Tag Archives: guitarists

Buddy Guy with David Ritz, When I Left Home: My Story (Da Capo Press)

“If I started in on what had become my live style—twisting the notes real hard, playing riffs that sounded like they came from outer space, letting the tape buzz and bleed with different combinations that caught your ear—Leonard [Chess] would say, ‘Buddy, you’re doing too much. Play less. Calm your ass down.’” That’s from page [...]

Luke Winslow-King, The Coming Tide (Independent)

Most people don’t realize that New Orleans is the tail end of the Mississippi River Delta, so “delta” blues has always fit in here with the rest of the great roux of Crescent City music. This is obvious from the first notes and drum hits of Luke Winslow-King’s The Coming Tide, where Winslow-King combines Smokey [...]

Jimmy Robinson, Guitarworks (Independent)

Jimmy Robinson is best known as a member of Woodenhead and the guitar-wizard triumvirate Twangorama, as well as one of the best electric guitarists in the country, much less New Orleans. On his new CD Guitarworks, Robinson is mostly alone with an acoustic guitar, filling the extra space with virtuosic playing so hyperactive you might [...]

Albert King, I’ll Play the Blues For You (Stax Records)

Hard to believe this album first saw the light of day 40 years ago. While the title track has merit, and was a huge jukebox hit in blues territory, it was by no means the best track on the original album—and this is/was truly a landmark album. Written by Shreveport’s Jerry Beach, “I’ll Play the [...]

Obituary: Gary Hirstius (1956-2012)

Kim Carson was playing her Monday gig at Kerry Irish Pub on a stifling night in late May when she offered a tribute to her departed friend Gary Hirstius. Carson began to sing “Missing You” but she couldn’t choke back her emotions. She never finished singing the words, ending with a heart-wrenching harmonica solo as [...]

The Gravy: In the Kitchen with Benji Lee of Supagroup

“I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. I came down to New Orleans because my brother Chris, also in Supagroup, was in college down here, and I got into Tulane and we were going to start a band anyway. So I followed him down here and we got the band going—haven’t been back much since. The [...]

Sonny Landreth, Elemental Journey (Landfall Records)

One of my favorite Sonny Landreth moments was hearing him perform the instrumental “Z Attack” at a Wednesday at the Square concert, as the raw electricity of his sound and the percussive nature of his riff sounded even bigger and fuller as it banged off the CBD office building walls. For the most part, Elemental [...]

Sarah Quintana, The World Has Changed (Independent)

Anyone with a pair of ears can tell that Sarah Quintana possesses a rare talent. The golden-voiced chanteuse has amassed a formidable following here in her hometown of New Orleans as well as throughout France, where she is a frequent voyager. So it comes with much anticipation that she releases her debut studio album, The [...]

Randy “19th Street Red” Cohen, Avenue Boogie (Redtop Recording)

I’m told Randy “19th Street Red” Cohen hails from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and busks in front of the Superdome before Saints games. His guitar style is primitive but attractive, and invites comparison to John Lee Hooker. He doesn’t so much sing as growl a la Howlin’ Wolf. The method of recording here—analog tape, vacuum [...]

Jerry Sartain, Louisiana’s Callin’ (CSP Records)

The world will probably end before swamp pop fades into the sunset. Performances like this can’t hurt either as Louisiana’s Callin’ will likely have a long shelf life. Though most of this will be familiar to long-time listeners of swamp pop, Sartain puts a fresh spin on things through his energy, dead-on rock ‘n’ roll [...]