Maybe the election made you happy, maybe not. But if we all dance, life will be better. It’s a dance party on this week’s Gumbo YaYa starting with Deacon John Moore’s rocking “Jumpin’ in the Morning.”
I’m going to keep this post brief. I selected a variety of music including swing, jazz, rock, zydeco, and brass bands because its music that puts a hop to my step, makes me want to shake my butt, and get those endorphins flowing. It’s a post-election show that I put together before I knew the results. I figured no matter what the results, dancing would help.
On this show you’ll hear: Trombone Shorty, Corey Henry, Rebirth Brass Band, Percy Mayfield, Sierra Green, Erica Falls, Terrance Simien, Buckwheat Zydeco, BeauSoleil, Yvette Landry, Tin Men, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, New Orleans Johnnys, New Orleans Vipers, and the New Orleans Gipsy Swingers. Oh, there’s much more – – 120 minutes of heart elevating boogie. Let me know what you think and please consider subscribing. Cheers.
Thank you Anch and Scott for covering my show the last two weeks while I journeyed the length and depth of Florida visiting relatives. My trip started with a couple of nights in New Orleans, including the last day of Jazz Fest. Here’s some pictures from that day. Don’t forget to tune me in this Thursday (May 24) to hear these folks.
Kenneth Jackson wasn’t quite old enough when it mattered, and I could tell how much he wish he had been. (You can play the show with his interview including music from the Dew Drop era while finishing this short article.)
During the mid-20th Century, the Dew Drop Inn rocked New Orleans, making musical history and forging a special place in the hearts of all the musicians and fans that were lucky enough (and had IDs) to have been there.
“I never was really old enough to enjoy the shows and everything. You know I would kind of sneak in whenever I was down here late and had to bring somebody something but they would run me from out of there,” said Jackson as we toured the fabled nightclub, hotel, and restaurant.
If love could rebuild the Dew Drop Inn, Jackson would have enough to build it twice over. His affection for the shuttered double-storefront on LaSalle Street is almost as obvious as his love for the man who started it all, his grandfather, Frank Painia.
As detailed in my previous post, Painia built a key piece of music industry infrastructure during the New Orleans R&B golden age. But when Painia died in 1972, the music at the Dew Drop Inn stopped as well. The family retained and operated the business, primarily as a hotel, until Hurricane Katrina.
The flood mess has been cleaned out. Artifacts have been saved. Some framing and some new wiring has been done. Also, the building has a temporary facade that highlights the history contained with in. But its not yet ready to be open to the public.
Jackson envisions a day when folks can come back to the Dew Drop and get a meal, catch a show, even spend the night or host a party. He thinks the time is right. Nearby streets like Freret and O.C. Haley are undergoing a renaissance of new business and renovation.
Across the street from the Dew Drop, the infamous “Magnolia,” a crime-ridden housing project that also was home to hip hop artists Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Jay Electronica and Magnolia Shorty, is gone. In its place is a lower density, stylish new development called Harmony Oaks that provides a mix of market rate rentals and public housing.
One of the groups to spearhead the community’s revitalization, Harmony Neighborhood Development, is working with Jackson and his family to secure the funding necessary to get renovations started. But all the pieces have yet to come together.
Tulane University’s School of Architecture has weighed in with plans and archival assistance. And there’s a wealth of love and affection for restoring the business by New Orleans musicians, young and old.
There may be a day soon when Kenneth Jackson will be able to enjoy a club performance at the Dew Drop Inn. After all, while its possible to be too young to party at the Dew Drop Inn, you’re never too old.
In New Orleans, the show must go on unless you can’t keep the musicians dry or if lightning threatens the audience. Over the course of the 2015 French Quarter Festival in New Orleans, we had a good bit of rain and a few lightning bolts.
So periodically, stages have been closed, including Tricia Boutte’s show right as she was beginning. Bummer!
The highlight for me today was indoors though when Allen Toussaint and Deacon John sat down with author John Broven. The one-hour program started with Toussaint going right to the Steinway and banging out his hit originally done by Irma Thomas, “It’s Raining.” This time, Deacon John sang it, with a few appropriate ad libs.
The stated purpose of the program was to reminisce about Cosimo Matassa and the heyday of New Orleans R&B and early Rock n’ Roll–a period of time that launched the careers of both Allen Toussaint and Deacon John. More on Mr. Toussaint and more on Mr. Matassa.
Of Cosimo and his studio, Toussaint said “It was our doorway and window to the world . . .He and Dave Bartholomew put us on the map. . .He (Cosimo) saw the big picture long before we did cause we were just having fun. “
Deacon John described getting discovered by Toussaint at the Dew Drop Inn one night and the next day going into Matassa’s studio to help Ernie K-Doe record “There’s a will, there’s a way.”
As I mentioned in my previous post, I won’t be hosting this Monday’s show. Anch of Sundrenched will handle affairs and I plan to call in during the show. Consider subscribing to this blog so you can be alerted the next time I post. (see upper right hand of page)