Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Joe Krown Trio
Joe Krown (Hammond B-3), Walter Wolfman Washington (guitar & vocals) & Russell Batiste (drums & background vocals) started playing together in March 2007. The trio has been performing every Sunday at a local New Orleans nightclub, the Maple Leaf Bar. The combination of the soulful vocals of Walter with the big sound of the Hammond B-3 (which Joe also plays all of the bass parts on the B-3) and the masterful drumming skills of Russell Batiste Jr. has developed it's own unique sound. The trio recorded and released a live CD, Live at the Maple Leaf (JK1003) in the fall of 2008. Live at the Maple Leaf captures the magic of these great musicians. Live at the Maple won a 2009 Offbeat Award for Best R&B/Funk CD. The trio also won a 2009 Big Easy Award in the "Best Rhythm & Blues Band" category. In the fall of 2010, the Trio released Triple Threat (JK1004), the follow up to Live at the Maple Leaf and their first studio CD. In November 2010 the Trio was invited to be part of 15 city U.S. tour called "New Orleans Nights". The Trio performed a feature set and then backed up Nicholas Payton and Allen Toussaint. "A killer collaboration between three of New Orleans greatest players!"--Jan Ramsey, offBEAT Magazine.
Russell Batiste Jr.
As a member of one of N’awlins legendary musical families, Russell Batiste Jr. knows his way around a sound stage. He’s played multiple instruments, and has been at the drum kit since the age of four. Even before that, Russell recalls watching his daddy, David Batiste (of the city’s seminal funk band David Batiste and the Gladiators), jam with an endless array of the city’s most talented musicians. That band hosted a virtual “Who’s Who” of ’60s musicians. One of Russell’s earliest memories is sitting on Jackie Wilson’s knee listening to him sing “Lonely Teardrops”!
Russell joined the Funky Meters in 1989. Russell has recorded with Allan Toussaint, Robbie Robertson, Harry Connick, Jr.; performed on the last two Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians' CD's and two unlicensed CD's of The Funky Meters featuring the JB Horns, recorded live in Switzerland. Russell has played with a wide variety of performers including Mike Gordon (Phish), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Champion Jack DuPree and Maceo Parker. In 2001 Russell joined the legendary trio Vidal Blue with Page McConnell (Phish) and Oteil Burbridge (Allman Bros). Vida Blue toured for almost 5 years and released 2 CDs. An industrious artist and creator, the busy Batiste also manages to put time into his own projects, too, like Orkestra from da Hood, who released their debut The Clinic a few years back and Russell Batiste and Friends.
Walter “Wolfman” Washington
Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been an icon on the New Orleans music scene for decades. His searing guitar work and soulful vocals have defined the Crescent City’s unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk and the blues since he formed his first band in the 1970s.
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 Lastie’s Taste of New Orleans band.
During the 1970s, Washington began a 20-year association with one of the most important vocalists to hail from Louisiana- the late, great Johnny Adams. Dubbed “the Tan Canary” for his peerless vocal stylings, Adams was a mentor of sorts to Washington who developed his singing style while the two worked together at back-of-town clubs including a long stint at the famed Dorothy’s Medallion in the Mid City section of New Orleans.
When Washington formed his first band as a leader he was often pigeonholed into the blues genre. But by taking his cues from the likes of Dorsey, Thomas, Adams and the jazzman Lastie, his sound reflects the full range of music from New Orleans. He certainly can howl the blues, hence his nickname, but his musical talents have always defined pure Crescent City soul. In later years, with the second rise of funk, Washington fully embraced that genre as well.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Goings On About Town: Night Life
Big FreediaOct. 31: In the past few years, the flamboyantly gay New Orleans music known as Sissy Bounce has morphed from a local style, blasted through the blown-out sound systems of dingy Ninth Ward clubs, into a worldwide phenomenon. Now, with a high-profile nod from Diplo and placement at the country’s top music festivals, Sissy Bounce is nipping at the heels of the mainstream. Freddie Ross, who performs and releases raw dance music as Big Freedia, has been largely credited with leading this charge; she’s been making high-impact dance music since 1999, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award last year.
61 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Photos by Dino Perrucci
Port Chester, NY’s recently reopened Capitol Theater hosted a night of New Orleans music on Saturday. Legendary Big Easy singer/pianist/producer/songwriter Allen Toussaint opened the night and Galactic headlined with an extended single-set show. Partway through their set, Galactic also brought out Toussaint for his own “Night People” and “What is Success.” Living Colour signer Corey Glover, who is currently touring with Galactic, played the ensemble’s frontman for much of the night, including a show-closing cover of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Lose Your Lover.”
Thursday, October 4, 2012
New Orleans funk music icons The Meters are among this year's nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and for the first time fans can vote online for who should make the final cut.
The nominees were announced Thursday morning and include singer/songwriter Randy Newman, who grew up in New Orleans and whose rendition of "Louisiana 1927" remains a classic, as well as Public Enemy, N.W.A., Donna Summer, Deep Purple, Albert King and the Marvelettes.
From now through Dec. 5 fans can cast votes for this year's Hall of Fame class. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2013 inductees, the Hall said.
"James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic all coasted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yet one of the true cornerstones of funk is still waiting for induction," says the Hall of Fame in its nomination.
"The Meters were not only the leading instrumental unit to emerge from the great musical gumbo of New Orleans, they were also one of the tightest and hardest-grooving ensembles R&B has ever seen."
Formed in 1965, the band included original members Art Neville (keyboards and vocals), Leo Nocentelli (guitar), George Porter Jr. (bass) and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (drums). Later Cyril Neville joined the band on percussion and vocals.
In its nomination, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acknowledges the band's legendary status as house band for Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint's recording label, and then its own releases, including the classic "Cissy Strut."
They also became known for their session work with Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer and LaBelle and recordings with Dr. John (also a recent Hall of Fame inductee).
"With the explosion of hip-hop, the group became familiar to a new audience when its records were sampled countless times by the likes of Run-D.M.C., N.W.A., Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys," the Hall said. "Meters songs have been covered by everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Grateful Dead illustrating the far-reaching influence of these masters of funk."
If inducted, the Meters would join a long list of other New Orleans and Louisiana honorees: Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Lloyd Price, Earl Palmer, Dave Bartholomew, Mahalia Jackson, Professor Longhair and Jelly Roll Morton. Just last year, legendary recording engineer Cosimo Matassa was also honored with a special Hall of Fame award.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Soul Rebels To Play NYC Show With Special Guests
It might only be October, but Mardi Gras is making its way up north anyway. New Orleans brass powerhouse The Soul Rebels will be playing a show at New York City’s Highline Ballroom as part of the CMJ Music Marathon. The show will take place October 19 at 12:30am. The band will be joined by special guests Maceo Parker, Moon Hooch, American Royalty and Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin & Wood. The Soul Rebels are a staple of the New Orleans music scene, and have collaborated with a variety artists like Green Day, Metallica, Kanye West, Galactic and Cee Lo Green. Their latest album, Unlock Your Mind was released in January 2012 and features guest appearances by Cyril Neville, Trombone Shorty and Meters guitarist Leo Neocentelli. In other words, these guys know how to bring the funk. Tickets to the show are on sale now.