Webcast: staying in for New Year's Eve? tune into NPR's "Toast of the Nation" tonight (12/31) to catch a live performance by the Donald Harrison Quintet at the Berklee College of Music; more.
Top Country: Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" and Alecia Nugent's self-titled debut were among the top country albums of 2004 according to the news editors at CMT.com (more).
Handy Nom's: nominees for the 2005 W.C. Handy Blues Awards include Kenny Neal, Bobby Rush (3), Marcia Ball (2), Chris Thomas King, Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and Barbara Lynn; winners will be named on May 5, 2005 in Memphis; for online voting and a full list of nominees, head to blues.org.
Breakfast with Harry: wake up early on Friday (12/17) to catch Harry Connick Jr. performing a seasonal tune on NBC's "Today" show; those joining Harry on the show include trumpeter Leroy Jones and drummer Gerald French.
Buddy Guy in Hall of Fame: blues legend and Louisiana native Buddy Guy will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at its 20th annual induction ceremony, scheduled for March 14 in NYC; others being inducted include U2, The Pretenders, The O'Jays, and long-time Baton Rouge, LA resident Percy Sledge; see list of Hall of Fame members from Louisiana.
Grammy Nom's: the 2004 Grammy nominations were announced on December 7; nominees with local ties include Britney Spears, Harry Connick Jr., Tim McGraw, Branford Marsalis, Dr. John and BeauSoleil (see complete list); the 47th annual Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 13, 2005, airing live on CBS.
Upcoming Webcasts: catch Marc Broussard in a repeat airing of his recent World Cafe performance on Monday (Dec. 6th) ... tomorrow (Dec. 7th), tune into Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural with Paul "Lil' Buck" Sinegal & Friends, courtesy of the Louisiana Crossroads series and Lafayette radio station KRVS.
BTE Signs with Artemis: local rockers Better Than Ezra have signed a deal with Artemis Records; an album of all-new BTE tunes is slated for release in spring of 2005; Artemis Records is the home of Steve Earle, Jill Sobule and the late Warren Zevon; they are also the distributor for Ropeadope Records, who released the Dirty Dozen's "Funeral For A Friend" earlier this year.
2004 Top CD's: Amazon.com editors have published their "Best of 2004" CD list, which includes Dr. John's "N'Awlinz: Dis Dat Or D'Udda" (Blues), the Dirty Dozen's "Funeral for a Friend" (Jazz), and Branford Marsalis' "Eternal" (Jazz); check out their complete list of 2004 picks here.
TV Update: local musician and actor Chris Thomas King will be featured on Sunday morning's (Nov. 28) edition of A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts"; airs locally at 7:00 am; see TV page for more info.
Positively Weedhead: catch blues scholar & former 'OZ deejay John Sinclair, now webcasting from various Amsterdam hash houses, at JohnSinclairRadio.com.
Good Sports: country star Trace Adkins will perform the National Anthem prior to the Lion vs. Colts NFL match-up on Thanksgiving (11/25) ... Branford Marsalis will do the honors prior to the Hawks vs. Magic NBA game on Friday (11/26).
Masakowski Gets Chair: local jazz musician and educator Steve Masakowski has been named the Coca-Cola Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies at the UNO; the Astral Project guitarist has been a UNO faculty member since 1992.
Saturday Night's Alright: rocker Elton John is set to perform at the New Orleans Arena on Saturday, March 5, 2005; tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster on 12/04 (Internet presale starts on 11/30)
RS 500: Rolling Stone magazine published their take on the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in ther Nov. 19th issue; tracks making the list included: Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti", "Long Tall Sally", "Good Golly, Miss Molly", and "The Girl Can't Help It" (all were recorded in New Orleans); The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" (written by LA native Richard Berry); the Jerry Lee Lewis hits "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" and "Great Balls of Fire"; Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't It A Shame"; The Dixie Cups' "Chapel of Love"; Ray Charles' "Hit The Road Jack" (written by LA native Percy Mayfield); Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is"; Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee"; LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" (produced by Allen Toussaint w/ backing from The Meters); and Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia" (written by Tony Joe White).
A Date with Destiny: reunited R&B divas Destiny's Child will appear as headliners at the 2005 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans (July 1-3); the trio's latest CD, "Destiny Fulfilled", features a guest appearance by local rapper Lil' Wayne.
Music Museum? local developer Pres Kabacoff has unveiled his vision to revitalize Canal Street and the Iberville housing development; the $134 million project would include a $25 million movie studio and a $45 million renovation of the State Palace Theater into a museum called the Louisiana Music Experience; Kabacoff is currently trying to raise funds to conduct an in-depth study.
Cash Money Gives Back: Cash Money Records will hold its fifth annual Turkey Giveaway on Nov. 23rd at A.L. Davis Park in New Orleans; Mayor Nagin and Cash Money reps including Lil' Wayne, Mannie Fresh, Ronald "Slim" Williams and Brian "Baby" Williams will be on hand to give away 2,000 25 pound turkeys, along with fixin's, to needy folks in the community; Cash Money also sponsors "Cash Money Kids", which rewards locals students of academic achievement with VIP tickets to New Orleans Hornets' basketball games.
CMA Awards: winners at the 38th annual CMA Awards held in Nashville on Nov. 9 included Brooks & Dunn (for Vocal Duo of the Year) and Tim McGraw (Single of the Year, for "Live Like You Were Dying"); McGraw's sappy tune also won Song of the Year for writers Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman.
Country Celebrations: the BMI Country Awards, which honor the past year's most performed songs, were held in Nashville on November 8; winners included Anders Osborne (for Tim McGraw's "Watch The Wind Blow By"), Brooks & Dunn (for "Red Dirt Road"), and Red Lane (for George Strait's "Tell Me Something Bad About Tulsa") ... the Ascap Country Awards were also held on Nov. 8th .. winners there included Chris Cagle (for "Chicks Dig It" and "What A Beautiful Day") and Kenny Beard (for "The Love Song"); Emmylou Harris received ASCAP's Founders Award at the event, and she performed with original members of her "Hot Band", including guitar legend James Burton.
Eine Kleine Musik: local trombonist and noted sideman Craig Klein has released his debut solo album, "New Orleans Trombonisms"; the album features a bevy of local music greats including Dave Bartholomew and Leroy Jones; see Craig's web site for more info.
Zydeco Promoter Passes: Kermon Richard, the owner of legendary Zydeco venue Richard's Club in Lawtell, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 7th at age 63 (more).
Shreveport Music Fest: Shreveport's Highland Area Partnership is sponsoring the first "Highland Jazz & Blues Festival" on Saturday, Nov. 13 from noon 'til 6:00 pm; performers at the free event, being held in Columbia Park, include The Bluebirds and many more; call (318) 869-5706 for more info.
Supagroup in Studio: local rockers Supagroup, fresh off a six week tour opening for Alice Cooper, are heading into the studio in NYC to begin work on their next album ... Kevin Shirley (Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin) will produce.
Gig Alert: critically acclaimed singer and songwriter Jim Bianco will perform at the Circle Bar at 7:00 pm on Saturday, Nov. 6th -- later that evening, you can catch Jim opening for Johnny Sansone at the Maple Leaf.
Webcast catch Marc Broussard and C.C. Adcock - today, November 3rd - who are both featured on the syndicated series "World Cafe with David Dye" ... check here for radio stations / webcasters that carry World Cafe.
