Author Archives: Jay Mazza

Sam Doores to celebrate the release of his eponymous debut LP at the Hi Ho Lounge, 3/13

Acclaimed singer/songwriter Sam Doores will celebrate the release of Sam Doores on Friday March 13, 2020 at the Hi Ho Lounge. The album is available in all formats from New West Records.

Doores and his band will be joined by special guests including the innovative traditional jazz band Tuba Skinny and Alynda Segarra the leader of Hurray For the Riff Raff. Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes will close the night with a set with his band. Doores’ set will begin at 10:30 PM and Barnes will follow at 11:30 PM. The Mashed Potato Records Review will open the evening at 9 PM.

Sam Doores has built up a strong reputation as one of the most significant up and coming songwriters hailing from New Orleans. He was a founding member of the Hurray for the Riff Raff and has also performed with two other seminal New Orleans new folk revival bands, the Tumbleweeds and the Deslondes.

His latest and most personal record was released on New West Records. Here’s what OffBeat magazine had to say about the album. “Recorded over several years in Berlin with copasetic producer and project instigator Anders ‘Ormen’ Christopherson as well as an international cast of co-conspirators, the album uses strings, vintage organs, marimbas, vibraphones and even an autoharp to create a moody, psychedelic vibe. Doores has fashioned an intimate, personal album that uses the studio as an instrument.”

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TVD Premiere: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, “Automatic”

In the spring of 2020, Color Red will release Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal’s latest full-length album Changing on vinyl and other formats. But today, TVD is happy to present the world premiere of the lead single off the album. For readers in the Denver area, there will be a single release show at Ophelia’s on February 12.

“Automatic” is a testimony of true love and its ability to make all of life’s woes evaporate when you are in the arms of your lover. Co-produced by Eddie Roberts of the New Mastersounds and Hoyer, the song is equal parts 1950s doo-wop and Daptone-inspired modern soul.

For New Orleans readers and fans traveling to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in late April and early May, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal will be opening for the New Mastersounds at House of Blues on May 1.

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Dave Jordan’s vinyl release party is at the Maple Leaf Saturday night, 2/2

Local singer, guitarist and songwriter Dave Jordan is getting a lot of props for his latest album, Burning Sage. Yours truly reviewed it in December issue of OffBeat magazine writing, “Dave Jordan has crafted a great album; perhaps the best of his long career as one of New Orleans’ foremost roots-rockers.” You can read the full review here. He will celebrate the vinyl release on Saturday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.

The editors of OffBeat also selected the album as one of the Top 40 of the year. He is up for two awards at the Best of the Beat on Thursday night, and is also playing as a trio at the Ogden Museum this evening, 1/30.

The show at the Leaf, which is also Jordan’s annual birthday celebration, will feature a seven-piece band including Alex Mallet on guitar, Rurik Nunan on violin, Will Repholz on bass, David Shirley on drums, and Jeff Watkins and Sage Rouge on saxes. This is the core group of musicians that appear on the album.

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Marco Benevento
brings Let It Slide to
the Blue Nile, 1/18

Keyboardist Marco Benevento is no stranger to New Orleans. He collaborates with New Orleans artists and his shows in the city always attract the musical cognoscenti. Saturday night he returns to the Blue Nile to celebrate the recent release of his seventh studio album, Let It Slide.

Dubbed “one of the most talented keys players of our time” by CBS Radio, Benevento’s released critically acclaimed solo albums over the last decade and performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo.

Let It Slide continues in the direction Benevento started with his last record, Woodstock Sessions, by featuring vocals. Earlier in his career he was bunched in with the jam band genre, but as of late he has been focusing on more pop-oriented songwriting.

Though known as a virtuoso keyboardist, he focuses on the groove on Let It Slide allowing sparse drums and minimalist bass lines to create a blend of modern indie rock and elements of old school R&B. To these ears, the music on this album and particularly the cut “Say It’s All the Same” with the great line, ‘You’ll feel better, I’ll just say / When you finally let it go,” is reminiscent of some of Beck’s more lo-fi work.

Showtime is 9 PM.

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The Jazz Education Network presents local and national artists at annual conference this week, 1/6–1/10

The Jazz Education Network, a well-known organization dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences, is holding their annual conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown New Orleans.

Though the event is only open to registrants, the city is teeming with jazz educators and performers many of whom will be playing in clubs and at concerts all over town including at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro and SideBar. Check the links for the full schedules.

Full disclosure, my high school-aged nephew, trumpeter Benjamin Chaddha is in town and will be performing at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint on Wednesday at 1:30 PM with his jazz camp band. It is free and open to the public and also includes local students from the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp.

Among local acts performing at the conference are the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the Ricky Sebastian Quintet featuring guitarist Steve Masakowski, bassist Brian Quezergue, saxophonist Derek Douget and pianist Oscar Rossignoli. Nationally and internationally known artists like bassist Victor Wooten, trumpeter Bria Skonberg, and guitarist Gabriel Espinosa are also featured.

