Author Archives: Roger Hahn

Joel Savoy’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round: Joel Savoy’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round (Valcour Records)

Joel Savoy’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round is a real sweetheart of an album—an informal gathering of accomplished young Cajun musicians taking their turns on tried-and-true honky-tonk numbers in a recording environment that transforms what might have been a dancehall or concert-stage platform into a more-intimate, front-porch music setting. Merry-Go-Round also celebrates the Cajun love affair with [...]

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Old Tradition, New Guardians: Young Big Chief Returns

New Way Pocky Way, recorded throughout 1998 by the Young Guardians of the Flame, is being reissued for national distribution by locally based Louisiana Red Hot Records just in time for Mardi Gras. “It’s a classic, groundbreaking Mardi Gras Indian album,” explains Red Hot president Harris Rea, “that was somehow, somewhat overlooked back when it [...]

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Aaron Neville, My True Story (Blue Note Records)

My True Story started out as Aaron Neville’s “doo-wop project” but became something else. On a promotional video made for the album, Blue Note label president and album co-producer Don Was tells part of the story. He gathered a list of about 100 possible tunes to record, went over them with Neville and selected the [...]

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Tulane University Constructs Big Chief’s Abode

An avid student of French existentialism and a serious collector of modern jazz LPs, Donald Harrison Sr. was not your average Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief. One of the real-life models for “Big Chief” Albert Lambreaux in the much-heralded HBO series Treme, Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr. was a tireless reader and accomplished street-corner philosopher [...]

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Various Artists, En Français: Cajun ’n’ Creole Rock ’n’ Roll Vol. 2 (Bayou Teche Brewing Co)

Readers who may have missed the first volume of En Français: Cajun ’n’ Creole Rock ’n’ Roll are in for a real treat this year. According to Louis Michot, bandleader, fiddler and vocalist with the Lost Bayou Ramblers, who originated the concept and served as co-producer on Volume Two, this disk “has a new depth [...]

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection (Sony Legacy)

Ever since taking the reins of operating Preservation Hall — New Orleans’ shrine to the sources of music that coalesced into the earliest form of jazz — artistic director Ben Jaffe, son of Allan and Sandra Jaffe, has insisted it is entirely possible to change the band lineup, change the band’s repertoire, change performance venues [...]

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Chris Thomas King, Bona Fide (21st Century Blues)

Bona Fide offers a glimpse of Chris Thomas King in full stride propelled by mid-career confidence, a genuinely inventive and compelling inheritor of the blues traditions whose surprisingly intimate performances succeed not through gospel shouting or bold declaration, but instead through strategic charm and guile. It’s useful to remember that King descends through his father [...]

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Maria Muldaur Latches onto Lizzie “Kid” Douglas (Memphis Minnie)

Maria Muldaur remembers precisely the moment that New Orleans native Lizzie “Kid” Douglas — better known by her stage name, Memphis Minnie — became a guiding light for both her personal and professional life. As she recalls in the liner notes to her latest release, …First Came Memphis Minnie, a star-studded affair with guest appearances [...]

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Preservation Hall West Opens in San Francisco

Ben Jaffe sits in the rear office behind Preservation Hall. The Hall’s director — and son of Allan and Sandra Jaffe — is looking out the window, past the courtyard, his gaze drifting into space, crystalline blue eyes glittering in reflected daylight. “It’s always been my dream,” he says, “to create an outpost somewhere in [...]

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Fesstoration: Tipitina’s to Rebuild Professor Longhair’s Home

In death, as in life, Professor Longhair remains a spirit whose individuality transcends even his everlasting, idiosyncratic contribution of “rumba boogie” to the incredibly rich legacy of New Orleans and Louisiana music. A major contributor and minor recording artist during the early 1950s birth of American rhythm and blues in New Orleans, his resurrection in [...]

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