Day of Dead Show Remembers Lost Ones

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.

Remembering my brother Michael who graduated from Tulane and played guitar for a flamenco band in the French Quarter.

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.”

henry butler
Henry Butler performing in Port Townsend in 2017. He died this year.

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.


Author: Tim Sweeney

Host of Sweeney's Gumbo YaYa - a two-hour radio show that featured the music of New Orleans. It aired from September 2014 through March 2022, broadcast live on KAOS in Olympia and as a recording KMRE Bellingham and some Pacifica Network stations. Maintaining blog for a while longer.

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