Author Archives: John Swenson

Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, Howlin’ Live at d.b.a., New Orleans (Frenchmen Street Records)

Over the past few years, d.b.a. has been selling tickets to heaven on Wednesday nights, when two long-running residencies take place: the early show by the Tin Men followed by the magnificent Walter “Wolfman” Washington. Washington, the iconic guitarist and vocalist whose storied career dates back to the glory days of New Orleans R&B, when [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers, Linger Til Dawn (Independent)

Debbie Davis stands out in the crowd of vocalists like a bird-of-paradise in a roomful of parakeets. Her voice is a magnificent, near-operatic instrument and her theatrical instincts are the stuff of Broadway musical-level performance. When she takes the stage at Three Muses or d.b.a., one hand cocked saucily on her waist, the other brandishing [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Reviews

All For Harold: Jazz Journalists Honor Jazz Hero Harold Battiste

Harold Battiste has been named a “Jazz Hero” by the New Orleans chapter of the Jazz Journalists Association and will be honored on April 30, International Jazz Day, at the Louisiana Music Factory at 4 p.m. and then again at 6:30 p.m. before a free concert led by his protégé Jesse McBride and the New [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Features

BackTalk: Getting Around with Sousaphone and Bassist Matt Perrine

With Carnival season in high gear and French Quarter Fest, then Jazz Fest, just around the corner, New Orleans musicians become marathoners. Matt Perrine, whose sousaphone and bass has been a mainstay of the city’s sound for 23 years, is particularly busy, having rejoined Bonerama after a family-obligations hiatus. Perrine may miss a gig or [...]

Comments (3) | Posted in BackTalk

Marc Stone, Josh Paxton and Freddie Staehle’s New Groove

Singer-songwriter, guitarist and WWOZ DJ Marc Stone has been working as a duo with keyboardist Josh Paxton in recent years. After a chance meeting with legendary New Orleans drummer Freddie Staehle last month, the three musicians found a simpatico groove and will be the featured Saturday night band at Buffa’s starting in March. “It was [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Fresh

Radio Zeitgeist: Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra

They call themselves travelers. Teenagers on the run from a dead-end life in Orwellian America, they hop freight trains searching for the only freedom left to them, taking off for anywhere-but-here and building new communities on the road. They are this generation’s version of Woody Guthrie’s Depression-scattered hoboes, of Bob Dylan’s antiwar dropouts. They congregate [...]

Cyril Neville: Lifetime Achievement in Music Award Honoree

Cyril Neville was born in 1948, the youngest brother in what has long been considered the first family of New Orleans music, the Nevilles. For many years his genius was occluded by the extremely large shadow of his older brothers Art, Charles and Aaron, but in the long run Cyril’s role as little brother gave [...]

Ponderosa Stomp Veterans Kick Off New Orleans Parish World Tour

Ponderosa Stomp fans that got their rocks off at October’s garage/psychedelia extravaganza will be treated to an encore on January 10 and 11, when three Stomp veterans unite for the “New Orleans Parish World Tour,” starring soul-shouter Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, New Orleans ’60s hit-makers the Gaunga Dyns, and the newly constituted Lonely Lonely [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Fresh

Treme S4 E3: Those Bells Are Tolling For Us All

In season four of the HBO series Treme the narrative force of this post-Katrina epic is dwindling along with the fortunes of its characters. Death and failure weave through the story like the cats-claw ropeweeds climbing the walls and roofs of the city’s houses. Big Chief Albert Lambreaux, defiantly living his last days to the [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Blogs

Treme S4 E2: Death’s Grip On New Orleans, Wendell Pierce on Violence in New Orleans

HBO’s New Orleans-based drama Treme is down to its final three episodes. The action is picking up dramatically as story lines resolve with Shakesperian suddenness and finality. Those of us who’ve followed the series from its inception will soon find the familiar characters who seem so much like neighbors moving out of our lives forever. [...]

Comments (0) | Posted in Blogs