LOUISIANA MUSIC, FOOD AND CULTURE—JULY 2010
ESSENCE SUIT RIGHTS HAPPY TALK BAND JASON MARSALIS CHARMAINE NEVILLE EARTH, WIND & FIRE
BONERAMA Ready for another round
Free In Metro New Orleans US $5.99 CAN $6.99 £UK 3.50
e u s s I l i gy o l a o x t i k M c d o ou-Gla C e e-Y g h n T Ora A AN I S UI LO
S NG O GS N I RS INK DE R N D TE R BA N IA SIC MU
10 A New Suit: All Rights Reserved Brittany Epps and Alex Rawls investigate the implications of a copyrighted Mardi Gras Indian suit.
Location, Location, Location Amy Trail—should she stay or go?
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The Definition of a Jazz Nerd Jason Marsalis talks about what’s wrong with jazz education today.
MUSIC & COCKTAILS
You Glad 24 Orange I Didn’t Say Banana A Louisiana 12-Pack
Jeff Hannusch remembers some of the state’s great drinking songs.
Bell of the Bar
Bonerama’s a band and a studio horn section for hire; Alex Rawls examines how the pieces fit together.
Peter Thriffiley and Rene Louapre review Capdeville; Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr.’s in The Spot at Royal China.
Backtalk with Verdine White
Alex Rawls talks to Earth, Wind & Fire’s bassist about Chess Records, Melvin Van Peebles and the heyday of funk. “[P-Funk] got their spaceship from us,” White says. www.OFFBEAT.com
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City mixologists tell Rene Louapre how they develop drinks with a common ingredient.
At Work, At Play Kate Russell asks musician bartenders how their professional lives relate.
“Great Bars of New Orleans” by D. Eric Bookhardt, OffBeat, September 1988
In the Kitchen with Charmaine Charmaine Neville on her sweet culinary education.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Alex Rawls lays out the highlights of “The Party with a Purpose.”
The cocktail’s true home is the bar, and in OffBeat’s second issue we reminisced on the city’s great watering holes of the 20th century. For those who never knew, or can’t remember the nights spent at classic bars like La Casa de Los Marinos, read up. To read this article and more from this issue online, go to offbeat.com/1988/09. JU LY 2010
“Bobby and I played the happiest music in the world with Gia Prima and loved every minute of it.” —Raymond P. Shall, Metairie, LA
Louisiana Music & Culture
July 2010 Volume 23, Number 7 Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jan V. Ramsey, firstname.lastname@example.org
BUNK’S SAINTS Hank Cherry’s piece on Bunk Johnson in your June 2010 edition is quite interesting and to the best of my knowledge completely accurate, but it leaves out one important historical fact. It was Bunk’s recordings and regular playing of “When the Saints Go Marching In” that turned it into the musical icon that continues to reverberate throughout our culture to this day. True, Louis Armstrong recorded a jazz version first, on the Decca label in 1938, and Wingy Manone followed up with another take on the tune on Bluebird in 1939, but it wasn’t until Bunk made it a steady part of his musical repertoire in the 1940s that this gospel original reached anthem status. Bill Russell recorded Bunk doing “Saints” several times for his American Music label, including a version in his 1945 Bunk’s Brass Band album which incidentally may be the first recording ever of a New Orleans jazz brass band. It was most probably, though, the RCA Victor recording, made in 1945 when Bunk as playing at the Stuyvesant Casino in New York, which because of its international distribution became “the shot heard round the world.” When Bunk played “Saints” at the Stuyvesant, he’d listen for audience reaction and if there was sufficient enthusiasm, which there usually was, he’d stomp his foot twice and the band would simply play the tune again. That probably contributed to the notoriety that “Saints” acquired among musicians by the time that Preservation Hall opened in 1961 that led to the sign behind the bandstand which today reads “Requests: Traditional $2, all others $5, Saints $10.” —Steve Steinberg, New Orleans, LA
been comatose for approximately three years at this time and Sam Butera was touring with this group, also called “The Witnesses.” Gia Prima & the Witnesses subsequently played a few dates in New York in February and March of 1978 including the Copa and Caesars. Bobby and I played these dates. Gia sued Sam Butera for the rights to the name “The Witnesses” and won. Sam’s band then became Sam Butera and the Chiefs. I understand Louis had been referred to as “the Chief” and Butera later changed the name of his group to “the Wildest.” Does Bobby Lonero do a great Louis Prima? Little doubt. Anyone love his music more? No doubt. For one cold winter in New York, Bobby and I played the happiest music in the world with Gia Prima and loved every minute of it. But, alas, no Louis. We were “Witnesses,” shared his music, but never the stage. —Raymond P. Shall, Metairie, LA
LONERO & PRIMA
Musicians have either played with someone or they haven’t. The phrase “shared the stage” is a huge red flag. If a musician ever played with Sting, his bio would say “played with Sting.” One of Gatemouth Brown’s old roadies is claiming that he was his bass player. The world has gone mad, I tell you! In Lonero’s case, Prima had a guitarist named Rhondo James (Ronnie James) playing with him during that time in the early ’70s. That’s not to say that James never took a sick day (as they played 6 nights a week) and someone subbed for him. While it’s not a stretch to put “subbing” on one’s resume, it should be clarified. My personal philosophy is to only put people on my resume that I have been paid to play with, not sub or sit in, or shared the stage. Never mess with Gia Maione! I am sure The Chief is looking down and smiling at her. —Joe Sunseri, New Orleans, LA
In January 1978, Gia Prima put together a group billed as “The Louis Prima Show, starring Gia Prima & the Witnesses” to play at the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans for the City of Hope benefit. Bobby Lonero and I were part of this ensemble. Louis Prima had
Thank you for your recent story in OffBeat. I thank you (Mr. Rawls) and Mr. Irrera for your integrity. I found the article humorous, but at the end, the point was very clear. —Gia Maione, Destin, FL
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Managing Editor Joseph L. Irrera, email@example.com Associate Editor Alex Rawls, firstname.lastname@example.org Consulting Editor John Swenson Listings Editor Craig Guillot, email@example.com Contributors Brian Boyles, Erica Colbenson, Alex V. Cook, Brittany Epps, Elsa Hahne, Jeff Hannusch, Glory Jones, Aaron LaFont, Jacob Leland, Rene Louapre, Jason Marsalis, Elaine Miller, Kate Russell, John Swenson, Peter Thriffiley, Michael Patrick Welch, Dan Willging, Courtney Young Cover Elsa Hahne Design/Art Direction Elsa Hahne, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Ben Berman, email@example.com Casey Boudreaux, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Design PressWorks, 504-944-4300 Business Manager Joseph L. Irrera Interns Grant Andrews, Remy Carras, Rosalie Cohn, Brittany Epps, Abby Lunetta, Elaine Miller, Kate Russell, Courtney Young, Zachary Young Distribution Patti Carrigan, Doug Jackson, Shea MacKinnon OffBeat (ISSN# 1090-0810) is published monthly in New Orleans by OffBeat, Inc., 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 944-4300 • fax (504) 944-4306 e-mail: email@example.com, web site: www.offbeat.com Copyright © 2009, OffBeat, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. OffBeat is a registered trademark of OffBeat, Inc. First class subscriptions to OffBeat in the U.S. are available at $39 per year ($45 Canada, $90 foreign airmail). Back issues available for $6, except the May issue for $10 (for foreign delivery add $2). Submission of photos and articles on Louisiana artists are welcome, but unfortunately material cannot be returned.
Getting Rid of the “Noise”?
ast week, the New Orleans Police Department announced that they would enforce an ordinance on the books that prevents live music from being played on Bourbon Street from 8 p.m. until 9 a.m. They served notices to the To Be Continued Brass Band, who plays on the corner of Canal and Bourbon. While the NOPD didn’t arrest any of the members of the band, they made it clear that violations of the city ordinance would be stopped. Subsequent to this, thousands of music lovers and the media (including The TimesPicayune, Gambit, WWOZ and OffBeat, among others) protested and a Facebook page quickly gathered over 10,000 followers. Someone—no one knows exactly who—put in a complaint about the brass band, which caused the police to respond. Remember that 1) we have a brandnew city councilperson for District C (which includes the French Quarter), Kristin Gisleson Palmer, and a brand-new chief of police, Ronal Serpas. Perhaps this gorilla-thumpingits-chest tactic was to show that the “new NOPD” means business on enforcing city ordinances. Or perhaps Palmer was contacted by the apparently few people in the Quarter who have always been against live music. Or perhaps a guest staying in a hotel on Canal Street was bothered by the “noise” of the To Be Continued crew. Or maybe a business owner on Bourbon decided that the live free music was taking people away from his bar or club. Whatever. As my columns through the years make it clear, this is an ongoing problem in the city, and in particular, the French Quarter. There are residents in the Quarter who do not want any noise other than perhaps the clip-clop of the ubiquitous tour carriages. The Quarter is a neighborhood, just as Treme is a neighborhood, and the Bywater and Uptown and the Faubourg Marigny. People do live there. However, I have a problem with the reaction of certain Quarterites and other neighborhood downtown groups who want to turn the French Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny into a suburb. I cannot understand why these people choose to live in a densely packed, urban environment that is not only an historical treasure (which means that there
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may be daily tours of the area) but one that also includes bars, clubs, restaurants and adult entertainment—and expect it to be as quiet as living in the Garden District or Metairie. In a lot of ways, the Quarter has been exploited shamefully by some of the businesses that now operate there. They’ve eschewed our indigenous culture, which includes live music, cuisine, love of our laidback lifestyle and the joy we take in celebrating just about anything we can think of—and they’ve turned the Quarter, notably Bourbon Street, into a place that’s celebrated for unsavory debauchery (not that I have anything against debauchery, but please, no vomiting on the street!). So what changed over the years? New Orleans has allowed its culture and uniqueness to be swept away by the almighty dollar. Commercialism over authenticism. We simply cannot allow it to continue by sweeping away some of the sweetest things New Orleans has: her music and musicians. I do understand that residents need a decent quality of life, but if you choose to live in a tourist area (and let’s face it, the Quarter has been touristy for over a half century at least), you have to live with the hassles that come with living there, including loud garbage trucks, tours, tourists and street musicians. Residents of the Quarter (and the Marigny) don’t want another Bourbon Street in their ’hood. This I can certainly understand. But there has to be a solution that can work for everyone. Frenchmen Street seems to be working fairly well; the city imposed a “Cultural District” zoning overlay on the street to limit the numbers of bars, music clubs and restaurants the street can handle. Did no one ever consider doing this for Bourbon Street? Or North Rampart Street? My point is that no one who reads OffBeat can tolerate the thought of music not being able to be performed on the streets of New Orleans. The current ordinance is obviously too restrictive and needs to be amended. Residents, musicians and businesses need to come together to determine what works for all of us. This means that all of us need to contribute to the thought processes that will result in something that will keep our city’s music and also keep our historic
By Jan Ramsey
neighborhoods as places where people can live—albeit with the issues that come living in an urban entertainment district. This means that we can’t just complain about it; we have to bring everyone to consensus—the mayor, the city council, the NOPD, musicians, businesses and residents. There is a neighborhood meeting on July 10 at the Maison Dupuy at 6 p.m. that would be a good forum to discuss and present solutions. Note I didn’t say to bitch about the situation. We’ve had enough of that and we need to move on. I’ve posted the names, phone numbers and email addresses of groups and people who could be relevant in helping to come to a solution. I’d really like to see the next season of Treme take on this issue. So far, the series has certainly made a point of showing the adversarial position taken by the NOPD on things like second line parades, Mardi Gras Indians, and street musicians. Can we make it a bit stronger next season? Get Toni Burnette involved in this fight—especially since the real person the Toni character is based on (local attorney Mary Howell) has been a part of this issue for many years. A final, gushing note to the writers, producers, cast and crew of Treme after the first season: I am so thrilled and proud that you’ve shown the world my city, with all of its quirks, flaws, loveliness, decay, problems and warm and resilient people. Oh, yeah, the music is pretty damn hot, too. The show’s not only a hit here—where we appreciate your attention to detail in “getting it right”—but worldwide. Can’t say I’m surprised, but it says so much about the care and attention you’ve given this series. Congratulations to you, and thank you for telling it like it is. We look forward to much more of Treme. P.S. Happy, happy birthday to our own Pete Fountain on his 80th (July 3) and to Little Freddie King on his 70th (July 19)! Pete will be honored on Saturday July 3, at a concert at the Rock ’n’ Bowl from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with protégé Tim Laughlin heading the ceremonies. Da King will celebrate on July 16 at BJ’s Lounge. We love you and wish you all the best. O www.OFFBEAT.com
he ’Tail’s Tale
Ann Tuennerman celebrated the end of her walking tour with a party. She and her husband Paul invited cocktail industry figures, including Dale DeGroff, nicknamed the King of Cocktails. They called the party “Tales of the Cocktail,” and divided it into Cocktail Hour and the Spirited Dinner series. DeGroff and other cocktail enthusiasts attended and talked cocktails while enjoying the good drinks and company. The event was so well-received that the Tuennermans ran it again the following year. Since its inception in 2003, Tales of the Cocktail has evolved into a worldwide industry event—and Mr. and Mrs. Tuennerman have become Mr. and Mrs. Cocktail. Mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and designers meet on July 21-25 to honor the art of drink-making and share their experiences at Tales of the Cocktail. Guests come from all over the planet— over 77 percent of last year’s guests were not from the New Orleans area. The festival is produced by The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, which also produces Trails of the Cocktail, a scholarship program for local bartenders. The Hotel Monteleone serves as the base for the festival, with activities occurring throughout the French Quarter. Events include seminars, spirited luncheons and dinners, a walking tour, tastings, demos, parties and burlesque. “A great thing about the bartending community is that they are very generous with their information,” says Ann Tuennerman, “One of the things that makes Tales of the Cocktail so special is getting all these people together and networking and sharing techniques from all over the world.” Educational seminars such as “The How’s and Why’s of Cocktails,” and lively debates, like “I Hate Vodka, I Love Vodka,” enlighten industry insiders and the general public. Ninety-minute seminars in the Hotel Monteleone and Royal Sonesta ballrooms range from “Attend This Seminar and Make More Money” to “From Convicts to Cocktailians: The Release of Australian Flavour.” “We’re not interested in replicating the Las Vegas Bar Show,” says Paul Tuennerman. “Like that event, we fulfill a specific need within the industry. Ours has and will continue to be a focus on the sharing of best practices and educating the industry on the latest techniques, products, trends and such, driving the industry forward.” The festival also has special events and exhibits. The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum’s “Aqua Vitale: The Spirited History of Alcohol as Medicine,” The Museum of the American Cocktail’s “Absinthe Visions,” and The Sugar Mill’s “Worldwide Cocktail Excursion presented by Beam Global Spirits & Wine” are exhibits
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with low entrance fees. Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse holds “Tales After Dark” every night of the festival, and there will be bartending competitions, historian Joe Gendusa’s cocktail-themed walking tour, the Cognac and Blues Luncheon, and “Be Cointreauversial.” “Be Cointreauversial,” a performance starring Dita von Teese sponsored by French spirits company Cointreau, kicks off Tales of the Cocktail on July 19-20 at the House of Blues. The famed burlesque performer will bathe in her signature enormous cocktail glass, decorated with Swarovski crystals. “Expect to be taken to places of fantasy, frivolity and glamour,” says von Teese. “My goal is always to change people’s minds about what striptease is and to show them that it was once an elegant and legitimate form of entertainment in the 1930s and ’40s.” Von Teese compares cocktail mixing to the art of tease. “I like the idea of the ritual,” she says. “I would never pop open a beer. I like the build-up before enjoying something. I don’t just come out without clothes on. There’s a slow build to the payoff at the end.” For more information, event schedules and tickets, visit TalesOfTheCocktail.com.—Kate Russell www.OFFBEAT.com
YouTube isn’t just for music videos anymore. 2-Cent, a hip-hop-oriented grassroots entertainment company, is using it to fight illiteracy in African-American youths. According to the organization’s founder, Brandan “Bmike” Odums, “2-Cent was created in response to the problems in our community.” Odums says he grew tired of waiting for other people to address those issues and quoted Mahatma Gandhi as he decided to “become the change they wanted to see.” He saw problems with the media and Hollywood stereotypes that praise ignorance; to combat that, 2-Cent has broadcast a television show, a radio show and countless videos to open up a dialogue with these issues. It has sponsored a summer camp and fundraisers for schools in New Orleans. Most of its activities are hands-on to show people that they can be a part of change. The entertainment company’s latest project is the “Every Book” campaign. Their parody of the video for “Every Girl” from Young Money’s album We Are Young Money was created to encourage elementary and middle school students to read more. In it, the cast parody Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj and Drake and extol the virtues of reading everything from Dr. Seuss to Langston Hughes, complete with Auto-Tuned vocals. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson appears at the end to remind children, “If you read great thoughts, you think great thoughts.” 2-Cent has played the video “Every Book” for the students and has been instrumental in donating thousands of books to school libraries. 2-Cent visited Langston Hughes Academy, which had lost nearly all of their library books. On what the students dubbed “Book Day,” the group donated 2,400 books with the help of 30 volunteers including New Orleans Hornet Julian Wright and Saints Jeff Charleston, Leigh Torrence, Glenn Sharpe and Pierson Prioleau. On Book Day, the children at Langston Hughes Academy surprised 2-Cent and company with their own original song titled “Read Baby Read.” Looking ahead, Bmike says, “We have Freedom Land 2 in the works and a lot more on the horizon. Someone told me that as long as you follow the needs of Black people, you will never run out of things to do. I don’t see an end anytime soon.” —Glory Jones
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atch My Disease
Usually clad in costumes ranging from pirates to Japanese school girls (the male drummer excepted, of course), the Local Skank is determined to stand out. Guitarist Dani Maurice followed her musical intuition and left Ohio for New Orleans, where she found a singer and trombone player on Craigslist. “After that, I decided to put another ad on Craigslist looking for all girls,” she says. “Hannah (Kreiger-Benson) emailed me at the last minute and Melissa (Crory) joined a couple of weeks later. We all met up and just talked. Eventually we lost our singer, forcing us to sing the songs.” After months of writing and rehearsing, The Local Skank’s first show was a packed Banks Street Bar gig in December 2008 with the Round Pegs; “Our first show was exciting and nerve-wracking all at once,” says trombone player Ashley Shabankareh. “To keep ourselves less freaked out, we acted like silly dorks.” But the band wasn’t in the clear yet. Having struggled with the original drummer, the band welcomed Darryl DiMaggio, the only male in the band. “I wanted to play but I was hesitant at first because I was a guy,” he says. “But this works because these girls aren’t ‘girlie girls.’ I’m a little sensitive and they’re a little manly, so we meet in the middle.” The result is “ska-ish, energetic, effervescent, and drinkable,” jokes trumpet player Kreiger-Benson. “We filter all different types of music through our instrumentation.” For the band, music should do two things. “It should be sincere and evoke powerful emotions,” says Crory. “We try to spread the disease of fun,” says Kreiger-Benson. —Erica Colbenson www.OFFBEAT.com
ardi Gras in July in Montreal
