “Outta Mississippi” is an old dude’s fantasy blues of being 20 years younger so he could rescue a cute waitress from a dead end life at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“Little corn pone handles on your sides…” don’t escape Egan’s hungry gaze as Dickie Landry’s alto saxophone solo screeches like a banshee into the magnolia scented night. “One Foot in the Bayou” is the reverse scenario. It’s about a lady who once had Morgan City mud on her shoes now living the high life in a Big Apple penthouse. Egan pines for her return to the south with a jump blues blaster.
“The Outside” is among the album’s most powerful tracks. “Someday they’ll know they had it wrong/ But likely I will be dead and gone/ Children everywhere will sing my song/ Keep me rockin’ and reelin’ in the great beyond.” That’s not going to happen. A very much alive Egan has already been recognized as being on the inside with America’s other fine singer/songwriters.