Yesterday’s passing of Allen Toussaint was especially sad after having just read much about this classy gentlemen and musical genius in Elvis Costello’s new memoir, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink. While Allen’s name first hit my musical radar as a result of his work with The Band, it was his Costello connection through their 2006 collaboration LP, The River in Reverse, that really put me in touch with his musical legacy.
I was fortunate to see Toussaint and Costello close out the 2006 Americana Music Awards show on September 22, 2006 at the Ryman Auditorium. That night as a duo, they performed two numbers from their record together: Allen’s classic “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further?” and Costello’s “The Sharpest Thorn.” However, the real treat for me was seeing Allen alone at the piano performing a solo show at the Belcourt Theatre on April 12, 2010. Here is a photo from that special evening.