Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

FRANKIE FORD

After WWII, New Orleans rocked to the sound of up-tempo Jump Blues, soon to be called R&B, driven by pounding piano riffs, funky drumming and light, clipped saxophones. Young men like Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis and Roy Brown laid the foundations for Rock’n’Roll when the music crossed over into the mainstream in the mid-50s. Frankie…

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LARRY WILLIAMS

Larry Williams was a great singer, pianist, producer and songwriter, who had long and fruitful partnerships with both Little Richard and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. However, he also had a long term drug problem, and he died from gunshot wounds in LA at the age of 44. Born in New Orleans in 1935, Lawrence Eugene ‘Larry’…

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MARCIA BALL

Texas and the Gulf Coast has produced some of the best modern music in the Blues tradition, and Austin, Texas maintains its reputation as the epicentre of the genre. Long-time resident Marcia Ball is a formidable pianist with a strong sense of swing and a sweet-toned voice to carry off her largely self-written repertoire. While…

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LEE DORSEY

New Orleans music made the world dance after WWII, with Jump-Blues and sax and piano driven good-time backbeats, but in the 60s it was home to some real funky R&B. Lee Dorsey was its foremost practitioner, as his records crossed racial and national boundaries, and opened our ears to his soulful voice and clever songs.…

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TOMMY RIDGLEY

Tommy Ridgley was a big noise in New Orleans in the early 50s when the music coming out of the Crescent City was making the whole world dance. The swinging vocals Tommy put over those driving sax and piano melodies and Big Beat rhythms caught the mood of the time. Many of his contemporaries went…

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SMILEY LEWIS

Smiley Lewis was a big-voiced New Orleans guitarist who put out some great R&B records in the early 50s that sold well for him, but went on to provide worldwide hits for other artists. With Fats Domino sharing top billing with him at Lew Chudd‘s Imperial Records, the company used the pair as a ‘one-two…

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ERNIE K-DOE

It is easy to write off Ernie K-Doe as a one-hit-wonder, despite his good total of R&B Chart entries, but they were all overshadowed by his monster 1961 hit ‘Mother-in-Law’ which went to Number One in the Billboard Hot 100 as well as the R&B chart. While he never came close to repeating that feat,…

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JOHN MOONEY

Leading his New Orleans based band Bluesiana, John Mooney’s heavy, rhythmic guitar style combines Delta slide work with electric Blues that can boogie with the best of them. A series of classy albums and relentless touring have made him a welcome guest on the world Festival circuit, and a fixture in his adopted home town.…

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Professor Longhair

New Orleans is famous for funky music, and Professor Longhair played a big part in bringing that funky feel to the clubs where he banged out his Afro-Cuban rhythms after WWII. Fats Domino, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint all cite the Professor as a major influence on the characteristic ‘rhumba-boogie’ piano music…

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HUEY ‘PIANO’ SMITH

New Orleans pianist Huey specialised in the rocking R&B flavoured boogie-woogie that was so popular in his home-town in the early 50s. He played local clubs in the company of his friend Eddie Jones (Guitar Slim) for about four years, and after session work with Little Richard and Lloyd Price he formed The Clowns in…

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