Holiday Tunes: spice up your holidays with "Christmas Gumbo" from 33rd Street Records; the CD features 15 new holiday tunes performed by Art Neville, Bo Dollis & The Wild Magnolias (w/ Bonerama), Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Theryl "The Houseman" deClouet, Wayne Toups, Sonny Landreth (w/ The Dixie Cups), Marva Wright, The Subdudes, Marc Broussard, Beausoleil, Hackberry Ramblers, Jeremy Davenport, Aaron Neville and Ingrid Lucia .. check out these other season albums from LA music artists!
Webcast: catch Louisiana native Mary Gauthier performing on The Songwriter Sessions courtesy of Nashville Public Radio on November 27th ... also look out for a BeauSoleil performance from the Mountain Stage radio program (airs the week after Nov. 19).
Philly Alert: Lafayette, LA native Lelia Broussard will celebrate the release of her debut CD "Louisiana Soul" with a performance at Indre Studios in Philadelphia on November 13th.
Hallelujah: congrats to Bishop Paul S. Morton, who received 5 nominations for the 2005 Stellar Gospel Music Awards, all tied to his 2003 release, "Let It Rain" (which featured the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship Mass Choir and the Greater St. Stephens Mass Choir); Morton is is nominated for Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist, Traditional Male Vocalist, Music Video of the Year, and Traditional Choir of the Year; winners will be announced in Houston on January 15th.
Pause For A Cause: the 5th annual "Siren To Wail" benefit concert is set for Nov. 20 at Tipitina's; the concert is one of many events (including a second-line march, drum circle, and silent auction) taking place from November 15-20, tied to a local Hepatitis C Awareness Week; read more.
Million $ Blues: Buddy Guy's two-year divorce battle with estranged wife Jennifer was settled in Chicago last week; specifics of the settlement were not disclosed, but the property up for grabs included 5 homes (one was their $5 million, 11,000 sq. ft. home outside of Chicago), and Buddy's car collection (including a '58 Edsel, a Rolls-Royce, a Ferraria and a Lexus).
Dr. John Webcast: mark your calendars for a live performance by Dr. John from B.B. King's in NYC on Nov. 26th; the event will air on WFUV-FM's "The Whole Wide World" show, from 8 - 11 pm (Eastern).
C.C. on Radio: swamp rocker C.C. Adcock will be the special guest on KRVS-FM's "Intersections" this Friday (10/22); C.C. will be discussing his new CD, "Lafayette Marquis", and spinning some of his favorite tunes; "Intersections" airs at 9:00 pm (CT), and you catch the webcast if you can't tune in by radio.
Live Landreth: guitar guru Sonny Landreth's next CD will be a live set, captured at the Grant Street Dancehall (in Lafayette) last April 23rd & 24th; "Grant Street", on Sugarhill Records, is due to hit store shelves on Jan. 25, 2005.
Liner Notes: singer & songwriter Mary Gauthier is finishing up work on her fourth album, her first for the Lost Highway Records label; release date has been set for January, 2005; Mary's tune "I Drink", from her "Drag Queens In Limousines" CD, is covered by Blake Shelton on his upcoming release, "Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill".
Liner Notes: local rapper Lil' Wayne makes a guest appearance on the upcoming Destiny's Child album, "Destiny Fulfilled" (on the track "Soldier"), due in stores on Nov. 16th; this is the first CD from the R&B trio since 2001's "Survivor".
New Music: new CD's hitting the streets tomorrow (10/19) include the latest from the Neville Brothers and Valume Nob, plus greatest hits collections from Juvenile and Brooks & Dunn; more.
New Reads: new books hitting store shelves in the coming weeks include "To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road" from Wynton Marsalis, and "Creole Music Man: Bois Sec Ardoin" by Ching Veillon; more.
Webcast: catch talented young singer, songwriter and Lafayette, LA native Lelia Broussard in a webcast from WXPN in Philadelphia on Friday, Oct. 29th; she will be performing during the Women's Music Hour, which airs from 9 - 10 a.m. (ET).
Happy Birthday: Wynton Marsalis will be celebrating his birthday tonight at the grand opening of Jazz at Lincoln Center's new performance space at Frederick P. Rose Hall; Wynton will lead a second line parade down Broadway from the old JALC facility to the new digs starting around 10 am this morning (ET); he will later perform with brothers Delfeayo, Jason and Branford Marsalis, dad Ellis Marsalis, plus Dr. Michael White, Tony Bennett, and many others; coverage of tonight's events is also available via Newark, NJ radio station WBGO-FM as well as NPR; portions of the concert will air on PBS.
Get Out The Vote! for Marc Broussard, a nominee in Launch.com's "Who's Next" poll -- the poll winner will perform live at Launch's studios... Vote Now!
Lugz Nut: Cash Money Records co-founder and rapper Bryan "Baby" Williams was at the Maple Leaf on Thursday (10/14) filming the latest ad for his "Birdman" line of sports shoes from the Lugz Shoe Company; look for the ad soon on broadcast channels, plus BET, MTV, and other cable networks.
Swamp Fox @ HoB: swamp rocker Tony Joe White is booked for the New Orleans House of Blues on November 13th; Tony is supporting his Sept. '04 release, "The Heroines".
'05 With Galactic: Galactic will spend New Year's Eve in New Orleans, performing at Tipitina's; the band's first New Years Eve gig at Tip's since '99 will also feature openers, the Stooges Brass Band.
Free Bluerunners: The Bluerunners have made their first three albums available for free download at their web site; while there, you can also buy shirts and / or their latest, critically acclaimed CD, "Le Grand Bleu".
Concert Update: the Neville Brothers have scheduled an October 20th gig at the House of Blues (tickets go on sale October 8th) to celebrate the release of their new cd "Walkin' in the Shadow of Life"; the Neville Bro's were supposed to be on tour with Bob Weir's band Rat Dog, but those dates have been cancelled; Troy Andrews and Orleans Ave. will open the HoB show
Up, Up and Away: entertainment at the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race (Oct. 15-17 in Natchez, MS) will feature a contingent of LA music artists including Better Than Ezra, Maggie Brown, Rockin' Dopsie Jr., Jean Knight and Zu Zu Mud.
RMA's: the 2004 Radio Music Awards -- which are based on radio airplay -- will be held in Las Vegas on October 25th; nominees include Tim McGraw in the "Artist of the Year/Country Radio" category; the event will air live on NBC.
It's The Vibe: the 2nd annual Vibe Awards will take place in Santa Monica on Nov. 15th; New Orleans rap star Juvenile is nominated in three categories at the event including: "Best Comeback"; "Hottest Hook" (for "Slow Motion", w/ Soulja Slim); and "Street Anthem" (for "Nolia Clap", w/ Wacko and Skip); the show will air tape delayed on November 16th on UPN
Euro Notes: Britney Spears received three nominations for the 2004 MTV Europe Music Awards, slated for November 18th in Rome; newlywed Spears is nominated for: Best Song (for "Toxic"); Best Female Artist; and Best Pop Artist; a USA air date for the show is TBA.
