Author Archives: Jay Mazza

Satchmo SummerFest: Weekend Picks, 8/5–8/6

The second floor of the Old U.S. Mint opens on the weekend with live music and dance lessons, while the two outdoor stages feature music from noon–9 PM on Saturday and from noon–8 PM on Sunday, culminating in the eagerly anticipated Trumpet Tribute to Louis Armstrong with Kermit Ruffins and a who’s who of other trumpeters. Here are our picks. The full schedule is here.

Start Saturday off with Joe Lastie’s New Orleans Sound featuring Kid Merv. Lastie is a drummer and member of another of the city’s famed musical families. Kid Merv is the one and only Mervin Campbell—a trumpeter and longtime devotee of trad jazz and Louis Armstrong.

John Boutte is a singer of uncommon grace. He may be best known these days for the theme song of the HBO show Treme, but his work in New Orleans goes back decades and he is comfortable with a wide range of styles.

Leroy Jones is another trumpeter that is a longtime devotee of trad jazz and Louis Armstrong. His style is rooted in the music he learned as a youngster under the tutelage of the great Danny Barker. The line from Armstrong through Barker to Jones is unerring.

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Satchmo SummerFest Picks for Friday, 8/4

PHOTO: INGRID WILLIAMS | The Satchmo SummerFest returns to its longtime home on the grounds of the U.S. Mint this weekend. Get started early by playing hooky or heading over in the afternoon or evening as the festival kicks off tomorrow (8/4). Here are our picks for Friday. The full schedule is here.

Get started when the gates open with the Preservation Brass at 12:15 PM on the Blue Runner Red Beans and Ricely stage. Though Preservation Hall has garnered lots of press, both locally and nationally for their collaborations with musicians outside the traditional jazz genre, the organization still does trad as well as anyone. They also have a formidable brass band and that’s what you’ll be getting here. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Five artists are making Satchmo SummerFest debuts and at the top of my list is Quiana Lynell (pictured at top). This vocalist’s name has been popping on must-see lists for a while now and the fest will be a chance to check out her pipes out up close and personal.

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“Jamming for Josh” benefit set for the Maple Leaf Bar on Sunday, 8/6

PHOTO: JEFFREY DUPUIS | Though you may not know him personally, Josh Abelson has been a key player behind the scenes in New Orleans and around the country for decades. He recently has had some health issues and the music community is rallying to help him out. The benefit is Sunday night at the Maple Leaf Bar starting at 8 PM.

Expect to see Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, the Marc Stone Band, the New Soul Finders with Marilyn Barbarin and the Hill Country Hounds along with special guests Kirk Joseph, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr., Lynn Drury, Reggie Scanlan, Jeff Watkins and John Paul Carmody.

New Jersey native and long time New Orleans resident Joshua Abelson has been doing heavy lifting behind the scenes in the rock ‘n’ roll world for over thirty years. He toured as part of the Grateful Dead security team and ran the door at New York City’s famed Lone Star Cafe in its 1980s heyday.

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TVD Video Premiere: Marc Stone, “Digitized”

PHOTO: RICK MOORE | “We’re fed so much bullshit through this digital onslaught. I’m just trying to cut through that with some funky acoustic music and little dose of truth.” That’s guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Marc Stone on his motivation for releasing his first official video after decades in the music business. TVD is proud to present the exclusive premiere of “Digitized.”

The song takes a hard-grooving shot at all the digital misinformation pouring off our screens every day. Stone steps out front on an acoustic National steel guitar proving to many who know him primarily as a blues artist that he can rock as well.

His powerhouse, all-star band features Grammy-winning roots renegade Alvin “Youngblood” Hart on harmonica, psychedelic soul shaman Papa Mali, New Orleans funk legend Marilyn Barbarin, and down home belters Terry Scott, Jr. and Deanna Bernard. Veteran New Orleans jazz master Richard Moten anchors the proceedings with liquid lines from his upright bass.

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Satchmo SummerFest kicks off next week
with live performances on WWOZ

TVD is proud to be a media sponsor for Satchmo SummerFest for the sixth year in a row. On Thursday and Friday we’ll have previews of the annual festival which has moved back to the Old U.S. Mint after a year in Jackson Square, and reviews the following week. New Orleans’ community radio station, WWOZ (90.7 FM), will feature live performances during a preview week beginning Monday, July 31.

All of the performers are also scheduled at the festival and listeners can tune in via terrestrial radio or online at www.org.

The first performance on Monday will feature vocalist Topsy Chapman and her singing daughters in  the group Solid Harmony. They will play during the Jazz from the French Market show at 5:30 PM. Chapman is an inventive vocalist grounded in the New Orleans traditions of jazz and gospel. On Tuesday morning, one of the youngest brass bands in the city, the Red Wolf Brass Band, will appear on the traditional jazz show at 10 AM.

