Deep South Soundscape: Louisiana Rhythm and Blues

Louisiana Rhythm and Blues

In this edition of the Deep South Soundscape, the selector explores the Rhythm and Blues of Louisiana.

Fats Domino – “The Fat Man” (1949)
Dave Bartholomew – “Who Drank My Beer While I Was In The Rear” (1952)
Dave Bartholomew – “My Ding-A-Ling” (1952)
Smiley Lewis – “Blue Monday” (1954)
Fats Domino – “Ain’t That A Shame” (1955)
Dave Bartholomew – “Four Winds” (1955)
Smiley Lewis – “I Hear You Knocking” (1955)
Fats Domino – “Poor Me” (1955)
Shirley & Lee – “Let the Good Times Roll” (1956)
Fats Domino – “Blueberry Hill” (1956)
Fats Domino – “My Blue Heaven” (1956)
Clarence “Frogman” Henry – “Ain’t Got No Home” (1956)
Smiley Lewis – “One Night of Sin” (1956)
Jerry Lee Lewis – “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On” (1957)
Jerry Lee Lewis – “Great Balls of Fire” (1957)
Chris Kenner – “Sick and Tired” (1957)
Dave Bartholomew – “The Monkey” (1957)
Fats Domino – “I’m Walkin’” (1957)
Fats Domino – “Valley of Tears” (1957)
Fats Domino – “The Big Beat” (1957)
Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns – “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” (1957)
Fats Domino – “Whole Lotta Loving” (1958)
Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns – “Don’t You Just Know It” (1958)
Huey “Piano” Smith and the Clowns – “Little Chickee Wha Wha” (1958)
Al “Carnival Time” Johnson – “Carnival Time” (1959)
Lloyd Price – “Personality” (1959)
Fats Domino – “Be My Guest” (1959)
Fats Domino – “I Want To Walk You Home” (1959)
Fats Domino – “I’m In Love Again” (1959)
Fats Domino – “I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday” (1959)
Fats Domino – “I’m Ready” (1959)
Chris Kenner – “Rocket to the Moon” (1960)
Fats Domino – “Walking To New Orleans” (1960)
Fats Domino – “My Girl Josephine” (1960)
Jesse Hill – “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” (1960)
Lee Dorsey – “Ya Ya” (1961)
Lee Dorsey – “Do-Re-Mi” (1961)
Ernie K-Doe – “Mother-in-Law” (1961)
Clarence “Frogman” Henry – “(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” (1961)
Chris Kenner – “I Like It Like That (Parts 1 & 2)” (1961)
Chris Kenner – “Land of 1000 Dances” (1962)
Louis Armstrong – “Hello Dolly” (1963)
The Dixie Cups – “Chapel of Love” (1964)
The Dixie Cups – “Iko Iko” (1964)
Irma Thomas – “Time Is On My Side” (1964)
Lee Dorsey – “Ride Your Pony” (1965)
Lee Dorsey – “Get Out of My Life” (1966)
Lee Dorsey – “Confusion” (1966)
Lee Dorsey – “Working in a Coalmine” (1966)
Lee Dorsey – “Holy Cow” (1966)
Aaron Neville – “Tell It Like It Is” (1966)
Aaron Neville – “She Took Me For a Ride” (1967)
Louis Armstrong – “What A Wonderful World” (1967)
Dr. John – “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” (1968)
Johnny Adams – “Reconsider Me” (1969)
The Meters – “Cissy Strut” (1969)
Lee Dorsey – “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky From Now On” (1969)
Randy Newman – “Mama Told Me Not To Come” (1970)
The Meters – “Dry Spell” (1970)
The Meters – “Look-Ka-Py-Py” (1970)
The Meters – “Handclapping Song” (1970)
Lee Dorsey – “Yes We Can” (1970)
Randy Newman – “Sail Away” (1972)
Randy Newman – “Political Science” (1972)
Randy Newman – “You Can Leave Your Hat On” (1972)
Bobby Rush – “Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man” (1972)
The Meters – “Soul Island” (1972)
Dr. John – “Right Place Wrong Time” (1973)
Dr. John – “Such A Night” (1973)
The Meters – “Hey Pocky Way” (1974)
The Meters – “Jungle Man” (1974)
The Meters – “Fire on the Bayou” (1975)
Randy Newman – “Louisiana 1927” (1975)
Randy Newman – “Every Man A King” (1975)
Randy Newman – “Kingfish” (1975)
Randy Newman – “Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)” (1975)
Randy Newman – “Rednecks” (1975)
James Booker – “Junco Partner” (1976)
Randy Newman – “Short People” (1977)
Randy Newman – “It’s The Money That I Love” (1979)
The Neville Brothers – “Fire on the Bayou” (1981)
The Neville Brothers – “Hey Pocky Way” (1981)
Randy Newman – “I Love L.A.” (1983)
Randy Newman – “Dixie Flyer” (1988)
Randy Newman – “New Orleans Wins the War” (1988)
The Neville Brothers – “Yellow Moon” (1989)
The Rebirth Brass Band – “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” (1989)
The Rebirth Brass Band – “Shake Your Body Down To The Ground” (1989)
Dirty Dozen Brass Band – “Use Your Brain” (1991)
Kermit Ruffins – “If You’re A Viper” (1994)
The Rebirth Brass Band – “Let’s Get It On” (1997)
Galactic – “Crazyhorse Mongoose” (1998)
Kermit Ruffins – “Hide the Reefer” (1999)
Galactic – “Villified” (2000)
Galactic – “Working in a Coal Mine” [Live at Tipitina’s] (2001)
Galactic – “Moog Marmalade” [Live at Tipitina’s] (2001)
Kermit Ruffins – “Skokian” (2002)
Deacon John – “Going Back to New Orleans” (2005)
Randy Newman – “Harps and Angels” (2008)
Randy Newman – “A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country” (2008)
Mystikal and Galactic – “Move Fast” (2012)