On The Radar: singer and songwriter Maggie Brown is receiving critical acclaim for her self-titled debut album, and is being compared to Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, and other top singer/songwriters; head to maggiebrown.net for audio clips and more info, and also tune into the Mountain Stage syndicated radio program (week after Oct. 15) to catch her in action ... former Fine Young Cannibals bassist & songwriter David Steele spent 5+ years looking for the right voice to front his new group Fried; his search ended in New Orleans after hearing local Gospel/R&B singer Jonte Short; the group's self-titled debut, released on August 30th in the U.K., has received rave reviews in the British press (including a feature in the Sunday Times); no US release date has been set yet, but you can check out Jonte's incredibly soulful pipes now via their first two video's, "Get Out of Jail" and "Whatever I Choose I Lose".
Events Rescheduled: updates to Hurricane Ivan cancellations: Q93's Teen Summit XII will take place on October 23rd; Tim McGraw's "Swampstock" (Rayville, LA) has been moved to October 30th; the Alan Jackson and Martina McBride concert will take place at the New Orleans Arena on January 13, 2005 (previously purchased tickets will be honored & tickets are still available); the 2nd annual SoberJam has neen moved to October 30th.
Events Cancelled: the House of Blues has cancelled Capleton's Oct. 11 show at their New Orleans venue, due to protests over his songs' references to violence against gays; a HoB Hollywood show by the reggae star was also scratched.
Jazz Greats Honored: NYC's Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the inaugural inductees into the new Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame; being inducted on Sept. 30th are Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum and Lester Young.
Rap Sheet: rapper C-Murder's recent legal troubles are investigated in a Court TV special airing on Wednesday, October 6th; "Russell Simmons Presents: Hip Hop Justice" also looks into the late Tupac Shakur's sexual assault charges, and the government raid on Irv Gotti's Murder Inc. Records offices; see our TV page for more info.
New Videos: Kenny Wayne Shepherd's video for "Alive" -- from "The Place You're In" -- is making it's world premiere online, at VH1.com; Marc Broussard's debut video from the album "Carencro" -- for the single "Where You Are" -- is available at his official web site.
Random Notes: Tim McGraw will perform during halftime of tonight's Monday Night Football Game (Cowboys vs. Redskins); the segment will be taped for inclusion in McGraw's upcoming video for the song "How Bad Do You Want It"; the video will debut on MNF on October 11th ... Swamp rocker Tony Joe White is featured in an article at Billboard.com.
Blues Passing: Louisiana-born Texas-based bluesman U.P. Wilson passed away in Paris, France on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at age 70; the late Stevie Ray Vaughan called Wilson, "My greatest guitar inspiration for real blues".
Auction Benefits NOCCA: a custom-painted Chevrolet SSR will go up for auction on Monday, Oct. 4th on eBay, with proceeds going to NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts); the SSR - donated by the Essence Music Fest folks - is maxed out w/ features and includes a custom paint job.
Jazz Passing: New Orleans trombone great Waldren "Frog" Joseph passed away on Sunday, Sept. 19th, at age 86; Joseph's career spanned 60 years, including stints with Joe Robichaux, Papa Celestin, Paul Barbarin, Harold Dejan, and many others; sons Charles and Kirk Joseph are also noted musicians; a wake will be held at Tharp Funeral Home on Friday, Sept. 24 (7 pm); mass is set for Saturday at Corpus Christi Church (10 am); a traditional jazz funeral and second line will follow Saturday's services.
Good Genes: rising rap star Shawnna will release her debut album, "Worth the Weight" (Def Jam) on September 28th; Shawnna - real name Rashawnna Guy - is the daughter of bluesman and LA native Buddy Guy.
Emmy For Harry: congrats to Harry Connick, Jr., who was among the winners at the 56th Annual Emmy Awards ... Harry won an Emmy in the "Outstanding Music Direction" category for his PBS special "Only You"; see Emmys.com for a complete list of winners.
Concert Line: tickets go on sale this weekend (09/25) for Avril Lavigne (Lakefront Arena; 10/27); Clarence Gatemouth Brown (House of Blues; 10/16); Kenny Wayne Shepherd (House of Blues; 10/22); and Willie Nelson (House of Blues; 11/01 and 11/02); other upcoming shows of note include Ozomatli at Tipitina's on Nov. 12th.
Back in the USSR: Shreveport-born classical piano legend Van Cliburn is headed to Moscow to perform a concert dedicated to victims of the Beslan, Russia school siege; he will also drop by the Kremlin to receive the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation from President Vladimir Putin.
Spears Weds: pop star Britney Spears tied the knot with fiance Kevin Federline on Saturday night (09/18) in Los Angeles; as of this writing (Sunday afternoon), the couple has about 31 hours to go to outlast Brit's last wedding, to childhood pal Jason Alexander (who she married briefly in January, 2004 in Las Vegas).
Festivals Acadiens: fans unable to make it to Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette this weekend can catch the action via webcast; Lafayette radio station KRVS will have on-air & online coverage of the fest on both Saturday and Sunday (Sept 18 & 19).
Moving Pictures: links to upcoming movies of note: "Friday Night Lights" (w/ Tim McGraw; opens Oct. 8th); "Ray" (Ray Charles bio filmed in New Orleans; w/ Chris Thomas King; opens Oct. 29th); "The Brooke Ellison Story" (filmed in New Orleans; w/ Lauren Barrett and Theresa Andersson; premieres on A&E on Oct. 25th).
Broussard Misses Farm Aid: singer/songwriter Marc Broussard has had to nix his performance at Farm Aid, taking place today (Sept. 18) in Seattle; the undisclosed illness will have him sidelined for a few days, but will not impact other upcoming gigs.
Live Music Update: the Alan Jackson with Martina McBride concerts scheduled for Lafayette (09/16) and New Orleans (09/17) have been postponed; Tim McGraw's "Swampstock" concert in Rayville, LA (09/19) has been postponed; the Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette will go on as scheduled (09/17 - 09/19).
American Music Awards: nominees for the 2004 American Music Awards include Tim McGraw (Male Artist; Country), Brooks & Dunn (Band, Duo or Group; Country), Juvenile (Male Artist; Rap/Hip-Hop), and Harry Connick, Jr. (Adult Contemporary Artist); the awards show will air live from Los Angeles (on ABC) on November 14, 2004.
Family Tradition: Hank Williams Jr.'s daughter Holly Williams will see the release of her debut album, "Ones We Never Knew", on October 25th; Holly, 22, is also the grandaughter of Hank Williams, and the younger sister of Hank III; more.
Buddy Guy to Hall of Fame? bluesman and LA native Buddy Guy is on the ballot of nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005; others in the running in 2005 include Randy Newman, U2, the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, J. Geils Band, The Stooges, The Pretenders, Gram Parsons, Conway Twitty, The O'Jays, Percy Sledge, Wanda Jackson, and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five... final inductees will be announced in December.
Label Notes: the catalog of Black Top Records has been acquired by Los Angeles-based Baby New Year Music; BNYM's primary focus is the placement of music in films, TV and commercials; Black Top Records was founded in New Orleans in 1981 by brothers Hammond and Nauman Scott; releases included albums by the Neville Brothers, Snooks Eaglin, Solomon Burke, Buckwheat Zydeco, Anson Funderburgh, Earl Gaines, and Roscoe Shelton, among others.
Jazz Fest Stays w/ FPI: the board of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has decided to stay with Festival Productions Inc-New Orleans as producer of the Fest; the board had opened up bids for the event after recent financial losses and lower attendance; tentative plans for the future include an increase in corporate sponsorship.
BTE's DVD Party: Better Than Ezra will be hosting a Release Party for their new DVD "Live in New Orleans at The House of Blues" at the HoB's Foundation Room on Monday, Sept. 27th; the bash is only open to members of their official fan club (non-members can join at the door); see their web site for more info.
