< Go On and Cry CD (cry.htm)

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Willie Tee

Go On And Cry


In case you haven't noticed, there are two well known musicians in South Louisiana who go by the handle Willie Tee. The one in question here is not the New Orleans pianist responsible for the mid-'60s soul classic "Teasin' You," but the equally impressive Gulf Coast tenor sax legend who fronts the band Cypress along with Warren Storm and also lends his talents to swamp pop mainstays like T.K. Hulin and Smoke . There's a reason that Tee keeps such impressive company and Go On And Cry, his first solo CD, spells it out in no uncertain terms. This man knows his way around a horn, and not in that lightweight, too-many-notes-being-played jazzy style that so many sax players insist on injecting into rock 'n' roll and R&B nowadays, but in that Herb Hardesty, Joe Houston, Plas Johnson manner of honking simplicity that is all-too-rare unless the aforementioned names are present.

Backed by ringers such as Storm , the bulk of the songs were written expressly for Willie by Charlo Gilbau, Jr., whose ability particularly shines on the title track, as well as the classic "Bye Bye Baby."                                                                                                                                      A trio of songs from the Dave Bartholomew/Fats Domino catalog attest to where Tee's heart lies, among them great versions of "Wait And See" and "Something's Wrong." "Two Of A Kind" is a thinly veiled, blues guitar-drenched rewrite of Slim Harpo's "We're Two Of A Kind," while the heart-wrenching "Forever Came Today" is another well-interpreted obscurity. Thankfully, Tee is a veteran of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school, and Go On And Cry doesn't suffer from any of the over-produced trappings that so often spoil modern-day swamp pop recordings. Instead, it's live sounding immediacy and simple, to the point arrangements only serve to drive home his richly soulful vocals and powerful, emotion-packed tenor riffs. He closes, perfectly, with Ace Cannon's "Tuff." Apropos, as it's the perfect adjective to describe Mr. Tee's musical prowess.

-Michael Hurtt