Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Ryan Adams  was in New Orleans on Saturday to worship The Rolling Stones with the one-off “Exile on Bourbon St.” concert, a full-album tribute to the Stones’ 1972 landmark album “Exile on Main Street”.

Ryan Adams was joined at the Saenger Theatre by a group of New Orleans musicians including Cyril Neville on percussion, John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood on keys and Terence Higgins of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on drums. Erstwhile Stones producer Don Was served as musical director and played bass. All 18 Exile On Main Street songs were on the set list, as was “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (which, of course, was actually on 1971’s Sticky Fingers). La Sera’s Todd Wisenbaker, who worked with Adams on his 1989 covers album, contributed guitar and backing vocals.

The performance featured some long jams on the songs Keith Richards probably would hate, and other moments of artistic license, like the honky-tonky swing of “Sweet Virginia” subbed out for a more ponderous alt-rock feel.

Adams did treat fans to a couple of extra tunes in the encore, including ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ from 1971’s Sticky Fingers, and ‘The Worst’, from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge.

Exile On Main St. was released back in May of 1972 after being recording the previous year while The Rolling Stones were living in France as tax exiles. Touching on a wide variety of topics and themes while utilising a number of musical styles, the album has often been considered by many music critics as one of the group’s finest works, and one of the greatest albums of all time.

Earlier in the week, Adams tweeted a photo of his telecaster and some crib notes for the 18 songs that would make up the show, writing. “The hardest Rolling Stones songs to learn are weirdly the ones with the least chord changes.”

Some of the songs were performed faithfully, though others were given a new tempo or some extra jangle. “Sweet Virginia,” for one, was slowed way down and played more as a ballad than a country stomper. Watch the band perform that one, plus “Tumbling Dice” and a nine-minute version of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”

The iconic singer-songwriter Ryan Adams headlined his Exile on Bourbon St. an incredible group of musicians performed one of the greatest albums in music history, Exile on Main St., in its entirety. “I’ve listened to all the multi-track tapes from the EXILE period and it’s not hyperbolic to say that this is probably the greatest rock ‘n roll ever recorded! I can’t wait to dig deep into these songs with The Mighty Ryan Adams and this incredible group of musicians,” says Don Was,

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Bent Denim builds beautiful, narrative- driven songs by swapping tracks over email between their respective home bases of Nashville, New York, and New Orleans.

“Idiot” is the new track from Bent Denim and while it makes for a flat and grey three-minute space, over time it becomes something quietly but strikingly pretty; the tempered sound of listlessness articulated rather beautifully indeed.

Taken from the duo’s new album ‘Town and Country’. which is released on May 11th, the new track is almost hypnotically tender, and it’s no surprise to hear that it was informed by the idea of childhood and memories and the space such things leave behind. Slurred and suffocating, the whole thing plays out like some filmic half-dream sequence, where the weight of an afternoon sends us spiralling back to rarely visited recollections of youth, the distance between then-and-now leading to the kind of yearning nostalgia that can quickly put paid to the rest of the day.

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Tenderly handled, and all the more alluring for the blurred gaps it’s happy to reveal, “Idiot” is a captivating next-step, and one that adds even greater intrigue to the forthcoming new record.

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Band Members
Ben Littlejohn,
Dennis Sager,
Chris Littlejohn,

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Heralded by Springsteen himself as one of his finest and most meaningful shows, Jazz Fest ’06 beautifully captures Bruce and the Seeger Sessions Band opening their tour with a cathartic performance just months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Some things are meant to be. That Bruce Springsteen’s immersion into roots music, The Seeger Sessions, was released just six days before he and the band of the same name appeared at the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival post-Hurricane Katrina had to be an act of benevolent fate. Rarely has the subject matter and style of a particular set of music felt so apropos to a moment.

Often it is the confluence of occasion and performance that distinguishes a great show from an all-timer and on those grounds, Jazz Fest 2006 has come to be considered one for the ages. “This…felt even above and beyond Springsteen’s high performance standards,” wrote LA Times critic Randy Lewis in his contemporary review, “a concert infused with the shout-out jubilation of an unfettered hootenanny.”

Reverent reflections on Bruce’s Jazz Fest performance have continued ever since. “I am not alone in ranking that show as quite likely the best, and certainly most emotional, musical experience of my life,” wrote New Orleans Times-Picyune critic Keith Spera in 2012. Spera’s opinion is shared by none other than Springsteen himself, who wrote in Born to Run, “There was one show in America that stood out as not only one of the finest but one of the most meaningful of my work life: New Orleans.”

With such heady endorsements, Jazz Fest 2006 fully merits inclusion as the latest release in the archival download series. For those not lucky enough to witness the show in person, the official recording also represents a fresh opportunity to re-experience the performance, previously only available via audience recording. The sound here, mixed from multi-tracks by Jon Altschiller, is full-bodied and warm, with a wide-stereo mix that gives space to all 20 or so players and singers on stage, and just the right amount of crowd response to capture the full bilateral experience.

