- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2007

NEW ORLEANS

Some of the biggest names in music pay homage to Fats Domino on a new album, hoping it will help drive the recovery of the city’s music soul.

Elton John, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz and other big-name artists joined dozens of New Orleans musicians in recent months to record some of Mr. Domino’s most memorable hits. The result is a two-disc album of 30 songs originally recorded by the 79-year-old rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame performer titled “Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino.”

Set for worldwide release tomorrow, the album includes a 1975 recording of “Ain’t That A Shame” by the late John Lennon, “I’m Walkin’ ” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Blueberry Hill” by Mr. John and “I Want to Walk You Home” by Mr. McCartney and New Orleans jazz pianist Allen Toussaint.

“When I saw the lineup for this album, I was honored to be asked to be a part of it,” said Renard Poche, a New Orleans guitarist who in March — with Mr. Domino looking on — recorded “I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday” with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and fellow New Orleans musicians George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste.

“You could tell he was happy to be there, watching us record his music,” Mr. Poche said. “He had that glow, that permanent smile on his face the whole time.”

Although Mr. Domino opted not to sing for the album, he attended some recording sessions and personally called on Mr. King and Willie Nelson to lend their voices to the album. Mr. Nelson recorded “I Hear You Knockin’ ” and Mr. King “Goin’ Home” backed by Ivan Neville and his band.

Proceeds from the album — which cost only about $50,000 to produce because many artists contributed without pay — will benefit the nonprofit Tipitina’s Foundation, which produced the album. The foundation’s music programs are geared toward getting instruments in New Orleans schools and providing mentors for young musicians.

A portion of the proceeds also will be used to rebuild Mr. Domino’s flood-ravaged studio in the Lower 9th Ward, where he rode out Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and had to be rescued from a second-story window.

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