Hear Pierre Lacocque talk about his band Mississippi Heat and their marvelous CD Hattiesburg Blues.
Pierre Lacocque (La-coke) was born in 1952 while his parents were living in Israel. His father was an Old Testament Christian Theologian studding in Jerusalem. His parents were from Belgium, but they moved around quite a bit. From Israel to Germany to France to Belgium. By the age of six he had moved several times. Pierre felt he didn’t fit in, and had a sense of loneliness and sadness at an early age. He feels this was probably a result of never having roots in any one place. When the family moved to Chicago in 1969 Pierre went for a walk one night. Heard some music playing at the University of Chicago’s Ida Noyes building so he went inside. He was awestruck by the music he was hearing, it was like a religious experience. Big Walter Horton was the artist that was playing that night, but it was not so much Big Walter Horton that effected Pierre as it was the blues music he was playing. The very next day he went out to buy a harmonica. The blues becomes an obsession for him to read about , listen to, and most importantly to play.
After playing for only six months, Junior Wells let Pierre sit in with him. He felt that Junior giving him his blessing as a harp player as well as giving Pierre a few of his harps. Pierre play in a few bands through the early to mid seventies, but he started felling sadder and sadder as he played. This led him to quit playing music for about ten years. During this time he got married, raised a family, and studied psychology, and publishing professional articles and even a book. About this time emptiness started coming into his life. After much soul-searching Pierre found he longed to play music once again.
After playing in a few different bands he formed Mississippi Heat in 1991. This Chicago style blues band has put out eight CD’s since 1993. Their current CD is Hattiesburg Blues with special guest guitarist Lurrie Bell and Carl Weathersby. When first listening to Hattiesburg Blues, I was impressed with the first four or five songs but figured they put all their best songs at the beginning of the CD. By the time I reached the eighth or ninth song, I was amazed they were still all very good. By the thirteenth and last song “Nature Is Cryin’,” I was crying for more. If you like the blues of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, and Jimmy Rogers your going to love Hattiesburg Blues. Whether it’s the up beat “Tiger Man”, the slow blues of “Forgot You Had A Home”, the soulful vocals of Inetta Visor on “Soft-Hearted Woman”, or Pierre’s great harp playing on everything, this CD delivers great music. Then there are the two Latin blues songs (Yea, I know it’s not Chicago, but wait till you hear it) “How Much Worse Can It Be?” and “Calypso in Blue”. The latter kind of reminds me of one of Santana’s beautiful blues songs. Then when Carl Weathersby comes in on guitar you’re wowed. In fact Carl’s solos on the six songs he’s on are so good I’m going to try and get a hold of him to be on the show. Lurrie Bell plays lead guitar and sings on two songs. That’s another thing that’s really nice. Pierre not only has lead vocalist Inetta Visor who does a really good job, but four other artist sing on Hattiesburg Blues. You never get bored. There is always something different coming up. Pierre Lacocque wrote or co-wrote almost all of the songs. The only thing I had trouble with was picking what songs not to play. I’d like to play them all. After you’re done listening to the show check the links below as to where you can buy this great CD. Keep the blues alive, buy a blues CD, Mississippi Heat Hattiesburg Blues.
Songs played in the podcast:
Light from Within
Calypso in Blue
Blues Music and Interviews
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By A1 Mark