Gatemouth Ill: music legend Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown has been diagnosed with lung cancer; the 80-year-old Brown has decided to forego treatment in order to continue performing; friends and fans can post their well wishes at Gate's web site.
'04 Source Awards: nominees for the 2004 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards include Juvenile (Artist of the Year); Juvenile with the late Soulja Slim (Collaboration Single of the Year for "Slow Motion"); and Soulja Slim (Independent Album of the Year for "Years Later.. A Few Months After"); winners will be announced on October 10th in Miami.
Groove with Green Wave: the Tulane Green Wave's home opener takes place on Saturday at the 'Dome (vs. Florida A&M); tailgate activities outside the stadium include music from Brotherhood of the Groove (at 3:15 pm) and Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. (4:30 pm); the halftime show will feature a performance from Florida A&M's famed "Marching 100".
Feast with Fats: a "Fats Domino Gala" will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11th at the New Orleans Marriott; the event will honor the life and music of Fats, and also raise funds for a life-sized statue of the rock legend for placement in New Orleans Musical Legends Park; tickets are $250; for more info, call (504) 888-7608.
Get The Spirit: local TV channel WWL-TV has made available past installments of their popular "Spirit of Louisiana" ad series on their web site; the musical spots have recently featured Leroy Jones w/ Trombone Shorty, Theresa Andersson w/ Amanda Shaw, and Shades of Praise; past artists featured include Lillian Boutte, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Rockin' Jake, and Lynn August.
Best of Both Worlds: the "Best of Both Worlds Tour" featuring Jay-Z and R. Kelly stops in at the New Orleans Arena on October 16, 2004 ... tickets go on sale at TicketMaster on Sept. 11, but you might be able to get 'em earlier by checking the Roc-A-Fella Records web site.
More Jagermeister! tickets for the Jagermeister Music Tour's stop in New Orleans go on sale on Friday, Sept. 10 ... the House of Blues show (on November 30th) will feature headliners Slayer, with Killswitch Engage and Mastodon.
Leadbelly Tribute: Louisiana folk legend Leadbelly (née Huddie Ledbetter) will be celebrated at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "American Music Masters" series, taking place from November 1-7, 2004 in Cleveland; events include a Leadbelly exhibit at the Hall, an academic conference on his life and musical legacy, and a tribute concert featuring Robert Plant, Odetta, Robert Lockwood Jr., Los Lobos and Dave Alvin; more info.
Webcast: tune into PhlashNet on Sept. 8th to catch a live performance by local musician Beth Patterson; the show starts at 7:00 pm (Central).
LA Masters: Loyola's Music Business Program director John Snyder is filming a series of "master classes" with noted local musicians that will make up a series of DVD's titled "The Louisiana Masters Series"; the classes kickoff with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, on Friday, Sept. 10 in Nunemaker Hall (in the Monroe Hall building).
Fats Domino Week: the New Orleans City Council have declared Sept. 5-11, 2004 as "Fats Domino Week", and announced that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer will be the next inductee into the New Orleans Musical Legends Foundation; efforts are underway to commission a sculpture of Domino for the N.O. Musical Legends Park, located at 311 Bourbon St.
LA Musicians at Farm Aid: Jerry Lee Lewis, Lucinda Williams, and Marc Broussard have been added to the lineup for Farm Aid 2004, taking place on Sept. 18th in Seattle; also on the bill are Steve Earle, Tegan & Sara, and Farm Aid organizers Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews; the show is sold out, but you can catch the webcast for a mere $10.
Special Guests: Harry Connick Jr. was joined by his dad (Harry Connick Sr.) at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival (in Lennox, Mass) on Saturday -- Sr. took over vocals on Jr.'s rendition of "Up a Lazy River" ... Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin's backing band at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Monday included trumpeter extraordinaire Terence Blanchard.
Festival International Fundraiser: Festival International de Louisiane will hold its annual "Amis du Festival" fundraiser on September 25th at the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafayette; the event will feature activities for kids, live music (including Marce Lacouture, Dexter Ardoin, Feufollet), and more ... the annual free festival, now in its 19th year, takes place from April 20-24, 2005.
Remembering Raful Neal: NPR's Scott Simon takes a musical moment to note the death of Louisiana bluesman Raful Neal; audio clip from NPR "Weekend Edition", Sept 4, 2004.
Zydeco Radio: can't make it to the Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Fest in Plaisance, LA on Saturday? Not to worry, you can tune in online courtesy of Lafayette radio station KRVS, who will cover the event until 6 pm; keep listening after the Fest to catch Rendezvous des Cajuns from 6 - 7:30, followed by the Bluegrass Show, live from Acadian Village.
Cooking Up A Cure: "Star Palate: Celebrity Cookbook For A Cure" -- with recipes from Harry Connick, Jr. (Cajun Jambalaya), Tim McGraw (Chicken and Dumplings), Britney Spears (Seafood Pasta), Paul Prudhomme, and many others -- will be in bookstores in October; proceeds from sales of the book will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research (read more).
Raful Neal Services: services for Raful Neal (in Baton Rouge): Viewing on Monday (09/06) from 1 pm to 6 pm at The Great Hall, 7370 Airline Highway, followed by a musical service at 7 pm -- Funeral services will be held Tuesday (09/07) at 10 am at New Hope Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, 5856 Greenwell Springs Rd.
Joe Barry Services: services for Joe Barry (in Cut Off): Visitation on Friday Sept. 3 from 10 am - 3 pm at Samart Funeral Home; Religious services will be held at 3 pm Friday at the funeral home, with burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery.
Blues Passing: Baton Rouge bluesman and Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame inductee Raful Neal passed away on September 1, 2004 after a lengthy battle with cancer; Neal, age 68, was the patriarch of a family of blues musicians (including son Kenny Neal), and was a fixture on the Baton Rouge music scene since age 17 (see bio 1, bio 2, music & bio).
McGraw Tops Himself: singer Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" sold over 765,000 units in its first week of release, topping his previous best debut - 2002's "Tim McGraw & The Dancehall Doctors" - which sold 602,000 copies; the new CD tops both the Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200 chart, the 3rd time that McGraw has managed this double feat.
Musical Passing: Swamp pop legend Joe Barry passed away on August 31, 2004 at age 65; the Cut Off, Louisiana native (born Joseph Barrios) had a national hit in 1961 with "I'm A Fool To Care", which hit #15 on the R&B Chart and #24 on the Pop Chart; despite being seriously ill, Barry released the critically acclaimed album "Been Down That Muddy Road" in 2003 (more).
Blues Box For Sale? Baton Rouge bluesman Tabby Thomas is planning to put his club Tabby's Blues Box and Heritage Hall up for sale according to a report in The Advocate; Thomas, age 75, suffered a stroke earlier this year; he hopes to find an investor to take over the 25-year-old club.
P Re-Ups w/ Koch: Master P's "New No Limit" label has extended it's marketing and distribution deal with Koch Records; upcoming releases from the team include the latest from Silkk The Shocker, Lil' Romeo and TRU, with 2005 releases set to include new music from Master P, 504 Boyz, and the Rich Boyz (a teen rap group w/ Lil' Romeo).
