Sunday, April 12, 2009

NolaFunk Lagniappe

The Mother-in-Law’s Mother

Early Mardi Gras morning, Antoinette K-Doe passed away after a heart attack. Since editor Alex Rawls wrote about Antoinette and the Mother-in-Law Lounge in our January issue, we felt we’d already said much of what we wanted to say about her. Last issue, she spoke for herself, talking about cooking and being neighborly, so we decided to let some of the people who were touched by Antoinette share their recollections. We’ll miss her.—ED

The Wild Magnolias' Bo Dollis and Monk Boudreaux reunite, however briefly

Saturday's reunion of Bo Dollis and Monk Boudreaux at the Mid-City Lanes said as much about the future of the Wild Magnolias as the past.

Friends since childhood, Boudreaux and Dollis grew up to lead rival Mardi Gras Indian "gangs." They joined forces to front the Wild Magnolias electric funk band, whose 1974 debut introduced Mardi Gras Indian music to the world. On the likes of "Handa Wanda" and "Smoke My Peace Pipe," Boudreaux's more traditional chants offset Dollis' glorious rasp.

Whoa, that’s a lot of Bo

On a decidely more upbeat note, friend of no notes Mr. Fine Wine turns over an entire one-hour episode of his Downtown Soulville show to the music of the recently departed New Orleans legend Eddie Bo. Check it out here.

Nick Spitzer interview with Eddie from November 2nd, 2005

Playing for Change

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music". This film features many New Orleans artists including Grandpa Elliot, Washboard Chaz and my dear friend Roberto Luti (who's featured on the Heaven She Rides album by Sol Fiya). Be sure to check out the Playing For Change foundation and please show them some love.

Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will receive the Big Easy Foundation's Music Heritage Award

Even if the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is not doing anything special to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its first release, My Feet Can't Fail Me Now, the album still marks some of the elements that have propelled the band through more than three decades together: dedication to practice and trying new things.

  "In the beginning, we came together to learn music," Gregory Davis says. "There weren't any gigs. They were rehearsals."

  The group included Roger Lewis and Charles Joseph, who were students at Southern University. Joseph brought his younger brother Kirk to play sousaphone. Davis was a student at St. Augustine High School. Drummer Benny Jones was in a band and had some connections to get gigs with social aid and pleasure clubs. The members agreed to work on any type of music.



Listen up: Preview track from Marcus Roberts' "New Orleans Meets Harlem, Vol. 1"

With "New Orleans Meets Harlem," pianist Marcus Roberts explores the connections between two of jazz music's most elemental tributaries -- building on familiar ideas put in place by Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. The record, Roberts' first in eight years, hits the streets on Tuesday, March 31, and features bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis. Good news: Keen and welcome touches of modernity keep this J-Master Records release from gathering the expected dust.

Papa Mali brings funky Louisiana jams: Q&A

Voodoo blues man Papa Mali grew up in rural Louisiana where he soaked in everything from hill country guitar to the nearby Big Easy brass. He paid his dues in the clubs of New Orleans for more than two decades, but now the diversely skilled guitarist, whose real name is Malcolm Welbourne, tours around the country with his original brand of psychedelic Crescent City-inspired funk, mixing it up regularly in the world of jam and jazz. His latest album, 2007's “Do Your Thing,” was produced by Dan Prothero for Fog City Records and features collaborations with Kirk Joseph, Henry Butler, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Victoria Williams and JJ Grey.

Papa Mali plays Friday at Stella Blue.

Question: What types of music did you learn growing up in Louisiana?

Answer: From a pretty early age I was steeped in real Delta blues, soul and funk. There's two different schools in that type of music: the guys who grew up on a plantation in Mississippi, and then there are guys like me who are more like musicologists, honest about where they come from. Dr. John is one of my biggest heroes. At an early age he got over the whole trauma of race and color barriers that a lot of musicians go through. I was the same way. As a teenager I was playing with some cats that were the real deal, and they accepted me. They let me know that it was all about the music, and if you're sincere in the way that you portray it, you will be accepted. That's helped me to know my place in how I want to carry the music forward.

Joan Selects, Volume 18 – Joan’s New Orleans Jazz Fest Special

It is one of those unintended confluences that Joan Selects, Volume 18 - Joan's Jazz Fest Special appears just several weeks from the start of the 40th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: You can thank your blog host for the great timing for this post.

