Author Archives: David Kunian

Marc Broussard, A Life Worth Living (Vanguard)

Marc Broussard’s voice is an inspiring instrument. Broussard can sing with subtle shadings, calibrated emotion, and sheer energy, all of which are featured on his new record, A Life Worth Living. He shouts and screams on the jagged rocker “Dyin’ Man” and the slow burner “Man Ain’t Supposed to Cry” while mining a more folk [...]

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Jane Harvey Brown, Live from New Orleans at the Old U.S. Mint (Independent)

Jane Harvey Brown puts together a veteran band to back her on a set of mostly jazz and New Orleans standards recorded in a live setting at the Old U.S. Mint. Brown belts out brassy-voiced versions of classics such as “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” and “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.” [...]

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Hill Country Hounds, HCH (Independent)

The self-titled debut from the Hill Country Hounds mixes both traditional and modern country while eschewing the current pop/rock/country movement of Nashville. This type of country uses Memphis and Bakersfield and Austin as its references. The sound here is pristine and produced. There is little rawness in the mix, but the lyrics have a traditional [...]

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Kevin Clark & Tom McDermott, Smiles: Cornet/Piano duets in the New Orleans Style (Independent)

Somewhere in both Tom McDermott and Kevin Clark’s early report cards, there must be comments that say, “Plays well with others.” Both musicians are known for their continuing and musically fruitful relationships: McDermott with Evan Christopher and Connie Jones, among others, and Clark with the New Orleans Nightcrawlers and the Dukes of Dixieland. This record [...]

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Mahayla, Electricspaceagesweetheart (Serial Lover Records)

All throughout this new record by the recently reconstituted Mahayla, there is an air of regret. David Fera’s first effort under the Mahayla name since the turn of the century is full of people living their “life like Kristy McNichol / an afterschool special in overdrive” or thinking “sorry, my friend / I should have [...]

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Seth Walker, Sky Still Blue (Royal Potato Family)

Guitarist and songwriter Seth Walker cultivates an ominous and sexy sound on his latest recording, Sky Still Blue. Bassists Steve Mackey and Chris Wood and drummer Derrek Philips keep a subtle groove going amid Jano Rix’s unassuming keyboard parts and in-the-pocket rhythm and lead guitars courtesy of Walker and producer Oliver Wood. Walker’s writing on [...]

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Various Artists, All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman (Rounder Records)

In putting together all these songs with performers as varied as John Hiatt, Keb Mo, Jackson Browne, and Martina McBride, among many others, the producers of this February 2014 concert at Atlanta’s Fox Theater show how crucial and soulful Gregg Allman’s body of work is. Many critiques of Allman’s music gets caught up in his [...]

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Drummer Lawrence Batiste Recalls Growing up in Louis Armstrong’s Neighborhood

Not unlike many New Orleanians, 75-year-old drummer Lawrence Batiste had pre-birth experiences with the music of the Crescent City. Sitting in a coffee shop on Oak Street in the heat of this summer, he recalls, “There’s a story that my mom was carrying me before I was born. She liked second lines. She used to [...]

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Omar Sosa Brings the Caribbean to New Orleans on July 26

Pianist Omar Sosa’s music combines the best aspects of jazz and Cuban music. Born in Camaguey, Sosa trained in classical music and percussion at the same time his dad was listening to jazz. “My dad listened to African-American music every Sunday. He’s sit on the couch and have his little drink and listen to Nat [...]

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Diablo’s Horns, Into the Fire (Independent)

Diablo’s Horns is a brass band that doesn’t hesitate to expand their palate into funk, jazz, and that patented New Orleans groove. No matter what form the music takes here, there is a good sense of humor, complete with a healthy irreverence and sarcasm. This comes through whether deliberately jumping on the undead bandwagon with [...]

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