All of these critically-acclaimed CD’s featured Louis as keyboard player and producer or co-producer.  On most of them, he wrote or co-wrote some material.  Usually he was the de facto musical director as well.

King Louie Organ Trio, It's About Time:

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“B-3 specialist Louis Pain, tenor saxophonist Renato Caranto and drummer Edwin Coleman III appear bent on fulfilling some kind of mission.  They’re out to prove that their blues grooves are the result of authentic feeling and a matured discipline in improvisational spontaneity.  These exceptional Northwest musicians, performing mostly Pain compositions, enjoy a special rapport—in fact, Pain and Caranto have worked together in clubs for two decades.  Ex-Tower of Power guitarist Bruce Conte supplies additional sparks of artistic invention on six of the eight ‘trio” tracks.  Another five cuts of more jazz-oriented music, making up the last third of the album, place Pain and Caranto with guitarist Dan Faehnle and well-respected drummer Mel Brown; there’s no dip in quality.”  —Frank John-Hadley, Downbeat (4-star review)


“The debut offering of [Louis Pain’s] King Louie Organ Trio, It’s About Time, presents the kind of uplifting funk and blues-oriented music that, in the words of the late Dr. John, ‘will cure all ‘a-ya ills’.”  —Francois van de Linde, Jazz Journal [UK]


“It’s always a pleasure when, thanks to a record release, we have the opportunity to discover artists who, for years, have brought jazz to life without much media coverage. This is the case of the organist Louis Pain (in his sixties) who has been a leader of the Oregon jazz scene for almost thirty-five years. . . ‘It’s About Time’ is characterized by a very strong groove, established from the first song, "Frances J." The same jazz-funk spirit animates all the pieces, from blues (‘Lupus Tylericus’ on which Renato Caranto reveals a beautiful intensity) or soul (‘Bry-Yen / I Believe in You’), on up to evocations of Jimmy Smith's jazz—the excellent ‘Big Brothers’ and ‘Marty Boy’—which allow you to appreciate the qualities of the leader. A discovery…”  —Jérôme Partage, Jazz Hot [France]


“This all-instrumental album crosses genres, mixing jazz, blues, and soul, and is definitely a keeper. Filled with contagious riffs that are heavy with groove and swing, it delivers a complete knock-out punch…This trio has got the goods. Great tunes to be found here.”  —Greg Johnson, Blues Notes


“Thirteen strong instrumental songs combining blues, soul, funk, and jazz, which are full of variety.  The musicians skillfully play through the pieces that Louis "King Louie" Pain composed after decades of presence on the American club scene. . . A beautiful record, more of it!” (4-star review) —Timon Menge, bluesnews [Germany]


“A hefty slice of the blues, soul-jazz and groove best describes the King Louie Organ Trio.  It's a contemporary jazz sound while clearly harking back to the golden era of soul-jazz . . . If you're into the B-3 sound, this is a pretty greasy place to start! . . . Whole eras being re-explored, tributes galore, and just some mighty fine playing. No one individual here is the star and yet they are all capable of star-turns.  It’s the magic of a great trio at work.”  —Emrys Baird, Blues & Soul, Issue 1092 [UK]

“’It's About Time’ presents Louis Pain right where he belongs -- at the intersection of jazz, blues and R&B, playing brilliant originals with his King Louie Organ Trio augmented by masterful guests Bruce Conte, Dan Faehnle and Mel Brown.”  —Lynn Darroch, author, performer, KMHD FM radio host.

“Contemporary jazz fans will know that ‘King’ Louie Pain is a modern Hammond B-3 maestro- keeping alive the spirit of Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff et al. ...However, he's never released an album in the classic trio style – till now – hence the title 'It's About Time'...Guests and core players have a wealth of experience and totally understand the genre. Result – authentic soul-jazz.  --William Buckley, Soul and Jazz and Funk [UK] 


“It’s hard sitting still listening to the funky rhythms and the bluesy licks on ‘It’s About Time.’ The most beautiful themes pass by, with “Bry-Yen/I Believe In You” in particular a high point.  Sometimes Renato Caranto takes a shot at the top position on the list of fastest saxophonists in this genre.”  —René van Kalken, Dr. Jazz Magazine [The Netherlands]


