Time for some “Fire on the Bayou” at a rare reunion of New Orleans’ funk jam band and studio wizards, The Meters — Art Neville, keyboards; Leo Nocentelli, guitar; Zigaboo Modeliste, drums; and George Porter Jr., bass — on stage at the Howlin’ Wolf club. Then Drive-By Truckers, fronted by songmen/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood, bring their poetic and critical style of Southern rock a la Muscle Shoals, Alabama to New Orleans’ historic Civic Theatre. Finally we roll 80 miles upriver to the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, featuring dapper Mississippian Little Freddie King; Louisiana swamp blues guitarist Lil Buck Sinegal; Creole zydeco accordionist Jeffery Broussard; and Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens from New York. Turn on, tune in and chill out!
The Houston-born singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell talks about growing up on the rough side of town with the ghost of Hank Williams as a “family member,” as well writing songs for his recent duet partner Emmylou Harris. He also wrote for many of the country heavy weights from Jerry Reed to Guy Clark and Bob Seeger, and was also the antagonist in Rosanne Cash’s signature tune “Seven Year Ache.” Then we’ll sit down live in a rare visit to Nashville (!) with the Crescent City’s Nite Tripper himself Dr. John, who reminisces about and demonstrates his early days at the piano, and on a music industry “spying mission” that could only happen in New Orleans.
THE FOLK REVIVAL REVISITED: PETE SEEGER, JUDY COLLINS, JIM KWESKIN, JERRY GARCIA, JOAN BAEZ, AND MORE
The American folk music revival that grew from the Post-WWII era to the Sixties was about more than just music: it wrapped in political activism, romantic visions of the self and the “folk,” group “sing-a-longs,” “hootenannies” and careers of singer-songwriters. We interview folk heroine Judy Collins about her move from traditional British folk songs to the new songs and sounds in Greenwich Village. Jug bandleader Jim Kweskin talks about his love of communal living. The late Pete Seeger and Alan Lomax offer opinions on their divergent views of folk music and the quest for authenticity. Jerry Garcia tells of his most influential folk music source and we’ll hear Dylan go electric at Newport in 1965. Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops talks about bringing back the peoples’ music of another era today.
We recall two grand figures of New Orleans music beginning with Ernie K-Doe, the surreal soul man of catchy songs, and flamboyant antics in New Orleans R&B. Ben Sandmel who wrote Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans joins the carnivalesque conversation. Then a piano tribute to Professor Longhair by Dr. John, Jon Cleary and George Porter, live from the legendary New Orleans club Tipitina’s, named after Longhair’s most famous song. We also play the original recordings with commentary from Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, producer Jerry Wexler, and studio recordist Cosimo Matassa.
We’ll remember the late singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, through his music and his own words. Then a visit to Rugby, VA for a close listen into sustainable guitars and ukuleles, made by Jayne and Wayne Henderson, of Henderson Guitars.