“Alright, this is our first gig, let’s hope it goes well,” Bruce says at the top, summing up a spirit that’s equal parts purpose and looseness. The former comes from being in New Orleans, post Katrina, a subject Bruce addresses head-on, notably in his intro to “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?,” reflecting on the devastation he witnessed while touring the city the day before the show and calling out the failure of government officials, from then President Bush on down, to address the situation. He goes so far as to dedicate the song to “President Bystander.”

The looseness is there by design in the very act of assembling and bringing this seemingly unwieldy number of accomplished players to the stage to play timeless folk and protest music (save for a few reworkings of Bruce’s own songs) for the first time on the road, as Jazz Fest also doubled as opening night of the Seeger Sessions tour.

The result is a Springsteen performance that’s fully in the moment and delightfully off the cuff. One minute he’s solemnly addressing the difficult times many in the Jazz Fest audience were experiencing, the next he’s mocking his own inability to tune a guitar or having an amusing wardrobe malfunction with his belt.

The music follows the same recipe for catharsis. “We Shall Overcome” is majestic and poignant, “Eyes On the Prize” elegiac and “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?” triumphant, each brilliantly arranged to showcase the capabilities of the band. Elsewhere singalong songs like “Buffalo Gals” and “Pay Me My Money Down” offer rollicking fun and feel right at home on the Jazz Fest stage. As Springsteen himself wrote in Born to Run: “I finally had a band that I felt would contextually fit Jazz Fest and might be able to pull the weight of that position.”

Of the Seeger-ized originals played here, “Open All Night,” reimagined as a big-band rave-up, is the standout, but another of Bruce’s own compositions, written with this kind of band already in mind, provided the night’s emotional crescendo. “This is a song I originally wrote for my adopted hometown, Asbury Park,” Springsteen says introducing “My City of Ruins.” “Parts of it look a lot like parts of New Orleans right now….so I wanna sing this and dedicate it to the people and the city of New Orleans tonight.”

The fitting question the song asks, “How will I begin again?”, and the empowering answer, “Come on, rise up,” struck a deep chord with many in attendance. Wrote Spera in his original Times-Picyune review, “Thousands lifted their hands to the sky. I wept, my wife wept. And we were not alone.” Throughout the set, lyric after lyric from the Seeger Sessions material feels penned for the New Orleans audience. “What happened to you poor folks just ain’t fair,” Springsteen declares in “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?,” while “O Mary Don’t You Weep” prophesies, “Brothers and sisters don’t you cry, there’ll be good times by and by.” Hearing such words of acknowledgement and hope sung out in such a musically engaging performance translates wonderfully in the Jazz Fest 2006 recording.

Perhaps the LA Times’ Randy Lewis summed it up best: “One concert, of course, cannot even begin to undo such monumental destruction as Katrina left, but Springsteen seemed to understand that even a moment of renewal can make a huge difference.” Amen to that.

On her earlier albums, Alynda Segarra (aka Hurray For the Riff Raff) explored the troubadour wanderings and raffish sounds of Americana. On the 29 year old’s visionary new work,  The Navigator she brings it all back home, re-connecting to her buried Puerto Rican roots. In the process, Segarra struck an original mix of roiling bomba rhythms and catchy New York rock. Drawing inspiration from Ziggy Stardust  , she conceived ‘The Navigator’ as a sci-fi tinged concept album, tracing the life of a character named Navita Milagros Negron through a metaphysical world. The lyrics present the story as a play, with allusions to the Latin political group of the ’70s, The Young Lords and verse from Puerto Rican poet Pedro Pietri. Segarra’s catchy songs connect the dots in the long lineage of Latin influences on popular music, from the street-corner harmonies of doo-wop to the romantic hits of the Brill Building to the Latin-rock of acts from Mink DeVille to The Ghetto Brothers. A song like “Living In The City”  sounds like something Lou Reed could have cut in the early ’70s, delivered with righteous fervor by Segarra’s resonant vibrato. Themes of gentrification and cultural appropriation anchor the story. Properly staged, ‘The Navigator’ could become a rock opera for our time.

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Nirvana’s brief stint with superstardom began with the release of their groundbreaking, smash hit album “Nevermind” in September 1991. For two-and-a-half years the group dominated rock radio, with many calling Kurt Cobain the voice of his generation (though the man himself was not particularly fond of this designation). Nirvana only made one stop in New Orleans during that time—a December 3rd, 1993 concert at the UNO Lakefront Arena—but fortunately there’s a decent audience recording of the show floating around online.

All but the night’s first two songs can be heard on the recording, which provides a fascinating taste of the band’s live sound. The band’s raw style came through quite nicely on their albums, but apparently it was even more pronounced in concert.

