Category Archives: TVD New Orleans

The Bear Creek Bayou Festival arrives in New Orleans: Our picks for Saturday, 10/1

The music and festivities get started at 11 AM on Saturday morning and continue all day and well into the night. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Here are our picks for the day. The full schedule is here.

I love when festival organizers book up-and-coming bands. Though I haven’t heard Doombalaya, I love their name and given the track record of this fest, I expect they will impress. They hit at 12 noon after a breakfast set from Mardi Gras Indian funkateers, Cha Wa.

Of course, since Doombalaya is up against Zigaboo’s Funk Revue it may be hard to skip one of the originators of New Orleans funk. However, Zig will be reprising his Friday evening set with Foundation of Funk at 3 PM on Saturday, so there’s another chance to hear the drummer from the original Meters.

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The Bear Creek Bayou Festival arrives in New Orleans: Our picks for Friday, 9/30

Florida’s loss is the Crescent City’s gain. After nearly a decade in the Sunshine state, the Bear Creek music festival is moving to New Orleans. Taking advantage of the now well-proven site on the river at Mardi Gras World, the fest is reinvigorating its highly respected brand with two great days and nights of music. Here’s a look at our picks for Friday, September 30. The full lineup is here.

The gates open at 10 AM and the fest kicks off at 11 AM with the duel guitar, multi-percussionist, all-star African-inspired group, Pirate’s Choice. I just saw the band last weekend and was blown away again by Sam Dickey’s scintillating lines and percussionists Luke Quaranta and Weedie Brahmin’s perfectly synced rhythm section. It should be interesting seeing this band before noon.

Four New Orleans funk ensembles kick off at 4PM on alternate stages (with a small amount of overlap) before the main event. Soulive burst on the scene with a post-modern take on the organ trio almost fifteen years ago. Guitarist Eric Krasno, who recently produced and co-wrote Aaron Neville’s latest album, tears it up with drummer Alan Evans and keyboardist Neal Evans. The group rarely plays New Orleans outside of Jazz Fest season, so this is an event for soul jazz lovers. They are also playing tonight (Thursday, September 29) at the official pre-party at the Joy Theater.

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Luísa Maita’s Fio da Memória in stores tomorrow, 9/23

We’ve clearly been on a Brazilian kick here at TVD NOLA. On Friday, an interesting album that merges electronic and organic beats with the breathy vocals of the Brazilian chanteuse Luisa Maita will be on shelves nationwide. Fio da Memória means “Thread of Memory” in Portuguese.

The album is mostly down and mid tempo songs sung in her compelling voice. The tunes, largely written by Maita, swirl amid sensuous arrangements of beats, blips, and other hallmark sounds of modern electronica. But the music is thoroughly grounded in the strong bass parts which drive many of the songs.

The music is rooted in traditional Brazilian rhythms but like so many of her contemporaries it is brought to life with electronics and other synthetic sounds. It is the sound of modern urbanity the world over with a unique perspective based on her life in Sao Paulo, the frenetic city in Brazil.

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New Orleans Suspects’ Kaleidoscoped in stores today, 9/16

BAND PHOTO: JAY SKOLNICK | New Orleans Suspects release their latest recording today. Kaleidoscoped is another step in the evolution of a band that formed in the wake of the breakup of the Radiators and features some of the best musicians in town. Though no one who has heard the band live has doubts about their cohesive strength, the recording is a testament to their potency as a recording ensemble.

Produced by saxophonist Jeff Watkins and guitarist Jake Eckert, the album soars in the ears with blinding saxophone solos, searing guitar work, percolating keyboards courtesy of CR Gruver, and the supernaturally synced up rhythm section of bassist Reggie Scanlan and drummer “Mean” Willie Green. Several special guests also add to the fun especially Big Chief Juan Pardo and Mardi Gras Indian percussionist “Big Ike” Kinchen. The two Indians appear on what is essentially the Suspects theme song, “Round Up Dem Suspects.”

The song is credited to Pardo and the band and it introduces each of the musicians with sly lyrical references amid traditional Mardi Gras Indian call and response style vocals. “They got one with an axe, don’t know how to act…another with that brass make ya shake your ass,” introduces Eckert and Watkins. It also has a chorus, which is rare in the world of Mardi Gras Indian songs.

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Changüí Majadero’s debut album in stores tomorrow, 9/16

Cuba is an island of many musical styles and the musical culture of the country has influenced numerous developments in other genres. Changüí is often called the granddaddy of salsa and is an antecedent to the more well-known style, son. Now Gabriel Garcia, the Los Angeles-born son of Mexican immigrants, is adding to the history of Latin music with his first album featuring traditional songs played in the older style.

Changüí Majadero is a five-piece ensemble and their music will sound familiar to any fan of acoustic Latin music. With Garcia on vocals and tres, the three-stringed guitar-like instrument, George Ortiz on bongos de monte (a larger drum than the more commonly known bongo), Norell Thompson on vocals and guayo (a metal scraper), Alfred Ortiz on vocals and maracas, and Yosmel Montejo on bass, the group makes a musical splash with intricate guitar lines on the tres, a strong rhythmic foundation on bass, and a soulful beat courtesy of the guayo and the maracas. The vocals are strong throughout the group’s eponymous debut.

Changüí, like so much music created across the African diaspora, takes elements from European and African styles. An older Spanish genre known as canción, which is distantly related to more modern Spanish styles, provides the structure of the songs and is the basis of the guitar work.