The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has always kept a close watch on its cultural cousin Louisiana, but this year the connection between New Orleans and Montreal has been given particular emphasis. The Montreal music bash will celebrate the finale of its 12-day run on July 6 with a massive free concert on St. Catherine Street in the heart of downtown featuring an all-Louisiana program. “In view of the fact that this 31st edition ends on a Tuesday, we had a brainstorm,” says festival co-founder Alain Simard. “Close out the festival on the most celebratory note possible by recreating Mardi Gras in Montreal.” The event, which festival organizers are calling “Mardi Gras in July,” kicks off with a replica Mardi Gras parade down St. Catherine Street with floats brought in from New Orleans for the event. The parade ends at the Place des Festivals, where Zachary Richard, a perennial favorite in Montreal, starts off a concert that will also feature Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave. and Allen Toussaint. At midnight, the Soul Rebels play the festival’s outdoor “after hours” party. The show ends a marathon of nearly 800 concerts of jazz, blues, hip-hop and world music at the festival. Toussaint is one of the featured performers at the ticketed events, playing a solo piano concert and a show with his Bright Mississippi band, featuring Nicholas Payton, Don Byron, Marc Ribot, David Piltch and Herman Lebeaux. New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard will be one of the festival’s featured artists, performing with his quintet on July 1 and with Robert Glasper on July 2. Other New Orleans-related acts at the festival include John Scofield and the Piety Street Band on July 3 and Christian Scott on July 5. —John Swenson
Dig into the recesses of your New Orleans concert-going history back to the early 1980s, or, if yours is of insufficient vintage, jump onto YouTube and look up new wave band the Cold. In the center of that visitation will be a blonde whirlwind named Barbara Menendez, a mass of flailing locks from which a melodious plea to be “Mesmerized” soars over a jagged, poppy dance beat. During their
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original run from their first show in 1979 to their second breakup in 1985, the Cold were the coolest thing in the city. “I worked my butt off performing with the Cold for what was a ‘rabid patch’ there for a while.” says Barbara Ganucheau née Menendez (or “Barbara B. Love” as she christened herself on Facebook. “Meanwhile, I was looking for companionship and found Ray Ganucheau. The crowds started dwindling, until, of course, we said we were breaking up. I decided I wanted a family and I made a choice. 28 years of marriage and four beautiful children later, here we are! Happy happy!!” The oldest of those children, Wes, is the bassist for Barbara’s Zachary newest group the Help, featuring Richard George Brown (drummer for the Roebucks who also plays with the 9th Ward Marching Band), restaurateur/guitarist Rich Siegel, and D.C. Harbold on guitar and vocals. The last time she was in a band (excluding Cold reunion shows at the Howlin’ Wolf in 1999 and 2001) was 1997 during her tenure in Babs, Guitars, and Drums, but the introduction to her most recent band was pretty seamless. “I was looking for my passion,” Menendez-Ganucheau says. “I wanted to sing again. It had been nine years. I would see Rich Siegel now and again at his restaurant Le Crepe Nanou. He sent me a message on Facebook saying something like, ‘Would you like to sing with my little band at Carrollton Station on April 10th?’ which was 8 days away. I said yes. That’s it.” Looking back, the Cold seems like one of those shoulda-been bands, but with the Help, the goals are a little more relaxed. “We’ve only had a few gigs. We started this thing with the understanding that we’d let this have a life of its own.” Menendez-Ganucheau and Siegel are writing new material to work in with covers and older renovated Cold tunes. “We do several covers the Cold made their own and one original Cold tune from 1979, ‘You Don’t Look at Me,’ which translated to today quite nicely.” She says of the band’s repertoire, “The songs are pop. Sort of ’60s new wave punky, not harsh but fun, danceable.” As for any advice the Barbara of today would have for the Barbara back then, she says, “I guess I’d have to have several meetings with her as she was a hard headed one. I’d say what I always say now—the answer to every question is love. Service brings the highest reward. Don’t always equate everything in terms of dollars and cents and how much notoriety you get. Follow your passion. Stop partying so much and be serious about your gifts. And I’d tell her that she was special just the way she was.” The Help play Carrollton Station July 17. —Alex V. Cook www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: ZACK SMITH
A New Suit: All Rights Reserved
n a New York Times article written in late March, Howard Miller, Big Chief of the Creole Wild West and president of the Mardi Gras Indian Council, stated that “Indian culture was never, ever meant to make any money, but neither should the culture be exploited by others. “We have a beef with anybody who takes us for granted,” he said. For years, it has been a source of tension that many Mardi Gras Indians impoverish themselves to make their suits while photographers shoot them and sell their pictures. Indians fear that the photographers are profiting from their work; to combat that, Miller had his suit copyrighted. Miller started the process of registering his copyright with lawyer Ashlye M. Keaton earlier this year, but the idea for copyright protection had been floating around since 2005. Keaton assisted some Indians with the application process, but the lack of a tracking system made it hard to monitor any progress. She was able to trace Miller’s application online and receive the certificate of approval on April 13, 2010. Keaton developed the argument that the suits are art and as such, subject to protection. One of the central points of deliberation was whether or not the suits are functional, since functional objects can’t be copyrighted. “Indian suits are not worn to protect them from the environment; they’re worn ceremonially,” she says. “They’re sculptures that are sewn on to canvas. Clothing is worn beneath the canvas or material to which the work of art is attached. Therefore, the suits do not serve a functional purpose.” “It’s a wonderful thing to know that we’re considered to be in the art class and to be recognized around the world as artists,” says Miller. “It means a lot to the Mardi Gras Indians.”
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Since Miller’s suit was copyrighted, 10 more Mardi Gras Indians have applied to copyright protect their suits as well. “The fact that the suits are subject to registration adds value for many opportunities,” Keaton says. Grant opportunities for artists, for instance, might now be open to them. “The photographers are going to hate me right now,” she says. “But if the photographers and Indians can work in a mutually beneficial way, it increases the value of the derivative work. If one Indian tribe begins to work with one particular photographer, they could say, ‘On St. Joseph’s Night, my tribe’s going to be coming out near Second and Dryades at this specific time and this specific address. You can come out and watch us get ready.’ That’s a really special moment. These exclusive types of shots would benefit the photographer, and certainly you don’t have the case of being shoved out of the way, and other stories you’ve heard about the contentious relationship (between Indians and photographers).” The copyright recognition is “a double-edged sword,” says photographer Zack Smith. “I agree that there is a need to protect original artwork, but I believe that the public sphere leaves the Indians vulnerable to photographers, being that it is legal to photograph people on the streets. It also legal to print and sell said photos.” The copyright protection does not prevent people from taking pictures of the Mardi Gras Indians, nor does
By Brittany Epps and Alex Rawls
that does little more than translate the copyrighted work—the suit—into a new medium would likely violate the copyright, Keaton thinks, and that the more the photographer brings to the new “derivative” work (in legal terms), the safer it is. In this area, though, Keaton is careful to qualify her statements, making clear that these are her arguments and beliefs because what works will and won’t be protected is going to be a matter of interpretation by the authorities. “That’s what we’re going to see evolve,” she says. “How this is applied and covered.” Photographer Erika Goldring, like Smith, is a noted supporter of the Mardi Gras Indians. “My camera is my instrument,” she says. “I’ve invested a lot of money in education and equipment. I believe my fine art photos are works of art just like the suit is. I understand that the Indians are concerned about someone profiting from their image. However, I think it’s based on the misconception that the images are mass-produced Are these photos and sold. There may be infringing on photographers out there doing that, but I’m not one of them.” copyright? Are photos of Indians a significant revenue stream? Zack Smith doesn’t think so. it prevent the sale. Unfortunately, “I see the need to protect original it’s hard to say with any precision art,” he says. “Yet, I do not think exactly what photos would violate that there is a substantial amount a copyright and which would be of financial gain that the Indians are safe. Photos shot for personal, nonmissing out on due to sales of these commercial uses would be fine, images. But I could be wrong.” and it’s unlikely that there would “It has always been a source be any problems with photos that of revenue,” Chief Howard document a moment or an activity Miller counters. “Just not for the in a public space regardless of use. Indians.” On the other hand, a sold photo O www.OFFBEAT.com
Photos: JEFFREY DUPUIS (BOTTOM), KIM WELSH (TOP)
What happens when a Mardi Gras Indian copyrights his suit?
The Definition of a Jazz Nerd
’ve been lucky to grow up as a privileged musician. I’ve been surrounded by a considerable amount of information and various influences from different genres of music. As a high school and college student, jazz students I knew were very knowledgeable about music and hungry for even more. Then in the early 2000s, something happened. While performing with some of the new jazz students relocating to the New Orleans area, I noticed something missing in their music. As I became familiar with their compositions and solo performances, my suspicions were confirmed. While their music was often complex with a different mood, it was unfortunately lacking in knowledge of the jazz tradition. These musicians did not take sufficient time to investigate jazz before 1990, nor did they have a belief in that music. I then realized that these musicians did not have many opportunities to play outside of the classroom situation. Therefore, playing jazz for an audience was not part of their musical experience. As I traveled the country, I began seeing this as a trend. Jazz students would play an abundance of notes in an abstract manner without an understanding of basic melodic content. During this time, I overheard a musician describe hearing music in which musicians played notes and patterns over complex chord changes as “nerd music.” That term struck a chord with me because that was the same thing I was hearing from college students and some professional musicians around the country. I realized the trend that was happening with jazz music and I coined the phrase the “JNA: the Jazz Nerds of America.”
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Hopkinson, someone who helped put together the show, filmed my rant and posted it on YouTube. I recently received a phone call from band mate and pianist Marcus Roberts, and he mentioned that he received an email about my “jazz nerd” video. I did a Google search and lots of entries appeared. The articles were interesting reads; the only troublesome aspect was that my views were misconstrued and misdirected into another conversation contrary to what the video was about. Some of the blame falls on me because a lot of the musical examples presented in the video were done in a vague fashion. This is why I decided to explain my problem with the “jazz nerd.”
As I traveled to Europe and Canada, I discovered common attitudes were pertinent to my observations. Jazz musicians in both places said the same thing is happening with music students in their respective regions. My father told me of a set he attended at a New York jazz club and heard music that I would describe as being played by JNA members. The band members had their heads buried in the music and made no eye contact with the audience, which was
By Jason Marsalis
working hard to like what it was hearing. Instead of enjoying the music, audience members were expending energy to connect with what was being played. At this point I decided to warn the jazz audience about the JNA. When I would tell my story, it would be part musician/part raving street preacher to elicit laughs from the audience. I would advise them to run away from “nerd music” as fast as they can. One night, I told my JNA story to a Toronto audience and Keita
A jazz nerd—or JNA for short— is a jazz student who reduces all music to notes and concepts only. JNA worships complexity while ridiculing simplicity. JNA will hear groups led by Dave Holland and Wayne Shorter and will marvel at the complex musical structure but ignore the historical substance behind their music. JNA saxophonists will listen to and worship the music of Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, and other modern players but ignore the musicians that have influenced their music such as John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Warne Marsh, and Sonny Rollins. JNA will hear the music of James Brown and say that it’s no big deal because it only has two chords. JNA looks down on blues as “simple” while wanting to play endless, nonmelodic eighth and sixteenth notes over “All the Things You Are” in 7/4 straight feel. JNAs find a slow blues boring. Swing is uninteresting and straight feel is more “challenging” and “exciting.” Instead of embracing both, the JNA worships one while www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: ZACK SMITH
What’s missing from a jazz education? History, according to Jason Marsalis.
JA SON MA RSA LIS
A jazz nerd will have music that will modulate from 5/4 to 9/8 to 7/4 in a matter of measures while playing a barrage of notes that make no sense.
ridiculing the other. Four-four is “old” while 9/8 is “new.” A basic drum groove is boring unless you fill it with lots of notes. For the JNA, that’s modern music—as many complex notes as possible while ignoring the simple elements and history behind the notes. In the infamous video, it seemed as though I was attacking odd meters. Anyone that knows my music would rightfully label that as hypocrisy. It isn’t the time signatures I was attacking but rather the highly indifferent approach JNAs would employ in the name of creating music. They play all odd meters the same way, straight and mediumto-fast. They’re not interested in bringing a variety of grooves and mood to odd meters. Furthermore, a jazz nerd will have music that will modulate from 5/4 to 9/8 to 7/4 in a matter of measures while playing a barrage of notes that make no sense. As an audience member, you actually can’t tell what the band is playing since there’s no clarity of chord movement or rhythm. This approach to odd meters can work, as exemplified by tenor saxophonist John Ellis’ composition “Bonus Round,” but cluttering the space doesn’t help the music. The music student has fun but the audience has nothing with which to connect and therefore is sitting on their hands. As far as today’s music is concerned, I do have a problem with another trend that isn’t exclusive to the JNA, but it affects jazz music and JNA members usually believe in it. It’s what I call “innovation propaganda.” It is rooted in the fact that starting in the 1980s and through the ’90’s, there were jazz musicians interested in the history of the
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music. They wanted to explore jazz music from the ’50s and ’60s, a period of music that their generation hadn’t previously explored. While there was an audience for this music, there were jazz writers and musicians who excoriated them as “neoclassicists” who were bringing jazz backwards and were not moving the music forward. Starting from 2000, the majority of today’s jazz started to reference rock, hip-hop, pop, R&B, and world music. That’s great except there’s a catch. Almost no jazz before 1990 is referenced in the majority of music played today. Jazz magazines and writers created this flavor of kool-aid named “innovation” and when musicians drink “innovation kool-aid”, they believe the following principles: 1. Jazz has to move forward into the future. 2. We can’t get stuck in the past with hero worship. 3. Swing is old and dated. We have to use the music of today. 4. Jazz is limiting. You must take a chance by bringing in current styles. 5. I don’t care about the past. I have to do my own thing. 6. We’re past playing American songbook standards. That’s yesterday’s music. This point of view actually mirrors the same narrowminded point of view that the “traditionalists” are being accused of. Traditionalists, apparently, are only interested in music from 1900-1969. With the majority of the new music, music after 1969, and sometimes 1999, is the only period of interest. Here’s the reality about music. Genres are
neutral; all music is old and music is information. The 20th Century has produced lots of music. Rather than dividing it up with categories like “traditional” and “modern” or “old” and “new,” it should be viewed as a century’s worth of information. There’s information in Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Louis Jordan, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, Cecil Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, Michael Jackson, Public Enemy, Genesis, Nirvana, Common, John Legend just to name a few. Hundreds upon thousands of artists in numerous genres were left out, but this music is all available for any musician to employ. There are those that complain of narrowing music through categories; my complaint is about narrowing music through dates. Jazz is an open architecture that includes everything from genres to history. In closing, there are those who wonder why I bother? Why am I so outspoken about music? Why not let the music speak for itself? Why am I wasting my time with this subject instead of practicing? Well, I’ve been inspired by music from all walks of life and to be honest, I’m bored with the majority of the new music being played today. Newer musicians are being selfish by not including a wide range of history and only thinking of themselves over the music. But there’s a bigger problem; I’m not alone. I mentioned that jazz had a larger audience with music that was apparently “retrogressive.” Today’s music is hailed by some as pushing jazz into the future, but guess what?
The audience has dwindled and there are magazine articles asking if the music is dead. Furthermore, the response to my “jazz nerd” video is interesting because there are musicians who disagree with me, but not as many non-musically trained jazz fans share the same view. They’re collectively known as the audience, remember? The fact is that the jazz audience could care less whether any music is “new” or “innovative.” The audience pays its hard-earned money to hear a good show. I’ve talked to many audience members who feel the exact same way I do and are just as frustrated as I am with most of the new music. The problem is that because of “innovation propaganda,” they feel guilty if they don’t like the music. They feel that it’s their fault for not understanding the “intellectual capacity” of it, so they work hard at trying to enjoy the music when they aren’t in the first place. This, in my view, is part of the reason why the jazz audience is getting smaller. Is there a way to solve this problem? The only solution is to restructure the academic curriculum in university programs to be inclusive of all music and introduce students in elementary school, 4th through 12th grades, to music studies. The best thing for a musician to do is not to divide music by years or genres, but by basing it on at least a century’s worth of information. The more, the merrier. Where this will take the music, we shall see. But this approach of unity is more intriguing than division and jazz music can truly grow into the 21st Century. In the meantime, I would like to thank those who have commented on my impromptu video and I’m glad we are having this conversation. O www.OFFBEAT.com
Location, Location, Location Amy Trail discovered that where you play matters more than you think.
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Photo: ELAINE MILLER
my Trail knows she shouldn’t be doing this. It’s midnight at Pat O’Brien’s, and the line to get in the piano bar grows steadily once capacity has been met. Inside, a mosaic of hurricanes clutter the tables as sloshy couples continue to order more. Tourists flood inside with their necks adorned with Mardi Gras beads toasting the bachelorettes of Sylvia’s bachelorette party on one end of the room. Nearby, a slurring Ole Miss fan berates a dismissive LSU Tiger fan over SEC domination, all while Amy Trail belts out the greatest hits behind her piano. “We get to celebrate not only our brown-eyed girls, but also our green-eyed girls,” Trail says. “I’m a green eyed girl myself.” Trail begins to play Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl” and the classic is greeted with uproarious claps and chants by the audience as they sing every slurring syllable. Trail continues for another hour, cuing the audience for their requests, but Trail has greater talent than singing the top 100. She’s just completed her fifth album, Lonesome Man, and she wants to advance her art and career, but playing the favorites pays the bills. “Bourbon Street is one of the few places in the city where musicians can actually make a decent living; it’s a steady gig,” Trail says. “Once you’re in it, you’re really tied to it, and it’s hard for you to do outside performances.” Trail’s Wednesday through Saturday night gig at Pat O’Brien’s offers a convenient schedule week to week plus financial security that many musicians struggle with—at least those who don’t balance more than one job. The financial stability of her lucrative weekly gig offers a dilemma that Trail has been mulling over—stay on Bourbon Street hoping to be discovered, or pursue a solo career with far less financial stability? In
a business built on the notions of cool, Trail faces the challenge of establishing herself as a songwriter and artist while her principal gig is playing the top 100 at Pat O’Brien’s, where she’s been since 2004. “It’s something I really struggle with,” Trail admits. “Do I want to give up the financial security and everything that goes along with having the Pat O’ gig, or going out and playing other gigs that could introduce me to a different market and expand my personal music?” The rural Idaho native came to New Orleans in 2001 hoping to find the culture and diversity that her hometown lacked. Trail enrolled at UNO to pursue a degree in Jazz Studies. “I didn’t really fit in that box so well because I mainly studied jazz to learn about the intricacies of harmony and improvisation.” As she worked to make a place for herself in New Orleans, Trail was introduced to another challenge.
