Larry Thurston | School For Fools, Songs By Jeff Alexander

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School For Fools, Songs By Jeff Alexander

by Larry Thurston

Twelve original blues. Former Blues Brother frontman Larry Thurston, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Levon Helm (the Band,drums) & Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry,piano),& veterans of the Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan bands perform a wide range of blues.
Genre: Blues: Blues Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Brokenhearted and Broke
3:48 $0.99
2. You Know Who You Are
4:21 $0.99
3. Lost Dog Blues
7:00 $0.99
4. School For Fools
4:59 $0.99
5. My Woman Left Me
6:48 $0.99
6. Blues For Brooklyn
4:04 $0.99
7. Gravediggin' Man
4:42 $0.99
8. Reasons To love
3:41 $0.99
9. Seventeen Years
5:32 $0.99
10. Warning Shot
4:34 $0.99
11. Happy Hour
4:39 $0.99
12. Blues To Go
4:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Living Blues Magazine Review!!! Sept/Oct2003, by Andria Lisle:
"School For Fools is a unique collaboration between a handful of talents, including songwriter Jeff Alexander and vocalist Larry Thurston. The sessions, recorded in St. Louis, feature a veritable blues who's-who of the Show-Me State. Legendary pianist Johnnie Johnson sits in on a couple of songs (the cautionary blues Warning Shot and the rockin' Happy Hour), while Tom Maloney and Rich McDonough handle the guitar duties on the majority of these 12 tracks. Arkansas Barnburner ­ and former Band drummer ­ Levon Helm provides the steady back beat, along with bassist Gus Thornton (alumnus of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan's bands), while such special guests as guitarist Arthur Nielson and pianist Dona Oxford (both of Shemekia Copeland's band) add some spice to this musical recipe.

Thurston ­ the onetime frontman for Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and, more prominently, the Blues Brothers ­ has his act down pat. Handpicked by songwriter, arranger, and producer Jeff Alexander for his versatility, the singer ably swings and struts through gruff Chicago blues and West Coast R&B with energy to spare. From the hard-hitting soul of the title track on through the energetic closer Blues To Go, Thurston proves his flexibility again and again, vamping on tunes like the R&B bounce Blues For Brooklyn then turning on the faucets for such straight blues weepers as the Delta-tinged 12-bar Lost Dog Blues and the axe-grinding Gravediggin' Man.

But the real visionary on School For Fools is Jeff Alexander. Employing more than a dozen musicians for these sessions, Alexander has managed to make a nifty album that more than adequately showcases his talents as a songwriter and arranger. With tunes that harken back to the glory days of Stax and Malaco ­ and a crackerjack band to perform them ­ Alexander manages to bring that classic soul-blues sound into the 21st Century."

Don't Stop Reading Now!

"It is time for America to hear Larry Thurston sing again." ~ Levon Helm. (A man who knows a thing or two about singing.)

Former Blues Brother frontman Larry Thurston returns!

Joined by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Levon Helm (drums), and Johnnie Johnson (piano), and an array of world class blues veterans from St. Louis and New York, Larry sings 12 original songs by songwriter/producer Jeff Alexander.

Honest music!
A wide range of blues, from old school deep south, Chicago, West Coast, to rhythm & blues, a Louis Jordan style rap, up to one that boogies some and one that may be a little jazz inflected. Solid from beginning to end.

Larry Thurston does not just sing these songs. Larry lives the songs. Believable and genuine, Larry performs with a combination of intensity, playfulness, and dignity that is uncommon.


Larry Thurston: vocals
Levon Helm: drums (except tracks 6 & 12). A true American legend.
Johnnie Johnson: piano; 10,11. The Father of Rock and Roll Piano. An American original,& a rock & blues legend.
Gus Thornton: bass. veteran of Albert King's and Stevie Ray Vaughan's bands. St. Louis' finest.
Keith Doder:harp. veteran of Chicago blues great Jimmy Roger's band. A not so well kept secret from St. Louis, Keith has a beautiful sound, distinctly his. Once you've heard Keith play, you will not forget that sound.
Arthur Neilson: lead guitar.member of the Shemekia Copeland band. A consummate pro.
Arno Hecht:saxaphone. member of the Uptown Horns. Recorded &toured with the Rolling Stones, James Brown,& Joe Cocker, Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, to name a few.
Dona Oxford:piano. Has worked with Shemekia Copeland, Jody Williams, Sam Lay,Bill Perry, & Todd Wolfe. One helluva player, and a very funny lady.
La-Rita Gaskins: backup vocals. worked with Debbie Harry, Debbie Gibson, Jocelyn Brown,Steve Forbert. Member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices. Several tracks featuring La_Rita on lead vocals are already cut for my next cd.
Genie "Pepper" Swinson: backup vocals. worked with
Boz Scaggs and Wilson Pickett.
Jeremy Baum: Hammond B-3 organ, piano. worked with Debbie Davies, Sue Foley, Jim Weider,& Bill Perry. Jeremy is about to bust out. Keep your ears open for this great player.
Jimmy Eppard: lead & slide guitars. worked in The Band, the Cromatix, Memphis Pilgrims. A secret weapon from upstate N.Y.
Mike Dunn: Bass. another great player worked in The Band,member of the Cromatix, the Garth Hudson and Ernie Williams bands.
Tom Maloney: "Mr.Rhythm Guitar". longtime associate of Johnnie Johnson and Bennie Smith. A St. Louis all star musician.
Rich McDonough: lead and slide guitar. watch out for Rich. Also a staple of the St. Louis blues scene, Rich is an old school guitar slinger. He knows his blues! No pyrotechnics here, just plain old, clean, burn you alive playing.
Andrew Falco:rhythm guitar. Solid ,old school blues player. If you are a bluegrass fan, watch for Andy coming thru your town as the flatpicker and dobro player with Buddy Merriam and Back Roads. Need a dobro? Call Andy. He makes his own! You can hear Andy play dobro (blues, and he is bad) on my next cd.
Tim Tindall: Bass. works with Phoebe Snow, Bill Perry,
Poppa Chubby, Dona Oxford, Johnnie Johnson.
Matt Mousseau:Drums, 6&12. works with Dona Oxford, Poppa Chubby, Christine Santelli,Big Ed Sullivan, Arthur Neilson.
Jeff Alexander: Song writer/Producer of this recording.Based in St. Louis, with strong ties to NYC and Woodstock , N.Y.

