Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL is May 16-18, 2014 - www.hangoutmusicfest.com
Creole United

Creole United

Non Jamais Fait

(Independent)

Who says rural Creole accordion music, the sound that gave birth to zydeco, has to be French songs from the early 20th century? Not Creole United, a collection of three generations of Creole and zydeco artists whose pedigree ranges from young upstarts to the some of the music’s most historic names. The lineup is indeed [...]

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Sean Ardoin 'n' Zydekool

Sean Ardoin 'n' Zydekool

Return of the Kool

(Independent)

For more than 80 years, a member of the Ardoin family has been recording Creole accordion music or the modern dance sound it gave birth to, zydeco. This rich tradition flows back to the cousin of Sean Ardoin’s grandfather (Bois Sec Ardoin), Amedé Ardoin and his seminal recordings of the ’20s and ’30s. In the [...]

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Will Kimbrough

Will Kimbrough

Sideshow Love

(Daphne)

Will Kimbrough writes songs that sneak up on you. They have their subtleties—like the way the acoustic slide guitar plays above and below the steady banjo on “Home Economics,” or the way that the bass throbs like a fast heartbeat to match the yearning of singer on “I Want Too Much.” The lyrics also have [...]

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Necessary Gentlemen

Necessary Gentlemen

Fools to Stay

(Independent)

One of the six Necessary Gentlemen of the band’s title is actually a woman, but the deceit stops there—everything else about this latest cadre of bluegrass and folk-inspired artists comes as advertised, and not just because they have a steady gig at the Neutral Ground, or because they open this debut with the standard “Rambler’s [...]

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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Give the People What They Want

(Daptone Records)

Cancer’s a bitch. And even though Sharon Jones’ latest barn-burner of soul and Dap-King funk was completed before her diagnosis with the pancreatic variety, when viewed in hindsight, there are plenty of subconscious nods to that inevitable, traitorous, groove-killing prick lurking behind each and every one of our ribosomes. But more so, there’s indication of [...]

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Harn Solo

Harn Solo

Perfect Picture

(Independent)

It’s not the blasted urban hellscape that Detroit is (yet), but there’s no reason a city as relentlessly ethnic as NOLA can’t produce its own Great White Rapper—anyone who names himself like a Twitter handle has the right attitude, and it helps that his flow is a lot like Em’s, mixed with a little Chali [...]

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Tuba Skinny

Tuba Skinny

Pyramid Strut

(Independent)

Tuba Skinny just keep getting better—and better at capturing their lively early jazz, blues, and ragtime sound in the studio. On this, their fifth release (recorded in Tasmania), the septet mixes those early 20th century sounds with characteristic verve. The opener, “Big Chief Battle Axe,” for example, may best be known from Dr. Michael White’s [...]

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Calvin Johnson Jr.

Calvin Johnson Jr.

Native Son

(Alma Records)

On Calvin Johnson’s 2012 debut, Jewel’s Lullaby, the then-27-year-old New Orleanian blew tenor saxophone on modern-jazz material backed by a band of his peers. This time out, Johnson picks up the soprano saxophone to perform a program of traditional jazz with an ensemble primarily filled with veteran players. The reedman, who comes from a musical [...]

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Truth Universal

Truth Universal

Invent the Future

(Independent)

It can’t be easy, putting in work for black positivism and righteous hip-hop activism in what is arguably the dirtiest city in all the Dirty South, but somehow Truth Universal manages. He seems to have realized early on that he was a prophet without honor in a city worth saving and picked his battles accordingly. [...]

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Royal Southern Brotherhood

Royal Southern Brotherhood

Songs from the Road: Live in Germany

(Ruf Records)

How much you need to own a copy of Royal Southern Brotherhood’s latest disc, recorded live during a recent date in Bonn, Germany, is probably going to depend on how badly you need a concert souvenir from this blues-rock supergroup. Or, alternately, how many times you’ve already worn out their fine 18-month-old debut. For those [...]

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