New Media Facility: MasterDigital Corporation has announced the completion of Louisiana's first dedicated audio mastering facility; the 5,000 sq. ft. facility located at 600 N. Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans, also houses Paradigm Parks Studios, which provides recording and surround mixing
Another Dubious Honor: New Orleans was ranked in the top 10 of drunkest cities in the U.S. in a poll published in the September issue of Men's Health Magazine ... sounds like a good reason to attend SoberJam 2004, being held at City Park on September 18th.
2004 CMA's: nominees for the 38th Annual CMA Awards were announced on Aug. 30th in Nashville; artists with Louisiana ties that are in the runnning include: Tim McGraw (Entertainer of the Year and Single of the Year for "Live Like You Were Dying"); and Brooks & Dunn (Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year, and Album of the Year for "Red Dirt Road"); Brooks & Dunn will also host the event, which takes place in Nashville on November 9, 2004 (ais live on CBS).
Galactic On Shortlist: Galactic's "Ruckus" album is among the 73 nominations for the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize; the 10 finalists will be announced on Sept. 20, and the winner be named at a multi-artist concert at in Los Angeles on November 10.
Possum for Thanksgiving? tapings for the PBS special, "George Jones: 50 Years of Hits", are set to take place in Nashville, TN on September 8th and 15th; artists scheduled to take part in the tribute to the legendary singer include Aaron Neville, Harry Connick, Jr., Sammy Kershaw, and Trace Adkins; the show will air on PBS on Thanksgiving evening.
PBS Jazz: Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, and Troy Andrews (AKA "Trombone Shorty") will all be appearing in PBS TV specials airing in October, 2004 ... (see TV listings).
Swampstock: Tim McGraw's annual celebrity concert Swampstock is set for Sept. 19 at the Tim McGraw Sports Complex in Rayville, Louisiana; the fundraiser, now in its 10th year, will feature McGraw, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Jeff Bates, Big & Rich and the Warren Brothers; proceeds from the event go to various charities in Northwest Louisiana; more.
Jazz Fest Changes? the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation has opened up bids for producers of the 2005 Jazz and Heritage Festival; in a meeting held on August 26th, the board selected three possible producers from a group of seven who submitted proposals; according to the Times Picayune, those rumored to be in the running are: Festival Productions Inc. (who have produced all Jazz Fests to date); World Wide Entertainment Inc.; and a partnership teaming AEG Live (Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show with U2 and "Celine Dion A New Day" Las Vegas show) and Rehage Entertainment (Voodoo Music Experience); the Foundation plans to make their final decision at a meeting scheduled for Sept. 9th.
North Shore Rocks: hard rock band Offinya Mental are holding an album release party at Mandeville Trailhead Amphitheater on August 28th; the event will feature other bands including Remember The Fall and Interstate Pond, a Pro BMX demo, and more; see the Mandeville Trailhead web site for details.
Random Notes: the Dirty Dozen's Roger Lewis talked to NPR's Tavis Smiley about the late, great Tuba Fats and the tradition of New Orleans jazz funerals (audio) ... Swamp rocker Tony Joe White will perform at the 2004 Americana Awards Show in Nashville on Sept. 24th; joining Tony on-stage will be Shelby Lynne, who appears on his upcoming CD, "The Heroines" (in stores on 09/28) ... Branford Marsalis and the Neville Brothers are among the headliners at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday in Clearwater, FL (October 14-17).
Concert Notes: local rock band Ellipsis will open for Incubus at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Sept. 19th; red-hot alt-country duo Big & Rich will perform at the Steel Pony Express VII Motorcycle Rally on October 29th --- the event will also feature performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
"Ray" News: the locally filmed Ray Charles bio "Ray" will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (on Sept 12th); local faces to look for in the biopic include Chris Thomas King (as late blues man Lowell Fulsom), plus Jamil Sharif, Clarence Johnson III, Alonzo Bowens, Herman LeBeaux, Edward Anderson, and Edwin Livingston (as Ray Charles backing band members).
Adkins Back To School: country music star Trace Adkins will perform the national anthem at the Nevada vs. Louisiana Tech football game on September 6th; the game is the season opener for Tech, and it will be carried live on ESPN2; Adkins attended Louisiana Tech from 1980-82, and is a former member of the Bulldogs football team.
Naquin Rules CFMA Awards: Kevin Naquin & The Ossun Playboys were winners in six of eight categories at the 16th annual Le Cajun Music Awards; the group won awards for Band of the Year & Best Recording of the Year ("Bayou Groove"), Louis Dronet was named Fiddler of the Year, Kevin Naquin won Accordionist of the Year, Ashley Hayes picked up Female Vocalist of the Year honors, and Ashley & Kevin shared the award for Song of the Year for "C'est Trop Tard (It's Too Late)"; other winners included Ray Abshire and Friends (Best First Recording) for their album "For Old Times Sake", and Belton Richard (Male Vocalist of the Year); the event, sponsored by the Cajun French Music Association, was held in Lafayette on August 20th.
Pause For A Cause: Susan Cowsill and her former Continental Drifters bandmate Vicki Peterson are among the music artists taking part in a benefit for Billy Cowsill (Susan's big brother), who recently went through two surgeries and also suffers from emphysema and osteoporosis; other members of the Cowsill family and The Bangles will also perform at the benefit (dubbed "A Family Thing 2"), which takes place on September 13th at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles; more info.
McGraw Hits Crossroads: Tim McGraw will team up with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singer/songwriter Jackson Browne for an upcoming episode of CMT's "Crossroads" series (airs in November); past episodes of the show, which pairs country music stars with artists from other genres, have featured Lucinda Williams with Elvis Costello and Hank Williams, Jr. with Kid Rock.
IBMA's: congrats to Hickory Grove, LA native Alecia Nugent who is nominated in the "Emerging Artist of the Year" category at the 2004 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards (web site); IBMA award winners will be announced on October 7th in Louisville, KY.
Word Up: American Idol finalist George Huff has inked a deal with Christian music label Word Records (a division of Warner Music Group); the New Orleanian's debut solo CD is due out in early 2005.
Tour Notes: Galactic has announced dates for their "Galactic Goes Instrumental" tour (Fall 2004); the outing includes stops in Baton Rouge on October 28 and New Orleans on October 29; visit galacticfunk.com for additional dates.
12 Stones Live: local rock band 12 Stones will be celebrating the release of their second album, "Potter's Field", with an in-store performance & CD signing at Virgin Megastore on August 24th (4 - 6 pm); Gulf Coast fans can catch the band at Bee-Bop Records in Biloxi on August 25th (5 - 7 pm); check 12Stones.com for more info, plus their latest video and audio from the new CD.
Blues at Harrah's: Harrah's Casino and New Orleans Music Events plan to stage the "New Orleans All Star Blues Revue" for an initial 3-performance run (Sept. 19, Oct. 10, Oct. 17) in the casino's Earl Turner Theatre; the show will feature Henry Butler (Music Director), Luther Kent, Marva Wright, Bennie Turner, Earl Smith, Tracy Griffin, Chucky "C", Anthony Brown and Brian "Breeze" Cayolle; call 866-8821 for more info.
Biloxi Wango Tango: the Wango Tango Festival takes place in Biloxi on August 20-22 on the grounds of the Broadwater Beach Resort; events include a free hip-hop concert Friday night (w/ Choppa, UNLV, Baby Boy, 5th Ward Weebie, Six Shot, Euricka, and others), plus a fishing rodeo, arts & crafts, etc.; Christian Serpas & Ghost Town are also scheduled to play at the event (more).
