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Amanda Shaw, “Amanda Shaw” (Independent)

This would be Amanda Shaw’s big national swing-for-the-bleachers superstar bid if she had just turned 18; as it is, a lot of people still think of her as Louisiana’s sweetheart, […]

Cauche Mar, “Cauche Mar” (Independent)

When is a metal band not metal? Possibly when it takes the chamber music route, as Cauche Mar does here on their debut EP. It’s not that this sextet doesn’t […]

The Spike Band, “What It Means” (Independent)

Usually when an act starts singing a blues-funk song about how much they love étouffée, they’re not doing much more than creating a bit of merch for Crescent City tourists […]

Paul and Friends, “Journey of the Heart” (P&J Records)

Christian yacht rock? Seems like an unlikely sub-subgenre of popular music, even in today’s balkanized music industry. However, this is the real deal—and Paul, who’s actually Australian Paul Sammarco operating […]

Buku Broux, “Live from Jackson Square” (Independent)

Multiculturalism is nothing if not the lifeblood of New Orleans culture, from its food to its music to its architecture, which is why it’s always great to see a band […]

Ca $ell, “Grade ‘A’ Disco Sh$t” (Fire on the Bayou)

In a lot of ways, hip-hop and pop have become almost indistinguishable from each other in the club, yet Ca $ell’s R&B version of it is sweet and smooth, with […]

Melissa Etheridge, “Memphis Rock N’ Soul” (Concord Music)

No one can accuse Melissa Etheridge of not having guts, and not just because of her status as an early LGBTQ icon, but recording a themed album of covers has […]

The New Orleans Swinging Gypsies, “Esplanade Swing” (Independent)

The eight-fingered solos of Django Reinhardt loom large over all gypsy jazz, and that goes double for this debut album, mostly instrumental and strung with at least half a dozen […]

Valerie Sassyfras, Sassquake! (Independent)

She started out as a duo act with her late husband Johnny Donald, a more or less straight zydeco thing with elements of rock and country and funk. Now in […]

Fly Molo, Fly Molo (Independent)

If this were 20 years ago (okay, fine, more like 25), Fly Molo would have everything it takes to be all over alternative radio: the loud-soft dynamics of Nirvana by […]