By Courtney Young
“There’s definitely a ‘Who the hell are you?’ type of vibe when you first come down here and get into the scene,” Trail says. “Once people hear you and you prove yourself, people are very accepting.” But Trail admits she’s uncertain if she’s received that nod of approval from the music scene of the city. Trail was given word of the gig at Pat O’s through a friend. She endured a three-month auditioning process during which she was instructed to learn 100 songs, the most requested songs by customers at the piano bar. Trail described the musical homework as learning “the basic tourist songs” ranging from “Piano Man” to “Margaritaville.” “Pat O’s is one of the weirdest gigs in that you play from any genre of the decade, every artist,” Trail says. “I’ve played everything from standards, to country, to heavy metal, to Lady Gaga.” Trail admits that her time spent performing the classics at Pat O’s has influenced her personal songwriting by incorporating more experimental
sounds into her soulful, R&B beat. “I’ve explored country sounds and traditional pop sounds,” she says. “So I guess my music has shifted from that original (R&B) album (2005’s Amy Trail), but my original tenets still remain soulful.” Trail’s immediate goal is to book more festivals, play a gig in the early evening and still make it to work at Pat O’Brien’s at night. “I’m trying to put my feet in both worlds, keeping that steady gig, but also do records on the side and continue to be a songwriter,” Trail says. “Maybe do something that I don’t know if anyone has done: Do a Bourbon Street gig and continue pursuing my personal gig.” She’ll have a CD-release party for her latest CD, Lonesome Man, at Maison on July 25. “Eventually, I hope that my music will be able to connect with somebody somewhere and I’ll have that as a possible career path,” she says. “Maybe I’ll eventually get off Bourbon Street, maybe not. Who knows?” O www.OFFBEAT.com
Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say
The punchline for a knock-knock joke is also a fair test for mixologists looking to show off their skills.
hat rhymes with “orange”? Nothing. What goes with orange? For New Orleans’ mixologists, the only limit is that of their imagination. We approached some of the city’s finest to get a sense of how they construct a cocktail when given such a common element as a starting point.
Sean Thibodeaux, Clever
The Bloody Mary has her fans, but Sean Thibodeaux is not one of them. “I hate them,” he says. He does like the idea though of something spicy and eye opening, which is why he developed the Aztec. This heat-seeking missile of the morning combines Plymouth gin, jalepenoinfused Chartreuse, Regan’s Orange Bitters, and the oil from the zest of an orange into an at first bracing, ultimately smoothing cocktail. The cocktail also riffs on the Martinez, one of the original cocktails. The orange flavor lurks throughout the drink in the background, always there but never overpowering the luscious, spicy Chartreuse or the focused bitters.
NEW KIND OF WATER
Allison Negrotto, The Court of Two Sisters When Allison Negrotto thinks of orange cocktails, her mind immediately goes to one of the great, all-but-forgotten classics, the Navy Grog. Not only does it represent the embodiment of orange for Negrotto, but also shows the generational divide between drinkers. “Today, young people order vodka, cranberry and orange instead of saying Sea Breeze,” Negrotto explains. A Navy Grog puts a
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Polynesian twist on the original boat drink of the British Navy. The rum rations given to Her Majesty’s Navy bordered on the non-potable. So, clever sailors combined their daily ration with lemon juice (to ward off scurvy), sugar and cinnamon. Today, a Navy Grog blends light rum, orange juice, sour mix and orange Curacao, making more palatable rum even more so.
Neal Bodenheimer, Cure Sometimes the decision to use orange in a cocktail purely rests on economic principles. At Cure, the barkeeps and apprentices use a large amount of zests and peels of oranges to flavor cocktails, but not much of what Bodenheimer
By Rene Louapre
describes as the flabby juice. So he issued a challenge to his bartenders to come up with a cocktail that used at least threequarters of an ounce of juice. The winner was bar manager and partner Kirk Estopinal’s New Kind of Water. The refreshing combination of Lillet Blanc, St. Germain, orange juice, Angostura bitters, and a little bit of vinegar on the rim of the glass makes for a delicious summertime cocktail.
THE TWIN SPAN
Alan Walter and Sharon Floyd, Iris Alan Walter and Sharon Floyd tend the boutique bar at Restaurant Iris, where their concoctions have combined ingredients such as pine needles and strawberries with rum for a taste of Ponchatoula. Walter and Floyd also used orange juice as a way to use extra oranges. Their creation, The Twin Span, utilizes orange juice and lemon juice to tone down the herbal notes of the chartreuse in the cocktail. Served up in a jewel-like glass, the cocktail was “really a lark. Just something we tried and our friends liked it. So it is here now,” Walter explains.
Star Hodgson, Loa Star Hodgson chose to use the Gaelic embodiment of Aphrodite—A’ine—for inspiration to craft a cocktail based on the St. John’s Eve Festival. “When I think www.OFFBEAT.com
of summer, my mind immediately thinks of orange blossoms dangling on the trees,” Hodgson says. Into a glass she muddles peaches, an ounce and a half of Tanqueray gin, four drops of orange blossom water, lemon juice, and simple syrup. After mixing the cocktail, she burns the zest of an orange over the glass to give it an aroma and a mythical quality. “It is cleansing, rebirth by burning the zest of the old to bring out the white flavor of the orange blossom,” Hodgson says. Tasting the result of Hodgson’s lyrical mixology, one is immediately transported to a spring evening in New Orleans with sweet olive, jasmine and citrus trees in bloom. The kick from the gin will put you in an even better mood. This little experiment proved a few things. Cocktails and the people who make them are no longer bound by the rules laid out by Mr. Boston. And the screwdriver is the Salisbury steak of cocktails. O JULY 2010
A Louisiana 12-Pack Good and bad times are never far apart in Louisiana’s drinking songs.
he oily Pelican State has a history of figuring out how to have a party, even under adverse conditions. Those good times have often been helped along by beer and liquor, so it’s no surprise that adult beverages have contributed significantly to the state’s songbook. Lil’ Bob and the Lollipops This irresistible swamp pop classic was on every “I Got south Louisiana Loaded” jukebox in the mid-1960s. A singer/drummer from Lafayette, Lil’ Camille Bob manages to put a load on with bottles of whiskey, gin and wine, and sounds like he had a great time doing it. The song was covered by Los Lobos in the late 1980s and was used in the soundtrack for the cult film Bull Durham, which starred Louisiana’s favorite would-be oil skimmer, Kevin Costner. Johnnie Allan In this not very subtle song, the most prolific swamp pop artist of all time decides to get tight on a bottle of scotch “because it’s Saturday night.” Many drinking “Let’s Go songs become Get Drunk” morality tales, and that was certainly the case when Allan documented the perils of too much liquor and a broken heart on “Somewhere on Skid Row.” Dave Bartholomew In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the locally-brewed Jax Beer made a strong push to win over African-American beer drinkers in New Orleans. They threw weekly Jax Beer parties at local clubs and taverns hosted by Dr. Daddy-O, and even cut music videos/commercials
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that ran in Black movie houses. Jax commissioned this jumpin’ boogie in which Bartholomew “Jax Beer encourages Boogie” everyone to “drink that mellow Jax beer.” Jax’s cross-Quarter rival, Regal beer, pressed 45s of “Get That Regal Feeling,” which was recorded by an unknown country band. Don Rich More on the perils of alcohol. Current swamp pop favorite Don Rich wants Maria not to “Hey Maria” drink tequila because last time she did, she wound up out of her head and “in another man’s bed!” Smiley Lewis If there’s a better New Orleans rhythm and booze song than this one, please point it out. Dave Bartholomew wrote it, “Lost borrowing Weekend” the title from the popular Ray Milland movie. On “Lost Weekend,” Lewis explains that he spends most of his hardearned money at the bar and therefore can’t afford a wife. Smiley yells every drinking man’s dream: “Gimme another drink, bartender—on the house!” Fats Domino “Whiskey Fats Heaven” Domino cut this for the soundtrack to 1980’s Any Which Way You Can, starring Clint Eastwood. Apparently the sun never shines
By Jeff Hannusch
in whiskey heaven because it rains Jack Daniel’s all the time. Domino’s star power helped the song chart in Nashville. Frankie Ford covered it and had a local hit.
To his later chagrin, Taylor is indeed able. Compounding the effects of waking up in a strange bed with a bad head, he finds he has no bread and his wife wants him dead.
“Drinkin’ Jack Dupree Wine SpoPopularized De-O-Dee” by Sticks McGhee, this song was heard on the streets of New Orleans in the early 1900s. Drink was a constant theme for Dupree, the last New Orleans barrelhouse piano player; he also recorded “Gin Mill Sal,” “Rum Cola Blues,” “Bad Whiskey and Wild Women” and “Drunk Again.”
“One Scotch, Aldus Roger One Bourbon, Drinking One Beer” and having a good time has been a constant in Cajun music since the Acadians arrived here from Nova Scotia. On this hot pepper twostep, Roger provides the perfect recipe for a really bad hangover.
Boogie Bill Webb Boogie Bill cut this in the early 1980s and it was the title track on his only album. “Drinkin’ As the title and Stinkin’” suggests, the song addresses too much liquor and bad female hygiene. He’d been doing the song for decades and the label that finally released it was Flying Fish. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been reissued on CD. Webb’s buried in an unmarked grave in New Orleans East. Little Johnny Taylor Raise your hand if the title of this song describes a situation you’ve been in one-or-more times. Recorded “Strange Bed for the Ronn with a Bad label in Head” Shreveport in the early 1970s, Taylor—of “Part Time Love” fame—gets in an argument with his wife and retreats to the local bar to sort things out. While there, he encounters a woman named Mabel who invites him over to her crib for a nightcap.
Webb Pierce Liquor and its perils have been a popular subject in country music since, well, “There forever. West Stands the Monroe’s Glass” Pierce had a number one hit with this song back in 1953. In this classic country ballad, Pierce addresses the temptation of the bottle with surprising frankness for its day. Percy Mayfield One of the greatest blues “My Jug songwriters and I” of all time, Percy Mayfield hailed from Minden, Louisiana. Mayfield had the ability to write material that reduced grown men to tears. “My Jug and I” became one of Mayfield’s signature songs. Not only was it a hit, but the album had a cover that was sheer genius, picturing Mayfield, his dog and his jug by a river. As per the subject matter of the song, Mayfield, left by his lover, gets up in the morning, grabs a jug and lies back down. Mayfield also recorded the equally heart wrenching “The Bottle is My Companion.” O www.OFFBEAT.com
At Work, At Play L
uke Allen’s songwriting process involves alcohol. He gets a good buzz going, usually from whiskey or beer. Inspiration hits as his BAC climbs. He grabs a pen and scribbles onto cocktail napkins. By the night’s end, his pockets are stuffed with bits of paper and in the morning, he edits. Most are thrown away, but some become lines in Happy Talk Band songs. Allen is a bartender and musician, and alcohol permeates many aspects of life. Allen has been serving drinks for 13 years. He’s worked at the Circle Bar, Mimi’s, the Hi-Ho Lounge, Angeli’s, The Abbey and Saturn Bar. He’s at Mimi’s on Monday through Wednesday nights, and he works Fridays at the intimate Circle Bar, where he’s bartended since the late Kelly Keller ran it. He becomes sentimental when he talks about that bar, a lonesome building on Lee Circle. Allen, like many musicians, can’t live off of what he makes at gigs. It’s a lucky musician who lives off of his or her art; most need other jobs such as bartending to pay the bills. Luke Allen’s not the only musician who bartends, and he’s not the only one who has to figure out how to make his work life and artistic life fit together. Bartending doesn’t stir Allen’s creative juices like playing. A bartender has to count money, kick out aggressive customers, and keep people happy. Rather than participating in the madness, he observes it. Allen likens it to lifeguarding. “I lifeguard people compromising themselves and inspiring themselves,” he says. “It’s a job.” Benji Lee, Supagroup’s guitarist and the Saint’s bartender, agrees. “When you’re a bartender, you’re working,” Lee says. “When you’re playing,
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Benji Lee people come to see your music. They don’t expect anything else out of you except to see you rocking. Two different things. One is a job, and one is the opposite of job.” For Lee, dealing with drunk people is the hardest part of bartending. Drunks hassle him for drinks, which he responds to by ignoring them. He would prefer crowds of sober people than a couple of aggressive drunks. But the more people drink, the better business is. While Lee and Allen deal with drunken customers, Die Rötzz drummer and Green Goddess co-owner Paul Artigues runs a business based on alcohol. The Green Goddess, a funky restaurant and bar in Exchange
By Kate Russell
Alley, has a four page menu—one page for food, three for drinks. “I think you want everyone to drink,” Artigues says. “That’s the business side. You want people drinking when you’re playing for them; you want people drinking when you’re cooking for them. That’s the business of pushing alcohol.” Artigues doesn’t think there’s a contrast between bartending and music. He plays at work, entertaining his coworkers in the kitchen by improvising beats and silly songs, some of which develop into songs. He sees the Green Goddess and Die Rötzz as responsibilities. “To put on a good show, there’s A, B, and C things you need to get done,” he says. “It’s
the same thing with the restaurant. Certain things need to happen.” Lee uses his job as a source of creativity. When he began bartending, he was a senior at Tulane and just popped caps and slung drinks. Now he likes mixing monsoons and other tiki drinks, which livens up Tuesday night karaoke. “I’ve come to love bartending a lot more from doing it so long, because you get bored and start trying to be better at what you do and get to different levels of bartending.” Supagroup’s song “I Need a Drink” is a result of bartending. It’s based on a retired gentleman who drank daily at the Circle Bar and grumbled, “Work is the drinking man’s curse.” Lee’s brother Chris was a bartender there and the drunk’s lament became a joke between the brothers. Dressed in a black Van Halen shirt, Lee leans on the bar and imitates the elderly drinker, growling the phrase that inspired a song. All three musicians drink onstage. Supagroup is a hard-drinking band and recorded “Let’s Go Get Wasted”. Allen suffered from a bad case of stage fright when the Happy Talk Band started and knocked back a couple of shots of whiskey before the show. Musicians are brought drinks onstage, and it’s easy to be “shit-canned”, as Allen eloquently puts it, by the end of the show. There aren’t many cities that have a rich history in both music and cocktails like New Orleans. “Pretty synonymous with playing music is being in bars and being around bars,” says Lee. “It’s like you can see your friends when you’re working, so I don’t have to go out that much because I see everyone here that I want to see.” Lee and his buddies often wind their way to the Saint and settle into the dark bar on St. Mary’s Street where they can drink past sunrise. For Lee and Allen, bartending is the work that lets them play. O www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: elaine miller
How do musician bartenders balance their work and artistic lives?
Bell of the B BONERAMA HAS ESTABLISHED ITSELF AS A LIVE BAND; IS IT READY FOR THE STUDIO?
