Some Like it Hot - lucky music fans at a recent Preservation Hall show (July 7) were treated to the sounds of New Orleans R&B legend Dave Bartholomew (standing in for Wendell Brunious); in addition to the usual great trad jazz tunes and selections from the PHJB's latest album "Because of You", Dave and the band let loose on a magic version of the Bartholomew/Fats Domino classic "Blueberry Hill", which had the packed & sweaty club singing & swinging along.
Montreux Jazz Fest - Louisiana music & musicians featured at the 32nd Montreux Jazz Festival (runs July 3rd - 18th) include Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Treme
Brass Band; also of note is "A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson" by Mavis Staples & Lucky Peterson, and also Herbie Hancock & The Headhunters, with Bill Summers (of Los Hombres Calientes)
Props for New Orleans Music - the legendary team of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew will be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 10th in NYC ...
Congratulations to singer Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill, who were named winners in Country Weekly magazine's annual "Golden Pick Awards"; Tim and Faith's single, "Its Your Love", was voted "Favorite Single" and "Favorite Video"; full results can be found in the Country Weekly issue dated May 26, on sale the week of May 18th ...
More Congrats go out to rockers Better Than Ezra, who were honored at the 46th Annual BMI Pop Awards on May 12th; they won an award for the Kevin Griffin penned tune, "Desperately Wanting".
Great Day II - rap magazine XXL will recreate "A Great Day in Harlem" with rap's finest artists on the 40th anniversary of the famed Esquire magazine jazz portrait; the shot will be featured on the cover of XXL's year-end issue; among those rap luminaries being asked to participate are New Orleans' own Master P, Mia X, C-Murder and Silkk The Shocker, plus rap superstars Will Smith, Ice Cube, Lil' Kim, Salt-N-Pepa and many others ...
Congratulations go out to our good pals, the ReBirth Brass Band, who are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. The band will be ready to party after returning from a week long stint in Japan, with a blowout at Cafe Brasil on May 29th and a 15th Anniversary Second Line Parade on May 31st --- in other news, the mighty ReBirth will be crossing the country this summer, opening up for indie folk-rocker Ani DiFranco (who could be seen ringside at ReBirth's Monday post-Fest gig at Tip's) --- the band has several other road dates lined up before hitching up with Ani on June 18th.
Tour Notes - the Blues Music Festival '98, featuring B.B. King, Neville Brothers, Dr. John, and Storyville begins a 40-date North American tour August 7th in Vancouver ... Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson & Irma Thomas kick off the "Sing It! Tour" with a June 18 show at the House of Blues.
News From The Net - Jam! Music reports: Henry Butler inspires Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner .... (heck Dave, get with the program ... Henry has been inspiring us for years!) ...
Sad News - noted jazz singer Blue Lu Barker passed away on May 7th at the age of 84; born in New Orleans on November 13, 1913, Blu Lu's career spanned 7 decades; she married Danny Barker in 1930 and had a major hit in 1938 with the tune "Don't You Make Me High" (aka "Don't You Feel My Leg"); Blue Lu (nee Louise Dupont) received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Big Easy Awards, and her performance that evening was the highlight of the event.
Jelly Rolls - Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders' performance of newly discovered Jelly Roll Morton tunes was deemed "radiant" by the Chicago Tribune!
LA in L.A. - the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles celebrates their 77th annual season with a gala on June 24th featuring Kathleen Battle, Harry Connick, Jr., violinist Itzhak Perlman and jazz bassists Ray Brown, John Clayton and Christian McBride; also, on July 22nd, there will be a show featuring Rosemary Clooney, the Count Basie Orchestra, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Dirty Dozen ...
NBA: New Orleans Jazz? - from the NBA web site: Wynton Marsalis talks about hoops and music; brother Branford discusses sports and fame.
No Limit and Priority Records have come to terms with Death Row over the recording contract of rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg; a joint press release issued by Priority and No Limit stated that "Death Row received a lump sum payment and will participate financially in all of Snoop's future releases"; Snoop's first No Limit/Priority release, "The Game Is To Be Sold, Not Told", is scheduled for an August release and will feature guest appearances by Master P, Silkk The Shocker and Fiend.
Tour Notes: bluesman Buddy Guy will tour with Jonny Lang this summer ... "The Legends Of Rock Roll 1998" tour, featuring Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard will travel to Europe in July.
