Author Archives: Jay Mazza

Tipitina’s and Galactic partner for inaugural Landing Festival, September 26-27

Ever since the closing of the World’s Fair back in the 1980s, music lovers in New Orleans have longed for a new venue on the water which would provide concertgoers with cool breezes and hot jams. This fall, our dreams come true with the first Landing Festival located on the south shore of Lake Ponchatrain.

Tipitina’s and Galactic are curating the two-day festival’s offerings and it looks to be a who’s who of local and national jam-oriented bands.

Of course, Galactic will perform. Expect to see Grace Potter, Cake, Dr. Dog, Trampled by Turtles, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, the North Mississippi Allstars, Anders Osborne present N.M.O., the Soul Rebels, and Rayland Baxter. More bands are expected to be announced.

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Celebrate Deacon
John’s 75th birthday
at Tipitina’s, 6/27

This Saturday night the musical chameleon “Deacon” John Moore will be celebrating a milestone with a performance at Tipitina’s with his long-running band, the Ivories.

“Deac” has worn many hats over his long career. From a session man during the 1950s R&B heyday to a Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar slinger in the psychedelic 60s, his career is unprecedented in New Orleans history.

For a long time, he mostly played private gigs, reportedly unhappy with the offers from local clubs. But recently, he has surfaced in a variety of venues—always leading a crack band and always with a smile on his face.

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TVD Recommends: Terence Higgins’ Trio Electric (featuring Cliff Hines & Brian Coogan) at the Maple Leaf, 6/24

terence-higgins

Three of my favorite musicians will be getting together Thursday night at the Maple Leaf Bar to create “a night of psychedelic craziness” that is danceable as well. Those words come from guitarist Cliff Hines. He will be appearing with keyboardist Brian Coogan and drummer Terence Higgins.

This music is edgy in the best sense of the word. Higgins, who many know from his many years in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, with Ani DiFranco, Warren Haynes, and others keeps the band grounded and keeps the dance floor hopping.

Coogan, who is a musical chameleon and plays with Pretty Lights on the international touring circuit and Hines, of Hildegard and numerous other projects, have developed into intuitive players who can play “very loose and improvisational in the best way.” Again those are the words of Hines.

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Kevin Sekhani’s Day Ain’t Done out today, 6/23, on Louisiana Red Hot Records

Kevin Sekhani, the former vocalist for the Mercy Brothers and longtime member of the Austin music scene, releases his solo debut today on Louisiana Red Hot Records.

A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, his new record combines the influences of southwest Louisiana and the progressive Americana of Austin.

With backing from musicians who have worked with Son Volt, John Mellencamp, and Patty Griffin, the new album layers instrumentation including violin, mandolin, accordion, and acoustic guitars exuding the feeling of back porch jam on a Louisiana Saturday night.

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TVD Recommends:
Lion Songs: Thomas Mapfumo and the Music that Made Zimbabwe and companion album

Thomas Mapfumo is one of the greatest African musicians of our time. On the continent, and especially in Zimbabwe, he is comparable to Fela Kuti and Bob Marley. Yet he is mostly unknown in the United States except among a dedicated group of world music lovers. Banning Eyre, a long time correspondent for Afropop Worldwide, aims to change that with his new book and companion album.

Eyre tells the story of the Zimbabwean singer, composer, and bandleader with attention to historical detail, sophisticated understanding of his musical milieu, and unabashed reverence for the man tempered with clear-eyed reality. This is no hagiography as Eyre narrates Mapfumo’s life in the context of Zimbabwe’s pre and post revolutionary history and exposes the contradictions and personal foibles of the man.

I saw Mapfumo three times—twice in 1991 when he performed at the Jazz Fest in April and then again in mid May at Tipitina’s. I wrote a preview before his show at the House of Blues in 2000, which appeared in the Louisiana Weekly. Here’s an excerpt of that column: “Mapfumo is known in his native country as the Lion of Zimbabwe. His music, known as chimurenga, was a critical component of that country’s quest for independence and self-rule. Chimurenga literally means ‘liberation war.’