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Deep South Soundscape: Louisiana Rhythm and Blues

Deep South Soundscape: Sweet Home Alabama

DEEP SOUTH SOUNDSCAPE: THE MUSIC OF ALABAMA

PART II: SWEET HOME ALABAMA

Lynyd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama”
Alabama – “Tennessee River”
Pete Seeger – “Alabama Bound”
The Secret Sisters – “Why Don’t You Love Me”
The Grateful Dead – “Alabama Getaway”
Bob Dylan & the Grateful Dead – “Gotta Serve Somebody”
Nat “King” Cole – “Straighten Up and Fly Right”
Nat “King” Cole – “A Boy From Texas, A Girl From Tennessee”
Nat “King” Cole – “Hit That Jive Jack”
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – “Dancing in the Street”
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – “Jimmy Mack”
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – “Nowhere to Run”
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – “(Love Is Like A) Heatwave”
Eddie Floyd – “Big Bird”
Eddie Floyd – “Knock on Wood”
The Blind Boys of Alabama and Robert Randolph – “Wade in the Water”
Clarence Carter – “Snatching It Back”
The Commodores – “Sail On”
The Commodores – “Easy”
The Commodores – “Machine Gun”
The Commodores – “Fancy Dancer”
The Commodores – “Brick House”
Lionel Richie – “Deep River Woman”
Lionel Richie – “Stuck On You”
Randy Newman – “Birmingham”
Tracy Lawrence – “Paint Me A Birmingham”
Clarence Carter – “Strokin’”
Bob Dylan – “Stuck Inside of Mobile with Memphis Blues Again”
Billie Holliday – “Stars Fell on Alabama”

Deep South Soundscape: Sweet Home Alabama

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Friday

The 10th Anniversary of the Austin City Limits Festival brought together a diversified lineup from dubstep deejay Skrillex to bluegrass angel Alison Krauss to motown king Stevie Wonder to west Texas songsmith Ryan Bingham. As always I began my first day with the western swing revivalists Asleep at the Wheel. They opened with “Miles and Miles of Texas.” Ray Benson and his band of accomplished musicians played Bob Wills standards like “New San Antonio Rose” and songs about Bob like the Waylon Jennings classic “Bob Wills Is Still The King.” The Wheel played their hit “Hot Rod Lincoln” and a new song originally performed with Willie Nelson called “Hesitation Blues.” On the set list appeared “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” “Bump Bounce Boogie,” and “Boogie Back to Texas.” The Wheel brought the sounds of western swing alive.

