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Naptown classics: The Lovemeknots and Leroy Carr

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Some time ago I posted a track by the Lovemeknots, a proudly Indianapolis-centric “indie” rock band (never truer) who worked the downtown club scene during the 90’s before calling it good at the end of the decade. The band’s been back on its feet of late, thanks to the relocation of one of the band’s key members – Kyle Barnett – to Louisville, KY, right down the street. They’ve recently posted four songs from their ‘06 Live at Zanie’s Too EP on their MySpace page, including a spirited, Velvet Underground treatment of fellow hoosier Leroy Carr’s “Naptown Blues.”

Carr was a smooth crooner who was wildly popular during the late 20’s and early 30’s. By the time he was thirty, the bluesman/boozeman’s life had careened to an unceremonious halt, but his records had a far-reaching influence long after he was gone, informing a range of legendary performers from Count Basie to Nat King Cole. Carr’s “Naptown Blues”, which showcases the local pet name for that Indiana capital, has the Lovemeknots written all over it (“nobody knows old Naptown like I do,” goes the opening refrain), and while the two versions come from pretty disparate musical approaches, I can’t think of a band more worthy of taking it on.

Leroy Carr – “Naptown Blues” (1929)

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The Lovemeknots – “Naptown Blues” (2006)

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posted by Kim Simpson

One Response to “Naptown classics: The Lovemeknots and Leroy Carr”

  1. Boneyard Media » Blog Archive » 2 more Naptown classics for race weekend Says:

    […] are a couple more Indianapolis tributes I’ve gotten my hands on thanks to my friend Kyle, a true blue native. The first one’s by Bill Gaither, also known as “Little Bill” or […]

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