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Galactic launches Pledge Music campaign for Into the Deep

Everybody’s favorite funky soul band—or is it soulful funk band?—just finished putting the last touches on their new record Into The Deep which comes out on July 17, 2015. But before they put it out into the world, they wanted to make it available to fans of the band before it is available to the public.

Pre-ordering gets you instant access to one of the brand new tracks, “Right On,” as well as exclusive updates and additional content. Check out one of the new tracks after the jump.

The group is also adding some very cool limited-edition items and experiences that fans have been clamoring for including turntable mats, signed vinyl and CDs, drum heads, meet and greets, lessons, and more.

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TVD Premiere: John Ellis & Double-Wide, “Booker”

We are proud to announce the release of Charm, the third recording from saxophonist John Ellis’ eclectic, eccentric, and utterly charming band Double-Wide. While the rest of the album is due out on September 18, 2015, we are giving our readers an exclusive listen to the first song on the new album.

Double-Wide is anchored as always by sousaphonist Matt Perrine and drummer Jason Marsalis, who lend the band its buoyant New Orleans groove. Gary Versace is on organ, piano, and accordion, and trombonist Alan Ferber completes the line-up. This unusual quintet bridges Ellis’ two homes, capturing the celebratory spirit of New Orleans and the urban grit of New York City.

The song we are premiering, “Booker,” is a tip of the musical cap to a New Orleans iconoclast, James Booker—the man who Dr. John memorably called “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.”

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TVD Recommends:
“Pack the Van” benefit concert for Hildegard at the Howlin’ Wolf, 6/12

After over two weeks on the road out west with their prog rock/art pop/jazz group Hildegard, Sasha Masakowski and Cliff Hines discovered every touring musician’s nightmare was a daytime reality. The band’s van was broken into in San Francisco and 20+ pieces of musical equipment were stolen.

Friday night, musical friends, fans, and family will get together at the Howlin’ Wolf to “Pack the Van” with new gear and raise money to replace some of the rare vintage equipment and custom pedals that were lost to the thieves.

The Howlin’ Wolf and Live For Live Nola (a recently developed off-shoot of national music syndicate Live For Live Music) will host the benefit which features Space and Harmony, a side project featuring members of the Revivalists and Naughty Professor, plus an All Star Super Jam featuring Cliff Hines, Paul Thibodaux, and Max Moran as well as members of the Revivalists, Earphunk, Gravity A, Naughty Professor, and a host of others.

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Charlie Hunter Trio featuring Curtis Fowlkes and Bobby Previte in stores today, 6/9

The virtuoso seven-string guitarist reunites with drummer Previte and trombonist Fowlkes on Let the Bells Ring On, which Hunter is releasing on his own Charlie Hunter Music label.

Though a generation older than Hunter, both Fowlkes and Previte have a deep bond with the eclectic guitarist.

Fowlkes appeared on Hunter’s 2003 quintet album, Right Now Move and Hunter and Previte have toured and recorded together in various all-star aggregations. The two sidemen were both essential participants in the vaunted downtown scene in 1970s era New York City.

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TVD Recommends:
David Olney at Chickie Wah Wah, 6/6

The acclaimed singer/songwriter out of Nashville will grace the stage of the Canal Street fine listening establishment on Saturday night. He will be appearing in a duo setting with the multi-instrumentalist Sergio Webb.

Olney released his latest studio recording, When the Deal Goes Down, last year. His music cuts a large swath across a variety of roots music styles. His lyrics are equally expansive, mixing comedic touches with starkness all hewed to his trademark sense of dramatic flair.

Olney is a native of Rhode Island who has followed his muse since the early 1970s when he settled in Nashville. Earlier in his career he recorded albums which were distributed by Rounder Records. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.

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