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Nolatet brings jazz to the next level at Chickie Wah Wah, 9/16

Heads up jazz and adventurous music lovers! Chickie Wah Wah is the place to be on Friday night for a show by a relatively new quartet playing a style of music that is very engaging for listeners. Nolatet features Mike Dillon on vibes, James Singleton on bass, Johnny Vidacovich on drums, and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’s Brian Haas on piano.

Three of the four players should be very familiar to local listeners. The fourth, Haas, is becoming more and more of a local fixture due to his many appearances around town. All four members of the band are as exciting to watch as they are to listen to, so the intimate confines of the fine listening establishment on Canal Street will be a great place to see them play.

The group released their debut recording, Dogs, earlier this year and has toured around the country more than they have played locally. So, this should be a chance to hear how the sound has developed since their last local show.

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Live recording of Zeke Fishhead’s Doorad Choppers available now

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In what may be the fastest turnaround in recent history, the performance of this Radiators’ offshoot band from September 2 at Chickie Wah Wah, is available here. The show features a plethora of Rads’ favorites and a smattering of choice covers.

The band, which featured Ed Volker on keys and vocals, Camile Baudoin on guitar and vocals, Reggie Scanlan on bass, and Michael Skinkus on drums and percussion, was assembled with the expressed purpose of deconstructing songs from the Radiators’ catalog. Volker, Baudoin, and Scanlan played in the band for over 33 years while still continuing to play the occasional reunion.

As Volker said, “…with all this timeless time on my fins, I started taking Rads’ tunes and twisting them this way and that way and eventually all these tunes found new homes, new settings, and arrangements that refreshed them and displayed different tones, colors, and rhythms than they ever had before…”

What this longtime fishhead liked about the show, of course I was in attendance, was the way Volker created segues between songs in ways that were very inventive. A highlight from the middle of the first set is the Radiators’ chestnut, “Cannibal Girls” leading directly into a tease of Dr. John’s “I Walk on Guilded Splinters.” For fans of the Radiators, even those of you out there with hundreds of recordings, this is a must-have.

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Bebel Gilberto brings her electronic bossa nova to Tipitina’s, 9/11

Brazil has much in common with New Orleans including the large number of musical families populating the two places. Bebel Gilberto is the daughter of the legendary bossa nova icon João Gilberto and the singer Miúcha. She will be playing a rare club date at Tipitina’s on Sunday evening.

Gilberto grew up surrounded by an extended musical family that included her uncle Chico Buarque and family friends like Milton Nascimento, Antonio Carlos Jobim (the acknowledged creator of bossa nova), Caetano Veloso, and João Donato. Though those names, with the possible exception of Jobim, may be unfamiliar to casual world music fans, they are all household names in Brazil.

Gilberto has a stunning voice and has taken her place in the pantheon of Brazilian innovators by captivating fans and earning media acclaim worldwide with her trademark electronic bossa nova. This is not your grandfather’s bossa.

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Soul Sister’s 10th Annual Birthday Jam brings DC’s Chuck Brown Band to Tipitina’s, 9/9

You know it’s going to be a bash when DJ Soul Sister throws down. On Friday night, she will celebrate her birthday in the only way she knows—by hosting a dance party at Tipitina’s. She will be spinning of course, the New Breed Brass Band will help get the party started, and the Chuck Brown Band—Washington, DC go-go music icons—will headline.

Soul Sister has been an aficionado of go-go for decades. She turned me on the sound and continues to support the uniquely regional style of music on the air at WWOZ and at her gigs around the city.

Chuck Brown, the acknowledged father of go-go, passed away in 2012 at age 75, but his band is still spreading the word and keeping dance floors shaking. Brown introduced the world to go-go with his 1978 hit “Bustin Loose.” I had the opportunity to see him perform a couple of times and the music was non-stop—literally. The band just plays on and on.

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Dave Easley September residency at Chickie Wah Wah begins 9/7

PHOTO: RICK MOORE | Pedal steel guitar player Dave Easley has been a fixture on the New Orleans music scene for decades. For three Wednesdays in September, he will be joined by some of the best musicians in New Orleans at Chickie Wah Wah. On September 7, Guitarist Steve Masakowski and bassist James Singleton will be the featured artists. On September 14, drummer Johnny Vidacovich and bassist James Singleton will be featured. The performance on September 21 will honor the Grateful Dead and will feature guitarist and vocalist Papa Mali and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Aaron Wilkerson of the Honey Island Swamp Band.

Dave Easley plays mostly pedal steel guitar, but has been known to pick up an electric guitar and rock out. He says, “I like to play all kinds of music—folk, blues, rock and jazz.” That quote is the understatement of the year. Easley enhances every band he plays with regardless of genre. His playing evokes everything from pastoral landscapes to Grateful Dead-inspired pyrotechnics. He is a master improviser adept at coaxing a wide variety of sounds from his instrument. He also has what musicians call, “big ears.” He hears and responds musically to everything happening on stage.

Easley has appeared on numerous recordings including work with Brian Blade, Joni Mitchell, Brian Stoltz, Peter Rowan, Ruthie Foster, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Tom McDermott, Mem Shannon, Lynn Drury, Shannon McNally, Papa Mali, Doug Belote, Cliff Hines, and more. He released Boatmen Waiting on the Wind in 2000 and Icicle Man Minus Two in 2007 with his band, Heartifacts. He released A Time of the Signs under his own name in 2011.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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