Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ronnie Barron

  • Reverend Ether [Decca, 1971] B-
  • Blues Delicacies, Vol. 1 [Vivid Sound, 1980] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Reverend Ether [Decca, 1971]
Why do white guys from New Orleans sing so weird? Barron sounds like he took falsetto lessons from Geraldine. I can live with it--even like it when the songs are as good as "Chattanooga," about a redcap. But I don't think he could find an audience if he was writing nothing but "I'm in Love Again" and "Mother-in-Law." B-

Blues Delicacies, Vol. 1 [Vivid Sound, 1980]
The erstwhile Reverend Ether, who worked as Paul Butterfield's sideman after declining Dr. John's shingle, here adds a respectfully raunchy collection of standards to the modest store of first-rate New Orleans rock and roll LPs. This is no Wild Tchoupitoulas or Fats Domino or Crawfish Fiesta, but it sure holds its own against Mac Rebennack's Gumbo or Lee Dorsey's Yes We Can. A minor delight for the aficionado and a revelation for the uninitiated. Problem is, it'll cost you 15 bucks as a Japanese import, if you can find it. Rounder, Alligator, Flying Fish--help! Warners--oh never mind. A-