This week, Tipitina’s (501 Napoleon Ave, Uptown) celebrates 35 years serving up some of the best live music the city has to offer. On the 6th, they hosted a Super Fais Do Do with Bruce Daigrepont. On the 11th, they featured Re:Orientation with Gravity A and friends. This weekend, their anniversary party on Jan 18th and 19th features a reunion of the Radiators as well as the Soul Rebels and Dirty Dozen Brass Band. On the 26th, the venue hosts The Nevilles, a longstanding New Orleans musical family. This selection of artists is just a taste of the quality live music that Tipitina’s might be hosting any weekend in New Orleans, and for the past 35 years.
Archive for the ‘New Orleans Music’ Category
January 14th, 2013 by cindee
July 17th, 2012 by cindee
As everybody in New Orleans knows by now, “Uncle” Lionel Batiste, bass drummer for Treme’ Brass Band in New Orleans, 81, died on Sunday, July 8 after a brief bout with prostate cancer. “Uncle” Lionel had become a poster boy for the resurgent New Orleans music scene in the last few years since Hurricane Katrina. Long, lean, dapper, perpetually snappily dressed with a trademark gold cross and wristwatch worn over his knuckles, “Uncle” Lionel sauntered around the French Quarter and Frenchmen Street. He was the face on the New York City Times Square banner for Spike Lee’s Hurricane Katrina documentary, “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.” His image graced the 2010 Congo Square poster for New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and of course, for the historic Treme’ neighborhood bicentennial poster. It’s 200 years in 2012 since the country’s oldest historic African-American neighborhood was founded.
But more than becoming a visual icon of New Orleans, “Uncle” Lionel was a consummate musician and mentor to many younger musicians. The Treme’ Brass Band’s weekly gig on Wednesdays at the Candlelight Lounge in Treme’ became a hipster and tourist destination after HBO’s “Treme’” TV show began running in 2009, but there was nothing touristy about the music, or the joy that the music brought. “Uncle” Lionel was a direct link to an earlier time in New Orleans, when traditional brass band music wasn’t even especially well-known outside of New Orleans. It grew out of the neighborhoods, and it was handed down in the old-school way, by the “older” guys teaching the younger ones. If you want to hear “Uncle” Lionel playing and singing, Treme’ Brass Band records are available at Louisiana Music Factory, 210 Decatur St. in New Orleans, and for download at www.locobop.com. Sound of New Orleans, www.soundofneworleans.com, recently re-released its 1980s recording of Treme’ Brass Band, “I Got a Big Fat Woman,” and it’s about as authentic as you can get.
February 14th, 2012 by cindee
If you go to New Orleans, you ought to go see the Mardi Gras. And it’s Carnival Time, and everybody’s havin’ fun! And you have to do the Mardi Gras Mambo. If you live in New Orleans or visit during Carnival, you cannot escape hearing the basic soundtrack-these three songs are played on the radio and at parades constantly. “Go to the Mardi Gras,” by Professor Longhair; “Mardi Gras Mambo,” by the Hawkettes; and “Carnival Time,” by Al “Carnival Time” Johnson. Of these, it’s interesting to know that Al Johnson, the pianist and singer who was born in 1939 and still looks closer to 50 than 72, wrote and recorded that incredibly catchy little tune when he was only 20. He walked into the legendary Cosimo Matassa’s studio (the place where Fats Domino’s hits were made) in December 1959, and producer Joe Ruffino recorded the song. Its tricky first section still makes musicians who try to play it miserable, but it worked well enough to become a Mardi Gras anthem. It’s tricky because in the first section, right before the chord change, Al added an extra measure, tripping up the uninitiated musician. Al still complains that often they don’t get it right. Doesn’t matter, it’s still eminently ear-worm material!
January 22nd, 2012 by cindee
New Orleans is a place where the timeless sounds of jazz fill the air on any given night. One particularly notable voice in this great city is the smooth and sultry ragtime sound of Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. Lake, who has called the Crescent City home for over ten years, has quite the interesting past. Her career began in a South Dakota steakhouse at age nine, where she won a $500 singing contest, and years down the road she ended up in a traveling circus, performing an array of acts, including insect eating and fire dancing. It was during this time when Lake fell in love with the city and soon became a fixture on Royal Street in the French Quarter, busking and becoming one of the city’s most admired street performers, often taking her act on tour both nationally and abroad.
January 17th, 2012 by cindee
Bourbon Street is really an awful place, good thing there is only one like it , you just have to turn the corner to awaken to an entirely different atmosphere. But sometimes you just have take a stroll and people watch.
The neon lights, blasting karaoke and rowdy crowd is part of the experience but you can step in to the Maison Bourbon Jazz Club situated on the corner of St. Peter’s Street and experience a taste of what we all dream old New Orleans to be like, with live jazz playing in this comfortable intimate setting. Thursday through Sunday nights be sure to check out Jamil Sharif head a quintet of talented local musicians. Playing classic New Orleans tunes, you’ll find yourself tapping your feet, clapping your hands, and shouting your part in the call-and-response.
January 2nd, 2012 by cindee
Renewal of Downtown Theater Industry brings “Joy” to Canal Street. As 2011 came to a close, the New Orleans’ entertainment circuit gained an exciting addition with the reopening of the Joy Theater, located at 1200 Canal Street. Its history as a popular movie theater, opening in 1947 with the screening of “Lover Come Back” starring Lucille Ball, ended in 2003, facing competition from multiplex cinemas and suffering damaging flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The $5 million renovations to the theater have kept close to the original exterior plans and include state of the art sound and light systems, as well as wider seats and elevators. The new Joy is a multi-purpose venue available for concerts, theatre arts, private events, and move screenings, and kicked off with an electrifying performance from the “Soul Queen of New Orleans” herself, Irma Thomas, on December 29. The New Year’s Eve celebration featured local favorite Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers.
In related news, plans for the reconstruction of the Saenger Theatre on Canal Street have been announced following financial approval. Construction will begin in the New Year, with plans to reopen in 2013 as a venue for touring Broadway productions, dance, and music. All of this good news points to a coming revitalization of the former downtown theater district where aesthetics and décor pay homage to the heyday of these historic buildings and the picture show culture of the past!
December 11th, 2011 by cindee
While millions of tourists flock to New Orleans each year for the fun, food, and music, only the locals know that Mid-City staple Rock ‘N’ Bowl has it all — including an authentic New Orleans experience you just can’t find on Bourbon Street.
Still sporting many of the decorations and memorabilia from 1958, when neighboring Pelican Stadium accounted for most of the business, this late-night hot spot has a vib all its own. Rock ‘N’ Bowl’s 18 bowling lanes are complimented by a stage and dance floor, a menu of bar-style treats with a Cajun twist, and a fully stocked bar.
Like New Orleans itself, Rock ‘N’ Bowl is a unique mixture of old and young, generational residents and new transplants, serious bowlers and…the rest of us. I personally find it hard to care about the five pins still standing when Kermit Ruffins or the Iguanas or the Bucktown Allstars take the stage. It’s not unusual for a favorite band or song to send perfectly dressed jitterbuggers spilling off the dance floor and into the pits or even to catch a couple of regulars waltzing on the bar.