"King Louie strokes his keys like a lover one moment, then attacks that B3 like a barracuda the next.  His trio is second to none and the new album is an amazing  trip through the musical minds of inspirational musicians doing what they do best...exposing their soul with each and every note." --the late Steve Pringle / Sunday Night Blues Room, KGON FM Portland


King Louie & LaRhonda Steele, Rock Me Baby:

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"The jazz and blues merger by B-3 player Louis "King Louie" Pain and singer LaRhonda Steele is neither predictable nor routine. Pain's tight, expert activity on the console comes out of Jimmy Smith, yet sounds fresh through the expressive qualities of his dapper swing. Steele has shaped a style that relies on an expansive, creative range sparked with a brazen sultriness."  --Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat, January, 2015 (4-star review)

"Steele is a very impressive vocalist, blessed with a big, soulful voice…impressive sax work by Renato Caranto…and while I’m at it, big hand for King Louie, who comps and solos on the Hammond B-3 impressively throughout…a very nice set played and sung by a bunch of top quality pros."  —Phil Wight, Blues & Rhythm: the Gospel Truth (UK), December, 2015


“Wonderfully authentic...The whole thing swings in the way that the very best soul-jazz always did…LaRhonda sings with pride and passion and belief and commitment.  Qualities that can’t be faked.  They’re spontaneous and that’s the way this whole album was crafted…LaRhonda says that, 'Music heals the player as well as the listener’; there’s plenty of healing here!”  —Bill Buckley, Soul and Jazz and Funk (UK), November 13, 2015

First recording together by this Portland, Oregon based pair featuring Louis Pain’s impressive Hammond B-3 organ playing and LaRhonda Steele’s big soulful voice.  This is a superbly crafted album made by top class musicians who are prepared to give each enough space to create something special, and they have achieved that here.  --Alan Pearce, Blues Matters (UK), March, 2016

“From the first time you listen to...'Rock Me Baby,' there is a funky good soul moving throughout that will make your toes curl in ecstasy.” --Greg Johnson, Cascade Blues Association President, Blues Notes, November 2015

"LaRhonda Steele's vocal tone sometimes evokes Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, or Nina Simone...King Louis is the king of the Hammond B-3."
--Blues & Co [France], March 2016

"What a wonderful band!  …Louie need not shy away from a comparison with Jack McDuff or Jimmy Smith, and he has LaRhonda Steele at his side, a congenial vocalist who sings with masterful poise and a rich alto…Everyone involved shines, both as sensitive accompanists as well as imaginative soloists.  Everything is right here…This album is essential for all fans of Hammond Sounds!"  —Amy Zapf, BluesNews [Germany], March 2016

"The soulful collection, Steele's first since surviving breast cancer, is a proud, powerful celebration of life.” --David Greenwald, The Oregonian, July, 2016 

Rock Me Baby pulls the delta through an urban cheesecloth, propelled from the B-3 of Louis "King Louie" Pain.  Fronting Pain's band is vocalist LaRhonda Steele, who tears through Willie Dixon’s "Twenty Nine Ways" before turning the funk up in the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing."  Pain's organ is at once tart and compact and huge and expansive.  The title cut is the straight blues of B.B. King delivered with a big sound and a slow, sure momentum that grinds as it should.  Steele steps up and belts a soulful, "Phenomenal Woman" (as she also does on "You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman”), while recalling the 60s with an energetic "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday."  It is in these songs that Steele establishes herself.  Pain proves the capable band leader, providing Steele all that she needed to make her point.  --C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz, March 2017

King Louie's Blues Revue: Live at Riverhouse Jazz:


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A spontaneous, fun-filled celebration of old style soul, blues and funk.  --William Buckley, Soul and Jazz and Funk [UK], October 2017


“Portland-based organ player Louis “King Louie” Pain, one of the most soulful sitting at the console today, directs the spontaneous big fun of a gig in Bend, Oregon...The set takes a provocative turn with ultra-sensual songs by James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Willie Dixon and B.B. King.”  —Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat (4-star review)


“If you love old soul and funk you need to hear King Louie’s Blues Revue.  —Richard Ludmerer, Making a Scene!, October 2017


Paul deLay Band, Live at Notodden '97:












