After his years in Woodstock (which had resulted in one classic eponymous album), Bobby Charles returned to Louisiana. He appeared in 1976 for The Last Waltz, where he performed "Down South In New Orleans" with Dr John, but after that he was not heard of for a very long time, practically going into retirement. In the mid 80s he became interested in environmental issuses, and released the ecology-themed single "Clean Water", complete with a children's chorus chanting the refrain 'let's clean up the waters of the world'. This single, and a couple of others from 1986, was released on his own label Rice N' Gravy.
In 1987 he combined these singles with some new recordings to make the Clean Water album, a laid-back mix of New Orleans R&B and cajun. Being recorded in the 80s, it wasn't as organic-sounding as his classic 1972 album, and perhaps at times a little too slick, but nevertheless the songs and performances were all top notch. It included two old songs which had been recorded by others years ago - "But I Do" was best known as a 1961 hit for Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, and "Cowboys And Indians" had been recorded by many including Rita Coolidge and Bonnie Bramlett.
It was good to have another album from Bobby Charles (it was his first in fifteen years, and only his second ever in thirty three years in the business!), but unfortunately it was only ever released in Europe and so completely missed his local audience.
Bobby Charles (1972) <|> Wish You Were Here Right Now (1994)
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