Heavy Sugar: The Pure Essence of New Orleans R&B – 2LP

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 4 Disc
Release date: 16 Feb 2015

"...must have been quite a task but the result is a collection of solid New Orleans R&B and R&R recorded at the legendary J&M studio under the auspices of Cosimo Matassa and using a plethora of superb musicians in the house band...great release" Blues & Rhythm


CAT No: FVDV051UPC TEXT: 5055311070513

Full details

After chronicling the spoils of New Orleans R&B across two acclaimed volumes, Fantastic Voyage finally brings the pre-eminent heart and soul of the city’s defining sound to vinyl, with 32 standout cuts selected by Stuart Colman from the 75-track 3CD set Heavy Sugar. This is the first of a sequence of releases throughout 2015, which will see Colman’s acclaimed Sugar series brought to limited edition vinyl.

If ever the ascription musical melting-pot applied to the sonic character of a city, New Orleans would stand as a prime example. The sheer diversity of the city’s music during the 50s and 60s meant that the blend of the Crescent City was always flavoursome and always distinctive. Issuing forth from a store-front recording facility, the beguiling big beat reached out to a global audience through such artists as Fats Domino, Little Richard, Huey Smith and Shirley & Lee. Many lesser-known but equally worthy acts achieved the same level of sass, Bobby Marchan, Paul Gayten, Lester Robertson and The Royal Kings to name but a few, although usually with just a couple of releases to show for their troubles.

The focal point of the operation centred around a remarkable house-band that assembled day-after-day at Cosimo Matassa’s funky studio in the heart of the French Quarter. Date-wise the metronome began ticking towards the end of the ’40s, which was when the hip crowd first latched on to rhythm & blues. Rather than being restricted to a minority audience, the music’s freewheeling ambience ended up blowing off anyone and everyones’ cobwebs. New Orleans came out on top, because its talented musicians were able to put onto record the good time feel that was heard in the clubs.

With Matassa passing away in the latter half of last year, now seems as good a time as any to reflect on and celebrate his achievements, those of the artists he recorded, and that of the city he so ably and faithfully represented. As well as featuring some of the finer fruits of his work, the purview extends to a host of other glories; those which have come to define the essence of New Orleans R&B. Compiled and annotated by record producer and music historian Stuart Colman, the city’s rich musical repertoire is encapsulated in 32 highly sought-after recordings.




  1. Fats Domino: Don’t Deceive Me
  2. Huey Smith: Would You Believe It, I Have A Cold
  3. John Fred & The Playboys: Shirley
  4. Smiley Lewis: Someday (You’ll Want Me)
  5. Lester Robertson: My Girl Across Town
  6. Bobby Marchan: Chickee Wah-Wah
  7. Paul Gayten: Nervous Boogie
  8. Etta James: Dance With Me Henry


  1. Jerry Byrne: Carry On
  2. Oscar Wills: Flatfoot Sam
  3. Amos Milburn: We Teenagers Know What We Want
  4. The Spiders: Someday, Bye And Bye
  5. Smiley Lewis: School Days Are Back Again
  6. Charles Brown: Please Believe Me
  7. The Supremes: Honey, Honey
  8. Eddie Bo: I Love To Rock n Roll


  1. Bobby Charles: I’ll Turn Square For You
  2. Bobby Mitchell: Try Rock And Roll
  3. Fats Domino: Telling Lies
  4. Lee Allen & His Band: Creole Alley
  5. Shirley & Lee: That’s What I’ll Do
  6. Huey Smith: We Like Birdland
  7. Lester Robertson: Take It Home To Grandma
  8. Little Richard: Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey


  1. Junior Gordon: Blow Wind Blow
  2. The Crystals: Love You So
  3. Art Neville: Cha Dooky-Doo
  4. Frankie Ford: It Must Be Jelly
  5. The Royal Kings: Teachin’ And Preachin’
  6. Allen Toussaint: Whirlaway
  7. The Gondoliers: You Call Everybody Darling
  8. Roy Brown: Saturday Nite