USA Today: Singer/songwriter and New Orleans piano great pay tribute to a Louisiana songwriting legend.
Songwriter Bobby Charles would have been 75 today.
Shannon McNally has a birthday present for the late songwriter of early rock 'n' roll hits like Fats Domino's Walking to New Orleans and Bill Haley & The Comets' See You Later, Alligator -- a sweet cover of his I Must Be in a Good Place Now, recorded with Dr. John on piano.
"It sums Bobby up pretty perfectly," says McNally. "The guy would sort of rather be fishing than doing anything else."
I Must Be in a Good Place Now will appear on the alt-country singer/songwriter's forthcoming Small Town Talk album, out April 30.
McNally previously covered Charles' Tennessee Blues on her 2005 album Geronimo. That recording led to Charles asking her to play a tribute concert at the 2007 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where she met keyboardist Dr. John. Dr. John, aka Mac Rebennack, had played on the original version of I Must Be in a Good Place Now for Charles's 1972 debut album for Bearsville Records.
McNally floated the idea of re-recording the Bearsville album in its entirety with some of the same musicians. "To my amazement, and pleasure, they both went for it," she says.
McNally cut basic tracks for the album before Charles' death in 2010, so he was in the studio for the sessions. However, the concept of the album evolved: "There were so many great songs to choose from, and a few real gems that had never gotten released, that it turned into more of a retrospective," McNally says.
Small Town Talk still includes several songs from that 1972 album, as well as a rendition of one of Charles' better-known tunes, But I Do, originally a 1961 hit for Clarence "Frogman" Henry.
"People will recognize that song," McNally says, "people of a certain record collection or age."