Condolences go out to the family and friends of country singer Amie Comeaux, who was killed in an auto accident near Lacombe on Sunday, 12/21/97 ... the 21 year old singer from Brusly, Louisiana had released one album, "Moving Out" in 1994, and recently completed work on a second album in Nashville.
Nashville Cats - Buddy Guy is currently holed up at Nashville's Sound Kitchen Studios working on the follow-up to his "Live: The Real Deal" album ... guest artists working with Buddy include studio ace Steve Cropper and teen blues sensation Jonny Lang ... the album is slated for release in late spring of '98.
I'm Your Puppet - Wynton Marsalis just finished taping for an upcoming segment of Sesame Street, which is his 3rd appearance on the children's series; in this episode, Wynton teaches his Muppet bandmates how to tune their instruments and plays jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden's "Makin' Figures", which he picked up from an archival interview with Bunk Johnson - check local listings for the air date & time.
Billboard Music Video Awards - Congrats go out to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who took home the Best Country Clip of the Year award for thier duet "It's Your Love" ... the event was held in Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 22nd.
Condolences go out to the family and friends of Dr. Tommy Comeaux, the LMC Commissioner and longtime member of numerous bands including Beausoleil, Coteau, Clickin' Chickens and the Basin Brothers was killed in a traffic accident in Broussard on November 8th.
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation announced winners of
the Ninth Annual Pioneer Awards on Nov. 19th ... recipients in the "Individual Artists" category included New Orleans own Ernie K-Doe ... Ernie K-Doe struck gold with the recording of "Mother-In-Law" on Allen Toussaint's Minit Records. Prior to that, K-Doe was a member of The Blue Diamonds. Subsequent releases include "I Cried My Last Tear," "Popeye Joe," "A Certain Girl" and "Waiting At The Station."
Master P to stop performing - in a press conference on Nov. 14th, New Orleans based rapper and No Limit Records CEO Master P (Percy Miller) announced his retirement as a recording artist ... P is planning to dedicate more time to his movie projects and managing No Limit recording artists such as Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder .. he also announced his plans to form the Master P Foundation which would provide educational scholarships and financial support for underprivileged kids in his neighborhood ... a final album, "The Last Don", is scheduled for release next summer.
Congrats go out to Kenyatta Beasley who was selected as one of fifteen trumpeters to compete in the semi-finals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition!
New Orleans Rap - Mystikal's new CD "Unpredictable" was released on November 11th ... executive producer Master P makes a guest appearance on the album ... Silkk, Fiend and Mia X also join in on various tracks; you can also hear Mystikal on the RBL Posse's new "An Eye for an Eye" CD; he appears on 2 tracks ... the soundtrack to the upcoming film "I-95" (opens 02/27/98) will include a track by Mia X with Fiend and MAC ... Master P (featuring Silkk the Shocker) appears on the soundtrack to the thriller "Scream 2" .. Master P's "Six in the Mornin'" is included in the "In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap" compilation ... No Limit fans should also check out Mr. Serv-On's "Life Insurance" CD.
The New Birth Brass Band are featured in a video clip at MTV's Indie Outing web page.
Odds & Ends: late gospel legend Mahalia Jackson was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame on 10/10/97 ... Royal Fingerbowl's new CD "Happy Birthday, Sabo" was reviewed by The Boston Phoenix ... Better Than Ezra will appear on the forthcoming soundtrack to "An American Werewolf in Paris".
CD News - British jazz sax player Courtney Pine's critically acclaimed new album "Underground" features Nicholas Payton and Mark Whitfield.
The Austin City Limits web site has interviews, photos, bios, and audio clips from past performers on the PBS series; LA musicians previously featured include the Neville Brothers, Gatemouth Brown, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
My thanks to Offbeat Magazine for picking us as the Best Music-Related Index in their Best of the Internet, 1996 feature (January 1997 issue). This is an honor coming from the authority on the LA music scene. I also appreciate their citing of RockOnTV as being "another great resource".
Rapper Master P was featured on "CNN Impact" on Sunday, October 26th.
At The Movies - "Eve's Bayou", a family drama filmed in Louisiana opened nationwide on November 7; the supporting cast includes Aaron Neville and Branford Marsalis; the movie score is by Terence Blanchard ... The soundtrack contains many classics from the era (including "Sugar Boy" Crawford's "Overboard", zydeco star Geno Delafose with "C'est Pas La Peine Brailler" and Louis Armstrong & Velma Middleton with "Trouble In Mind").
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday for Robert Palmer, the celebrated music journalist, who died November 20th after a long illness. The service will be held at the Funky Butt, from 3:00 - 5:00 pm and will feature performances by Alex Chilton, Tav Falco, John Sinclair, and others.
