Category Archives: TVD New Orleans

Celebrate Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s Birthday Week

He’s one of the last remaining links to the glory days of the New Orleans Rhythm and Blues scene in the 1950s. And he’s still on the top of his game as a guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader. Fans and music lovers will have a chance to wish Walter “Wolfman” Washington a happy birthday four times this week.

His regular Wednesday night gig at D.B.A. is a favorite mid-week show for locals and visitors alike. It begins at 10 PM and Washington will be appearing with his longtime ensemble, the Roadmasters. Thursday is a special early evening performance as part of the ongoing music series at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The show begins at 6 PM.

Washington will be a special guest Friday night at Tipitina’s when Anders Osborne begins his annual two-night Holiday Spectacular. Osborne always brings his A-game and very special guests are expected. Besides, Washington, Ivan Neville and Rickie Lee Jones are on the bill.

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Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove returns to the Maple Leaf Bar, 12/8

Sousaphonist Kirk Joseph is one of the busiest musicians in town. Yet, even he was surprised by his answer when asked to recall the last time his solo act played at a club in New Orleans. It was over twelve years ago (not counting last night’s performance at the Three Keys) and the gig was at the Maple Leaf Bar where the band returns Friday night.

The membership in the Backyard Groove has changed a bit over the years. Longtime collaborators, saxophonist Tom Fitzpatrick and trombonist Mark McGrain are on board. Joining them on the front line is trumpeter Kevin Lewis. Guitarist Takeshi Shimmura, a regular on the Backyard Groove’s festival gigs, will be laying down his sterling licks. Keyboardist/vocalist Lilli Lewis and Joseph’s cousin, drummer Jaz Butler round out the latest version of the band.

Fans the world over know Joseph as a founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The uber-sousaphonist, as I dubbed him some years back, helped develop the sound of the first brass band to begin integrating modern sounds into traditional New Orleans jazz. Check the vid below of them playing back in the day at the storied Central City music hot spot, the Glass House.

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Cuban sensations Telmary and Habana Sana to play the New Orleans Jazz Market Thursday night, 12/7

PHOTOS: EDDY GUTIERREZ | Two months ago, the CubaNOLA Arts Collective presented an incredible set by the Cuban band Interactivo Esencial at the New Orleans Jazz Market. Dancers, Cuban music lovers, and anyone interested in hearing the latest sounds emanating from the island nation should head back to the wonderful space on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd for what should be another amazing performance by Telmary and Habana Sana. Show time is 9 PM and the Saints game will be televised. La Cubana food truck will be out all evening for the game and the concert.

Every year at Jazz Fest there is one act that everyone is talking and writing about as the post fest reviews come in. This year it was Telmary and her amazing band. If you missed it, here’s what I had to say, “The best of the fest for the first weekend goes to Cuban singer and rapper Telmary. Her band, Habana Sana, featured a female conga player; a female pianist/flutist/vocalist, and two backing vocalists/percussionists along with rock band instrumentation.

The energy was through the roof as the drum-tight band percolated over her mile-a-minute rapping. She had a few things to say in English including “I’m ready to jump for the Mardi Gras!” Looks like she’s back a few months early.

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Bonerama brings Hot Like Fire to Tipitina’s
for album release party Saturday night, 11/18

When Hurricane Nate was threatening the gulf coast, the city of New Orleans ill-advisedly instituted a city-wide curfew 36 hours before the unpredictable storm was slated to make landfall. Perhaps the early warning was because of devastation wrought in Houston or long memories of Katrina. Though the storm ended up to the east of us, numerous shows were cancelled including Bonerama’s album release party.

Back in October, their seventh studio album, Hot Like Fire, the first on New Orleans’ premier independent label, Basin Street Records, was released on schedule and has been earning rave reviews. Due to the only-in-New Orleans, trombone-driven funky rock band’s relentless touring schedule, the party was rescheduled for Saturday night. Darcy Malone and the Tangle are the opening act.

Bonerama first burst on the scene twenty years ago with a sound unlike anyone had ever heard. With three trombones out front, led by founding members Mark Mullins and Craig Klein, the group moved past genres into a category of one.

With a sousaphone and drum kit (Matt Perrine and Walt Lundy respectively) driving the beat, they can sound like a brass band. With a driving electric guitar, played with jazzy aplomb by Bert Cotton, they can rock. Given this is a New Orleans band through and through, heavy funk is in the DNA as well provided in a large part by third trombonist Greg Hicks. Consider his solo on the album’s last cut, “Christiania.”

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The Crooked Vines to host album release party tonight, 11/9, at the Howlin’ Wolf, Alive in stores Friday, 11/10

The last time I saw The Crooked Vines was on Halloween night. They were tearing it up in front on a costumed crowd at the BMC. Tonight, they will celebrate the release of Alive, their sophomore effort, at the Howlin’ Wolf. Kathryn Rose Wood and Aaron Benjamin open the show at 8 PM.

