Like so many New Orleans blues artists of his generation – Earl King, Guitar Ray for example - Eddie Langlois was heavily influenced by Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones by far the city’s most successful exponent of the craft. In fact Lang was playing second guitar in Slim’s band when he cut his first session for Bullet. And if you love Crescent City R & B as much as I do you’ll enjoy his RPM and Ron releases very much.
But for me his best records were cut in the soul era for Joe Banashak’s Seven B label. The Love I Have For You is a very forceful blues ballad featuring his stinging lead guitar with a righteous intro lifted straight from “I Found A Love”. His second 45 for the label The Sad One is a wonderful deep soul tune with the emphasis firmly on Eddie’s rasping agonised vocal. The dead slow backing is superbly judged with the organ and piano fills especially tasty.
In the 80s with the rediscovery of Banashak’s labels two further Seven B tracks appeared out of the mist – and excellent they are too. I’m Gonna Make You Eat Those Words is a chugging funky mid pacer of considerable menace. Lang’s vocal is suitably dark and he is helped by a tenor sax solo, trilling piano and some odd trumpet licks. Great! Even better was the two part The Fooler– an extraordinary track that deserves a far wider audience from soul fans. The first part is a high quality stop go blues ballad on which Eddie gives his most convincing vocal. But in part two as the band vamps on the chorus Lang goes into a rap screaming and howling like a man possessed and he is joined by a large contingent of women who try to turn it into one of the false “live” recordings that the 60s were littered with. If this was part of his real stage act it must have been absolute crowd stopper.
Lang returned to small band blues for his Superdome tracks with “Food Stamp Blues” becoming his best ever seller when Jewel picked it up. At the end of the 70s he was sadly incapacitated by a stroke and he passed away in 1985.
UPDATE ~ My great friend Michel writes with the exact details of Eddie's life. He was born on 15 January 1936 in New Orleans and passed away on 10 March 1985 in Slidell, LA.
Darling you know I love you / My baby left me ~ BULLET 348 (1951) (as LITTLE EDDIE)
Come on home / I’m all alone ~ RPM 466 (1956)
I’m beggin’ with tears / You got to crawl before you walk ~ RPM 476 (1956)
On my way / Easy rockin’ ~ RON 320 (1959)
Troubles troubles / She’s mine all mine ~ RON 324 (1959)
Let me tell you ‘bout it / Burning inside ~ FLAME 10148 (1960) (as SLY DELL)
The love I have for you / Something within me ~ SEVEN B 7006 (1967)
The sad one / Souling ~ SEVEN B 7014 (1968)
Food stamp blues / Pt 2 ~ SUPERDOME 504 / JEWEL 841 (1973)
Mean sad world / Bringing back those old days ~ SUPERDOME 505 (1973)
2. "I'm Gonna Make You Eat Those Words" and "The Sad One" also saw CD release in 1996 on Charly's 2-CD book-set "The Minit & Instant Story" on CD LAB 101/2. All four of Eddie's fine RPM tracks came out on the Japanese CD "Juke Joint Blues" (P-Vine 3058).
3. I'm grateful as always to Michel for the updated info and to Pete Nickols and Matt Futerman for the CD info.