Nirvana in New Orleans. December 3rd, 1993
Setlist Radio Friendly Unit Shifter*, Drain You*, Breed, Serve The Servants, Come As You Are, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sliver, Dumb, In Bloom, About A Girl, Lithium, Pennyroyal Tea, School, Polly, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle, Milk It, Rape Me, Territorial Pissings, Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam, The Man Who Sold The World, All Apologies, Scentless Apprentice, Heart-Shaped Box, Blew

*Not included on recording

Arguably the most overtly political act on the folk-rock scene right now, we suspected this new album from Alynda Lee Segarra and co would be a bit of a call to arms. Indeed, it is, and it delivers. “The Navigator” is the sixth full-length studio album by Hurray for the Riff Raff, released by ATO Records last March 2017. The album was produced by Paul Butler, a member of the band The Bees. This powerful album has musical diversity, consistent quality and gripping songwriting all while feeling effortless,

“The question of identity is touched upon throughout the songs here (national, political, gender), but in terms of musical identity, Hurray for the Riff Raff know exactly who they are.

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New Orleans newcomer Benjamin Booker’s debut lives and breathes the Deep South, from the Chuck Berry references (most effective on opener ‘Violent Shiver’) to the slower, more hushed tones of ‘I Thought I Heard You Screaming’, 

Benjamin Booker makes music that sounds like someone threw a match into a box of fireworks: bright, furious, explosive garage rock that’s liable to set a house on fire. Fighting out of New Orleans, the 24 year-old has already played Letterman and Conan and been tapped to open for Jack White on his latest string of dates all absent a debut album, which finally was released on August 19th via ATO Records. Roiling with bloozy guitar licks, soaring Hammond organs, and Booker’s moonstruck vocals — dude’s a howler, yet his scuffed up croon is equally compelling on smoky ballad “Slow Coming” — the self-titled release may end up a contender for rock record of the year. Crank “Violent Shiver” at your next house party. It’ll liven the place up, if not burn it down altogether.

News: Benjamin Booker signs to ATO, releases a track, plays Letterman

 

 

The Deslondes.

The Deslondes‘ take on country relies on a gritty, grimy mix of early rock ‘n’ roll and lo-fi , so it’s appropriate that the New Orleans band’s new single would go full-on swamp music.“Muddy Water,” which debuts today with a new video directed by Joshua Shoemaker, is the first glimpse of their sophomore record, “Hurry Home”.

Written and sung by Riley Downing, “Muddy Water” doesn’t actually fit the band’s newly rock-leaning form. The opening track of the 13-song album, it’s a languid, simmering acoustic ballad colored by nostalgia and the stifling humidity of a Louisiana summer.‘Muddy Water’ is just a few memories written from kids’ perspectives about growing up outside of a small town on an old farm, running around with my brothers, cousins and friends,” says Downing.

The video, shot along the Mississippi River, has a surreal Stand By Me vibe, centering around a group of young boys who play dead ringers for the members of the Deslondes. They ride their bikes and carouse around a campfire as the shots jump back and forth to the grown-up band sitting around a kitchen table.

Hurry Home, produced by Adrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), is the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut and is out June 23rd on New West Records. The Deslondes head out on tour June 6th

From the new album ‘Hurry Home’ available June 23rd

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Recorded live at the Superdome in New Orleans for Farm Aid 7 in September of 1994, this is classic grunge-era Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Though the set list consists of only 5 tunes, the show’s running time is nearly an hour as Neil and the band give epic performances of all-time favorites like “Down By The River”, and Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”, as well as newer arrivals like “Country Home” (from 1990’s Ragged Glory) and “Change Your Mind” (from 1994’s Sleeps With Angels). An essential Neil live set available now in unprecedented sound quality.LP and coloured vinyl.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse perform “Down By the River” live at the Farm Aid concert in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 18th, 1994. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001

photo by Connor Reever

Motel Radio have just released their latest track off of their forthcoming EP, Desert Surf FilmsFrom New Orleans, the band is made up of Ian Wellman on guitar and vocals, Winston Triolo on guitar and vocals, Eric Lloyd on drums and vocals, Andrew Pancamo on bass and vocals, and David Hart on keys and vocals. The band emerged from a songwriting collar between Ian and Winston, who were college roommates. Their latest song is called “Palmilla,” and we have it for you to listen to first here.

“Palmilla” has a laid back, beachy vibe. The guitar is smooth and hypnotic. The harmonies in the vocals are soothing and relaxing. The instrumentals blend seamlessly with one another, as to the vocals. The sound is mellow and captivates your attention from start to finish. With a track like this, it’s easy to see why the band was names “Best Emerging Artist” at the Big Easy Awards in New Orleans in 2016

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We’ve become very taken with this track Palmilla, the third song released off Motel Radio’s forthcoming new EP Desert Surf Films, which will be released on August 12th, via Roll Call Records.

It is a lovely, breezy slice of rolling Americana with a  tinge of surfy, psych rock woven seamlessly throughout.

It follows the equally lovely Gimme Your Love and any fans of Jackson Browne

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