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Ed Volker’s Rattlers to play Chickie Wah Wah Saturday night, 7/29

PHOTO: KIM WELSHEd Volker, the Radiators’ keyboardist, vocalist, and principal songwriter is convening three of the four other members of the legendary New Orleans rock band to perform at Chickie Wah Wah. Joining him for an evening of classics from the Radiators’ extensive catalog will be lead guitarist and singer Dave Malone, bassist Reggie Scanlan, and drummer Frank Bua.

This will be an exceedingly rare and unprecedented performance since the four members of the group will be playing on an intimate stage for the first time in years. According to Volker, he put the group, dubbed the Rattlers, together because, “I wanna rock!”

Since the Radiators disbanded in June 2011, the group has reunited a handful of times including performing three yearly shows around their anniversary as a band and once at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. (The video below is actually from the Jazz Fest performance in 2014. —Ed.)

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Stanton Moore’s With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint in stores today, performance tonight, 7/21

Galactic drummer Stanton Moore has held down a regular Tuesday night jazz gig with bassist James Singleton and pianist David Torkanowsky at Snug Harbor for several years now. When it came time to record their second album, the unexpected death of New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint put a kink in their plans. The intended album of original music was put on hold and the group went into the studio to record a tribute to the great pianist, composer, bandleader, and producer.

The result, With You in Mind: the Songs of Allen Toussaint, is available today. The trio will play an in-store set at the Louisiana Music Factory this evening at 7 PM.

Years of playing together have honed the trio into an intuitive working unit. For the album, they took some liberties with Toussaint’s iconic time signatures, essentially re-working some of the songs. Toussaint was famous for re-arranging tunes and would certainly be impressed with the results.

Since Toussaint’s most famous work was for other singers, the group brought in some outside vocalists including Cyril Neville. The soulful singer puts his on stamp on the once-obscure song, “Here Come the Girls,” a track originally done by the one-and-only Ernie K-Doe, which has had a second life in recent years after appearing on a British advertisement.

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Fat Possum’s massive 10-album blues collection, Worried Blues in stores tomorrow, 7/21

Over the history of recorded music, there have been numerous examples of rare cuts, sometimes decades-old, suddenly becoming available to collectors. The latest, in stores tomorrow and dubbed Worried Blues on Fat Possum, features exceedingly rare Delta blues recordings by legends of the genre. Though some of these recordings appeared on a limited CD release in the 1990s, this is the first time they are appearing on vinyl and in wide release.

Each of the ten albums is devoted to a single artist. The albums include music by Reverend Gary Davis, Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, R.L. Burnside, Furry Lewis, Bukka White, Reverend Robert Wilkins, Honeyboy Edwards (pictured below), Houston Stackhouse, and Little Brother Montgomery.

The story of the recordings is the stuff of legend in the tight-knit world of blues aficionados and collectors. During the folk revival of the early 1960s, Gene Rosenthal of Adelphi Records and blues musician John Fahey set out across the American South to “rediscover” and document these towering blues figures. The bulk of the music was recorded between 1963-1972.

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Funk Monkey to record live album at the Maple Leaf Bar, 7/15

The Maple Leaf Bar has a decades-long history of live music shows marked by an intimate connection between the audience and the musicians on the low stage. Accordingly, there have also been numerous bands that chose to capture that elusive feeling on a live record. Funk Monkey, the soulful funky rock band that features trombonist Greg Hicks and guitarist Bert Cotton from Bonerama will join that illustrious group on Saturday night.

The history of live recordings at the “Leaf,” as everyone calls it, dates back at least to the early 1980s when pianist and vocalist James Booker, the legendary Piano Prince of New Orleans, was playing on a weekly basis. Though not released in his lifetime (he died at 48 on 1983), his genius in the live setting was further exposed to the larger world outside New Orleans when Rounder Records released some of the recordings.

Since then bands as varied as the Rebirth Brass Band, Papa Grows Funk, the Joe Krown Trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste, and the New Orleans Suspects have released live albums from the Maple Leaf Bar.

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TVD Single Premiere: Bantam Foxes, “Blood in the Water”

Back in 2015, we were proud to premiere the video of “(I Wanna Move To) Texas” from New Orleans-based rock ‘n’ roll band Bantam Foxes. The duo of identical twins Collin and Sam McCabe are back with a new single, “Blood in the Water.”

The song features a fuzzy groove that has guitarist and vocalist Sam musing upon being attacked by a shark. Some would call it the perfect song for summer at the beach.

Bantam Foxes’ new EP, “Pinball” arrives in stores on August 11, 2017. The band will celebrate the release with a show at  Gasa Gasa in New Orleans on Saturday, August 12. “Pinball” was produced by Joe Stark and recorded at The Tackle Box in Houma, LA over a single weekend in February 2017. The new EP features four punchy new songs capturing the urgency of being in the room with a great rock and roll band.

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