Category Archives: TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends: Turkey Jam with the New Orleans Suspects, Paul Barrere (Little Feat) and more, 11/28

Tipitina’s is the place to be on the night after Thanksgiving for a massive throwdown.

Over the past year or so, the New Orleans Suspects have welcomed long time Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere on stage. The Suspects’ bassist Reggie Scanlan (The Radiators) has a longstanding friendship with Barrere based on their mutual love of the New Orleans second line groove. Over the 30+ year career of the Radiators, he sat in with them numerous times.

WhenBarrere they first started jamming with the Suspects, they would basically just play Little Feat songs. But over time Barrere (pictured below) began learning the Suspects’ material, so now he feels comfortable playing whatever makes the set list on any given night.

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Five questions with Yegor Romantsov of Debauche

Ever since I first saw Debauche at the Mid City Bayou Boogaloo I have been amazed at the band’s ability to move a crowd and to generate a feeling of joyous abandon among the audience.

Initially, I thought it was an act, ha-ha a Russian mafia band, that’s a good one! But then I found out their leader, Yegor Romantsov is actually from Russia. Hoping to get some answers and more details about Debauche and their music, we sent over some questions.

You’ve been creating quite a sensation in New Orleans with your band Debauche ever since you started playing locally. What brought you to New Orleans and tell us a little bit about your background?

I was born in the Soviet Union, in what is now known as Ukraine. I lived for eight years in New York and came to NOLA in 2006. I worked in construction for a few years. In 2008, I started to play solo in a coffee shop. A few months later, I got a few musicians to play with me. They were mostly former members of the Zydepunks. Music and people brought me to NOLA. I like the city very much and Debauche would have never happened anywhere else but New Orleans. It works both ways, and it is a sensation that is only made possible by the people in New Orleans.

You lead what is quite possibly the only Russian mafia band in the United States. Are there similar bands in Russia or other countries in the former Soviet Union?

There are not that many bands that do what we do in the United States or even in the former Soviet Union countries. Russians freak out when they hear Debauche, because of the way we arrange and play these songs. We get compared with Gogol Bordello a lot, which I take as a compliment. And yes, we are the only Russian mafia band in the United States.

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TVD Recommends:
Marc Stone and the Bayou Brothers at the Maple Leaf, 11/19

Tomorrow evening, the Maple Leaf Bar will be erupting with blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and even some Cajun country sounds when the guitarist and bandleader welcomes Dave Malone and Camile Baudoin to the historic stage on Oak Street.

Stone is well known to regular readers of TVD, WWOZ listeners, as well as blues and soul aficionados. He has been holding down the Wednesday night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar and bringing in special guests all month.

This week, the two guitarists and vocalists joining Stone are best known for their long tenure with the Radiators. But since that band disbanded from regular performing (there have been periodic reunions; the next one is scheduled for January), they have been bringing their telepathic guitar histrionics to audiences with Raw Oyster Cult.

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TVD Recommends:
Cha Dooky Doo, The Music of Art Neville
at Tipitina’s, 11/15

The terms “living legend” and “icon” get bandied around so much as to render them nearly impotent, but the genuine article lives among us. Saturday night (11/15) at Tipitina’s a group of local musicians will be joined by the man himself in an unprecedented review of his sixty-plus years setting the standard for popular music.

Art Neville first burst into the public consciousness as a teenager when his iconoclastic vocal stylings turned a little-heard country and western tune, “Mardi Gras Mambo,” into a hit. The song, released in 1954, became a perennial favorite and defines Mardi Gras music in New Orleans.

Neville’s career had just begun. Since those heady first days, the keyboardist and vocalist has claimed many other accolades. As the founding member of the Meters, he helped define a new genre of music—funk. As the eldest of the Neville Brothers he brought that style to the world.

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New Orleans artists to watch at Bear Creek

This weekend marks the annual Bear Creek Music & Art Festival at the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Each year a plethora of New Orleans acts make the trip to the funky, four-day party in the woods. The 2014 lineup is no different and boasts a Big Easy presence as strong as ever. If you love to funk (which you must if you’re at Bear Creek!) you surely love New Orleans music. Check out our list of the Crescent City’s local treasures that should not be missed.

Dumpstaphunk | First of all, there are 2 Nevilles in Dumpstaphunk. Does it get more royally New Orleans than that? Regardless of the group’s impressive musical lineage, Dumpstaphunk is a straight-up, booty shaking, awesome good time. Any fan of the funk knows what it means to, “put it in the dumpsta.” The five word command, sung and shouted by Ivan Neville, Tony Hall, and Ian Neville at their live shows implores the audience to throw away their troubles, hang ups, and negative energy and just have fun.

