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American Epic

Documentary debuting this evening on PBS — the trailer here. AMERICAN EPIC represents a ten-year odyssey by Allison McGourty, director Bernard MacMahon, musician Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh, that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought…

Royal Southern Brotherhood’s The Royal Gospel

Usually when the hyperbolic term “supergroup” is used that alone is enough to dissuade me from listening. This group so far, is an exception. At least on their latest album they offer a powerful and seamless emergent blend of funk, gospel and blues — it doesn’t get much better than this. bluesfunkgospelmusicnew orleansRoyal Southern Brotherhood

Bayou Maharajah: James Booker Story

I’ve been anticipating seeing this for quite some time now and today was the day. The DVD packaging is superb and of course features a “who’s who” of the NOLA music scene. Two of my favorite clips include the 1973 Don Kirshner Rock Concert with Mac, the Harry Connick Sr. (and 12 y.o. Jr.) segments, and the Scott Billington segment featuring…

Guardians of the Groove

The best little community radio station around for top-notch music (gig listings, recipes and more) and of course these days you don’t have to be in New Orleans to listen or indeed to watch their regular live video streams — a conduit to the deepest and widest musical tradition, constantly being infused with new talent. Please…

Traveling Soul

I’ve just learnt that there is newly published biography of Curtis Mayfield, a long overdue project I’d been hoping for over the past few years. acid soulCurtis Mayfieldgospelmusicsoul

Steely Dan: The Making of Aja

This documentary gets taken down/blocked from time to time (at least to me) so it’s worth checking out this Japanese subtitled version. Fascinating seeing these meticulous and obsessive musicians work with equally obsessive session musicians (and other amazing performers such as Wayne Shorter), without it ever becoming bloodless — infused with gospel, blues and some superb…

Reverend Charlie Jackson

. . . the inseparable connection between the sinning music of Saturday night and the sanctified music of Sunday morning . . . Perfectly expressed by Thom Jurek discussing my latest acquisition recommended to me by someone at the  wonderful Louisiana Music Factory. This man’s holy blues sounds more punk than Hillsong, but no matter your beliefs, hearing…

To get to the light you need to cross the shadow

If there’s one truth all outlaws know To get to the light you need to cross the shadow This phrase from Deltaphonic’s “Buckhorn Saloon” pretty much sums up the spirit animating this astonishing debut album entitled Texas, Texas. Without doubt it’s the Exile on Main Street for our time: dirty, earthy, gritty, soulful, sweaty, troubled, tongue-in-cheek…