MYSTIKAL KRAZY KAT ALLEN TOUSSAINT JUVENILE DAVID DOUCET HBO’s TREME
LOUISIANA MUSIC, FOOD AND CULTURE—AUGUST 2010
SHAMARR ALLEN At home
KATRINA + 5 New Orleans’ music community looks back and ahead
Free In Metro New Orleans US $5.99 CAN $6.99 £UK 3.50
t s e F r e m arr m u S ham o S m on z h e c h t nc a a S S TE LE P M CO
E UL D E CH S L IVA T S H FE TC
Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs travel to Brazil after Satchmo SummerFest
10 I’ll Be Your Mirror
Alex Rawls looks at how Treme reflects life in New Orleans.
Sons of Satchmo
Brittany Epps meets the young winners of the “Seeking Satch” contest.
None of the Above
John Swenson profiles Shamarr Allen, who fights to avoid being pigeonholed.
Johnaye Kendrick’s in the Spot at Il Posto, and Rene Louapre and Peter Thriffiley review Meltdown Popsicles.
Backtalk with Mystikal
David Dennis talks to the rapper about No Limit, jail and freedom. “If you look across the whole hiphop landscape the whole time I was gone, you’ll see there was a hole,” Mystikal says. “That’s where I fit.”
22 Where Are We Now? 30
Members of the music community discuss the post-Katrina recovery with Michael Patrick Welch.
A Decade of Satchmo
OffBeat’s guide to the Satchmo SummerFest.
34 40 42 44 54
In the Kitchen with David
David Doucet debates Paul Prudhomme vs. Talk About Good with Elsa Hahne.
BLAST FROM THE PAST “The Mind of Mystikal” by Keith Spera, OffBeat, June 1995
Reviews Listings, and Plan A with Marty Stuart In this month’s Backtalk, Mystikal talks about his transition back into music since his release from prison this January. A lot has changed since Keith Spera wrote this in-depth profile on the rapper 15 years ago, when Mystikal was still recovering from the murder of his sister, and had just released his debut album. To read this article and more from this issue online, go to offbeat.com/1995/06.
AU G U ST 2010
“The city and the NOCVB should be subsidizing these young musicians, not letting NOPD harass them.” —Bruce H. Ward
Louisiana Music & Culture
August 2010 Volume 23, Number 8 Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jan V. Ramsey, email@example.com
SENSE OF HISTORY Bravo and congratulations to Jason Marsalis for his frank and insightful piece in the July 2010 issue of OffBeat. His emphasis on the importance of a sense of history and “the jazz tradition” is right on. My only comment would be that, as a member of the generation of Jason’s distinguished father (and one who grew up in the era of the bitter battles between the “moldy figs” and the “boppers”), I find a certain déjà vu in his remarks. Many of the phenomena that trouble Jason troubled others well before his watershed “early 2000s.” I’ve always been irritated, for example, by those— both musicians and jazz educators—who seem to believe that jazz began with Diz and Bird. Nevertheless, thanks, Jason. I’m always pleased to encounter young people with a sense of history. —Tom Jacobsen, New Orleans, LA
MUSIC ON THE STREETS This quote is from an ad in The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2010: “Right now in New Orleans, there’s a brass band playing on Bourbon and a jazz combo jammin’ on the corner. Right now. New Orleans is, well, New Orleans. Visit neworleansinfo.com for Spicy Summer Deals.” Please note these key phrases: “on Bourbon” and “on the corner.” The web address listed tracks back to the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site. Please work with the Mayor and City Council and explain to NOPD the details of the economic engine which drives the local economy. The Quarter is often referred to as an “Adult Disneyland.” At least Disneyland pays their musicians. The city and the NOCVB should be subsidizing these young musicians, not letting NOPD harass them. The best thing your organization could do right now is to buy a portable canopy for Tuba Fats’ park bench in front of the Cabildo. Glen David Andrews, Kenneth Terry and Wolf Anderson would have some shade while they play for visitors during the summer.
To quote Big Chief Tootie Montana before he collapsed in Council chambers five years ago: “This has got to stop!” —Bruce H Ward, Duke of Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA
SIMPLY PANHANDLING? I was disappointed to read your editorial [Jan Ramsey] in the July issue of OffBeat (“Getting Rid of the ‘Noise’?”), which I felt failed to present multiple sides of this very complex issue. Our music culture as a whole is an important and precious resource. At the same time, as a community, we must protect the quality of life and the rights of residents and business owners. It is not okay for residents and business owners to be held hostage by street musicians—no matter how talented—who work to make extra money off tourists, while making our homes unlivable and our businesses unviable with the volume and duration of their performances. Just because something is “tradition” doesn’t make it right. I recognize that in some cases, the street musicians add to the unique ambience of the Quarter, and are part of the rich pageant of living here. It can also be an invasion and an assault on the senses. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Not every street corner is an appropriate venue for every type of musical group. How do we make tailored rules for areas that are more commercial, or more residential? An across-the-board curfew of a certain time is not necessarily appropriate for every part of the city. How do we tailor hours to achieve a healthy balance? A guitar player/singer create different decibel levels than a brass band. How do we account for volume level? Is it ever appropriate or necessary to use an amplifier in the French Quarter? How do we protect businesses whose commerce depends on shoppers navigating clear sidewalks to enter open doors? Some street performers are simply panhandling and looking for handouts. Some exploit young children for tips. Some harass passers-by on the basis of racial threats. Do these issues need to be covered under separate ordinances other than noise? —Jill McGaughey, Marigny, New Orleans, LA (This is a severely edited version. For the letter in its entirety, go to OffBeat.com.—ED.)
OffBeat welcomes letters from its readers—both comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.
Managing Editor Joseph L. Irrera, firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Alex Rawls, email@example.com Consulting Editor John Swenson Listings Editor Craig Guillot, firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Brian Boyles, David Dennis, Brittany Epps, Elsa Hahne, Andrew Hamlin, Jeff Hannusch, Aaron LaFont, Jacob Leland, Rene Louapre, Benjamin Lyons, Elaine Miller, Lauren Noel, Kate Russell, John Swenson, Peter Thriffiley, Michael Patrick Welch, Dan Willging, Courtney Young, Zachary Young Cover Elaine Miller Design/Art Direction Elsa Hahne, email@example.com Advertising Sales Ben Berman, firstname.lastname@example.org Casey Boudreaux, email@example.com Advertising Design PressWorks, 504-944-4300 Business Manager Joseph L. Irrera Interns Remy Carras, Rosalie Cohn, Brittany Epps, Elaine Miller, Lauren Noel, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
HILLBILLIES FROM DELIVERANCE Regarding Jan Ramsey’s Mojo Mouth “Getting Rid of the Noise” I would like to see bands playing at night on the steps to the river opposite Jackson Square. The one hundred block of Bourbon Street, where vehicular traffic is allowed, is too congested for bands and puts visitors at risk from pickpockets. But what really struck me about your editorial was your acknowledgment that “the Quarter has been exploited shamefully by some of the businesses that now operate there.” The T-shirt shops with profanity in the windows, combined with the broken sidewalks and crime, have discouraged well-behaved urban tourists from flying to New Orleans. In their place we have attracted more disruptive backwoods people with burnedout lives and broken teeth, who drive in from poverty-stricken rural areas. Since many of them are from dry counties, they see the French Quarter, where I live, as a chance to get drunk, start a fight with a “city boy,” urinate on our doorknobs, vomit on our stoops and scream as loud as they can on a residential block in the middle of the night. Other than buying beads to wear in August, they only spend money on pizza at daiquiri shops. Bourbon Street has become an Appalachian version of Saturday Night Fever, giving it a much harder edge than it had 10 years ago. Why would we want to attract tourists like this? If 90 percent of the visitors to Washington, D.C. came from the rock bottom state of West Virginia just to get drunk, the leadership would have their head in their hands all day. The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, but are all tourists created equal? Hillbillies from Deliverance or the “Okie from Muskogee” could not appreciate New Orleans and seek its uniqueness like someone from a more educated place. They act in ways that they could not act at home, and have as much respect www.OFFBEAT.com
for New Orleans as if they were on an alcohol-fueled bender in Tijuana. If country tourists cannot conduct themselves better, then I would prefer that they stayed home in the trailer park, polishing their rifles and getting ready for the Rapture (Revelations 6:12-17, referencing 1 Thessalonians 4:18). Am I a bad person for noticing this? —Ian Goldenberg, New Orleans, LA
NO PHOTO CAPTIONS I enjoyed the July 2010 issue, as usual. I especially liked the Bonerama profile. As a onetime trombone player, I’m rooting for them. I liked the bar photos. Except: I can identify Mullins and Klein, and I assume that the fellow with the Asian features is Naraoka. But where’s the caption to identify the band members? Similarly, I read the Earth Wind & Fire interview. But which of the
three fellows is Verdine White? Why no photo captions? —Tyler Bridges, Lima, Peru The photo captions were inadvertently left out, we apologize. The members of Bonerama in the order that they appear in the photos from left are Eric Bolivar, Greg Hicks, Mark Mullins, Nori Naraoka, Bert Cotton and Craig Klein. Earth Wind & Fire’s Verdine White is on the far right.—Ed.
AU G U ST 2010
Cultural Economies Need Love Too
e play in the August heat, too. Satchmo SummerFest celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Originally funded by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Satchmo SummerFest is more than just a local festival; its intent was to inform and educate locals and visitors on the heritage and legacy of Louis Armstrong, and the importance of New Orleans jazz music to world culture. Every year, Yoshio Toyama, the “Louis Armstrong of Japan” brings his band and an entourage of Japanese visitors to the city to attend the festival, along with a plane-load of instruments to donate to New Orleans musicians and school kids who are in need (Toyama was given a shout-out in the last season of HBO’s Treme when he bought Antoine Batiste a new trombone). There are New Orleans jazz fanatics all over the world. Satchmo SummerFest is one of the ways we can attract visitors—particularly Europeans and Japanese to the city to experience our musical culture. And guess what? They don’t give a damn about the heat! This is one festival that deserves a lot more support from the Louisiana Office of Tourism as well as the city’s CVB. Watch out, or I’ll start to get on my soapbox about rebranding New Orleans as a music city, instead of a “Come Out and Play” city. I’ve been harping on this subject for about 15 years now. Is someone in the Landrieu administration listening? The New Orleans Convention and Visitors’ Bureau? If we’re going to refresh the city’s brand theme— which is long overdue—we need to make it music. I don’t mean just jazz or brass bands or even Cajun/ zydeco (which some enterprising entrepreneurs co-opted from southwest Louisiana). I mean our vibrant underground rock scene, contemporary jazz, funk, R&B, and so much more. I promise it will pay off. An important thing that Lieutenant-Governor (now Mayor) Mitch Landrieu did was to focus on our state’s cultural economy. As part of his effort to promote the idea that culture is a job creation tool and an economic engine, Landrieu and his team, including Pam Breaux, and Scott Hutcheson (now the mayor’s cultural advisor) created the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, whose mission it was to “be a catalyst for the development and enhancement of the distinct cultural industries of Louisiana by promoting the economic health and quality of life of our cultural economy workforce.”
Originally, the LCEF was founded to provide relief and recovery funds for artists and cultural organizations, but it’s moving out of recovery mode now. Its charge is to establish a public/ private partnership to create an infrastructure that will serve the cultural industries across the state. The LCEF provides grant funding to artists and organizations (not only non-profits) whose focus is on our culture. Since 2005, LCEF has raised well over $1.1 million and has distributed about $650,000 to 300 artists, cultural organizations and businesses. The proviso of qualifying for grant funding is unusual in that it requires the grantee to show and prove that the grant they receive will create earned income for the recipient. In other words, you don’t just get a handout. Funding has to be used to create jobs and revenue. It’s a brilliant idea, and I can tell you from personal experience that it works wonderfully. OffBeat
has received grant funding to help us develop our digital capabilities, and if you’ve looked at our Web site at OffBeat.com, you can see the results of their help in our endeavors. The LCEF needs funding itself to continue its work, and on August 25, there will be a combination five-year anniversary and fundraising event, La Fête Cultural (A Celebration of Culture) at the Contemporary Arts Center. There will be music from Tab Benoit’s Swampland Jam (Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux); Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, the Stooges Brass Band with Big Chief Little Charles Taylor. There’s also a patron party with the Shannon Powell Trio, David Torkanowsky, Roland Guerin and Carol Fran. Plus lots of delicious food and drink. Tickets are available by calling (504) 528-3800 or visit CulturalEconomy.org. O
OffBeat Wins Big Saturday, July 17, the Press Club of New Orleans honored excellence in journalism in the Crescent City. In a ceremony at the Harrah’s Hotel, OffBeat was recognized in several categories. Art director, Elsa Hahne, was honored with the big award of the evening—the Hal Ledet Award for Print Photography. In addition, Hahne was honored with first place for her feature photo of Tab Benoit in the October 2009 issue. In the same category, Hahne’s feature photo of Allen Toussaint received third place. Hahne’s November 2009 cover photograph of the Noisician Coalition received third place honor, as did her portrait of Jeremy Davenport. For the second year in a row OffBeat’s Weekly Beat email newsletter took first place. Drew Hinshaw’s “In Search of Jockomo” received a second place honor for best feature. In the critical review category, editor Alex Rawls received a third place honor for Kermit Ruffins’ “Living a Treme Life” and food critic Rene Louapre received an honorable mention for his Dooky Chase review. OffBeat.com was recognized with an honorable mention.
By Jan Ramsey
Photo: Denis Alix
he Three Faces of Allen
French-speaking Montreal has a deep fascination with its cultural cousin from the colonial era, New Orleans. The Montreal Jazz Festival is the only international jazz event that has always maintained that no representation of the music is complete without a New Orleans element honoring the birthplace of jazz. This has often consisted of Canadian bands playing brass band music and traditional jazz as well as imported Louisiana content. This year, the Montreal festival went to historic lengths to emphasize the New Orleans connection, closing the 12-day event with a mile-long “Mardi Gras” parade down one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Ste. Catherine Street, followed by a free concert of New Orleans music at the Place des Festivals. The locals came out in force for what was billed as the first Mardi Gras parade in Montreal’s history, clogging the sidewalks along the parade route in huge numbers, speaking excitedly as they watched politely. The “throws” were handed out, and the few beads that were tossed to the crowd were not fought over, and nobody appeared to be drinking alcohol along the route. Though the floats came from Louisiana, the content was decidedly European, more like Carnivale parades in Nice than New Orleans. As the parade progressed, the crowd saw jugglers, dancing girls, the Swing Tonique brass band, the Montreal women’s roller derby skaters, a drum band definitely not playing second line rhythms, and a team of bagpipers playing “Saints.” At the end of the parade, riding on a float dominated by a statue of Louis Armstrong, the Soul Rebels rolled out the sounds of authentic Fat Tuesday revelry, getting the crowd to move to “Caledonia,” “See You Later Alligator” and “Big Leg Woman.” Trombone Shorty took over the entertainment when the crowd reached the massive plaza at the Place des Festivals. Shorty and Orleans Avenue delivered a big-stage funk rock concert that went over well, playing everything from “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and “American Woman” to the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” with material from the recent Backatown mixed in. Shorty was less intent on playing than displaying crowd control charisma; “I can be James Brown,” he barked as Orleans Avenue roared into its JBs medley.
One of the Montreal festival’s signature features is to place versatile jazz players in different settings during the run, and this year it invited Allen Toussaint to perform on consecutive nights first playing solo piano, then with his Bright Mississippi band and finally with his regular group. Toussaint’s versatility is rarely viewed from a jazz perspective and he responded to the honor. Though his performances vary in subtle ways, Toussaint has his material well conceptualized. The same idea can sound like entertainment one night and a confession the next, and in the darkened church venue Gesu, the emotional depth of Toussaint’s solo performance brought a lengthy standing ovation from the enraptured crowd. His childhood ruminations on rural Louisiana during “Southern Nights,” a regular feature of his shows, took on a shimmering, mythopoeic otherworldliness. On the second night in a small concert hall, the delicacy of Toussaint’s presentation of The Bright Mississippi material, with superbly understated drumming from Herman LeBeaux and soulful double bass accompaniment by David Piltch, felt like a Modern Jazz Quartet concert with special guests Don Byron on clarinet and tenor saxophone, Marc Ribot on guitar and Nicholas Payton on trumpet. On the third night, Toussaint’s New Orleans R&B band closed out the festival, following Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue with a rousing, hit-packed set that ended with a flag waving medley of a recitation-free “Southern Nights,” “Saints,” a drum solo into “Yes We Can Can” then back to “Saints” to wrap it up. That night, Toussaint trumped the poetry and flashed his pop credentials. —John Swenson www.OFFBEAT.com
Century of Krazy
The classic newspaper comic strip “Krazy Kat” is most associated with the American southwest, as the landscape and architecture of its fictional Coconino County looks like a surreal corner of New Mexico or Arizona. In fact, its roots are in New Orleans, the home of the strip’s creator, George Herriman. As former OffBeat contributor Michael Tisserand reveals in his biographical sketch of Herriman in Sunday Press’ new Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays, Herriman played coy much of his life about his roots, claiming at one point that his parents were from France. In fact, he was Creole, a theme Tisserand will explore in greater detail in his upcoming biography of Herriman. Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays comes 100 years after Krazy Kat’s debut, and Sunday Press presents Herriman’s remarkable, surreal wit and graphic style as close as possible to the way it was first conceived and viewed—on pages the size of newspapers. “The Sunday comic page is where the daily strip artist gets to play,” Patrick O’Donnell (“Mutts”), writes. “Herriman used this additional space as a place to improvise and explore. The early Herriman Sundays are in black and white and are filled with intricate details, more elaborate penwork, and long, involved stories. In 1935, color was introduced. In response, Herriman surprised us with art that became bolder, more sculptural, and with big open spaces.” For more, go to SundayPressBooks.com. —Alex Rawls
il and Culture Don’t Mix
The Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation (LCEF) will be hosting La Fete Cultural 2010, a celebration of culture to honor LCEF’s 5th year of service. The non-profit organization was founded as a direct response of the devastation inflicted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the effect these disasters had on cultural workers of Louisiana. Now LCEF has been given a new challenge—assisting the cultural workers affected by the oil spill.
La Fete Cultural 2010 will be at the Contemporary Arts Center Wednesday, August 25. The two-part evening will feature a Patron Party ($150 per person) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the CAC atrium and galleries with music by the Shannon Powell Trio with David Torkanowsky and Roland Guerin with special guest Carol Fran. The Patron Party will also include an open bar, food from local restaurants, a live and silent auction featuring donated art from local artists as well as other items. Following the Patron Party will be a concert in the CAC Warehouse ($35 advance purchase; $50 at door) featuring performances by Tab Benoit’s Swampland Jam with Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. The concert will also include Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Stooges Brass Band and Big Chief Little Charles Taylor. The event will include special celebrity appearances by Mario Cantone (Sex and the City and regular guest on The View), Michael Cerveris (Tony award winner and star of Fringe on FOX), Faith Ford and Harry Shearer. According to Lisa Picone, LCEF Grant Administrator and Program Officer, “Funds from this event will go to support the programs of the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, which includes the Economic Opportunity Grant Program that assists cultural workers, creating new revenue streams for their businesses. Some of the funds raised through this event will help us to further address assisting cultural workers that have been affected by the oil spill through our grant program.” LCEF is also moving its health screenings to Gulf Coast parishes to better help those who are being affected by the oil spill. For additional information, visit LCEF’s web site CulturalEconomy. org or call the CAC box office at (504) 528-3800. —Courtney Young www.OFFBEAT.com
ack on Bourbon
A year after a four-alarm fire ripped through the building, the Tropical Isle at the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon re-opened last month with a renewed commitment to live music on Bourbon Street. Equipped with new state-of-theart sound systems, the Tropical Isle and Tropical Isle Bayou Club (formerly Beach Club) will continue the tradition of live music seven nights a week. “We are dedicated to live music, and not just tired cover bands,” co-owner Earl Bernhardt says. “We want to bring in more variety.” The larger room in the main Tropical Isle now features a centered music stage, with the musicians on a raised stage behind the bartenders. To ensure that the out-of-reach musicians still get tipped and patrons can request songs, the owners installed a pneumatic delivery system like the ones used at banks. Next door, in place of the old Tropical Isle Beach Club is the new Bayou Club, where the scene is decidedly more Louisianan. Complete with a fiber-optic ceiling that mimics a bayou night sky, the Bayou Club featured Waylon Thibodeaux, Bruce Daigrepont, and The Can’t Hardly Playboys from Lafayette during its opening weekend.
