*Navigate to Roadhouse 3/29, 6pm once inside KEXP player*
This one is all about the Crescent City- that joyful noise comin’ from a New Orleans pocket transistor of yesteryear. Check the link for 3 hours of jasmime smelling audio of my very favorite stuff, mostly from the 1960’s and early 70’s that reflects the spirit of a town with amazing history, complexity, pride, and most importantly tradition.
I just returned a few days before this broadcast, and I gotta tell ya, I’m in love all over again. The first two hours features all Louisiana music from NOLA piano, brass, and r&b to the classic Southern Louisiana music dubbed “Swamp Pop” back in the day. Characters you know like Professor Longhair and Aaron Neville, to mysterious figures like Prince La La and Curly Moore. It’s all here. And if you’re not familiar with the crazy, gay, genius piano playing of James Booker (pictured above), than this is a MUST LISTEN. He’s near the end of the first hour with his tune “Classified” and a fonky version of “Goodnight Irene”.
The Swamp Pop in the second hour comes from such legendary producers as JD Miller and Eddie Schuler who recorded in the small towns of Crowley and Lake Charles and pretty much defined the idea of an American “regional sound” in the early 60’s. Cajun kids were listening to rock n’ roll and Slim Harpo was soon influencing the Rolling Stones (“I’m A King Bee”). This is some of the best music ever made, and still sounds vital. I know ya know.
Then there’s the overwhelming influence and songs of Allen Toussaint which plays throughout. He wrote and produced many of the classic soul ballads of the early 60’s by such singers as Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, and Lee Diamond, not to mention the the Wild Tchoupitoulas and Robert Palmer who lays down a pretty amazing version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley” from 1974 featuring Toussaint’s house band, The Meters. Toussaint is no longer with us, but his legend cannot be ignored. It’s hard to not consider him one of our greatest American producers and songwriters; if not the greatest. Ever. “Ruler Of My Heart” and “Wrong Number” are just the tip of his mammoth iceberg, which you’ll hear near the third hour of this show.
We change it up in the last hour with a bunch of new releases and new bands including a new collaboration between Courtney Marie Andrews and Bonnie Prince Billy doing Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” for a benefit project called Our First 100 Days. This project benefits public program under risk from the new Trump regime. Also, there’s some up and comers like Winstons, SUSTO, Reed Turchi, Jaime Wyatt, Kiera Dall’ Osto, and Haley Heynderickx. Plus the new one from our fav local gal, Sera Cahoone. “Only One” is one of her best.
Listen. Go To Jazzfest. Get the WWOZ phone app. Read Tom Piazza’s “Why New Orleans Matters”. Check the latest episode of Nick Spitzer’s American Routes radio show which features a segment on Swamp Pop AND a hilarious piece on Ernie K. Doe featuring his biographer Ben Sandmel, Ernie was a legend in his own mind. A true New Orleans story.
Yeah You Right! – Greg Vandy, KEXP
Professor Longhair– tipitina: Sister Gertrude Morgan– let’s make a record: Dixie Cups– iko iko: Preservation Hall Jazz Band– that’s it!: Wild Tchoupitoulas– hey hey (Indian comin’): Clarence Garlow– bon ton roulet: Wee Willie Wayne– traveling mood: Huey Piano Smith– tu-burc-u-lucas and the sinus flu: Fats Domino– i’m walkin’: Rebirth Brass Band– I’m walkin’: Olympia Brass Band– explanation of jazz funeral, over in gloryland, didn’t he ramble: Dirty Dozen Brass Band– jungle blues: James Booker– classified, goodnight irene: Lee Diamond– please don’t leave me : Curly Moore– get low down: Dr John & Ronnie Barron– talk that talk: Prince La La– things have changed: Cookie And The Cupcakes– i cried: Cleveland Crochet– sugar bee: Jimmy C. Newman– allons a lafayette: Rufus Jagneaux- opelousas sostan: Tommy McLain– before I grow too old: Slim Harpo– raining in my heart: Barbara Lynn– you’ll lose a good thing: Slim Harpo– little queen bee: Ashton Savoy– rooster stuff: Hop Wilson– chicken stuff: Frankie Lee Sims– walkin’ with frankie: Lazy Lester– sugar coated love: Katie Webster & Ashton Conroy– baby baby: Irma Thomas- ruler of my heart: Aaron Neville– wrong number: Prince La La– i need you: Lee Dorsey– neighbor’s daughter: Robert Palmer– sneaking sally through the alley: Meters– ease back: Courtney Marie Andrews & Bonnie Prince Billy– i wish i knew how it would feel to be free: Scott H Biram- crippled & crazy: Winstons– enough: SUSTO- hard drugs: Sera Cahoone– only one: Reed Turchi– like a bird without a feather: Haley Heynderickx- drinking song: Kiera Dall’Osto– graveyard shift: Jaime Wyatt- wasco: Sarah Shook & The Disclaimers– keep the home fires burning: Holly Golightly– coulda woulda shoulda