Category Archives: Songs

Going beyond the lyrics in Basin Street Blues

“Now Basin Street is the street where the folks all meet. In New Orleans, land of dreams.” Basin Street Blues is another New Orleans jazz standard with a fascinating back story. The song was composed by Spencer Williams and originally recorded by … Continue reading

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Yes, We Have No Bananas But We have Plenty of Sugar

My radio station, KAOS, was going bananas last week when Scott Stevens, host of Spin the Globe, devoted a full hour to songs about this beloved fruit. My time-slot colleague (his Friday show anchors the KAOS world programming slot that … Continue reading

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L’il Liza Jane rises to whatever the occasion demands

‘Fore I die, I’d like to meet (Little Liza Jane) Gal who made us shake our feet (Little Liza Jane) Okay I made that part of the song up but therein lies the beauty of the song, L’il Liza Jane. It … Continue reading

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Louisiana delta-inspired music taking on a cry for help

Thanks to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High and hundreds of others, there is little doubt that our environment influences music.  So it should be no surprise that musicians who reside at the tap end of … Continue reading

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Fats Domino got the world to dance

His hometown and the world mourn his passing on October 25, 2017. Click on my show in honor of his 87th Birthday and read the blog post I wrote in 2015. Fats Domino turns 87 today. While perhaps debatable everywhere … Continue reading

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Careless Love follows carefree path to our ears

“Oh love, oh careless love, you’ve fly to my head like wine.” Words of caution during this season of Valentine? Perhaps. But it’s also the opening to another enigmatic traditional song with uncertain origins that has become a New Orleans standard. Like … Continue reading

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African American NOLA musicians rocked the nation

With the onset of African American History Month, I thought it worthwhile to address the role of New Orleans in launching Rock n’ Roll. Cause the very fact that the city’s contribution is relatively unknown is a reflection in part of the broader … Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Indians integral to New Orleans sound

You cannot truly understand New Orleans music without having some awareness of the Black Indians of Mardi Gras, or what is more commonly referred to as “Mardi Gras Indians.” This more than century-old tradition of certain African Americans in New Orleans … Continue reading

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Your 2014 New Orleans music buying guide – Part 1

Here’s my Holiday buying guide of 2014 releases for that special person in your life who digs music from New Orleans.  Don’t know anyone like that?  Yea, you do. (This is actually Part 1. I’ve added a Part 2.) Let’s stay … Continue reading

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Going down to St. James Infirmary has been a long trip

“I went down to St. James Infirmary.” Now that’s an oft taken journey given that song has been a jazz and blues standard since its first recording roughly 90 years ago. One website boasts 121 recorded versions and I’d wager … Continue reading

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