To understand life, we need to understand death. This week’s show remembers my lost loved ones and invites you to do the same. Here’s the show with more details below.
As the story about “At the Foot of Canal Street” goes, singer/songwriters John Boutte and Paul Sanchez discovered that their fathers were buried in the same cemetery not far from where Canal Street and the Mississippi River meet. From that shared well of history, the song that starts this show sprang.
In introducing this week’s show, I talk briefly about my older brother Michael who died this year and my father who died 40 years ago in July. I invite listeners to remember their lost loved ones as the show progresses. The first set features spirituals by Glen David Andrews, Kid Thomas and his Algiers Stompers, and Irvin Mayfield with Davell Crawford.
One of the most interesting New Orleans standards about death is St. James Infirmary, which if you read my earlier blog post, you’ll find has nothing to do with New Orleans other than Louis Armstrong was one of the first to record this mash up of folk songs. It seemed fitting to pair Armstrong’s still amazing version of that song with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint’s collaboration that channels Professor Longhair, “Ascension Day.” You also get a repeat performance by Paul Sanchez, this time with his song, “Life is a Ride.”
This show also features a brief description of jazz funeral and the two “Laveau” dirges by Trombone Shorty featured on his last album. Henry Butler, who died this year, performs “Down by the Riverside” and the Neville Brothers, in honor of Charles Neville’s death this year, do “River of Life.”
This show also includes Linnzi Zaorski’s “Better Off Dead” and Taylor Smith’s “When I’m Dead,” I hope you enjoy the show. My goal is to provide uplift rather than sadness. And please subscribe so you know when new shows are posted. Thank you.