Bernhardt admits that after the fire, which was caused by a careless, cigarette-smoking employee, he and co-owner Pam Fortner thought seriously about not rebuilding. “The building was in desperate need of updating and reinforcing,” he says. “The whole shell had to be rebuilt to get the building up to modern codes.” Bernhardt and the owners used the incident to completely re-vamp the location, adding the new sound systems, better dining options, and more variety in music. “We wanted the new bar to be tastefully done, so we can shoot for a more mature Washboard crowd.” Rodeo —Lauren Noel Photo: alexei kazantsev
hat’s in a Cowboy Name?
Washboard Rodeo is bringing cowboy jazz to New Orleans. The Western swing group recently released its self-titled debut album, an acoustic affair filled with harmonies and light washboard percussion. The tracks are covers of Western swing classics including “Women, Women, Women”, “Jack o’ Diamonds”, and “Fort Worth Stomp”. Western swing developed in the ’30s and ’40s—”when country guys wanted to do swing,” band member Washboard Chaz says. “It’s cowboy jazz.” His washboard’s light touch fits well with the string instruments, Chaz says. Particularly Matt Rhody and Neti Vaan’s fiddles. The lineup also includes Matt Johnson on guitar and Jimbo Walsh on bass. For Washboard Rodeo, the band members have adopted aliases: Nellie Belle, Tater, Dapper Dan and Big Possum. “The aliases just make it more fun,” says Chaz. “It’s all fun. We pretty much all stand up and do harmonies and just play.” —Kate Russell
The French Quarter’s “answer” to White Linen Night comes at dusk the following Saturday. Royal Street shuts down to traffic and its galleries, mostly owned by artists, prop open their doors to the public until 9 p.m. Crowds admire their work and interact with the artists while milling around the galleries. August 14, more than 60 galleries and shops from the 1000 to the 200 blocks of Royal will stay open for Dirty Linen Night. Nine locations will serve Creole cuisine, and the Royal House—Dirty Linen Night’s headquarters— will serve a Dirty Linen Night martini and offer a special menu. Nine years ago, the first Dirty Linen Night was thrown a week after a brainstorming session among a small group of people who wanted to draw attention to French Quarter artists and their galleries during the slow summer months. They looked at the success of White Linen Night, and wondered how they could generate similar enthusiasm on their side of Canal Street. Their premise was that it was free to the public, garnered attention to local artists while people had a great time, and no dress code. You could even wear your “dirty linen” from the previous week. Last year, an estimated 5,000 people attended, according to co-organizer Laurie Toups. Although it has grown, Dirty Linen Night remains committed to its original purpose of a night focused on the arts. “We’re getting people into the quarter at a time when it’s not quite as busy,” Toups says. “Second, we’re getting people into artists’ galleries, which will bring them recognition. Third, people come in and buy the art. “I do it out of the love my heart,” says Toups. “We have real jobs, but we do this because we love Dirty Linen Night and we love what we are doing for the community.” —Kate Russell www.OFFBEAT.com
(Chicago-based jazz saxophonist Fred Anderson passed away June 24. Valid Records’ Benjamin Lyons reflects on his passing.) The Velvet Lounge on Chicago’s Near South Side was an old-fashioned joint covered in the funkiest ’70s-style wallpaper this side of John Shaft’s imagination. I always likened it to Little People’s Place in the Treme, except the common culture denominator was John Coltrane, not Louis Armstrong. And like Little People’s, the Velvet got damn near gentrified and redeveloped out of existence. With the support of jazz fans from all over, Fred Anderson relocated to a more sterile, modern building around the corner. It may have been less congenial, but it felt much the same because of Fred, who picked up the cigarette butts off the ground outside, hauled ice to the bar, collected the cover charge and greeted neighborhood fixtures and jazz fans from Lithuania alike. He’d amble onstage, hunker down in one spot, bend forward at the waist and start in the lower registers of his tenor, worrying the little phrases he always came back to, phrases from the language of Charlie Parker filtered through the expansive methods of John Coltrane. And he might not take the horn out of his mouth for a good 45 minutes, after working and reworking and building. When he did, you realized he had created a magnificent edifice of sound out of what appeared at first to be a limited vocabulary through hard work, will, and a quietly creative spirit. Anderson was always devoted to the music, but he never took commercial gigs to pay the rent. Dubbed “the lone prophet of the prairie,” Fred went his own way. Like most prophets, it took quite a while for him to find his followers. In the early 1960s, Fred was one of the founders of the seminal Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, an organization that looked for ways for African-American musicians to take control of their musical lives by creating their own music and the structures to support it. But even within the AACM, he was an iconoclast. While most of the leading lights of the AACM (Richard Muhal Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Henry Threadgill, etc.) moved on to New York and the larger art world, Fred labored away in Chicago. When he took over the Velvet Lounge, he introduced a Sunday night jam session that taught young musicians how to play and play together, how to listen and how to create. Hamid Drake, Jeff Parker (Tortoise,)
Nicole Mitchell (current co-president of the AACM,) Harrison Bankhead, Ernest Dawkins (New Horizons), Ed Wilkerson (Eight Bold Souls,) Douglas Ewart, and Dee Alexander all found a home at the Velvet and an inspirational leader in Fred Anderson, to whom they give the honorific title “Baba” Fred. Anderson’s reach even extended to New Orleans, where Velvet Lounge alumnae Rob Wagner, Maurice Brown and Mario Abney have all made their home for a time. Photo: Jim Newberry
Anderson’s largest connection to the Crescent City is through fellow tenor titan Kidd Jordan. We in New Orleans had the good fortune to hear Fred and Kidd on several occasions, but it was at the Velvet Lounge in the company of all-world rhythm section Harrison Bankhead and Hamid Drake that this duo hit their highest heights. It was a pairing of like-minded opposites: Fred would be anchored in one spot and in the lower registers of the tenor. Kidd would stalk the stage, engaging each musician searching for something to play off of and then levitating as he exploded into his altissimo range. Each maintained their unique voice as they wove through the common ground of their music: Coltrane, blues, gospel, and even James Brown. You may have known pretty much how it would start and how it would end, but each time they were so totally in the moment that it always felt new. They might not stop for an hour or more, their sheer power and stamina putting most younger musicians to shame, but it was the depth of their soul that sticks with us. Listen to 21st Century Chase, recorded on the occasion of Anderson’s 80th birthday, and you will hear all of this. And listen to the all the musicians he has nurtured, and you will discover the immensity of his legacy. —Benjamin Lyons www.OFFBEAT.com
I’ll Be Your Mirror The first season of HBO’s Treme has given New Orleanians cause for reflection.
Photo: HBO/Paul Schiraldi
ew Orleans is still a factory town,” David Simon, co-producer of Treme told the Los Angeles Times. “There are no factories; it creates moments. Musicians, chefs, social aid and pleasure club guys, Mardi Gras Indians—they’re working every day. Their lives are basically skilled labor creating a product that is moments.” Season one of the HBO series showed the pros and cons of living in such a city. Steve Zahn’s Davis McAlary was the Pied Piper of Moments. He tells Kim Dickens’ Janette Desautel, “There are so many beautiful moments here.” It’s easy for McAlary to enjoy moments in post-Katrina New Orleans. His house shows no signs of damage, his income is only semi-relevant because his parents have money, and his relationship with Desautel leaves him barely encumbered. She, on the other hand, struggles with a damaged house and a dying business in a city without customers. “They’re just moments,” she says. “They’re not a life.” When McAlary shows up to teach piano to the daughter of John Goodman’s Creighton Bernette, he comes face to face with a possible future. Bernette’s story isn’t about writer’s block but what causes it— what happens when the moments that defined your relationship to the city don’t feel special anymore. Moments come easily to those who have the luxury of being able to aestheticize life. Khandi Alexander’s LaDonna Batiste-Williams, Clarke Peters’ Albert Lambreaux and Wendell Pierce’s Antoine Batiste are too busy dealing with their day-to-day challenges to enjoy the moments. They come, but they pass with the bare flicker of recognition because LaDonna, Lambreaux and Batiste don’t have time for magic. When LaDonna experiences a moment on her way to put her
brother Daymo to rest, it’s the emotional pinnacle to the season. The finale suggests the importance of moments: They’re all we’ve got in a world where Daymo, in effect, dies for running a red light. His fate, like much about Treme, is uncommon on television. Television favors consequences that are in proportion with characters’ actions, and good, moderate people come to manageable ends. In Treme as in life, no such equilibrium exists. With Treme, producers Simon, Eric Overmyer and the late David Mills offer a coherent, considered take on life in New Orleans that evokes the texture of life here. In The Atlantic, Matthew Iglesias contrasts The Wire’s depiction of Baltimore with Treme’s presentation of New Orleans: Treme also feels realistic, but it’s a different realism. Not the realism of a man who’s lived in a city for years and is here to share with us what it is. But the realism of a man who’s
By Alex Rawls
gone to research a city he loves and wants to present it for us. Simon’s New Orleans is the New Orleans of those who inhabit and love the city, a counterpoint to the tourist’s New Orleans but not a deeply personal vision of the city the way The Wire is of Baltimore. It seems clear that if a lifelong resident of New Orleans were to complain to Simon about a lack of realism that he’d be genuinely saddened. There are moments in the season when there’s something to that. The show’s love of detail seems fetishistic on occasion. But in a pre-debut letter, Simon wrote, “By referencing what is real, or historical, a fictional narrative can speak in a powerful, full-throated way to the problems and issues of our time. And a wholly imagined tale, set amid the intricate and accurate details of a real place and time, can resonate with readers in profound ways.” The New Republic’s Ruth Franklin noted that in the letter,
“Simon calls his audience ‘readers.’ And what he has created—with The Wire and now with Treme—is a kind of novel in TV form.” Because of the efforts to bring a literary realism to a televised treatment of New Orleans after Katrina, Treme is worth contemplating in ways that other New Orleans-based entertainments haven’t been. Contrasting Treme’s New Orleans to New Orleans as we live it means more than just scrutinizing a television show. It means examining the city we live in and our places in it. On July 8, Treme received two Emmy nominations—one for Best Director for Agnieszka Holland for her work on the pilot/first episode, and one for Steve Earle for Best Song, “This City,” which plays at the end of the final episode. Readers at Nola.com took the news with a mix of shock and paranoia. For example: www.OFFBEAT.com
TREME Happy for Steve Earle, “This City” is a great song and very deserving. But nothing for Khandi Alexander and Clarke Peters? Or John Goodman? That’s just crazy! We, the people who actually watch Treme, know they deserve nominations more than the two clowns from Lost or some of the others. Just more Hollywood elitist BS. The voters are probably upset because it is shot on location and not on some stupid set in Hollywood.
it surprised me how close to the surface everybody’s feelings still are about that time. I’ve never worked on a show were the response has been so intensely personal.” After Treme’s debut, some Uptowners, residents in Lakeview and Gentilly took exception to being left out of the show (despite its name). They wanted their stories told and their experiences validated by television. Others suggested stories for Treme to deal with, if
not to Overmyer then to friends. During a panel at this year’s Jazz Fest, many at the Music Heritage Stage suggested that the show should depict the first Jazz Fest after Katrina when Bruce Springsteen performed. “Everyone’s got a million stories about that time, and everyone wants to tell those stories,” Overmyer says. “We hear some of that, but more, ‘Oh man, I can’t believe you told that.
That’s just like something that happened to me.’” That identification has made Treme a social phenomenon— not just something that people gathered to watch and talk about, but something they connect over. It has inspired a lot of perceptive writing at the “Back of Town,” “Watching Treme” and “Sound of Treme” blogs, and NPR’s “All Jazz Considered” and Dave Walker at The Times-Picayune have done
Fans weren’t the only ones who thought the show might get more Emmy love. Mark Dawidziak at the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote, “It sure would have been nice to see, at the very least, Treme star Khandi Alexander nominated for lead actress in a drama,” and Tom O’Neil at the Los Angeles Times predicted that Goodman would be nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. “I wish the show had gotten more nominations,” Steve Earle says by phone. “I think The Wire is a great show and deserved to be nominated more than it was, and I think this was a great show and deserved to be nominated more than it was.” Earle was cutting the song at Piety Street Recording with producer T Bone Burnett the night that episode seven aired. A friend of his walked in the studio and reported that he’d watched the show in a Bywater bar and was amazed that it was packed. “It was like the Saints were on TV,” Earle says. “Most of the people I know in New Orleans that I talk to seem to think that we’ve gotten something right,” he says. Not just the details such as real musicians, real bars and recreations of real events, but the way people are. LaDonna’s vengeful joy at seeing her roofing contractor served is a hollow one, but we all recognize the disproportionate pleasure of seeing someone held accountable, even if it’s only the closest stand-in for a government that systematically dismantled its ability to respond to disaster, then outsourced the recovery. “We were all moved and gratified at how intensely positive most of the reaction of New Orleans was,” co-producer Eric Overmyer says. “It’s what we hoped for, but www.OFFBEAT.com
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Would further indulging surrealism make those stories and countless sublime experiences we encounter truer or weirder?
a great job of telling the stories behind the stories. In the process of engaging the show, they explore the nature of the city. Valid Records’ Benjamin Lyons wrote that Treme should drop its attachment to realism and embrace the city’s true nature—surrealism. Certainly many of the moments Simon speaks of have a surreal quality to them. Steve Earle talks of an upcoming book, The Lampshade by Bywater writer Mark Jacobson. “He obtained half-ownership of a lampshade in the aftermath of the storm, and that lampshade had been floating around town for years and purported to be a lampshade made of human skin that had come from Germany,” he says. “He did the DNA work and it is a lampshade made of human skin that was made in Germany in the ‘30s. It was absolutely authentic.” He also recalls running into a guy in a trad jazz band on Royal Street that Earle first met when the guy was busking outside Santa Maria de Trastevere in Rome. Would further indulging surrealism make those stories and countless sublime experiences we encounter truer or weirder? And would it make it any easier to convey a sense of place to those outside of New Orleans? Curiously, it wasn’t the details of life that posed problems for nonNew Orleans audiences, but two characters. Critics early on took exception to Sonny’s snide treatment of the fresh-faced Wisconsin volunteers, when he goaded them to request “When the Saints Go Marching In” then demanded that they tip extra “because every cheesehead from Chowderland wants to hear ‘Saints.’” After that, Josh Levin at Slate. com wrote, “If Simon is aiming to persuade his audience that New Orleans is unique and worth preserving, he’s going about it in a
strange way. I’m assuming that the average Treme viewer is someone who isn’t from New Orleans, was transfixed by Katrina and its immediate aftermath, and is curious about what’s happened to the city since. In Treme’s universe, the closest analogues to people of that ilk are the house-gutters from Wisconsin…. When these characters get mocked, Simon is essentially mocking his audience.” Levin presumes to know the show’s intent—a common thread in criticism from inside and outside New Orleans—but he misses that the sequence says far more about the angry Sonny than the volunteers, who end up loving the adventure they have at McAlary’s urging, visiting a Treme bar. Similarly, Maureen Ryan at the Chicago Tribune took exception to Creighton Bernette’s rants. “Bernette’s didactic, condescending character was not one of Treme’s successes,” she wrote. “Nobody likes being lectured.” Again, the scenes of Creighton recording his blog posts provide insight into him— someone who found a creative voice responding to the disaster and the eminent death that he feared for the city he loved, a voice he otherwise couldn’t access. And if he’s didactic, he’s didactic. Such people exist in New Orleans and elsewhere. “I had several conversations with people who said, ‘That rhetoric is so overheated,’” Overmyer says. “I said, ‘It’s not rhetoric. It’s a fact. It’s how everybody in New Orleans feels, certainly, and it’s the character’s point of view.’ I happen to agree with it, but it’s not about what me and Dave think. It’s the character’s point of view.” All of that returns us to the question the city asked when Treme began: Will the country get us? I wondered from the start if it was
possible to depict the madness of that time—the emotional instability, the manic sense of purpose, the amount of drinking, and the exhilaration at every sign of recovery, no matter how minor. Judging by the response to Goodman’s Creighton, the character who most obviously embodies that experience, the answer may be no, but it might be something the show’s not dealing with. We can similarly wonder if McAlary’s appetite for the good times is natural or amped-up by the unreal situation, and whether Batiste is a screw-up, a victim of the dearth of gigs after Katrina, or someone who’s become self-destructive in the wake of the storm. Because of the scope of Hurricane Katrina and its effects, everyone has expectations and hopes for Treme, some of which are at crosspurposes. In The Nation, Melissa Lacewell-Harris wrote, “I worry that, for all its authenticity, Treme is ultimately reductive. It is still a fiction whose characters only gesture toward the far more complicated reality they portray.” She contends that any use of Katrina—as drama or worse, as a metaphor (“Is BP Obama’s Katrina?”)—diminishes its significance. “These metaphors reduce catastrophe to an object lesson, implying that the effects of the disaster have been resolved, that the plot has been resolved and that the continued suffering of our fellow citizens is little more than a literary device,” she writes. Maybe people would like to metaphorically put the past behind us. The mixed-income neighborhood built where the Magnolia Project was has recently become Harmony Oaks, a name that is 100 percent povertyfree and as at home in Main Street U.S.A. as River Gardens, formerly the St. Thomas Project. Or, maybe people want to hang on to the past so desperately that Betty Fox isn’t
allowed to retire from the Motherin-Law Lounge, whether she wants to run a bar or not. The battle over noise ordinances and street musicians in the French Quarter is part of an ongoing battle over the nature of the Quarter, with history trotted out selectively and conveniently to bolster the notion of it as a fundamentally genteel place. We live in a constant dialogue with New Orleans’ past, and the murk that has crept in keeps things complicated. For the crew on Treme, that manifested itself when dealing with Mardi Gras Indians. “Right at the end of the season, we had a complete disagreement between some of our Indians as to whether Lambreaux was a downtown Indian or an uptown Indian,” Overmyer recalls. “We were showing footage from the last episode to every Mardi Gras Indian that came in, and we got conflicting opinions, so we never did figure it out.” Treme presents a vision of one of the defining events in the life of New Orleans. As Andrei Codrescu said in these pages, we’ll define our lives in terms of pre- and postKatrina, and hard to imagine that any New Orleanian watches it without considering his or her relationship to the world and events depicted. Lacewell-Harris is right; it is a simplified version of our reality, but it’s simplified by reducing the number of principal players by a couple of hundred thousand and focusing the show on telling certain stories. But it serves as an accurate enough mirror that it has brought back painful memories for many and created an occasion to reflect on the shared formative experience for a few generations of New Orleanians. It’s hard to be certain what Treme means to non-New Orleanians, but the personal nature of the response to it here says that it has become part of the way we process Katrina and its aftermath. O www.OFFBEAT.com
Where Are We Now?
Members of the New Orleans music community reflect on our recovery from Katrina five years later.
erhaps it doesn’t seem like five years since we were all running from a hurricane roughly the size of the entire Gulf of Mexico. For some, it seems like even more time. Much less for others. Just the first six dreamlike months after the flood—when you could leave your bike outside, unlocked for days—felt like a lifetime in itself. Some have by now painted over Katrina with the Saints Super Bowl win or, more realistically, with our newest, possibly even worse catastrophe, the BP oil spill. But in the face of this newest disaster, it is valuable to reflect
upon the ways in which we’ve bounced back from the last calamity: Some figures have the worst flooded neighborhoods back at 60 percent of their population, though you can still hear a plastic grocery bag flap in the wind down in the Lower Ninth Ward (not that there’s a grocery store there). Even as rescue workers were air-lifting survivors from roofs, other New Orleanians were busy making sure that the city’s music also did not die. Between then and now, lots of our musicians trudged on, playing music in town for their neighbors to come home to, while other musicians moved away to carry New Orleans’ flame in other cities. The story was, and continues to be, different for everyone. OffBeat spoke with members of New Orleans’ music community who retraced their steps and the city’s. How far have we come?