Nuthin' but the Blues: Kenny Wayne Shepherd's new CD "Trouble Is" was released on 10/07/97; the young blues guitarist from Shreveport is backed on most of the album by Stevie Ray Vaughan's old band Double Trouble; Kenny can also be heard getting down with "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" on the new "Merry Axemas" Christmas collection from Epic Records ... Kenny is currently on a solo tour after completing a stint with G3.
N-Da-News: The Hackberry Ramblers are featured in a CNN News article (with video clips) ... Wall of Sound reports that Kenny Wayne Shepherd is in love ... The Washington Post reviews the Dr. John / Keb' Mo' / Charlie Musselwhite tour ... The Doctor Is In - Dr. John is profiled in The Tuscon Weekly ... Nine Inch Nails will be releasing a double home video on November 25th; according to the press blurb, viewers will be treated to the first behind the scenes look at NIN as Trent continues his scathing yet sensous dialogue with human experience (huh?) ... from Addicted to Noise: Patti Smith Casts Spell For Ailing Music Critic (a report on a benefit concert for Robert Palmer) ... Wynton Marsalis has been named the 1997 recipient of the internationally esteemed Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts by the Meadows School of the Arts of Southern Methodist University ... The Washington Post reviews Dr. John, plus Coteau, and the NO Klezmer Allstars.
News from around the 'Net - MTV News: Master P News (with video clips of "I Miss My Homies") ... Addicted To Noise: Master P's Meteoric Rise To The Top; The Washington Post: reviews Clarence Gatemouth Brown's "Gate Swings" and Corey Harris's "Fish Ain't Bitin".. The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews a Buckshot LeFonque concert ... CNN: ex-local newsman Charles Zewe reports on 5 year old Cajun music prodigy Hunter Hayes.
Master P overindulges in Brandy? - MTV reports that the rap artist is being sued for alleged use of the verse and chorus structure of the O"Jays' "Brandy" in "I Miss My Homies".
Former New Orleans resident Chris Smither uses the Internet to help boost his career (article from Internet Life).
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will be taping a special for PBS to commemorate the release of their first Christmas album (aptly titled "The Christmas Album") ... "A Nitty Gritty Christmas" will be taped Nov. 3rd in Austin and will feature special guests Aaron Neville, Kathy Mattea, Nanci Griffith, the Austin Children's Choir, former NGDB member John McEuen and Vassar Clements ... the show is scheduled to air between 11/29/97 and 12/13/97 .. check wih your local PBS affiliate for the date in your area.
Larry Coryell comments on New Orleans guitarist Steve Masakowski and others in the September issue of JazzTimes.
Jazz at Lincoln Center - Upcoming events at the NYC venue include "The Wizard at 100: Sidney Bechet": features clarinet virtuoso Dr. Michael White in a performance that will highlight each phase of Bechet's career (11/20 & 11/22); and "In Progress: The Marsalis File": The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's homecoming concert after a two-month tour (03/19/98 & 03/21/98).
Book Shopping: "Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life", Laurence Bergreen's bio on Satchmo, is receiving great reviews; Salon Magazine says "The entire biography feels like a particularly long, particularly good [New York] Times article ...".
Condolences to the family and friends of Auguste A. "Dimes" DuPont III who passed away at home on September 14th at the age of 68. Auguste played alto and baritone sax with Edgar Blanchard and the Gondoliers for 12 years and also performed with his uncle, noted guitarist and banjo player Danny Barker.
Alanis Morissette's recently released home video "Jagged Little Pill, Live" includes loads of footage from her last New Orleans concert.
France or Bust! - Town leaders in Marciac, France unveiled a life-size likeness of Wynton Marsalis at a festival that swells the village of 1,200 to 125,000 each August. Marsalis, who attends the festival every year, showed his appreciation for the $80,000 Daphne du Barry statue by composing a 90-minute piece called "Marciac Suite."
Label News - Walt Disney Co. confirmed it has agreed to purchase Mammoth Records, home of the Dirty Dozen ... Disney also owns Hollywood Records, who recently released Coolbone's Brass-Hop album.
The LiveConcerts.com site recently added an Iguanas netcast concert from May 27th to their archives; prior netcast archives from other Louisiana music artists at the site include Beau Jocque, the Radiators, and Sammy Kershaw.
ReBirth Brass Band's latest CD "We Come To Party" continues to roll ... the album was recently listed in CMJ's Top 25 Jazz charts and #10 in Tower Records Top 25 CD's (in their New Orleans store), and it's getting rave reviews around the country; check out the ReBirth Brass Band live this summer!
