New Orleans

Return to the Dew Drop

by admin March 2, 2010

When we were in Louisiana in January, we went with Little Freddie King (photo above, right, with Richard) to the shell of the Dew Drop Inn, once the most celebrated black nightclub in New Orleans. It was weathered and padlocked, and in many places sided with nothing but plywood. But it was filled with memories, […]

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Saints, politics and ya-ka-mein

by admin January 24, 2010

One of the most moving parts of this research has been how warmly we’ve been welcomed into neighborhood bars where tight communities gather and the blues are kept alive. This afternoon, we interview O.D. Raiford, who owns the Young at Heart Club in New Orleans’ Pigeontown neigborhood. It was our third visit to the bar, […]

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Come to the Mother-in-Law

by admin January 15, 2010

If you’re in New Orleans, you need to come to this. No excuses. We’ll let the (slightly abridged) press release speak for itself: “While New Orleans is home to many globally famous music venues, the Crescent City also nurtures a lively circuit of lesser-known blues and R&B clubs where a cadre of first-rate musicians play […]

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New Year’s Eve blues

by admin December 30, 2009

Barry writes: During the week of the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, I was in the Crescent City on an assignment: to spend a week wandering through the city’s music scene without ever once listening to jazz. The article was eventually published on the online travel magazine World Hum. You can read it […]

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Congo Square

by admin December 21, 2009

The line connecting modern New Orleans music with the slave drumming in Congo Square has etched a deep groove in the city’s historical narrative. While Protestant cities banned such gatherings, Catholic New Orleans permitted them, albeit under military supervision. This wasn’t some great act of generosity; it was a way of maintaining social control by […]

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Katrina Blues

by admin December 15, 2009

Here’s a musical interlude, courtesy of Ernie Vincent‘s new Vimeo page. Vincent, whose Top Notes were the original warm-up band at the Mother-in-Law Lounge, has been performing in New Orleans since the 1960s. Back in 1998, Times-Picayune writer Bill Grady wrote a profile of Vincent that recalled his days as: …a juke-joint guitarist who played […]

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The Mother-in-Law

by admin November 22, 2009

When we visitied Louisiana last month, many musicians fondly recalled Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge, which opened in 1994 and remained open regularly until K-Doe’s widow Antoinette died this past Mardi Gras Day. The K-Does were beloved figures in New Orleans. After Antoinette’s death, folklorist Ben Sandmel (who is writing a book about Ernie and also […]

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An anniversary celebration

by admin November 16, 2009

When we were first trawling for names of unsung rhythm-and-blues musicians, one of the recommended names that was unfamiliar to us was Tommy Singleton. A 66-year-old New Orleans native who drives an oyster truck for a living, Singleton (right) has been a regular on the city’s R&B scene for decades—starting with the Living Dead Revue, […]

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Providing for the providers

by admin November 7, 2009

During our 10 days in Louisiana, we interviewed several blues and R&B musicians who talked about the critical importance of the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. Founded in 1998, the clinic provides comprehensive health care to the city’s musicians, who suffer disproportionately from poor health and premature death. The clinic offers everything from blood-pressure checks to […]

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The Creole Chameleon

by admin October 29, 2009

DJM from Barry on Vimeo. Deacon John Moore (above) shows off some blues licks backstage before a private gig at Harrah’s casino in downtown New Orleans. Deacon John, the 68-year-old president of the Union of New Orleans Musicians, is at his heart an R&B and blues artist: He performed at the Dew Drop Inn, a […]

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