New Orleans Stew

Fleur de lis, St. Chapelle, 3.2011

Fleur de lis, St. Chapelle, 3.2011. Photo by Marcia Yapp

Big Chief

Professor Longhair (Fess, to the initiated, born Henry Byrd, died a legend) recounts Mardi Gras day from the perspective of an Indian Tribe’s Big Chief.

Ferry Man

Aurora Nealand and her Royal Roses Band stomp this amazing tune.  Aurora’s vocal and soprano sax send this one into the stratosphere.  You gotta love the Mississippi-as-Styx connection here…


Dr. John weighs in with his version of The Fess’s iconic masterpiece.  If this doesn’t give you shivers, you’re needing a stiff drink immediately.

New Orleans Joys [1st Take]

Jelly Roll Morton claims he invented jazz in New Orleans out of a bluesy ragtime stew. This tune from 1923 pretty much convinces you he wasn’t just whistling Dixie.

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

Louis Armstrong’s remarkable live version of this beautiful tribute to his native city. America never did better than producing this artist.

Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky

Allan Toussaint produced, wrote, engineered, mixed and edited more great New Orleans 60’s and 70’s pop music than anyone.  Here’s one he also performed. The funky element in the New Orleans musical stew is highlighted here…

Buona Sera

New Orleans singer and showman Louis Prima became a Vegas headliner, but this early tune perfectly straddles 40’s vocal pop and 50’s rock and roll.

My Darlin New Orleans

Little Queenie and the Percolators recorded but one tune before disbanding, but what a tune! The delivery, the imagery…you can practically smell the city on a hot summer day in this one.

I Think It’s Going To Rain Today

Irma Thomas, sweet soul queen of the New Orleans R&B scene for 50 years just about makes you cry with this lovely Randy Newman tune.

Frenchmen Street Blues

John Cleary’s beautiful meditation on the city he loves.  Maybe it takes a transplanted Brit to spell it out so clearly for those of us who weren’t born there…

Muskrat Ramble

Louis Armstrong’s truly amazing bands, the Hot Fives and The Hot Sevens, took the brand new musical form Jazz to a whole new place.  This tune from about 1927 was later interpreted (that is, ripped off) by Country Joe McDonald as the famous Fish Cheer song from Woodstock. Sincere flattery, indeed.

La Danse De Mardi Gras

So much of my NoLa music collection was built from stuff I first heard on the HBO show, Treme.  This song is one of those, highlighting the Cajun influence on Mardi Gras music.  There’s some ancient, wild stuff happening in this tune…

Louisiana, 1927 (Live)

Goodtime gal Marcia Ball belts out this Randy Newman history lesson.  Heard her play this live once and I think I wept…

Carnival Time

Al Johnson, NoLa native and Louisiana Music Hall of Fame member, resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, sings his signature tune.


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