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Photos: 11th Annual Voice of the Wetlands Festival

The 11th annual Voice of the Wetlands Festival brought some of the biggest and best Louisiana musicians to Houma to help shine a light on Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands from October 10-12, 2014.

Spearheaded by Tab Benoit, the festival included performances by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone, Lil Buck Sinegal, Guitar Slim, Jr., and many more.

Check out these photos from the festival by accomplished phtographer Jef Jaisun.

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Voice of the Wetlands Festival

All photos by Jef Jaisun. Click here to view the gallery on Flickr.

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Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways Premieres on HBO

The Foo Fighters passed through New Orleans as part of their Sonic Highways project in May, and we’re set to get a look at the finished product as the first episode of the documentary series premieres on HBO.

Foo Fighters, Preservation Hall, OffBeat Magazine

Photo by Julia Pretus

The Foo Fighters managed to play a secret show at Preservation Hall, which Jonathan Pretus profiled for OffBeat in the aptly titled post “The Foo Fighters Rock Preservation Hall.”

In addition to New Orleans, the band stopped in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., recording at least one song at each stop.

The first single from the Sonic Highways album, set to be released in November, is a track called “Something From Nothing,” which was recorded in Chicago.

Check out the video for the album’s debut single here:

And check out the trailer for the Sonic Highways series, which starts off with a healthy dose of Preservation Hall, here:

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Prospect.3: Notes for Now Begins October 25

On October 25,  Prospect New Orleans’ “Prospect.3: Notes for Now” will kick off with a ribbon cutting and second-line parade, all set to begin at Washington Square Park.

Prospect.3 Notes for NowP.3 will be an ongoing event, consisting of several shows and art installations at various universities, museums, and art galleries throughout the city.

The festivities will run until January 25.

The event contains a variety of works from over 50 artists from around the globe, at 18 venues around town.

Prospect New Orleans, the international contemporary art biennial, will host a series of events this month to celebrate the grand opening of its third iteration.

A full list of P.3’s scheduled events can be found at their official site.

Below is a list of the participating venues for this year’s celebrations:




















P.3 will operate from October 25, – January 25. Head over to a venue near you for an amazing experience.

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2014 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Schedule

The 2014 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival will take over Lafayette Square from October 15-17, bringing the best in local food and international blues masters to the heart of New Orleans.

2014 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Full Music Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 17

5:30 pm to 6:45 pm Little Freddie King
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm Ana Popovic

Cedric Burnside at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival 2013, Photo by Elsa Hahne

Photo by Elsa Hahne

Saturday, Oct. 18

St. Charles Ave Stage:
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm King James & the Special Men
2:15 pm to 3:15 pm Papa Mali
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm Los Lobos

Camp Street Stage:
11:00 am to 12:00 pm Marc Stone
1:00 pm to 2:15 pm Leo “Bud” Welch
3:15 pm to 4:30 pm Selwyn Birchwood Band
5:45 pm to 7:00 pm Joe Louis Walker

Sunday, Oct. 19

St. Charles Ave. Stage
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Brother Tyrone & The Mind Benders
2:15 pm to 3:15 pm Vasti Jackson
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm Denise LaSalle
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm Bobby Rush

Camp Street Stage:
11:00 am to 12:00 pm Luke Winslow King
1:00 pm to 2:15 pm Mia Borders
3:15 pm to 4:30 pm Valerie June
5:45 pm to 7:00 pm Mel Waiters

There will also be an oral history interview series during the festival featuring performers telling stories from their colorful lives in the NORD Theater in Gallier Hall.

Here is the interview schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 18:
11:30 a.m.: Ana Popovic
3 p.m.: Joe Louis Walker
4 p.m.: Leo “Bud” Welch
5 p.m.: Papa Mali

Sunday, Oct. 19:
12 p.m.: Vasti Jackson
2 p.m.: Valerie June
3 p.m.: Denise LaSalle
4 p.m.: Bobby Rush

The event is free and open to the public. Outside food, beverages, and pets are not permitted at the festival.