By Michael Patrick Welch
BEFORE Deacon John, New Orleans R&B legend: When the city was intact, Mayor Nagin was in his grace period and everyone had great hopes for him. The city was on the move, moving forward. I was also enjoying a surge in my popularity after releasing the Deacon John’s Jump Blues album and DVD. I had a lot of gigs, the Jazz Fest and the Jump Blues Orchestra was about to go on tour. It just seemed like there was no limit to what we could do culturally, economically, politically.
Richard Bates, program director, Young Audiences Arts for Learning: We’ve been in New Orleans since 1962, originally set up to make classical arts available to all children without charging for the services. Our performance roster had grown to include all music up to rock ’n’ roll and hip-hop—all with educational content as well. We’d done some residencies with teaching artists and workshops, but finally we felt that we had some ideas on how to run our own afterschool program. We had applied for our first afterschool grant before the storm and been awarded it.
J. Yuenger, guitarist/studio owner: New Orleans before the storm was still the fairytale place: the economy so out of whack that you could work two days a week and just make art. People I knew were paying $100 rent.
Trixie Minx, ringleader Fleur De Tease burlesque troupe: Before moving to New Orleans in 2001, I was a ballerina. Before the flood I was in a big dance ensemble and wasn’t performing burlesque at the
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photos: elsa hahne
KATRINA + 5
KA TRIN A+
The city, from my perspective, had a weird sense of ‘Hey, we could be really good at this,’ rather than just someone doing something because they could.
time. People were bugging me to do it, but I was very hesitant. My boyfriend was in school. I had a very happy but organized, mellow life. Then after we finally evacuated, I kept thinking of how I’d never gotten a milkshake at Camellia Grill, and of all the things I’d never gotten around to doing in New Orleans—like burlesque. I remember in my big heavy evacuation backpack I had no real change of underwear or clothes, just my pictures and journals, and a pair of pasties that I was given, to learn how to twirl with. Chris Watson, label head, Park the Van Records: I’d moved here from Sacramento in early 2002, where I’d been working at another label, and now had the chance to put out a release by Dr. Dog, and that’s where Park the Van really started. I remember before the flood sitting at Handsome Willy’s with Leo from Antigravity, talking about how awesome shit felt, and how we were going to finally have an indie rock scene that supported itself and wasn’t just scraping by. The city, from my perspective, had a weird sense of ‘Hey, we could be really good at this,’ rather than just someone doing something because they could. Ben Jaffe, Preservation Hall Leader: 2004 and 2005 were great years. I was incredibly optimistic. The city felt very youthful and energetic. New Orleans had really begun to hit its stride. Pres Hall was finishing up an album and I had another one I’d worked on with King Britt. I had also been building a company for a year with two business partners of mine, and we were moving into our new offices the weekend before Katrina. We ended up calling off the moving trucks. Our company never came back. Bethany Bultman, program director, New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic: We had a very nice clinic where we referred our patients into specialty clinics at LSU. We could get our patients at the front of the list if they needed a liver biopsy or CAT scan, and we had great dental care. We had great grants, like from the Grammy Foundation. We evacuated thinking we were pretty solid and safe, especially being up on the eighth floor of a medical building on Gravier. Jordan Hirsch, executive director, Sweet Home New Orleans: Before the storm, I was trying to open a record store and that didn’t get off the ground. Then after the storm, I had a chance to get involved and start Sweet Home New Orleans. I was really thankful for that because after I was done accounting for people I cared about and my belongings and all of that, the next thing I wondered was, “What’s going to happen to the music? What’s going to happen to the culture?”
AFTER Bethany Bultman: Within days we’d lost access to our bank account, lost all of our patient records, lost track of our doctors and each other. There were patients who’d been in the middle of chemo, people in the middle of finding out what type of cancer they had, and we were unable to reach any of them. But we were able to station in Lafayette and get musicians there to take New Orleans musicians into their
homes. We got hold of a small donated clinic with no furniture, and our nurse practitioner and everyone else just sat on the floor, manned the phones and helped people hook up with health care partners in other areas. I was also able to borrow money and open a bank account, and I sent hundreds of emails telling people about what the Musicians’ Clinic was trying to do. Two weeks later the bank calls and says, “You have to come in right away.” I thought, “Oh shit, I overdrew the account!” It turned out people had wired in money and we had over $200,000 in the account! Chris Watson: My apartment, my car and all that shit were gone, and since a few of our bands were from Philadelphia, we moved there and became a Philadelphia label for a while. My girlfriend is from New Orleans, so we were back as much as we could. When I first came back and visited in October, I remember meeting up with some friends at Le Bon Temps, one of the few places with live music, and they were grilling. It felt really different than at Handsome Willy’s right before the flood. Deacon John: The city services were in shambles, there was a cultural diaspora, people having a hard time returning and getting their lives back together. When they did return, there was acute lack of affordable housing, landlords raising the rents. Personally, my career also took a slight downturn. Some of my bookings were cancelled or postponed, but I had to honor all these contracts that I had, and my hardest thing was bringing the musicians back in town for our gigs. A lot of times it wasn’t economically feasible for me to fly guys in. I couldn’t even find my piano player. It was a real hard time to be a bandleader, but then I also found some extra work, being one of the only guys in town, filling the void. Richard Bates: My house didn’t flood, so it was my job to try to find work for Young Audiences’ teaching artists so they could come back and have steady income. There was a lot of recovery money in the school system and in Louisiana-based organizations, and such national sympathy that certain groups opened and expanded chapters in New Orleans. We might have had these opportunities anyway without the flood, but the Department of Education—which had a different name at the time—recognized that we were doing a good job. And we maybe had a little less competition because were able to be here working when other organizations were not, so we grew after Katrina. James Singleton, bassist/composer: I’m one of those rare people who, really, my entire life took an upswing after Katrina. New Orleans always seems to bounce back and profit from adversity by the creative nature of our community and how we ritualize our lives and turn it into something positive. My wife evacuated to Los Angeles and got a great job and a free car. That definitely facilitated us staying in Los Angeles. Plus, I had a big house on Bayou St. John that I rented out to three of my friends, and their rent helped pay for my travels. So for me, the main story was I got the opportunity to live in two towns at once for three years and just come back to New Orleans every month to play music with my friends. www.OFFBEAT.com
KA TRIN A+
PHOTOS: ELSA HAHNE
After losing my house, I felt more comfortable elsewhere, where you aren’t going to lose all your shit.
Musicians’ Village Truth Universal, rapper: Impulss came back and started his MC battle and relit the fire in terms of hip-hop in New Orleans, getting people out and congregating. And you also saw big New Orleans bounce movements in Atlanta, Dallas, Texas. So that was the good thing about getting out. I started to have some stuff going on in Houston, had people who helped me navigate some important things, and we hit the road more. Then when all the members of the rap community would meet at New Orleans MC battles, we would also link up and started asking, “What are you doing now?” I started to see more unity in the hip-hop community. Before, some people wouldn’t work together; now they were collaborating on shows and music, recording.
DJ Quickie Mart: Me and Impulss did that first thing at One Eyed Jacks, and that was great, 300-something people. Me and DJ Real and Soul Sister were capitalizing, then Black Pearl came back, and it was a very family, united DJ scene. We were all scooping up gigs. I was playing five to 10 gigs a week for a year. But there’s only so much you can do as a DJ in New Orleans, so I moved to L.A. in 2007. Plus, after losing my house, I felt more comfortable elsewhere, where you aren’t going to lose all your shit.
DJ Quickie Mart: I played recently at the Roxy in L.A. with Rebirth Brass Band and Dumpstaphunk and we sold it out, had a line down Sunset. Especially since Treme, there’s been a little buzz here about New Orleans music.
J. Yuenger: I wanted to come back as soon as possible, but a lot of my friends realized they could do better for themselves other places, or they’d been in the New Orleans holding pattern. I know a lot of people who didn’t come back. Most people I know who left are happy. Ben Jaffe: The flooding of our city made life crystal clear to me. The experience of being in New Orleans for the hurricane and being part of the Musicians’ Hurricane Relief Fund, and to see that still going on today is amazing. New Orleans has some of the most progressive advocacy groups for musicians in the world, and that was a result of Hurricane Katrina. But more than that, it told me exactly what is important, and that’s our history, our traditions, our culture, our way of life. Those were the things I wanted to see preserved and protected. Trixie Minx: From the moment I stepped back into the city, I felt like I was on borrowed time. That’s when I started doing burlesque full time. It was refreshing, almost like being reborn. It was complete confidence. I had faith. I needed to get as much as I could out of the city because there was no guarantee. Everything was fresh.
J. Yuenger: Since Katrina, it’s never again been as happy-go-lucky a place. People seem more cynical now. Since moving here in summer 2004, I’d been hearing about how fun hurricane parties were, so I was surprised when people started seeming genuinely really scared and worried as Katrina approached. Now people have a little fear in them. All the new stuff that’s happening is great: the Super Bowl, the Hollywood South, the TV show. A lot of people are moving here, there’s lots of new creativity here, celebrities are sniffing around, but there’s also a real sense that if it happens again, all that will go away and there will be no future. I now balance my love of New Orleans with a cynicism about what might happen in the future.
Jordan Hirsch: Our revenue is less than it was in ’08. It’s a different kind of money that’s available now. It’s not money that lasts as long, so what we’re doing now is supplanting [recovery programs] with other types of programming. It’s harder to get heard nationally by a wider audience, and people who might care a lot about this aren’t hearing about it anymore. We want to keep doing this to the extent that we can afford to do it. We’ve given out three million dollars since the flood, but it’s going out at a slower rate now because we aren’t able to raise money that we were able to raise after the storm. But we’re going to keep talking, no matter who’s listening. Richard Bates: A lot of the funding has dried up, the national support. The Recovery School District just went through a series of major cuts. It’s good because it cleaned out a lot of the bureaucratic blocks that were there before, but no one can relax because everything is always new. Trixie Minx: Five years ago, I wasn’t doing this and now I am getting the chance to really bring it to people every week with Irvin Mayfield’s Burlesque Ballroom. On Bourbon! With live musicians! I get my pick of all these wonderful dancers for an entirely free show! I’m really excited about our collaborations with the New Orleans Bingo! Show and everything else because it’s an exact result of how I feel about New www.OFFBEAT.com
PHOTOS: ELSA HAHNE
KA TRIN A+
I have a problem now where I take on too many things thinking that I am going to miss something, that it’s not going to be there for me one day.
Orleans, and my attitude since the flood. My values quickly changed after Katrina; I have a different lifestyle now. I left a comfortable lifestyle in pursuit of a more artistically rewarding one. I have a problem now where I take on too many things thinking that I am going to miss something, that it’s not going to be there for me one day, so I want to work with as many wonderful people as possible, and I need to get these ideas in my brain out because I am afraid there won’t be another chance.
Making it right on Forstall Street in the Lower Ninth Ward
Chris Watson: About 2007, we started working with this band, the Peekers, from Shreveport. Since we already had a national following, we thought we could operate our label from anywhere. By December 2008, we were back down in New Orleans operating out of an apartment in Lakeview. Since then, we’ve had some great success with bands from Louisiana: The Generationals, Giant Cloud, Brass Bed. We’re known now as a New Orleans label; we’re very proud of that, and I don’t think we’ll ever leave again. And still, after everything we’ve been through, everyone who comes and visits us leaves saying, “Man, I want to move here.” I don’t feel that way when I leave any other city.
Bethany Bultman: Right now the Musicians’ Clinic is at the most absolutely catastrophic point. It is really what I work on night and day. We have a lot of things we have to pay for now that we didn���t right after the flood. Our three-year Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant runs out in August. We had 800 patients before the flood and now we have 2,000. We are desperately seeking other funding, but it’s a terrifying time. We don’t have any resources we can call upon because the hospital system never came back. We are going to have to ration care and cut hours. We’ve had to cut employees and rely on volunteers more. There are more mental health beds in Orleans Parish prison than anywhere else in the city. We can often no longer provide the premium care we would like. We do, however, still have pots of money that only go toward gigs, so we are not taking away from health care to pay for the gigs. We feel that funding musicians to perform is still a vital mental health service, and we’ll continue to do so as long as we have the money.
Deacon John: We’re making tremendous progress, but it’s not enough. There are still thousands of abandoned houses, so many uninhabitable places. They had all these visions of grandeur that are still unfulfilled—the sports complex the mayor promised us. The Hyatt Regency hasn’t been restored. Plus that ugly head of corruption, our politicians going to jail. We have new leadership in City Hall with tremendous budget problems left over from the last administration, but I think the city is behind the new mayor, who I think we can trust, and who won with unified support from people of all races. I feel we are on the right road now for a speedier recovery, but now new problems have occurred with the oil spill to add to everything else. The seafood and tourism industries are being negatively impacted. Chef Susan Spicer even filed a class action suit because they can’t get seafood. This will all trickle down to musicians. I have a friend who came to the Musicians’ Union meeting. He depended on tourism and now he’s experiencing a lot of unemployment. Luckily, my thing is sort of recessionproof. Weddings, private parties, Carnival balls, and those things are still going on despite what’s going on in the Gulf. Still, it’s really depressing and I am afraid I won’t be around to see the rebound, or even the raw oysters that I love. Everything we’re famous for is being constantly eroded.
Ben Jaffe: It’s strange that we’re even having this conversation, really. To me, it’s more important to ask what the fuck are we going to do for the next 50 years of our lives. Up until a couple months ago, it felt great being here, being part of a city that has a world championship football team, so many great musical organizations. And it’s amazing that all we’ve accomplished is now being compromised by this oil pouring uncontrollably into the Gulf. It’s hard for me to even talk about Katrina with this new situation, especially now that oil is washing up into Lake Pontchartrain. After the flood, there was painful struggle—happiness, sorrow, death and birth, frustration and exhaustion, panic and stress and fear and helplessness and abandonment—and our city overcame all of that, only to be—I wouldn’t say kicked when we’re down, I would say kicked when we’re up. I’d never seen New Orleans on such a high before. All the people who came back to rebuild our city and their lives brick by brick, such a testament. I really felt like a city that could overcome Katrina could overcome anything. But this oil spill is going to overshadow Katrina for the next 50 years, and that’s what we need to be focusing on. Fuck Katrina, seriously. O
James Singleton: The main thing to me is the huge visual arts centers in our town now, all the new galleries, Prospect 1, new clubs to play in, the TV show, three different booking entities that are presenting the weird kind of music that I like to listen to. I’m in new bands now with extremely creative people, many of whom have moved to town since Katrina—the latest crop of improvising geniuses.
The Sons of Satchmo The “Seeking Satch” competition is exposing another generation of Armstrong fans.
Photo: ELAINE MILLER
ew Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying ‘I want to be a policeman,’ or ‘I want to be a fireman,’ he says, ‘I want to be a musician,’” said Allan Jaffe, founder of Preservation Hall. The French Market and the Jazz Institute at the University of New Orleans are working together to keep our youth interested in traditional jazz music. The two organizations created “Seeking Satch,” a competition to discover the next jazz musicians who will continue the legacy of The Big Easy. During the French Quarter Festival, the first tier of contestants vied for a Senior Ambassador award. Terry Gibson Jr., a senior at Warren Easton Senior High School, took home the grand prize for his lively “St. James Infirmary.” As a result, he has been offered a full, four-year Ellis Marsalis scholarship by the UNO Jazz Studies Program. Gibson also won a trip to Bonn, Germany in late May to be a featured performer at the “Keep New Orleans Alive” benefit concert at the Bundeskunsthalle, the official museum of the Federal Republic of Germany. “Louis Armstrong knew how to put the right amount of soul in his music,” Gibson says. “He had you feeling like he was feeling.” Auditions for the Junior Ambassador auditions were held in mid-May. Doyle Cooper, Cameron Dugas III, John Michael Bradford and Herman Williams IV are the four Junior Ambassador winners who won spots in the New Orleans Jazz Institute’s Saturday Music School. “One of my favorite things about Louis Armstrong is that he created conversation through jazz,” says Doyle Cooper, an 11th grade student at NOCCA who leads the Red Hot Brass Band, which is mostly composed of high school students.
Doyle Cooper He won the judges over with his rendition of “West End Blues.” “I wasn’t really sure who I was going up against. I practiced long and hard on that piece,” says Cooper. Cameron Dugas III is a 10th grade student at De La Salle High School, and he was first runner-up at the 9th-11th grade level. Dugas has been playing the trumpet since he was 10. “The music teacher at one of my old schools played the trumpet, and I said that I wanted to play the instrument because it sounded so cool,” Dugas says. He played “St. Louis Blues” in his audition. John Michael Bradford, grand prize winner at the 6th-8th grade level and 7th grade student at the Haynes Academy for Advanced Students, was very excited about winning a competition that is inspired by Louis Armstrong. Bradford starting playing the trumpet
By Brittany Epps
when he and his family evacuated during Hurricane Katrina. “We evacuated with a musician named Sam Williams, and he has his own band, Funky Nation,” Bradford says. “He started playing the trombone, and it inspired me to play music. At first I wanted to play the trombone, but we couldn’t get one so my grandfather gave me his trumpets.” Bradford said that hearing Big Sam play woke something up in him, and he knew that he was supposed to be a New Orleans jazz musician. “I want to share New Orleans music with the world and bring a smile to every face, just like Satchmo did,” Bradford says. Herman Williams IV, 7th grade student at McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts, won first runner-up at the 6th-8th grade level. Herman had much to say about Louis Armstrong, who
John Michael Bradford influenced him to start playing the trumpet. “Satchmo’s style, from the handkerchief to the big smile, embodied the spirit of his birthplace, New Orleans,” Herman says. “He made his way to the top the right way and in my opinion was and is the best trumpeter in the world.” All of the finalists will play at Satchmo SummerFest as part of the Trumpet Tribute. Producers of “Seeking Satch” said that this first year’s competition serves as a promising start to what the contest’s sponsors intend to be an annual contest for local, national and international trumpet players who, it is hoped, will come to New Orleans to compete, study and strive. “I’m dedicated to this tradition,” grand prize winner Doyle Cooper says. “Traditional jazz is New Orleans. I feel that our contribution is to keep that going.” O www.OFFBEAT.com
A Decade of Celebrating Satchmo Our guide to Satchmo SummerFest.
hen it was discovered that Louis Armstrong was born August 4, not July 4 as he claimed, a little piece of poetry died but a festival was born. Satchmo SummerFest has spent a decade honoring New Orleans’ most well-known musician and exploring his legacy. Originally developed as a festival to boost tourism during the August slump,
last year it attracted an estimated 26,000 festival goers. Despite the heat, locals and visitors flock to the Old U.S. Mint and the French Market for performances of trad jazz, contemporary jazz, and brass band music. At the Back o’ Town Stage on the third floor of the Old Mint, there will be free dancing lessons between sets conducted by the NOLA Jitterbugs.
Satchmo SummerFest is more than just music, though. Each year, it includes seminars and talks with those who knew or have studied Armstrong, his music, his persona and his influence. This year’s festival features the return of legendary producer George Avakian, who will answer questions not just about working with Armstrong, but
also Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Erroll Garner and more. There will be film studies, a talk about Treme and more. The festival also coincides with the Satchmo Club Strut—a musical open house on Frenchmen Street that takes place on Friday, August 5. It’s a sprawling weekend of music and activities mirroring the breadth of Armstrong’s accomplishments.