Tunes filled with heavy bass lines and gritty grooves make it impossible to stand still. Catch these guys hosting their Dumpstajam at Buffalo’s Amphitheater on Friday night at midnight. There will surely be some special guests from the Big Easy and beyond.

Lettuce | While these guys technically come from Brooklyn, trumpeter Eric Benny Bloom has called New Orleans home for almost a year. He’s been trying out soulful new grooves on the audience at the intimate Chickie Wah Wah on Tuesday nights, becoming a fixture in the local scene. One of the preeminent acts of the modern-day funk scene, Lettuce released a new album this Fall, so look out for new material during their Saturday set at the Purple Hat stage (10:15 PM).

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TVD Video Premiere: Yojimbo, “Subliminal Socrates”

It was muggy New Orleans day in September. Despite the heat, the youthful, punky trio Yojimbo was leading a bicycle gang dressed in cowprint fuzzy onesies and giant angel wings around the eclectic Bywater neighborhood. As the gang rounded the corner of Press and Rampart, a colorful crew of costumed dancers (including one giant cockroach) carrying confetti and streamers ran towards the wheeled procession. Cars and passersby, including one cop, stopped to watch.

The police officer commented on how this really wasn’t that weird a going-on for New Orleans. The bikers shouted in response, “we’re shooting a music video!”

At one point, Carly’s trombone appeared to be broken. It wasn’t sliding up and down. She inquired from the video participants if anyone had a trombone they could loan her. This reporter and the cockroach were able to locate her a new one almost immediately. They returned not just with a trombone, but with another man in a tutu ready to join in on the fun. Reinvigorated the vocalist joked, “This is probably the only city in the world where I could have a new trombone delivered to me in less than twenty minutes.”

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HIP Fest takes over the Blue Nile for two nights, 11/11 and 11/12

(HIP) stands for Hosting Improvising Performers and the second of these annual events features some of the leading lights of the creative music scene. Three internationally known musicians, William Parker (pictured), Rob Mazurek, and Gianluca Petrella, will be appearing with local players in duos and trios and together with one very special local guest at the Blue Nile.

The Village Voice characterized William Parker as, “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” He is scheduled to play a duo with bassist and cornetist James Singleton and in a trio with drummer Dave Cappello and HIP Fest co-founder and trombonist Jeff Albert on Tuesday night.

Cornetist and electro-acoustic composer Rob Mazurek has helped redefine the aesthetic boundaries of artistic expression for well over a decade with his Chicago Underground Collective. He will appear with guitarist Cliff Hines as well as with bassist Nathan Lambertson and drummer Simon Lott on Tuesday night. Read More »

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TVD Recommends: Lonesome Leash opening for O’Death at the BEATnik, 11/8


O’Death has been getting raves reviews around the nation for their modern take on alt-country. I expect their set to be wonderful. But the reason I am recommending this show at the BEATnik is because one of the openers is New Orleans’ own Walt McClements performing under his nom de musique. 

Readers will remember him from his tenure with one of my favorite named bands in recent history, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? He was also a formative inspiration for Alynda Lee Segarra, the songwriter and leader of Hurray for the Riff Raff and he was a member of the band in one of its early incarnations. McClements has also toured with Dark, Dark, Dark—another influential band. Read on to hear his latest single.

I saw his act last year at the AllWays Lounge. He played accordion, drums, and a bit of trumpet, sometimes all at once. His singing was very evocative and the small but attentive crowd ate it up.

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UK electronic pop group Kids on Bridges collaborates with New Orleans artists

The name may not be familiar to New Orleans and American audiences yet, unless you witnessed their over-the-top set in 2011 at the Howlin’ Wolf opening for the Revivalists and the Honey Island Swamp Band, but it will be soon.

The group, whose debut album, Kidology, debuted last month has been tearing up the charts in the United Kingdom.

Released on the famed indie Wall of Sound label, it is currently ranked # 24. Famous UK brands as well as international soda slingers Pepsi are also using the band’s music.

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Yojimbo drops new album Ghost Birthdays today, 11/4

The third album from the youthful New Orleans favorites will be released independently today (11/4). This is the first record from the jazzy, punky trio with vocals. Carly Meyers, indisputably the most energetic trombone player in a trombone town, lends a new layer of sound with a pretty, ethereal voice when she is not blowing her horn.

The album’s release comes at a fitting time. As New Orleans winds down from Halloween, we remember those we have loved and lost in the past year on All Souls’ Day. The inspiration for Ghost Birthdays came from the passing of drummer Adam Gertner’s grandfather this past year. It’s a concept album about the fluidity of life and death, and the idea that those that leave us physically never truly leave us in spirit.

On “Happy Birthday to the Dead,” an infectious, danceable track that idea is expounded upon. Carly sings, “Did you know that you were dead? Did you know that you were alive,” reminding her listeners that it’s all just one and the same on a long, spiritual journey.

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