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Selwyn Birchwood to Make New Orleans Debut at Blues & BBQ Fest

Selwyn Birchwood, the 2013 Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge winner, is set to make his New Orleans debut at the 2014 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival this weekend.

Selwyn Birchwood

Photo by Len Umhoefer

Birchwood, a Tampa, Florida, native, said he’s looking forward to coming to the city for the food and music.

He even has some local favorites he’s eager to check out on their home turf.

“It’s actually my first time even visiting,” Birchwood said. “Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington is one of my favorites. I met him last year. We were playing the same day at King Biscuit Blues Festival, so I was able to catch his set, and he was killer.”

Birchwood, who has been hailed as the next big thing in blues music, has been touring with his current band for the past two years, most recently in support of his latest album Don’t Call No Ambulance.

From the first upbeat notes of the opening track, “Addicted,” it’s clear that Birchwood is on a mission, but what is equally evident is that the young guitar player draws from a deep and varied well of inspiration.

“When I’m writing, I try to pull from as many sources as I can and incorporate as many styles as I can,” he said. “There are so many different kinds of blues music, and a lot of people ignore a lot of them, latch onto one, and decide that if it doesn’t sound like so-and-so, then it’s not blues.”

Birchwood said he’s at the opposite end of that spectrum.

“I think it ends up sounding more interesting when you incorporate more styles and influences,” he said. “It’s a little bit more artistic in that way, rather than kind of recycling a sound that people have heard before over and over again.”

Bringing that varied approach to a city as musically and culturally diverse as New Orleans seems like a perfect fit, and hopefully local audiences won’t have to wait long to see Birchwood live again.

As for him and his hard working band, they’ll be on the road again with right away.

“We’re normally kind of in and out,” he said. “We get to see the festival site and the hotel and that’s about it normally. If we have any spare time, I definitely want to do some sight seeing.”

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Siberia To Celebrate Four Year Anniversary on October 17

This Friday, Oct. 17, St. Claude underground music venue/dive bar Siberia will celebrate its four year anniversary with a show featuring local underground rockers Mountain of Wizard.

The band has been around for seven years and has something to celebrate themselves: the release of a new two-song EP.

Siberia Four Year Anniversary Show 10.17Members include Paul Webb, owner of Webb’s Bywater Music Store, on guitar, Grant Tom also on guitar, Aaron Hill on drums, and Isidore Grizoli on bass.

Webb classifies the band’s sound as instrumental rock, or prog rock. With just a cursory glance, it’s tempting to call them metal, but Webb avoids that peg, saying that “when people hear metal, they think of face paint and attitude, and I’m just so not into that.”

This band has definitely carved out their own sound, and it’s really intriguing. There’s a neat juxtaposition between their dark, hard rock instrumentation/aesthetic (and the aggression you might expect to go along with all that) compared with the surprisingly smooth and soothing quality of the music.

Webb, who is a close friend of Siberia owner Matt Russell, played a key role in designing the line-up for Friday’s show. The opening acts will include two other New Orleans underground bands: Heavy Lids, which Webb describes as “weirdo garage rock…garage-y, but better than garage,” and Ossacrux, a hard-rocking, no-frills, fast metal band.

Between the three of them, they should tap into three distinct-but-overlapping local underground audiences. In addition, the lineup will also showcase hard rocking Pittsburgh metal band Dendritic Arbor.

According to Webb, the continued success of Siberia is indicative of the health of the city’s underground scene. Things had been looking grim after Katrina, when the Dixie Taverne was unable to get back on its feet in the wake of the flooding.

This now-defunct Mid-City venue had been generally thought of as “the place” for underground music, an intimate spot where all the big touring acts like Mastodon would play raucous shows when they came to the city.

The loss of this establishment was definitely a blow, but thankfully Siberia has been able to step in to fill the void. In the past four years, a whole scene has built up around the gritty, friendly neighborhood bar (with its ever-popular Polish food menu), as well as a handful of other hot spots in the immediate area.

