“What in the world can a working man do”

Coco Robicheaux’s “Working Man” kicks off this week’s musical exploration of our love-hate relationship with working and, more specifically, holding a job. Inspired by our worldwide collective midlife crisis over how we value (and pay for) work, the show can be heard right now using the player below.

Jobs – Can’t live without them and often can’t live with them. Shotgun Jazz Band (“Get a Working Man”) and Chubby Newsome (“Find a Job”) lay down the first part of that equation. And then Spider Murphy’s “Mr. Money Talks” and Jon Cleary’s “Viva La Money” pile on.

I get up in the morning and kiss my love goodbye and I come home in the evening in time to say goodnight.

Coco Robicheaux “Working Man”

The horns of Bonerama support Billy Pierce’s “Paycheck to Paycheck” while Kid Eggplant puts a more modern twist on the job scene ( “building a website for my business”) with “Workin’ Stiff.”

Lee Dorsey in the junkyard while working at his auto body repair show. Photo by Michael P. Smith

Most musicians have to work day jobs . . .at least initially. But even after Lee Dorsey hit it big with “Working in the Coal Mine” he worked at his body repair shop. Galactic does an instrumental version of that classic number in this show. You’ll hear Dorsey sing “Work, Work, Work” and “Gotta Find a Job.”

Mem Shannon’s “Payin’ My Dues” explores the frustrations of being a musician “Drove 1200 miles to play a club and the sign on the door said this joint just shut down. . .” Keith Stone sings about how its “Time to Move On” and Davis Rogan, with some indelicate radio necessary editing by me, airs out his grievances with three of his former employers with help from Cheeky Blakk in “I Quit.” This Davis original inspired the HBO “Treme” scene where you actually see and hear Cheeky Blakk sing the chorus the way it was meant to be sung (when not on the radio.) And here’s the original unedited Davis Rogan version.

It all degenerates from there in a cannabis (“Let’s Go Smoke Some Pot” by Dash Rip Rock), gin infused (“I Got Loaded” by Creole String Bean”) and drug-induced (“Medicated” by Honey Island Swamp Band”) blur.

And you’re invited to listen and enjoy.

Tuck In for a Gumbo YaYa Thanksgiving Feast

I’m serving up several helpings of chicken, catfish and sweet potatoes along with some fried neck bones, cream beans and frim fram sauce. Tuck your napkin in, start the player below and lets eat! (Show re-aired on Nov. 25 & 26 2021 on KAOS and KMRE)

Ghalia & Mama Boys start us off early with “4 a.m. Chicken.” Robert Ward brings on the second entree (Potato Soup) which is a good thing because the New Orleans Jazz Vipers then dish up “All Meat and No Potatoes.”

And that’s how it goes for two hours with double servings of Tin Men (“Avocado Woo Woo” and “Hard Candy”), Cyril Neville (“Cream them Beans” and “New Orleans Cookin”), Lee Dorsey (“Candy Yams” and “Shortnin’ Bread”) and Los Po-Boy Citos (“Sweet Tater Pie” and “Fried Neck Bones and Home Fries.”)

Are you getting enough to eat?

Actress Kim Dickens as Chef Desautel in the TV show “Treme”

How about Professor Longhair’s “Red Beans,” Kermit Ruffins’ “Chicken and Dumplings,” Dave Bartholomew’s “Shrimp and Gumbo” or the Radiators “Papaya.”

For dessert, Mem Shannon and his tasty guitar work leads us through “Sweet Potato” as in “She’s my sweet potato and I’m her chocolate pie.” Okay, so he might not be really be singing about food but its mighty fulfilling.