Satchmo SummerFest Performance Schedule at the Louisiana State Museum Old U.S. Mint, August 7-8, 2010
BARRACKS nd Ricely Yours STAGE eans a
ESPLANADEChop Suey STAGE Cornet
JAZZ NATIONALo’ Town STAGE Historic Park Back
12:00-1:00 Adult Jazz Camp Ensemble
12:00-1:15 Bone Tone Brass Band
1:15-2:15 Jane Harvey Brown
1:30-2:45 Linnzi Zaorski
12:00-12:30 Second Line Lesson w/ Dancing Man 504 12:30-1:15 the Young Ones Brass Band 1:15-1:45 African Dance Lesson w/ Seguenon Kone 1:45-2:30 Ensemble Fatien 2:30-3:00 Swing Dance Lesson w/ NOLA Jitterbugs 3:00-3:45 Kimberly Longstreth Trio 3:45-4:15 1920s Charleston Lesson w/ Dance Quarter 4:15-5:00 Clive Wilson and Butch Thompson 5:15-6:00 Wendell Brunious
2:30-3:30 The Palmetto Bug Stompers
3:00-4:15 Yoshio Toyama & the Dixie Saints
3:45-4:45 Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet
4:30-5:45 Wanda Rouzan & A Taste of New Orleans
5:00-6:00 Rebirth Brass Band
FRENCH MARKET lues West End B STAGE
2:00-3:30 Tim Laughlin’s New Orleans All Stars 3:45-5:15 Mark Braud 5:30-7:00 Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown
9:00-11:00 Some Like it Hot at the Big Butter & Egg Man Brunch at the French Market’s Market Café 1:30-2:30 Storyville Stompers brass band starting and ending at French Market Dutch Alley Fountain
4:15-5:15 Jeremy Davenport
4:00-5:00 Leroy Jones & New Orleans' Finest
12:00-12:30 Second Line Lesson w/ Dancing Man 504 12:30-1:15 New Orleans Young Traditional Brass Band 1:15-1:45 Trad Jazz Dance Lesson w/ NOLA Jitterbugs 1:45-2:30 Frank Oxley and the Joint Chiefs of Jazz 2:30-3:00 Swing Dance Lesson w/ Dance Quarter 3:00-3:45 George French Jazz Band 3:45-4:15 Blues Dance Lesson w/ NOLA Jitterbugs
5:30-6:30 Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers
5:15-6:45 Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs
5:15-6:00 Leah Chase
12:00-1:15 Miss Sophie Lee
12:00-1:00 New Orleans Moonshiners
1:30-2:45 Baby Boyz Brass Band
1:15-2:30 Connie Jones
3:00-4:00 Lars Edegran’s
NO Ragtime Orchestra featuring Lionel Ferbos
2:45-3:45 Treme Brass Band
9:00-11:00 The Last Straws at the Big Butter & Egg Man Brunch at the French Market’s Market Café 1:30-2:30 New Wave Brass Band starting and ending at French Market Dutch Alley Fountain
Seminars take place at the Palm Court Jazz Café (1204 Decatur St.) and are open to the public.
Thursday, August 5 7-10 p.m.: 10th Anniversary and Satchmo SummerFest Kickoff Party: The Palm Court Jazz Café hosts this party with food, Abita, wine, an Armstrong birthday cake and music by Yoshio Toyama and the Dixie Saints. Tickets are $65/person and can be purchased by calling 504-522-5730.
5:30-6:45 Kid Merv
3:45-5:15 Hot 8 Brass Band
4:15-5:00 SherriLynn Colby & New Orleans Racket Makers
6:30-7:00 10th Annual Trumpet Tribute
2:00-3:30 Will Smith & the Jass Cats
Friday, August 6
NOLA Jitterbugs offer free dance lessons at the Old U.S. Mint’s 3rd floor and at the Back o’ Town Stage
Project Archivist Ricky Riccardi provide a sneak preview of 2-3 p.m.: “A Satchmo Serenade, treasures from the Jack Bradley Part 1”: Armstrong songs Collection, a compilation of performed by Wendell photographs, letters, films, Brunious. objects, recordings, and much 3-4 p.m.: Keynote Address: “A more collected by photographer Decade of Dippermouth”: Join and past Satchmo SummerFest Dan Morgenstern, director of participant Jack Bradley. the Rutgers Institute of Jazz 7 p.m.-2 a.m.: Satchmo Club Studies, as he discusses what Strut: A $30 wristband ($80 we’ve learned about Louis over for VIP) buys admission to a the past years, as well as the night of music in Frenchmen future of Satchmo scholarship. and Decatur venues to hear 4-5:30 p.m.: “The Song has Ended, music by artists including Ellis but the Melody Lingers on”: Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Jr., Director Michael Cogswell and
Irvin Mayfield, Charles Neville, Henry Butler, Rebirth Brass Band, Lionel Ferbos, Jason Marsalis, Shamarr Allen and Butch Thompson.
Saturday August 7 11-11:30 a.m.: “A Satchmo Serenade Part 2”: Author and archivist Ricky Riccardi will be at the piano playing tunes associated with Armstrong, in a manner Louis himself might have suggested: “lightly, lightly, and politely.” www.OFFBEAT.com
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: “Reminiscing in Satchmo”: Michael Gourrier leads Dr. Connie Atkinson, Michael Cogswell, Dan Morgenstern and others in a conversation on the birth of the Satchmo SummerFest, the seminars, and its highlights. 12:30–1:30 p.m.: “Louis Armstrong’s Musical Gumbo”: Trumpeter Clive Wilson and pianist Butch Thompson explore the New Orleans ingredients that contributed to Louis Armstrong’s trumpet playing. 1:30-2:30 p.m.: “The King in Queens”: Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s home in Queens, New York is a National Historic Landmark open as a museum. In this multimedia presentation, Michael Cogswell, Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, will take you on a virtual tour of the Armstrong’s home and share its unique treasures. 2:30-3:30 p.m.: “Kermit Goes to Queens”: On July 6 last
year, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins made a kind of pilgrimage to Armstrong’s home in Queens on the anniversary of his death. Ruffins and journalist Larry Blumenfeld recall the experience. 3:45-5 p.m.: “Cinematic Satch with Ricky Riccardi, Part 1: Behind the Iron Curtain”: Armstrong historian, and author of the forthcoming What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years, begins his two-part film series with a celebration of the 45th anniversary of Louis’s historic tour of Eastern Europe with rare footage from Prague and East Berlin.
Sunday, August 8 10 a.m.-Noon: Jazz Mass at St. Augustine Church: The Treme Brass Band and the St. Augustine Church Choir will perform, and the Jazz Mass will be followed by a second line to the Old U.S. Mint. 12-12:30 p.m.: “A Satchmo Serenade Part 3, Jazz Age
Armstrong”: Start the day with a duet performance by trumpeter Clive Wilson and pianist Butch Thompson as they explore tunes Armstrong played in 1920s. 12:30-1:30 p.m.: “Classic Sounds of New Orleans”: Producer and annotator Dr. Robert H. Cataliotti will discuss the new Smithsonian Folkways collection, Classic Sounds of New Orleans, which focuses on the relationship between the Folkways record label and New Orleans jazz, blues, and other roots expressions, particularly the work of Frederic Ramsey, Sam Charters and David Wyckoff and Alden Ashforth. 1:30-2:30 p.m.: “A City’s Soundtrack: Music in HBO’s Treme”: As the Folkways recordings provided a kind of aural landscape of the New Orleans of the late ’50s and early ’60s, giving life to the New Orleans of the imagination, HBO’s Treme has given definition to contemporary New Orleans. Join us as we discuss the important
T CH SA
T FE S
part music plays in presenting the realities of post-Katrina New Orleans to a wider audience. 2:30-3:30 p.m.: “Ask Uncle George!” The legendary record producer and executive George Avakian celebrated his 91st birthday this year. Instead of lecturing on an aspect of his relationship with Armstrong, the man who also produced Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Errol Garner and Paul Desmond will open the floor to questions. 3:45-5 p.m.: “Cinematic Satch with Ricky Riccardi, Part Two: Louis Armstrong and New Orleans”: A video celebration of Louis’s hometown featuring interview footage of Louis talking about growing up in New Orleans and more. O
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SHAMARR ALLEN HAS PLAYED TRAD JAZZ, BRASS BAND, FUNK AND WESTERN SWING. BUT HE WON’T LET THEM DEFINE HIM.
being Armstrong and Sidney Bechet at home. “We played together a lot,” Allen says. “We went to a lot of the jazz camps and stuff. But she grew up and left music alone.” Allen’s real musical education began on the streets of the Lower Nine, where he and Shavers practiced leading their own second line parades. “A lot of people thought Dinerral was actually my brother,” Allen laughs. “We told everybody we were brothers. My dad would always pick the both of us up in the morning and bring us to school, and he and ma would pick the both of us up in the evening and bring us home. We always were together. We played music together for our whole lives. Everybody thought we were brothers and we let them think that, you know.” They called their first “band” Wolfpack, but a baritone sax substituted for a tuba, and a bucket and boxes subbed for drums. Their name came from their volunteer mentor, who saw them in the neighborhood and said, “Hey man, if y’all want to play this I can show you how to really play it.” It was Keith “Wolf” Anderson from Rebirth Brass Band. Another Rebirth member, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, took Allen under his wing and would often show up on Jourdan Avenue to teach the kids about the jazz tradition they were a part of. Allen would later play with Rebirth himself, but not before he learned his craft on the streets of the French Quarter alongside Trombone Shorty and Glen David Andrews. “I played with Shorty and Glen and them,” says Allen. “We’d all get together and play in the Quarter, my band and their band, then people started to drop out so what was two bands actually became just one band.” Inevitably, Allen and his friends found themselves playing in Jackson Square with Tuba Fats. “A lot of us learned a lot about traditional music from Tuba Fats,” Shamarr says. “He would call a song, and I’d say, ‘Tuba I don’t
By John Swenson
know that one.’ He’d say, ‘Sink or swim, we’re playing it. One, two ….’ You had to go home and learn it, and the next week when you came back, you had better be able to play it.” Allen played his first French Quarter Festival with Tuba Fats when he was 14. “We didn’t have cell phones, so I got on the pay phone and called like my momma, my dad, my grandparents and they all came to the show. At the show he called a whole bunch of songs that I knew. He didn’t put me on the spot at the festival.” Shamarr, Shorty and their friends were the future stars of New Orleans music, a fact they didn’t realize at the time. “I was talking to Shorty a while ago about that,” says Allen. “We were sitting at the Grammys, me and Trombone Shorty sitting next to each other. Quincy Jones is sitting one row behind us, Slash is sitting one row in front of us, Alice Cooper is sitting at the end of the row and Busta Rhymes is sitting right next to us. Shorty says, ‘Did you ever think when we were playing in the Quarter that we would be right here right now?’ I said, ‘It’s what we’ve been dreaming about all our lives.’” Between Wolf and Fats, Allen got all the street cred he needed to roll with the Hot 8 and then Rebirth. He credits that experience as the basis of his sound. “My dad told me from the first time I picked up the horn that I always had that personality, but I think the personality came from playing in the streets, playing in the French Quarter, playing with the brass bands, learning this and learning that. That’s where the personality came from, as opposed to just learning the technical side of it. When you think about all the people that have that talent to their playing around here, they all played in brass bands.” Allen was playing with Rebirth when the federal flood hit. He spent time in Atlanta, where he worked with a group called the Outfit and hip-hop production sessions that AU G U ST 2 010
Photo: elAINE MILLER
907 Jourdan Avenue is situated just past the east wall of the Industrial Canal. Shamarr Allen recalls growing up there, practicing his trumpet at home with encouragement from his father and Kermit Ruffins. Playing with his childhood friend Dinerral Shavers, buddies so close people thought they were brothers. But like so many other such New Orleans memories, Allen’s childhood recollections are clouded by the void that’s left behind. His house was so close to the levee break that destroyed the Lower Ninth Ward that there’s not a toothpick’s worth of it left standing. Allen lives in the Upper Ninth Ward these days. His father lives on the West Bank. Shavers was shot and killed in 2006. “It’s so many memories,” Allen recalls of the Lower Nine, “like all the kids outside playing in the street and I’m sitting on my porch, practicing my trumpet. It was more like a family neighborhood. Everybody was so close and everybody slept at everybody’s house. It was just like one big family.” Shamarr decided to play the trumpet at age seven after his father played him a Louis Armstrong record. “My father, Keith Allen, played saxophone, but he wasn’t a professional sax player,” Shamarr says. “He did it for the fun of it. I played around on the saxophone, but I never took it seriously. I just fiddled around with it because my dad played it and every little kid wants to be like his dad. I was home and he was playing me some records, Herb Alpert and some other guys, and he said ‘listen to this.’ He played an Armstrong record and I was shocked. I was like, ‘Dad, whatever he’s playing, I want to play that.’ It seemed like he was having so much fun with his singing and his playing, the way the band played. It was so much fun that it made you want to have fun, too.” Allen’s younger sister Kamaria played clarinet, and the two siblings would play at
gave him new inspiration. It also left him a little frustrated. “If I was to stay up there, I probably would have been in a whole ’nother place musically,” he admits. “I was making a lot of money out there producing, but I never did get credit for anything I did, which is hard for me. Some of the stuff I did, I could get myself in trouble if I said I did it, like I’m claiming something that’s not mine.” By the time Allen moved back to New Orleans in 2007, Dinerral Shavers was gone
PhotoS: ELAINE MILLER
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along with the halcyon days before the storm. Allen became involved with the Silence is Violence teaching program at Sound Café in memory of Shavers. Taking a cue from his own history, Allen decided to show the kids film of Armstrong. “I asked them questions like, ‘What’s the difference between the music that he’s doing and what’s going on now?’ Just listening to the different answers that they say is funny. They say, ‘He was playing a lot more music
back then, and now the songs on the radio have a lot more just drum sounds.’ Or ‘Some of the songs sound like computers but on his stuff all of the songs sound like he’s playing it.’ One thing that messed me up is one of the kids said, ‘He sounds like Cookie Monster!’ He was like a little dude, five years old. I laughed so hard, but that’s what it sounded like to him. “It should be more of my generation that’s doing that because right now the kids are www.OFFBEAT.com
First it was like a bunch of jazz cats playing jazz, then it was like a bunch of jazz cats trying to play rock music, but now we’ve found our sound. It’s national, it’s pop. We are the next thing from New Orleans.
Sanchez on Shamarr met Shamarr at an in-store in Louisiana Music Factory Jazz Fest 2006. I was still with the Mouth and he was still with Rebirth. They were playing after the Mouth set, and during our set I sang Randy Newman’s “Louisiana, 1927,” and Shamarr got up and joined me on that song. I said into the mic, “I don’t know who that young trumpet player is but that was beautiful.” I asked him to play on Exit to Mystery Street and hired him for as many gigs as I could. “Recording Bridging the Gap was Shamarr’s idea. He called me up one day and said, “Unc, I just saw a video on YouTube of Johnny Cash and Louis Armstrong playing together; we got to make us a record.” I said cool and he said, “We’ll record old people’s music like you like and young people’s music like I like. You’ll sing my style, I’ll sing yours. The first song we did was “Instant Karma.” I showed him how to play four separate, simple piano parts which at first he thought was dull. Then we spread the parts out in a wide pan and they popped out of the speakers like popcorn and it lit him up. Then he gave me Kanye West’s “Heartless” and I went home to learn it. When we got back to the studio, I started singing it and he said, “No Unc, your phrasing ain’t right. Even though you put a melody to it, you still got to sing the rap phrasing or it will sound—” “—50 and white?” I asked. He wanted to write originals and I dig the tunes we wrote, especially “Love is Blind.” Shamarr saw that painted on someone’s car and wrote a chorus and loop for the song. He gave it to me as an assignment—it was to be my first original hip-hop verse. I wrote a verse, but it was pop song length, four lines and out. He explained that hip-hop verses were four times as long and made me go back and listen to Kanye again.” —Paul Sanchez
looking up to like me, Big Sam, Shorty. I feel like it’s our duty to pass on a tradition, so when we listen to Louis Armstrong, we should ask them, ‘What do you think he’s feeling? Or ‘What do you think he did to music?’ or ‘How did he change music?’” Maybe one of those kids will end up following Shamarr’s path. “I hope so,” he says. “I feel like it’s part of my responsibility. They’re not letting anybody play on the street anymore. Playing on the street is the way I got my sound, so if you take that out of the equation where else is there for the kids to learn? Right now they’ll listen to me as opposed to somebody 45, 50 years old telling them the same thing; they might dismiss him, But they still think I’m cool and while they think I’m cool, I’m going to try to get some of them together.” After he returned to New Orleans, Allen tried to pick up where he left off with Rebirth, but he’d changed to the point where he felt he had to do other things. A chance meeting at the Louisiana Music Factory with Paul Sanchez pushed him in a new direction. Sanchez—“Uncle Paul”—became a close friend and musical partner, and the two recently released a fascinating cross-cultural collaboration, Bridging the Gap. “You know when a person is genuine when you talk to them,” says Allen, “and I just got that from him. I can trust him in my house. I don’t have to worry about my money being funny after the show. He’s just a genuine person.” Allen had already begun branching out as a songwriter. He wrote an anthem for the popular Marigny music strip, “Meet Me on Frenchmen Street,” that became the title of his 2007 debut album. He even wrote a verse for his
former tutor, Kermit Ruffins, and invited him over to sing it. “He said, ‘You know what? I should have wrote that song.’ For a guy who I’ve looked up to all my life to say he should have wrote that song, that let me know that I had something. I’m happy for that, man, to get a classic on that first record.” He was not happy, however, that people listened to the record and decided he was a traditional jazz player, full stop. He immediately set about putting together a second album, Box Who In, which featured rock, pop and hip-hop elements, including a recasting of the Gnarls Barkley song “Crazy” as a postKatrina song. “I thought I was being boxed in, like the next Louis Armstrong,” he says. “Not so much in the sense of changing music like he did, not in the sense of being like a pop star like he was, but in the sense of put on a suit and tie, get onstage and play traditional jazz all the time. Box Who In was me saying, ‘Before I’ll let y’all categorize me as this, I’m going to give you a whole bunch of stuff to confuse you until I figure out what it is I want to be doing.” That’s still a confusion as Allen has veered wildly all over the musical landscape, recording and playing with Sanchez, playing with Galactic, going on tour with Willie Nelson, doing Bourbon Street jazz gigs at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and working on his own material with rapper Dee-1. A chance encounter with Saints owner Tom Benson led Allen to write a song that anticipated the Saints’ improbable run to the Super Bowl, “Bring ’em to the Dome.” Allen met Benson in the summer of 2009 at a Wednesday in the Square gig in Lafayette Square, where he told Benson he www.OFFBEAT.com
COVER STORY had a Saints song. When Benson gave Allen his card, things got real. “I didn’t have the song, so I had to stay up and write it, make it seem like I already had it,” he says. After cutting it the next day with Dee-1, he got the run-around at the Saints office and decided to release it on his own. “We put it on YouTube and in a week we had 50,000 hits. By the time the season started rolling, we had so many hits that the iTunes account was just crazy.” During the Saints victory parade, he saw Drew Brees dancing to his song. Most recently, Allen released a sharply political song about the BP oil spill in the Gulf, “Sorry Ain’t Enough”: “Sorry don’t clean the spill, or save the lives you killed,” Allen raps. “How does it feel to have a man’s blood on your shirt / or put a whole industry out of work?” The tune goes on with a stirring chorus repeating the title line over and over. This is a far cry from anything Allen hinted at in his early work, and a leading indicator of where he is heading with his band, the Underdawgs, in their weekly rehearsals at his home in the Musician’s Village. “The Underdawgs are my main focus,” he says. “This band and the record we’re working on now is exactly where I want it to be. First it was like a bunch of jazz cats playing jazz, then it was like a bunch of jazz cats trying to play rock music, but now we’ve found our sound. It’s national, it’s pop. We are the next thing from New Orleans. “I think if Louis Armstrong was born in my generation, his music would sound like the stuff that I’m doing now,” Allen concludes. “Because Louis Armstrong was a rock star. He was a star. He wasn’t like how we think of jazz musicians, kind of underground, be-bop people. He was like a real, national pop star. Think about it. Louis Armstrong created a certain style of music and he took it all around the world. Everybody talks about him like he was a traditional player, but back then he wasn’t traditional. He was pop music.” O www.OFFBEAT.com
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In the Kitchen with David e had a disagreement. We had a difference of views because when I was a kid, my grandmother used to make a dish she called crab stew, but it wasn’t written down. I have no idea how you make that. And in Lafayette, there was this [cookbook] that came out, called Talk About Good. One of the crawfish recipes we cooked came from that. Paul Prudhomme’s first book, Louisiana Cooking, for me, that’s the book. But he doesn’t make a crab stew either, although his crawfish etouffée is very close to a stew because his etouffée is not really an etouffée, because you make etouffée out of butter. We adapted that. Then DeDe pulls out Talk About Good, which is almost illegible because it’s full of crab juice and crawfish guts. My recipe is a combination of three or four different things, which kind of makes it my own. I make my roux fast. My mother used to be a two-beer rouxer. That takes too long; about 30 minutes. Fast is the way to go—Prudhomme. But you have to be careful. Use your grandmother’s pots if you can. I wanted to have her pots because I wanted to cook! And they don’t make them like this anymore. My grandmother was Lucille LeBlanc, and she married a LeBlanc, so she was L.L.L. on all her stuff. This is a three-pot dish. This is not what you do in Cajun land. This is all Prudhomme and Frank [Brigtsen]. We use stock; Cajuns use water. Prudhomme tells you how to basically use restaurant techniques in your home kitchen, and you can’t change anything. How many times do you think he cooked that stuff in order to write it like that? He’s a nut in the kitchen, but if you follow him, it never scorches, it never sticks; it always does what it’s supposed to do. We travel all over America, and in our rider for BeauSoleil, it says, ‘Under no circumstances can you feed the band Cajun food.’ Because
David’s Crab Stew
invariably, you go somewhere, ‘I made Prudhomme’s gumbo,’ and you look at it and it’s beige because they don’t do it right. Pineapple in the gumbo—that was Atlanta, Georgia. They just keep adding shit. Fusion, baby. Occasionally you run into someone who can actually do it. There was one guy in Maine, and a couple in Tennessee. It’s dangerous to get invited to someone’s house. Here we are, seven Cajuns walking around the planet—‘I’m going to make you a Cajun breakfast!’ Sometimes we have no choice. We have about 80 gigs a year and you need a day to get there, so we’re traveling about half the year. We know every ethnic restaurant in America. We thought about doing a guidebook, but we didn’t want to tell anybody where we eat [or people might show up with Cajun food]. We eat Mexican food, Lebanese food, Thai food. Coffee, traveling as much as we do, that’s the other thing. I’ve always brought a coffee pot and coffee on the road. Some traveling salesman came through in the ‘40s or ‘50s and sold
By Elsa Hahne
us this machine, it was handheld; you put a potato on it and turn and it’d make potato chips. It was almost hand-made, and I love potatoes. That was a very good thing. We had some property and this guy there farming, and he’d always bring a crate of potatoes every year, that was part of his rent. He’d bring the potatoes, which my dad would use for crawfish boils or potato chips. I didn’t get this big not eating them, I’ll tell you that. [My brother] Michael and I argue about how to make gumbo. I make the Paul Prudhomme gumbo and if you follow his recipe, including frying the chicken, it’s an all-day affair. With Cajun gumbo, you boil everything in one pot. With Paul Prudhomme, you use lots of pots. Here’s another pot to clean. This is where it gets gross, where you get your flavor. It’s an obscene amount of butter. How’s my butter doing? Doing real good. Crab and butter go great together. It’s kind of a waste to use jumbo lump, but it’s good. You could put another stick of butter in here, you could. But I don’t know if it needs it.”
