Jerry LaCroix


Band members                             Related acts

- Jerry LaCroix -- vocals, sax (RIP 2014)

 

  supporting musicians:

- Randy Brecker -- horns

- Richard Crooks -- drums

- Rick derringer -- lead guitar

- Lewis Del Gatton -- horns

- Jerry Friedman -- lead guitar

- Rick Griffin -- clavinet, keyboards

- James Maeulien -- percussion

- Bob Mann - lead guitar

- Rick Marotta -- drums

- High McCracken -- lead guitar

- Ralph McDonald -- percussion

- Robert Millikan -- horns

- Bob Rose -- lead guitar

- David Sanborn -- horns

- Ralph Schuckett -- clavinet

- David Spinozza -- lead guitar

- John Tropea -- lead guitar

- Edgar Winter -- synthesizers

- Johnny Winter -- lead guitar

- Stu Woods -- bass

 

 

 

- Blood Sweat, and Tears

- The Boogie Kings

- Rare Earth

- Edgar Winter's White Trash

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Second Coming

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-701
Year:
 1974

Country/State: Alexandria, Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6093

Price: SOLD $20.00

 

As you can tell from the bands he's worked with, singer Jerry LaCroix's quite a talented guy.  That said, he's never managed to breakout on his own, essentially serving as kind of a 'hired gun' supporting the like of Edgar Winter and replacing better known singers in bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears (where he took over for David Clayton-Thomas) and Rare Earth (where he replaced Peter Rivera).  LaCroix's own website describes him as a 'true road warrior'.   In a business as tough as music, that's certainly something I'd consider a badge of honor.

 

LaCroix released his second (and last) solo album in 1974.  Co-produced by Kenner Kerner and Richie Wise, "Second Coming"  was recorded in New York, surrounding LaCroix with an all star cast of studio players.  Featuring a largely original set of material (there was one cover tune), the collection did a good job of showcasing LaCroix's blue-eyed soul vocal chops.  Exemplified by pounding funk numbers like 'Mean Ole World' and 'Genesis' there was simply no denying he had one of the best blue-eyed soul voices being recorded in the mid-1970s.  While the performances were all technically impressive, at times the results sounded  a bit clinical; LaCroix sounding somewhat detached from his surroundings.  Shame he could not have recorded this with the ex-White Trash cohorts who helped him record the debut collection.  'Genesis' came close to those earlier creative zeniths, but there simply weren't enough of them to salvage the set from "also ran" status.  The cover art always makes me smile ...

 

Unfortunately, in what proved to be a poor long term career decision, LaCroix essentially abandoned his solo career in order to replace David Clayton Thomas in Blood, Sweat and Tears.  A planned tour to support his album was abandoned when he recorded 1974's "Mirror Image" with BS&T and then headed out on a world tour in support of the collection.   Needless to say, Mercury management lost all interest in LaCroix's career and the album instantly disappeared into cutout bins.  At the same time, the partnership with BS&T proved problematic and shortly after the tour, LaCroix quit.  He briefly reappeared with Rare Earth before moving to Oregon where he dropped out of the music scene.

 

"Second Coming" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Mean Ole World   (Jerry LaCroix) - 4:42    rating: **** stars

'Mean Ole World' captured LaCroix at his funky best.  A highly commercial slice of blue-eyed soul, this one would have made a dandy single.  The song was made even better by the absence of any horns.  In case anyone cared, former boss Edgar Winter provided the ARP solo.  Shame Mercury didn't have enough faith, or interest to tap this one as a single since it was every bit as good as the stuff Delaney and Bonnie had ridden to the charts.

2.) Are You Lonely for Me Baby  (Bert Burns) - 4:21  rating: ** stars

The lone outside cover tune, LaCroix's version of Bert Burns' 'Are You Lonely for Me Baby' was okay, but sounded like he was trying a bit too hard to channel Van Morrison.  Perhaps a personal issue, but the other problem was LaCroix's cover simply couldn't match up with the Freddie Scott version, or even Al Green's cover.

3.) You Girl   (Jerry LaCroix) - 3:43    rating: **** stars

Opening up with a Stu Wood bass line that sounded like it had been swiped from a Sam and Dave song, 'You Girl' made it clearly LaCroix could hold his own in the old school soul genre.  A blazing slice of Memphis-styled soul, Otis Redding would have been proud of the performance.  The song was made even better by David Spinozza's blazing guitar solo.  LaCroix continued to perform the song when touring with BS&T.  YouTube has a live performance of the tune from a 1974 BS&T date in Hannau, Germany: YOU GIRL (LIVE) - BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS (FEAT. JERRY LACROIX) - YouTube

4.) The Die Has Been Cast   (Jerry LaCroix - W.D. LaCroix) - 3;30    rating: *** stars

'The Die Has Been Cast' was a pretty ballad - perhaps a bit over-orchestrated, but one of his most restrained and impressive performances.   

5.) Genesis   (Jerry LaCroix) - 3:49    rating: **** stars

'Genesis' found LaCroix returning to straight-ahead funk with suitably impressive results.  Once again David Spinozza turned in a breath-taking solo.  

 

(side 2)
1.) She Does It To Me   (Jerry LaCroix) - 3:55    rating: *** stars

Opening up with some bubbly clavinet, 'She Does It To Me' was probably the album's most radio-friendly number.  Almost danceable for goodness sake ...      

2.) Funny Boy   (Jerry LaCroix) - 3:50    rating: *** stars

Johnny Winter's slide guitar provided the highlights on the bluesy 'Funny Boy'.  The song wasn't bad, but just sounded a bit too cutesy with LaCroix simply trying too hard to sound slinky.      

3.) Drinkin' Daddy's Wine   (Jerry LaCroix) - 3:49    rating: *** stars

Normally a cutesy song like 'Drinkin' Daddy's Wine' wouldn't do anything for me.  While it wasn't my favorite performance on the album, it wasn't half bad with LaCroix showing off a nice edge in his voice.  The female backing vocalists were irritating though ...   

4.) Silent Is the Night   (Jerry LaCroix) - 4:32    rating: *** stars

Crap ...  naturally the album had to include a stab at a big ballad.  'Silent In the Night' was certainly commercial with a nice hook, but it was also highly forgettable.   

5.) You'll Always Be Mine   (Jerry LaCroix) - 3:12    rating: *** stars

Yeah, the bells made it sound a bit like a Christmas carol, but 'You'll Always Be Mine' started out with some cheesy arp synthesizer (courtesy of Edgar Winter).  I'm a pushover for the instrument so this mid-tempo number registered well with me.  The track was released as a promotional 45:

 

 

 

 

- 1974's 'You'll Always Be Mine' b/w 'You'll Always Be Mine' (Mercury catalog number DJ-396)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only 70, suffering from congestive heart failure, LaCroix passed away in May, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

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