Seven Year Itch – Time to Move On?

Why am I still doing this show? Isn’t seven years long enough?

I’ve produced over 350 radio episodes focusing exclusively on music from New Orleans with some some well justified forays into Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Mamou and other nearby swamp lands. Perhaps its time to move?

On the plus side, the music I play is damn good. Hear for yourself when you get the player started above with my seventh anniversary show. How can you not be a fan with Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet’s opening number “You Came” as in “you came to the party.” That party stays funky with help from Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes and Flow Tribe.

My roots with New Orleans go back to the early 1960s with my Dad playing from his jazz record collection that included several from native son Pete Fountain. You’ll hear Fountain’s version of “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue” along with songs by Royal Street favorite Doreen Ketchens and Rebirth Brass Band.

Bennie Pete – a screen capture from a video on the The Hot 8 Brass Band’s website

It’s not all party though. Bennie Pete died last week at 45. As bandleader and sousaphonist for The Hot 8 Brass Band, Pete and his band has been a symbol of the city’s resilience since Hurricane Katrina. The band was featured in Spike Lee’s epic documentary on the city and the storm “When the Levees Broke” and has gone through one tragic event after another including three band member deaths to gun violence (one a shooting by New Orleans Police Department). The band’s record Tombstone was intended to put the bad shit behind them. I play the the first and last track from that release and the song “We Goin’ Make It.” Long live Bennie Pete!

As in past anniversary shows, I point to the gateway acts that have fueled my 15 year addiction to this city’s music scene. Notably, you will hear the New Orleans Nightcrawlers who grabbed my attention with their Live at the Old Point Bar. This album makes me wish I was in the Algier’s Point bar that night in 2010. On the other hand, I was there for the Radiators performance at the 2006 Jazzfest– the one right after Hurricane Katrina. You’ll hear a a great jam from that performance.

On the question that started this post, as long as I’m having fun, I see no reason to stop doing the show. What do you think?

Author: Tim Sweeney

Host of Sweeney's Gumbo YaYa - a two-hour radio show featuring the music of New Orleans -- every Thursday starting at 10 a.m. (PST) on community radio station KAOS 89.3 FM Olympia, Washington -- www.kaosradio.org. Show also airs on Fridays, 7 p.m., KMRE, 102.3 FM, Bellingham.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s