Author Archives: Brian Boyles

Still To Be Continued: TBC Brass Band Talks Exile on Bourbon Street

It is Wednesday night at Celebration Hall on St. Bernard Avenue and there is way too much talent in the room. If the New Orleans brass band community really were a mafia, tonight would be a summit for the heads of families. Representatives of the Rebirth, Stooges and Young Fellaz exchange daps and order drinks [...]

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James Martin: Something Borrowed, Something Blue

To celebrate his first solo album, singer-saxophonist James Martin made a unique display of filial piety. “I released the album in coordination with my ancestor Francois Martin’s marriage to Marguerite Denes in the St. Louis Cathedral, 250 years prior to the date,” he explains. In a city where family ties stretch back centuries, you’d be [...]

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Caleb Elliott, Where You Wanna Be (Freetown Songs)

On his debut album, Lafayette’s Caleb Elliott takes us back to a sweeter pop era—the early ’90s, when artists Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms offered sincerity and longing atop clean guitar work. For such a young guy, Elliott’s sound lacks only rough edges, blessed as he is with an idyllic voice and [...]

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Dirty Bourbon River Show, Volume Three (Independent)

The persistence of New Orleans R&B in the work of today’s younger artists is reassuring, even when it’s but one hue on a crowded palette. On Volume Three, Dirty Bourbon River Show shoots off Matassan flares of its own from under the patchwork cover of gypsy/brass/funk. Driven by a parade beat, “True Blue Blues” proves [...]

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Ernie Vincent, Louisiana Magic (KOLAB Records)

Often lost in the debate over live music venues is the essential role they play in the gestation and sustenance of local traditions. Nowhere was that more true than the heyday of New Orleans blues and R&B. People still mention, say, Johnny Adams playing Uptown with a deserved nostalgia. We need those places in the [...]

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Review: Nas at Voodoo

At 6 p.m. Sunday, October 28, Nas takes the Le Ritual stage with his band, Z. The Queens MC opens with “No Introduction” off the new album, Life is Good. Stunning bass engulfs the growing audience standing on rubbery track down front. “I remember early mornings -  syrup sandwiches, sugar water, yeah,” he spits, before speculating on ways [...]

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Review: Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Voodoo

The first words out of Neil Young’s mouth come from a new song and go something like, “Long ago in the book of ages….” It is an appropriate starting stance, emerging from distortion to address an audience of old and very new fans, many of whom were born around the time of Young’s resurgence in the Unplugged era. For [...]

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Hip Hop Is Alive the Play Returns to Cafe Istanbul Tonight

Remix — Hip Hop Is Alive, the play, returns this fall with a performance tonight (October 23) at Cafe Istanbul at 7:00 p.m. The play, itself, a favorite at last year’s Fringe Fest, casts local rappers as actors in a series of vignettes where dialogue revolves around popular hip-hop songs. Among others, tonight’s show stars [...]

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New Orleans Helsinki Connection, Paradise on Earth (Spirit of New Orleans Productions)

Sweetness and light abound on the latest release from New Orleans Helsinki Connection. Led by the inimitable Leroy Jones and buffeted by vocal contributions from Tricia Boutté and Yolanda Windsay, the album sounds like late afternoon. Jones and Katja Toivola direct this transatlantic exchange, enlisting players who care about getting it right. Gerald French and [...]

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Yo Laughing Matter: Cutting Up with Comedian Mark Cesar

A week after Hurricane Isaac squatted over Southeastern Louisiana, bowel movement jokes fill a room on Tulane Avenue. A deejay drops intros for comedians who lament, decry and ridicule recent events. Power outages and long drives are laughing matters when the levees work. Tonight the audience lounges on white chairs and sips cold drinks in [...]

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