2nd Special for McGraw: country superstar Tim McGraw heads to Green Bay, WI for 2 concerts on Sept. 30th & Oct. 1st that will be incorporated into an upcoming TV special for NBC (air date TBA); this will be McGraw's second special for NBC; "Tim McGraw: Sing Me Home" -- taped in his hometown of Start, Louisiana -- aired on Nov. 27, 2002.
Leroy Returns: trumpeter Leroy Jones, who has been touring Europe since May, returns to North America at the end of the month to rejoin the Harry Connick, Jr. Big Band "Only You" tour for a few dates in Canada; dates at Donna's Bar & Grill (in September) have also been set, with more local dates TBA.
Live CD's: California's High Sierra Music Festival is making available CD's of select performances from their 2004 event (the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo Music Festival have similar offerings); sets by Kermit Ruffins, Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, The Radiators, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, and the Osborne/Porter/Vidacovich trio are among the recordings available (for a mere $10 each) at the HSM web site.
Zydeco! the 22nd annual Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival is set for Sept 4th in Plaisance, LA; this year's event is being dedicated to late radio personality and former Zydeco Fest emcee Luke Collins; Collins, who passed away in February, was considered the first Zydeco radio announcer in the USA (more); performers at this year's Fest include Step Rideau & The Zydeco Outlaws, Chris Ardoin & NU Step, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, J Paul & The Zydeco Nubreedz, Brian Jack & The Zydeco Gamblers, and Corey "Lil Pop" Ledet & His Zydeco Band.
Johnson Benefit: highlights of the Tipitina's benefit for slain NOPD officer Latoya Johnson included performances by the Bucktown All-Stars, Bag of Donuts, Rockin' Dopsie (which included Police Chief Eddie Compass joining in on James Brown's "Sex Machine" -- great splits Chief!), Theresa Andersson (accompanined by Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes), and Sunpie Barnes ... rocker Lenny Kravitz made a bried appearance at the event but did not perform.
Late Night TV for Broussard: Lafayette, LA singer/songwriter Marc Broussard is poised to make his national TV debut on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Wednesday, September 8th ... also, Marc was featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" on August 14th -- see NPR archives.
Kenny's Back: Shreveport guitar ace Kenny Wayne Shepherd is set to release his first CD since 1999's, "Live On" ... "The Place You're In" - due in stores on October 5th - will be more rock oriented than past albums, and it features Kenny handling the vocals on eight of the eleven tracks; visit the KWS web site for a taste of the new album.
Benefit for NOPD Officer: a fundraiser for slain NOPD officer Latoya Johnson will be held at Tipitina's (French Quarter) on Sunday, August 15th (5 - 11 pm); the $15 cover will include complimentary food, drinks and music (tentative line-up includes Theresa Andersson, Rockin' Dopsie, Harry Connick Sr., Sunpie and The Sunspots, and many more); Johnson, a single mother, was killed on duty on August 9th; she leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter; if you can't make it to the event, you can still make a donation at any Iberia Bank; read more.
Dixie Rock: Blues Traveler, Gov't Mule, North Mississippi Allstars and Galactic are among the bands contributing covers to the CD "Under the Influence: A Jam Band Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd", in stores on 09/14 ... Trace Adkins, Hank Williams Jr., Tracy Byrd, Charlie Daniels Band, and others appear on "Southern Rock, Country Style" (09/21), which features covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers Band, Elvins Bishop, Marshall Tucker Band, etc.
American Idol Note: Kiss bassist Gene Simmons will be a celebrity judge on next season's "American Idol" series; the show will be taping episodes in New Orleans on Sept. 3rd and 4th; don't forget that "Idol" auditions take place in New Orleans on August 31st!
Al Johnson Benefit: the New Orleans Bayou Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Club are hosting a benefit for singer Al "Carnival Time" Johnson on August 14th at the Sound Cafe (2700 Chartres St); the event, featuring performances by Johnson, trumpeter James Andrews, and others, will raise funds to repair Johnson's home, which has suffered water and termite damage; for more info, call 251-0181.
New Concert Series: Martine's in Metairie will host the Side One Music Series, a series of solo performances by regional music artists; the events will be intimate (the venue seats about 60), and each will start at 9 pm, benefitting those fans that have to get up early; artists currently scheduled to appear include Spencer Bohren (Aug. 21); Kim Carson (Sept. 11); and Pat McLaughlin (Oct. 1st and 2nd).
Attn: Songwriters: submission deadline for the 2004 Int'l Songwriting Contest is October 15th; in addition to celebrity judges such as Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, John Ondrasik, Branford Marsalis, and Taj Mahal, ISC judges also include high-profile label exec's who turn to ISC for new talent; visit the ISC web site for more info.
Support Our Troops: Louisiana is throwing a party today (Aug. 12) for the 3,500 members of the LA National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade, who are training at Fort Hood, TX for deployment to Iraq; "Louisiana Presents: The Salute Our Troops Live Music Concert", hosted by Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, will feature performances by Rockin' Dopsie, Vince Vance & The Valiants, and Euricka, plus appearances by Saints players, VooDoo players, and the Saintsations (N.O. Saints cheerleaders).
Perrine To Tour w/ YBB: tuba man Matt Perrine will join Wisconsin's Youngblood Brass Band for a series of European dates in late October / November.
Cleary Cancels Dates: Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen have had to cancel their August USA tour dates (August 15 - 27); Jon is hung up in the UK awaiting his work visa renewal, which has taken longer than anticipated.
Turk Charged: former Cash Money Records rapper Turk (Tab Virgil) was indicted by a grand jury in Memphis (on August 11) for attempted first degree murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun; Virgil is accused of shooting a Shelby County deputy on January 26, 2004 while the deputy and other officers were searching a Memphis apartment for drugs; if convicted on both counts, the rapper could face up to 66 years in prison.
Musical Passing: noted R&B boogie style pianist & vocalist Robert "Willie" Egan passed away on August 5th in Los Angeles at age 70; Egan - a native of Minden, Louisiana - recorded several gems in the mid-1950's for the Elko (as Willie Egans & His House Rockers), Mambo (as Lloyd & Willie, Willie Eggins & Orchestra, and Willie Egans), Vita, and Spry (Little Willie Egans) labels.
DJ Featured: Shreveport native and longtime Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana was the subject of an article in the NY Daily News on August 10th; the article points out his omission from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; a letter to the Hall in support of Fontana's induction was signed by drum giants Charlie Watts, Ringo Starr, Levon Helm and Max Weinberg; maybe the Hall will correct this oversight in 2005.
Odd Pairing: country singer Tim McGraw makes an appearance on rapper Nelly's upcoming release, "Suit"; the pair duet on a track titled, "Over and Over"; Nelly's "Suit" is part of a double release for the St. Louis hip-hop superstar; "Suit", and a second CD, "Sweat", will both be released on August 24th.
New Music: CD's hitting store shelves this week (Aug. 10) include new music from Andy Griggs, a greatest hits compilation (with 2 new tracks) from Mystikal; and an impressive debut from New Orleans native Teedra Moses; read more.
New B.R. Venue: Baton Rouge is getting a new music venue ... SoGo Live, which opens next week, will take over space formerly occupied by America's Pub; bands already booked to play the venue are Morning 40 Federation (09/03); Benjy Davis Project (09/10); and BeauSoleil (10/01).
