One of the highlights of Dr. John’s send-up record of Louis Armstrong is his duet with Shemekia Copeland “Sweet Hunk o’Trash.” The song caps the opening four-song set that also features piano players Amasa Miller, Jon Cleary, and Henry Butler.
When you start the player above, Walter “Wolfman” Washington will kick it off with “The Big Easy” — a showcase of his guitar and malleable voice, backed up by a solid horn section — making it clear you’re about to listen to two hours of New Orleans music.
Charmaine Neville kicks off the first set with “Can You Tell Me” a sweet, sultry number co-written with her percussionist Gregory Boyd doing a steel pan solo. Helping out are Amasa Miller on piano, and Reggie Houston on saxophone and I think the whole band chimes in on the chorus. Henry Butler percusses his way into that song’s closing vibe with his rhythmic “Henry’s Boogie.” Jon Cleary slows the tempo down a bit while still staying funky with “Oh No No No” and then Shemekia and Dr. John cover Hunk o’Trash . They make it uniquely theirs but in case you were curious about the Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday version, here it is.
Free Spirit Brass Band ramp it back up in the second full set with “Red Dress.” The unique project by New Orleans producers Steve Reynolds and Scott Billington of remixing Alan Lomax field recordings with studio musicians and rhythms follows.
Frustrated by the Congressional deadlock? Perhaps you’ll dig Smoky Greenwell’s latest single “Filibuster Blues.” With songs like “Progressives Unite” and “Get Out and Vote,” Smoky has been putting his politics where his sax and harmonica is — well except he still plays those, and sings. If you don’t want to here it on my show, try it on Soundcloud.
Rebirth Brass Band, which is performing in the Northwest this weekend, do “Who’s Rockin’, Who’s Rollin’?” followed by The Radiators “Long Hard Journey Home” (the version recorded for the Treme TV Show).
Also on the show: Danny Barker, Albanie Falletta, Dirty Bourbon River Show, Sarah Quintana, Dash Rip Rock, David Egan and the Olympia Brass Band. Thanks for tuning in.
There’s nothing like listening to an album three times in a row. Admittedly, I was cleaning house and fielding calls from relatives about the impact of the novel coronavirus on our community, so it wasn’t always a deep listen. But after three laps of Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s My Future is My Past, I have a better understanding of what he’s done with his latest release. Go ahead and listen to the show which starts with his song while you read on from here.
I don’t know if I really knew what to make of Washington’s album when I picked it up last year. A highly regarded guitarist who can lay down funk, blues and R&B licks, his latest release gives him the opportunity to show off his soulful side. His singing takes front stage, though his guitar is very much evident throughout the album. This week’s show features his original “Steal Away” and I’ll be sharing more gems from his album in later shows.
After Washington, we move quickly into Anders Osborne territory with “Standing With Angels” followed by Buckwheat Zydeco’s “Let Your Yeah be Yeah” (a song made famous by Jimmy Cliff) and Billy Iuso’s cover of Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon” with Kirk Joseph on sousaphone.
If you’re looking for jazz you’ll have to wait until the second hour cause I also provide a double shot of Galactic (playing locally next week) as well as Trombone Shorty and Rebirth Brass Band (scheduled for April in the Northwest). A sweet country set follows with Sweet Cecilia and also The Hackberry Ramblers and The Deslondes.
Lots more to explore if you listen to the whole show. Thanks for tuning in.
I’m a little late in posting last Thursday’s show but I’m hoping its worth the wait, featuring music written by and in some cases performed by Earl Silas Johnson – aka Earl King.
Born in the Irish Channel district of New Orleans on February 7, 1934, Earl Silas Johnson is behind one of the more covered Mardi Gras standards, “Big Chief.” So in today’s show (which you should have playing by now – click the arrow above) I dive into Earl King’s music as well as other Mardi Gras numbers — including perhaps the most covered “Mardi Gras in New Orleans” song written by Professor Longhair.
This weekend, the 2019 Mardi Gras parade season ramped up with the quirky, Sci-Fi parade “Krewe of Chewbacchus.” The 900-member, self-described satirical space cult, walks, pedals, pushes but does not drive its contraptions down its parade route. Only three rules: No unicorns unless with rocket thrusters; no elves unless cyborgs; and no whinebots.
Earl King kicks the show off with one of my favorites: “No City Like New Orleans.” Later I play an early recording of his called “Til I Say Well Done” and an example of him funking it up with “Do the Grind.” Covers of King songs by The Roamin’ Jasmine and Dr. John round out my tribute to what would have been his 85th birthday if we hadn’t lost him in 2003. I finish the Earl King segment with The Radiator’s tribute song “King Earl.”
The fun continues though with new music by Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Lena Prima. Benny Turner, Big Al and the Heavyweights and Yvette Landry and the Jukes.
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