uckin’ cab driver.” It’s November 6, 2006 and Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Tom Morello, Mike Mills and Bonerama have just finished a version of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Ohio.” The occasion is the first “Musicians Bringing Musicians Home” benefit concert at Tipitina’s and as a surprise to everybody, Bonerama’s Mark Mullins has called a pissed-off Tony Clifton to the stage. Clifton was an Andy Kaufman character, a bad lounge singer who’d inevitably end up at war with his audience. Earle and Mills chuckle knowingly as Clifton complains about his “Pollack cab driver,” but as he continues into a series of Polish jokes, the crowd grows restless. Kaufman had been dead since 1984 (though his friend Bob Zmuda was conspicuously absent during the performance) so few in the crowd were thinking “comedy.” They just thought he was inappropriate (to be kind) until he asked, “How do you get a gay guy to have sex with a woman?” The punch line’s too offensive and gross to tell comfortably, and even Earle took a step back. As Clifton’s battle with the audience escalated, a perplexed Morello asked, “What’s going on here?” When that got no response, he said dismissively, “Thanks bro. Thanks,” to Clifton, earning a “Fuck you.” When Clifton finally sang a flat, Vegas version of “For Once in My Life” backed by Bonerama, Bill Taylor from Tipitina’s Foundation tried unsuccessfully to wrestle Clifton back to the wings. After 15 minutes of theater at its most conceptual, Clifton left the stage to boos, but the mood lightened when the show resumed with a rousing version of the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today” and a singalong on “This Land is Your Land.” “It makes your stomach hurt,” Mark Mullins says, remembering that night. Tony Clifton had approached them a few weeks before, and he’d appeared at two of their shows. Neither was as raw or rude as that night at Tip’s, so no one in the band realized how real it would
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get. “These were guests here to help the city,” Bonerama’s Craig Klein says. As outrageous as the night was, it set in motion the machinery that made Bonerama what it is today. In addition to being Andy Kaufman’s friend, Bob Zmuda founded Comic Relief and when the comedians’ activist organization held a benefit for victims of post-Katrina flooding, he asked Bonerama to be the house band. Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) continued their series of activism retreats in New Orleans, bringing interested musicians to the Crescent City to learn how they could better use their platforms for social causes, and each
At the most recent show, the largely indie musicians were so excited to have a horn section that Bonerama played on almost every song. concluded with a “Musicians Bringing Musicians Home” concert (the sixth took place in March at One Eyed Jacks), and Bonerama has been the house band for all but one. At the first show, their highlight was a radical reworking of Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down Again” for Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, but they proved themselves indispensable when Mullins worked up a series of arrangements including five for OK Go singer Damian Kulash while the band was on the road in California, then showed up a few hours before the show due to flight delays and nailed it anyway, and studio versions of the songs in the set became I Shall Be Released, an iTunes-only collaboration EP between Bonerama and OK Go. At the most recent show, the largely indie musicians were so
By Alex Rawls
excited to have a horn section that Bonerama played on almost every song. As a result, Bonerama has broadened its circle of friends, and Mullins, Klein and Greg Hicks have recorded with ATC/FMC workshop alumni Jon Langford, Alec Ounsworth, and through alums Mike Mills and Scott McCaughey, R.E.M. Los Lobos sax player Steve Berlin attended one, and he has called them for the albums he has produced in New Orleans. “They’re consummate professionals,” Berlin says. “And they know how to play together. I’ve worked with some sections elsewhere where they might be virtuosos individually, but it takes a while for them to play together. Those guys have a wonderful singularity of mind where they can sound like one incredibly powerful thing.” With all that going on, one question remains: What will it take to make other people talk about guesting on Bonerama albums instead of vice versa? In a way, the Bonerama story started in New York City. Mullins and Klein were in Harry Connick, Jr.’s band in the late 1990s and they often played New York. “Whenever we were there, we would take advantage of the music scene,” Klein says. “There was a club, and every Monday night it was just salsa mix jams. And I went to this club, and I saw, I think it was Willie Colón, and it was a five-trombone Cuban band. That’s what started me up. Here’s this Cuban band that features the trombone, and I said I’d love to do that with a New Orleans band.” At the first Bonerama show in 1998, there were seven or eight trombones including Lucien Barbarin, Freddie Lonzo and Corey Henry. “We had about 15 onstage by the end of the night,” Klein says, laughing. “I was up on the drum riser,” Mullins says. “Trombones were everywhere. It was killer. This sounds corny, but there was definitely something about the very first few measures www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: elsa hahne
we played together in front of people that felt different than anything I had ever been involved with before. It was different than Harry, not in a bad way. Different than playing with George (Porter, Jr.). We were playing songs that we knew and were familiar with—I think “Funky Miracle” and we might have done “Frankenstein” that night—but we were hearing it in such a different way through the voice of the trombone. We could definitely sense that were was something special about it.” The trombone band wasn’t just a novelty, though. It was a natural extension of an obsession with the instrument. The first stable Bonerama lineup went so far as to include a bass trombone courtesy of the late Brian O’Neil, and the band’s classic rock covers emerged directly from the way the trombone occupies a similar place in the sonic spectrum to an electric guitar. In 2009, the band recorded “Bone Again” with trombone great Roswell Rudd for his Trombone Tribe CD, and he appreciated Mullins, Klein and Hicks as players and as part of a band. “Mark Mullins—the first trombonist I’ve been around who’s making amplification and distortion an integral part of his playing,” Rudd says. “I didn’t feel it was an attempt on his part to JULY 2010
PhotoS: elsa hahne
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be a so-called pop musician. I felt he was doing something organic. This is a beautiful style. Greg (Hicks)—a sound and articulation that I’ve hardly ever heard before. I didn’t realize it was possible to sustain notes like that and play them one into the other with such little separation. He’s really got something going with the breath. Craig Klein plays like the guy next door, only with tremendous intensity and great feeling.” Not surprisingly, their experience recording with Rudd taught them things too. “There’s something about hearing him playing in person,” Mullins says. “Just a beautiful horn sound. It’s not such a loud thing, necessarily; it’s just a big sound. Harry used to always talk about big sounds, and I used to be like, ‘What are you talking about?’” “He was always about different sounds, too,” Greg Hicks says. “I remember on the sessions, he’s like, ‘Let’s all bring in mutes and stuff.’ It opened my ear to you don’t have to just play the normal trombones.” The Trombone Tribe session was one of the few that has involved the full band, which earned effusive praise from Rudd. “In the course of that session, I realized that I was dealing with a very unified band but seven individuals,” he says. “Four trombones (Steve Suter was in the band at the time), a great sousaphonist, a great drummer and a great guitarist. Matt Perrine is a force of nature. They’re ideally suited for one another.” Since then, Nori Naraoka and his electric bass replaced Matt Perrine’s sousaphone after Perrine left in 2008. “What Matt does, you can’t replace that,” Mullins says. “We had to move in another direction,” Klein says. Up to that point, Bonerama existed primarily as a live band. It was—and remains—on the road a lot, finding an audience the old-fashioned way: one city and venue at a time. “Before I got to the band, there’d been a lot of Northeastern dates and an occasional West Coast, San Francisco hump,” drummer Eric Bolivar says over lunch in Juan’s Flying Burrito. “Now, we’re everywhere.” “Last week we flew from San Francisco to Baltimore, all over the place,” guitarist Bert Cotton adds. “Friday night in San Fran, Sunday a festival in Baltimore with Chuck Berry.” “When we went to San Diego, they loved us over there,” Bolivar says. “All it takes is a couple of people. In Brazil there’re guys that come up and hire people. They heard us, loved us, got us on a couple of things down there that were just awesome. In Rio,
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we played with John Scofield. It was really beautiful. We were right on the water—literally.” According to Cotton, “It seemed like for awhile, we were following all the other New Orleans bands. Like Galactic, and Papa Grows Funk, and Ivan, like going to Colorado and California. Still, you’ve got your good nights and your bad nights, but it’s getting better and better. The good nights are more frequent.” So far, the band has recorded live as well, releasing Live at the Old Point, Live in New York and Bringing It Home, recorded live at Tipitina’s. “It was Mark’s decision,” Cotton says. As someone so thoroughly a product of the city’s music scene that he listens to WWOZ when he’s not playing, Cotton’s fine with Mullins’ choice. “I like playing live,” he says. “I’m always worried in the studio. There’s something about the energy when you play live that is really difficult to recreate in the studio. I talked to Mark today and I think he was worried about recapturing that energy in the studio. Losing something, like a lot of bands.” For Naraoka and Bolivar, who moved to New Orleans from New York City, the choice isn’t as clear. “When I look at my favorite all-time albums—not the jazz stuff but the rock stuff and the pop stuff— people are in the studio for a loooong time,” Bolivar says. “None of this three day, two day, a week.” Last fall’s Hard Times EP was the band’s first toe into the world of studio recording. It’s not as kinetic as Bonerama live, but it’s hard to imagine a live recording of “When the Levee Breaks” being any heavier. Craig Klein’s “Lost My House” is more distinctive for his vocals being sung through a Leslie rotating organ speaker, and while Mullins’ title cut may be too clean and bouncy in the verse, the pop nature of the songs comes through more clearly for the studio. “I’m a closet fan of overly-produced music but am still hesitant about pushing this band into that arena,” Mullins says. “Time and natural progression will take care of that. For now, it’s just nice to hear an honest version of the band’s sonic potential coming together on our current studio efforts.” They’ve started work on a studio album and “the band sounds bigger than ever and the trombones are massive.” That comes at least partially as a result of their recent session work. “Whenever we are in the studio with the Bonerama horns whether it’s with OK Go, R.E.M. or Shamarr or anybody, it gives us an opportunity to hear the role of the trombones against a totally new backdrop. I hear trombones on everything, but getting in there certainly opens up your mind to new possibilities on
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He brought us coffee. Of course, he didn’t go get it, but he like brought it into the room. Michael Stipe taking our order.
how the trombone can contribute in current and future Bonerama-land when we are writing and recording.” Even before the first ATC/FMC benefit, Mullins and Klein had experience as horns-forhire. They’d guested with the Radiators and Better Than Ezra live, and the pair brought complementary backgrounds. Mullins came out of pop and rock music, while Klein’s background is so New Orleans-oriented that he hasn’t always known who first recorded some of the classic rock standards in Bonerama’s set. That combination of sensibilities, along with the legendary speed and intelligence with which Mullins writes arrangements made them an ideal house band and studio horn section. But when they were tapped for the first retreat, they were there because Klein could tell the visiting musicians firsthand about what New Orleanians were facing in 2006. Roswell Rudd refers to him as “the humanitarian trombonist,” and his efforts to gut his own and friends’ flood-damaged houses in St. Bernard Parish evolved into the Arabi Wrecking Krewe. The retreats start at the Mother-in-Law Lounge with a party with music organized by Klein, and the activities take musicians out of their comfort zones. When they were closer to Katrina, that meant exposing them to some harsh realities. Going through that has brought visiting and local musicians together. Bonerama has been part of those activities, and they’ve introduced other New Orleans musicians including John Boutte and Paul Sanchez to ATC. According to Air Traffic Control Information Director Deyden Tethong, the emotional nature of the events has shaped the concerts. “It wasn’t planned that way, but it becomes a very cathartic and uplifting and life-changing moment,” Tethong says. “One of the best things we see after the retreats are the relationships that build up between the musicians.” One relationship that emerged was between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth and Steve Berlin, who participated in a retreat in 2008. They returned to New Orleans in 2009 to record Ounsworth’s Mo’ Beauty at Piety Street Recording. For it, Berlin assembled a New Orleans band that included the Bonerama horns. “It’s such a pleasure to work with guys who are so willing to experiment,” he says. Berlin also found their flexibility valuable when he brought them in for
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a track he was producing for the Canadian folkrock band Great Big Sea. “A lot of times they’ll come with something and the artist or producer, i.e. me, wants something different, and they have the wonderful ability to change directions on the fly.” In that case, the band didn’t think Mullins’ horn arrangement was right for their song “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” so he started over. When Berlin recorded the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars’ Rise & Shine at Piety Street, he asked them to play on a few tracks. “They didn’t play on any of the really hardcore African stuff,” he says. “The authentically Sierra Leone music doesn’t have a place for horns.” Still, Mullins and Hicks remember the session as challenging. “It was a different language, musically,” Mullins says. “Forms would be stretched out in different ways depending on the lyrics. It’s not just eight-bar stuff.” “Everything was odd. Nothing seemed to be the same,” Hicks adds. “It was very interesting and very cool,” Mullins says. “No sign posts in that kind of music that we might be used to in a lot of music that we play. It was great to get inside of those songs and see what they do and what they’re all about.” Klein agrees with Tethong. “The good thing is some of the relationships that come out of this stuff,” he says. “Black Nature, the young guy who’s their rapper, he came to the Maple Leaf at our shows during Jazz Fest and sang and played with us the whole time. Then they were in L.A. when I was there a couple weeks ago, and they hired me to play on their gig at the Roxy. These collaborations allow us to go even further along.” One with R.E.M.’s Mike Mills led to Bonerama recording with R.E.M. for its upcoming album, first in a week at the Music Shed around Thanksgiving, then in another week during Jazz Fest. The band decided to record in New Orleans and wanted to incorporate some New Orleans sounds in the album. “[The band was] asking about horns, and I said, ‘I happen to know a few,’” Mills says. “We were a little starstruck during the R.E.M. session,” Greg Hicks says. “Michael Stipe is like, ‘Hi! I’m Michael.’ I’m like, of course you are. [laughs] But after the first five minutes, you realize that they are just regular men. He brought us coffee. Of course, he didn’t go get it, but he like brought it into the room. Michael Stipe taking our order.”
For the first time, Mullins found himself a little intimidated when he sat down to write arrangements. “I broke my first rule, getting too caught up into who we’re writing for,” he says. “It’s hard not to think of that. But I felt much more comfortable with that second round; it wasn’t overthought.” For a couple of songs, Mullins brought in two different arrangements. “We would try both, and then sometimes we’d say, ‘Give us something like this,’ and they’d put something down in that direction,” Mills says. “So we’d have something improvised and something more charted out.” R.E.M. won’t mix the album until August, so Mills isn’t sure which takes or even if any tracks with Bonerama will be on the finished album, but he’s optimistic. “Right now there are a couple things that we think sound pretty good in terms of what we want as an end result,” he says. The time in the studio—for the horns as well as the whole band—has Bonerama thinking more seriously about its own recording future. “The EP was cool, but we didn’t get to manipulate the sound as much,” Bert Cotton says, and Eric Bolivar agrees. “I think they’ve seen the possibilities are limitless in the studio.” As a live band, Bonerama’s classic rock covers have caused the band to be thought of as a rock band, even though the lion’s share of its own compositions are funky first, rock second. “The cover thing will always be there,” Mullins says. “These are great songs that we love playing, and people trip out when they hear them through the trombone. But if you look at set lists over the years, you’ll see the ratio has definitely changed and the recordings are headed that way too, especially with the one that we’re in the middle of doing now— our first studio effort to follow up the EP. But we need to keep writing better songs. I love writing songs. Craig loves writing songs. We’ve come a long way in that regard, but we still have so much further that we could be going.” In the last few years, Bonerama’s reputation has grown separately and apart, which Roswell Rudd considers the source of the band’s strength. “Duke Ellington proved that you can have great unity and great individuality—a democratic ideal, if you will,” he says. “I think that’s happening with Bonerama.” O www.OFFBEAT.com
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In the Kitchen with Charmaine ou know, we have a law in Louisiana. If you live here and you can’t cook, we make you move. That’s just written law. The way I learned how to cook was from everybody. I learned things from the Jewish lady around the corner, the Irish lady down the street, the Italian lady in the next block, the Vietnamese lady, the Brazilian lady, the German lady. You learn from everybody. You know what’s going to be on the menu every day of the week, but you also knew that even though your mama is cooking red beans and rice and the Italian lady across the street is cooking red beans and rice, hers is going to taste different, so you go by her house. Everybody makes spaghetti sauce, but it’s going to taste different. This person might do just tomatoes, ground meat and seasonings; that person might do chicken and eggs! Everybody had a day of the week to cook for the family and I was eight when I did my first meal. I lived with my great aunt, it was during the summertime and we were somewhere in Mississippi, not far from Jackson. It was all kids, because you know your parents leave you in the summertime with somebody in the country. My sisters, my cousins, the neighbors! That day I had to catch a chicken, wring his neck, pluck him, cut him up, batter him, fry him, make macaroni and cheese; I cooked greens, I made cornbread. As a matter of fact, it was strawberry cornbread. What else did we have? Well, gravy and mashed potatoes and she might have showed me how to fry okra that day too, so that was the meal that day. Strawberry cornbread. I’ve been making it my whole life, and you make it easily. You make your regular cornbread and you take your strawberries and wash them and slice them and fold them into the batter so the bread does not get pink. You want the regular color cornbread but you want the
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neighborhood people. The only thing I won’t have is anything with coconut. I’m allergic, and I can’t touch it. My kids grew up with, if you don’t eat all your dessert you go to bed without dinner. I love desserts and I’m the quintessential chocoholic. I always wanted to do an ad for some candy store where I’d make a dress out of chocolate, with a bite out of it! I’ve dreamt of that for a long time. Some candy company, call me!”
Charmaine’s Chocolate Strawberry Short Cake “I love strawberry short cake, so why not make a chocolate strawberry short cake?”
strawberry slices to be throughout it. You don’t want pink bread. I love to feed people. After Katrina, on Fridays, I had the fish fries in my backyard. Nobody had kitchens, and the first thing I did was I got my kitchen together. When people had money, I asked for a donation, and that helped someone get floors for their house or get an electrician to come or get a moving van, buy rugs, whatever. I had people come help me too. One lady made this great, great tea and she would come all the way from across the lake and bring tea every Friday. Another friend of mine from down in Chalmette would bring salads. Cooking and feeding the community helped me a whole lot. It made me feel normal. My idea of opening a restaurant started 18-19 years ago. I have always wanted to have a spot where all I did was make people feel good. I’ve got a spot on St. Charles Avenue, on top of the St. Charles Tavern. I’m only going to do full kitchen cooking for special occasions. Otherwise it’s going to be jazz, desserts and coffee. Booze,
By Elsa Hahne
of course, I’ve got a bar—you have to have a bar. I’m going to be open as much as I can and just try and make the best of it. I’m definitely going to be open for Essence Festival. Every night during the week, I’m going to have music. I’m the waitress, the cashier, the bouncer, the dishwasher and the cook. I’m everything, and I can do it. Just getting it rolling is the thing. I’m making deep dish apple pie with three crusts, triple chocolate bread pudding, and of course regular New Orleans bread pudding—my daddy told me, ‘Look, you’ve got to have real bread pudding! I don’t want this chocolate stuff!’—butter pecan pound cake, your mama’s jelly cake, banana pudding, strawberry cornbread, sweet potato pecan pie, lemon squares, lemon-lime velvet cake, rum cakes, seven up cakes, better-than-sex cakes—normal and ordinary New Orleans desserts. Desserts galore. Mrs. Katz, this lady who used to live around the corner from me made an apple butter cake, so of course, I got her recipe. All of my recipes come from different
4 oz chocolate, chopped 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 1 cup boiling water 2 ¼ cup flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2 sticks unsalted butter 2 cups sugar 3 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup milk 2 cups strawberries, sliced 1 pint heavy whipping cream 1 shot glass Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Grease two baking pans, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour boiling water over chopped chocolate and cocoa. Stir until melted. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth; add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. When chocolate mixture is cool, mix everything together, adding milk. Pour batter into baking pans and bake for about 40 minutes. Cool. Whip cream, adding liqueur towards the end. Mix strawberries with about a third of the cream and place between layers. Cover cake with remaining cream. Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk. O www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: ELSA HAHNE
Singer Charmaine Neville measures by the teaspoon, cup—and shot glass.
AMERICAN Hard Rock Café: 418 N. Peters St., 529-5617. O’Henry’s Food & Spirits: 634 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-9741; 8859 Veterans Blvd., 461-9840; 710 Terry Pkwy., 433-4111. Port of Call: 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120. BARBECUE The Joint: 801 Poland Ave., 949-3232. Squeal Bar-B-Q: 8400 Oak St., 302-7370. Walker’s BBQ: 10828 Hayne Blvd., 2418227. BREAKFAST Daisy Dukes: 121 Chartres St., 561-5171. Lil’ Dizzy’s Café: 1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997. New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery: 2440 Chartres St., 943-0010. COFFEE HOUSE Beaucoup Juice: 4719 Freret St., 430-5508. Café du Monde: 800 Decatur St., 525-4544. Café Rose Nicaud: 634 Frenchmen St., 949-2292. CREOLE/CAJUN Atchafalaya Restaurant: 901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626. Clancy’s: 6100 Annunciation, 895-1111. Cochon: 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123. Dick & Jenny’s: 4501 Tchoupitoulas, 894-9880. Galatoire’s: 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021. Gumbo Shop: 630 St. Peter St., 525-1486. K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen: 416 Chartres St., 524-7394. Mulate’s: 201 Julia St., 522-1492. Olivier’s Creole Restaurant: 204 Decatur St., 525-7734. DELI Mardi Gras Zone: 2706 Royal St., 947-8787. Stein’s Market and Deli: 2207 Magazine St., 527-0771. Verti Marte: 1201 Royal St., 525-4767. FINE DINING Antoine’s: 701 St. Louis St., 581-4422. Café Adelaide: 300 Poydras St., 595-3305. Commander’s Palace: 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221. Emeril’s: 800 Tchoupitoulas, 528-9393. Iris Restaurant: 321 N Peters St., 299-3944. Lüke: 333 St. Charles Ave., 378-2840. Maison Dupuy Hotel: 1001 Toulouse St., 586-8000. Mat and Naddie’s: 937 Leonidas St., 861-9600. Mr. B’s Bistro: 201 Royal St. 523-2078.
