Bon Bon Vivant, Live at the New Orleans Jazz Museum (Gallatin Street Records)

bbv_nojm_front_cover_preview_optWhat a fitting band to choose for the first album on the Gallatin Street Records label. Long before Storyville, the original place to go for sin and vice in New Orleans was Gallatin Street, which is now French Market Place. On this second album from Bon Bon Vivant, the band vamps through original tunes by frontwoman Abigail Cosio and a few well-chosen jazz standards to evoke the kind of murder and mayhem cabaret vibe one would expect in a seedy waterfront underworld. They recorded live at the Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, which is just steps away from where Mary Jane “Bricktop” Jackson, one of Gallatin Street’s most notorious characters, murdered and looted her victims. “The Jazz Axe Man,” “Saints and Sinners” and “Gone Gone Gone” play right into that folklore, with Cosio’s lyrics weaving tales of revenge, redemption, booze and jazz. The album has its tender moments as well, like on the heartbreaking “Poplar Tree.” There’s some great sax playing from Jeremy Kelley, particularly on “Why Don’t You Do Right?” The Boswell Sisters’ “Shout Sister Shout” is a lively and natural choice for this band. Sisters Abigail and Glori Cosio have created a jazz-country-blues way of singing that is one of the many ways this band bends genres. They call themselves an “indie gypsy” band, but somehow that just doesn’t seem to say enough about their style. In the end, I think it’s better to stop trying to place them in a genre and just let them be their cabaret-jazz-blues-gypsy-country-indie-pop selves.

—Stacey Leigh Bridewell