The band is classified as “rock” but their complex sound featuring a chugging horn section allows them to display musical chops and influences ranging from jazz and progressive rock to folk and funk. The album showcases their ability to combine genres into compelling songs.

Lyrically, the tunes include thought-provoking narratives touching on a wide range of emotions. A theme of personal growth runs through the album mirroring the development of the band as a unit and as individuals. Live, they just put on one hell of a show. Just ask the guy in the comb over baldhead wig and witching woman twitching on the dance floor on Halloween.

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TVD Video Premiere: Jackie Venson, “Mysterious”

“I wrote ‘Mysterious’ about platonic love and the sometimes strange behavior of the heart. I dedicated this EP to all of the forms of love that are not typically written about. Love is all we have and even though the heart can be mysterious, I choose to follow it.”
Jackie Venson

As we wrote just last month, fresh off a tour with fellow Austin, Texas guitarist and vocalist Gary Clark Jr. with whom she has been compared, Jackie Venson’s new EP, “Transcends” features compositions that highlight an increased focus on her songwriting. Picking up the guitar in only 2011 during her final year at the Berklee College of Music where she studied classical piano, the focus since has been solely on her guitar work.

Last year, she released Jackie Venson Live to rave reviews from Guitar Player magazine and the Austin Chronicle among others, as well as a spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Venson is one of a new generation of blues and roots performers who embrace technology. While she often tours with a three-piece combo, she also plays solo using loops and pedals to create a powerful sound.

Venson is currently working on new music and plans to hit the road again in January.

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Basin Street Records releases new vinyl,
set to celebrate 20 years of amazing music at Tipitina’s, 11/4

Back in 1997 when I was following Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers to nearly every gig they played, one of the standout performances in the era was for the recording of a live album at Tipitina’s. Ruffins hadn’t played at the world famous club very many times since leaving the Rebirth Brass Band, so it was an occasion.

The recording turned out to be the first release of the fledgling Basin Street Records label. Now, dozens of albums later, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers and Basin Street are back where it all began to celebrate the label’s anniversary. They are also releasing that seminal recording, The Barbecue Swingers Live, on vinyl for the first time!

There are a couple of other Basin Street artists on the bill. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, whose recent collaboration with Ruffins, A Beautiful World, recently hit #1 on the Billboard jazz chart, will be appearing with his band Cirque du Freque.

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Boyfriend presents “Hag” at Preservation Hall, 10/27–10/28

PHOTO: JASON KRUPPA | Preservation Hall will resound with the mile-a-minute raps of Boyfriend, the nerd-eclectic rapper, songwriter, and performance artist on Friday and Saturday night long after the traditional jazz bastion has said goodbye to the last fans of clarinets, sousaphones, and trumpets. Her sets start at midnight both nights.

The show is a very special one coinciding with both the Voodoo Music Experience, which is taking over City Park all weekend, and Halloween celebrations in New Orleans. The show, called “Hag,” is a scripted and immersive, three-act concert-experience. Boyfriend wrote, directs, and produces the show.

“Hag” features a variety of performers playing different roles. Boyfriend is listed as the “bride,” the “whore,” and the “hag.” The three acts each have names. Act I is “The Ideal Woman,” act II is “Into the Brothel…,” and act II is “To the Dark Side.” For fans of Boyfriend and curious newcomers interested in the sex-positive, female artist known for performing in lingerie and giant curlers, this will be an experience like no other. Tickets are going fast, so get yours a soon as possible.

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TVD Video Premiere: Nyce!, “Sweet Samantha”

This past June, TVD was honored to premiere the song, “Where Do I Go From Here,” from local eclectic pop band, Nyce! Today we present the world premiere of the video for “Sweet Samantha” from the same album, Quarter Life Crisis. The album is the second from the band and this is their first official music video.

The song’s lyrics explore lust, passion, and the imagination. The music video, filmed and directed by Jazmarae Beebe, illustrates these themes with an enigmatic storyline, which involves a photographer’s obsession over three women… or so it appears.

Nyce! began as a violin/upright bass acoustic duo busking in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Along with this music video and the recent release of Quarter Life Crisis, the band has been playing various venues in New Orleans and touring regularly throughout the Northeast and the South.

On November 7th, Nyce! will be launching an indie gogo campaign for their next album, Night and Day. They have an elaborate and exciting crowd-funding plan to help finish the recording process.

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Soul pop guitarist
Jackie Venson brings Transcends to Howlin’ Wolf’s the Den, 10/22

Fresh off a tour with fellow Austin, Texas guitarist and vocalist Gary Clark Jr. with whom she has been compared, Jackie Venson will bring her powerful stage presence, mesmerizing voice, and hot guitar licks to the Den at the Howlin’ Wolf on Sunday night.

Venson’s new album, Transcends, features compositions that highlight an increased focus on her songwriting. Picking up the guitar in only 2011 during her final year at the Berklee College of Music where she studied classical piano, the focus since has been solely on her guitar work.