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Restaurant Cuvée: 322 Magazine St., 587-9001. 7 on Fulton: 701 Convention Center Blvd., 525-7555. Stella!: 1032 Chartres St., 587-0091. Tujague’s: 823 Decatur St., 525-8676. FRENCH Café Degas: 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635. Delachaise: 3442 St. Charles Ave., 895-0858. Flaming Torch Restaurant: 737 Octavia St., 895-0900. La Crepe Nanou: 1410 Robert St., 899-2670. Crepes à la Cart: 1039 Broadway St., 866-2362. Restaurant August: 301 Tchoupitoulas St., 299-9777 GERMAN Jäger Haus: 833 Conti St., 525-9200. ICE CREAM/GELATO Creole Creamery: 4924 Prytania St., 8948680. La Divina Gelateria: 3005 Magazine St., 342-2634; 621 St. Peter St., 302-2692. Sucré: 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311. INDIAN Nirvana: 4308 Magazine St., 894-9797. ITALIAN Domenica: 123 Baronne St., 648-1200. Eleven 79: 1179 Annunciation St., 299-1179. Irene’s Cuisine: 539 St. Philip St., 529-8811. Maximo’s: 1117 Decatur St., 586-8883. Tommy’s: 746 Tchoupitoulas St., 581-1103. JAPANESE/KOREAN/SUSHI Kyoto: 4920 Prytania St., 891-3644. Mikimoto: 3301 S. Carrollton Ave., 488-1881. Miyako Japanese Seafood & Steak House: 1403 St. Charles Ave., 410-9997. Wasabi: 900 Frenchmen St., 943-9433. MEDITERRANEAN Byblos: 3218 Magazine St., 894-1233. Jamila’s Café: 7808 Maple St., 866-4366. Mona’s Café: 504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115. MEXICAN/CARIBBEAN/SPANISH Juan’s Flying Burrito: 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000. El Gato Negro: 81 French Market Place, 525-9846. Nacho Mama’s: 3240 Magazine St., 899-0031. RioMar: 800 S. Peters St., 525-3474. Tomatillo’s: 437 Esplanade Ave., 945-9997. Vaso: 500 Frenchman St., 272-0929. MUSIC ON THE MENU Carrollton Station Bar and Grill: 140 Willow St., 865-9190. Chickie Wah Wah: 2828 Canal St., 304-4714. House of Blues: 225 Decatur St., 412-8068.
NEIGHBORHOOD JOINTS Amy’s Vietnamese Café: French Market Flea Market, 352-9345. Café Reconcile: 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157. Camellia Grill: 626 S. Carrollton Ave., 309-2676. Crabby Jacks: 428 Jefferson Hwy., 833-2722. Parkway Bakery and Tavern: 538 Hagan Ave., 482-3047. Sammy’s Food Services: 3000 Elysian Fields Ave., 948-7361. Slim Goodies: 3322 Magazine St., 891-3447. Ye Olde College Inn: 3000 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-3683. PIZZA Fresco Café & Pizzeria: 7625 Maple St., 862-6363. French Quarter Pizzeria: 201 Decatur St., 948-3287.
SEAFOOD Acme Oyster & Seafood House: 724 Iberville, 522-5973. Casamento’s Restaurant: 4330 Magazine St. 895-9761. Crazy Lobster Bar & Grill: 1 Poydras St. 569-3380. Drago’s Restaurant: 2 Poydras St. (Hilton Hotel), 584-3911; 3232 N. Arnoult St., Metairie, 888-9254. Felix’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar: 739 Iberville St. 522-4440. SOUL Dunbar’s: 501 Pine St., 861-5451. Praline Connection: 542 Frenchmen St., 943-3934. Willie Mae’s Scotch House: 2401 St. Ann St., 822-9503. THAI Sukho Thai: 1913 Royal St., 948-9309. WEE HOURS Clover Grill: 900 Bourbon St., 523-0904. Mimi’s in the Marigny: 2601 Royal St., 872-9868. St. Charles Tavern: 1433 St. Charles Ave., 523-9823.
Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. hits the Why Royal China? Well, they’ve got a killer shrimp fried rice, so I’m here maybe once a month, twice a month. You know, I love comin’ here. A lot of local athletes, celebrities—they all love comin’ here. It’s like a little mom and pop Chinese restaurant. It’s a place to come in and relax.
Photo: ELAINE MILLER
AFRICAN Bennachin: 1212 Royal St., 522-1230.
Slice Pizzeria: 1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437. Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza: 4218 Magazine St., 894-8554. Turtle Bay: 1119 Decatur St., 586-0563.
What do you usually order? I like the wonton soup and they have a killer, killer, I mean the best, best eggplant. It’s the best I’ve ever had.
Royal China 600 Veterans Blvd. (504) 831-9633
Le Bon Temps Roule: 4801 Magazine St., 895-8117. Maison: 508 Frenchmen St., 289-5648. Mid City Lanes Rock ‘N’ Bowl: 4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133. Palm Court Jazz Café: 1204 Decatur St., 525-0200. Rivershack Tavern: 3449 River Rd., 834-4938. Southport Hall: 200 Monticello Ave., 835-2903. Snug Harbor: 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696.
So you say you make it in here about once a month? Yeah, once a month, sometimes twice a month, you know, when I can. This is actually the first time in a while I’ve come during lunch, I usually come in during the dinnertime and I always see a lot of people, a lot of fans. They’re all like, “Oh, wow! Rockin’ Dopsie!” and it’s cool. —Elaine Miller www.OFFBEAT.com
DINING OUT Capdeville New Orleans is littered with restaurants and bars stashed in unassuming locations along less-traveled paths. Capdeville, the newest addition to that clique, is tucked away on the eponymous CBD street across from the loading dock of the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Building. Labeled as “an American interpretation of a British social house,” Capdeville is nightclub impresario Robert LeBlanc’s first foray into the restaurant business. People with an eye towards decorating tell us the décor is hip, with a boldpatterned wallpaper, rock mementos on the walls and a well-stocked bar, an adjective which could be used to describe the jukebox as well. During daytime hours, the tables fill with suits and skirts grabbing a bite for lunch. The menu lists a variety of options but mainly stays within the familiar confines of bar food with a few noticeable upticks. The Philly cheese steak salad is a great example. Tender medallions of rosy-red hanger steak nest on a bed of lettuce with torn bread croutons and blue cheese
dressing to put a healthier spin on a delicious sandwich. One of the standout starters is the fried red beans and rice. If that sounds strange, rest assured that these little croquettes of rice stuffed with creamy red beans and pickled pork are delicious and addictive. Burgers play a major role on the menu and are dressed to the nines with designer toppings such as a rich au poivre sauce, chipotle ketchup and green tomato jam. Handcut fries are best enjoyed simply straight from the fryer, but covered with manchego and chorizo or parmesan and truffle oil are not terrible choices either. As the sun goes down and the jukebox oscillates between Billy Idol and Bob Marley, the afterwork crowd downs pints and snacks on fare from a kitchen that stays open until
Photo: ELAINE MILLER
1 a.m. on the weekends. The bar pumps out a few local craft beers on draft and mixes a dozen specialty cocktails known as “Whiskey Tributes.” And if you’re feeling rather British and fancy an order of fish and chips, Capdeville even has that too. 520 Capdeville St., (504) 371-5161. M-Th 11:30 a.m. until, kitchen until 11 p.m.; F 11:30 a.m. until, kitchen until 1 a.m.; S 6 p.m. until, kitchen until 1 a.m. —Rene Louapre and Peter Thriffiley
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Fever Dreams is important, if only to him, but that’s something. That thread of compassion is one of the things that make Starve a Fever the most coherent Happy Talk Band album; another is the band. In the last year, the lineup has solidified with the Morning 40 Federation rhythm section, Casey McAllister on keyboards and Alex McMurray on lead guitar. They define the sound of the album, and when the volume drops for Happy Talk Band “Mugger’s Waltz” and “Dr. Ike’s Starve a Fever Lament,” it’s still their sound— (Piety Street Files & Archaic Media) roots rock that comes from city living, modern country music Patti Smith wrote, “Those from New Orleans’ bohemia. It’s who have suffered, understand not retro, but it gives the songs suffering and thereby extend context and hints at how to think their hand.” If the degree to about them. The punk raggedness which Starve a Fever offers a locates the album in the rock ’n’ hand to people in hard times is roll tradition, and the country any indication, Happy Talk Band’s Luke Allen has suffered plenty. The frames it as working class music with a high threshold for excess. people in his songs are struggling Mark Bingham’s production in big and small ways; one’s on highlights the art in Allen’s songs, death row, one can’t sleep, and which often means imposing a as “Mugger’s Waltz” reminds us, “Muggers need money too / there little restraint on them. As a result, are bills to be paid and the babies Starve a Fever doesn’t rampage like the band does live, but it need shoes.” showcases the gentle warmth That doesn’t mean the album’s underneath the big rock bluster, soft or sweet. Nobody’s life gets and as powerful as big guitars and better over the course of a song, and Ramona’s doing about as well rock rage are, Luke Allen’s bruised heart’s what makes Happy Talk as anybody in “Ramona’s Wild Ride” as she gets loaded and rides Band special. —Alex Rawls her bike around the Bywater. But throughout, Allen shows that somebody cares, even if sympathy Cyril Neville and well wishes are the best that The Essential Cyril Neville 1994-2007 he can manage. (MC) When it’s not in his words, sad compassion is in his voice. He An album of Cyril Neville’s strikes notes of resignation—all tracks from 1994-2007 labeled this caring won’t mean a thing— “essential” might raise eyebrows. and private melancholy is his After all, how large is the Cyril dominant mode, but he sings Neville canon? But we shouldn’t with strength and conviction. That be surprised that the percussionist suggests that each of these lives from the 13th Ward’s first family
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Haiti-New Orleans connection, now reinforced by subsequent disasters. Another ghost of sorts passes through “Projects,” a 2003 homage to da bricks. A thick Uptown accent raps names that no longer correspond to places. As bittersweet time capsules, both tracks redefine “essential.” —Brian Boyles
Feufollet offers up another kind of “essential”—a course in the city’s musical memory. A veteran of funk’s heaviest scenes, Cyril put in work during that 13year span, releasing six albums containing few proper “hit songs” but a good number that serve as textured lessons in New Orleans music. His teaching partners are impressive. Taj Mahal co-writes and plays harmonica on “Blues is Here to Stay.” Marva Wright, James Andrews, the Soul Rebels, Tim Green, and several Nevilles contribute to the well-produced ensemble sound. As expected, the drums are fresh, particularly on a unique “Foxy Lady.” As it has for 40-plus years in this city, the bond between Allen Toussaint and the Nevilles provides a central force for the record. The latter-day standard “New Orleans Cooking” precedes the album’s highlight, a live recording of “Fortune Teller” closed with one word from our greatest songwriter: “Unbelievable.” Though the gospeltinged “The Times They Are A-Changing” cover falls flat, the album provides unintended but powerful affirmations of that statement. Recorded in 1994, “Ayiti” celebrates the
En Couleurs (Feufollet) Early on, the Cajun wunderkind Feufollet proved capable purveyors of the trad dancehall variety. By their third album, Tout Un Beau Soir, a self-awareness established the framework that they have built upon ever since. Granted, they can still slam it in a traditional dancehall sense, but the disc’s beauty lies within its cavernous creativity, boundless ingenuity and risk-taking experiments. A Dennis McGee standard (“Cowboy Waltz”) starts as if it originated in Appalachia. Toy pianos, glockenspiels, banjos and trumpets push aside the proverbial accordion-fiddle tandem on a tune from the Lomax Archives that’s playfully sung by Chris Stafford and Anna Laura Edmiston. Original material plays a major role here with nine originals, including “Les Berceuse Du Vieux Voyageur,” a beautiful ballad that’s sung by Edmiston. Stafford’s “Toujours En Mouvement” replaces the accordion and fiddle with pounding pianos and whirling organs as if Elvis Costello was once a poppy Cajun. Between tracks are brief interludes that deconstruct other tunes. Obviously, not all of this www.OFFBEAT.com
is Cajun dancehall music, but several songs, like the melodic “Les Jours Sont Longs,” could easily wend their way into the Francophone pop world. But be forewarned: unless you have satellite antennae ears, don’t expect to absorb all of this within a few superficial listens. —Dan Willging
Rough Seven Give Up Your Dreams (Upper Ninth) In a live setting, former Morning 40 Federation member Ryan Scully’s new band Rough Seven is a ball-peen hammer, raging blows from ragged craftsmen shaking the studs in your walls, but on their debut album Give Up Your Dreams, we get to feel what’s behind the swing of their blunt instrument. Scully and crew (guitar extremist and avant-garde catalyst Rob Cambre, merry prankster keyboardist Ratty Scurvics, fellow Morning 40 refugee Michael Andrepont on drums, C.J. Floyd on bass and Meschiya Lake and Erika Lewis on backup vocals) play in the space located somewhere between Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds at their most Americana and the Rolling Stones circa Beggars Banquet. The background singers move up front to give the numbers a gospel sheen, but the songs lope like ragged horses. On the opening title number, Scully rasps over the Band-like boogie, “A sledgehammer can break a heart.” With its hoedown patina and bar band swing, “Sugardaddy” sounds like the throwdown Wilco was too uptight to put on A.M. Majestic ballads “Meltdown” and “St. Anthony’s Fire” achieve a www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS post-Jon Spencer kitsch without the mellower moments balancing them out. The real beauty in Give Up Your Dreams lays in the cathartic panoramas, the valleys and peaks, the redline and the flatline that one can only explore with impunity in rock ’n’ roll. —Alex V. Cook
Russell Batiste and Friends windswept prairie spaciousness, full of long sunsets and resigned “hallelujahs” at the end. The real crowd-pleasers here, though, are the soul-encrusted, jagged stomps. Scurvics practically disembowels his piano in “Love is the Main Thing” as a part of a greater mating ritual. “Helicopchop” is cheeky Katrinafunk, drinking away the hours waiting for rescue. “Golden Parachute” is the R&B love child of a wrecking ball and all your roommate’s drugs. Great fun, but the album might veer toward
Follow Your Dreams (Ruff Pup) The influence of the jam band phenomenon on the local music scene deserves more reflection. As a commercial enterprise, the genre has an obvious impact on the bookings and audiences that visit the city. Yet, creatively, how does the popularity of continuous, guitar-driven improvisation affect music in the home of improvisation? The latest release from Russell Batiste offers some clues.
A Decade Later Bamboula 2000 We Got it Goin’ On (Bamboula Two Thousand) While flirting with the world music sin of over-amalgamation, the latest offering from Bamboula 2000 follows the compass-like congas of Luther Gray, tracing a cohesive journey in fusion that shows once again why the group matters. The band isn’t a natural fit for recording, mostly because you can’t experience the dance and teachings involved in a live show (they deserve one of those bonus DVD packages). Still, the album works because the central concepts remain urgent and resilient. The first few songs show the heavy influence of neosoul and 1980s R&B, with the seductive vocals of Cheryl Woods upending your expectations and driving home the fundamental point of Bamboula 2000: the living connection between Congo
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Square and distant relatives like Sade or Mary J. Blige. Towards the middle of the album, the synthesizers and guitars give way to the drums of “I Ye’ Bamboula,” “Lucky 7” and “St. Malo.” In lesser hands, the traditional percussion might sound abrupt, but instead it feels unearthed, the momentum and influence laid bare. A few songs (“Big Round World,” “Imagination Tour”) sound like Travel Channel interstitials, world-for-the-sakeof-world. Any doubts they might raise get overshadowed by the ambitious directions taken by Bamboula 2000 in their own search for origins and fusion. —Brian Boyles www.OFFBEAT.com
Batiste is a giant, the most recent chapter in the epic tale of New Orleans drummers. Listening to him live, you get both the weight of lineage and the unique views of a man who loves John Bonham. Juggernaut and showman, he can blow your mind all over again on the 110th listen. Yet records are for selling, and while this one hints at the entertainment potential of the group, the jamminess fogs over Batiste’s greatness. Six of the 11 tracks are instrumental, adult funk showcases for guitarist Sazo Shibayama and the substantial chops of the entire outfit. Stylistically, Shibayama chooses Dickey Betts over Duane Allman, which works well with Batiste’s inventive fills but rarely grabs your heart. Overall, the album feels like an appeal to jam band festival organizers worldwide. “Country Gravy” could be a half-page ad in Relix. There are some anomalies. “Get on Down,” the Indian-influenced first track, does exactly that. An Auto-Tuned Jason Neville on “Trying to Make It Home” is a little odd, but oddly logical. On a fairly uniform album, both tracks remind us that we expect the unexpected from Russell Batiste. —Brian Boyles
The Holmes Brothers Feed My Soul (Alligator) The centerpiece on Feed My Soul is the reflective “Something is Missing,” a recurring theme throughout the album. The Brothers sing about missing children on “Dark Clouds,” missing money on “Edge of the
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Ledge,” missing action on the sly “You’re the Kind of Trouble,” missing friends on “Fair Weather Friends” and missing your woman on “Rounding Third.” The title track is a wonderful, emotional ballad that addresses love when it fires on all cylinders. There’s a couple of diverse covers here—“I’ll Be Back” by the Beatles and Johnny Ace’s timeless “Pledging My Love,” both of which work. The Holmes Brothers are one of those bands we’d like to see perform in these parts one day soon. Led by Wendell Holmes on guitar and vocals, the brothers play a folksy brand of R&B that favors mandolins over horns. Excellent stuff here from beginning to end. Well worth tracking down. —Jeff Hannusch
Holley Bendtsen and Amasa Miller Our Songs (Threadhead) Holley Bendtsen and Amasa Miller’s Our Songs is an albumlength story about the duo’s shared history in New Orleans music. It’s quite a history. They’re best known for their work with the Pfister Sisters and the Charmaine Neville Band, but during their careers they’ve recorded and performed with a wide variety of local and national acts. This recording, though, puts their own work front and center in a way that’s new to their catalog. It’s a collection of, well, their songs: original compositions, many of which grew in the New Orleans Songwriters’ Workshop, which they founded. www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS Our Songs follows the arc of a professionals’ workshop, or of an all-night, all-star, jam session. Plenty of Bendtsen and Miller’s friends and colleagues stop by for a tune or two, and the album draws on a wide stylistic spectrum, from cabaret to tradjazz to country-western to what it calls “Second Line Tango.” It opens with “Providence Provides,” a tribute to James Booker in the poetic story-song style of Small
Change-era Tom Waits. “Creole Belle” turns loose a traditional marching band—Gerald French, Charlie Miller, Rick Trolsen, Tom Fischer, and Jon Gross—on a song about the Crescent City that we’d all better get ready to get used to; it sounds like Randy Newman forgot to put it on The Frog Princess soundtrack. And “Dr. John” is what it sounds like: a paean to the man himself, in his style.
