I’m Back Live, and Alive, in the KAOS Studio

Fourteen months after the KAOS studio closed to volunteers and most staff, I’m back at the control board slinging New Orleans music, honoring the life of Lloyd Price, exploring the new Jon Batiste record and digging deeper into the 2009 Midnite Disturbers’ performance at JazzFest. The recording of the show is available right now by clicking the arrow below. (But note that this is the version I edited for Bellingham so I say “KMRE” instead of “KAOS” on station IDs.)

For 60 weeks, I’ve prepared and recorded a Gumbo YaYa show in my upstairs spare bedroom — the one where my youngest son grew up in and which still has cats peering at me from the wallpaper. It’s a little creepy but so is going into a studio inside a building on a college campus that is almost like a ghost town. The first show was a little rough but I got it done and the music is good.

Back in the studio after all 14 months

Lloyd Price died last week at the age of 88. While he was long past his big hits (“Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Personality,” “Stagger Lee,” “I’m Gonna Get Married”), the Rock n Roll Hall of Famer was an entrepreneur involved in music, publication, construction and food processing. He also was a writer with an autobiography and a collection of essays “Sumdumhonky” which I’m reading now.

Lloyd Price was drafted and sent to Korea just as his singing career was taking off.

Price zoomed onto the music scene with “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” recorded in 1952 with Fats Domino banging out the song’s distinctive song opening triplets. The song became one of the biggest selling R&B records of 1952, crossing over to white audiences. He was drafted in 1954 and served in Korea so was taken out of commission at a time when Little Richard came screaming into the scene.

Upon his return to the music scene, he recorded a folk song Stagger Lee that went to the top of both the R&B and Pop charts. He followed that up with two other hits “Personality” and “I’m Gonna Get Married.”

Other highlights of the show include tracks from new records by Monk Boudreaux, Jon Batiste, and Secret Six Jazz Band. I also feature another track from the 2009 JazzFest performance by the Midnite Disturbers featuring some awesome trumpet work by Shamarr Allen and Trombone Shorty. Bumps Blackwell does a decent job of staging his new song (at the time) in a demo for Specialty Records. When Little Richard showed up to Cosimo Matassa’s studio he cut another hit with “Good Golly Miss Golly.” You’ll hear back to back tracks by Guitar Shorty and Guitar Slim – both songs recorded in New Orleans.

I throw in some Hot 8 Brass Band, Cowboy Mouth, Charlie Halloran and the Tropicales, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and much more. But the true joy of the show, at least for me, was to be able to do the backsell of the songs right after they were played for everyone. Check it out!

All Good Things and Not So Good Must Come to An End

All good things come to an end . . .right. This week is my last pre-recorded show. Next week, I’m back live in the studio. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Check out this week’s show so you have something to compare when you hear me live next week.

WWOZ, the New Orleans community radio station, did its festing in place programming again this weekend, celebrating the postponed New Orleans Jazz Fest by airing past performances. I spent a lot of time glued to the station as a result and was rewarded with one of those finds that got my serious attention. I had heard of the Midnight Disturbers before, but I had never heard them. On this week’s show, you’ll hear the same song that had me rushing to my computer to buy a recording. The band’s opening song at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest – “Baker’s Dozen” and you won’t have to wait long cause its the second song in my show.

The Disturbers were formed by Stanton Moore of Galactic with fellow drummer Kevin O’Day. The 2009 version includes Shamarr Allen, Trombone Shorty, Mark Mullins, Big Sam Williams (Big Sam’s Funky Nation), Ben Ellman and Skerik . . .to name a few.

In a way, the show starts with a Trombone Shorty double shot because in addition to being prominent in the Disturbers, he also performs in the opening track “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” a song made famous by his grandfather Jesse Hill. Yes, the song with a chorus of “create a disturbance in your mind” . . . a Midnight Disturbance perhaps.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue rocking the Acura Stage at JazzFest – Photo by me.

The Original Pinettes and Bonerama jump in after that before I swing into a more country set led by Kelcy Mae (Ever More Nest) and the Deslondes. Then we get a little funky with Billy Iuso and Dumpstaphunk. Little Sonny Jones offers up “Further on up the Road” . . .”yea you got to reap just what you sow.” Several other great tracks follow.

Later in the show, I do a full set of Lafayette style music with Beusoleil, Steve Riley, Sean Ardoin, Rosie Ledet and John Delafose. The show ends appropriately with Jon Cleary’s “All Good Things” got to come to an end some time.

To answer my own question above, going back into the studio is a GREAT thing. The shows might sound a little messier, particularly as I relearn how to do it live but I think you’ll find that I’ll sound more real and a lot happier. Cheers.