Arriving on shelves a decade after his passing, Live at Notodden ’97 captures deLay and his road-tested ensemble at the peak of their creative powers...deLay’s tortured voice channels an emotional intensity that was nearly unparalleled among male blues singers of his generation...deLay was a unique specimen in the blues world: his [harmonica] style was utterly singular.  His endlessly inventive solos, while always firmly grounded in the postwar style of his predecessors, are timeless even today.  Put simply, deLay sounds like deLay and no one else.  --Living Blues


Paul deLay gives all of his creative self to original material presented to a festival audience in Norway te n years before his demise from leukemia in 2007… his harmonicas are always right on the mark with declaratory statements that evidence the endurance of Chicago and West Coast blues.  --Downbeat


The large festival crowd are won over immediately by this superb band which can rock and swing with ease without needing crashing drums or screaming guitars. Add in Delay’s soulful vocals and exuberant harp playing and this is a real winner…This is the easiest review I’ve written for a long time as this superb album lives up to all my hopes and serves as a fine testament to deLay on the tenth anniversary of his death. An absolute gem.  --Blues Matters [UK]


Paul DeLay passed away in 2007 so it is strangely appropriate that this CD, recorded ten years before his death, should see the light of day ten years after his passing. Paul’s band had traveled to Norway in 1997, given a great performance and were flattered to find that they had been recorded and one of their tunes had appeared alongside BB King, Luther Allison and Robert Cray on a commemorative disc of the festival. It was years later that two members of the band thought to inquire whether tapes still existed of the whole performance and the Norwegians responded in the affirmative. So, after all these years we have a new Paul DeLay recording to enjoy…The many fans of Paul DeLay’s playing will be delighted that these tapes were recovered to make a fine memorial to his playing and personality.  --Blues Blast


DeLay was an original, a chromatic harp player who incorporated a jazzy tone into his music; and an inventive songwriter with the ability to express his personal feelings in the songs that he wrote. He had a keen sense of humor, loved a good pun and was one of a kind…This “out of this world” performance may be the Historical Album of The Year. --Making A Scene


King Louie & Baby James, Live at the Waterfront Blues Festival:


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“When you notice somebody cookin', the first and usually wisest impulse is to come around and get some while it's hot…Sweet Baby James is something of a living legend in Portland's jazz and blues community, from his many years as both a musician and a kind of de facto social director.  Pain, having cast his lot with the B-3 when it was out of fashion, has made his mark as a right-hand man to such revered Portland bandleaders as Paul deLay and Mel Brown.  Once these two talents decided to team up, they didn't waste any time before serving up something tasty."  --Marty Hughley, The Oregonian, September 16, 2005


King Louie & Baby James, Around the World:


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“This live recording is a rollicking good time…Pain, part of Mel Brown’s B-3 Organ Group and for years Paul deLay’s keyboardist/arranger--has one foot in jazz and one foot in the blues, exactly the tradition from which Benton springs…A delightful mix of virtuosity and soul.” --Tom D’Antoni, The Oregonian, November 14, 2008

"Travel around the world and you won't find many musical experiences that can make you feel like this."  --Marty Hughley, The Oregonian, November, 2008


The Paul deLay Band, The Other One:


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"deLay's burning with a brand new fire--he boldly plunges into melodic and rhythmic territory that would send lesser player scurrying for the bunkers."  --John Foyston, The Oregonian, 1991 


Linda Hornbuckle With No Delay, Soul Diva Meets the Blues Monsters:




"The most beautiful and powerful blues/gospel/soul voice in the Northwest, backed by the tightest and most talented band for the ultimate Double-Whammy."  --West Coast Blues Review, December 1994

“Hornbuckle is a big-voiced singer who cuts loose in the finest gospel tradition and brings a dynamic sense of drama to her material…As befits a soul-tinged set, organist Louis Pain impresses the most.” --Living Blues, December 1994


“Top Five pick for local CDs of the year…The title pretty much says it.  Though it’s worth noting that--what with Peter Dammann‘s taut guitar grooves, Brian Foxworth‘s funky drum wallop and Hornbuckle‘s gospel-schooled testifying--the meeting turns into one heck of a party.” --The Oregonian, December 18, 1994


 Paul deLay Band, Take It From the Turnaround:


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"Long known in the Northwest as one of the finest harmonica players going, deLay appears to be poised to explode on the national scene. He should, too, because he is a terrific singer and songwriter as well. Take It From The Turnaround is ample evidence of his talents."  --Detroit News & Free Press, 1996


