Something Else! Interviews

Something Else! Interview: Orrin Evans, jazz pianist, composer and bandleader

Orrin Evans arrived amidst a wave of new jazz performers in the early 1990s. Unlike many of those young lions, however, he managed to bob up from that era’s ultimately empty retro-conservatism.

Gregg Rolie, of Santana and Journey: Something Else! Interview

Gregg Rolie, of Santana and Journey: Something Else! Interview

Gregg Rolie discusses Santana and Journey, two legendary bands he co-founded, as well as his intimate solo EP ‘Five Days.’

One Track Mind: Zachary Richard, with Celine Dion – "Acadian Driftwood" (2009)

One Track Mind: Zachary Richard, with Celine Dion – "Acadian Driftwood" (2009)

Both the most French of American musicians, and the other way around, Cajun rock star Zachary Richard makes roots music that couldn’t go by any other name. It is about his heritage, and his people’s, in Louisiana and in Canada and back all the way to France. In fact, his newest recording, “Last Kiss,” is Richard’s first non-French recording inRead More

General Patterson – Shackville (2009)

by Nick DeRiso General Patterson’s “Shackville,” recorded with former bandmates from north Louisiana bar-band legends Howard Shaft, moves like a warm, rustling breeze through the treetops. Surprising, indeed, for an on-stage performer known for his rumbling Southern-fried blues grind. Where Patterson’s shows typically push out from the stage with a tough, muscular emotion, “Shackville” offers delicate insights, set to aRead More

Something Else! Interview: Everyman country star Sammy Kershaw

Something Else! Interview: Everyman country star Sammy Kershaw

by Nick DeRiso  Sammy Kershaw has always come off as a working-man’s country star. It’s no put on. He arrived for a scheduled interview having just finished mowing his own grass, weed eating and all. “I love physical work,” says Kershaw, a Louisiana-born son of a farmer, a former Wal Mart employee who became a hit-song singer, then an out-of-nowhereRead More

Thomas Edison 'Brownie' Ford – Stories from Mountains, Swamps, and Honky-tonks (1991)

Thomas Edison 'Brownie' Ford – Stories from Mountains, Swamps, and Honky-tonks (1991)

by Nick DeRiso  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. Born in 1904, Thomas Edison “Brownie” Ford would travel all over the Deep South — working as a ballad singer, bronc buster, storyteller and craftsman — before settling in Hebert, La. He passedRead More

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

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