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FLYWAY’s The Whispers and The Whines in stores today, album release party set for 1/17

The Whispers and The Whines is the second album from the New Orleans-based powerhouse rock group FLYWAY, their first in four years, as well as Volume 2 in their “Decade of Rock and Roll” series. The album release party will be at the Hi Ho Lounge on January 17.

Songwriter Naylor Stone delivers the powerful lead vocals and the underlying rhythm guitar. Three of the finest musicians performing in New Orleans and around the world today make up the rest of the band. Dr. Sick of the Squirrel Nut Zippers plays scorching lead guitar, violin, and produced the record, Aden Paul of the country/punk band Rotten Cores plays bass guitar, and Roy Durand of the Alabama-based Underhill Family Orchestra plays drums.

FLYWAY’s brand of 21st century rock is informed by the full history of popular music filtered through Stone’s one-of-a-kind musical vision and worldview. His lyrics and delivery are best described as punk and the music may seem reminiscent of alternative rock groups from the 1980s and 1990s like the Pixies and Weezer.

However since the group is rooted in New Orleans, the musical palette of the Crescent City seeps into the songs, especially through the song structures and lyrical stylings which are sometimes evocative of the heyday of New Orleans R&B in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

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The BlueBrass Project celebrates the re-release of acclaimed first album at the Maple Leaf Bar, 12/13–12/14  

In 2004, a group of New Orleans musicians and musicians from North Carolina came together and recorded an album that has become a touchstone for inter-genre collaboration.

The Same Pocket Vol.1: Bluegrass Meets the Big Easy featured Trombone Shorty, Woody Wood, and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Rebirth Brass Band, Acoustic Syndicate and more. The re-release of this seminal album will be celebrated this Friday and Saturday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.

Percussionist, bandleader and producer Chris Jones is the mastermind between the meeting of bluegrass and brass band musicians that began with this album and developed into a semi-regular musical series dubbed the Crescent City Mountain Summit.

This year’s version of the event will feature over 25 musicians from both New Orleans and North Carolina including performances by the BlueBrass Project and longtime North Carolina new grass icons Acoustic Syndicate. New Orleans’ own SOUL Brass Band is also on the bill.

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TVD Live Shots: Ed Volker’s Jolly House
at SideBar, 10/25

PHOTOS: DENNIS McDONOUGH | The Radiators’ keyboardist, singer and songwriter Ed Volker has long indulged in side projects going back to the early days of the Rads in the 1980s. His latest venture, a reconstituted version of Jolly House, played two sets on Friday at the SideBar, New Orleans’ newest, most intimate venue.

For this gig in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd, Volker left his keyboard at home and played the show with just his familiar percussion rig. Without a chordal instrument, bassist and Radiators’ bandmate Reggie Scanlan had his work cut out for him. Of course, he rose to the occasion while staying seated.

Saxophonist Joe Cabral and percussionist Michael Skinkus, longtime partners in Volker’s various solo projects had no problem filling out the sound as Volker presented some Radiators’ chestnuts including an old fan favorite, “Rainbow,” which segued into “Take Me to the River” along with his inimitable versions of classic blues and R&B tunes like Earl King’s “Trickbag.”

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Lakou Mizik’s HaitiaNola
in stores today, 10/25

Back in July, TVD highlighted “Iko Kreyòl,” the first single from the Haitian band, Lakou Mizik’s new album, which was partially recorded in New Orleans. The full album is out today on Cumbancha. The record features numerous New Orleans musicians including Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and Jon Cleary.

Haiti and New Orleans are connected in myriad ways. After the 1791 slave revolt on the island then known as Santo Domingo, part of the vast diaspora immigrated to the Crescent City. The latest connection is represented by this great new album, which also features Régine Chassagne and Win Butler of the indie rock band, Arcade Fire.

Chassagne has Haitian roots, though the rock star couple currently lives in New Orleans. They helped develop the relationships between the local musicians and the Haitian ones. Chassagne and Butler have also started a carnival organization, Krewe du Kanaval, which celebrates the connections between Haiti and New Orleans and donates money to causes on the financially impoverished, yet cultural rich island nation.

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Album release party
for Dave Jordan’s Burning Sage at the Maple Leaf, 10/5

One of the hardest working musicians in New Orleans will be celebrating his fourth solo album at the Maple Leaf Bar on Saturday night. Dave Jordan is a veteran of the New Orleans music scene going back to his days playing bass with the jam band Juice in the 1990s.

Having reinvented himself as an acoustic guitar-playing, emotive singer/songwriter of heartache ballads, country-tinged Americana, and full-throated horn-driven rock, Jordan is fully entrenched in the music scene performing and recording with a wide range of local musicians.

The new album is co-produced by Jeff Watkins, the saxophonist for the New Orleans Suspects and a legend for his stint with James Brown. This album also represents the first time Jordan has recorded with some of the finest musicians of less vintage pedigree. He’s working with young players including drummer David Shirley of Sweet Crude and Cardinal Sons, guitarist Alex Mallet of Sam Price & True Believers, and Lynn Drury and vocalist Mikayla Braun of the Crooked Vines.