What it loses in continuity to such an embrace of multiplicity, Our Songs gains back—in spades—in the pleasure Bendtsen and Miller take in being New Orleans musicians who play New Orleans music. Our Songs is so ingrained in the city’s tradition and history, and vice versa, that the material feels as familiar as it is fresh. —Jacob Leland
Caddywhompus Remainder (Community) New Orleans-via-Houston tandem Caddywhompus sticks to a simple objective: assault the eardrums. This much was made clear on the collegiate noiserock duo’s 2009 debut, EPs, an incendiary and underrated effort which positioned the group amongst the South’s top indie acts. A year later, now aligned with New Orleans’ Community Records, the twosome return with Remainder, an equally unhinged, increasingly focused aural onslaught. On the surface, not much has changed with Caddywhompus. Once again, the pair plays like a couple of muppets run amok. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Rehm churns out a slew of gonzo riffs as his buddy, Sean Hart, beats the bejesus out of the drums. It’s on the production side where Remainder trumps its predecessor. The abrasive transitions and earpiercing shrieks found on EPs have been replaced with well-timed blitzes and escalating cascades, yielding a more perceptible balance between tension and release, or, in this case, chaos and melody. Somewhere beneath the jerky rhythms and distorted guitar of the opener, “Let the Water Hit the Floor,” an air of detachment begins to mount, and it becomes apparent that Remainder will be a denser, more insular junket than one might expect. Turns out, it’s a full-fledged existential crisis. And while there’s nothing as carefree or irreverent as EPs’ “Absinthesizer,” Remainder’s
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Homeward Bound Mary McBride The Way Home (Bogan) As long as human beings try to express their emotions in language, magic still exists in the world. Mary McBride conjures that magic in the deep, deep emotional waters of her songwriting. She has hit on striking images and cavernous depths in the past, but The Way Home is her masterpiece. McBride comes from a place where the songwriter’s soul is torn open, revealing the spirit behind the heart. It’s the same place Townes Van Zandt inhabited, the soul space that nourished Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell. Not that her writing specifically resembles the form of theirs, it’s just that McBride’s songs come from a place where words mean far more than marks on a page. There are precious few song cycles about the minefield of love as moving as The Way Home. It’s hard not to be riven by McBride’s work, but this time she’s pulled the pillars of love’s temple down around her. And emerged smiling. I been thinking about you I been thinking about too much too soon I been thinking about knowing when It might be time to let you in The tenderness of her voice as she sings these words reveals how carefully McBride’s songs creep across the knife’s edge of emotion. She knows enough to trust her heart, but she also knows that when it comes to love, we really know nothing about the future. What McBride does know is that she’s open to the exhilaration of falling in love. She describes the ineffable joy of love’s discovery in the exultant “That Thing You do to Me,” a song about the little details of a lover’s exchange, that www.OFFBEAT.com
thing “that brings me right down to my knees.” And once she’s there, she’s a constant lover who wouldn’t change her beloved. But that doesn’t mean McBride will tolerate abuse. She writes as expressively about the thorns as she does about the roses. “This tricky tricky world will knock you on your side,” she sings in “Tricky Trick World.” And in “You Got Me Wrong,” she throws down the gauntlet: “I took it took it took it again and again/and I won’t take it never ever again.” The Way Home is alternately tough and tender, capable of taking a hard line in one song and surrendering in the next. Most of all, McBride understands that love is an experience that is beyond simple comprehension, something you can only take at face value and savor like the juice of an exotic fruit that can be delicious but can also turn at a moment’s notice. She exhibits profound emotional strength in these songs, a tenderness and grace that can evoke a smile and a tear simultaneously. McBride ends the album with a lullaby to a distant lover, a nocturnal hymn filled at once with longing and comfort. No matter where it becomes lost on the road of life, the heart always finds the way home: Tonight you’re far away Tonight I wonder why Pretend I’m there And say goodnight —John Swenson JULY 2010
REVIEWS standout, “Guilt,” is sure to jilt even the most highbrow of hipsters. Somewhere through this frenzied barrage of discordant fuzz, Rehm’s oft-buried angst creeps up. “What my future holds / It’s what frightens me,” he squeals against the reckless rattle of “Congo Half-Masks.” How we deal with what comes next is the thread the holds the album together; Caddywhompus’ solution is clearest on the album’s most lucid track “Same Difference,” an eerie, drifting requiem: “What’s my secret that I’ve kept from myself / It’s out of my mind.” —Aaron LaFont
Seva Venet Seva Venet Presents the Storyville Stringband of New Orleans (Independent) The Storyville String Band of New Orleans recorded its new release live at the Pavilion of Two Sisters in City Park in September 2009. It was a very well-received performance, as the CD documents. There’s applause between tracks, and sometimes after solos that’s more raucous than we might expect from the Friday evening crowd at a traditional string band performance. The band earns that applause repeatedly. It explores material from the Louis Armstrong standby “Struttin’ with Some Barbeque” to the gospel classic “Old Rugged Cross,” to steel guitar player and bandleader Seva Venet’s original composition “City Park Strut” (which, the recording captures someone saying on the bandstand, “just needs vocals”). John Parker (rhythm guitar), Matt Rhody (mandolin), and Kerry Washington (bass) keep the music chugging along, and the melody instruments swing throughout. The different melodies intertwine and interact with each other as the songs progress. Rhody, pulling double duty as usual, deserves mention for his violin work. He develops ideas distinctly his own while staying remarkably faithful to the aesthetic and the sound of the tradition within which he’s working.
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Venet includes liner notes that describe each song, and a rather extensive essay on Manuel “Fess” Manetta and string band jazz on Basin Street in the first two decades of the 20th Century. For all the band’s historical acumen in both theory and practice, though, the arrangements on Seva Venet Presents… aren’t quite what we would expect from a string band recording. Because they were performed live, the tracks all clock in over three minutes, and some get up towards six. That stretching affords the soloists room to breathe and makes room that didn’t always exist for individual creativity in what can be a tradition-bound genre. —Jacob Leland
Nick Moss Privileged (Blue Bella) You got to give Nick Moss credit. He sure gets a lot of mileage out of two or three chords. Moss is a workman-like guitarist who plays like a buzzsaw, leaving nary an empty space here. Check out the traditional blues “Louise” where Moss plays like his pants are on fire—Robert Pete Williams never sounded like this. Like Bo Diddley, Moss is fond of picking out a groove and staying right there. He does this effectively on the title track and the storming “Bolognious Funk.” It’s easy to tell this guy listened to a lot of early Eric Clapton, and inevitably this one includes a cover of Cream’s “Politician.” “For What It’s Worth” is an awkward inclusion, but recycling Sonny Boy’s “She’s So Fine (Born Blind)” is on the money. Moss www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS the tribute-turned-memorial for his teacher, the late Alvin Batiste. Oh, What a Feeling, Pappas’ first album, is a collection of his own compositions for piano trio (with bass and drums), all firmly entrenched in the style and vocabulary of modern jazz. The album is rhythmically complex and harmonically spare. There’s a lot going on, but most of it is implicit. Pappas relies primarily on his right Conun Pappas, Jr. hand, and leaves most of the chord Oh, What a Feeling progression to fellow NOCCA grad (Independent) Max Moran on the bass. (Drummers Joe Dyson, Jr. and Jamal Batiste New Orleans has been a jazz round out the ensemble, and all piano town since, as he claimed himself, Jelly Roll Morton invented three give coolly and impressively professional performances.) the jazz piano. Conun Pappas, The combo swings, to be sure, Jr. is a native son and a piano but such a style of composition prodigy, but in his journey from the jazz program at NOCCA to the really puts the album’s weight on Manhattan School of Music, where Pappas’ piano. As a technician, he is now, he has located his music he’s fluid and playful. Though his musical ideas do tend towards in a markedly different tradition. the virtuosic run of notes, they’re Pappas first received widespread clearly developed and mindful of recognition—just a few months before he graduated high school—for the compositions’ shape and scale. It’s the work of a performer who his Jazz Fest 2007 performance at does have some worthy originals; the opener “Born Leader” and “Your Love’s a Lie” are among them. Throughout, Moss writes, sings and plays with a chip on his shoulder, and I’d recommend Privileged even if the bass player’s name wasn’t “Stumpy.” —Jeff Hannusch
understands the musical language he’s chosen, and who’s on his way to developing a distinct voice that will speak in whatever tradition he chooses. —Jacob Leland
Lafayette blues rocker Michael Juan Nunez doesn’t waste any time in getting to the meat of the matter on American Electric, his third carefully crafted release in a decade. On the blitzkrieg opening track alone (“Punks Like You”), his protagonist averts a bloodbath by standing up to a drunken bully. It’s intense and sets the tone for an album that includes “Doney,” a Delta blues-styled song that includes a grisly double murder. “Dirty Politics” finds Matt Perrine’s funky tuba flooding the bottom end as Nunez personifies corruption as a universal networking fiend.
Regardless of the subject, he rarely lets up on the throttle, shifting through bombastic shakers, bluesy romps and sweet, greasy soul. Nunez does so without succumbing to convention. Whereas most would enlist a guest accordionist on a zydeco-theme song, “Coming Home” is an eerie, mystical illustration with gospel-ish, séance overtones and not a squeezebox in sight. A faint background voice seemingly from the hinterland utters, “They bounced this way; they bounced that way” as if it were a dream. Nunez is a tasteful slide guitarist with bountiful fireball licks, but American Electric is not a guitar hero album. His playing and creative producing skills are part of a turbocharged package that dovetails neatly within the confines of his songs—besides being one that rocks you silly. —Dan Willging
tucked toward the album’s end for the patient, adventurous listener. The lyrics on Hello Beams seem more personal and less sarcastic. The 3/4 time and lilting countryish melodies of “Strawman” feel almost as serious as a song by fellow Bywater group Happy Talk Band, while on “The Date,” Cuccia recalls a girl who told him that “Poetry is masturbatory,” to which he replied that it is also how many men find glory in this world. Somewhere in there, he mentions putting a bullet in his brain, followed by some less sincere carnival-style bop-ba-bop-babop-bop. The album ends with a suite of songs, each distinctly different from the next: the rocker, “Johnny Guitar”; the gentle dub reggae lilt of “Downstream” (which has great horn solos, some beautiful echoes, and certainly doesn’t embarrass the boys, but doesn’t necessarily disprove the rule that white dudes should avoid reggae); “The Docks,” a very strong, hornbased instrumental; and “Troubled
by the Times,” a trippy ’80s disco jam that could soundtrack a montage during the original Miami Vice. The album closer, “Waltz Mart,” rams an oompaloompa beat up against a light jazz swing break featuring quirky guitar by the album’s producer, Mark Bingham of Piety Street Recording. While the band’s originality may keep it from ever playing Jazz Fest, the Other Planets’ Hello Beams is mandatory for anyone who considers themselves a fan of monster New Orleans musicians who strive to also write practiced, original songs that stick to your ribs. —Michael Patrick Welch
Michael Juan Nunez American Electric (Parishline)
The Human Beams The Other Planets Hello Beams (Attention Spaniel) Jazz-rock band the Other Planets are among New Orleans’ most capable, heavy musicians. You’re never sure what to expect from the band’s ambitious, multiinstrumental live shows, given the Planets’ penchant—almost fetish—for quick evolution. Even better are the band’s four albums that, starting with Discreet Manipulations, cut away the jamming to concentrate on a group of songs that mean something to each other. But where the songs on the band’s other records casually take giant leaps from marimba jazz to Ween-esque esoteric rock, to squishy electronica (among other genres), Hello Beams concentrates mostly on a psychedelic pop sound, featuring beautiful hornsection arrangements, and threepart vocal harmonies performed by Planet leader/keyboardist/
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percussionist Anthony Cuccia, Dr. Jimbo Walsh and Kelly Carlisle. Where other modern bands would have surely utilized ProTools to make this vocal task easier, the Other Planets took to the woodshed and learned how to perform all the vocals live, together. The result is something like a psychedelic Pfister Sisters, via Frank Zappa (who, despite the Other Planets’ genuine originality, still seems to play heavily into the band’s style). These new vocals are the album’s biggest success, and a relief after the intentionally muffled singing of the band’s last album, Holiday for Vacationers—an interesting artistic decision, but not necessarily a satisfying one. To that end, the new album kicks off brightly with “High Beams,” which layers “hello”s and “hi”s as Cuccia kicks psychedelic poetry over detailed horn lines like a New Orleans Flaming Lips, but more musical and ambitious. Hello Beams is frontloaded with several similar successfully twisted pop songs, leaving the experiments
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Here are OffBeat’s highlights of music and entertainment in New Orleans and the surrounding area for the current month. Each day’s events are listed in alphabetical order by club or venue. Listings are compiled based on information provided by clubs, bands and promoters up to our deadlines. Unfortunately, some information was not available at press time and listings are subject to change. Special events, concerts, festivals and theater listings follow the daily listings. For upto-the-minute, complete music listings, check OffBeat’s web page at www.offbeat.com. For more details on a show, call the club directly. Phone numbers of clubs are shown in this section and/or at www.offbeat.com. To include your date or event, please email information to our listings editor, Craig Guillot at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-944-4300. Mr. Guillot can also provide listing deadlines for upcoming issues.
AC A Cappella AU Acoustic BL Blues BU Bluegrass BB Brass Band SH Cabaret/Show KJ Cajun KS Christian CL Classical CO Comedy CW Country DN Dance FE Folk FK Funk GS Gospel IR Indie Rock IN International/World MJ Jazz, Contemporary TJ Jazz, Trad JV Jazz, Variety LT Latin ME Metal PK Piano/Keyboards PP Pop/Top 40/Covers RG Reggae RH Rap/Hip Hop RB Rhythm & Blues RR Rock SI Swing/Gypsy SW Spoken Word TC Techno/Dance/Electronica VO Vocals ZY Zydeco
THURSDAY JULY 1
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Mike Darby & the House of Cards (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: DJ T-Roy (RG) 10p; Upstairs: DJ Tom Harvey 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Junk Shot (JV FK) 8p d.b.a.: Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs (JV) 10p House of Blues: Vivian Green 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p
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Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (MJ) 5p, Johnaye Kendrick (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Heidi Campbell & Paul Tobin (BL) 9p Ogden Museum: Alvin Youngblood Hart (OR) 6p Palm Court: Tim Laughlin feat. Crescent City Joymakers (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Geno Delafose (ZY) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Phil DeGruy & Cloud Sharp Nine (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, New Orleans Moonshiners (JV) 10p
FRIDAY JULY 2
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Mykia Jovan & Jason Butler (VG) 8p; Soul Rebels Brass Band (BB) 11p; Upstairs: DJ Real & Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: Johnny Angel & the Swingin’ Demons (SI) 9:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Pfister Sisters (JV) 5:30p, Paul Sanchez (OR) 8p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 6p, Iguanas (LT RR) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Joe Krown (MJ) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (MJ) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx (MJ) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: call club for early show, Chip Wilson & Mem Shannon (BL) 9p Maison: Some Like it Hot, Izzy & the Hestronics, Salva MC Epcot, Eprom Nasty Nasty (FK) 10p Old Point Bar: Marc Stone Band (BL) 9:30p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Clive Wilson and Gerald Adams (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Bucktown All-stars (VR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Tipitina’s: Gal Holliday & the Honky Tonk Revue (CW) 10p
SATURDAY JULY 3
Apple Barrel: Maxwell Eaton (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (BL) 7p; Legally Blind (BL) 11p; Upstairs: Dappa (RH) 9p; DJ Real & Black Pearl (BR) 12a Bombay Club: Banu Gibson & Trio (JV) 9:30p d.b.a.: John Boutte (JV) 8p, Little Freddie King (BL) 11p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Shannon Powell (MJ) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Damien Louviere (BL) 5p, Hurricane Refugees (BL) 9p Maison: Loose Marbles (RR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lionel Ferbos (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Kermit Ruffins (MJ) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Donald Harrison (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Bag of Donuts (RR) 10p
Tipitina’s: Shamarr Allen’s 3rd Annual Birthday Bash feat. Irvin Mayfield and the Hot 8 Brass Band (BB FK) 10p
Snug Harbor: Pamela Hart & the Frederick Sanders Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p
SUNDAY JULY 4
Apple Barrel: Maxwell (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, L’Ivoire Spectacle (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: FabuNOLA presents Sexy Salsa Sunday 7p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, World be Freeman (VR) 10p Funky Pirate: Mark Penton (BL) 4p, Willie Lockett & All Purpose Blues Band (BL) 8p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Glen David Andrews (MJ) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: Van Hudson and Lynn Drury (BL) 9p Maison: St. Claude Serenaders, Rhythm Jesters (FK) 10p Palm Court: Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Tom Fisher and Ronell Johnson (JV) 7p Snug Harbor: Skychild feat. Jamelle Williams and Allan Dejan (MJ) 8 & 10p Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Johnny J. & Benny Maygarden (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project (MJ) 8p, Khris Royal and Dark Matter (FK) (FS) 10p, Upstairs: Gravity A (FK) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Iguanas (LT RR) 8p Circle Bar: Jim O. & the No Shows (RR) 6p, the Geraniums (RR) 10p d.b.a.: the Mirlitons (JV) 7p, Walter Wolfman Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (MJ) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Maison: Teddy Bear Elvis Show, Cats Pajamas (OR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lars Edegran (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Swing-a-Roux (SI) 8:30p Rosetree Glass Studio: Fredy Omar Con Su Banda (LT) 6p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p
MONDAY JULY 5
THURSDAY JULY 8
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Shotgun House (BL) 10:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Spencer Bohren (RR) 7p Columns: David Doucet (JV) 8p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (MJ) 8p Maison: Jayna Morgan, Musicians Open Mic Jam (OR) 10p Old Point Bar: Brent Walsh Jazz Trio (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville (MJ) 18 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Dominic Grillo & the Frenchmen St. All-stars (JV) 6p, Jazz Vipers (JV) 10p
TUESDAY JULY 6
Apple Barrel: Kenny Claiborne (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Upstairs: Open Ears Music Series with Music Mash Up v. 3.0 (MJ) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Anders Osborne, John Fohl, Johnny Sansone (OR) 8p Circle Bar: Tom Paines (RR) 6p, Michael Shaefer (RR) 10p Columns: John Rankin (JV) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Don Vappie (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Honky Tonk Open Mic feat. Jason Bishop (BL) 9p Maison: Smoking Time Jazz Club, No Name Trio (JV) 10p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Brint Anderson’s Tribute to Snooks Eaglin (VR) 8:30p
