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Chris Harris: master NOLA documenter

It’s been long overdue but Chris now has representation with the top-notch A Gallery for Fine Photography. Not only has Chris had access to the “who’s who” of the NOLA arts scene (Clementine Hunter, Tennessee Williams, Walker Percy, Thelma Toole, Professor Longhair) but Chris has shown me images not in the gallery (James Booker, Gatemouth, Charles…

Fess Up: Professor Longhair

Still in NOLA here is a newly curated anthology of the life and works of Professor Longhair (this year marks the centenary of his birth), originally documented by the late Stevenson J. Palfi. That “Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together” is quite true, but we are lucky to have had the Fats-Ray-Jerry summit from thirty years…

The Fats Domino Story

As one might expect there will be a plethora of shallow obituaries and a flurry of mediocre books but the best sources and likely to remain so are Rick Coleman’s Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Joseph Lauro’s The Big Beat: The Story of Fats Domino and His Band (available on…

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…

Cocaine boogie: James Booker, the tragic piano genius of New Orleans

Not that one really needs any confirmation, but listening to this rerelease, the genius is palpable. Maestro producer Scott Billington‘s liner notes are fascinating. Here’s hoping that more releases are in the offing — there is precious little available even at the Louisiana Music Factory. Also, check out this Guardian piece plugging the recent documentary. Bayou Maharajah: The…