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Nikka B.

Nikka B.

Poison Girl, Inc.

(Upper Ninth)

“Nikka,” like “nukka,” holds a special place in the vernacular of the streets. But Nikka B., who hails from Oakland, grew up smack in the middle of the 13th Ward, and made her name in Mid-City, makes sure to let you know that’s pronounced with a long e on her debut mixtape. That mix of [...]

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James Clark

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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Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson

Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson

For Pops: A Tribute to Muddy Waters

(Severn)

Mud Morganfield is the now-middle-age son of late blues icon Muddy Waters. Former turban-styling frontman of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson is considered one of premier blues-harmonica players on the planet. As the title indicates, together Wilson and Morganfield have recorded an impressive tribute to Waters. Surprisingly or not, on an initial listen, one can’t [...]

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Smoky Babe

Smoky Babe

Way Back in the Country Blues

(Arhoolie Records)

Unlike his Baton Rouge-area contemporaries Robert Pete Williams, Butch Cage and Willie B. Thomas, Smoky Babe (aka Robert Brown) never made it to the blues-revival stages of the ’60s, nor was he part of the cadre of bluesmen like Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim and Lazy Lester that defined Louisiana blues in the late ’50s. It’s [...]

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Arséne DeLay

Arséne DeLay

Comin’ Home

(Independent)

If you haven’t yet stumbled upon Arséne DeLay, it only takes about 30 seconds of listening to her newest release, Comin’ Home, to identify that she must be kin to some extraordinary New Orleans musical family. Turns out, she’s in the Boutté camp, which will not surprise anyone who has experienced her powerful vocals and [...]

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Sundog

Sundog

Space Criminal

(Community Records)

Pop music is a creature that thrives on gimmicks and enigmas, and that bodes well for Sundog’s future outside the Crescent City. He’s definitely NOLA’s greatest anonymous live looper with an astronaut suit and a ukulele, mixing Postal Service- and MGMT-style electro-indie with his own post-Sublime white-boy-soul, singer-songwriter mentality. For those of you not in [...]

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The Psycho Sisters

Up On The Chair, Beatrice

(RockBeat)

Score one for lasting friendships. Susan Cowsill and Vicki Peterson began singing together in the early ’90s, when both were based in Los Angeles; they planned to make a Psycho Sisters album back then, but fate intervened and put them both in the Continental Drifters. With the Drifters gone, Peterson back in the Bangles and [...]

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Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys

Back on Track

(Lockdowne Records)

Back on Track is Terry and the Zydeco Bad Boys’ first disc in the six years after frontman Terry Domingue took a hiatus before regrouping with former Beau Jocque sidemen Chuck Bush (bass), Eric Minix (drums) and Michael Lockett (keys). Add journeyman-guitarist Kent Pierre-August to the fold and such an arsenal gives Domingue plenty of [...]

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The Quintessential Octopus

Mother

(Independent)

Don’t look now, but there’s a whole indie-pop scene mushrooming—sometimes literally out of the bedrooms of New Orleans, but, more often than not, from the minds of transplants who came here as part of the post-K boho diaspora. David Sigler and Joe Ceponis, for example, met in Montgomery, Alabama and made their way southwest, musical [...]

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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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