Master P graced the cover of Vibe Magazine's May issue, along with No Limit artists Silkk The Shocker, Mia X, C-Murder and Mystikal; in the May cover story, Vibe reporter Rob Marriott goes down on the bayou to discover how P and his No Limit troops have pulled off one of the biggest success stories in modern times; the May issue hits newsstands on April 14 (Master P was also featured in Vibe's February 1998 issue).
Condolences: to the friends and family of Alvin "Red" Tyler; the legendary saxophone player passed away on April 3rd, due to natural causes, at age 72.
Hot Stuff - the mighty ReBirth Brass Band are currently featured at the Tabasco web site.
Victoria Williams appears on the recent "Lilith Fair - A Celebration of Women in Music" live, double CD; Victoria performs "Periwinkle Sky", from her recent "Musings Of A Creek Dipper" album; you can also catch Victoria in a duet with Lou Reed on the "MTV 120 Minutes Live" compilation CD.
Bring It On - The French Quarter and the Treme were the scene of a video shoot on March 25th for vocalist N'dea Davenport's upcoming debut solo album; the video, for the song "Bring It On", features the ReBirth Brass Band (who also perform on the album), Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and several local second liners; local actress Nicole James (sister of ReBirth's Philip and Keith Frazier) also appears in the video; N'Dea, formerly of funk group Brand New Heavies, resides in New Orleans and wanted to feature the "urban/street flavor" of the Crescent City in her video; the video & album are due for release in late April - early May.
X-Files Cybercast - cast members and music artists who contributed to The X-Files soundtrack will be taking part in an online interview at the Rocktropolis web site on Tuesday June 2nd (7:00 pm ET); among those participating will be Better Than Ezra, who contributed the previously unreleased track, "One More Murder".
Webcast - Wynton Marsalis will be participating in a star-studded tribute to Miles Davis on May 26th, on what would have been Miles' 72nd birthday; the event will be broadcast on the Internet beginning at 6:00 pm (Central).
Bluesiana - The 19th Annual W.C. Handy Awards were held on April 30th in Memphis; congrats to locally connected winners: Marcia Ball (contemporary female artist), Keb' Mo' (acoustic artist) and Corey Harris (best acoustic album, "Fish Ain't Bitin'").
1998 Essence Awards - musician and composer Wynton Marsalis is among the honorees at this year's Essence Awards; the event will be held at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 10th, and will be televised as a 2 hour special on Fox on May 21st; scheduled performances at the event include a jazz tribute to Wynton Marsalis by Manhattan Transfer, Nicholas Payton and Nnenna Freelon.
Liner Notes: Jean Knight's 1971 classic, "Mr. Big Stuff", is included on the new "Pure Funk" collection.
Allen Toussaint was honored by the USPS as new Jazz Flourishes stamp is unveiled.
Condolences to the family and friends of local percussionist / conga player, Michael Ward, who passed away on Wednesday, March 18th.
All Aboard! - Wynton Marsalis debuts "Big Train" at NYC's Alice Tully Hall; new 50 minute piece is his first major composition since "Blood on the Fields"; Wynton's 16-piece orchestra features Herlin Riley and Wess Anderson.
Clapton tour to hit New Orleans - Eric Clapton will embark on an extensive concert tour of the United States in support of his new Duck/Reprise CD, "Pilgrim"; Clapton and band, accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra, pull into the Louisiana Superdome on May 20th ...
Hombres sign up with Basin Street - Latin jazz group Los Hombres Calientes, led by Irvin Mayfield, Bill Summers and Jason Marsalis, have signed a record deal with local label Basin Street Records ... the critically acclaimed group are currently working on their debut CD, which is scheduled for release on April 21st ... check the press release for further details
BET acquires major interest in Festival Productions - the agreement will result in a major alliance between Festival Productions, the largest producer of jazz festivals (including the New Orleans Jazz Fest) and concerts, and BET On Jazz: The Cable Jazz Channel, the 24 hour jazz programming network.
Near Riot and gunfire disrupts a Master P concert in Houston (from The Houston Chronicle).
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards - were held March 10th; congrats go to Brooks & Dunn who won in the "Favorite Duo/Group, Country" category; props also to other Louisiana connectioned nominees: Tim McGraw (Favorite Male, Country; won by Garth Brooks); Master P (Favorite Male, Rap; won by Sean "Puffy" Combs) and Mia X (Favorite Female, Rap; won by Missy Elliot).
CD News - singer / songwriter Lucinda Williams recently signed with Mercury Records and is due to release her long-awaited new album, "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" in late spring / early summer; Lucinda will also appear on the "Horse Whisperer" soundtrack (due April 7th) performing "Still I Long for Your Kiss", the first original composition from Williams since her 1992 album, "Sweet Old World"; she also contributes the track, "Sharp Cutting Wings" to the soundtrack for "Niagara, Niagara" (also due out on April 7th)... Lucinda is the daugther of noted poet Miller Williams, and is a native of Lake Charles, LA.
Condolences to the family and friends of zydeco musician Rockin' Sidney Simien who passed away from lung cancer on February 25th at the age of 59 ... Rockin' Sidney won a Grammy in 1985 for the tune "(Don't Mess With) My Toot Toot", one of the first zydeco songs to gain national recognition and airplay ... Sidney was born April 9, 1938 in LeBeau, LA ... he is survived by his wife, four sons and two step-daughters.
Grammy Winners! - congrats go out to Louisiana connected winners at this year's Grammy Awards; these were Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton (Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for "Stardust") and BeauSoleil (Best Traditional Folk Album for "L'Amour Ou La Folie"); also Bob Dylan's "Time Out of Mind" (produced by NOLA resident Daniel Lanois), won awards for Best Album and Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Sammy Kershaw will be the CMT (Country Music Television) Showcase Artist for the month of March, 1998; The Lousiana native recently released his sixth album, "Labor of Love", and will release a new video, "Matches", in conjunction with the CMT honor; this is the second consecutive month that a Louisiana native has been the CMT Showcase artist; Trace Adkins received the honor in February.
Tim McGraw Breaks Chart Record - country star Tim McGraw made chart history recently by becoming the first country artist to score a second 6 week number 1 single (with "Just To See You Smile"); the third single from his "Everywhere" album has also spent 29 weeks on the singles chart, and may become the longest charting single since the inception of monitored airplay; last year McGraw became the first artist in 20 years and the first artist since actual monitored airplay to hold at number 1 for 6 weeks with "It's Your Love" (a duet with wife Faith Hill).
Ramblin' On - congrats go out to the Hackberry Ramblers who celebrate their 65th anniversary in 1998; original members Luderin Darbone (fiddle) and Edwin Duhon (accordion) are still performing with the group; to add to this special occasion, the Ramblers were nominated for a Grammy for the album "Deep Water".
New CD News - Dr. John recently completed the follow-up to his "Trippin' Live" album at Abbey Road studios in London; guests joining the good Dr. on the new CD include Supergrass, Spiritualized, Paul Weller, Beth Orton and Primal Scream ... the album is scheduled for release in early summer.
New Orleans musicians rock the R&R Hall of Fame! - inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on January 12th included 50's rocker & Kenner native Lloyd Price ... in addition, Jelly Roll Morton was inducted as the "Early Influence" and Allen Toussaint in the "Non Performer" category.
More Props for NOLA Music - Gretna-born 50's crooner Frankie Ford ("Sea Cruise") was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, Texas on January 17, 1998.
The Williams Wire -
Lake Charles, LA native Lucinda Williams was featured in a concert review in Salon Magazine ... Shreveport native Victoria Williams, her husband Mark Olson (ex-Jayhawks) and musician Mike Russell have formed The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers .. their self-titled debut CD is available via their web site; Victoria's brand spanking new CD "Musings Of A Creek Dipper" is receiving rave reviews, and she's also featured in an interview in Salon Magazine.
Better Late Than Never - The Boston Phoenix reviews Rockie Charles' excellent '96 album "Born For You".
Film Clips - Noted critic Roger Ebert named the locally filmed Eve's Bayou as the best movie of 1997; the film's cast includes Branford Marsalis and features music by Terence Blanchard.
Satchmo Honored - Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong is included in Life Magazine's "The 100 People Who Made The Millenium" ... according to Life, to make the list, "a person had to change more than just a corner of the world -- he or she had to divert the great stream of history" ... "Pops" certainly fits that bill ... Life says of Satchmo: ".. Armstrong's improvisational verve and technical virtuosity defined jazz ... and his engaging personality and ever-present grin made him a natural as the international ambassador of jazz, America's greatest gift to the world" - a special Millenium issue of Life is on newstands now; Time Warner will air several TV specials on the events and people of the millenium in early 1998 ... More Props for Pops - Louis was inducted into the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame on September 16, 1997.
A Tip of The Chapeau to Peter Dean and the Suite 101 web site for featuring the Louisiana Music Archive (they erroneously referenced us as New Orleans Music News, but what the hey ...) in their September 1st "Rhythm and Blues" column.