Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NolaFunk Lagniappe

Michael Arnone's Crawfish Fest!

Bayou Boogaloo and music galore keep us attuned and in tune

Bayou Boogaloo and music galore keep us attuned and in tune

Once after having the privilege of attending Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival set in the beautiful, historic, hilltop town of Perugia, I asked a resident what the music scene was like there during other times of the year. The answer was basically, “zilch” with the exception of a few other events. The jazz lovers and the New Orleans music enthusiasts of the Umbria region who during the festival helped pack the music venues and the plazas simply did without. It might be a year before another second line would call out for the young and old to come out and dance through the winding streets. The churches, parks and bars would resume their original functions minus the sound of live jazz. It was sort of a sad thought.

While a mental letdown can often occur after the back-to-back blockbusters of the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest (that could be chalked up to sheer exhaustion), New Orleans doesn’t fold it up and wait for another year. The music just keeps coming.

Bayou Boogaloo was greeted with much appreciation when it debuted in 2006, a time when this city remained on very shaky grounds and each spotting of old friends became a grand reunion. It continues to embrace the neighborhood and families offering a low-keyed, homey, green attitude. The music presented on two solar-powered stages (just one on opening night) plus a kids tent, remains home-grown.

see also: Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo

"Pitta Pattin' With Huey "Piano" Smith" : THE WEEKEND MIX

Andre Williams And The New Orleans Hellhounds - Can You Deal With It?

Gotta love Andre Williams. 70 something years old, about 50 of them spent in music, ups and downs all throughout including a drug addiction allegedly spurred on by Ike Turner, and this guy is still singing his heart out about trying to do nasty shit with young girls


20 years ago, more than half of this record would have been all over the radio. Singer-songwriter McMurray knows how to break a heart and tickle a funny bone, most of the time in the same song. Part Tin Pan Alley, part Ray Davies, a little bit of Tom Waits, and a whole lotta hard New Orleans living, makes for one of my favorite records of the year.
Alex's representatives have been in touch with the following update:

You can download the tracks here:

It's also streaming for free and available for purchase at: http://www.alexmcmurray.com

Terrance Simien - There's Room for Us All 1992

If you have been to Jazz Fest then there is a fair chance that at some point you wandered past Congo Square and got your socks blown off by this man. Terrence is kind a new breed of zydeco man who has his ears open to all the different kinds of music around him. He is an amazingly soulful vocalist and a burning accordion player and apparently a pretty nice guy judging from the awe inspiring array of talent from here to Lafayette that shows up on this album. I'm challenging any of you right now to sit still during the opening song Uncle Bud. Ain't gonna happen! There is a stunning array of Zydeco, Creole, Gospel, Soul and Funk on this album. Right now it appears that all of the Black Top releases are going out of print, this one can still be had cheap on Amazon but not for long. Go get yourself a copy while you can - this is one of Simien's best.

Midnite Disturbers

One could learn a lot about our city by heading to a Midnite Disturbers show. You could learn about older traditions or about the current state of music in New Orleans. You can see a band that provides new meaning for the word “supergroup” or get a glimpse of the six or seven individual bands that are leading the new era of New Orleans funk music. A Midnite Disturbers experience is an educational one to say the least.

Since there’s so much to learn, we’ll break down the Disturbers by instrument to get a closer look at the brains behind the beast. As with most brass bands, the Midnite Disturbers do not necessarily show up with the same line-up every night, but opts for the best combination of players for a given gig.

Interview with Theresa Andersson
Theresa Andersson returned to San Francisco, as a headliner this time, and played a fantastic show at the Swedish American Hall on 5/14. Born and raised in Sweden, Andersson moved to New Orleans at the age of 18 and has lived there for almost 20 years, until recently mostly singing and playing the violin on the local scene. Over the last couple years she's tried a unique "one-woman band" approach, carefully choreographing her stunningly expressive voice with at least half a dozen instruments, and a huge, to my eyes mind-bogglingly complicated, looping machine. To call her multi-talented would be a gross understatement. At the Swedish American Hall last week she played tunes from her album Hummingbird, Go!, such as “Birds Fly Away” and “Innan Du Gar,” and also worked in some highly original covers like Nina Simone’s “See Line Woman,” and Allen Toussaint’s “On the Way Down.” After the show MCMB had the privilege of interviewing her.

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