New Orleans underground rockers certainly have a lot to party over, and this is sure to be an awesome evening.

Doors will open at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $7.

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Bo Dollis Tribute Honors the Legendary Mardi Gras Indian

Bo Dollis, the legendary chief of the Wild Magnolias, was honored on October 11 in a ceremony at the John P. Lyons Recreation Center.

Bo Dollis with City Proclimation

Photo by Reya Hart

Dollis is best known as the pioneer that brought the traditions and practices of the Mardi Gras Indians to the world through his performances and recordings.

The ceremony, which took place in the Lyons Center gymnasium, was held as a tribute to his life and legacy.

Dollis, now confined to a wheelchair, sat proudly at the front on the congregation beside City Council Member Latoya Cantrell, and his wife, Laurita Dollis.

One by one, family members and colleagues stood up to pay their respects and speak on the enormous impact Bo Dollis had on each of their lives.

Big Chiefs Clarence Delcour, Howard Miller, Walter Cook, and Darryl Montana reflected on Dollis’ ability to keep the traditions alive, the incredible improvisational skills he showcased in his music, and the power of his voice.

The Wild Magnolias Honor Big Chief Bo Dollis

Photo by Reya Hart

At multiple points throughout the ceremony, the crowd would gather before the stage to sing, drum, and dance. Grandchildren jumped into the air, grasping onto tambourines.

The Queens threw their arms above their heads while their hips moved left to right, each woman dancing her own dance.

The ceremony concluded with a rendition of “Indian Red.”

This time, the crowd gathered a little closer to Dollis’ table than they had before, creating a circle around him.

At first, it seemed like they might overwhelm him, and people began to move back.

But as the song took flight, a smile spread across his face, and he reached out from his chair as if he was gesturing to the crowd to come closer, keep the music going.

Suddenly, someone nearby reached out to him. He took their hands, and to the surprise and delight of everyone around him, he lifted himself out of his wheelchair.

For most of us, there are few moments in life where the healing power of music is that evident.

The Lyons Center ceremony stands as a great tribute to a truly great man.

Bo Dollis

Photo by Reya Hart


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Threadhead Cultural Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

The Threadhead Cultural Foundation is kicking off its sixth round of grant funding with $30,000 worth of grants up for grabs.

Threadhead Foundation Grant Winner Calvin Johnson Jr.The grants will be awarded for artistic projects in the tradition of preserving, promoting and disseminating the cultural heritage of New Orleans and the surrounding Louisiana area.

Applications will be accepted through October 27, and the award winners will be announced on December 8.

Past grant recipients include Calvin Johnson, Jr., Carlo Nuccio, Jimmy Carpenter, the Music and Culture Coalition  of New Orleans, the Community Center of Saint Bernard, Guardians of the Flame, and the James Booker documentary Bayou Maharajah.

Projects that receive funding should be finished by December 9, 2015.

To apply go to:

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New Orleans Concert Picks of the Week: October 16 – October 22, 2014

Hungry for live music… Look no further! Here’s OffBeat’s look at New Orleans’ top concerts for the week of October 16 – October 22, 2014 featuring: Erica Falls, New Orleans Suspects, Chris Thomas King, the Wailers, Hill Country Hounds, Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray, and more!

Full ScheduleLouisiana Music on TourAdd a New Listing


October 16October 17October 18October 19October 20October 21October 22



  • Armstrong Park: Jazz in the Park feat. Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet, Erica Falls (JV) 4p
  • Chickie Wah Wah: Phil DeGruy (BL) 6p
  • d.b.a.: Jon Cleary (PI) 7p, St. Cecelia’s Asylum Chorus (GS) 10p
  • the Rat at Tulane: Tribute to Idris Muhammad featuring Big Sam Williams and others (JV) 7p



  • Maple Leaf: New Orleans Suspects (FK) 10:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Jason Marsalis (JV) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Royal Roses (JV) 6p, Glen David Andrews (JV) 9p
  • Tipitina’s: Soul Asylum (RK) 9p