All the music in Joan Selects - Volume 18, emanates from the musical gold-mine that is New Orleans. In fact most all the selections here-in presented were recorded at the legendary J & M recording studios under the astute and gifted direction of Cosimo Matassa.


The Tio Family: A New Orleans Clarinet Dynasty

Almost everyone who plays jazz clarinet in a classic style can trace their musical lineage back to the Tio family, a dynasty of clarinet masters from New Orleans¹ Creole seventh ward. In the early 1900s, they taught the first generation of jazz players the value of using classical techniques. Evan Christopher continues the legacy.

The Tio family was a dynasty of clarinet masters from New Orleans' Creole seventh ward. In the early days of the 20th century, they taught a first generation of jazz players the value of using classical techniques in their playing. The Tios were all professional musicians on the active New Orleans music scene where they worked as composers, arrangers, and conductors in brass bands, theater orchestras and 'society' dance bands. But most importantly, every afternoon there would be a steady stream of music students through their homes.

New Orleans Jazz All-Stars 2009: Our 20th Class

Ideal vision, we are told, is 20-20 and as we present our 20th class of Jazz-All Stars we see two decades of greatness and a talent pool that hasn’t been diminished. As always we present our All-Stars as two complete but non-existent bands – one traditional, the other contemporary. Selections are based from among those performers who continue to live and work mostly in this area. It is great to see such a promising list, and even better to hear.

Musicians, Jackson Square, New Orleans

New Orleans Gets Its Brews Back

The history of brewing in New Orleans is as cloudy as an unfiltered ale, little known outside its confines. Once a regional beer capital, it turned out a slew of popular brands like Falstaff, Jax, Regal and Dixie.

Now there are only a handful of breweries in the area, including Abita, Heiner Brau and a newcomer named NOLA Brewing Company. The good news is that over a well-hopped weekend you can sample all the local brews, tour their birthplaces and learn the story of the once — and possibly future — beer town of the South. The local brewing scene is concentrated these days in suburban St. Tammany Parish, on the north shore of the vast Lake Pontchartrain opposite the Big Easy. So that’s where I headed one morning, with an old college buddy along as designated driver, flitting over the brown lake like a water spider on the seemingly endless causeway.

Playlist: WWOZ is the shit.

As a city that treasures its musical heritage, New Orleans is probably second only to Nashville.

I’ve been listening to WWOZ in recent weeks. WWOZ is a free- form community radio station that’s become a linchpin of the New Orleans music scene.

WWOZ rocks ass. Below are just a few recordings to which I’ve been introduced by ’OZ’s dedicated volunteer deejays. Click the track titles to listen on my Vox blog.

Eddie Bo & The Soulfinders “The Hook & Sling”


French Quarter Festival Who’s Who

By David Kunian and Alex Rawls

There’s a lot going on during the French Quarter Festival, and it takes a big brain to keep track of it all. OffBeat wants you to be that big brain, so here’s our guide to all the jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco, funk, soul and rock ’n’ roll that takes place on 17 stages arranged in the French Quarter between Bourbon Street and the Mississippi River. Pay attention—there will be a quiz.

There and Back Again: An Interview with the subdudes' John Magnie

Most bands would be envious of the subdudes’ lot in life. After all, many struggle and fail in their bids to reach the top of the mountain once, let alone twice. Although the subdudes suffered an acrimonious breakup that lasted for six years, the group has spent its time, since its reunion in 2002, re-establishing itself within a marketplace that has grown considerably more crowded. Its latest set Live at the Rams’ Head combined with its complementary documentary Unplugged at Pleasant Plains couldn’t have been issued at a better time, either.

Gulf Coast Highway reviewed by Steve Jones

Gulf Coast Highway
Eric Lindell
Alligator Records
15 tracks

I first listened to this CD on a Sunday morning. It was quite early, and I had just gone to a hockey game the night before, so the sport was still on my mind. As the CDs first track opened up, it immediately got me thinking about partying. I quipped to myself, “I went to a party and an Eric Lindell concert broke out,” and it hit me; I’ve bent the joking phrase, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out,” around, but it fits so nicely. Seeing Eric live or even listening to him on a CD makes you feel like having you’re having a party.

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