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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Louisiana's Le Roux - 1979 Keep The Fire Burnin'
Louisiana's Le Roux - 1979 Keep The Fire Burnin'

ALBUM: Keep The Fire Burnin'
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST 11926
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Jeff Pollard - guitars, lead & background vocals * Tony Haselden - guitars, lead & background vocals * Leon S. Medica - bass * Rod Roddy - acoustic piano, clavinet, oberheim synthesizer, hammond B3, background vocals * David Peters - drums, percussion * Bobby Campo - trumpet, congas

TRACK LISTING: 01 Keep The Fire Burnin' * 02 Call Home The Heart * 03 When I Get Home * 04 You Be My Vision * 05 Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (The Sad Song) * 06 Feel it * 07 Thunder 'n' Lightnin' * 08 Window Eyes * 09 Say It (With Your Heart) * 10 Back To The Levee


Has it really been 30 years? Golly, the time is ticking away but I can still remember buying this album fresh off the rack with REO Speedwagon's 'Nine Lives' and thinking how ridiculous both album covers looked. REO in make-up and nylon and Louisiana's Le Roux's Hipgnosis (but-its-not) looking mess, neither of which amazingly had anything to do with the band's music. It's a miracle I bought 'em at all, but I did and was pleasantly surprised with both especially 'Keep the Fire Burnin' blissfully unaware this was the groups second album. Originally the Jeff Pollard Band, the group changed their name to Louisiana's Le Roux after signing with Capitol in 1977. In case you were wondering 'roux' is gravy made of flour and butter commonly used in Cajun cooking. Not the stuff of rock 'n' roll, but pretty much in keeping with the bands Deep South roots. The debut album garnered a couple minor hits with 'New Orleans Ladies' and 'Bridge Of Silence', but they had a long way to go before any substantial notoriety would come their way.

The Songs
At this point in their early career Louisiana's Le Roux were still running with the dwindling Southern rock torch. Blues, jazz and funk with honky tonk piano are shaken and stirred for the title track; a fluid and bouncy number made for radio that still played plenty of Dixie influenced rock while 'Call Home The Heart' could almost be the Little River Band. Unlike the debut where Jeff Pollard dominated, here he shares songwriting credit with keyboardist Rod Roddy and fellow guitarist/vocalist Tony Haselden. Pollard's lyrics on 'You Be My Vision' and 'Say It (With Your Heart)' are noticeably upbeat and can be taken both in a religious context as well as secular. The only cover tune is 'Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (The Sad Song)' written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper and it turns out to be a good time rocker fitting comfortably with the rest of the albums material.

In Summary
'Keep The Fire Burnin' would not set any sales records becoming a cut-out bin favourite almost right out if the box, but 1979 was a busy year for the band touring with Atlanta Rhythm Section, Journey and The Allman Brothers as well as opening act for a significant chunk of Kansas' 'Monolith' tour. It was on that set of shows that Jeff Pollard befriended Kerry Livgren, bringing about his conversion to Christianity that would forever change Kansas both as a band and musically. For Louisiana's Le Roux, they would shorten their moniker to the far more marketable Le Roux, beef up their sound and move into the lucrative AOR market with the excellent 1980 LP 'Up'.

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