Seafood stock (makes 4 cups): 2 quarts cold water 1 onion, unpeeled and quartered 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut 1 carrot 1 rib celery a few black peppercorns 1 - 2 pounds of gumbo crabs Roux: 7 tablespoons vegetable oil 3/4 cup flour Chopped vegetables: 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1/4 cup finely chopped celery 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper 1 garlic clove, finely chopped Seasoning mix: 2 teaspoons salt 1 - 2 teaspoons cayenne 1 teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves Finishing touches: 1 stick butter 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions 1 pound crabmeat (jumbo lump) Make stock by boiling everything gently for 25 minutes. Strain. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat oil to nearly smoking, then whisk in flour. Stir constantly until roux is dark red-brown. Remove from heat and stir in chopped vegetables and 1 tablespoon seasoning mix. Turn heat to medium/low and continue to stir until vegetables soften and shine, 5-10 minutes. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups stock to a boil. Gradually add roux mixture until dissolved. Reduce heat and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the flour taste is gone, stirring constantly. In a 4-quart saucepan, melt butter. Stir in crabmeat and green onion. Add roux mixture, remaining stock, crab bodies and remaining seasoning mix. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice, accompanied by French bread and beer. O www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: ELSA HAHNE
Guitarist David Doucet cooks in his mother’s and grandmother’s pots.
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.
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.
Slice Pizzeria: 1513 St. Charles Ave., 525-7437. Theo’s Neighborhood Pizza: 4218 Magazine St., 894-8554. Turtle Bay: 1119 Decatur St., 586-0563. 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.
Johnaye Kendrick hits the Why Il Posto? Well, because it’s lunchtime. It’s a really nice lunch spot and the menu is fresh and healthy. And I wake up really late so this is a good way to get my day going; a big plate of vegetables.
Photo: ELAINE MILLER
AFRICAN Bennachin: 1212 Royal St., 522-1230.
What do you normally order here? I like the caprese salad. I love cheese a lot; love fresh mozzarella.
Il Posto 4607 Dryades Street (504) 895-2620
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.
How often do you come here? Maybe a few times a month: not too terribly often, because I try to cook a lot at my house.
Is this close to a home cooked meal for you? Yeah, it really is. It’s very close to the way that I would prepare my own food. Plus, it’s close to my house. It’s convenient. —Elaine Miller www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: elaine miller
DINING OUT Meltdown Popsicles Hot enough for ya? This time of year, the temperature in New Orleans more resembles a valedictorian’s report card rather than any climate in which humans should live. Eating a meal is a chore unto itself, and a steaming bowl of gumbo or a plate of red beans is far down on the list of cravings. So why not forego lunch or dinner, and head straight for dessert at Meltdown Popsicles? Owner Michelle Weaver established this small French Quarter storefront located on Dumaine just off Decatur in late 2009 after two years of selling her gourmet popsicles around town from a retrofitted Good Humor ice cream truck. The freezer-on-wheels has since been replaced by a sliding door chest, but the local cult following remains unchanged. Weaver organically sources as many of her ingredients as possible. Fruits are purchased from local farmers markets, and she even grows many of her own herbs, including the lemon verbena which is paired with seasonal blueberries.
Such a combination of sweet fruit with tart, herbaceous and spicy flavors is accomplished with great dexterity, as is also evident in flavors such as strawberry lime and mango chili. Or try the more savory sweet flavors like salty caramel or chocolate strewn with tiny chunks of sea salt. The latter is a textbook example of why salty and sweet is the yin and yang of snacking, while the former is an ice cold taste of a circus treat.
The flavors are constantly evolving to reflect not only the seasons but also to incorporate local flavors. Witness the Vietnamese iced coffee and its bracing caffeine-tinted edge softened by a jolt of sweetened condensed milk. It’s a pick-me-up on a stick. So the next time you find yourself in the Quarter, hot, and begging for relief, go back to childhood, and grab a Meltdown Popsicle. 508 Dumaine St. 504-3010905. Noon-6 p.m. daily. Cash only. —Rene Louapre and Peter Thriffiley
AU G U ST 2 010
When submitting CDs for consideration, please send two copies of the CD to OffBeat Reviews, 421 Frenchmen Street, Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116
CDs reviewed are available now at In the French Quarter 210 Decatur Street 504-586-1094 or online at LouisianaMusicFactory.com
The Blockbuster Beast
Juvenile Beast Mode (E1 Entertainment) Juvenile’s Beast Mode sounds like the name of a summer blockbuster. And like an action-packed mega-hit movie, the album is heavy on big explosions and light on substance. The explosions come in the form of trunk-rattling bass and highpowered synths. Juvenile, who carved his name in hip-hop lore with a gritty debut album that put Cash Money Records on the map, is also famous in mainstream pop circles for the timeless party-anthem “Back That Ass Up.” For Beast Mode, Juvie takes the approach that got him recognized for the latter, choosing to pack his project with club anthems and odes to the fairer sex’s rumps. Though the results aren’t as legendary as “Back That Ass Up,” Beast Mode has enough high-octane tracks to make for a serviceable Saturday night soundtrack. The most blatant attempt at recreating the multi-platinum magic from a decade ago is the radiofriendly “Drop That Azz,” inviting ladies to drop, toss, and throw their bums to the sound of Juvenile’s playful punch lines over claps and blaring horns. “Pussy Kat” offers minimalist production reminiscent
of the Ying Yang Twins’ “Whisper Song,” with Juvenile spouting raunchy lines like “When I hit that spot / I got you screaming for a n***a like you just got shot.” Lyrically, Juvenile’s flow is back to its old form. He tears through beats with nimble dexterity that shows he’s only improved with time. Just look at the metaphors and polysyllabic rhyme scheme on “Where They Do That At.” Unfortunately, while the ability to ride the beat is intact, Juvenile tends to fill his bars with vapid clichés about women, money and lots of booze. Yes, Juvie is still a beast, but he may want to find some more substance to sink his teeth into next time. —David Dennis
Shamarr Allen and Paul Sanchez Bridging the Gap (Threadhead) Shamarr Allen is a born front man, the kind of artist who embraces a showy star turn. Throughout his career performing and recording with brass bands, jazz ensembles, and his recent funk-rock projects, listening to Allen perform has meant hearing his sensibilities and his powerful trumpet drive a band’s rhythms and shape its sound. On Bridging the Gap, his collaboration with veteran New Orleans singersongwriter Paul Sanchez, Allen’s charismatic musical presence is uncharacteristically subdued. In its style, arrangements and rhythms, Bridging the Gap is primarily governed by Sanchez’s whimsical roots-rock. It doesn’t feature many star turns at all. The CD’s 10 tracks highlight the duo’s mutual influence and the fun Allen and Sanchez obviously have making music together. The ideas they trade showcase the ease with which
they’ve assimilated their diverse musical backgrounds and personal biographies to a shared vision of feel-good music. At times, it takes on the flavor of a backporch jam, rather than a studio record. Bridging the Gap covers Cat Stevens, Kanye West, Willie Nelson and John Lennon without departing from its own sound. The duo’s shared voice emerges further on their new original songs about the city that shaped the collaboration. As Allen’s rap vocal on “Hurricane Party for a new New Orleans” suggests, they’re very much in this thing together. Projects like Bridging the Gap often risk sacrificing musical and conceptual coherence to their eclectic ambitions: trying to say everything at once, they can end up saying nothing. The performances here sidestep that problem with a clear vision and purpose. Bridging the Gap finds an easy New Orleans groove, lays back in it expertly and effortlessly, and invites the listener along. —Jacob Leland
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers Up in Flames (Sound of New Orleans) A churning dynamo, fully powered from start to finish, the latest release from Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers backs up the threat of its title. All 10 tracks burn and burn, all of them original songs designed to knock over a dancehall. Songs like “Better Go Get It” demand more from the dancers, the lovers and from Dopsie himself, pushing them all with a gravelly voice and a cutting accordion. The
band is no joke, either, with Shelton Sonnier’s guitar dueling with Carl Landry’s sax in a tight attack that keeps the sound urgent. Listen for the details in Alex MacDonald’s rubboard and the honest exuberance of each cut. “Got My Mind Gone” is unbelievably tight (you almost think the disc is skipping), followed by “Start All Over Again,” a midtempo proposition showing off the solid songwriting skills of Dopsie. Muscular, rhythm and blues-styled lyrics balanced with expert musicians swinging hard—this is Saturdaynight zydeco at its best. Another notch in the zydeco family tree, the record reinforces the idea that if there’s a party and a Dopsie is involved, you ought to get yourself over there. If that’s not possible, the album is a worthy approximation of the joy, pop and fire that mark the family’s legacy. —Brian Boyles
Big Daddy ‘O’ Used Blues (Rabadash) As the title implies here, most of these songs have been around the block more than once. But that’s not to say that they’re all worn out. Big Daddy ‘O’—Owen Tufts—has a laid-back, engaging style that works especially well when he plays in minor www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS keys, which he does enjoyably often. Case-in-point is the opener, “Life Is Hard,” a slow blues that grimly reminds us “Life is hard, and then you die.” It’s followed by the telling “Better Off with the Blues,” which underlines to listeners the perils of careless love. Other good choices here are “Soul Fixin’ Man, “Need Your Love So Bad” and the Delbert McClinton stormer “Same Kind of Crazy.” The same can’t be said for “Johnny B. Goode.” There’s nothing wrong with his treatment, but this song has been done to death. While this is basically a blues album, the arrangements are quite inventive. The accompaniment is sharp and Big Daddy ‘O’’s singing and playing are on target throughout. Check this one out. —Jeff Hannusch
Brian Quezergue Reflections (Independent) Brian Quezergue sets up his debut CD, Reflections, to highlight the bass guitar’s power and versatility as an instrument. This would be unremarkable—Quezergue is the CD’s composer, arranger and bass guitar player, and his name alone appears on the cover—but for its genre. Smooth jazz fusion albums such as Reflections tend to bury the bass line in favor of harmonic exploration on the high end, but Quezergue eschews that approach. From the first track, “Morning Prayer,” the bass comes out smoking and doesn’t stop. His more rhythmic approach to the material should win over fans of more straight-ahead jazz. As listeners familiar with smooth jazz might expect, Reflections features flugelhorn, trumpet, piccolo and a string quartet on one track each, and Quezergue’s arrangements call upon them to improvise within familiar stylistic parameters. In particular, the interplay between the string quartet, the bass guitar and Mike Esneault’s piano on “Seed of Life” pushes the composition’s harmonic progression in front of its swing. Quezergue’s bass and Jonathan Gerhardt’s cello combine to fill out the bottom register as the higher instruments
stack exploratory melodies atop each other. It’s precisely executed and beautifully colored, like the rest of the CD. Drummer Julian Garcia, who anchors the rhythm section along with Quezergue on all but the last track, locks in to keep the ensemble in all its permutations moving forward. The rhythmic strength of Reflections effectively balances its theoretical concern with harmony and texture with its musical sense of time or performance. —Jacob Leland
Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys Cravin’ Cajun (Swallow) Multi-CFMA award winner Kevin Naquin has consistently fielded
good line-ups and delivered quality recordings, but this slamming disc is the dancehall fireball’s best yet. A few personnel changes provide a renewed sense of vigor, and newest member Seth Guidry leads a relentless attack with a monster bass groove. Vocally, the Ossun Playboys are stronger than ever with four alternating singers. Naquin sings the lion’s share and has evolved into a competent, rock-energy vocalist since inheriting the role following John Gary’s 2001 departure. All provide solid harmonies while Naquin handles Belton Richard’s immortal classic “Another Lonely Night” without regrets. Gary has returned, and his tenor performances on “`Tits yeux noirs” and Camey Doucet’s signature “Mom, I’m Still Your Little Boy” are hard to top. Additionally, the song selection is smart, including overlooked selections by Don Rich and Roddie Romero. True to form, Naquin contributes another waltz, “Les Fordoches” (a co-write with folklorist Barry Ancelet) to the repertoire. Craving Cajun suggests that it’s for those who can’t get enough. The album’s so complete that it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting more. —Dan Willging
The Tom Paines The Rites of Man (Threadhead) The Rites of Man is the debut album from the Tom Paines, the latest incarnation of veteran New Orleans jacks-of-all-musical-trades Alex McMurray and Jonathan Freilich. They’ve collected folk songs from throughout the Englishspeaking world in the decades surrounding the turn of the 19th Century into the 20th. There’s plenty new about the songs on The Rites of Man, though. The album combines a traditionalist’s fluency in the idiom of the songs with an innovator’s ear for their development and place in New Orleans music’s current moment. Freilich and McMurray’s catalogues and projects—separately and together—are diverse enough to pique interest in their approach to the material. The songs themselves are more or less unbreakable, and the album’s sparse arrangement and production stay out of their way. They leave us to feel the tradition’s full musical and historical freight. Rites of Man stakes a claim to its material, though, and not just through the duo’s characteristic string work and McMurray’s
A Message from the Vaults Various Artists
rehearsal? Even now, analyzed and televised like never before, we take for granted and homogenize a sound that remains as mysterious as it did 50 years ago. Doc Paulin’s brass band walks This collection from Smithsonian us to and from the cemetery, a Folkways does what any visit to our definitive dirge/march from 1980. origins should: broaden the mind. Again, a priceless demonstration, Beyond the sonic revelations, these particularly for virgin ears. But why recordings remind musicologists that the streets and churches are the aren’t we taping and shipping out source of New Orleans’ revolutionary the second line sounds of Uptown, 2010? We live in a watershed period sounds. for brass band innovation and civic Take a 1956 Mardi Gras Indians recording including the Second Ward importance. The rest of the world should know that! Hunters and Third Ward Terrors Other stunners: solo Baby Dodds; recorded by Samuel Charters. The Sister Dora Alexander’s voice; the chants are uncannily familiar, but pianists Roosevelt Sykes, Champion ask yourself: when’s the last time Jack Dupree and Sweet Emma; and you heard a recording of Indians on parade? Not a funk fusion, but audio two tracks reminding us how lucky we were to coexist with Snooks Eaglin. from Mardi Gras 2008 or a recent
Classic Sounds of New Orleans from Smithsonian Folkways (Smithsonian Folkways)
Always so bound up in the past, the city’s present—its background noise, amateur voices, geniuses, all of it—deserves a chance to impact the future. The canon won’t gather dust if we keep supplementing it with life. This latest message from the vault is clear: get out there and record your world, New Orleans. —Brian Boyles www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS distinctive singing voice. The album is designed to take us on a journey through the material. The melodic guitar picking and sweet vocal approach to its familiar opening tracks, the stalwart busker fare of Elizabeth Cotten’s “Shake Sugaree” and Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train,” suggest to the listener a smooth ride through peaceful musical territory. It gets more fraught when the material reaches into folk music’s darker lyrical content. By the closing track, the suggestively titled “Love Me or I’ll Kill You,” the guitar has grown percussive and the vocals strained and gravelly, suggesting the song’s immediacy and urgency, and making it the Tom Paines’ own. Obviously, the Tom Paines have just scratched the surface of the tradition they’re mining; here’s hoping they continue to follow this seam. —Jacob Leland
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns Lucky Devil (Independent) Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns have become a fixture on Frenchmen Street since their founding in 2009. The group plays a mellow brand of banjo-based parlor jazz, and tends toward the sultry love -song end of the traditional repertoire. Lake is strongest on low-key numbers like the title track, a lovely tune in which her subtle, breathy vocals mingle tenderly with Shaye Cohn’s quivering cornet and Luke Winslow-King’s guitar. But she sings the album opener, “I’m Alone Because I Love You,” in an affected nasal warble that doesn’t quite suit her. There are certainly some strong instrumental showings here as the record features quite a few Frenchmen regulars. Tom McDermott makes a strong guest appearance on “Gimme a Pigfoot.” The cover is a painstaking recreation of a famous turn-of-thecentury photo by E.J. Bellocq, of a prostitute in New Orleans’ Storyville District. Lake’s expression, her pose, her striped stockings, the dusty old
photographs on the wall behind her—it’s all perfect. It’s also a good metaphor for the group’s approach. Lake’s music is attractive and solidly executed, but she sometimes seems more interested in the theatrical trappings of the jazz singer than in the music itself. I find myself wishing the group didn’t need to place its music in a self-consciously retro context to be convincing, but others may find it charming. —Zachary Young
Renard Poché 4U 4Me (Re-Fro) “We Are the People,” the 6th track on Renard Poché’s 4U 4Me, samples Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. This is quite a statement to make on a funk record. Stepping to the front from his usual spot flanking Allen Toussaint’s stage band, Poché does not mean to suggest that he has somehow struggled to be freed from his role as a sideman, but 4U 4Me operates nonetheless as the guitarist’s chance to explore his own musical territory. He takes firm control of the expedition, featuring his own work over an impressive range. Poché performs on “guitar, bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, trombone, trumpet, flute, vocals, raps, talk box and spoken word.” Instrumentally and lyrically, Poché’s solo CD updates the familiar sounds and themes of 1970s soul and funk. With one musician playing so many of the instruments, though, the performances tend away from the organic feeling of a funk band and towards the more polished studio sound of hip-hop records. 4U 4Me’s dominant rhythmic tendency is towards nasty guitar grooves
that come straight from the P-Funk vernacular, and “What’s The Flavor,” featuring New Orleans rappers the Alley Rats, goes so far as to namecheck Tower of Power’s “Oakland Stroke” and pay conscious homage to 1970s funk styles from Philly, Chitown and Motown. Some of Poché and his guests’ spoken word owes a debt to the Last Poets. 4U 4Me pushes consistently into the present, though. Its roots are in the classics, but it’s always mindful of the trends pushing urban funk music forward. —Jacob Leland
The Beltway Brass Quintet From the Streets of New Orleans (Independent) In New Orleans jazz, there are the mega-standards, tunes such as “St. James Infirmary,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Do You Know What it Means,” “Bourbon Street Parade” and “Basin Street Blues.” Even the most jaded trad group will usually toss one on each of their records, if only to give it that extra bit of commercial zazz. When an album includes every single one of these tunes, something’s up. This is not the only red flag on the Washington, D.C.-based Beltway Brass Quintet’s From the Streets of New Orleans. The front cover features a postcardready photo of a French Quarter wrought-iron balcony, while the rear has a “Rue Bourbon” lamppost silhouetted against a blue sky. “The Old Rugged Cross” is typical of the BBQ’s style. The tuba intones the melody once against a polite, military-chorale style accompaniment. Then the oom-pah bassline comes in, the trumpet picks up the tune in a higher register, and the other horns play a neat and tidy syncopated accompaniment. And—that’s it. The problem is that the complexity of New Orleans jazz is not found on the printed page. It’s in the nuance of the interpretation, in the contrapuntal chaos of simultaneous soloing. The group’s general failure to fit the idiom only serves to make the occasional trumpet growl or bluesy trombone riff sound painfully forced.
