Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Upcoming: Walter "Wolfman" Washington / Joe Krown / Russell Batiste @ Sullivan Hall tomorrow night

WALTER "WOLFMAN" WASHINGTON - JOE KROWN - RUSSELL BATISTE
w/ Honey Island Swamp Band


THURSDAY - MARCH 11 - 8pm Show

Walter "Wolfman" Washington
Official Website Myspace

Washington began his career during the fertile heyday of the 1950s Rhythm and Blues period that spawned dozens of Number 1 songs and made New Orleans the recording destination of choice for hit makers like Ray Charles and Little Richard. Born in 1943, Washington was on the road by his late teens spending over two years backing the great vocalist Lee Dorsey who was touring in support of his smash hits, Ride Your Pony and Working in a Coalmine.

His tenure with Dorsey took him to all of the great music halls in America including appearances at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Before he went out on his own with his Solar System band, he also did stints with acclaimed New Orleans songstress Irma Thomas as well as with the legendary jazzman David Lasties Taste of New Orleans band.

Seeing Walter Wolfman Washington perform with his current outfit, the Roadmasters, is akin to taking a history lesson on black music in America with the exception that sitting down and taking notes is not an option. With his breadth of experience and seemingly endless repertoire, each of his highly danceable shows is one-of-a-kind. Like the greatest jazzmen, Washington channels his everyday life into his music. Depending on the setting, the band plays the blues, R&B, soul, funk, jazz and everything in between with pure heart.

Walter Wolfman Washington has earned numerous accolades over his long career, but he is not one to sit back on his laurels. He maintains a heavy schedule playing with the Roadmasters as well as with his trio, the Chosen Few. As if that were not enough, he also recently began a successful collaboration with some local jazzmen including the trumpeter James Andrews.

So the circle of New Orleans music comes full. Equally adept in virtually any genre, Washington stands out in a city full of great musicians for his unique style and uncommon grace as a guitarist, bandleader and vocalist.

Joe Krown
Official Website

Joe Krown moved to New Orleans in 1992 after honing his keyboard skills in the Northeast. Since that time, he has built a strong reputation as first-call organist and pianist in the Crescent City. He won the 2001 Big Easy Award in the Blues category. He is an endorsee for Hammond Suzuki Keyboards. Krown and The Joe Krown Organ Combo made their television debut on Louisiana Jukebox in February 2000, which was broadcast in metro New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Opelousas, LA; Memphis, TN; Cleveland; OH and Austin, TX. He was a recent featured artist on LouisianaRadio.com. Krown was highlighted in a feature article in the September 2000 issue of OffBEAT Magazine. Krown's third compact disc, Buckle Up, was picked as the #4 CD of 2000 by The Times-Picayune's music critic, in the article Best of 2000 CDs. OffBEAT Magazine also selected Buckle Up as one of the Top 20 CDs of 2000. Krown was also named "Best Keyboardist, Editor's Choice," by NewOrleans.CitySearch.com. Additionally, Krown has been a featured artist on the New Orleans Radio, Louisiana Radio, and most recently on InsideNewOrleans websites. The Joe Krown Organ Combo released its latest CD, Funk Yard, in May 2002 at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Krown returns to the piano for his upcoming 2003 CD release, New Orleans Piano Rolls.

Krown has held the keyboard chair with the Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Band since 1992, and is featured on the chart-topping The Man, Gate Swings, American Music, Texas Style and Back to Bogalusa albums. Since September 1996, he's held the Traditional Piano Night slot at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, which was once occupied by Professor Longhair and James Booker. Krown followed that strong tradition with his debut solo release Just the Piano...Just the Blues (1998). In 1998, he formed the Joe Krown Organ Combo, which makes regular appearances in New Orleans at such noted clubs as the Maple Leaf, House of Blues, and Storyville District. Krown's second STR release, Down & Dirty (1999), explores classic organ combo material reminiscent of Booker T., Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and others. Krown's Buckle Up (2000) follows his Down & Dirty release as another outing featuring his mighty Hammond B-3 organ. He called on the talents of the finest musicians in New Orleans to give life to this set of seven originals and four carefully selected standard organ tunes. Original Meters bassist George Porter, Jr. and Dr. John drummer Herman Ernest form a solid and funky rhythm section for organist Krown, saxophonist Eric Traub and guitarists John Fohl and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown to cut loose with groovy melodies and strong solos.


Russell Batiste
Official Website Myspace

His father, David Batiste, was leader of a family band, David Batiste and the Gladiators, credited by many with being one of the most pioneering funk bands. The Batiste family is one of New Orleans' most prolific musical families, with the Batiste Brothers Band and David Batiste and the Gladiators now playing regularly. Batiste children and grandchildren can be found playing with scores of other bands as well as leading their own projects.

Russell began playing drums at age four and began sitting in with the family band at age seven. He was playing saxophone in the school band by fifth grade and can now hold his own on keyboards, trumpet, bass and guitar. He attended St. Augustine High School and was a member of the nationally known Marching One Hundred Band, playing in the drum section and writing cadences that are still heard during Mardi Gras parade season even today. He attended Southern University of New Orleans on a music scholarship, studying under the renown Edward "Kidd" Jordan. He left collage after two years when he began traveling with the Charmaine Neville Band. He continues his love of marching bands by acting as assistant director of Redeemer-Seaton High School when his schedule permits.

Russell left the Charmaine Neville Band in 1989 to join with Art Neville and George Porter Jr. of the Meters and guitarist Brian Stoltz to form the Funky Meters. Russell was with George Porter and the Runnin' Pardners for many years and has played with a wide variety of performers including Harry Connick, Jr., Champion Jack Dupree, Robbie Robertson, Maceo Parker as well as local and regional bands too numerous to mention. Along with Vida Blue and his own band, Russell Batiste and the Orchestra from da Hood, he continues to play with the popular PBS Porter Batiste and Stoltz and the Funky Meters.

Russell Batiste and the Orchestra from Da Hood is Russell's own project. The core band is eight members strong but at different times the group may grow to include as many as twelve or more. All the music is written and arranged by Russell, including all of the intricate horn parts. The band plays all types of music including straight ahead and smooth jazz, funk, reggae, rock and even a cajun flavored waltz dedicated to his grandfather who hails from Cajun country.

Honey Island Swamp Band

No comments: