More Heart & Soul: the film "America's Heart & Soul" (see below) opens Friday, July 2 at Canal Place Cinema; MSNBC's review of the Disney release includes this snippet: "New Orleans trumpeter James Andrews III — playing alongside his brother, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews — sums up the film's theme with this simple declaration: 'My name is James Andrews. This is my neighborhood, and these are my people.'"
Film & CD for McGraw: country star Tim McGraw makes his film debut in "Friday Night Lights", set to open in theaters around the country on October 15th; the flick stars Billy Bob Thornton as a demanding high school football coach in Odessa, TX, where football's not just a game but a way of life ... Tim's next CD - "Live Like You Were Dying" - is due in stores on August 24th - the title single is riding high on both the country and pop charts.
Ray Charles Bio: the Ray Charles bio filmed in New Orleans and other Louisiana locations will open in US theaters on October 29, 2004; "Ray" (formerly known as "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story") is being distrbuted by Universal Films; a companion soundtrack will be released on August 24th.
AFI's 100 Songs: the American Film Institute revealed the top movie songs of all time on the recent TV special "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs"; included on the list was Harry Connick Jr.'s interpretation of "It Had To Be You" (at #60), from the film "When Harry Met Sally".
Say you want a rebelution: the Soul Rebels have finished up studio sessions for their long-overdue follow-up to 1998's "No More Parades" - the new album, titled "Rebelution" is due to hit store shelves in October; visit Barn Burner Music for more on the Rebels and the upcoming CD.
Late Gig Announcement: catch the original Uptown Allstars - f/ Ivan Neville, Nick Daniels, Renard Poche and Willie Green (with trumpeter Maurice Brown) tonight (Friday, 06/25) at the Maple Leaf.
Free Sol: Memphis-based hip-hop/funk/soul/rock outfit Free Sol are set to appear at Chelsea's Cafe in Baton Rouge on Friday, June 25th; the group won the 2003 Mid-South GRAMMY Showcase (beating out NOLA's World Leader Pretend), and recently released their debut album 11:11 on Memphis Records;
Soul Brother No. 1: President George W. Bush named Ida Cox, Tommy Johnson, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and New Orleans as contributors to the nation's musical heritage as he proclaimed June 2004 as Black Music Month; read the full text of his statement at whitehouse.gov; more comments from Bush.
Heart & Soul: Marc & Ann Savoy and James Andrews & Troy Andrews ("Trombone Shorty") are featured in the upcoming Disney film, "America’s Heart & Soul"; Louis Schwartzberg's documentary celebrating America and the folks who inhabit it hits theaters on July 2nd; the companion soundtrack features songs from the Savoys, James & Troy, John Hiatt, and others.
Rolling Stones: Mandeville rock band 12 Stones were winners at the 2004 BMI Christian Music Awards held in Nashville on June 21st; they were honored for the song, "Crash" (they were also BMI winners in 2003 for "Broken"); it should be a big summer for the band: they will appear with Nickelback, Three Doors Down and Puddle of Mudd on several tour dates in July; their 2nd album, "Potter's Field", is due out in August.
Country on the Gulf: Cajun & trad country stars Eddy Raven and Jo-El Sonnier are just a couple of the artists set to perform in Biloxi, MS for the upcoming TV series "Country on the Gulf"; tapings are taking place at the Grand Casino Biloxi, and tickets are available to the public via TicketMaster; the series will air on the Great American Country cable channel later this year.
Band Seeks Singer: hard rock band 4Mag Nitrous are looking for a new vocalist; interested parties should send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodbye Ray: New Orleans trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was among the many stars paying tribute to Ray Charles at funeral services in Los Angeles on Friday; he performed a "jazz funeral" version of "Down by the Riverside" at the close of the memorial, which also featured performances by B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, David "Fathead" Newman and Glen Campbell; the entire memorial service is available online (for one week) at NPR.org.
Ray Charles Day: Mayor C. Ray Nagin has proclaimed June 19th as "Ray Day," in honor of late R&B legend Ray Charles; a memorial service for Charles will be held on Saturday at St. Augustine Church (1210 Gov. Nicholls St.) at 10:30 am; this will be followed by a jazz funeral, which will head to the Dew Drop Inn on LaSalle St. (between 6th and Washington) and end at Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club (1931 St. Claude Ave).
Food For Thought: local rockers Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes will play a free show at the Red Eye Grill (in the WH District) on Wednesday, June 23 -- their last local gig before hitting the road for a few weeks; the Red Eye show is also a food and fund raiser for the band, so they don't starve while on tour; catch the show, and be sure to bring some chow for the guys (their suggestions include canned goods, bread, cheese, peanut butter, honey, hummus, fruits, leftover Popeyes, veggies and beer), and/or kick in a few bucks for gas.
Fats, The Musical: rock-n-roll icons Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry are the subject of the musical, "The House That Rocked", currently playing at the Black Ensemble Theater in Chicago; the show, which the Chicago Sun-Times rates as "highly recommended", runs through July 25th.
Britney Checks Out of Tour: the 2nd leg of Britney Spears "Onyx Hotel Tour" has been canceleld as a result of her recent knee injury and subsequent surgery; the tour was scheduled to run from June 22 through August 15, including a stop at the New Orleans Arena (July 30); the Kentwood, LA pop star will be immobile for 6 weeks (unable to lip-sync?), with her knee in a brace; 8-12 weeks of rehabilitation will follow.
Miss. River Museum: the River Music Experience in Davenport, IA opened to the public on June 14; the urban education and entertainment experience traces the roots of the Mississippi River from the 1800's to modern times; exhibits at the RME include the 81-ft long "River Wall" interactive display, "ear ports" featuring profiles of music arists (e.g. Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke); music theaters featuring exclusive documentaries (with interviews of Buckwheat Zydeco, Alan Toussaint, Jason Marsalis, etc), and a scale replica of the excursion boat S.S. Capitol, which brought Dixieland jazz up the river from New Orleans; here's more on the River Music Experience and the S.S. Capitol.
LA Chef Sues Smokey: Thibodaux, LA chef Johnny "Jambalaya" Percle has filed a suit against R&B legend Smokey Robinson over trademark infringement; Percle has used the "Soul in Yo Bowl" phrase for his culinary creations for 10 years, and had it trademarked in '97 (he has also released a musical recipe CD titled "Soul In Yo Bowl"); Robinson started distributing his own California-based "The Soul is in the Bowl" product line in January (which includes seafood gumbo and red beans & rice) in Chicago; this dispute raises several questions... who would want to buy frozen gumbo or red beans, made in California, in Chicago (or elsewhere) ... also, why didn't the legendary Motown singer and songwriter mine his catalogue for a slogan? e.g. "My Bowl" (talking 'bout my bowl) .. or "You've Really Got a Bowl on Me" ... or, "You Better Shop Around ... for Smokey's Gumbo"; more news to follow.
LA Artists AT ACL Fest: artists scheduled for the third annual Austin City Limits Music Festival include Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, ReBirth Brass Band, Marc Broussard, Papa Mali, and Marcia Ball; headliners at the 3 day event (Sept. 17-19) include Sheryl Crow, Trey Anastasion, Wilco, The Roots, Dashboard Confessional, Robert Randolph, and Ben Harper; visit the ACL fest web site for more info.
Pause For A Cause: Shreveport guitar ace Kenny Wayne Shepherd is hooking up with several blues legends to raise funds for the Music Maker Relief Foundation; the project will result in a documentary film and accompanying Audio/DVD; artists to be featured include Bryan Lee, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Jerry McCain, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Sam Lay, "Wild Child" Butler, Henry Townsend, Honeyboy Edwards, Cootie Stark, Essie Mae Brooks, John Dee Holman, Neal Pattman, Etta Baker and Buddy Flett; see the KWS Band web site for more info.
On The Radio: clarinet & sax great and director of Juilliard’s Jazz Studies Program Victor Goines chatted with NPR's Tavis Smiley on June 7th; the audio interview is available online at NPR.org; also on NPR is a feature on roots singer and former NOLA resident Jolie Holland.
Oops She Did It Again: pop star Britney Spears injured her knee during a video shoot in New York City on Tuesday (June 8) and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday; Spears previously had knee troubles in March '04 and March '99; no word yet on how this may affect the 2nd leg of her Onyx Hotel tour.
Galactic & Carson: Galactic will be in the Big Apple this week, taping appearances for upcoming episodes of NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly"; the NOLA funksters -- featured as the house band for the show -- are scheduled to tape June 7 - 9, for shows airing on June 15, 16, 18 and 22; if you're in NYC this week, you can try to get tickets for the tapings via 1iota.com; see the TV Page for more info.
Galactic & Teedy: Tricia Boutte (AKA "Sista Teedy") performed with Galactic on a few recent gigs, filling in for Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet (no word on where the Houseman is); this from the Boston Herald: "Teedy's powerful alto brought fire and grit to the soul groove of Allen Toussaint's 'Goin Down,' and the R&B bump of 'All Behind You Now.' Her inspired transformation of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' into a snaky funk workout had many wondering if the Houseman had lost his job"; check Teedy's web site for more news & tour dates.
Brooks Celebrates: the Chicago Blues Festival will be celebrating blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks' 70th birthday (which was in December) on June 11th; "Lonnie Brooks 70th Year Celebration" will feature Brooks with sons Ronnie Baker Brooks and Wayne Baker Brooks, plus guests C.J. Chenier and Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson; Lonnie played with Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier (C.J.'s father) and recorded for Goldband Records (as Guitar Junior), before moving to Chicago in the late 1950's.
New Grammy Categories: The Recording Academy has announced the addition of a new Grammy Award Field (Production, Surround Sound), and 3 new categories in existing fields (Best Electronic/Dance Album; Best Gospel Performance; and Best Hawaiian Music Album); amazing that Hawaiian music (?) gets "credentials", while Cajun & Zydeco are still not recognized as a separate entity; read about Terrance & Cynthia Simien's efforts to establish a separate voting category for Zydeco and Cajun Music.
Cooking with Irvin: trumpeter Irvin Mayfield will perform on an upcoming episode of "Emeril Live"; the show will air on the Food Network on Monday, July 12; check our TV Page for details & rerun dates.
Landreth Webcast: portions of the "Crossroads Guitar Festival Concert" - including Sonny Landreth's performance - will be webcast live by SBC Yahoo! on Sunday, June 6th; see below for more the Crossroads Guitar Fest.
subdudes webcast: catch a recent performance by the subdudes coming up on the syndicated radio series, "Mountain Stage"; the show, which also features Jamie Cullum, Tierney Sutton, Curtis Stigers and Nellie McKay, will hit airwaves after June 11; check here for a list of stations that carry Mountain Stage (including ones that webcast the show).
Musical Passing: Zydeco musician Herbert Sam passed away in Opelousas, LA on May 21, 2004 at age 80; Herbert - a native of Grand Coteau, LA - was the brother of late accordionist Ambrose Sam; sons Leon, Carl, Glen, Calvin and Rodney Sam perform as the Sam Brothers 5.
Big Easy Idol?: audition locations for FOX "American Idol 4" include Cleveland, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis, Washington, DC and Alaska; stay tuned to the American Idol web site for audition dates & further details ... New Orleanian George Huff made it to the final 5 of "American Idol 3" before being eliminated; Huff didn't make the initial cut to 32 contestents, but was called back after semi-finalist Donnie Williams (a native of Baton Rouge) was pulled from the show due to a DUI arrest.
Guitars Galore: six-string slingers James Burton, Buddy Guy and Sonny Landreth are among dozens of guitar great taking part in Eric Clapton's 3-day "Crossroads Guitar Festival", being held in Dallas, TX on June 4-6; the event - featuring guitar clinics, performances, and more - will raise funds for "Crossroads Centre Antigua", a treatment and education center Clapton founded in 1997.
Gretna Fest: prelim performers scheduled for the 2004 Gretna Heritage Festival include Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Money, Dickey Betts & Great Southern, Radiators and Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes; the annual event takes place in downtown Gretna from October 1 - 3.
Support My Kids: Belgium-based ska band the Moon Invaders (featuring my two sons Matt & Thomas) have released their self-titled CD in Europe (on May 24); if you are into ska, you will enjoy this horn-driven collection of all-originals; you can pick it up via Amazon.com's German web site (see English ordering instructions), and Jump Up Records in the USA; check out some audio clips at Grover Records web site.
Liner Notes: Ivan Neville is among the artists backing up actress Katey Sagal ("Married... With Children"; "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter") on her upcoming solo album, "Room"; Sagal was a backup singer for Bette Midler in the early 80's; she released one other solo album in 1994 ... Lucinda Williams will contribute a new track to the "NARM/Americana CD Sampler", set for release on August 4, 2004 (more) ... Dr. John is among musical guests included on the DVD, "SCTV Network/90" (from the NBC sketch comedy series); other SCTV musical guests on the DVD are Southside Johnny, Roy Orbison and The Tubes ... check out audio clips (and more) from Dr. John's upcoming release, N'Awlinz: Dis, Dat or D'Udda".
Bad Year for Jazz Fest: today's Times-Picayune (May 20, 2004) reports that the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival produced circa $600,000 to $900,000 less revenue than projected; this has resulted in layoffs, and it may impact the various community services that the Jazz & Heritage Foundation supports (WWOZ, jazz funerals, etc).
On The Radio: May's edition of "Crescent City" (WWNO-FM on Friday, May 21 at 6:30 pm) features guests Jason Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, The Pfister Sisters, Bruce Raeburn, Astral Project, and more.
Co-Op offers Computer Classes: the New Orleans Music Office Co-Op will begin offering free weekly computer classes on June 1st; classes cover everything from the basics to advanced topics such setting up a web page; contact the Co-Op at 483-2880 for more info.
Thanks, Guv: the 2004 Governor's Arts Award will handed out in Baton Rouge, LA on May 19th; this year's honorees include the Grammy winning bluegrass group (from Cotton Valley, LA), The Cox Family; ehe Governor’s Arts Awards recognize individuals and organizations making outstanding contributions to the quality of life in Louisiana through the arts.
Get Well Soon: wishes go out to singer, songwriter, actor and longtime manager of Hank Williams Jr., Merle Kilgore, who underwent quadruple-bypass surgery in Nashville on Monday, May 17th; Kilgore (age 69) - who grew up in Shreveport - wrote or co-wrote country classics such as "Johnny Reb", "Wolverton Mountain" and "Ring of Fire".
ACM Awards: "off-camera" winners for the 39th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were recently announced by the ACM; these included West Monroe, LA native Michael Rhodes (Bass Player of the Year), and harmonica player & Lake Charles, LA native Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson ("Specialty Instrument"); Rhodes won the Bass Player Award in 2003 and also in 1989; the ACM Awards air live on CBS on May 26th.
Film Notes: Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000 of OutKast) is teaming with Element Films for production of his starring vehicle, currently named the "Untitled Andre Benjamin Project"; New Orleans Hornets star Baron Davis and Malcolm Petal are listed as Executive Producers; funding for the flick will come from the LA2 film fund which was established Element Films, the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation, and the Louisiana Institute of Film Technology; filming is set to begin in New Orleans this September.
Da Band Disbands: rap group Da Band, which featured New Orleans MC Chopper (aka Young City), was disbanded by Puff Daddy in the finale of MTV's "Making The Band 2" series, which aired on Thursday, 05/13; Puffy broke up the group due to the constant drama and infighting among group members; see Making The Band 2 web page; see RockOnTV for episode rerun dates. (Update: Chopper has been signed to Puffy's new offshoot label, Bad Boy South.)
LA Drummer on Leno: drummer and West Monroe, LA native Aaron Guidry will appear on the "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Thursday night, May 13th; Guidry will perform with Cirque du Soleil's "Mystere" on the show, which airs this week from Las Vegas; prior to joining "Mystere", Guidry toured with the show "Blast".
Dudes on NPR: Subdudes Tommy Malone and John Magnie were interviewed on NPR's "Weekend Edition" on May 9th; the interview is available on the NPR web site in case ya missed it.
Handy Winners: the Blues Foundation handed out the 2004 W.C. Handy Blues Awards in Memphis on April 29; Louisiana blues man Buddy Guy picked up three awards (Blues Album, Contemporary Blues Male Artist & Acoustic Blues Album); other winners of note include Marcia Ball (Contemporary Blues Female Artist & Contemporary Blues Album); Dr. John (Blues Instrumentalist Keyboards); and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (Blues Instrumentalist Other, Fiddle).
Idol Threat: New Orleanian George Huff was eliminated from the final 5 of FOX's "American Idol" in voting on Wednesday, May 5; however, you can catch George and other Idol finalists on tour this summer -- including a stop in New Orleans on August 11th (also see "American Idol Loser George Isn't Leaving In A Huff" from MTV News).
Dirty South DVD: Lyricist Lounge will release the southern hip-hop documentary "Dirty States of America" on June 1, 2004; the DVD covers everything from crunk to bounce and beyond, with comments from OutKast, Mystikal, Scarface, Goodie Mob, Lil' John, Petey Pablo, Juvenile, Cee-Lo, and many others; the companion soundtrack includes selections from local rap stars BG with Fiend and the late Soulja Slim ("Fired Up"), and Partners-N-Crime with DJ Jubilee & Choppa ("N.O. Block Party 2").
Cole Covers: Aaron Neville's version of "In The Still Of The Night" is included on the upcoming CD, "The Very Best of Cole Porter", due in stores on June 15, 2004; others featured on the set include Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and Shirley Horn; "De-Lovely", a film bio of the legendary composer, opens in limited release on June 25th.
Turk Remains Behind Bars: New Orleans rapper Turk (nee Tab Virgil) has been determined a flight risk by the Federal Court in Memphis, and will remain behind bars (where he is being held in maximum security); the former Cash Money Records artist was arrested in Memphis in January, and charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of two police officers; the charges have since been reduced to second-degree attempted murder of one of the officers; Turk maintains his innocence in the case, which stemmed from a drug raid on Memphis apartment that resulted in the shootings; Turk's latest CD - the aptly titled "Penitentiary Chances" -- was released on April 27th on Koch Records.
NOLA Rocks Hall of Fame: our pal Nita Ketner covered the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame events which featured New Orleans music legends Earl Palmer, Dr. John, Cosimo Matassa and Deacon John; get the lowdown here.
EC in NO: guitar god Eric Clapton is hitting the road for a two month tour, which includes a stop at the New Orleans Arena on June 12th; EC is touring in support of his latest release, "Me and Mr. Johnson", which features covers of tracks by blues legend Robert Johnson.
Wednesday Squared: the N.O. Downtown Development District brings back their awesome "Wednesday at the Square" concert series beginning April 7th; the line-up for this season features Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen (04/07); Dirty Dozen (04/14); Beausoleil (04/21); Marcia Ball (04/28); Buckwheat Zydeco (05/05); Bag of Donuts (05/12); The Iguanas (05/19); Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas with Lil' Nathan (05/26); Sonny Landreth (06/02); the subdudes (06/09); Deacon John (06/16); and Irma Thomas (06/23); shows take place from 5:00 pm til 7:30 pm in Lafayette Square.
MO Fest Returns: the Second Annual MO Fest is set for April 26 and 27 along the riverfront in Woldenberg Park; the event, sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Music Business Development, will feature Hot 8 Brass Band, Preservation Hall Hot Four, Kermit Ruffins, and many others.
French Quarter Fest: the schedule for the 21st annual French Quarter Festival has been published and is available at their web site; the event runs from Friday, April 16 thru Sunday, April 18, with a fundraising event set for April 15th.
More Bling for Master P: rapper Master P's latest release, Good Side/Bad Side, was certified Gold by the RIAA in it's first week of release; this no doubt pleases Koch Entertainment, the new distributor of P's New No Limit label ... it is the first record to go Gold by an urban artist on KOCH Records.
ACM Awards: nominees for the 39th annual Academy of Country Music Awards were announced on 03/10 in Los Angeles; Brooks & Dunn received 5 nominations, and Tim McGraw was named in 2 categories; other nominees with Louisiana ties include Andy Griggs; awards will be handed out on May 26th in Las Vegas, with live TV coverage by CBS.
Lucinda Cancels Dates: singer and songwriter Lucinda Williams has cancelled all current tour dates due to the death of her mother; the dates will tentatively be rescheduled for August 2004; our sympathy goes out to Lucinda and her family.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Satchmo.com's annual tribute to musicians who left us in the previous year is now online; the Gone But Not Forgotten 2003 page also has links to prior years' listings of departed musicians.
Prince at Essence Fest: rocker Prince and his New Power Generation have been added to the list of performers at the 2004 Essence Music Festival (Prince & Co. are slated for 07/02); other regional stops on Prince's "Musicology" tour include the Mississippi Coast Coliseum (Biloxi; 05/01) and CenturyTel Center (Bossier City; 06/12); read more.
Essence Fest: other artists recently added to the '04 Essence Fest line-up include Donnie McClurkin, Tyrese, Jagged Edge, Solomon Burke and Little Milton; they join previously announced acts Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Gladys Knight, The O'Jays, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Anthony Hamilton, Millie Jackson, Kem, The Ohio Players, Freddie Jackson, Kenny Lattimore, Chanté Moore, Sinbad, Ledisi and The Dazz Band.
Abshire Home To Become Museum: pioneering Cajun musician Nathan Abshire's home in Basile, LA is being restored and converted to a musuem in his honor; the project, headed by Basile Mayor Berline Boone, should be completed by the end of the year; more.
Bonerama Bites Big Apple: trombone-based rockers Bonerama will head to New York City to record their second album, before a live audience at the Tribeca Rock Club on March 26 and 27; they will be joined by special guest, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore; see Bonerama.net for more info.
Jazz Fest Update: R&B legend Ray Charles has canceled all performances until June 2004 at the earliest, due to a slower than expected recovery from surgery and subsequent therapy; Charles underwent hip replacement surgery in Dec. 2003; he was scheduled to perform at Jazz Fest on April 25th.
Drummer Silenced: longtime Olympia Brass Band snare drummer Leroy Breaux passed away in New Orleans on February 14th at age 61; Breaux was with the Olympia for 23 years, and appears on many of their recordings; services are set for Saturday morning (02/21) at Louisiana Undertaking on N. Claiborne Avenue.
Mardi Gras Update: rockers Zebra and on-again off-again country couple Sammy Kershaw & Lorrie Morgan will appear in the Krewe of Argus parade, which rolls on Mardi Gras morning in Metairie; Feb. 24th is also Kershaw's 46th birthday... no word so far on whether they will be hurling Mardi Gras throws to the crowd or at each other (see Sammy Kershaw news).
Rebel Music: the Soul Rebels brass band will soon begin work on a new album for Barn Burner Records; the sessions - being laid down at Ultrasonic Studios in New Orleans - are tentatively set for a mid-August release date; a new web site will go online to promote the band and new release; this is the Soul Rebel's first all-new release since 1998's "No More Parades"... about time guys!
Radio Notes: this week's edition of the Mountain Stage radio program features a performance by former NOLA resident Chris Smither; performers on next week's show include guitar wiz Sonny Landreth; the Mountain Stage show is carried on several stations around the country, many also webcast their programming.
Doucet Interview: tune into the "Buffalo Bayou" radio show (KUCI-FM; Irvine, CA) on Wednesday, Feb. 18th (3:00 pm CT) to catch an interview with Michael Doucet of BeauSoleil fame.
Jazz Fest: Harry Connick Jr., Ray Charles, Branford Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, B.B. King and Lenny Kravitz are among the "big name" performers scheduled for the 2004 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; see the Jazz Fest page for more info.
Bassless Allegation: North Shore rockers 12 Stones have parted ways with bass player Kevin Dorr; a replacement will be named shortly according to the group's web site.
Christina on the Radio: catch jazz vocalist Christina Machado performing live from the WWOZ radio studios on Feb. 14th (10:30 pm, CT); if you're not within earshot of 'OZ, you catch the concert via their webcast.
Ambassador Marsalis: New Orleans trumpeter and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra director Wynton Marsalis has been named "cultural ambassador of jazz" for the State Department's Culture Connect program; Culture Connect was established to promote cross-cultural understanding around the world, with an emphasis on young people.
Benoit Opens Music Venue: blues man Tab Benoit is opening a new music club in downtown Houma; Tab Benoit's Lagniappe Music Cafe takes over space formerly occupied by La Poste Steakhouse restaurant; the venue will host several shows during Mardi Gras (including fellow Houma guitar slinger Kevin Koike, Billy Stark, and Tab himself), then close for final renovations (read more).
Aussie Rock: the upcoming show featuring Aussie rock bands The Vines and Jet (House of Blues, on March 12) will be taped for MTV's "2$Bill" concert series; the show is set to premiere on MTV2 on March 22nd; more upcoming concerts.
Musical Passing: musician, producer and label owner Bob Greenlee passed away at his home in Sanford, FL on Feb. 12th at age 59; Greenlee issued Baton Rouge blues man Kenny Neal's debut album, "Bio On The Bayou", on his own King Snake Records label, in 1987 (the album was released on Alligator in '88, as "Big News from Baton Rouge!!"); other Greenlee / King Snake releases included albums by Lazy Lester, Johnny Sansone, Troy Turner, "Chicago Bob" Nelson, and Kenny's dad, Raful Neal.
Desitively Bonnaroo: Superfly Productions has announced the initial line-up of performers for the 2004 Bonnaroo Music Festival (June 11-13 in Manchester, TN); headliners include The Dead, Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, and Trey Anastasio; scheduled acts with local ties include Galactic, Marc Broussard and Vida Blue; see the Bonnaroo Fest web site for more info.
Billboard Latin Awards: congratulations to Basin Street Records recording artists Los Hombres Calientes, who's "Vol. 4: Vodou Dance" is nominated for "Latin Jazz Album Of The Year" at the 2004 Billboard Latin Music Awards; award winners will be announced on April 29th in Miami; the awards show will be televised live for the first time this year on the Telemundo Network; Los Hombres won a Billboard Latin Music Award in 2000, for their self-titled debut album (Contemporary Latin Jazz Album Of The Year).
Handy News: voting for this year's W.C. Handy Awards is open to the general public; you can cast your ballot at the Handy Awards web site through February 28th; winners will be announced on April 29th in Memphis; nominees with local ties include Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, Marcia Ball, Henry Butler, Deacon John, Dr. John, Gatemouth Brown, Mighty Sam McClain, Lavelle White and Slim Harpo.
Harry's Hot: Harry Connick Jr.'s latest release, "Only You", entered the Billboard 200 Albums chart at #5 (issue dated February 21), with sales of 140,000 copies; the "top 10" achievement marks the best debut of Harry's career.
First Ladies of R&B: the "Verizon Ladies First Tour" featuring Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott, with special guest Tamia is set for March 14 at the New Orleans Arena; more upcoming concerts.
Carnival Update: the "Krewe Of Mona Lisa And Moon Pie" take to the streets of Slidell on Saturday, Feb. 14th (at 7:00 pm) with the theme of "Mona Lisa Honors Music Legends"; the ReBirth Brass Band reign as honorary kings of the parade, and Slidell resident Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown will be the Grand Marshal.
Jammy Time: local funksters Galactic are nominated in three categories (Studio Album, Song of the Year, and Tour of the Year) at the 4th annual Jammy Awards, to be held March 16, 2004 in New York City; Galactic, along with Vida Blue, is also nominated for best Album Cover; local artists also figure into the Live Performance of the Year category; nominees include Gov't Mule with Les Claypool, Bela Fleck, Sonny Landreth, George Porter Jr., Dave Schools, Victor Wooten, etc. (5/3/03, at Saenger Theatre), and Soulive with John Scofield, Fred Wesley, Nicholas Payton, Karl Denson, etc. (4/30/03, at Tipitina's).
Rare Jones: a rare set of George Jones performances captured at the Louisiana Hayride will be released by Scena Records on March 9, 2004; "George Jones: Live Recordings From the Louisiana Hayride" features 16 previously unavailable tracks by the country legend, recorded from Hayride performances between 1956 and 1969; you can catch George live at the Grand Casino in Biloxi on May 7th and 8th.
Mo on the Radio: catch New Orleans-based trumpeter Maurice Brown performing live in a Louisiana Crossroads concert from the Sliman Theatre in New Iberia, LA; Lafayette radio station KRVS Radio Acadie will broadcast the show on 88.7 FM and also via webcast at 7:00 pm (CT) on Wednesday, Feb, 11th.
2004 Dove Awards: Aaron Neville's "Believe" is nominated for "Traditional Gospel Album of the Year" at the 35th annual Dove Awards; winners will be announced on April 28, 2004 in Nashville.
Pazz & Jop 2003: The Village Voice published their annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll on February 10; included in the top ranked albums of 2003 were Lucinda Williams' "World Without Tears" (#16); top singles included the Grammy-winning "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence with Paul McCoy (#48); see the complete poll results.
Indians on Mardi Gras: Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge is the place to be on Fat Tuesday, with a carnival celebration featuring Mardi Gras Indians, Baby Dolls, Skeletons, and live music from Al "Carnival Time" Johnson; honorees at the event include retired Indian Chief Alison "Tootie" Montana and Baby Doll Miriam Reed; others scheduled to attend include Chief Al Morris of the Northside Skull and Bone Gang, and Big Chief Alfred Doucet of the Flaming Arrows; more info.
Grammy Awards: the 2004 Grammy Awards were held in Los Angeles on Feb. 8; winners with Louisiana ties included Paul McCoy (of 12 Stones), blues man Buddy Guy and writer Tom Piazza; congrats to them & to all Louisiana nominees (more on LA nominees); kudos also to musician Terrance Simien and his wife Cynthia for their ongoing efforts to establish a separate voting category for Zydeco & Cajun Music within the Grammys; see Terrance's web site and this news article for more details on their work.
Where Was Britney? Britney Spears, a scheduled presenter at the 2004 Grammy Awards, turned out to be a no-show... why, you ask? rumor has it that Grammy producers wanted to pair her with former "Seinfeld" actor Jason Alexander ... not the same Jason Alexander that Brit was married to for 55 hours in early January; she apparently wasn't ready to be the butt of jokes about her brief marital fling; rapper Snoop Dogg took her place on the podium.
Jazz Fest 2004: a tentative, partial and unnofficial list of Jazz Fest '04 performers has been added to our Jazz Fest page; the official line-up will be published circa Feb. 15th.
Heroes Day: The inaugural Heroes Awards take place at Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, TN on April 13th; honorees at the event, hosted by the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, include Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and D.J. Fontana.
Mardi Gras Throw Down: get in the carnival spirit with Mardi Gras Indians at the 2004 Mardi Gras Throw Down, set for Feb. 20 (10 pm) at Tipitina's French Quarter; scheduled performers include Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias, Chief Rodrick and the Wild Tchoupitoulas, Cyril Neville, ReBirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, and many more; check out our Mardi Gras page for more carnival happenin's.
Artist Directory: loads of new bands and links have recently been added to our Artist Directory; check out some of the new and established musicians and bands listed... and let us know if your favorite artist is missing from the directory.
Concert Line: super star David Bowie is scheduled for the Saenger Theatre on April 30th, with openers The Polyphonic Spree; Bowie was awesome the last time I saw him, however that was during the Ziggy Stardust tour (Warehouse, 1972)... rumor has it he's still pretty good... more upcoming concerts.
Treme Call-Out: the "3rd Annual Tremé Community Call-Out and Dance" is set for Saturday, Feb. 14 at the St. Augustine Church Hall (1210 Gov. Nicholls); the event, a fundraiser for the Backstreet Cultural Museum, will feature food and drinks, plus music from James Andrews, the Treme Brass Band, John Boutte, Shannon Powell, Marcel Richardson, Lil Stooges Brass Band, Mardi Gras Indian Chants by Big Chief Little Charles Taylor, and others; call the Backstreet Cultural Museum (504-522-4806) for tickets & more info.
NOLA Legends to Rock R&R Hall of Fame: several New Orleans music legends will take part in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's observance of Black History Month; events include: the Cleveland premiere of the award winning film "Deacon John's Jump Blues"; an interview session with Earl Palmer (a Hall of Fame inductee) and Cosimo Matassa; and an interview with Dr. John and Deacon John (followed by a performance); full details.
Hot Boy in Hot Water: Cash Money Records rapper Turk (Tab Virgil) was arrested in Memphis on January 26th, charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of two police officers who were serving a search warrant for drugs at an apartment complex in South Memphis (more); Turk, 22, released a solo album on the Cash Money label, and was also a member of the platinum selling rap quartet, the Hot Boys.
Dances with Wolves: congrats to the NOLA House of Blues, who celebrated their 10th anniversary in the Big Easy on January 29th; the HoB celebrated in style with great food and great tunes provided by Walter Wolfman Washington, Kipori "Baby Wolf" Woods, Snooks Eaglin, and others.
An Evening with Harry Connick, Jr.: Harry Connick, Jr. and his big band will be featured in an upcoming episode of the PBS series "Great Performances"; the set, featuring Leroy Jones and other local "big band" regulars, was taped in Canada in January; it will air as part of the March PBS Pledge Drive, so check local listings for the air date and time in your locale; Harry will be also hitting the TV screens in promotion of his latest release, "Only You"; see RockOnTV for details!
Radio Waves: funksters Galactic will be guests on the syndicated radio show "World Cafe" on January 29th; the Thursday episode will also feature music from Grandaddy, Matthew Sweet, and The Meters; see the World Cafe web site for where & how you can tune in; also check out the radio show, "Mountain Stage", who's current episode features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Sister Rosetta Tharp Tribute, Deacon John Moore, Duke Robillard, and Michael Burks (more info).
Mayor Dedicates Co-Op: Mayor C. Ray Nagin dedicated the New Orleans Music Office Cooperative, a joint venture between Tipitina's Foundation and the city's Office of Economic Development and the Tipitina's Foundation, at ceremonies held Monday, Jan. 27, 2004; the facility provides local musicians with low cost access to computers, high-speed Internet, fax & copy machines, recording facilities, web site design tools, and more; congrats to all involved for putting this together.
New No Limit Deal: No Limit Records CEO Master P has signed a new distribution deal with KOCH Entertainment; the first release under the new deal will be P's double CD set, "Good Side/Bad Side", due on March 23rd (featuring Lil' Romeo, C-Murder, Silkk The Shocker and Currency); Master P has sold over 50 million albums via the No Limit (formerly distributed by Priority) and New No Limit (formerly with Universal) labels.
Keeping Up With The Joneses: local rock group The Joneses have changed their name to The Tomatoes; the change was made to avoid confusion with similarly named bands; the group are currently working on a new CD, and you can catch them live at Rendon Inn on Feb. 13th, with Gang of Creeps and Stereobabble.
Grammy's for Batiste: local musician and NOCCA student Jonathan Batiste was among the 29 high school students selected to perform with the Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles; the students will rehearse before performing at several Los Angeles clubs prior to the Grammy Awards ceremony (Feb. 8th); they will also play at the Grammy Pre-Telecast ceremony and the Post-Telecast Celebration, and will also attend the 46th Annual Grammy Awards.
Rap Sheet: famed rap star Mystikal (Michael Tyler) was sentenced to six years in prison in a Baton Rouge court on Thursday (Jan. 15th) for sexually assaulting his hair stylist (more); lawyers for NOLA rapper C-Murder (Corey Miller) were in court in Jefferson Parish on Thursday attempting to get his September 30, 2003 murder conviction overturned; Miller's defense team claims that prosecutors withheld key evidence; Miller has been in jail since Jan. 19, 2002, a week after being charged with the shooting death of a teen at a Harvey, LA nightclub (more).
Bo's Birthday Bash: happy birthday to Big Chief Bo Dollis, who will be celebrating his 60 years at a party at Tipitina's tonight (Jan. 14); it is also the anniversary of Tipitina's, and performers include Allen Toussaint (also celebrating a birthday), the Wild Magnolias, Marva Wright, Davell Crawford, and many others.
Grammy Hall of Fame: Floyd Cramer's 1960 hit single "Last Date" was among 33 recordings added to the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Recording Academy announced on January 14th; Cramer (1933-1998) - a native of Campti, LA - was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Tuba Fats Dies: tuba player Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen passed away on Sunday (Jan. 11) after suffering a heart attack; a regular on the New Orleans brass band scene for over 40 years, Lacen was often seen performing in Jackson Square; he also performed at Preservation Hall, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and at music venues around the world; funeral details for Tuba Fats are TBA.
OffBeat Awards: voting for OffBeat magazine's Best Of The Beat Music Awards is underway; you must cast your ballot before Jan. 15, 2004; the awards ceremony - which is open to the public - takes place at Generations Hall on Jan. 30th; good luck to all nominees!
Showtime for Britney: Britney Spears will be featured in a live concert special on the Showtime cable channel on Sunday, March 28th; "Showtime Presents Britney Spears Live in Concert" will take place at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, one of the stops on her "Onyx Hotel Tour 2004" tour.
Agin' Cajuns on PBS: the documentary "Make 'Em Dance! The Hackberry Ramblers' Story" airs nationally on the PBS series, Independent Lens, on January 13, 2004; check the TV Page for local replay dates.
Ford Theater: perennial rocker Frankie Ford is appearing in the musical "Grease" at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre through February 1st.
Essence Fest: initial performers announced for this year's Essence Music Festival include Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Gladys Knight, Maze with Frankie Beverly, The O’Jays, Anthony Hamilton, Millie Jackson, Kem, The Ohio Players, Freddie Jackson, Kenny Lattimore, Chanté Moore, Sinbad, Ledisi and The Dazz Band; Essence Fest, celebrating its 10th anniversary, will be held in New Orleans on July 2, 3 and 4.
LA Grammy Nominees: nominees for the the 46th Annual Grammy Awards with Louisiana ties include Aaron Neville, Lucinda Williams, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, Nicholas Payton, Buddy Guy, Marcia Ball, Sonny Landreth, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys; the Grammy's will be handed out on February 8th in Los Angeles (airs live on CBS); see Louisana nominees list.
Jump Blues Wins: "Deacon John's Jump Blues" was named "Best Concert Video" at the 2nd Annual Surround Music Awards held on December 11th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.