I could be convinced to lay off a little if they’d change the packaging—or perhaps just the title, with its pretence of authenticity. The music on this record is unlike anything I’ve ever heard on the streets of New Orleans (where the french horn does not have a big presence). If you’re reading this review, though, you probably live here, and thus are not in the Beltway Quintet’s target audience. —Zachary Young
Mitch Woods Gumbo Blues (Club 88) Mitch Woods has long been acknowledged as one of the preeminent boogie-woogie pianists working today, as well as a master of pre-rock R&B. Most of his recordings over a three-decade career have been tributes to such influences as Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway, but his affinities go beyond swing and jump blues. Woods worships at the altar of New Orleans piano blues and R&B, and two of his last three albums have been finely detailed encomiums to two of the professors of New Orleans piano history. On the CD/DVD project Big Easy Boogie (2006), Woods assembled an all-star lineup of New Orleans R&B legends associated with Fats Domino, including Earl Palmer, Dave Bartholomew and Herb Hardesty. The record was an important document of a dying institution, inspiring Woods to make a follow up New Orleans tribute record, Gumbo Blues. This time, Woods pays tribute to Smiley Lewis, a great choice because the Lewis catalog is a treasure trove of timeless material. Hardesty www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS returns, joining Amadee Castanell and Brian “Breeze” Cayolle on the tough-as-nails triple saxophone front line. John Fohl drives the unit on guitar while the rhythm section of bassist Cornell Williams and drummer Eric Bolivar lay down a solid groove for Woods’ rollicking piano work. But these are not just Smiley Lewis covers. Woods brings his personality to the material, playing some of the best articulated piano rolls and trills of his career and delivering what is hands down his best vocal performance. The real tribute here is to Dave Bartholomew, who wrote all but three of the album’s 12 songs, including the title track, the sultry “Ooh La La,” the glorious tripletbased “Caledonia’s Party” and the slow blues “Too Many Drivers.” “I Hear You Knockin’” is the only song that sounds like it was included for familiarity’s sake. The three non-Bartholomew tunes—”Big Mamou,” “Lil’ Liza Jane” and “Shame, Shame, Shame”—need no explication. Not a note is wasted on the sprightly set, which dispatches a dozen chestnuts in under 33 minutes, the perfect pace for this material. —John Swenson
Solomon Burke Nothing’s Impossible (E1 Entertainment) I was lucky enough to catch Joe Henry, one of Solomon Burke’s “older” producers, (Don’t Give Up on Me, from 2002), at a conference. We ended up likening Solomon Burke with mid/late period Klaus Kinski—a sensation, already assured the “legend” word in his obit, saying, in effect, “Take that big bag of money and drop it at my feet. I’m gonna sleepwalk through this thing and it’s gonna be good enough, because I’m me, so there.” Which had gone on in Burke’s world well before 2002. The work of the late great Willie Mitchell on his last production job makes this more essential listening. Mitchell stirs the spices of his artfully selected house band (kudos to Steve Potts, who makes everyone wait for him on the 2 almost as
Two Louis David Stricklin Louis Armstrong: The Soundtrack of the American Experience (Ivan R. Dee)
Scott Allen Nollen long as Al Jackson, Jr. did). The first song Mitchell showed to Burke? “You Needed Me,” a number one for Anne Murray in 1978. Mitchell knew this was secretly a soul song, and Burke testifies the lyric, deceptively gently, then more deceptively gently. We don’t know if the lover he’s singing to is Jesus and/or God, but it sounds more and more like holy praise with every phrase. Solomon knew it was a soul song, too, and that’s one sweat drop more precious than sleepwalking. —Andrew Hamlin
Rex Gregory An End to Oblivion (Independent) In the liner notes to multiinstrumentalist/composer Rex Gregory’s debut album, An End to Oblivion, he asks, “Can we take the steps to declaring an End to Oblivion? Is it still possible to hope?” Ultimately, it is Gregory’s hope that we as individuals and as a society arrive at “an affirmation of life, one informed by the trials of the process itself.” Musically, he describes his work as “an experiment in liberating dissonances while retaining the central movement and sensitivity of tonal constructs.” What’s compelling about Gregory’s endeavor—even more so than his far-reaching ambition and idealism—is his capability as a composer to conduct such a construct within the context of modern jazz without curtailing his ensemble’s capacity for extemporization. In its entirety, An End to Oblivion takes the form of an overture, a series of suites with discernable movements and themes that are drawn together by an extra-musical
Louis Armstrong: The Life, Music, and Screen Career (McFarland and Company) Louis Daniel Armstrong lies buried in Flushing, Queens, but his heart belongs to the Crescent City. Practically and spiritually, he belongs to the planet, and measuring the full extent of his influence, a well-nigh impossible task in itself, proves easier than measuring the extent of his value. These two new books, both short, shy wisely from the big picture and genuflect generously to previous Satchmo scholars. Nollen’s tome, “Life” and “Music” notwithstanding, goes for a summation of Louis on film. Scaling a formidable task into a finite number of moves and movies, Nollen produces the definitive work on that subject, and not incidentally tells the postfame story of its subject along the way. Bing Crosby adored him, Dorothy Dandridge cooed over him, Billie Holiday cooed along with him in an otherwiseregrettable picture actually called New Orleans. Actually, many pictures were equally unfortunate, to be kind. A Betty Boop cartoon cast him as a cannibal; “A Rhapsody in Black and Blue” stuck him in leopard skins. Pops blew himself clear of it all. Armstrong’s endless capacity to catch society’s dung and grow (blow?) roses forms the backbone of his success, David Stricklin argues over his own 182 pages. Asking the question why we don’t see more Satchmos, the University of Arkansas professor argues, sensibly enough, that many such talents find themselves smothered and strangled professionally.
“Armstrong’s approach to racism,” he writes of Satch in the mid-1920’s, “was simply to work harder, play better music, and exude more goodwill than anybody black or white, racist or otherwise.” Later on, the trumpeter would speak up—not early and often enough to satisfy some critics, but except for very early on, he never satisfied all of his critics, socially or musically. His refusal to prize jazz above other musics, and his disinclination to categorize jazz as “black music” also lost him brownie points. When in doubt, he went back to the horn—and/or, as his lip began to disintegrate, his vocal cords. Plenty of Pops-watchers scolded his singing, too. In private he judged his own voice “nothing to write home about…But,” he concluded, “It is Different [sic].” More than true enough. Ossie Davis, who worked with Armstrong on a forgettable Sammy Davis, Jr. picture, summarized Satchmo as “a smile, a handkerchief, and sweat, and the capacity to move me beyond tears.” He added, “In that horn of his, you know, he had the power to kill. That horn could kill a man.” Remember both of those, then you won’t go wrong. —Andrew Hamlin www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS of “Natal Song.” Though not the easiest of listens, Gregory delivers a thought-provoking work of art and provocative musical experience with An End to Oblivion. —Aaron LaFont
Janiva Magness The Devil is an Angel Too (Alligator)
concept. What makes this album jazz is that within these themes Gregory allows his musicians, through their interactions, to explore and give shape to the overarching movement. To achieve this feat, Gregory enlists an amalgam of seven of New Orleans’ finest young jazz musicians while he (principally an alto saxophonist) plays no fewer than six instruments—primarily winds—over the course of the album. An End to Oblivion’s adroit arrangements are unquestionably its defining characteristic. A master of timbre and contrast, Gregory’s astute instrumentation elicits a range of emotions from his often musically and thematically challenging compositions. His strength is in melody and countermelody and the layering of the two, so that as one motif establishes itself, another mirrors it and almost seamlessly, in a subtle transition, supplants it. “Sky Render” begins with a curious piano (Austin Johnson) and vibraphone (James Westfall) figure that is swept up by an ominous bass clarinet (Gregory) only to be momentarily saved by a silvery trumpet (Gordon Au) as it descends into a free jazz deluge. “Vista” opens with the tranquil lulling of vocalist Johnaye Kendrick and dreamy keys of Brian Coogan, which Gregory shadows on the bass clarinet as the tune ascends into a vigorous saxophone serenade that drifts into a shimmering trumpet swing. As a player, Gregory shines on the boisterous “Speed Train,” first propelling it with his zestful saxophone and later closing the track with an inquisitive clarinet/ bass clarinet conversation. But his presence as a soloist is felt most on the colorful post-bop flourishes
Not many folks in the People’s Republic of South Louisiana have heard of the R&B chanteuse Janiva Magness. Despite a late entry into the field of entertainment, she was deemed the 2009 Entertainer of the Year by the Blues Foundation. Possessor of a vampish voice and phrasing, when she’s not sounding pouty, she sounds absolutely S-EX-Y. On Magness’ latest Alligator release, she is definitely trying to get a cutting-edge, contemporary R&B sound, not the fatback, retro sound a lot of singers strive for. Even the songs written 30 to 50 years ago have up-to-date arrangements and barely resemble the originals. Magness is especially a fan of Ann Peebles (who in their right mind isn’t?) as she covers two of the Memphis songstress’ classics, but she puts her own stamp on them. The title track is a clever warning about the perils of love. Some of the material is a little soft, including the inspirational “Walkin’ in the Sun,” and “Save Me,” which sounds like a Bill Withers LP track. She also gets sassy on the no-nonsense “Homewrecker.” The guitar player occasionally gets heavy handed, but there’s a lot to like here. —Jeff Hannusch
solo works of the Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Sonic Youth’s self-released SYR EP series. A definite step forward, Object to be Destroyed showcases the band’s growing command over its sonic terrain. More so than on their previous outing, Electric Elements Exposed, Metronome the City’s musical explorations cede actual songs. Amidst a mosaic of atypical time signatures, angular melodies, and menacing atmospherics, each track evolves, ascribing to an underlying structure—assembling and disassembling motifs—and develops past the point murky experimentation. Early on, the incessant droning and fierce tension of “A8” drifts into a psychedelic, dub reverie, and later, the mounting pulse of “Metronomics” is met with a kaleidoscopic synth surge. While the meddlesome grind and
frenetic fuzz of “Nard on Feet” and “Styer Faces” delve into a dark vortex, the gliding guitars and propulsive streaks of “Snow Job” and “Laser Back” glisten with euphoria, even if just for an instant. Perhaps the most twisted of MtC’s sinister grooves are the subversive surf rock excursions “WR 104” and the aptly titled “Surfdubssludge.” Lacing the bands lysergic leanings is the 15-minute multi-part epic “Thunderhead,”
Once More with Feeling Ann Savoy & Her Sleepless Knights Black Coffee (Memphis International)
Through 12 standards about love’s tricky turns and soft whispers, the sound on Ann Savoy’s latest release is sweet, but rarely sugary, a good album for the deep summer. Tin Pan Alley is comfortable in the Delta, which dreams of Paris. If anything, we might fault Savoy and company for sticking too closely Metronome the City to the script, a sound too unified, Object to be Destroyed lacking adventure. Yet, the choice of (Independent) songs is not a scattershot collection of favorites or surface idolatry, On Object to be Destroyed, certainly not a case of playing it safe. underground, experimental rock The record is a photo album—the provocateurs Metronome the backgrounds different, but the same City have culled together a set photographer with a talent for black of hazy, dystopic sound collages and white and a very developed steeped in shoegaze, math rock sense of lighting and composition. and sludge medal. Theatrical Beautifully taut in its ascents and and foreboding, this largely descents, Savoy’s voice enjoys a robust instrumental endeavor’s eerie, engrossing textures and clamorous romance with Kevin Wimmer’s violin, particularly on “My Funny Valentine.” convulsions call to mind the
An unfortunate selection for lesser interpreters, the song works in their version because they take it only a notch away from Chet Baker’s mold while adding dashes of personal inflection. Check out the sounds of Tom Mitchell’s fingers sliding along the neck of the guitar, how they add to the sensual descriptions in the lyrics. That’s called real feeling. Listen to that next to Bessie Smith’s “Whoa, Tilly, Take Your Time,” and hear how good restraint can sound when accompanied by confidence. Throughout the album, Savoy never overdoes it, blessed with that Cajun familiarity of music’s role in life—for dancing, for laments, for humor. She recreates Django Reinhardt, Blue Lu Barker and Johnny Mercer with musicians who conjure up clouds and past lovers, a sensitive stroll through the canon, willing to smell the flowers. —Brian Boyles www.OFFBEAT.com
REVIEWS which sets the musings of a sitar amidst squalls of prog-metal. As an album, Object to be Destroyed materializes much like an avant-garde art project. Complex and challenging, the album proves that MtC are capable of evoking a vast range of emotions from their dissonant salvoes. Still, a few too many disjunctive transitions stifle it from luring the listener into a higher state of consciousness. —Aaron LaFont
TheSekondElement The Kommencement (Independent) On her debut, The Kommencement, Bay Area-bred/New Orleans resident TheSeKondElement serves up a lesson in lyricism—an intelligent, introspective collection of message tracks and spoken-word pieces that at its best calls to mind the eclectic acrobatics of Q-Tip and cocksure charisma of MC Lyte. Also known as KAMMs TheACE, this recent college grad proves an apt pupil, sharp enough to call a spade a spade and stylish enough to stand out amongst the crowd. A true student of the game, TheSekondElement isn’t afraid to kick it old school, packing plenty of bite, substance and integrity in her raps. She takes a look into herself, takes down haters and speaks on the current state of hip-hop. “Since I can remember, I been tough as shark skin / Not letting anybody see the pain I held within,” she swiftly spits over a spiced-up soul groove in “About to Begin (My Story) Pt I.” On “Girls Clockin’,” Barbie B-girls beware: “They say sex sells, but this ain’t a fashion ad / This is true hip-hop, and girlie, you are just a fad.” Not one to shy away from controversial subjects, she fumes at the “coonery” purveyed by BET over a Cab Calloway sample in “My Minstrel Show” and ponders the fate of the industry alongside local emcee Lyrikill in “Dead or Alive.” While there’s no denying TheSekondElement’s artistic aptitude or the potency behind The Kommencement’s content, almost every time the bells start to rock, a spoken-word segue silences the soiree. As powerful and proficient as these www.OFFBEAT.com
poems may be, they stifle the album’s momentum. She may have a little left to learn, but the hip-hop underground should take note. TheSekondElement’s got an ace up her sleeve. —Aaron LaFont
Ryan Brunet and the Malfecteurs Ryan Brunet and the Malfecteurs (Independent) With the ongoing revival of Cajun music, there’s nothing earthshattering about a competent accordionist who happens to be in his mid-20s. Unless you factor in Ryan Brunet, that is. He doesn’t hail from the prairies of Southwest Louisiana, the territorial hot bed of traditionalism, but Vin Bruce’s bayou country, where decent traditional players number in the handfuls. Through constant practicing and listening to Nathan Abshire recordings around the clock as an adolescent, Brunet learned his accordion well. He’s one of the cleanest, most precise players to come along recently, nailing notes and runs without any overplaying or annoying valve clicking. Most selections are traditional. A handful were written by or associated with Abshire, including “The Life of a Musician,” in which Brunet capably feels the sentiment of the song. He’s joined by a couple of Lost Bayou Ramblers, Alan LaFleur on doghouse bass and Andre Michot on lap steel, so any LBR comparisons aren’t that far off the mark. Unlike many modern Cajun dancehall recordings, there are no drums. LeFleur’s rattling rockabilly thump and Michot’s striking off beats keep the timing in check and on course. Whereas most traditional Cajun recordings rely on the proverbial accordion-fiddle tandem, Michot plays a huge role with his glides and slides, echoing melody lines and providing harmonic chimes, besides occasionally making the strings buzz (“Pop Corn Blues”). It’s not your typical Cajun dance band steel guitar, stylistically it’s of the 1940s vintage when Cajun music was practically a Francophone extension of western swing. Wonderful stuff, worth checking out. —Dan Willging AU G U ST 2 010
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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 up-to-theminute, 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 email@example.com or call 504-944-4300. Mr. Guillot can also provide listing deadlines for upcoming issues.
