Category Archives: TVD New Orleans

The Magnificent Seven release live album to support Tipitina’s

On September 22, 2017, seven of the most celebrated musicians in New Orleans came together for only the fifth time to perform as The Magnificent Seven at Tipitina’s. The band, which includes guitarists and vocalists Dave and Tommy Malone, trombonist and vocalist Mark Mullins, keyboard player and vocalist John Gros, drummer Raymond Weber, bassist Rob Mercurio, and percussionist Michael Skinkus, has released a live album of that show with the proceeds going to support Tipitina’s during the travails of the pandemic. It is available here.

The term super group is certainly overused, and full disclosure, I have been guilty, but this aggregation of the players certainly fits the bill. However, despite the seven musicians long history playing in their own groups and in various aggregations with each other, they came across as a real band, not just a collection of musicians. The show was epic on many levels. I was there and covered it for TVD. The link is here.

From the opening notes of the great soul song, “You Got Me Hummin’” to the closer, a long medley of the Radiators’ song “Lucinda” jammed together with the theme song of the film from which the band takes its name and the Meters’ funk classic, “Cissy Strut,” the recording sizzles with great vocals, killer guitar solos, rock solid grooves and more.

Mark Mullins of the great funky rock band Bonerama adds some wonderful trombone solos driven into the stratosphere with wah-wah pedal effects. John Gros adds some downright nasty organ fills and solos with aplomb. Throughout the eight song, 70 minute album, the rhythm section percolates and pulses.

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Multi Instrumentalist Dirk Powell’s When I Wait For You in stores today, 9/4

Though Dirk Powell may be best known in Louisiana for being one of the founding members of Cajun band Balfa Toujours, he has had a long and varied career. Most recently, his collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens has earned him new accolades as an in-demand sideman and producer including a great performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2016 that brought the house down.

On his latest album, When I Wait For You, his first since 2014, Powell explores the connections between roots Americana music and the folk music of British Isles. He brought several British musicians to his studio on the banks of Bayou Teche to create compelling music that sounds universal.

Powell wrote twelve of the thirteen songs on the album and he plays guitar, fiddle, bass, piano and keyboards and sings in his distinctive voice. The album teems with lilting strings, subtle harmonic touches, and tender backing vocals. Giddens plays viola and minstrel banjo and adds backing vocals on three tracks including the intimate and wistful childhood recollection “Say Old Playmate.”

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Demand it on Vinyl: Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond! in stores now

The world of Brazilian music is a vast one that Putumayo Records has explored in previous releases. This latest collection spans the vast country’s wide range of styles of music.

The album opens with the velvety voice of Vania Abreu, sister of superstar Daniela Mercury, who gives a silky rendition of the Djavan classic “Embola Bola.” Abreu’s laid-back Afro-Brazilian rhythms transition to the bossa nova of Rogê’s, “Fala Brasil,” a love song to his home country. The nomadic songstress Bïa follows with “Beijo,” an ode to Brazilians’ passion for kissing. It blends the forró style of Brazil’s Northeast with the laidback charm of a Parisian café.

The exploration of Brazil’s diverse multicultural influences continues on the rest of the ten cuts on the album. There’s heavy samba with killer brass arrangements, a homage to traditional West African saints, a flashback to 1970s Brazil, the golden era of samba soul, and a traditional candomblé song among others.

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New World Funk Ensemble releases
rare late 1990s live performances

If you were active on the New Orleans music scene in the late 1990s, you were privy to a golden age of funk and world music. Young musicians were rewriting the musical landscape of New Orleans and the New World Funk Ensemble was right in the middle of an era that spawned Galactic and many other bands and musicians. Their new live album is available on Bandcamp here.

Everyone in the band was a first class musician and most have gone on to have stellar careers. One, the guitarist and band co-founder Todd Duke, passed away recently. So in a way, this release of live performances from Snug Harbor, the House of Blues, Tipitina’s, the Funky Butt, and the sorely missed Mermaid Lounge is an elegy for him.

The New World Funk Ensemble released one studio album and had a record release party at Snug Harbor on May 20, 1998. I was there and it was one of the fifteen or so times I saw the band live from their inception in early 1997 to their reunion shows in 1999. At that time it was rare for a band that was highly danceable and played African-inspired original music to play at the premier jazz club in town.

But most of the musicians were jazzers at heart and when you listen to these live cuts you can immediately tell how intense they were live. The studio album, while a fine document of the band, just doesn’t do justice to the musical interplay between the musicians and the strength of the group.

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5-part podcast series
on New Orleans Jazz Fest debuts today, 7/9

This new narrative series focuses on the history and impact of New Orleans music and the annual jazz festival, featuring interviews with 25+ leading musicians, writers (including yours truly!) and more. The 5-part series will explore everything about the music of the city and about the jazz festival that just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

You can listen to the trailer below. Some of the musicians interviewed include Ivan Neville, George Porter, Jr., Irma Thomas, Anders Osborne, Ben Jaffe, Papa Mali and dozens of others. There are also interviews with writers, academics, and music fans about what makes the music of the city so unique.

Here’s some info from the producers about the company: “Osiris Media is transforming how music fans connect with the music they love. We deepen the connection between artists and fans through the power and intimacy of audio storytelling, and bring people together for unique musical experiences. Our 35 podcasts, which reach over 250,000 downloads per month, include shows with high-profile artists, stories about music, and interview-based shows on various musical and cultural topics. We also host live music interviews and performances. Deepen your connection here.”

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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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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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