Something Else! Interviews

Something Else! Interview: Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts has burst back onto the jazz landscape, 11 years after his last session, with “New Orleans Meets Harlem, Vol. 1” – one of the Florida-born pianist’s most celebrated recordings. A rich and explorative combining of styles from across the legacy, Roberts’ record nevertheless retains its uniquely Southern voice with notable assists from longtime playing partners Roland Guerin onRead More

Jesse ‘Baby Face’ Thomas (1911-1995): An Appreciation

Jesse ‘Baby Face’ Thomas (1911-1995): An Appreciation

This is an updated excerpt from a multi-artist piece I had published as part of the statewide Louisiana Folklife Festival’s program book in 1995. Thomas suffered a fatal heart attack later that same year, in his hometown of Shreveport, La., ending a career that spanned seven decades: On his old records, Jesse “Baby Face” Thomas is a whispering recollection ofRead More

Something Else! Interview: Nashville sessions drummer Lonnie Wilson

Something Else! Interview: Nashville sessions drummer Lonnie Wilson

“It’s funny how perceptive parents can be,” ace drummer Lonnie Wilson tells me. “When I was little, my mother was listening to me practice. I was running into the house, listening to a record, then practicing some more.” Musicians call that kind of near-evangelical practice “wood-shedding.” From these lonely, repetitive sessions, many a great musician has been born. Your CharlieRead More

Terence Blanchard – Simply Stated (1991)

Terence Blanchard – Simply Stated (1991)

This record was, Blanchard told me, his love letter to Miles Davis. In retrospect, it was the beginning of his ascension from young lion into modern standard bearer, too. Born in New Orleans, and brought up in one of the final incarnations of Art Blakey’s traveling finishing school the Jazz Messengers, Blanchard was often inappropriately compared to the similarly resumedRead More

Something Else! Interview: Country singer Andy Griggs

Something Else! Interview: Country singer Andy Griggs

So, you’re Andy Griggs, a sugar-sweet pop-country singer from West Monroe, La. And you’re standing in the lonely bull’s eye of center stage, guitar in hand. There are hundreds and hundreds of pairs of eyes looking back. “The adrenaline!” you say, whispering. “There’s a difference between 1,000 people and 15,000. There really is.” OK, so you’re nervous. But you singRead More

Something Else! Featured Artist: Louisiana Music Hall of Fame pianist Doug Duffey

NICK DERISO: The list of Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductees is predictably recognizable. You’ve got your Dr. Johns and Clarence “Frogman” Henrys, your John Freds and your Blackie Forestiers, your Frankie Fords and your Doug Duffeys. Hold up, Doug Duffey? The northern Louisiana-based globe-trotter may be one of the state’s most under appreciated ivory-pounders. Perhaps, it’s because Duffey —Read More

Freddie Krc and The Shakin' Apostles – Medicine Show (1997)

NICK DERISO: The title cut of “Medicine Show” is a room-clearing-brawl type of song: It forces you to pay close attention from there on out. Freddie “Steady” Krc and the Shakin’ Apostles reaffirm, and right from the start, their neat amalgamation of mop-top whimsy and Hill Country picking. They make room for this weird modernity, too, allowing at times forRead More

Movies: Rhythm 'n' Bayous: A Road Map to Louisiana Music (2001)

by Nick DeRiso This two-hour documentary explores music from both southern and northern Louisiana, a rare tip of the hat to both traditions. So you have the expected segments on Acadiana- and New Orleans-based standouts Rosie Ledet, the Hackberry Ramblers, Henry Butler, Nathan Williams and the Jambalaya Cajun Band, among others. But respected filmmaker Robert Mugge (“Deep Blues,” 1991) alsoRead More

The Sullivans – At the Feet of God (1995)

NICK DERISO: Used to be, liking the Alabama-born Sullivans was akin to being part of some secret society. Nobody knew ’em. But the ones who did, well, they flat-out loved ’em. Then, somewhere along the way, Jerry and Tammy Sullivan went from being little-known gospel greats to gosh-dog superstars. We’re talking: Television appearances. Shows with top country acts like BrooksRead More

Christopher Caouette – Ring of Dragons (1999)

by Nick DeRiso Like “alternative” before it, the term new-age music has been stretched out of shape by the varied and interesting voices that have gotten involved over the years. But you’ve got to have a label for the bins at those mall record stores. And, so it goes. Peek inside, though, and you’ll find several different layers. Take ChristopherRead More

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