LA Music in Print - The New Birth Brass Band were featured in a brief article in July's Pulse! magazine ... James "all the way from New Orleans" Andrews, talking about their recent CD "D-Boy" says "we tried to capture that same atmosphere and feeling that we experience on the gigs, where people are dancing and sweating in a room, the place is jumpin' and everybody's having a good time." ... tell me about it, 12!! ... you can pick up Pulse! at your local Tower Records store.
Branford Marsalis was recently named Creative Consultant to Columbia Records; in his expanded association with Columbia, Marsalis will be instrumental in shaping the creative direction of the label's jazz department through the signing of new talent and providing creative input into the development of select artists currently on the roster.... cool! How about some more New Orleans music on Columbia, Branford?
Film Clips - Harry Connick, Jr. appears in the film "Excess Baggage" to be released on August 15th ... Harry is currently filming "Hope Floats", with Sanda Bullock (due out next March).
Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Live at Carnegie Hall" features the late blues legend jamming with Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (Double Trouble), plus special guests Jimmie Vaughan, Dr. John, Angela Strehli, and the Roomful Of Blues horn section; in addition to several of Stevie's hits, the tracks include a previously unavailable version of Stevie Ray playing Guitar Slim's "Letter To My Girlfriend" ... Pantera's new CD "Official Live" features live versions of Pantera hits as well as two new studio tracks ... Louis Armstrong's "Chicago Breakdown" appears on the soundtrack for "The Music of Prohibition", a 3 part TV special which recently aired on A&E.
Grammy winning blues artist Johnny Copeland dies: the Louisiana native known as the "Texas Twister" passes away in a New York hospital on July 3rd at the age of 60.
The June/July '97 issue of Vibe Magazine features articles on New Orleans-based rapper Master P and rock legend Little Richard (the cover photo of Toni Braxton is worth the price of the mag by itself); you can catch Master P on TRU's recent "Tru 2 Da Game" album and on the upcoming "Nothing To Lose" soundtrack (in stores on July 1).
The Subdudes track "All the Time in the World" appears on the soundtrack of "Trial and Error".
Legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham dies after suffering a stroke in Washington, DC ... he was on tour with New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton ... President Clinton saddened; "He inspired musicians and amazed fans with his timeless play," the president states.
LIFE Magazine's feature on the Best Recordings of All Time features 1950's classics "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" (by Lloyd Price), "Tutti Frutti" (recorded at New Orleans' J&M Studio in 1955 by Little Richard), and "Blueberry Hill" (by Fats Domino) ... also, Fats' album "My Blue Heaven - The Best of Fats Domino" was included in the "Rolling Stone 200", the magazine's "definitive" list of the essential CD's of the rock & roll era.
The Neville Brothers have signed a recording deal with Columbia Records; also, the Brothers will be featured on Wyclef Jean's (of Fugees fame) new CD "Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival" (available June 24th).
The New Orleans Public Library's web site currently features "African Americans in New Orleans: The Music"; a condensed online version of a recent in-house exhibit at NOPL's Main Library.
Congratulations to the winners (and nominees) of the 1997 Big Easy Awards for music .. also congrats to Louisiana's winners at the Academy of Country Music Awards: Trace Adkins for Top New Male Vocalist and Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn) for >Entertainers of the Year and Top Duet ..
The W.C. Handy Blues Awards were handed out on May 1st and Louisiana music was well represented; winners included Irma Thomas for "Soul-Blues Artist, Female"; NOLA resident Keb' Mo' for "Acoustic Blues Artist" (he will soon need a bigger house to hold all of his recent awards); and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown for "Blues Instrumentalist, Other" (violin).
Ahmet Ertegun paid tribute to Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson as she was inducted to the The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an "early influence" on May 6th ... the late singer's family declined to attend the event, not wanting her name associated with rock and roll.
Wynton Marsalis wins Pulitzer Prize for "Blood on the Fields"; the first jazz composer to ever win the coveted award ... the 3 CD set was released on June 17th.
My thanks to Offbeat Magazine for picking us as the "Best Music-Related Index" in their "Best of the Internet, 1996" feature (January 1997 issue). I also appreciate their citing of RockOnTV as being "another great resource".
Congrats to Louisiana-connected Grammy winners !
- Best Rock Instrumental Performance: Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, and Art Neville ("SRV Shuffle")
- Best Contemporary Blues Album: Keb' Mo' ("Just Like You")
- Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Brooks & Dunn ("My Maria")
Cigar & music fans will both go in for the new "Smokin' Jazz" compilation CD; check out the promo website to hear audio clips from Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, and other jazz greats.