The Upshot: Danish rocker currently based in New Orleans serves up dramatic, charismatic rock, blues, gospel, and much more.
BY FRED MILLS
Right from the get-go, you sense the guy’s got more than just the experience and the chops. New Orleans (by way of Denmark) songwriter and guitarist Louie Fontaine clearly has an intuitive grasp upon the essential drama that nestles within rock ‘n’ roll, with opening track “Ain’t the Right Girl for You Girl” blazing forth like a classic spaghetti western theme as envisioned by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Only in this instance, it’s Louie Fontaine & Starlight Searchers: fellow guitarist Egon Kronberg, bassist Martin Burke, drummer John DC Washington Jr., and pedal steel/organist Rick
From the atmospheric gospel-blues of confessional “Prefer My Demons” (here, as on a number of songs, Fontaine’s backing chorus of femmes—Charlene Howard, Teka Briscoe, Sharon Colette—righteously underscore his essential gravitas) and the Muscle Shoals-styled anthemic soul (with crucial horns, no less) that infuses the title track; to edgysexycool thumper “Maintain Her Love” (which suggests a raunchy collision of Tom Waits and Ray Wylie Hubbard) and the ripping mini-opera “My Woman Is Insane” (Nick Cave could cover this one), The Sun Ain’t Black is indeed a dramatic excursion to the perimeter. Fontaine’s job is to report back on his findings, and he absolutely delivers.
DOWNLOAD: “Ain’t the Right Girl for You Girl,” “My Woman is Insane,” “The Hambiltons”