WEDNESDAY JULY 7
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Margie Perez (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: DJ T-Roy (RG) 10p, Upstairs: DJ Tom Harvey 10 p d.b.a.: R. Scully & the Rough Seven (RR) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (MJ) 5p, Johnaye Kendrick (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Dave James and Tim Robertson (BL) 9p Maison: Soul Project, Proud Father Radical Temple (FK) 10p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Ralph Soul Jackson (RB) 6p Palm Court: Crescent City Joymakers feat. Otis Bazoon and Leon Brown (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas (ZY) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Barry Martyn Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, New Orleans Moonshiners (JV) 10p
FRIDAY JULY 9
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Mykia Jovan and Jason Butler (VG) 8p; Flow Tribe (FK) 11p; Upstairs: DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: Tim Laughlin & Quartet (TJ) 9:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Paul Sanchez and Sonia Tetlow (OR) 8p d.b.a.: Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, call club for late show House of Blues: Jamie Cullum, Julian Velard 8p
Howlin’ Wolf NorthShore (Mandeville): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: Fleur de Tease, Morgan La Rue, Eudora and Deep Soul (SH) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Joe Krown (MJ) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (MJ) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Buddy Francioni & Home Grown (BL) 5p, Foot & Friends (BL) 9p Maison: Some Like it Hot, Mia Borders, Yojimbo (JV) 10p One Eyed Jacks: Tom Paines CD-release party (RR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Clive Wilson (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Sgt. Pepper’s Beatles Tribute Band (RR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Mixed Nuts (RR) 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 6p, Cottonmouth King (JV) 9:30p Tipitina’s: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p
SATURDAY JULY 10
Apple Barrel: Maxwell Eaton (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (BL) 7p; Big Rock Candy Mountain (RR) 11p; Upstairs: Bionica (MJ), DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: Luther Kent & Quartet (RB) 9:30p Checkpoint Charlie: Turnip Greens (RR) 2p Circle Bar: the Jazzholes (JV) 6p, Ola Podrida, Benjamin Jones, Julie Odell (RR) 10p d.b.a.: call club for late show, John Boutte (JV) 8p House of Blues: the Farewell Show of ELLE!ohELLE, the American Tragedy, Through Heidi’s Eyes and more (VR) 6p Howlin’ Wolf: South of Heaven (SH) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Glen David Andrews (MJ) 8p, Kinfolk Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Mark Hessler (BL) 5p, Invisible Cowboy (BL) 9p Louisiana Music Factory: Turnip Greens, Wilson & Moore (VR) 2p Maison: Loose Marbles, the Revealers, Jak Locke Green Genes (RR RG) 10p Old Point Bar: the Turnip Greens (OR) 9:30p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lucien Barbarin (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Eric Lindell (RR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Herlin Riley Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Ratt Poison (RR) 10p Tipitina’s: call club
SUNDAY JULY 11
Apple Barrel: Maxwell (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Eve’s Lucky Planet (BL) 10:30p Banks Street Bar: Turnip Greens (RR BL) 9p Blue Nile: FabuNOLA presents Sexy Salsa Sunday 7p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, the Geraniums (JV) 10p Funky Pirate: Mark Penton (BL) 4p, Willie Lockett & All Purpose Blues Band (BL) 8p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: Battle of the Bands (RR) 5:30p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Ed “Sweetbread” Peterson (MJ) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: call club Maison: St. Claude Serenaders, Rhythm Jesters (FK) 10p
Old Point Bar: Wilson-Moore (BL) 3:30p, John Autin (OR) 7p Palm Court: Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Lucien Barbarin (JV) 7p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
MONDAY JULY 12
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Big Pearl (BL) 10:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Spencer Bohren (RR) 7p Circle Bar: Preservation, Country Fried (CW RR) 10p Columns: David Doucet (JV) 8p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Lynn Drury (BL) 9p Maison: Jayna Morgan, Musicians Open Mic Jam (OR) 10p Old Point Bar: Brent Walsh Jazz Trio (JV) 8p One Eyed Jacks: Bob Log III feat. Molly Gene One Whoaman Band and Dirty Bourbon River (RR) 10p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville (MJ) 8 & 10p
TUESDAY JULY 13
Apple Barrel: Kenny Claiborne (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Upstairs: Open Ears Music Series with WATIV (MJ) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Anders Osborne, John Fohl, Johnny Sansone (OR) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Aaron Fletcher (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Honky Tonk Open Mic feat. Jason Bishop (CW OR) 9p Maison: Smoking Time Jazz Club, No Name Trio (JV) 10p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Big Al & the Heavyweights (VR) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Brian Quezergue CD-release party (MJ) 8p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Jerry Jumonville (JV BL) 6p, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 10p
WEDNESDAY JULY 14
Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Blue Max (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project (MJ) 8p; Khris Royal and Dark Matter 10p; Upstairs: Gravity A (FK) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Iguanas (LT RR) 8p d.b.a.: Walter Wolfman Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p House of Blues (the Parish): Otep, Iwrestledabearonce, Stray from the Path, Bury Tomorrow (ME) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (MJ) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Louie’s Corner Bar: Flow Tribe (FK) 6p Maison: Teddy Bear Elvis Show, Cats Pajamas (OR) 10p One Eyed Jacks: the Protomen and Super 8 Bit Brothers, the Adventures of Duane and Brando (RR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lars Edegran and Jason Marsalis (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Joe Krown 9:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p JULY 2010
THURSDAY JULY 15
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Mike Darby & the House of Cards (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: DJ T-Roy (RG) 10p, Upstairs: DJ Tom Harvey 10 p Chickie Wah Wah: Junk Shot (JV FK) 8p d.b.a.: Andrew Duhon (JV) 7p Hi Ho Lounge: Stooges Brass Band (BB) 9:30p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (MJ) 5p, Johnaye Kendrick (MJ) 8p Maison: the Abney Effect (JV) 10p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Colin Lake (BL) 6p Palm Court: Crescent City Joymakers feat. Leroy Jones and Katja Toivola (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Lil Nathan & the Zydeco Big Timers (ZY) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Spencer Bohren (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, New Orleans Moonshiners (JV) 10p
FRIDAY JULY 16
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Mykia Jovan and Jason Butler (VG) 8p; Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers (TJ) 11p; Upstairs: DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: the Right Reverend Soul Revue (JV RB) 9:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Paul Sanchez (OR) 8p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 6p, Good Enough for Good Times (JV) 10p House of Blues: Dynamic Duo of Comedy feat. JJ Williamson and Debra Terry (CO) 8p Howlin’ Wolf NorthShore (Mandeville): Chris Rose (CO) 8p Howlin’ Wolf: 1st Annual Southern Gothic Festival (RR ME) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Josh Paxton (MJ) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (MJ) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Damien Louviere (BL) 5p, Irish Bayou Band (BL) 9p Maison: Some Like it Hot, Soul Project (FK JV) 10p One Eyed Jacks: Roadside Graves, the Futurebirds and the Blue Party (RR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Clive Wilson and Gerald Adams (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: the Wiseguys (VR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Bottoms Up (RR) 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 6p, Cottonmouth King (JV) 9:30p
SATURDAY JULY 17
Apple Barrel: Maxwell Eaton (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (BL) 7p; t.b.a. 11p; Upstairs: Robert Fortune (RR) 9p; DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: James River Movement (JV RB) 9:30p d.b.a.: John Boutte (JV) 8p, Otra (LT) 11p Howlin’ Wolf NorthShore (Mandeville): Back in the Day Party, a fundraiser for the Chase Hope Foundation (VR) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: 1st Annual Southern Gothic Festival (RR ME) 10p
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Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Shannon Powell (MJ) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Free Agents Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Paul Tobin & Heidi Campbell (BL) 5p, Rites of Passage (BL) 9p Louisiana Music Factory: A.J. Loria, Troy Turner (PK BL) 2p Maison: Loose Marbles, Easy Company, 6 Pack Deep (RR) 10p One Eyed Jacks: New Orleans Bingo! Show (RR) 10p Palm Court: Lionel Ferbos 99 Birthday feat. Palm Court Jazz Band (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Here Come the Girls Party feat. Blue Eyed Soul Revue (RB) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Steve Turre Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Brandon Foret (RR) 10p Spotted Cat: Luke Winslow-King (JV) 3p, Panorama Jazz Band (JV) 6p, Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 10p
SUNDAY JULY 18
Apple Barrel: Maxwell (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Johnny J. & Benny Maygarden (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: FabuNOLA presents Sexy Salsa Sunday 7p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, Kristin Diable (JV) 10p Funky Pirate: Mark Penton (BL) 4p, Willie Lockett & All Purpose Blues Band (BL) 8p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): call club Kerry Irish Pub: Irish Session (FE) 5p, Schatzy & Company (BL) 8:30p LIVE LOCAL MUSIC Maison: St. Claude Serenaders, Rhythm Jesters (FK) 10p Old Point Bar: Wilson-Moore (BL) 3:30p Palm Court: Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Tom Fisher (JV) 7p Snug Harbor: Steve Turre Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Rites of Swing (SI) 3p, the Loose Marbles (JV) 6p, Pat Casey (JV) 10p
MONDAY JULY 19
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Big Pearl (BL) 10:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Spencer Bohren (RR) 7p Columns: David Doucet (JV) 8p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Lynn Drury (BL) 9p Maison: Jayna Morgan, Musicians Open Mic Jam (OR) 10p Old Point Bar: Brent Walsh Jazz Trio (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Dominic Grillo & the Frenchmen St. All-stars (JV) 6p, Jazz Vipers (JV) 10p
TUESDAY JULY 20
Apple Barrel: Luke Winslow-King (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Clarence “Trixzey” Slaughter’s Exclusive Birthday Party (MJ) 10p; Upstairs: Open Ears Music Series with Naked Orchestra (MJ) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Anders Osborne, John Fohl, Johnny Sansone (OR) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Jason Marsalis (MJ) 8p
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC Kerry Irish Pub: Honky Tonk Open Mic feat. Jason Bishop (CW OR) 9p Maison: Smoking Time Jazz Club, No Name Trio (JV) 10p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Tim Laughlin (VR) 8:30p Snug Harbor: James Singleton & Illuminasti Trio (MJ) 8p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Jerry Jumonville (JV) 6p, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 10p
WEDNESDAY JULY 21
Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Shotgun House (BL) 10:30p Aunt Leni’s: Little Freddie King (BL) 6p Blue Nile: United Postal Project (MJ) 8p; Khris Royal and Dark Matter 10p; Upstairs: Gravity A (FK) 10p d.b.a.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (MJ) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (MJ) 8p, Havana Nights feat. Nueve Tierra (MJ) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Maison: Teddy Bear Elvis Show, Cats Pajamas (OR) 10p Old Point Bar: Mike Burkart (BL) 8p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lars Edegran and Topsy Chapman (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Jerry Embree 9:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p
THURSDAY JULY 22
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Washboard Chaz (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: DJ T-Roy (RG) 10p, Upstairs: DJ Tom Harvey 10 p d.b.a.: call club House of Blues (the Parish): NOBA ULS Charity Concert for the Legal Aid Bureau (VR) 7p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (MJ) 5p, Johnaye Kendrick (MJ) 8p, Keeping it Rio feat. Chegadao (MJ) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Quite Contrary (BL) 9p Maison: Soul Project (FK) 10p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Ladies Revue with Miss Tee, Magnolia Story and more (VR) 6p Old Point Bar: Blues Frenzy (BL) 6:30p, Andre Bouvier & the Royal Bohemians (BL) 9p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Otis Bazoon and Leon Brown (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Curley Taylor (ZY) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Loren Pickford (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: the Morning Life (RR) 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, New Orleans Moonshiners (JV) 10p
FRIDAY JULY 23
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Mykia Jovan and Jason Butler (VG) 8p; Brass Bed, Empress Hotel, Native America (RR) 11p; Upstairs: DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: Banu Gibson & Trio (JV RB) 9:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Paul Sanchez (OR) 8p d.b.a.: Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Glen David Andrews (JV) 10p House of Blues: 2010 New Orleans Beatles Festival feat. Topcats, Chuck Credo IV, Beatin’ Path and more (RR) 9p
Howlin’ Wolf: Rebirth Brass Band, the Lee Boys (BB RR) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Tom Worrell (MJ) 5p, Leong “Kid Chocolate” Brown (MJ) 8p, Sounds of Storyville feat. Burlesque Ballroom with Trixie Minx, Jayna Morgan and Sazerac Sunrise (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Buddy Francioni & Home Grown (BL) 5p Maison: Some Like it Hot, WCP (JV) 10p Old Point Bar: Lil Red & Big Band (BL) 9:30p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Clive Wilson and Gerry Adams (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Flow Tribe (RR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: For the Wait (RR) 10p Tipitina’s: Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes (FK) 10p
SATURDAY JULY 24
Apple Barrel: Maxwell Eaton (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (BL) 7p; Mike Dillon’s Go Go Jungle meets Hairy Apes BMX (FK) (RR) 11p; Upstairs: DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: Tim Laughlin & Trio (TJ) 9:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Mia Borders (RR) 9p d.b.a.: John Boutte (JV) 8p, call club for late show Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): the Lobbyist, the Auto Pilots (RR) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: Worn Again nola4 Patron Party and Fashion Show (VR) 7p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Shannon Powell (MJ) 8p, Shake Your Brass feat. Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Tobin-Specht Trio feat. Heidi Campbell (BL) 5p, Lynn Drury (BL) 9p Maison: Loose Marbles (RR) 10p One Eyed Jacks: Quintron and Miss Pussycat (OR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lionel Ferbos (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Bonerama (FK ) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Kim Prevost and Bill Solley (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Cheeweez (RR) 10p Spotted Cat: Luke Winslow-King (JV) 3p, Panorama Jazz Band (JV) 6p, Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 10p Tipitina’s: Juice, Andrew Duhon & the Lonesome Crows (FK) 10p
SUNDAY JULY 25
Apple Barrel: Maxwell (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Eve’s Lucky Planet (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: FabuNOLA presents Sexy Salsa Sunday 7p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, Mas Mamones (JV) 10p Funky Pirate: Mark Penton (BL) 4p, Willie Lockett & All Purpose Blues Band (BL) 8p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 10p Kerry Irish Pub: The Who Dats feat. Music by the Who (RR) 9p Maison: St. Claude Serenaders, Rhythm Jesters (FK) 10p Old Point Bar: Chip Wilson (BL) 3:30p, John Autin (OR) 7p Palm Court: Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Tom Fischer (JV) 7p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio and Johnaye Kendrick (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Rites of Swing (SI) 3p, the Loose Marbles (JV) 6p, Pat Casey (JV) 10p JULY 2010
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
MONDAY JULY 26
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Butch Trivette (BL) 10:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Spencer Bohren (RR) 7p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Lynn Drury (BL) 9p Maison: Jayna Morgan, Musicians Open Mic Jam (OR) 10p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Dominic Grillo & the Frenchmen St. All-stars (JV) 6p, Jazz Vipers (JV) 10p
TUESDAY JULY 27
Apple Barrel: Luke Winslow-King (BL) 7p, Ready Teddy (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Upstairs: Open Ears Music Series with Dana Jessen, Jeff Albert & others (MJ) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Anders Osborne, John Fohl, Johnny Sansone (OR) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings (JV) 9p Howlin’ Wolf: Sublime, Rome (RR) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Ed Peterson (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Mark Hessler (BL) 9p Maison: Smoking Time Jazz Club, No Name Trio (JV) 10p One Eyed Jacks: Charlie Louvin (RR) 10p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Joe Clay & the Crackerjacks (VR) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Matt Lemmler Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Jerry Jumonville (JV BL) 6p, Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 10p
WEDNESDAY JULY 28
Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Blue Max (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project (MJ) 8p; Khris Royal and Dark Matter 10p; Upstairs: Gravity A (FK) 10p d.b.a.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Dry Dock Café: Captain Josh Tribute to Jimmy Buffett (RR) 6p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (MJ) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Maison: Teddy Bear Elvis Show, Cats Pajamas (OR) 10p One Eyed Jacks: Lydia, Deas Veil and Rocketboys (RR) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lars Edegran and Topsy Chapman (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Swing Night feat. Johnny Angel (SI) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p
THURSDAY JULY 29
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, the Louisiana Hellbenders (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: DJ T-Roy (RG) 10p, Upstairs: DJ Tom Harvey 10 p d.b.a.: Colin Lake (JV) 7p, Will Bernard Trio feat. Coogan & Lott (JV) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p, Ballyhoo!, Mike Pinto (RR) 10p
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Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (MJ) 5p, Johnaye Kendrick (MJ) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Dave Stover Project (BL) 9p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Cindy Scott (VF) 6p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Tim Laughlin (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Lil Wayne & Same Ol 2 Step (ZY) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Michael Pellera Quartet feat. Jimmy Marx (MJ) 8 & 10p
FRIDAY JULY 30
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Mykia Jovan and Jason Butler (VG) 8p; Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers (TJ) 11p; Upstairs: DJ REAL and Black Pearl (RB) 12a Bombay Club: Lisa Lynn & Trio (JV RB) 9:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Paul Sanchez (OR) 8p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 6p, Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle (FK) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: Lillian Axe CD-Release Party (ME) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Tom Worrell (MJ) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (MJ) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Damien Louviere (BL) 5p, Foot & Friends (BL) 9p Maison: Some Like it Hot (JV) 10p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Clive Wilson and Gerry Adams (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Amanda Shaw, Tab Benoit (KJ BL) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: Luke Star Killer CD-release party feat. the Scorceses (RR) 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 6p, Cottonmouth King (JV) 9:30p Tipitina’s: Papa Grows Funk, the Revivalists (FK) 10p
