I wanted to thank you [Joseph Irrera] for the kind and thoughtful obit you wrote on the passing of my friend Lenny McDaniel [August 2015]. Lenny was an incredible talent, and
I had the pleasure of playing and recording with him many times over the years. He will be sorely missed.
I remember some years ago, Lenny was hired to do a TV commercial. In the ad, he was leading a second line over a funky musical track that he was doing vocals on. Someone wrote in to the Times-Picayune to complain that the vocalist in the ad was definitely black, so why was a white guy lip syncing the vocal track while leading the second line?
Of course, it was Lenny singing—God, what a great voice. And such beautiful tunes he wrote! Lenny didn’t have a malicious bone in his body.
Thanks again for giving a wonderful New Orleans talent his final due. He was a good, good cat.
—Jim Markway, New Orleans, Louisiana
My wife and I were enthralled to hear the rich history as told and played by Michael and David Doucet at the Allison Miner Stage. This inspired us to get an early seat for the 40th Anniversary set by BeauSoleil at the Fais Do-Do Stage. Unfortunately, when the band kicked
in, so did the unexpected and unwanted accompanist: Mr. Pitbull’s drum machine. It was horrible. My wife left before the second song was over. I stayed, trying to move to where the sound from Congo Square wasn’t so overpowering, but I couldn’t find [a place]. I’m all for different styles of music, but there has to be a way to position the stages and regulate the volume to avoid the bleed-through. It’s a music and heritage festival and out of control volume does a disservice to both.
—Jeffrey Morgan, Iowa City, Iowa
“I’m all for different styles of music, but there has to be a way to position the stages and regulate the volume to avoid the bleed-through.”
—Jeffrey Morgan, Iowa City, Iowa
The following is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog “Soul in the Machine?” on OffBeat.com, wherein she questions the use of technology.
I seriously think this is an addition for a lot of people.
Just a few days ago I was walking along the street and there were two men together walking towards me with their eyes glued to their phones. They weren’t paying a lick of attention to what was in front of them (pick- pocketers must love it when people do this). I stopped dead in my tracks until one of them happened to look up and see me. This was not the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. One can’t wait to at least sit down somewhere? Is the need to be a “walking clueless” so great that you can’t wait until you’re out of people’s way? And one time my husband got rear-ended by someone texting.
Technology has its good points, but it’s also produced a whole new set of idiot behaviors and even crime. Sometimes I’m sorry that it’s had to happen in my lifetime.
—Mary Raymond, Hillsboro, Oregon
I was so happy to see James Andrews on the front cover of OffBeat Magazine. I met him in Covington at Rockin’ the Rails on April 30, 2015. His music was great. I talked to him when he had a break and asked him how many ex-wives he had (during his set he kept saying “this song reminded [him] of this ex”). I do not know how to drive in New Orleans. If I find someone to take me to New Orleans I will be at the Ooh Poo Pah Doo to see him. I hope he makes it back to Covington or to the Pontchartrain Vineyards.
—Ella L. Bourgeois, Folsom, Louisiana
Of all the publications that review my music [Reviews, August 2015], OffBeat means the very most to me. I’m so proud to be included among the artists chosen for review, and Brett [Milano], what a wonderful write-up.
—Beth McKee, Oak Ridge, Florida