Monday, September 15, 2014

Tony Owens - I Know You Don't Love Me No More (Soulin' 148)

I Know You Don't Love Me No More

As we were saying over on The B Side, Cosimo Matassa's studio on Governor Nicholls Street in the French Quarter continued to play a pivotal role in the development of the New Orleans Sound as the sixties progressed. Home to both Allen Toussaint and Wardell Quezerque, the sheer quantity of music they (and countless others) cut there just boggles the mind. In 1964, Cosimo started a company named Dover Records that helped local and regional labels with mastering, pressing and national distribution of their records. At last count, there were over forty labels we know of that were under the Dover umbrella. As the 'third wave' of New Orleans' popularity in the charts began to take off in 1966 and 1967, Dover was positioned to cash in and finally bring some well-deserved dollars back home where they belonged.

Only it didn't happen.

The unprecedented success of Robert Parker's Barefootin' had stretched Dover's resources (and credit with out-of-town pressing plants and distributors) to the limit. Once Aaron Neville's Tell It Like It Is went positively viral in early 1967, Matassa placed himself seriously in debt to try and keep up with demand. As the creditors (and later the IRS) came knocking on the door, Dover began to unravel in 1968, taking most of those small local labels along with it. Although this might not say much about Cosimo's business acumen, it shows just how great New Orleans music continued to be.

This powerhouse of a record we have here was apparently released in the midst of the Dover collapse and promptly disappeared. It's existence had remained unknown for over 45 years until Sir Shambling dug it out of his vaults literally the day before Cosimo left us. Not helped by the fact that Isaac Bolden had re-released Soulin' 148 (as Confessin' A Feeling, which was later picked up by Atlantic), nobody even knew there had been an earlier incarnation of it until now. Tony is just cranking it out on here, and I can't say enough about how much I love this record...

The fact that, at this late date, the scope and breadth of Cosimo Matassa's work in the studio continues to be discovered says it all...
He was a true legend!