Oct 14

The stories behind the songs

Join us tonight, 30 October, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, for a music-themed book festival to kick off the Louisiana Festival of Books. LSU Press authors Barbara Barnes Sims (author of The Next Elvis), John Wirt (author of Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues), and Alex Cook (author of Louisiana Saturday Night) will be at Lagniappe Records to sign their books. You’ll get to meet our authors and receive 20% off books and records! This event is free and open to the public.

In the run-up to the Lagniappe signing, our own Alex Cook put together a Spotify playlist for his book. Here it is–enjoy!

A lot of driving went into writing Louisiana Saturday Night, and driving always means music to me. Some of these selections like J. Paul Jr or Joe Falcon were about getting me in the mood for the music I was about to witness at some far-off location. Songs like “Whipping Post” just open up a time-tunnel that can get a weary driver down a lonely highway home in one piece. Most of these were happenstance: the CD my frequent traveling companion Clarke Gernon was into at the moment. One I was into. I’d just seen Calexico play at JazzFest and couldn’t get “Not Even Stevie Nicks…” out of my head for a month.

One selection holds a particular memory: I was on some St. Landry Parish backroad, totally lost, listening to K-BON out of Rayne, La. and the announcer was talking about the time he got to meet Charles Mann at some festival appearance. he brought his grandson up to meet him as well and the pride and admiration in that moment was palpable; it filled the dark car with light. You’d have thought he was talking about meeting Elvis or Muhammad Ali or something. I never really liked the original Dire Staits version of “Walk of Life’ but in Charles Mann’s flattened delivery over an accordion shuffle, “the song about the sweet lovin’ woman/the song about the knife” – the whole of that song came clear and I understood something profound about swamp pop and Louisiana music in general. It is important because it is peculiar in nature and bizarrely extant in the face of the monoculture, but it is special because the people of Louisiana make it special.

Jun 07

Buddy Bolden Movies in the Works

Marquisbolden_2"No one is really sure what [New Orleans’s] first "cornet king," Charles (Buddy) Bolden, sounded like 100 years ago, much less what made him tick," writes MICHAEL CIEPLY recently in the New York Times.

For years the legend of Buddy Bolden was overshadowed by myths about his music, his reckless lifestyle, and his mental instability. In In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz, author Donald M. Marquis sought to overlay the Bolden myth with fact and substance. Now, two movies are currently in production, inspired by the life of Buddy Bolden, and Marquis’s authoritative biography.

The first movie, "Bolden," a musical biography, is now in post-production having been filmed on site in Wilmington, NC and New Orleans.  The second movie is a silent film, "The Great Observer." They are expected to be released together. The executive producer of both films is New Orleans native, Wynton Marsalis.

May 07

Bobby Braddock Talks

Braddockbobbyap_4 Bobby Braddock, the award-winning country songwriter behind tunes including "He Stopped Loving Her today," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," and "I Wanna Talk About Me," and the author of a new memoir, Down in Orburndale: A Songwriter’s Youth in Old Florida, spoke recently with Terry Gross on NPR’s FRESH AIR. Listen to the interview at: NPR.org

Nov 06

Louisiana State Museum Archives Radio Programs

Burnsap Upon the death of three New Orleans Jazz legends—Anthony “Tuba Fats” Lacen, Harold Dejan, and Milton Batiste—Mick Burns (1942-2007), a jazz musician and author of Keeping the Beat on the Street: The New Orleans Brass Band Renaissance, prepared a one-hour radio tribute for each that included music by and interviews with the musician. The Louisiana State Museum has recently added these three programs to its digital sound archives, supporting the audio files with relevant photographs and text. Together, the programs provide a compelling oral history of the New Orleans jazz scene for most of the twentieth century. To find the programs, go to the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection Web site at: http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/JAZ/Pages/home.html and search for “Mick Burns”.