Be good to musicians and your friends’ ears by giving music this holiday. All new music on today’s show creating a guide to your music shopping. Many of these bands offer multiple formats and/or use Bandcamp. (Finding out how people listen to music is the hardest part about giving music these days but is it any tougher than guessing someone’s sweater size?)
You’ll find links to the bands, the name of their new record and the song I play in the same order of how you’ll hear them on the show. What are you waiting for? Get the show started and grab your credit card.
Kid Eggplant and the Trad Melatauns – Kid Eggplant and the Trad Melatauns Traditional style, but original songs with contemporary themes – “Blue Tooth Fairy”
Shake ’em Up Jazz Band: The Boy in the Boat – Swinging jazz by excellent musicians with vocals that make this record shine. “Say Si Si”
John “Papa” Gros – Central City – Former funkmaster gets playful in a very New Orleans way. “Please Don’t Bury Me.”
Smoking Time Jazz Club – Mean Tones and High Notes – Jaw-dropping performances don’t get in the way of great song choices. Friction
Bon Bon Vivant – Dancing in Darkness – Abigail Cosio and partner Jeremy Kelley create community with fellow musicians and fans and emerge from the Year of COVID better than ever. “Dancing in Darkness” (radio edit)
New Orleans Jazz Vipers: Is There a Chance for Me – If you can’t swing on Frenchmen Street, why not swing at home with the toast of Frenchmen Street. “Evenin'”
New Orleans Johnnys – Outta Ya Mind – Rocking songs with a saxophone swing and lyrics embedded in New Orleans. “Outta Ya Mind”.
Putumayo Presents New Orleans Mambo -Putumayo’s nod to the “Spanish Tinge” of New Orleans music featuring the well-known (Dr. John and The Neville Brothers) and the should be well known (The Iguanas and Otro). “Nature Boy”
Lena Prima – The Lena Prima Big Band, Live in Concert – As early records attest, Lena can write songs. She also can front a big band and honor her father’s legacy in a live Las Vegas show. “5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days, Jump, Jive ‘an Wail.”
Bobby Rush – Rawer than Raw – Bobby Rush demonstrates once again how to create amazingly simple yet deeply moving blues. “Smokestack Lightning”
New Orleans Nightcrawlers –Atmosphere – First record in 11 years for this funky brass band and it nails a Grammy nomination. Don’t’ think; buy it. “Gentilly Groove”
Tuba Skinny: Quarantine Album: Unreleased B-Sides – You know the band’s talented when the rejects of three previous albums can sound this good. Available for download only on its bandcamp page. “Any Kind of Man”
The New Orleans Swinging Gypsies –Hot Boudin – Another fine example of how New Orleans bands can put a fresh spin on a classic style. “Baby Brown”
Debbie Davis & Josh Paxton – Interesting Times – Second time around for this inspired duo. Davis’ velvet voice backed by Paxton’s sensitive piano touch that steals the show when unleashed, as in the opening track. “Will It Go Around in Circles.”
Jason Marsalis: Live – Recorded at Little Gem Saloon, Jason dazzles on the vibraphone. “At the House, In Da Pocket”
Glen David Andrews – Live from my Living Room -His trombone has been part of Lil Rascals, New Birth and Treme Brass Bands. Now literally from his living room to yours. “Where We Gonna Go.”
Sierra Green & the Soul Machine: Sierra Green & the Soul Machine – Came out December of last year and by February, Offbeat Magazine recognized her as Emerging Artist of the Year. Then it all shut down. Damn COVID! “Get Up to Get Down”
Alex McMurray: Lucky One and also Road Songs – Through hard work, exploration and prolific creativity, Murray has weaved his songs into the New Orleans music canon. “Little Mercy”
Roland Guerin– Grass Roots – Artful studio release (came out in 2019) by this bass player who has worked with Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Ellis Marsalis and George Benson. “After Math”
Slugger -Eclipse (EP) – This funk, jazz group seemed to be hitting stride when COVID crashed down. They also released a live record Uncut Buzz from Maple Leaf Bar. “Praise Break”
Paul Sanchez – I’m a song, I’m a story, I’m a ghost – Talented songwriter with a heart rendering voice and songs to match. “Great Wide Open World”
Michot’s Melody Makers: Cosmic Cajuns from Saturn: Live from the Saturn Bar, New Orleans Lost Bayou Rambler Louis Michot’s journey into new Cajun music frontiers continues with December 2019 performance at the Saturn. “Baionne”
The Abitals – Hot Box – Perhaps if the Fab Four had come from Abita Springs, Louisiana and Lennon had played an accordion, they might have sounded like this. Original songs. “1000 Times”
Cowboy Mouth: Open Wide (EP) – Yes, the band still performs and records and these five tracks are an excellent edition to the band’s 30 year catalogue. “Oh Toulouse!”
Jack Sledge: Notes of a Drifter – Brooklyn rocker moves to New Orleans for the Gulf Coast experience. He’s not embedded yet but its still fun.
Sonny Landreth: Black Top Run– This studio release is what fans have come to expect – distinctive vocals and guitar. What one YouTube fan described as an eargasm. “The Wilds of Wonder”
Dr. Michel White –Live -Hear this accomplished clarinetist stretch out on Canal Street Blues, Summertime and others. “Caribbean Girl”
The Write Brothers – Into the Sky – Second release by this collective of songwriters. This one barely got made given the health decline and death of Spencer Bohren. You won’t hear it on today’s show cause I haven’t gotten the CD yet. But subscribe and stay tuned. Louisiana Music Factory has just sent it off to me. Meanwhile, here is the story of the record’s making.