Carol Fran has a MySpace page with music and video. Her recordings are out of print, but you can buy CDs and MP3s of her Black Top recordings—See There!, Soul Sensation, and It’s About Time, which also feature her late husband Clarence Hollimon—on her Amazon page. The Amazon page also includes Women in (E)motion, the Radio Bremen recording with her stirring version of “Stormy Monday,” and the Black Top compilation Gulf Coast Blues, Vol. 1, with Fran’s 1957 hit “Emmitt Lee” and the bilingual “Every Day is Not the Same.”
Larry Garner has a MySpace page with videos and upcoming club dates. Louisiana Music Factory sells three of his CDs: Baton Rouge, Embarrassment to the Blues, and Once Upon the Blues. He has a new album, Live at the Tivoli, recorded with the U.K.-based Norman Beaker Band. It includes his song “Kleptomaniac.” Garner’s Amazon page sells MP3s of individual songs.
Ernie K-Doe died in 2001 but his spirit still looms, both in our documentary series and in New Orleans itself. His web site contains considerable biographical information. From Louisiana Music Factory you can order his CDs Here Come the Girls and The Best of Ernie K-Doe. More CDs, along with MP3 downloads, are available at K-Doe’s Amazon page. Check out, too, this article by our humanities consultant Ben Sandmel, who is writing a book about K-Doe.
Little Freddie King has a web site with club dates, stories, and photos. His most recent CDs are Gotta Walk With Da King, recorded at the 2008 Thirsty Ear Festival in Santa Fe, and At Home at the New Orleans Musicians’ Village, recorded in his living room and released by the Music Maker Relief Foundation. King’s song “Crack Head Joe” is available on his Fat Possum Records CD You Don’t Know What I Know. Finally, be sure to read this profile by our humanities consultant Michael Hurtt.
Harvey Knox does not have CDs or a web page. You can catch him playing a mixture of blues, R&B, and soul at Club Infiniti, 6894 Plank Rd., Baton Rouge, on Tuesday nights.
C.P. Love has a Reverbnation page where you can sample his music. His recordings are out of print but can occasionally be found on Amazon.com or eBay.
Deacon John Moore is the host of a 2001 video documentary called Going Back to New Orleans, which you can watch online here. The video is about both Deacon John himself and the music, food, and culture of New Orleans. At Deacon John’s web site, you can learn more about the documentary and its spin-off projects, including the fine CD Deacon John’s Jump Blues. Louisiana Music Factory sells that CD along with two others: Singer of Song and Live At The 1994 New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Tommy Singleton sings with Irving Bannister’s All-Stars at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, 1104 Decatur Street in New Orleans’ French Quarter, on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. He does not have a CD.
Alabama Slim has two CDs, both produced by the Music Maker Relief Foundation. Blue and Lonesome is currently out of print, but you can download The Mighty Flood via iTunes. The Mighty Flood also features Little Freddie King and includes the song “Mr. Charlie.” Music Maker maintains an artist page for Alabama Slim here.
Ernie Vincent has a Reverbnation page, where you can listen to some of his lastest tunes. He has two recent CDs, both of which are available from Louisiana Music Factory: Bayou Road Blues, which returns to the Delta blues of his younger days; and Party on the Bayou: Live at d.b.a., which is heavier on the funk. His 1970s funk hit “Dap Walk” is available for download at Amazon.com.
Rico Watts has one CD, Show Love in the USA, available from Louisiana Music Factory.
As we add more artists to our Meet the Musicians page, we’ll include links here to their web sites and CDs.
These organizations work both to preserve the blues and to support blues and R&B musicians in New Orleans and South Louisiana:
Baton Rouge Blues Foundation
Baton Rouge Blues Society
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
Musicians’ Village (Habitat for Humanity)
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New Orleans Musicians Clinic
Ponderosa Stomp (New Orleans)
Sweet Home New Orleans
Here are links to clubs where you can hear the blues in New Orleans and South Louisiana:
d.b.a. (New Orleans): A good place to catch Little Freddie King, Ernie Vincent, and others periodically.
Phil Brady’s Bar and Grill (Baton Rouge): Blues jams every Thursday night.