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Marc Stone celebrates the release of Live at Tipitina’s Thursday night at Tipitina’s, 10/3

Guitarist, bandleader, and singer/ songwriter Marc Stone has played at Tipitina’s many times over his long career. However, when he gets on stage on Thursday night to celebrate the release of Live at Tipitina’s, it will be the first time he has headlined the storied club. The album documents a solo performance opening for the Radiators.

As is fitting for a musician who wears many musical hats, the show will feature his regular band, bassist Noah Young, keyboardist Mikey “B3” Burkhart, and drummer Terry Scott Jr., plus numerous special guests.

Primary among the special guests is 1960s soul singer Marilyn Barbarin. Stone has engineered her career resurgence and created a new edition of the band she fronted, the legendary Eddie Bo’s funk and soul band the Soul Finders. Dubbed, the New Soul Finders!, the band includes guitarist Papa Mali and bassist Reggie Scanlan. As a special treat, the New Soul Finders! debut single, “The Truth (Is What I Wanna Know)” will be released before the show and the video will be recorded during the segment with the band.

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Greensky Bluegrass brings All For Money to the Joy Theater, 10/4

They are known as one of the best bluegrass bands in the land playing the instruments of that classic country sound—banjo, dobro, mandolin, guitar, and upright bass—to create a live sound, which is without peer on the close-knit circuit of Americana bands. Greensky Bluegrass brings its music to the Joy Theater on Friday night.

Taking cues from the Grateful Dead and other like-minded bands, Greensky, as everyone on the scene refers to them, never play the same set list twice. The band is also are known for playing covers of all different styles of music even veering into seemingly disparate genres like metal. The video below is a cover of a Dead song they played a couple of nights after the Dead’s lyricist Robert Hunter passed away.

Their latest album, All For Money, was crafted with the live show in mind. Mandolin player Paul Hoffman says, “We have a motto where we want every show to be harder, better, longer and faster. With All For Money, I felt like we were serving the performance more by writing and arranging material in a way we would intend to play it on stage.”

The centerpiece of the new album is the nine-minute tour-de-force, “Courage for the Road.” “Without you around, maybe I could change,” the lyrics intone, “I need a little courage for the road.” It’s clearly a breakup song, but the music, complete with ripping leads, keeps the vibe positive while looking towards the future.

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John Medeski’s Mad Skillet brings “Invincible Bubble” and eponymous debut to the Republic tomorrow night, 10/1

Ever since the Medeski, Martin and Wood keyboard player’s supergroup featuring New Orleans’ own uber-sousaphonist Kirk Joseph and ace drummer Terence Higgins released their eponymous debut, local fans have been waiting to hear the group play the material live. We get the chance tomorrow night when the band, which also includes stellar guitarist Will Bernard, brings its eclectic sound to the Republic.

Mad Skillet came together like so many other cobbled together bands during the musical madhouse that is the after-hours shows at Jazz Fest. However, this one stuck due to the nearly telepathic interplay between the four members. Each brings unique skills to the equation, where the sum is certainly greater than the equal of its parts.

The connection between the two New York-based musicians and the two New Orleanians goes back to 1999 when Medeski, wearing one of his other hats, produced the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s album Buck Jump. While Joseph is a founding member of the Dozen, Higgins was one of several drummers who has played with the band over the years and is featured on Buck Jump.

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Bonerama teams with Michael McDonald for Allen Toussaint tribute, “Empty World”

The legendary singer Michael McDonald will be featured on a new song from the horn-driven rock band, Bonerama. The song, “Empty World,” is a tribute to the late great New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint and will be released on October 4 on Basin Street Records.

The lyrics reference a few of Toussaint’s songs, while painting a picture of the kind of person he was and expressing the sadness so many people feel, including the huge numbers of musicians that were influenced by his genius. The song also has an alternate meaning as a dedication to all of lost legends of New Orleans. Check out the promo video for a taste of the new song and pre-order now here.

Bonerama co-founder and songwriter Mark Mullins explains, “I was pretty much devastated when I heard the news of Allen’s passing. His influence on me as a musical hero, arranger, composer, producer is immeasurable.” Mullins penned “Empty World” on the very same day he learned of Toussaint’s passing.

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Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool screening set for the Zeitgeist Theatre, 9/16

World-renowned drummer Brian Blade and New York-based saxophonist Joel Frahm will join some of New Orleans’ finest musicians in a musical tribute to the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis on Monday night. A screening of the acclaimed new documentary, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool will follow the performance. The evening at Zeitgeist Theatre begins at 6:30 PM.

The band also features trumpeter Ashlin Parker, pianist Matt Lemmler, bassist Nathan Lambertson and other guest artists. They will pay homage to the late great trumpeter’s music by bringing to life the atmosphere and mood that made his music so distinctive.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool is the latest effort from the award-winning Stanley Nelson who also directed The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. HIs latest work has been receiving rave reviews since it was released in August.

The film explores why Davis continues to be a relevant voice in today’s world. It features archival photos and home movies shot by Davis and his colleagues as well as his manuscripts and original paintings. It also includes interviews with a who’s who of famous musicians including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Carlos Santana, members of The Roots, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Zeitgeist Theatre is located at 6621 St. Claude Ave. in historic Arabi, Louisiana. Tickets are available here.

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