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Todd Mouton, Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press)

Here’s the latest addition to the Louisiana music book collection. Mouton, a Lafayette native, has assembled a dozen biographies of South Louisiana individual musicians or bands. The 300-page book in […]

Barbara Barnes Sims, The Next Elvis: Searching for Stardom at Sun Records (LSU Press)

The music business is a continual hustle. Label owners must always be looking for the next charting artist and next hit song. Barbara Barnes Sims saw this first hand when […]

Dennis McNally, On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of
Cultural Freedom (Counterpoint Press)

Dennis McNally has written two very useful books on American culture—an extremely well researched biography of Jack Kerouac, Desolate Angel, and an inside onlooker’s slightly jaundiced account of the Grateful […]

Paul & Beth Garon, Woman with Guitar: Memphis Minnie’s Blues (City Lights)

I’d worried that the redoubtable, unsinkable Memphis Minnie, a.k.a. Lizzie Douglas, a.k.a. Kid Douglas, a.k.a. Lizzie Lawlers, might fall apart under the flaying of the pages, as artists suffer through […]

John Wirt, Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues (LSU Press)

Simply put, Huey “Piano” Smith is one of the great heroes of New Orleans and American music. As that generation ages and goes on to greener pastures, it’s important and […]

Holly George-Warren, A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton (Viking)

Alex Chilton loved New Orleans, even though he had to wash dishes to live here. Actually, washing dishes wasn’t the first job he took in the city after moving from […]

Jay Mazza, Not Just Another Thursday Night: Kermit Ruffins and Vaughn’s Lounge (Threadhead Press)

Music writer and the world’s foremost Kermitologist Jay Mazza has turned his pen and insight to one of his favorite subjects, Kermit Ruffins, for his latest book. Mazza spent many […]

Thomas Brothers, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism (W.W. Norton & Company)

Thomas Brothers’ second volume in his massive Louis Armstrong biography begins in 1931 with Satchmo singing “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You” (a.k.a. “You Rascal You,” a.k.a. […]

Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana by Joshua Clegg Caffery

Although the 1934 field recordings of father-and-son folklorists John and Alan Lomax helped preserve various forms of Southwest Louisiana’s traditional music, ironically no textual studies similar to the 1917 publication […]

Matt Sakakeeny & Willie Birch, Roll with It — Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (Duke University Press)

When the energy of a social aid and pleasure club parade becomes particularly high and the forward motion of the second line feels unstoppable, the chant “Roll with it…” encourages […]