AC AU BL BU BB SH KJ KS CL CO CW DN FE FK GS IR IN MJ TJ JV LT ME PK PP RG RH RB RR SI SW TC VO ZY
A Cappella Acoustic Blues Bluegrass Brass Band Cabaret/Show Cajun Christian Classical Comedy Country Dance Folk Funk Gospel Indie Rock International/World Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Trad Jazz, Variety Latin Metal Piano/Keyboards Pop/Top 40/Covers Reggae Rap/Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues Rock Swing/Gypsy Spoken Word Techno/Dance/Electronica Vocals Zydeco
SUNDAY AUG 1
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Johnny J. & Benny Maygarden (BL) 10:30p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, Margie Perez (JV) 10p 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): Derek Douget (JV) 7p Maple Leaf: Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste (BL) 10p
Margaritaville: Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 2p, Cindy Chen (RR RB PK) 7p Palm Court: Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Lucien Barbarin (JV) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall-stars feat. Shannon Powell (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Brian Seeger & Company (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Live Jazz and Old School DJ (DN) 10p Spotted Cat: Rites of Swing (SI) 3p, the Loose Marbles (JV) 6p, Pat Casey & the New Sound (JV) 10p
MONDAY AUG 2
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Mike Darby & the House of Cards (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Shaggy’s B-Day Bash feat. Honey Island Swamp Band, Jow Lawlor & Friends, Derrick Freeman’s Smokers World, Anders Osborne and many more (VR) 8p 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 (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: call club Maison: Jayna Morgan & the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band (JV) 7p, Musicians Open Mic Jam feat. Rue Fiya (JV) 10p Maple Leaf: Papa Grows Funk (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. Mark Braud (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville Band (MJ) 8 & 10p
TUESDAY AUG 3
Apple Barrel: Kenny Claiborne (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Simon Lott, Jesse Morrow and Tim Sullivan 10p, Technodrome Trio (upstairs) 10p Chickie Wah Wah: John Mooney (BL) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): the Big Busk, a Night of Burlesque and Live Music (SH VR) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Ed “Sweetbread” Peterson (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Honky Tonk Open Mic feat. Jason Bishop (CW) 9p Maison: No Name Trio (JV) 8p Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: New Birth Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Sweet Home New Orleans (RB) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Phillip Manuel Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p
WEDNESDAY AUG 4
Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Slewfoot Blues Band with Alabama Slim (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project 8p, Khris Royal and Dark Matter 10p, Gravity A and John Gros (upstairs) 10p d.b.a.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p
Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Booty Trove Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (JV) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Maison: Influencia de Jazz (JV) 6:30p, Cat’s Pajamas (JV) 9:30p Maple Leaf: Wednesday Residency feat. J. the Savage (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Ched Reeves (RR) 2p, Joe Bennett (RR) 7p Old Point Bar: special block party feat. Amanda Shaw and Josh Garrett & the Bottom Line (VR) 6p Palm Court: Palm Court Jazz Band feat. Lars Edegran, Jesse Boyd, Charlie Fardella and Jason Marsalis (JV) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Jerry Embree (SI) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: DJ Proppa & Rude Jude (VR) 10p
THURSDAY AUG 5
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Louisiana Hellbenders (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Reggae Night feat. DJ T-Roy (RG) 10p, Unlock the House feat. DJ Tom Harvey 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Jimmy Robinson & Cranston Clements Unplugged (AU) 8p d.b.a.: Mem Shannon & the Membership (JV) 10p Davenport Lounge (Ritz-Carlton): Jeremy Davenport (JV) 5:30p House of Blues: Queensryche Cabaret (ME) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (JV) 5p, Shamarr Allen (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Speed the Mule feat. Paul Tobin (BL) 9p Maison: Rue Fiya (JV) 9p Maple Leaf: the Trio feat. Johnny V. & guests (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Frank Fairbanks (AU RR) 2p, Colin Lake (BL) 7p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Mary McBride (VF) 6p Palm Court: Satchmo Summerfest Kick-off Party (JV) 7p Preservation Hall: Brass Band Thursday feat. Paulin Brothers Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Chris Ardoin (ZY) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Henry Butler Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: New Artist Feature night feat. DJ Red (VR) 10p
FRIDAY AUG 6
13 Monaghan: the Storyville Stompers (MJ) 6p Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kid Merv (BL) 7:30p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11:30p Bicycle Michael’s Ed Barrett Trio (MJ) 7p Blue Nile: Butch Thompson Jazz Band (JV) 7p, Henry Butler’s Steamin Sycopators (JV) 9p, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers (MJ) 11p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (balcony party) (MJ) 8p
Chickie Wah Wah: Pfister Sisters (VF) 5:30p, Paul Sanchez feat. Sonia Tetlow and Vaud & the Villains (OR) 8p d.b.a.: Carl LeBlanc Jazz Band and Big Fine Ellen (JV) 6p, Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs (JV) 10p Davenport Lounge (Ritz-Carlton): Jeremy Davenport (JV) 9p House of Blues: Bustout Burlesque (SH) 8 & 10:30p Howlin’ Wolf NorthShore (Mandeville): Curren$y (RH) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Joe Krown (PK) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (JV) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx, Jayna Morgan and Sazerac Sunrise Band (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Buddy Francioni & Home Grown (BL) 5p, Foot & Friends (BL) 9p La Maison: Lionel Ferbos & Louisiana Shakers (JV) 6:30p, Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 10:30p, Brass Band (MJ) 12:30p, Charles Neville Quartet (MJ) 8:30p Maison: Some Like it Hot (JV) 7p, Shakedown Friday feat. DJs Brice Nice, Kazu, Bees Knees and Yamin (Penthouse) (VR) 10p, Khris Royal & Dark Matter (JV) 10p Maple Leaf: John Gros & the Felons of Fun feat. Brian Stoltz, Donald Ramsey and Jellybean Alexander (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Eddie Parino (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 7p One Eyed Jacks: R. Scully & the Rough Seven, Ratty Scurvics & his Imaginary Quartet, Hurray for the Riff Raff (RR) 10p Palm Court: Treme Brass Band (BB) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Masters feat. Lars Edegran (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: John Mooney & Bluesiana (BL); Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p, Jason Marsalis Quartet (MJ) 12a Tipitina’s: Tips Foundation Free Friday feat. 101 Runners feat. Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, War Chief Juan, Cornell Williams, June Yamagishi and many more (FK) 10p
SATURDAY AUG 7
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Andy J. Forest and St. Louis Slim 7p, Hot 8 Brass Band 11p, Bionica (upstairs) 10p d.b.a.: John Boutte (JV) 8p, Little Freddie King (BL) 11p Howlin’ Wolf: A Benefit for the Fuller Center feat. Charmaine Neville & Amasa Miller, Rebirth Brass Band, Russell Batiste & Friends, Germaine Bazzle and many more (FK VR) 8:30p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Don Vappie (JV) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Free Agents Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Damien Louviere (BL) 5p, Rites of Passage (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes (BL) 11p
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC Maison: Loose Marbles (RR) 7p, Jeremy Phipps & the Outsiders (JV) 10p Maple Leaf: call club Margaritaville: Joe Bennett (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 5p Old Point Bar: J. the Savage (BL) 9:30p One Eyed Jacks: Dax Riggs CD-Release Show (RR) 10p Palm Court: Satchmo Songbook feat. Wendell Brunious, Topsy Chapman, Lars Edegran, Jesse Boyd, Tom Fischer and Shannon Powell (JV) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. Mark Braud (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Anders Osborne; Barbara Menendez (RR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Charles Neville Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Dance Party feat. Definition DJs (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: call club
SUNDAY AUG 8
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Ready Teddy (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Sexy Salsa Sunday 7p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, Linnzi Zaorski (JV) 10p House of Blues (the Parish): Death Angel, Augur, Swashbuckle (ME) 9p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a, Cyndi Lauper, David Rhodes (VF OR) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Kimberley Longstreth and “A Kind of Lovechild” (JV) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 8p Maison: St. Claude Serenaders (JV) 6p, Influencia de Jazz (JV) 9p Maple Leaf: Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Cindy Chen (RR RB PK) 7p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 2p Old Point Bar: Wilson-Moore (BL) 3:30p One Eyed Jacks: Ty Segall, Baths and Dives, the Bellys (RR) 10p Palm Court: Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Lucien Barbarin (JV) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall-stars feat. Shannon Powell (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Henry Butler (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Live Jazz and Old School DJ (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
MONDAY AUG 9
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Big Pearl (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Jeff Albert New Quintet 10p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Lynn Drury (BL) 9p Maison: Jayna Morgan & the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band (JV) 7p, Musicians Open Mic Jam feat. Rue Fiya (JV) 10p Maple Leaf: Papa Grows Funk (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. Mark Braud (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmain Neville Band (MJ) 8 & 10p TUESDAY AUG 10 Apple Barrel: Luke Winslow-King (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Chickie Wah Wah: John Mooney (BL) 8p
d.b.a.: New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 9p House of Blues: Mat Kearney (OR) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): the Big Busk, a Night of Burlesque and Live Music (SH VR) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Aaron Fletcher (JV) 8p Maison: No Name Trio (JV) 8p Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: New Birth Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Sweet Home New Orleans (RB) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Hector Gallardo Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p
WEDNESDAY AUG 11
Algiers Ferry Dock: Wednesdays at the Point feat. Jon Cleary (FK) 6p Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Bottom Up Blues Gang (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project 8p, Khris Royal and Dark Matter 10p, Gravity A 10p d.b.a.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Dos Jefes: Bob Andrews (JV BL) 9:30p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Booty Trove Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (JV) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Maison: Influencia de Jazz (JV) 6:30p, Cat’s Pajamas (JV) 9:30p Maple Leaf: Wednesday Residency feat. J. the Savage (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Ched Reeves (RR) 2p, Joe Bennett (RR) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: the Moonshiners (SI) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: DJ Proppa & Rude Jude (VR) 10p
THURSDAY AUG 12
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Mike Darby & the House of Cards (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Bottoms Up Blues Gang 7p, Reggae Night feat. DJ T-Roy 10p, Unlock the House feat. DJ Tom Harvey 10p Café Negril: Smoky Greenwall & the Blues Gnus (BL) 10:30p Chickie Wah Wah: Mama’s Love (FK RR) 9p d.b.a.: Andrew Duhon (JV) 6p, Jeff & Vida (BL) 10p Dos Jefes: Courtyard Kings (JV BL) 9:30p Hi Ho Lounge: Stooges Brass Band (BB) 9p House of Blues: Mystikal (RH) 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (JV) 5p, Glen David Andrews (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Kelcy Mae Band (KR) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Soul Rebels Brass Band (BB) 11p Maple Leaf: the Trio feat. Johnny V. & guests (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Frank Fairbanks (AU RR) 2p Masquerade (Harrah’s): live jazz (JV) 6p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Christian Serpas & Ghost Town (CW) 6p Old Point Bar: Blues Frenzy (BL) 6:30p, Andre Bouvier & the Royal Bohemians (BL) 9p Preservation Hall: Brass Band Thursday feat. Survivors Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Geno Delafose (ZY) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Ocie Davis Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: New Artist Feature night feat. DJ Red (VR) 10p AU G U ST 2 010
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC
FRIDAY AUG 13
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Bottoms Up Blues Gang 7p, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers 11p Chickie Wah Wah: Creole String Beans (RB) 8p d.b.a.: Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Soul Rebels Brass Band (BB) 10p Harrah’s Theatre: Marc Broussard (SS BL RR) 8p House of Blues: Andre Nickatina, Bizzy Bone, T Mills, Dot Dot Curve (OR) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Josh Paxton (PK) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (JV) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx, Jayna Morgan and Sazerac Sunrise Band (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Damien Louviere (BL) 5p, Hurricane Refugees (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Joe Krown (PK) 7p, Lynn Drury Band (BL) 11p Maison: Some Like it Hot (JV) 7p, Margie Perez (JV) 10p, Shakedown Friday feat. DJs Brice Nice, Kazu, Bees Knees and Yamin (Penthouse) (VR) 10p, Vagabond Swing (JV) 12a Maple Leaf: Russell Batiste & Orchestra from the Hood (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Eddie Parino (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Masters feat. Leroy Jones (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Eric Lindell (RR) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Tipitina’s: Tips Foundation Free Friday feat. DJ Davis Rogan and Cheeky Black (FK) 10p
SATURDAY AUG 14
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz 7p, the Revivalists 11p, Viva De Lay (upstairs) 10p d.b.a.: call club Dos Jefes: Roman Skakun (JV BL) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Shannon Powell (JV) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Kinfolk Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: call club for early show, Lynn Drury Band (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Billy Iuso & the Restless Natives (BL) 11p Louisiana Music Factory: Brother Dege (OR) 3p Maison: Loose Marbles (RR) 7p, Rue Fiya (JV) 10p Maple Leaf: Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Joe Bennett (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 5p Old Point Bar: Dana Abbott (BL) 9:30p One Eyed Jacks: Lost Bayou Ramblers, Brother Dege (RR) 10p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. William Smith (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers (MJ) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Chris Thomas King (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Dance Party feat. Definition DJs (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: Thriving Ivory and Ryan Star (OR) 10p
SUNDAY AUG 15
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Andre Bouvier (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Sexy Salsa Sunday feat. Free Salsa Lessons 7p Columns: Chip Wilson (BL) 11a” d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, the Mumbles (JV) 10p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Brass Band Sunday feat. Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Victor Atkins (JV) 7p
Kerry Irish Pub: Schatzy & Company (BL) 8p Maison: St. Claude Serenaders (JV) 6p, Caesar Brothers Funk Box (FK) 9p Maple Leaf: Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 2p, Cindy Chen (RR RB PK) 7p Old Point Bar: Wilson-Moore (BL) 3:30p, John Autin (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall-stars feat. Shannon Powell (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Paul Varisco & the Milestones (OL) 5p Snug Harbor: John Wooten & Caribbean Jazz Project (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Live Jazz and Old School DJ (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
MONDAY AUG 16
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Ivory Spectacle (BL) 10:30p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Bottoms Up Blues Gang (BL) 9p Maison: Jayna Morgan & the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band (JV) 7p, Musicians Open Mic Jam feat. Rue Fiya (OR) 10p Maple Leaf: Papa Grows Funk (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. Mark Braud (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmain Neville Band (MJ) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Brett Richardson (JV) 4p, Dominic Grillo & the Frenchmen St. All Stars (JV) 6p, the Jazz Vipers (JV) 10p
TUESDAY AUG 17
Apple Barrel: Kenny Claiborne (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Rex Gregory live WWOZ Broadcast 10p Chickie Wah Wah: John Mooney (BL) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): the Big Busk, a Night of Burlesque and Live Music (SH VR) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Nova Nola (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Honky Tonk Open Mic feat. Jason Bishop (CW) 9p Maison: No Name Trio (FK) 8p Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Old Point Bar: Westbank Mike Show (BL) 7:30p Preservation Hall: New Birth Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Sweet Home New Orleans presents Connie Jones (TJ) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Nick Sanders Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p
WEDNESDAY AUG 18
Algiers Ferry Dock: Wednesdays at the Point feat. Anais St. John (JV) 6p Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Johnny J. & Benny Maygarden (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project 8p, Khris Royal & Dark Matter 10p, Gravity A 10p d.b.a.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Booty Trove Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (JV) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC Maison: Influencia de Jazz (JV) 6:30p, Cat’s Pajamas (JV) 9:30p Maple Leaf: Wednesday Residency feat. J. the Savage (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Ched Reeves (RR) 2p, Joe Bennett (RR) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Joe Krown (SI) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: DJ Proppa & Rude Jude (VR) 10p
THURSDAY AUG 19
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Andy J. Forest (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Bottoms Up Blues Gang 7p, Reggae Night feat. DJ T-Roy 10p, Unlock the House feat. DJ Tom Harvey 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Cloud Sharp Nine (JV) 9p d.b.a.: call club Hi Ho Lounge: Stooges Brass Band (BB) 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Howlin’ Wolf: the New Orleans Air Sex Championship (VR) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (JV) 5p, Kipori Woods (BL) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Dave James and Tim Robertson (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Soul Rebels Brass Band (BB) 11p Maison: Big Rock Candy Mountain, Mega Fauna (RR) 10p Maple Leaf: the Trio feat. Johnny V. & guests (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Frank Fairbanks (AU RR) 2p, Captain Leo (RR) 7p Masquerade (Harrah’s): live jazz (JV) 6p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Texas Johnny Brown (RR) 6p Preservation Hall: Brass Band Thursday feat. Tornado Brass Band (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Brian Jack (ZY) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Mario Abney Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: New Artist Feature night feat. DJ Red (VR) 10p
FRIDAY AUG 20
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Bottoms Up Blues Gang 7p, Earphunk 11p Chickie Wah Wah: Kelcy Mae Band (KR) 8p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 6p, Kirk Joseph’s Funkifry’d (JV) 10p House of Blues: Big Al Carson’s CD-release party feat. Big Daddy O, Waylon Thibodeaux and Lindsay Mendez (BL) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Joe Krown (JV) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (JV) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx, Jayna Morgan and Sazerac Sunrise Band (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Damien Louviere (BL) 5p Maison: Some Like it Hot (JV) 7p, Caesar Brothers Funk Box (FK) 10p, Shakedown Friday feat. DJs Brice Nice, Kazu, Bees Knees and Yamin (Penthouse) (VR) 10p Maple Leaf: Gravy (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Eddie Parino (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Masters feat. Leroy Jones (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: the Bucktown Allstars (PP) 9:30p Snug Harbor: call club Tipitina’s: Tips Foundation Free Friday feat. Joe Krown Trio and Billy Iuso & the Restless Natives (FK) 10p
SATURDAY AUG 21
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p
Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz 7p, Andrew Duhon & the Lonesome Crows 11p, Bottoms Up Blues Gang (upstairs) 10p d.b.a.: Good Enough for Good Times (JV) 11p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Smiley with a Knife CDrelease party feat. Man at Home, Six Gallery and the Twin Killers (RR) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Glen David Andrews (JV) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Free Agents Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Speed the Mule feat. Paul Tobin (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Sol Fiya (FK) 11p Maison: Loose Marbles (RR) 7p, Jeremy Phipps & the Outsiders (OR) 10p, Sick Like Sinatra (in the Penthouse) (RR) 10p Maple Leaf: call club Margaritaville: Joe Bennett (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 5p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. Mark Braud (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Congo Mambo (RB) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Astral Project (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Dance Party feat. Definition DJs (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: call club
SUNDAY AUG 22
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Ready Teddy (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Sexy Salsa Sunday 7p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, Louisiana Hellbenders (BL) 10p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a, Deftones, Baroness (ME) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Brass Band Sunday feat. Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Derek Douget (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Irish Session (FE) 5p, Damien Louviere (BL) 9p Maison: St. Claude Serenaders (JV) 6p Maple Leaf: Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 2p, Cindy Chen (RR RB PK) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall-stars feat. Shannon Powell (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: James Singleton Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Live Jazz and Old School DJ (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
MONDAY AUG 23
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, the Bottoms Up Blues Gang (BL) 10:30p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: call club Maison: Jayna Morgan & the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band (JV) 7p, Musicians Open Mic Jam feat. Rue Fiya (OR) 10p Maple Leaf: Papa Grows Funk (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Old Point Bar: Brent Walsh Jazz Trio (JV) 8p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band feat. Mark Braud (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmain Neville Band (MJ) 8 & 10p
TUESDAY AUG 24
Apple Barrel: Luke Winslow-King (BL) 7p, Kenny Swartz & the Palace of Sin (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Aurora Nealand 10p Chickie Wah Wah: John Mooney (BL) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 9p AU G U ST 2 010