"While showcasing his amazing range, which runs from graceful Toots Thielemans-like highs to gutbucket James Cotton lows, what really differentiates deLay is his mastery of grooves, riffs and jazz influences...this disc reveals the diversity of a great undiscovered blues talent."  --Boston Globe, 1996


Paul deLay Band, Ocean of Tears:


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“DeLay’s insights into the human condition, sung with soulful gusto against a backdrop of tenor sax, Hammond B-3 organ, harmonica and rhythm section, is what makes ‘Ocean of Tears’ sound fresh by comparison to the ocean of mediocre blues records that are churned out with seeming indifference each month.”  --Jazz Times, February 1997


“Never self-pitying, this ‘Ocean of Tears’ is one of joyful realization.”  
--Justin O’Brien, Living Blues, Jan-Feb 1997


“After repeated listenings, the title song still makes my eyes sting with a tear or two; and friends, that’s the blues.  But it’s not the same ‘ol blues: deLay and band are taking the form to new places with thoughtful lyrics, superb musicianship and a jazzy swing that makes this a band to be reckoned with.  --John Foyston, The Oregonian, December 29, 1996


“Anyone interested in hearing new directions blues can take--different, that is, from high-testosterone blues rock--would do well to swim in Paul deLay’s Ocean of Tears…If you like stellar stellar playing, singing and songwriting, check this disc out.”  --Blues Revue, Feb-March 1997



Paul deLay Band, Nice & Strong:


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“DeLay Band boldly moves upward & onward with new CD…'Nice & Strong' continues delay’s four-year winning streak when it comes to writing…Everywhere, on all tracks, this band’s musicianly, inspired playing is heard.  --John Foyston, The Oregonian, February 20, 1998


"DeLay continues to establish himself as one of the freshest and most appealing voices in the field." --Philadelphia Inquirerer


"One of the finest blues songwriters around...easily outclasses most of the the competition when it comes to songcraft and spirit."  --Washington Post


Paul deLay Band, Heavy Rotation:


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“’Love Grown Cold‘ is brought to vivid life by deLay’s bittersweet vocals and Louis Pain’s fine organ work. Pain’s left hand, incidentally, carries the bass for the entire CD and is truly to be marveled at…”Heavy Rotation” is yet another in a growing line of successful releases for deLay and his band and is among their best work.” --Justin O’Brien, Living Blues, Dec. 2001


"The band recorded the disc live in the studio with minimal overdubs, keeping their swinging sound fresh and emphasizing the interplay between the musicians... Pain does double duty, providing Hammond organ flourishes and holding down the rhythm section with his organ bass."  --Michael Cote, Blues Revue, Dec/Jan 2002


Bernard Purdie: Purdie Good Cookin:


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“On this new CD, a crew of Portland’s finest musicians joins the legendary drummer on a recorded-live album that serves as a primer about the importance of chemistry and musicianship…These are musicians who know that the song’s the thing and that any note that does not advance the song detracts from it.  --John Foyston, The Oregonian, April 4, 2003

“This CD, recorded live in Portland, OR, finds the master drummer leading a smoking band…this is one of the best party records in years.”   --Tom Hyslop, Blues Revue, Dec-Jan 2004



Mel Brown, Live at the Britt Festival:


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“A captivating recording of the group playing live…A sizzling, uninterrupted 45-minute set of soul-jazz originals and covers…What kind of band they are is completely spontaneous…Pain adds the soul with his expressive organ playing, holding down the bass lines and adding color…The crowd response was intense, and [George] Benson’s bass player, Stanley Banks, can be heard shouting his approval throughout the set…[The band] is most certainly a Portland sensation.”  --Kyle O’Brien, The Oregonian, March 19, 2004


Mel Brown, More Today Than Yesterday:


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“Something special happens when this local quintet appears at Jimmy Mak’s jazz club in Portland, OR.  Playing “Hip Shaker” and “House of the Rising Sun,” saxophonist Renato Caranto works himself into a state of wild excitement worthy of a honking tenorman walking the bar in R&B’s golden age.  On the aforementioned and most of the other well-played songs, drummer Mel Brown, guitarist Dan Balmer and swinging organ player Louis Pain evince a more temperate but equally convincing affinity for the blues.”  --Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat, August, 2014

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