Galactic Change: New Orleans funk band Galactic and their vocalist Theryl "The Houseman" DeClouet are amicably parting ways according to a statement from the band; DeClouet's last dates with Galactic will be at their 2-night stand at The Fillmore in San Francisco on September 10th & 11th.
Random Notes: the 2nd leg of Bette Midler's "Kiss My Brass!" tour includes a stop in New Orleans on November 21, 2004 ... the funky Meters have lined up new tour dates for September, including the Hookahville festival in Ohio (September 4th) ... from LA to MI: rapper Juvenile and country star Trace Adkins are among the artists slated for the Michigan State Fair (Detroit; August 11-22) ... Curious smell: Britney Spears recently shot a TV spot to promote her new Elizabeth Arden fragrance, "Curious Britney Spears"; you can sniff the stuff yourself at Macy's and Nordstrom stores in late September.
Fresh Music: Cash Money Records producer Mannie Fresh is finishing up a video shoot for his single "Real Big" in the 7th Ward today (August 9th); the single is from his debut solo album, due out on November 9th; Fresh is also a member of the Cash Money duo, Big Tymers.
Teens Choose: Britney Spears' "Toxic" was named Choice Single at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards, held in L.A. on August 8th; Britney, also scheduled to present an award, was a no-show at the event; the Teen Choice Awards air tape-delayed on the FOX channel on Wednesday, August 11th.
Worthy Cause: Victoria Williams, Josh Rouse, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Julie Miller and John Mayer are just a few of the musicians taking part in a series of Nashville concerts and events (Aug. 25 - 28) to benefit the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund; Williams, a native of Forbing, LA, founded Sweet Relief in 1994; Music for Charity Productions is co-sponsoring the events.
Hot Stuff: Trace Adkins' latest album "Comin' On Strong" dropped to #11 on the Country Albums chart (week of Aug. 14) after 34 weeks in the Top 10; B.G.'s "Life After Cash Money" jumps from #45 to #2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart (Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter" dropped from #2 to #4); "Slow Motion" by Juvenile with Soulja Slim is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the second week in a row; Britney Spears debut CD "...Baby One More Time" recently passed the 14 million sales mark (14 x Platinum) ... Brit's 4 albums have moved over 28 million units to date; other recent certifications include Platinum status for Juvenile's "Juve the Great" and Harry Connick Jr.'s "Only You"; late great hard rock band Pantera reached multi-Platinum status for the 1st time for 1992's "Vulgar Display of Power", which has topped the 2 million sales mark.
Belgrave Covers For Mayfield: Detroit trumpet great Marcus Belgrave filled in for Irvin Mayfield at a Los Hombres Calientes gig in Oregon on Saturday (at the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival); Irvin was home in New Orleans performing with Aaron Neville and Ellis Marsalis at a Satchmo SummerFest evening concert.
Get Well Soon wishes go out to Misissippi-born blues man Hubert Sumlin, who had a heart attack on Tuesday, August 3rd near his home in Milwaukee.
Clinic Benefit: the 28th annual "Jazz Roots" concert will raise funds for the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic; the event is set for Sunday, August 8th at the Fairmont Hotel (2 - 5 pm); guest performers include Dr. Frank Minyard, Chris Owens, Harry Connick Sr., Ronnie Cole, members of the Olympia Brass Band, and many more -- all for a mere $5.00 donation ... call 412-1707 for tickets & more info.
Happy Birtday Louis! the fourth annual Satchmo SummerFest kicks off on August 4th with a birthday party for Pops in Armstrong Park (with a cake, plus music from Kermit Ruffins and Trombone Shorty); the event runs through August 8th.
Sad News: local jazz musician Joseph Williams was shot and killed by police after he allegedly drove a stolen truck towards officers who were attempting to stop him in the Treme neighborhood; Williams, a trombone player with the Hot 8 Brass Band, was 22.
Town Hall Meeting: the City of New Orleans is hosting a Jazz Town Hall Meeting on August 4th (2 to 4 pm) at the Old U.S. Mint; the meeting is to solicit opinions from the public about what the city can do to promote jazz.
Musical Passing: local percussionist David Bickham Jr. passed away on July 25th at age 66; Bickham worked with everyone from Fats Domino and Pete Fountain, to Young Tuxedo Brass Band and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; funeral services will be held on August 3 at Central Missionary Baptist Church.
Juvenile Tops Charts in a major coup, rapper Juvenile's single "Slow Motion" has knocked Usher's "Confessions Part II" from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart; the track, which features the late Soulja Slim, has been climbing the Hot 100 for 15 weeks; it is from his latest (and last?) Cash Money album, "Juve the Great".
John Carey in 2004: nah, we ain't talkin' politics, we're talking about the former NOLA-based bluesman, currently residing in Taos, NM; John recently released a country album - "Live at the Old Blinking Light" - which features several country classics, along with eight Carey originals; it is available locally at Louisiana Music Factory.
Broussard In-Store: singer/songwriter Marc Broussard performs an acoustic set at Virgin Records on Decatur Street today (July 28th) at 4:00 pm; if you miss Marc there, catch him tonight at the House of Blues, opening up for Gavin DeGraw; his major label debut, "Carencro", hits store shelves nationwide on August 3rd.
Toxic Shock: Britney Spears received four MTV Video Music Awards nominations, all for hit single, "Toxic" (nominated for Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Dance Video and Best Pop Video); while it's not a bad track & video for a Spears tune, we prefer the Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes cover version; the 2004 MTV VMA's air live from Miami on MTV on August 29th.
All Aboard: be on the lookout for the flick "Festival Express" opening on various dates around the country; the film captures the 1970 Festival Express tour which featured Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Band, Buddy Guy (who jams with Jerry Garcia and Rick Danko), and others; it is scheduled to hit Canal Place Cinema on September 3rd.
Voodoo Fest: bands scheduled for the 2004 Voodoo Music Experience include the Beastie Boys, Kid Rock, Velvet Revolver, The Pixies, Green Day, Sonic Youth, The Killers, The Polyphonic Spree, and many, many more; this year's Voodoo Fest is set for October 16 & 17 at City Park; tickets go on sale on Monday, August 2nd.
Drifters' Deal: for a limited time, you can pick up three Continental Drifters CD's ("Continental Drifters", "Vermilion" and "Better Day") for a mere $30; visit their web site for details.
Tenor Titan Passes: legendary tenor sax player Jean-Baptiste "Illinois" Jacquet passed away at his Queens, NY home on July 22, 2004 after suffering a heart attack; the Broussard, Louisiana native was 81; Jacquet came to fame with Lionel Hampton's big band in 1941 with his rockin' sax solo on the classic "Flying Home"; he was still active on the music scene (he performed with his big band on July 16 at the Lincoln Center's "Midsummer Night Swing" series), and he recently received an honorary doctorate from the Juilliard School of Music.
Metal News: local black metal band Goatwhore have signed with California-based Metal Blade Records; look for their first release on the label circa mid-2005.
More Metry Music: catch Midnight Streetcar at Critic's Choice in Metairie on Friday, July 23 (9 pm); the band features local (and national) music vets Jerry Jumonville (sax), Freddy Staehle (drums), Al Farrell (keyboards), and Terry Cullen (bass).
Tomatoes Gig in Metairie: local rockers The Tomatoes are playing a surprise gig tonight (July 22) at The Bar (formerly the Ski Lodge) in Fat City; the band will be fine-tuning material (including 3 new tunes) before heading into the studio for their upcoming debut CD.
