Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Finger Poppin' and Stompin' Feet [EMI/Capitol, 2002]
This 1960-1962 Allen Toussaint comp starts with two essentials Charlie Gillett failed to bag: the Showmen's "It Will Stand," a show-then-tell improvement on Danny & the Juniors' "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay," and Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-in-Law," ranked with "The Star-Spangled Banner" by the artist himself. Beyond those and "Ooh Poo Pah Doo," however, it's longer on delicacy than impact. The obscurities are trifles, and as gifted as the young Irma Thomas and Aaron Neville were, the young Toussaint was right to slot them pop. The man is the definitive producer of New Orleans rock and roll. He gave us Lee Dorsey, the Wild Tchoupitoulas, striking solo work. But his signature is a genial accommodation that presaged the tourist mecca the town became. A-