If you’re heading to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art or d.b.a. tonight (April 8), you can catch the man whose portrait graces the cover of this month’s Living Blues magazine: Longtime local favorite Little Freddie King (yes, he’s playing both places!). He’s the star of an issue devoted to “down home New Orleans blues,” with separate features on Freddie, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee, Brother Tyrone, Benny Turner, and Walter “Wolfman” Washington (big thumbs-up to writer Scott Barretta, who did most of the pieces save for Melanie Young’s piece on Washington). There’s also a photo spread on landmarks of Louisiana blues, many of which will be familiar to locals: There’s a shot of Washboard Chaz at the Spotted Cat, one of Guitar Slim Jr. at Bullet’s and Grandpa Elliott playing at the corner of Royal and Toulouse.
The same issue features the magazine’s annual Living Blues Awards, and the categories of Most Outstanding Musician (Keyboard), in both the readers’ and critics’ polls, went to New Orleans -associated artists. Topping the readers’ poll was Marcia Ball, the singer/pianist who’s currently Texas-based, but always welcomed in town (particularly at Jazz Fest, where her version of Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927″ always brings shivers). Meanwhile the critics went for Ironing Board Sam, the mad piano pounder who reappeared after many years’ absence at the Fest recently. They’re both very different regional music treasures… and hey, they’ve both got great legs.