New from Swamp Fox: Tony Joe White's first new CD in 6 years, "The Heroines", is set for a September 28 release date; the album features duets with Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris, Jessi Colter, and his daughter, Michelle White.
Hank & the Kid: Hank Williams Jr. will be performing his first "official" co-headline shows with Kid Rock this weekend in Houston (07/23) and Dallas (07/24); the pair hook-up again in September for shows in Charlotte and Raleigh, NC.
Live Lucinda: Lucinda Williams will be releasing her first ever live album on Sept. 14th; the double CD set was recorded at various locations in late 2003. Title and tracks are TBA.
Movie Break: Theresa Andersson recently took a break from her nationwide tour to shoot a performance scene for the flick "The Brooke Ellison Story" (being filmed locally); the "Made for TV" film premieres on A&E on October 25th.
Dirty Notes: Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes have returned to N.O. after several dates around the country; they celebrate the release of their new CD, "Live at The Spleaf", with appearances at Maple Leaf (07/23) and Lounge Lizards (07/25); you can also catch the group in a rare "unplugged" set at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art on 07/29; the "Ogden After Hours" performance takes place from 6 pm - 8 pm.
Dudes' Dates: the subdudes have recently changed booking agents and added stops on their summer tour; see subdudes.com for upcoming dates.
New Music From BG: local rapper B.G. will celebrate the release of his latest CD "Life After Cash
Money" with a performance at the House of Blues (July 24th) and a "Magnolia Block Party" at the corner of Valence and Magnolia Streets (July 27th at 5:00 pm).
Lightning Strikes: the Sony Pictures Classics concert film "Lightning in a Bottle" opens around the country on October 15, 2004; the flick captures highlights from the epic "Salute To The Blues" concert held at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Feb. 7, 2003; Louisiana artists featured in the film include Buddy Guy, Chris Thomas King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Dr. John, Lazy Lester and the Neville Brothers; a companion soundtrack CD will be released on September 21st.
Remembering Elvis: Louisiana natives and former Elvis Presley sidemen James Burton and D.J. Fontana are among the artists scheduled to appear at a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of The King's first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride radio show; the event will take place at the Hayride's former home, the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium, on October 16th.
Happy Birthday: on July 15th, the New Orleans City Council recognized trumpeter Lionel Ferbos as "the oldest active musician in New Orleans and the last surviving member of the WPA Band out of New Orleans", and declared Saturday, July 17th as "Lionel Ferbos Day" (on the occasion of his 93rd birthday); the New Orleans native will celebrate his birthday with two performances at Snug Harbor (July 17 at 9 pm & 11 pm).
Idol Time: auditions for Fox's "American Idol" will take place in New Orleans on August 31st (location & time TBA); stay tuned to the American Idol web site for further info.
Emmy Noms: nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards were announced on July 15th; Harry Connick, Jr.'s PBS special "Only You" received 2 nominations (for Outstanding Music Direction and Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Or Music Series Or Special); the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on ABC on September 19, 2004.
New Label for Juvenile: New Orleans rapper Juvenile's on-again off-again ties to Cash Money Records are off again; the multi-platinum rap star has signed a long term contract with Atlantic Records; under a separate agreement, Atlantic will also pick-up Juvenile's UTP Records imprint.
New Label For Gate: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown has signed with Oakland, California based Hightone Records; Gate's first release for Hightone - "Timeless" - was recorded live and in the studio; it is due in stores on Sept. 14, 2004.
SummerFest Details Announced: details of the 2004 Satchmo SummerFest were announced on Monday; the 4th annual SummerFest will take place August 4 - 8, 2004 in and around the U.S. Mint; scheduled performers include Ellis Marsalis, Troy Andrews, Jeremy Davenport, Maurice Brown, Connie Jones, Kermit Ruffins, and many others; an evening concert starring Irvin Mayfield w/ the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra featuring Ellis Marsalis is set for Aug. 7 at Mahalia Jackson Theatre for Performing Arts; get more info at the Satchmo SummerFest web site.
Amanda Shaw in Disney Flick: young fiddler Amanda Shaw has a role in the new Disney Channel film, "Stuck in the Suburbs", which premieres on the cable channel on July 16th.
More Spirit: another new WWL "Spirit" ad has also been airing this week; this Dixieland inspired spot features Leroy Jones, Troy Andrews and Tim Laughlin.
Fiddlin' Around: Amanda Shaw and Theresa Andersson are featured in the latest of WWL-TV's "Spirit of Louisiana" commercials; the duo sing & perform in a Zydeco flavored version of WWL's ongoing self-promoting ad campaign; fyi, it began airing this week (July 12th), and it seems to air during the stations's news broadcasts; Sunpie Barnes is also featured in the clip.
Benefit for Shep: a benefit is being held at Tipitina's on Saturday, July 17 for local sax great Frederick "Shep" Sheppard; "Shep" has pleased fans locally in Jackson Square for many years, and has worked with dozens of local bands and toured the world with Fats Domino and others; he wound up in debt (over $11,000) to the U.S. Government after being injured in Europe while playing at a festival, and needing financial assistance to get back to the States; he cannot travel abroad (where he makes most of his income) until the loan is repaid; the benefit will feature music from Kermit Ruffins, Treme Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, New Birth Brass Band, Mem Shannon, and many others; you can catch all this great music and assist a New Orleans treasure for a mere $10 donation.
Hot Boy Heats up Charts: Cash Money Records rapper Lil' Wayne's fourth album, "Tha Carter" entered the Billboard 200 Albums chart at #5 (selling 116,000 copies in it's first week); the album ranks #2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, behind Lloyd Banks debut solo album (which also tops the Billboard 200); Cash Money is still cashing in on Juvenile's last release, "Juve The Great", which is #7 on the Hip-Hop Chart and #30 on the Billboard 200; it reached Gold status in March.
Late Announcement: local rock band The Tomatoes have booked a last-minute show at the Mermaid Lounge tonight (July 8th) ... if you haven't seen 'em live yet, now's the time!
New Music: upcoming CD Release events include: Alexandra Scott at Carrollton Station on July 9th (for her new CD, "Spyglass"); Ex-Voto at Howlin' Wolf on July 14 (for "Light of Day"); Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes at Maple Leaf on July 23 (for "Live at The Spleaf"); Lucy's Walk at Howlin' Wolf on July 24 (for "The Long Way Around"); Ryan Chatelain celebrates his debut, "Public School, Fast Food and Blue Jeans", on August 7 at Carrollton Station; also, Marc Broussard showcases his major label debut, "Carencro", on August 3rd at Grant Street Dance Hall in Lafayette.
Workshops: the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy will be holding a 5.1 Surround Sound Mix Demo on July 14th at Swelltones Labs in New Orleans ... the next workshop at the New Orleans Music Co-Op centers on "Starting & Running A Successful Record Label"; Basin Street Records founder Mark Samuels, who knows a thing or two about the subject, leads the class.
Landmark Damaged: the former site of Cosimo Matassa's famed J&M Studio was heavily damaged in a fire on Friday, July 2; Matassa opened the legendary studio at 838-840 North Rampart St. in 1945; recordings produced at J&M included Roy Brown's "Good Rockin' Tonight", Fats Domino's "The Fat Man", and Guitar Slim's "The Things That I Used to Do", among many others.