Author Archives: Rory Callais

Benjamin Booker’s Invigorating Palette Returns to New Orleans

Pop culture tends to have a romantic notion of the diligent solo artist toiling away at his or her art in tragic, typically substance-fueled solitude. Relatively recent New Orleans transplant Benjamin Booker flirted with this narrative himself, recording his acoustic debut EP Waiting Ones alone in his parents’ Florida home. However, Booker was exposed to [...]

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James Clark, Cloudwalker (Independent)

We’ve all heard the joke before: What was the last thing the drummer said before being kicked out the band? “Check out this new song I wrote.” James Clark, former Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue and current NOLA Country drummer, seeks to buck this stereotype on his second solo release, Cloudwalker. As the [...]

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The Rayo Brothers, Gunslinger (Independent)

The recent neo-folk boom calls to bring modern music back home to its roots. This can have mixed results, as acts like Mumford and Sons seem to simply use folk instruments to antiquate their arena-rock songs while dressing up in Depression-era costumes. As is always the case with successful mainstream acts, there is a trickle-down [...]

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A Day in the Life of Burlesque Diva Bella Blue

It is 11:50 p.m. on a Saturday at the Allways Lounge—10 minutes before cutting-edge burlesque spectacle the Dirty Dime Peep Show is set to begin—and producer/performer Bella Blue has just arrived from another show. As she enters the small dressing room with mirrors and posters quoting “Young hearts be free tonight” from Rod Stewart’s “Young [...]

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Jenna McSwain, Wax and Wane: Songs Without Seasons (Independent)

The thing with music fans is that our favorite records often trigger specific memories, providing a biographical soundtrack for our lives. It turns out this connectivity also extends to the musicians themselves. Jenna McSwain’s Wax and Wane: Songs without Seasons uses mostly original songs to run the gamut of her jazz history from her childhood [...]

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Cortland Burke and Associates, Passport (Independent)

Short of blues, there is no more prominent influence on rock music than folk. As such, it can sometimes be difficult not to get lost in the shuffle of acoustic guitar-wielding would be rock and roll troubadours. Local folk-rock act Cortland Burke and Associates attempt to stand out on their own with the eight-track Passport. [...]

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Moon Honey, Hand-Painted Dream Photographs

It can be argued that a great deal of rock music is influenced by other genres. Jazz, funk, folk, hip-hop, and electronica have all led rock bands to attempt to chart new territory, often with mixed results. Baton Rouge band Moon Honey joins in on the genre-welding by incorporating a heavy classical influence on their [...]

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Indie Rockers Caddywhompus’ Two Man Army

Fierce punk. Skittish math rock. 1960s pop. Dreamy New Wave. This is a typical journey through a song from local indie duo Caddywhompus. The band’s abandonment of traditional song structures is akin to flipping through a radio dial and catching pieces of various songs, which is a wholly intentional part of their songwriting process. “I [...]

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It’s Five Somewhere with French Quarter Fest’s Marci Schramm

Christmas is usually associated with snowy weather. Why do you believe that New Orleans could be a Christmas destination? Christmas New Orleans Style was founded 29 years ago, and it started because tourism in New Orleans was terrible during December, so a group of tourism industry people got together and decided that no one outside [...]

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Sports & Leisure: Leisurely Bonding

“I cannot stand most modern indie music,” declares Sports & Leisure singer/guitarist/songwriter Richard Dubourg. “I don’t like how electronic it has become over the last few years. I really wanted to do something that was not that, which is why I recruited as big a band as I could and got people who played more [...]

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