Counting down to the New Year, we revel in the live sounds of New Orleans and south Louisiana. First, turn it up for the “New Sound of New Orleans” with the Soul Rebels brass band, live in conversation and performance, joined by “stretch music” trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and preacher’s kid turned soul powerhouse Tonya Boyd-Cannon. Then, a listen back to favorite performances by the late swamp blues icon Lazy Lester, French blues supergroup Cowboy Stew, R&B hawkers James Hunter Six from England and young rising Kansas City guitarist and singer Samantha Fish—all at the 2018 Baton Rouge Blues Festival. Finally, it’s Cajun modernists the Lost Bayou Ramblers live at Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter featuring songs from their Grammy winning CD “Kalenda.”
Photo by James Billeaudeau
This Christmas, we’re serving up holiday platters for the many moods and sonic flavors of the season. We get down to some very merry Chicano rockabilly from Los Straitjackets; gather around the fire with French fiddlers in snowy Maine; imbibe “Sugar Rum Cherry” concocted by Duke Ellington; dream of a white Christmas a la Booker T. & the MGs, and hear the tale of Miles Davis‘ “Blue X-mas” from jazz composer Bob Dorough. Plus, cool Yuletide exotica from Esquivel, joyous free jazz from Rahsaan Roland Kirk and ring shouting for a New Year from the Georgia Sea Island Singers.
We explore the world of daydreams, nostalgia, fantasy and future selves. Time travel with songwriting scenester Eric Andersen back to his days hanging with the Beats at City Lights bookstore and Greenwich Village’s folk music scene, train-riding across Canada with Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy and the Grateful Dead and tripping out on music and hallucinogens. Sit in with youthful blues guitar-slinger Samantha Fish for an in-studio performance and convo as she waxes political and poetic about the “American Dream” and tells of growing up in Kansas City pursuing her childhood dream to take the stage. And hear moon-eyed romantic numbers from Bobby Darin and Patsy Cline and riverine reveries from Lee Dorsey and Roy Orbison.
It’s a blues and country showdown on American Routes with two instrumental showmen. Jerry Douglas is a master of the dobro, and a favorite session man and band member for so many musicians: from Alison Krauss to Elvis Costello. We’ll talk to Jerry about his 2012 project, Traveler, which lead him beyond bluegrass to New Orleans. Then, a visit with the acrobatic bluesman Guitar Shorty, who shares some history on his times traveling the Chitlin Circuit.