SATURDAY JULY 31
Apple Barrel: Maxwell Eaton (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, Andre Bouvier & the Royal Bohemians (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (BL) 7p; Soul Rebels (BB) 11p; Upstairs: Dappa (RH) 9p; DJ Real & Black Pearl (BR) 12a Bombay Club: Judy Spellman Trio (JV) 9p d.b.a.: Paul Sanchez (LT) 8p, Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-stars (JV) 11p Howlin’ Wolf NorthShore (Mandeville): Invoke the Nightmare, This is the Enemy, Poltern Kinder, 24 Miles (RR) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: Molly Ringwalds, Bag of Donuts, Kyle Turley, Five Finger Discount and more (RR VR) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Shamarr Allen (MJ) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Free Agents Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Mark Hessler (BL) 5p, Rites of Passage (BL) 9p Louisiana Music Factory: Dan Rivers, Meschiya Lake, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars (BL) 2p Maison: Loose Marbles, City Zoo the Swip (RR) 10p Old Point Bar: Honey Island Swamp Band (RR) 9:30p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lionel Ferbos (JV) 7p Rock ’n’ Bowl: Paper Steamboat Reunion, Thunderhead (RR) 9:30p
Snug Harbor: Astral Project (MJ) 8 & 10p Southport Hall: 5 Finger Discount (RR) 10p Tipitina’s: Bo Dollis, Jr. & the Wild Magnolias (FK) 10p
LOUISIANA MUSIC ON TOUR BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION Jul 8 Paris FRA Alimentation Generale Jul 10 Dijon FRA Festival Dijon Jul 14 Antibes FRA Juan Les Pins Jul 21 Boseman MT Zebra Cocktail Lounge Jul 22 Victor ID Music on Main Concert Series Jul 23 Ketchum ID Whiskey Jacques Jul 24 Park City UT Mountain Town Music Jul 29-30 Bridgeport CT Gathering of the Vibes BONERAMA Jul 1 Berwyn IL FitzGerald’s Jul 2-3 Dayton OH Cityfolk Festival Grounds Jul 4 Benton Harbor MI The Livery Jul 14 Mont Tremblant QC International Blues Festival Jul 15 Milwaukee WI Jazz in the Park Jul 16 Chicago IL Martyrs Jul 23 Birmingham AL WorkPlay Theater Jul 29 Atlanta GA Smith’s Olde Bar Jul 30 Charleston SC Pour House Jul 31 Greensboro NC Eastern Music Festival JOHN BOUTTE Jul 31-Aug 2 Canmore AB Canmore Folk Festival JON CLEARY Jul 2 Toronto ON Downtown Jazz Festival Jul 3 Montreal QC Jazz Festival Jul 7 Glenwood Springs CO Summer of Jazz Jul 8 San Francisco CA Yoshi’s Jul 9 Santa Cruz CA Moe’s Alley Jul 17 Salem OR Art Fair Festival Jul 24 Sardinia ITL Narcao Blues Festival DR. JOHN Jul 2 Paddock Wood UK Hop Farm Festival Jul 3 Charlbury UK Cornbury Music Festival Jul 4 London UK Shepherds Bush Empire Jul 6 Manchester UK Royal Northern College Of Music Jul 7 Tunbridge Wells UK Assembly Hall Theatre Jul 8 Groningen NET De Oosterpoort Jul 10 Helsinki FIN Hall of Culture Jul 18 Nice FRA Nice Jazz Festival Jul 19 Isola del Liri ITL Liri Blues Festival Jul 31 Katonah NY Venetian Theater GALACTIC Jul 2 Englewood CO Gothic Theater Jul 3 Morrison CO Red Rocks Amphitheater Jul 5 Portland OR Waterfront Blues Festival Jul 22 Floyd VA FloydFest HONEY ISLAND SWAMP BAND Jul 1-2 Berwyn IL American Music Festival Jul 3 St Paul MN Wilebski’s Jul 7 Lincoln NE Zoo Bar Jul 8 Wichita KS Sedgewick County Zoo Jul 9 Kansas City MO Knucklehead’s Jul 10 St Louis MO Broadway Oyster Bar Jul 23 Reading PA Band Shell Concert Series Jul 24 Kettering OH Swamp Romp Jul 30 Lafayette LA Blue Moon Saloon THE IGUANAS Jul 16 Gulfport MS The Quarter Bar Jul 22 Sellersville PA Sellersville Theater 1894 Jul 23 Pittsburgh PA Pittsburgh Blues Festival Jul 24 New York NY Sullivan Hall
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC BILLY IUSO & THE RESTLESS NATIVES Jul 8 New York NY Damrosch Park JOE KROWN TRIO WITH WALTER “WOLFMAN” WASHINGTON & RUSSELL BATISTE, JR. Jul 17 Riverhead NY Riverhead Blues Fest Jul 18 Ottawa ONT Ottawa Blues Fest Jul 21 Baltimore MD 8x10 Jul 22 New York NY Half Moon-Concert Cruise Jul 23 Somers Point NJ Somers Point Municipal Jul 24 Sellersville PA Sellersville Theater Jul 25 Lake Harmony NY Poconos Blues Fest Jul 28 Dewey Beach DE The Coves Jul 29 Virginia Beach VA Jewish Mother Jul 30 Greensboro NC Eastern Music Fringe Festival IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK Jul 7 Brooklyn NY Brooklyn Bowl Jul 8 Norfolk CT Infinity Hall Jul 9 Londonderry NH Tupelo Music Hall Jul 10 Maplewood NJ Maplewoodstock Jul 11 New London CT Sailfest Jul 18 Chicago IL Sheffield Garden Jul 23 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall Jul 24 Junction City CA Trinity Tribal Stomp Festival Grounds Jul 25 Sebastopol CA Hopmonk Tavern Jul 26 Chico CA Sierra Nevada Brewing Co ANDERS OSBORNE Jul 9 Greensboro NC Eastern Music Festival Jul 10 Meadows of Dan VA Black Dog Jazz Concert Jul 15 Montreblant QUE Blues Festival Jul 16 Ottawa ONT Cisco Ottawa Blues Festival Jul 17 Worcester MA Paulie’s NOLA Jazz & Blues Festival PANORAMA JAZZ BAND Jul 1 Istanbul TUK U.S. Consulate Jul 1 Istanbul TUK Istanbul International Jazz Festival Jul 2 Ankara TUK U.S. Embassy Jul 3-5 Istanbul TUK Istanbul International Jazz Festival Jul 6 Izmir TUK U.S. Consulate PAPA GROWS FUNK Jul 9-10 Denver CO Quixote’s True Blue Jul 15 Snowmass CO Snowmass Village ALLEN TOUSSAINT Jul 4 Montreal QC Gesu Theater Jul 5 Montreal QC Theatre Maisonneuve Jul 6 Montreal QC Festival International de Jazz de Montreal Jul 17 Greenfield MA Green River Festival Jul 18 Quebec QC Festival D’Ete International de Quebec TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE Jul 1 Eugene OR John G Shedd Institute for the Arts Jul 2 Portland OR Waterfront Blues Festival Jul 3 Quincy CA High Sierra Music Festival Jul 4 Berwyn IL FitzGerald’s American Music Festival Jul 6 Montreal QC Festival International de Jazz de Montreal Jul 8 Apple Valley MN Weesner Amphitheater Jul 9 Fairfield CT FTC Stage One Jul 10 Freeport ME Discovery Park Jul 11 Madison WI La Fete de Marquette Jul 14 Glenwood Springs CO Summer of Jazz Jul 15 Denver CO Bluebird Theater Jul 16 Sioux Falls SD Jazz and Blues Festival
Jul 17 Toronto ON Beaches International Festival Jul 18 Quebec QC Festival D’Ete International de Quebec Jul 19 Providence RI Sound Session 2010 Jul 20 Syracuse NY Westcott Theater Jul 21 Lewiston NY Artpark Jul 22 Pittsburgh PA Rex Theater Jul 23 Columbus OH Hot Ribs Cool Jazz Festival Jul 24 Jackson MI Land of Nod Jul 31 Niigata JPN Fuji Rock Festival WILD MAGNOLIAS Jul 8 New York NY Damrosch Park
CONCERTS JULY 19 Scorpions: Still rocking after more than thirty years, the German metal band comes to New Orleans to play the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts. 8p. JULY 24 Wisin & Yandel: The popular Puerto Rican reggaeton duo plays the UNO Lakefront Arena. 8p.
FESTIVALS JULY 1-4 Mandeville Seafood Festival: Chow down on some great seafood, enjoy live music and soak up the sun at Fontainebleau State Park. (985) 624-9762, SeafoodFest.com. JULY 3-5 Essence Music Festival: The big festival is back in the Big Easy with performances by Janet Jackson, Arrested Development, LL Cool J, Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, Earth, Wind & Fire and more. EssenceMusicFestival.com. JULY 4 Go Fourth on the River: Celebrate Independence Day in the French Quarter and on the Mississippi River with fireworks and live music. GoFourthOnTheRiver.com. JULY 4 Slidell Heritage Festival: Olde Town Slidell springs to life for the holiday with fireworks, food and live music by such acts as T’Canille and the Chee-weez. SlidellHeritageFest.org. JULY 10 Bastille Day Block Party : The Faubourg St. John Merchant’s Association will hold its annual Bastille Day bash 5-9p. Children’s activities will be provided. The French dance band, The Pyranha Gypsy Swing Band will perform at 5p. The party takes place in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street between Esplanade Avenue and Lopez Street. JULY 16-17 Swamp Pop Music Festival: Take a ride out to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales for a fun music festival featuring performances by Aaron Foret, Travis Matt & the Kingpins, Wayne Foret, Treater with Charles Mann and more. Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La. (225) 7699994, SwampPopMusicFest.com. JULY 21-25 Tales of the Cocktail: The 6th annual event features cocktail competitions, classes, tours and plenty of chances to get liquored up! (888) 299-0404, TalesOfTheCocktail.com. JULY 2010
It’s ladies first at this year’s Essence Music Festival.
ometimes you hit a bull’seye. With Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson and Alicia Keys, it’s hard to imagine a trio of headliners more perfectly suited to a festival tied to Essence Magazine. Though the Essence Music Festival—which takes place July 2-4 at the Louisiana Superdome—has evolved beyond an event that caters to AfricanAmerican women, that audience clearly affects the festival. It has limited its exposure to hip-hop (allowing a lover man like LL Cool J on the main stage at 8:35 p.m. Saturday) but said a clear, emphatic no to gangsta rap, and instead embraced traditional R&B, funk and soul in its classic and modern incarnations. The main stage is at least 50 percent female. On Friday, Monica, Raphael Saadiq, Charlie
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Wilson and Janet Jackson perform; on Saturday, Keri Hilson opens, followed by LL Cool J, old school icon Gladys Knight and Alicia Keys; on Sunday, Trey Songz, Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige perform. One major change this year is that Frankie Beverly and Maze no longer close the festival. Initially, the decision not to bring them back prompted outrage on behalf of Maze fans—“I have my hotel rooms, rental car booked, I have my white linen outfit ready!! But won’t book flight or buy tix until Frankie Beverly is added,” one fan wrote—but it’s hard to imagine that the fans will be disappointed by their replacement, Earth, Wind & Fire (see “BackTalk”), who most recently stepped in as a last-minute replacement for Aretha Franklin at Jazz Fest and ignited a dance party of their own.
By Alex Rawls
As usual, Essence Music Festival offers national stars on the main stage while regional, local and emerging artists play the superlounges, a series of smaller venues inside the Superdome. Arrested Development will be among the performers, as will PJ Morton, Chrisette Michele, Mary Mary, Mint Condition, De La Soul, Joe, Estelle, Lalah Hathaway, and a host of New Orleanians including Irvin Mayfield, Irma Thomas, Little Freddie King, Dumpstaphunk, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Rebirth Brass Band, the Soul Rebels, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. The other component of Essence is the empowerment seminars, which take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Morial Convention Center. The first day’s theme is “Steve Harvey’s Love & Relationships Superfest,” and the
day’s seminars and discussions center on relationships with speakers that include Dr. Juanita Bynum, Darren Sharper, Niecy Nash, Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete, Ed Gordon, Steve Harvey and Angela BurtMurray. Saturday is an AfricanAmerican education summit that includes Rev. Al Sharpton, Bill Cosby and Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Sunday will be an all-star gospel tribute to Kirk Franklin with Pastor Shirley Caesar, Tye Tribbett, the Clark Sisters, Tyronne Foster and the Arc Singers, Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp and more. The Essence Music Festival is in transition, but it remains the “Party with a Purpose,” an optimistic celebration of AfricanAmerican thought and art. For a complete schedule of events, go to OffBeat.com/emf2010. www.OFFBEAT.com
Earth, Wind & Fire’s
hen Earth, Wind & Fire substituted for Aretha Franklin at Jazz Fest this year, the audience likely traded up, whether it realized it or not. Aretha today is not Aretha in her prime, and though EWF isn’t either, it’s a lot closer. Founder Maurice White no longer performs with the band because he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and they no longer perform magic tricks onstage taught them by the late Doug Henning and his assistant, David Copperfield. They don’t defy gravity anymore, but vocalist Philip Bailey, drummer Ralph Johnson and bassist Verdine White (Maurice’s younger brother) don’t show many negative signs of having played in the band since 1972. Bailey’s falsetto is still powerful, and White is still in constant motion. Check the “Boogie Wonderland” video from 1979; the wardrobe and hairstyle have changed but not the enthusiasm. EWF made its recorded debut on the soundtrack to Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Melvin Van Peebles’ ground-breaking movie from 1971, the first independent African-American film. The soundtrack, like the movie, was closer to the Afrocentric avant-garde of the day than the pop/jazz/R&B synthesis that would come to define the band. In our interview, Verdine White says they were never that radical again. The lineup almost entirely changed afterwards, with only the White brothers continuing in the incarnation that became a hit machine in the mid-1970s. But just as Maurice White’s gift for immediate, endearing songs obscured the uncompromised jazz and funk in their DNA, it’s easy to overlook the band’s album covers, which evoke the same sort of Afro-futurist spirituality that Sun Ra explored. Earth, Wind & Fire return to New Orleans to play the Essence Music Festival, which takes place July 2-4 at the Louisiana Superdome. They’ll have a tall task ahead of them, following Mary J. Blige and occupying the closing slot previously held by Frankie Beverly and Maze. They may not inspire the mass electric slide that Maze did, but if the set doesn’t become a dance party anyway, it won’t be because Earth, Wind & Fire didn’t deliver.
our management and we had to make a beeline out to New Orleans because she cancelled with about 10 hours to go before her appearance.
How did Earth, Wind & Fire come to play Jazz Fest this year? It was actually a last minute concert. Aretha Franklin cancelled. She got ill, and promoters called
So it was just luck that you were going to be in the area? That’s right. We were due to be in Biloxi Saturday night. I was in my car leaving the gym (in Los Angeles) because I figured we had a day before we had to leave and then we had like, five hours to leave. It was a lot of logistics to move at the last minute. We had to leave early on Friday morning, about 3 o’clock in the morning from Los Angeles to get there in time to make the concert. We had to move about 40 people in about five hours. It was one of our greatest concerts ever that we played.
By Alex Rawls
Were you involved at all in the negotiations between Essence Music Festival and Jazz Fest to make this happen? Your show at Essence was close enough that they had to have some say as to whether or not you could play the show. Essence was very cool about it. We explained the situation and everybody understood. It actually probably helped the marketplace, too. It showed us, and people might say, “Hey, let’s go see them at Essence; they were pretty good.” I read that you learned to play bass from Louis Satterfield (a bass player and trombone player associated with Chess Records who later joined EWF’s Phenix Horns)? Yeah, the late Louis Satterfield. He passed away a few years ago. He was my wonderful teacher; he really helped me out a lot. JULY 2010
We were happy just to have stuff in the movie, to have our music on the big, wide screen. At the time, there weren’t a lot of movies that had black music in it. What can you tell me about being around Chess Records at that time? Well Maurice was around it more than I was. I wasn’t around Chess too much, but I was around Sat and all those guys as a teenager, so I was just soaking it all in. I learned a lot of things that I probably wouldn’t have learned anywhere else or in music school. I did learn a lot in music school, but what I really learned was on-the-job training and being in the clubs and things like that. How did Earth, Wind & Fire come to do the soundtrack for Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song? Well, Maurice knew Melvin [Van Peebles, who wrote, directed and starred in the movie]. We did the full soundtrack in a day. It was the first of what they called at the time the black exploitation soundtracks. After that came Shaft, which was huge. Around that same time Superfly came out. It was the beginning of an era to hear African-American music in films. What can you tell me about Melvin? We were there when he was in the editing room at Paramount Pictures, and he gave an idea of what a song was going to be. He was great; he was a very driven person, great imagination. What did you think of the movie? Well it was real different, real radical. It was a very radical time in America. We hadn’t signed with Clive Davis at the time. We were a very new group, so for us to do a soundtrack at the beginning of our careers was amazing. We were happy just to have stuff in the movie, to have our music on the big, wide screen. At the time, there weren’t a lot of movies that had black music in it. What were your musical influences? Of course, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Keith Jarrett’s Revolution, the Beatles’ Abbey Road. We were listening to John Coltrane. It was a very radical time. I was like 19 years old or something like that. All of a sudden I was thrown into the whole thing that Maurice put together, all this high energy, this radical change in my life and soundtracks. Then we started to make records. Every couple of months, things were happening. It’s what a kid at 19 dreams of. Was “That’s the Way of the World” the turning point for the band?
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I think so. It was an unusual record for us, as well as radio and things like that. We tapped into something that was a totally different thing. It was a different sound and a different concept. “That’s the Way of the World” started as a soundtrack, too? That’s right; it was on the That’s the Way of the World movie. It was the same person who had done Superfly. Sig Shore had produced that movie and wanted us to be in that movie. He had heard about us, and he knew about the Sweet Sweetback soundtrack back in the day, a few years before. Were you surprised when “That’s The Way of the World” became big? I wasn’t surprised that people love the record because we loved the record. But I was surprised at the way it made people feel. The sales went through the roof. It was the first album by an African-American group that had gone number one on three different charts and the single, all at the same time. I don’t think it had been done since the Beatles or something like that. Was there a point when you were conscious of how many people were listening to you? Later. You don’t know it when you’re doing it; you don’t notice until later. It’s a good thing you don’t notice because then you’ll get unfocused. Is there a quintessential Earth, Wind & Fire song? A song that does everything the band does well? If you asked the pop audience, they’d say “September.” If you asked an AfricanAmerican audience, they’d say “Devotion” and “Spirit.” If you asked a disco audience, they’d say “Boogie Wonderland.” It’s different songs for different people. What about for you? Probably “That’s the Way of the World” because it captured what we really are. Everything branches out from there. How did the band come to do the elaborate stage show in the 1970s with the magic tricks, the pyramids, the space ship and the like? Well it was one thing after another, after another. We wanted to have a show that
everyone would go to. We had to give them something for their money. Was that around the same time that P-Funk had the spaceship? Yeah, they got their spaceship from our ship, you know what I mean? But everybody was doing great shows—Kiss, us, them. Of course, Michael Jackson came later with his elaborate shows. It was the golden age of live performances where everything converged. It was really great for the audiences. What was it like after five or six years of having hit single after hit single to have a point when hit singles stopped coming? Well you always know they’re going to subside, but then in our case even though they subsided, it made us legendary. People got deeper with us because we weren’t as commercial as we once were. They went back to us, started checking out not only the commercial songs but the really hip songs. In a way, it made us hipper. After a while, a lot of people thought we stopped doing that on purpose. For any other group, it might’ve stopped their career completely, but for us it made us what we kind of are now. How is Maurice’s health? He’s good. He’s dealing with his challenges, but he’s doing really well. We are all going to be together June 17. We are being inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in New York—David Foster, Leonard Cohen, us, and Phil Collins. It’s going to be a great night. When you’re on stage, it really looks like nobody is having more fun than you are. Well, it is the safest place for me to be at in that time, and it’s what I always wanted to do. When you get an opportunity to do what you want to do, you enjoy it. I mean, many people have dreamed about their life’s work, but very few get to obtain that. Was there ever a point when it was a decision: “I am going to radiate enthusiasm when I’m onstage”? I was like that as a teenager. I was in a local band, and I told the guy I was going to California, and he said, “Oh, you’re going out to California to be a star?” And I said, “No, I’m bringing my star with me.” I was ready for it. O www.OFFBEAT.com