Teddy’s Juke Joint (Zachary): Blues most nights in the converted shotgun house where owner Teddy Johnson was born.
A good starting point for learning the contemporary history of New Orleans music is Up From The Cradle Of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II by Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose, and Tad Jones. It has recently been revised with a post-Katrina epilogue. We urge you to buy it at your local bookstore or order it from the Louisiana Music Factory.
One of Louisiana’s most respected music writers is Jeff Hannusch. Check out his archive of articles from offBeat magazine and his book The Soul of New Orleans: A Legacy of Rhythm and Blues. A useful older reference is John Broven’s Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans.
Check out the web site for the documentary film Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans. The Treme neighborhood was the source of much New Orleans music and, the filmmakers note, “home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South during slavery and a hotbed of political ferment.”
A fun and diverse compilation of music from New Orleans, with a smattering of Southwest Louisiana thrown in, can be found in Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol’ Box of New Orleans. For a compilation of Baton Rouge blues, order the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation’s CD Capitol City Blues: Working Class Mule.
Here are two Louisiana documentaries, in production as of early 2011, that deserve your attention and support:
Can’t Stop the Water, Rebecca and Jason Ferris’ film about a Native American community that is sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. “Their land is more than simply a place to live. It is the epicenter of their people and traditions. It is where, for eight generations, their ancestors cultivated a unique part of Louisiana culture.”
The Whole Gritty City, Richard Barber’s film about “three New Orleans marching bands as they push to prepare for Mardi Gras parades, and three band directors battling for their students’ lives and souls. It shows lives stopped in their tracks by the violence of the streets, and the power of music to lift and sustain the survivors.”
These local radio stations have dedicated blues programming:
KBRH (Baton Rouge): Baton Rouge Magnet School’s AM station broadcasts almost exclusively blues and R&B. Its sister FM station, WBRH, features blues and R&B on Saturdays. No webcast available.
KRVS (Lafayette): Raoul Breaux’s “Blues Box” airs on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and there is other blues programming throughout the week. Webcast available.
WWOZ (New Orleans): This iconic community radio station has extensive blues and R&B programming, including Jamie Dell’Apa’s delightful “Blues in the Night” (Sundays, midnight to 3 a.m.). Webcast available.
In addition, here are some of the stations and networks have broadcast, or plan to broadcast, our documentary:
- KABF (Little Rock, Ark.)
- KALW (San Francisco, Calif.)
- KAWC (Yuma, Ariz.)
- KBBG (Waterloo, Iowa)
- KCSM (San Mateo, Calif.)
- KGPR (Great Falls, Mont.)
- KITC (Gilchrist, Ore.)
- KMBH/KHID (Harlingen and McAllen, Tex.)
- KRBS-LP (Oroville, Calif.)
- KUT (Austin, Texas)
- KWLC (Decorah, Iowa)
- KWSO (Warm Springs, Ore.)
- KZFR (Chico, Calif.)
- KZYX&Z (Mendocino County, Calif.)
- Northern Public Radio (DeKalb, LaSalle, Sterling, and Freeport, Ill.)
- Red River Radio Network (Shreveport, Alexandria, and Grambling, La.; Eldorado, Ark.; and Lufkin, Texas)
- South Dakota Public Broadcasting (throughout S.D.)
- Valley Voice Radio Reading Service (Harrisonburg VA)
- WAWL (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
- WCAI (Cape Cod and Islands, Mass.)
- WCOM (Carrboro, N.C.)
- WDCV (Carlisle, Penn.)
- WGMC (Rochester, N.Y.)
- WJFF (Jeffersonville, N.Y.)
- WJSK (Glen, N.H.)
- WNCU (Durham, N.C.)
- WOJB (Hayward, Wisc.)
- WPCA (Amery, Wisc.)
- WPVM (Asheville, N.C.)
- WRKF (Baton Rouge, La.)
- WRLR (Round Lake, Ill.)
- WUMB (Boston, Mass.)
- WUTK (Knoxville, Tenn.)
- WVIA (Northeastern Penn.)
- WVPE (Elkhart and South Bend, Ind.)
- WZIP (Akron OH)