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): the Big Busk, a Night of Burlesque and Live Music (SH VR) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Don Vappie (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: call club Maison: No Name Trio (JV) 8p Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Old Point Bar: Westbank Mike Show (BL) 7:30p One Eyed Jacks: the Chop Tops, the Bills, the Unnaturals (RR) 10p Preservation Hall: New Birth Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Sweet Home New Orleans (RB) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Godwin Louis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p
WEDNESDAY AUG 25
Algiers Ferry Dock: Wednesdays at the Point feat. MyNameIsJohnMichael (RR) 6p Apple Barrel: Wendy Darling (BL) 8p, Blue Max (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: United Postal Project 8p, Khris Royal & Dark Matter 10p, Gravity A (upstairs) 10p d.b.a.: Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Dos Jefes: Bob Andrews (JV BL) 9:30p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Booty Trove Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Sasha Masakowski (JV) 5p, Irvin Mayfield & the NOJO (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (BL) 9p Maison: Influencia de Jazz (JV) 6:30p, Cat’s Pajamas (JV) 9:30p Maple Leaf: Wednesday Residency feat. J. the Savage (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Ched Reeves (RR) 2p, Joe Bennett (RR) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Swing-a-Roux (SI) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: DJ Proppa & Rude Jude (VR) 10p
THURSDAY AUG 26
Apple Barrel: Dave Gregg & the Odd Man Band (BL) 8p, Louisiana Hellbenders (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Reggae Night feat. DJ T-Roy 10p, Unlock the House feat. DJ Tom Harvey 10p d.b.a.: the Happy Talk Band (JV) 10p Dos Jefes: Jason Marsalis Vibes (JV BL) 9:30p Hi Ho Lounge: Stooges Brass Band (BB) 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Roman Skakun (JV) 5p, Shamarr Allen (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Kelcy Mae Band (KR) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Soul Rebels Brass Band (BB) 11p Maison: Rue Fiya (JV) 9p Maple Leaf: the Trio feat. Johnny V. & guests (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Frank Fairbanks (AU RR) 2p, Captain Leo (RR) 7p Ogden Museum: Ogden After Hours feat. Al “Carnival Time” Johnson and Guitar Lightnin’ Lee Band (RB) 6p Preservation Hall: Brass Band Thursday feat. New Birth Brass Band (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Leon Chavis (ZY) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Tony Dagradi Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: New Artist Feature night feat. DJ Red (VR) 10p
FRIDAY AUG 27
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Holladay and Rick Westin (BL) 8p, the Hip Shakers (BL) 11p Blue Nile:Andrew Duhon & the Lonesome Crows 11p Chickie Wah Wah: Paul Sanchez (OR) 8p
d.b.a.: Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Honey Island Swamp Band (JV) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Professor Piano Series feat. Joe Krown (JV) 5p, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown (JV) 8p, Burlesque Ballroom feat. Trixie Minx, Jayna Morgan and Sazerac Sunrise Band (SH) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Buddy Francioni & Home Grown (BL) 5p, Hurricane Refugees (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: CR Gruver (PK) 7p, Rotary Downs (RR) 11p Maison: Some Like it Hot (JV) 7p, WCP (JV) 10p, Shakedown Friday feat. DJs Brice Nice, Kazu, Bees Knees and Yamin (Penthouse) (VR) 10p Maple Leaf: Jimbo Mathus & Tri State Coalition (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Eddie Parino (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Masters feat. Leroy Jones (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: the Radiators,Tab Benoit (RR BL) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Ellis Marsalis Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Tipitina’s: Tips Foundation Free Friday feat. Generationals and more (OR) 10p
MONDAY AUG 30
Apple Barrel: Sam Cammarata and Dominick Grillo (BL) 8p, Butch Trivette (BL) 10:30p d.b.a.: Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Catania (BL) 9p Maison: Jayna Morgan & the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band (JV) 7p, Musicians Open Mic Jam feat. Rue Fiya (JV) 10p Maple Leaf: Papa Grows Funk (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Band (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville Band (MJ) 8 & 10p
TUESDAY AUG 31
Apple Barrel: Kenny Claiborne (BL) 7p, call club (BL) 10:30p Blue Nile: Neslort 10p
PLAN A: Marty Stuart It’s hard to say exactly what country music is anymore, but if pressed to say what I want it to be, it would be Marty Stuart. On his 2006 live album, Live at the Ryman, he is introduced to the audience in the former home of the Grand Ol’ Opry as “country music’s Renaissance man,” a sobriquet that fits. He learned mandolin at age 12 and within two years joined the legendary bluegrass outfit Flatt & Scruggs, staying with that group for most of the ‘70s. He spent a large part of the 1980s in Johnny Cash’s band and for a while, family (he was married to Johnny’s daughter Cindy for a spell) and tried his hand at some bluegrass solo albums that,
SATURDAY AUG 28
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Sneaky Pete (BL) 8p, Andre Bouvier (BL) 11p Blue Nile: Washboard Chaz 7p, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes 11p, CL Smooth 10p Chickie Wah Wah: Blues Society Solo (BL) 7:30p d.b.a.: Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Russell Batiste (JV BL) 11p Hi Ho Lounge: Zydepunks (RR) 10p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Shannon Powell (JV) 8p, Brass Band Jam feat. Kinfolk Brass Band (BB) 12a Kerry Irish Pub: Speed the Mule feat. Paul Tobin, Rites of Passage (BL) 9p Le Bon Temps Roule: Johnny Angel & the Swingin’ Demons (SI) 11p Louisiana Music Factory: Roderick Paulin (OR) 3p, Happy Talk Band (RR) 4p Maison: Loose Marbles (RR) 7p, Easy Company (RR) 10p Maple Leaf: closed for private party Margaritaville: Joe Bennett (RR) 2p, Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 5p Preservation Hall: Saint Peter All-stars feat. Lars Edegran (JV) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. (ZY) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Charles Neville Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Dance Party feat. Definition DJs (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: Alex McMurray Band feat. Carlo Nuccio, Joe Cabral and Happy Talk (RR) 10p
SUNDAY AUG 29
Apple Barrel: John (BL) 4p, Kenny Claiborne (BL) 8p, Blue Max (BL) 10:30p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bug Stompers (JV) 6p, Mas Mamones (JV) 10p House of Blues: Sunday Gospel Brunch (GS) 10a Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): Brass Band Sunday feat. Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Nova Nola (JV) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: the Mockingbirds (BL) 9p Maison: St. Claude Serenaders (JV) 6p Maple Leaf: Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste (FK) 10p Margaritaville: Irving Bannister’s All-stars (RB) 2p, Cindy Chen (RR RB PK) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall-stars feat. Shannon Powell (JV) 8p Snug Harbor: Ed Petersen Trio (MJ) 8 & 10p Sports Vue: Live Jazz and Old School DJ (DN) 10p Tipitina’s: Cajun Fais Do Do feat. Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p
Chickie Wah Wah: John Mooney (BL) 8p d.b.a.: New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 9p Howlin’ Wolf (The Den): the Big Busk, a Night of Burlesque and Live Music (SH VR) 9p Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse (Royal Sonesta): Ed “Sweetbread” Peterson (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Honky Tonk Open Mic feat. Jason Bishop (CW) 9p Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p Margaritaville: Butch Fields (RR) 2p, Brint Anderson (BL) 7p Preservation Hall: New Birth Brass Band (BB) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Sweet Home New Orleans presents JJ Muggler Band (BL) 8:30p
LOUISIANA MUSIC ON TOUR SHAMARR ALLEN Aug 11-18 San Paulo BRZ Bourbon Street Festival Aug 19 Oshkosh WI Water Fest Aug 20 New York NY Irving Plaza Aug 21 Chicago IL Martrys BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION Aug 1 Lancaster PA Marion Court Room Aug 4 Saint Louis MO Broadway Oyster Bar Aug 5 Evanston IL S.P.A.C.E. Aug 6 Empire MI Dunegrass Music Festival Aug 7 Harvey LA Boomtown Casino Aug 11 New York NY Rocks Off Cruise Aug 19 Oshkosh WI Waterfest Aug 20 Equinunk PA Equifunk Aug 27 San Diego CA Anthology Aug 28 Los Angeles CA Redwhite+Bluezz
despite his pedigree and prowess, never took hold with the public. He shifted gears in 1989 with Hillbilly Rock, a guitar-centered, hip-swinging effort that wedged in perfectly with the rejuvenation of country then spearheaded by Dwight Yoakum and Lyle Lovett. Stuart had hits and even his own Marty Party show on the Nashville Network, but as the winds changed for country music in this century, Stuart left the limelight to chase his own muses to startling effect, be it is spell-binding twang-gospel on 2005’s Soul’s Chapel or the bluegrass fireworks on the aforementioned live album. Stuart and his band the Fabulous Superlatives will perform in the Taylor Library at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art Friday, August 6 to premiere the exhibit “The Art of Country Music: The Marty Stuart Collection,” opening to the public on White Linen Night the following evening. The collection includes everything from Hank Williams’ boots to Minnie Pearl’s hat to some of Stuart’s own custom Nudie suits, as well a wealth of his photographs of Nashville luminaries throughout the years. Tickets for Stuart’s concert range from $20 - $75 (VIP, includes pre-concert meet-andgreet and preferred seating).—Alex V. Cook www.OFFBEAT.com
LIVE LOCAL MUSIC BONERAMA Aug 20 New York NY Rocks Off Concert Cruise Aug 22 Lancaster PA Marion Court Aug 27 Boston MA Boston Harbor Cruises Aug 28 Salisbury Beach MA Surfside Live JON CLEARY Aug 1 Shoreham By Sea UK Ropetackle Aug 14 Sao Paulo BRZ Bourbon Street Festival Aug 17 Sao Paulo BRZ Bourbon Street Club Aug 20 Houston TX Big Easy Social Club Aug 26 New York NY Seaport Music Festival DR. JOHN Aug 2-3 New York NY City Winery Aug 4 Amagansett NY Stephen Talkhouse Aug 6 Hamilton ON Festival of Friends Aug 7 Kitchener ON Kitchner Blues Festival Aug 12-13 Minneapolis MN Dakota Jazz Club Aug 14 Duluth MN Bayfront Blues Festival Aug 19 Dallas TX Lakewood Theater Aug 20 Houston TX House Of Blues Aug 21 Austin TX Austin Music Hall Aug 25 Baton Rouge LA Shaw Center Aug 28 Hyannis MA Cape Cod Melody Tent Aug 29 Cohasset MA South Shore Music Circus GALACTIC Aug 1 Montreal QC Parc Jean Drapeau Aug 3 Dewey Beach DE Bottle & Cork Aug 4 Asbury Park NJ Stone Pony Aug 5 Rochester NY Party in the Park Aug 6 Washington DC 9:30 Club Aug 7 Johnstown PA Flood City Music Festival Aug 28 Live Oak FL Blackwater Music Festival HONEY ISLAND SWAMP BAND Aug 5 Daphne AL Moe’S BBQ Aug 6 Destin FL The Shed Aug 7 Port St Joe FL Scallop & Music Festival Aug 8 Pensacola Beach FL Paradise Bar Aug 11 Nashville TN Bourbon Street Aug 12 Roanoke VA Awful Arthur’s Aug 13 Baltimore MD 8 X 10 Aug 14 Richmond VA Capital Ale House Aug 15 Virginia Beach VA Jewish Mother Aug 19 Rehoboth Beach DE Dogfish Head Aug 20 Norwich NY Chenango Blues Festival Aug 21 Thornton NH White Mountain Boogie ‘n’ Blues Festival LITTLE FREDDIE KING Aug 7 Cincinnati OH Cincinnati Blues Festival Aug 14 Afton VA Veritas Vineyard & Winery IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK Aug 7 Washington DC Living Earth Festival Aug 8 Darrington WA Summer Meltdown Aug 21 Roseland VA Brew Ridge Trail Music Fest Aug 28 Springfield MO Ozarks Music Festival Aug 29 Fort Smith AR River Jam Music Festival ANDERS OSBORNE Aug 7-8 Johnstown PA Flood City Music Festival Aug 10 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage Aug 11 Virginia Beach VA Jewish Mother Aug 12 Wilmington DE 5th & Market Street Aug 13 Baltimore MD The 8X10 Aug 14 Falls Church VA State Theater Aug 15 Wheeling WV Heritage Music Bluesfest Aug 18 Evanston IL SPACE Aug 19 St. Louis MO Broadway Oyster Bar Aug 20 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Aug 21 Equinunk PA Equifunk REBIRTH BRASS BAND Aug 11-12 Los Angeles CA The Mint Aug 13 Hermosa Beach CA Saint Rocke
Aug 14 San Francisco CA Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival Aug 15 Squaw Valley CA Resort At Squaw Creek ALLEN TOUSSAINT Aug 3 Dublin IRE National Concert Hall Aug 5 Marciac FRA Festival de Jazz Aug 8 Salt Lake City UT Red Butte Garden Amphitheater Aug 13 Dublin IRE National Concert Hall Aug 27 Los Angeles CA Greek Theater TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE Aug 7 Petaluma CA Petaluma Music Festival Aug 8 Salt Lake City UT Red Butte Garden Amphitheater Aug 10 Amagansett NY Stephen Talkhouse Aug 11-12 Bethlehem PA Musikfest Aug 13 Washington CD 9:30 Club Aug 14 Philadelphia PA Penn’s Landing Aug 15 Dewey Beach DE Bottle N Cork Aug 19-20 Sao Paulo BRZ Bourbon Street Music Club Aug 22 Sao Paulo BRZ Bourbon Street Festival Aug 26 New York NY South Street Seaport Aug 27 Norfolk CT Infinity Hall Aug 28 Mount Snow VT Blues Festival
FESTIVALS AUGUST 5-8 Satchmo SummerFest: Celebrate the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong in the streets of the French Quarter with concerts, seminars, second-line parades and more. (504) 522-5730, SatchmoSummerFest.com. AUGUST 14 Dirty Linen Night: As Royal Street’s answer to White Linen Night, this fun event invites you to the artist-owned studios, galleries and shops of the French Quarter. 500 to 1000 blocks of Royal Street. 6-9p. (504) 957-3540.
SPECIAL EVENTS AUGUST 5-26 Ogden After Hours: Visit the Ogden Museum every Thursday evening for live entertainment by a variety of local musicians. Check the OffBeat daily listings for a schedule of performances. 6p. OgdenMuseum.org. AUGUST 6 Satchmo Club Strut: Hit Frenchmen Street and experience the music of more than a dozen bands at clubs including Snug Harbor, d.b.a., Blue Nile, Apple Barrel and more. For tickets and more information, visit JazzCent.com. AUGUST 7 White Linen Night: Spend the evening strolling down Julia Street exploring art galleries, sampling wines and listening to live music. 6-9p. AUGUST 22 Ogden Family Fair: The family fun event will take place throughout the Stephen Goldring Hall. 10a4p. OgdenMuseum.org. AUGUST 25 La Fete Cultural, A Celebration of Culture: Get down to the Contemporary Arts Center for a fun event to benefit and honor the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation. There will be performances by Tab Benoit’s Swampland Jam, Terrance Simien, the Stooges Brass Band and more. Patron party starts at 6p, concert at 7:30p. CulturalEconomy.org. AU G U ST 2 010
First, a “Welcome Back” is in order. How has it been being back the last six months? Thanks, man. It’s been a task working through my supervision, though. You know, my probation and parole situation. How is that supervision restricting you? Lightly. I’m still capable of doing what I need to get done. It’s not like I just came home and I’m free as a bird or anything. I’m still able to perform, but not as many places as I normally would. Are you recording a lot now? Yeah, I’m working on my album. I’m doing a lot of feature projects, but I’m mostly working on my album. I don’t have definite release but we’re shooting for the end of the year. What was the hardest part about being away for such a long time? Being away. For such a long time. [laughs] It varies: family, friends, my kids. Everything. My career. It was just a transition, like being in the www.OFFBEAT.com
Photo: Erika Goldring
or hip-hop, a genre even more obsessed with being fresh than pop, six years can be an eternity. Mystikal spent one such eternity in jail on charges of sexual assault and extortion. He’s been away from a fan base that can sometimes forget its favorite acts as soon as the next hot newcomer hits the scene. At his height, Mystikal contributed to the most crowded day in Jazz Fest history when, in 2001, he and the Dave Matthews Band helped draw more than 160,000 people to the Fair Grounds, most of those at the Acura and Congo Square stages where the two performed. Earlier this year, a recently-released Mystikal returned to Jazz Fest, this time as a guest during Trombone Shorty’s set. He brought the same rambunctious, energetic confidence that has become his trademark, and had the crowd singing along when he performed a ferocious “Shake Ya Azz.” Overwhelmed by the crowd’s response, he told the audience, “If I wasn’t a gangsta, I’d be crying.” With that performance, the former No Limit standout made a statement as loud as his dynamic voice: Mystikal is back. He’ll return on his own when he plays the House of Blues August 12. You’ve been warned.
damn twilight zone. I was doing the same thing over and over and over. It was the same routine. Right around the time you got out, there was a welcome back show in New Orleans. How was it? Was the crowd ready for your return? It was off the chain. But it was on Mardi Gras night so there was a lot going on. They definitely weren’t ready, though. You were gone during Katrina and had to watch everything from behind bars. How difficult was that? That was very difficult. I’m a hands-on guy, especially when it comes to my family and my hometown. I want to be as helpful as my celebrity will allow. I tried to use all my resources, but all I could do was look at it on television. That was tough. Once the power got working right, we were able to reach out to our families and make sure our loved ones were alright. Fortunately for me, I have a house big enough to accommodate my entire family from New Orleans. I was in Baton Rouge at the time. My family members were able to drive to Baton Rouge to stay with my momma at her house. I was able to help in that regard.
By David Dennis
What was it like to come back to see New Orleans in 2010? It was a real drastic change to see things so differently. It was crazy to see, especially the downtown area. A lot of things and places I liked and wanted to go to aren’t there anymore. The big difference now comes more from the oil spill than anything Katrina did. I can’t enjoy my good old seafood like I normally do. I just don’t trust it. The oil spill is terrible. That’s why I’m doing this show on August 12th. What show is that? I got a House of Blues set I’m going to do. I’m going to do it unplugged with a live band. I tell you, they’ve never seen me in this capacity before. It’s going to be crazy, and a portion of the proceeds are going to be donated to the Louisiana fishermen to aid in the fight and recovery from this oil spill situation. What made you want to do a show with a live band? I’ve wanted to do that for a long time. I was supposed to do that a long time ago. That was before I left, but I just left before I could execute it. AU G U ST 2 010
When I left, they had their hands up. When I came back six years later, their hands were still in the air ready to root for me. What’s the biggest change in the hiphop scene since you’ve been gone? It does what it does. It changes and goes in different directions. It’s just going in different directions right now. Music is different. I don’t want to knock or diss those guys that are having success with the music they’re doing because that’s what it’s all about: your financial security. So if you have success, I applaud you and give you your props. It’s just different, though. I come from that hip-hop era. So do you think that traditional hip-hop aspect is missing from the music? I don’t think it’s lost. I just don’t think new acts are doing it. They changed it. It’s like classic hip-hop isn’t important any more. That’s not “hot” anymore. That’s not for them. Do you feel that this has pressured you to change at all? You’ll see. You will soon see that I’m not playing with these dudes out here, man. At all. What’s different specifically about the New Orleans hip-hop scene? We still do our thing. We still have the bounce music that we started. We’re still able to use that music to achieve our own success. We’re still doing our thing. We adapt to some of the other stuff out there but we’re able to stick to our roots. I like that. That’s the thing that gets me about other people. They do the “follow the leader” thing. They do the music that other people do. That’s not what it’s about. As an artist I paint my own picture, not their picture. I make my own music. What does the “Mystikal picture” look like? Lord, have mercy. Just imagine a room with all white walls and I have all kinds of different color paints and I’m just splattering it all over there. It may look like a mess to somebody, but when I finish it, it’ll look like a beautiful thing. Believe me; it’s going to make a statement. I’m just a lot of different things, man. I’m abstract. I can be hardcore. I can serve you a full plate, a full course meal with your dessert and something to drink. When you came back and looked at the hip-hop landscape, did you find that the old spot you held was gone? Did you
worry that there wouldn’t be a place for Mystikal anymore? Let me tell you something, man. If you look across the whole hip-hop landscape the whole time I was gone, you’ll see there was a hole. That’s where I fit. Not that guys didn’t want to get in it, they just couldn’t. I have a unique style. They don’t have any rappers out there like me. They don’t have them out there like Busta Rhymes. They don’t have them out there like Eminem. They don’t have them out there like Lil Wayne. Those people are the trendsetters. They don’t follow the trends. Like Ludacris and them. They did what they did. It was the same with me, except nobody could fill that spot. There was a small hole in the rap game and when I came back, I realized that they really, truly, missed me. I had definitely left my mark in the rap industry. When I left, they had their hands up. When I came back six years later, their hands were still in the air ready to root for me. That was pretty special to me. Was there a point where you thought about not coming back and doing music at all? What?! There’s a passion here. That’s like saying I’m just going to go ahead and stop believing in God. This is embedded in me. It’s hardwired in my DNA. How much writing did you do over the last six years? I did some. I did a fair amount, but I can tell ya’ll that it wasn’t a writing sanctuary. I did more gathering information and reading and reflecting on my life. I just did a lot of growing. I let a lot of growth take place. So when the growth took place in the man, the artist finally grew. So I think you’ll see that in my music. I was able to put a lot of stuff together, though. People do say that it’s really difficult to write music in jail. So you went through a little writer’s block? I guess you could say “writer’s block.” You just have so much to focus on in there just surviving in that place and maintaining your mind. If you allow yourself, it’ll let you come out being something you don’t want to be. It’ll make you worse. It’s really messed up in that place, man. There have been, and will be, a lot of rappers coming back this year: Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne coming back from jail time
and Eminem coming back from his hard times. Do you look at those comebacks and try to take something from them to position your own return? No, because I can’t do what they do. I can’t do what Lil Wayne does. I can’t do what Eminem does. I’m Mystikal. I have to be strategic in Mystikal’s return. Now, you can take notes and see what not to do. That’s the offstage stuff. I hope a lot of artists learn from me and don’t have to go through the same stupid stuff I had to go through and make the same mistakes I made. Because I made a foolish mistake. In the last couple of years, there has been an explosion online with blogs and twitter and other social media. These things weren’t here six years ago. Do you find yourself having to adjust to that? Hell yeah! I call it “The Matrix.” And I know that Neo can’t mess with me because I am definitely the one, man. Six years later, I see everything is viral. That’s The Matrix, man. I came home and saw that. You don’t want me to reach millions of people with the press of one button. Me? Come on, man. When was the last time you talked to anyone from No Limit? I just saw Master P at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors they did a couple of months ago. That was real fun. We hadn’t talked since right before I went away. Ya’ll can definitely look forward to us making music together. Definitely look forward to that. I have what it takes to help him in that regard and to show people that he still has it. A lot of people forget the things he did from ’96 to ’99. Is there anything else you want to say to everyone? Just let them know that when this album drops, the streets are going to sink. I can just forewarn them. I’m serious. A lot of people are going to have to go back to the drawing board after this one. I’m not trying to knock anybody or diss anybody. Sorry. And please let me say: thank you to all my fans and my supporters that supported me through my six-year ordeal. Those letters, cards and kind words of encouragement meant the world to me, man. That was a big deal for me and instrumental in getting me through that situation. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I’ll never let them down again. O www.OFFBEAT.com