  • Chickie Wah Wah: Susan Cowsill Covered in Vinyl performing Grateful Dead’s American Beauty (CB) 9p
  • d.b.a.: John Boutte (JV) 8p, George Porter Jr. and his Runnin’ Pardners (FK) 11p
  • Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse: Glen David Andrews Jazz Trio (JV) 8p
  • Snug Harbor: Chris Thomas King (BL) 8 & 10p
  • Tipitina’s: OK Go (RK) 10p

Chris Thomas King at Snug Harbor

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  • d.b.a.: Palmetto Bugs Stompers (SI) 6p, Marc Stone’s All-Stars (BL) 10p
  • House of Blues: the Wailers (RE) 8p
  • Palm Court Jazz Café: Tom Fischer and Sunday Night Swingsters (TJ) 8p
  • Saenger Theatre: Dru Hill and SWV feat. Mannie Fresh (RB) 7p



  • Hi-Ho Lounge: Bluegrass Pickin’ Party (BU) 8p, Hill Country Hounds (CW) 10p
  • Maple Leaf: Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen (FK) 9p
  • Preservation Hall: Preservation Hall Jazz Masters feat. Gregg Stafford (TJ) 8p



  • House of Blues: Ziggy Marley (RE) 9p
  • Maple Leaf: Tommy Castro and the Painkillers (BL) 8p, Rebirth Brass Band (FK) 10:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Laurent Coq Trio from France (JV) 8 & 10p



  • Chickie Wah Wah: Meschiya Lake and Tom McDermott (JV) 8p
  • d.b.a.: Tin Men (RK) 7p, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p
  • Funky Pirate: John Lisi and Deltafunk (BL) 8:30p
  • Howlin’ Wolf: Crobot (VR) 9p
  • Sandbar at UNO: Jazz at the Sandbar feat. Badal Roy (JV) 7p
  • Three Muses: Leslie Martin (JV) 5p, Sarah McCoy (JV) 7p
  • Tipitina’s: Macy Gray (RB) 8:30p

Hot Vegan, in From The Cold

Barbara Menendez set New Orleans on fire in the ’80s with her punk-rock band The Cold. She’s now back with another high-energy project—the “Vegan Dawlin’” cookbook.

Barbara Menendez, Vegan Dawlin', Photo by Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine

Photo by Elsa Hahne

When her husband, guitarist Ray Ganucheau, was diagnosed with a rare, genetic heart disorder two years ago and went on a no-fat, no-animal diet, Menendez took it upon herself to create vegan versions of many classic New Orleans and Louisiana dishes.

“I’m looking at this man who loves gumbo like it’s mother’s milk,” Menendez explains. “And I love him and I don’t want him to eat boring food. There are some good vegan dishes out there, but many are loaded with fat, and we needed no nuts, no oils and no avocados.”

Menendez describes herself as “one of these people who believe everything is possible.”

That attitude didn’t exactly hurt as she was working out recipes for fried oyster po-boys (without oysters, without oil) and fat-free, vegan turtle soup.

“Veganism has an ugly rep that turns off a lot of people,” she says. “I want to help those who are in the same situation as us and I want to be a teacher and put this knowledge out there without getting on a soapbox. I’m not looking for world domination.”

Sloppy Beef Vegan Po-Boy, Photo by Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine

Photo by Elsa Hahne

By making her own fake meat, seitan, using wheat gluten and spices, Menendez adds plenty of protein to their diet and pulls off a sloppy, fake-roast-beef po-boy once in a while.

When the idea for the cookbook first came, it was from her husband.

“Ray said, ‘Why don’t you make a cookbook?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to do anything,’” Menendez remembers.

“You know how you get to that place sometimes. But I realized—this eating needs a new hat. Veganism is not just for skinny hipsters or for making people feel bad for killing animals. It’s a cuisine. Period.”

Menendez is now raising funds for her book project, featuring 98 recipes—and possibly a show—on Go Fund Me, hoping to share her inspiration for how to cook good, vegan, heart-healthy food.

Click here to pledge your support for the project

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