Last year, she released Jackie Venson Live to rave reviews from Guitar Player magazine and the Austin Chronicle among others, as well as a spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

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TVD Live: Samantha Fish at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Fest, 10/14

PHOTOS: DENNIS McDONOUGH | 28-year old blues phenom Samantha Fish and her five piece band complete with horns got the crowd warmed up for headliner Robert Cray with a scintillating set of scorching uptempo songs and haunting ballads.

Fish, who grew up in Kansas City and now resides in New Orleans, is a powerful live performer. Her guitar work shows the influences of the blues greats that came before her including Buddy Guy and her mentor Mike Zito. But it’s her voice, particularly on the slow burn numbers, which sets her apart from other female blues and roots musicians.

As a singer, she fully invests herself in each song and despite her young age, the blues being a style that needs to be lived in for a while, she comes across emotionally. She can really sell a song.

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Leo Nocentelli set to
jam with the New Soul Finders! at the Little
Gem Saloon, 10/14

Funk guitar legend Leo Nocentelli will add his stellar chops to an all-star aggregation that comes together periodically to celebrate the funk legacy of New Orleans pianist, songwriter, producer, and vocalist Eddie Bo. King James and the Special Men, another local ensemble in debt to the R&B greats of New Orleans, will kick the show off upstairs in the Little Gem Ramp Room.

The New Soul Finders! feature Marilyn Barbarin—one of Bo’s primary vocalists during his funk period with the original Soul Finders. The new version of the band includes guitarist Marc Stone, bassist Reggie Scanlan, keyboardist Tom Worrell, and drummer Terry Scott, Jr. of Dr. John’s band. Special guests include guitarist and vocalist Papa Mali, percussionist Mike Dillon, and sousaphonist Kirk Joseph of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Next generation soul shouter John Paul Carmody will handle vocals as well.

Like many musicians who grew up in New Orleans in the 1950s and 1960s, Leo Nocentelli has a history with Eddie Bo. Before he became a household name for creating such Meters classics as “Cissy Strut” and “Sophisticated Cissy,” he cut his teeth performing live with Eddie Bo. He also worked as a session guitarist for New Orleans’ premier producer/composer Allen Toussaint.

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Bonerama’s Hot Like Fire in stores today, Tipitina’s release party 10/7

Bonerama, the only-in-New Orleans, trombone-driven funky rock band, is releasing their seventh studio album, Hot Like Fire, on New Orleans’ premier independent label, Basin Street Records. The album drops today. Tomorrow night there will be a major league throwdown at Tipitina’s. Darcy Malone and the Tangle are the opening act.

Bonerama first burst on the scene twenty years ago with a sound unlike anyone had ever heard. With three trombones out front, led by founding members Mark Mullins and Craig Klein, the group moved past genres into a category of one.

With a sousaphone and drum kit (Matt Perrine and Walt Lundy respectively) driving the beat, they can sound like a brass band. With a driving electric guitar, played with jazzy aplomb by Bert Cotton, they can rock. Given this is a New Orleans band through and through, heavy funk is in the DNA as well provided in a large part by third trombonist Greg Hicks. Consider his solo on the album’s last cut, “Christiania.”

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Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood celebrate new albums
at Gasa Gasa, 10/8

Two of New Orleans most prominent young singer/songwriters are joining forces on Sunday at Gasa Gasa to showcase their latest recordings. Mikayla Braun and Kathryn Rose Wood will both perform their new releases in their entirety. They also promise musical surprises and special guests to “round out the party.”

Mikayla Braun may be best known around town as the lead vocalist of the Crooked Vines. Her EP, “Synapse,” features music she wrote and recorded since moving to New Orleans five years ago. Kathryn Rose Wood is celebrating the release of her debut solo album, In The Ashes. She formerly performed with her band Social Set and was co-lead vocalist for Gravy Flavored Kisses.

In addition to performing with the Crooked Vines, Braun, who plays ukulele and piano, also fronts her own quartet. Her new EP mines the experiences the young singer has had since relocating and becoming part of the fertile live music scene in New Orleans. The EP arrives in stores nationally on October 10.

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Interactivo Esencial brings its global rhythms to the New Orleans Jazz Market, 10/5

The fine folks at the CubaNOLA Arts Collective are known for solidifying the centuries-old connections between New Orleans and Cuba. They regularly bring great Cuban musicians to New Orleans and Thursday night is no exception when Interactivo Esencial comes to the New Orleans Jazz Market.

The band scheduled to perform features founding members of Interactivo—a Cuban jazz collective that features a revolving cast of all-star Cuban musicians who explore a wide range of styles while ignoring musical boundaries. Interactivo concerts have been described as “the ultimate house-party jam session.” Telmary, the female Cuban rapper who blew away the Jazz Fest this past spring, is a member of the collective.

Jazz pianist Robertico Carcassés (pictured at top) leads Interactivo Esencial along with founding members Julito Padrón on trumpet and vocals and vocalist and dancer Francis del Río. The three musicians are arriving direct from Cuba and will be joined by Miami-based collaborators Néstor del Prado on bass and Reinier Guerra on drums. (Editor’s note: William Vivanco was added to the show after press time).

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