The music on this recording was cut almost completely live. Seven tracks were cut in St. Louis with my friends there. Special thanks to Levon for driving to St. Louis, and to Johnnie Johnson for turning in 2 classic perormances. I had another session in Woodstock, 3 tracks from which are on this cd. That session features Levon, Jimmy, Andy, Jeremy, and Mike. The two songs cut in Brooklyn, tracks 6 &12, feature Arthur, Dona ,Tim and Matt. Several songs from those sessions will be on the next cd.

Recording this project was a lot of fun. I believe it translates to the music and I hope you love it.

Joey Reynolds WOR AM Radio: " A feast for the ears"
Les Paul, after hearing " Happy Hour": "That's sounds great.....Who played that last guitar run?"
Sauce Magazine, St. Louis, Mo.: "Blueswriter Jeff Alexander.... has poured his heart into a winner.....
Alexander puts together one of the best blues albums of the year.".
Gordon Baxter,Blues On Stage,mnblues "...."Brokenhearted
And Broke", a classy blues, which shows Thurston as a fine singer in possession of a rich, baritone voice.There is also some neat guitar work from Rich McDonough...which hints at Albert King....Alexander's songs deal with many familiar blues topics, as epitomized by "My Woman Left Me"....This is a terriffic tune....the songs cover a range of styles....whatever the style and topic, however, the
quality of the delivery never wavers.
The pick of the tracks are the two where Johnnie Johnson guests on piano.."Warning Shot"...featuring some classy sax from Arno Hecht...."Happy Hour", with it's rocking groove, which neatly combines Johnson's piano with Keith Doder's harp.
"School for Fools" is a fine cd...there is a consistently high level to the quality of the music.Apparently Alexander has more blues stuff in the pipeline. If it is all as good as "School For Fools",it
will be worth keeping an eye and an ear out for."
RootsTown Music Free Zine, Belgium: "....Larry Thurston's...back to give voice to a dozen songs of Alexander: a warm, genuine voice......"
Phil Knipe, Radio KLFM, Bendigo, Australia: "The standard
of the disc'a twelve original compositions is uniformly high,featuring memorable tunes and clever, thoughtful lyrics laced with a nice dash of humor. The musical accompaniement to Larry's warm, powerful...vocals is provided by a highly talented group of musicians including players the calibre of former Band drummer Levon Helm, and the legendary Johnnie Johnson on the 88s.....there's an underlying strength annd muscularity to the performances... that'll keep your feet tappin' and sustain your attention right til the very last note."



to write a review

Carol Femia

Worthwhile Purchase!
What a pleasant surprise to hear so many tuneful and distinctive songs from a blues practitioner.

Mary C.

superb, down to earth lyrics, rich vocals, talented musicians, excellent!!
School for Fools, songs by Jeff Alexander is a superb new Blues CD with down to earth lyrics from the heart that anyone can relate to. Larry Thurston's rich, smooth vocals pour the songs out in an easy, comfortable way that made me at home with this CD the first time I heard it. School for Fools immediately became a staple on my play list! Mary C., The Roadhouse, KOPN, Columbia, MO

Chris Puyear

All new blues that sound like good old blues.
Jeff’s songs run the gambit of blues….. women, lovin’, heartbreak, boozing, gun shots and gravediggin’,( not in that order ). And this is a good thing -- what the blues is all about, the ups & downs of life.

This CD has an old familiar sound, good old style blues. You would think you were listening to an older band that had been together a long time, even the lyrics seem to be seasoned, but at the same time it is all new -- new lyrics, new music. Jeff produced this CD too and did a good job.

A lot of artists make new music that sounds new. Too many make their music so new that they seem to forget what it is supposed to be, but Jeff has accomplished something outstanding -- the combination of seasoned musicians and Jeff’s "new music" was a good match -- "new" music that sounds familiar. You don’t have to listen to it a dozen times to get the feel, this CD hits you right the first time out..For the whole story visit -

Phil Knipe, Radio KLFM, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Classy new album by Blues Brothers veteran.
This fine new album by former frontman for the Matt Murphy & Blues Brothers
bands, Larry Thurston, is the brainchild of New York/St Louis producer and
songsmith, Jeff Alexander. The standard of the disc’s twelve original compositions
is uniformly high, featuring memorable tunes and clever, thoughtful lyrics laced
with a nice dash of humour. The musical accompaniment to Larry’s warm, powerful
but restrained vocals is provided by a highly talented group of musicians including
players the calibre of former Band drummer Levon Helm, and the legendary Johnnie
Johnson on the 88s. Smooth and laid-back are the words that spring to mind when
describing this album......but don’t let that fool you; this ain’t a recording that’s
going to send you off to dreamland. There’s an underlying strength and muscularity
to the performances chugging along nicely beneath the polished veneer that’ll keep
your feet tappin’ and sustain your attention right til the very last note.