I caught the end of the Theophilus London set. Banging beats, fresh rhymes, and creative samples impressed this particular listener. For example, London looped a sample of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” over a fat beat dropping science in the rain. London also played his hit “Love Is Real.” The juxtaposition of hip hop with the sweet sounds of the Secret Sisters, in my opinion, is the beauty of a good festival. Diversity is essential.

The Secret Sisters played their hit song “Tennessee Me,” but it was their song selections from past country legends Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, the Everly Brothers, and Patsy Cline that really hit the spot. Take for example, their cover of “Why Baby Why,” which was soft and pure sweetness. These sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama strike a sentimental chord in me. The Southern ladies also played the Rufus Wainwright tune “Do You Love An Apple.”

We followed Secret Sisters with the electronic soul man James Blake. The Englishman opened with “Unluck” and “Give Me My Month.” For the most part the talented composer form London stuck with songs from his debut album James Blake, including the tracksI Never Learnt To Share,” “Lindisfarne I,”and “Lindisfarne II.” I especially liked his Fiest cover Limit To Your Love.” And, he spaced out “The Wilhelm Scream,” which concluded a nice set.

Big Boi from the Outkast crew brought Dirty South bounce and swagger into Zilker Park. Unlike many of the recent hip hop shows I’ve seen lately, Big Boi’s flow was exquisite and the sound clear. The set included tracks “General Patton” and “Follow Us” from the new album Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty. But the afternoon also saw a fair share of classics like the “cooler than a polar bear’s toenail” track “ATLiens” and the harmonica banger “Rosa Parks.” Big Boi proved he had a deep catalog with crowd pleasers “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson.” He also brought rock and roll rap fusion with the protest song “B.O.B.” And, I was very pleased that the Atlanta native unleashed my personal favorite Outkast gem “The Way You Move.”  Nas & Damian Marley followed the Atlanta native rapper making this a lively stage.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley entered the stage as the flag bearing the red, gold, and green and the Lion of Judah flew. “As We Enter” kicked off the set. One of my favorite things to do is to see a Marley brother in Austin. Mr. Marley brought the reggae magic while the rhyme-smith Nas dropped serious science. In reality both of these cats are amazing lyricists and when done in tag-team fashion over dope beats booties commence to shake. “As We Enter” the lead track off the excellent Distant Relatives album is a great example of the combination of danceable sounds spiced with tangling hip hop and patois rhymes. The hard-hitting “Nah Mean” kept the vibe alive displaying the perfect marriage of reggae dancehall, African culture, and American rap.

Then Nas unleashed one of my favorite old school rap gems “If I Ruled The World (imagine that).” Following on the heels of the rap standard the Africanized “Dispear” brought down the house. Rebellion drips from this tune. I love it. The fevered pitch of the pounding “Dispear” was cooled off nicely by the roots reggae jam “Land Of Promise.” This Dennis Brown infused track is modern reggae at its best. Positive messages entwined with earth crushing roots reggae sounds made for a perfect evening. Jr. Gong’s “More Justice” from 2001’s Halfway Tree kept the show on this track.

Marley played several songs from his popular album Welcome to Jamrock. “Move!” sampled Bob Marley’s “Exodus” merging classic reggae and new ragamuffin styles and phrasings. Similarly the title track “Welcome To Jamrock” mixes Ini Kamoze’s “out in the street they call it murder” sample and a riddim straight from Kamoze’s “World A Music” into the biggest reggae hit of the 2000s. Marley and Nas then displayed their skills on the “Road To Zion,” which I believe  set the original mood for the Distant Relatives collaboration. They closed with the Bob Marley smash hit “Could You Be Loved.”

Mavis Staples performed under the tent producing a revivalist feeling in the middle of Zilker Park. Civil Rights, spiritualism, and good music swirled under the tent, take for example, the songs “Freedom Highway” and “Creep Along Moses.” Staples made everyone dance and sing to the soul classic “I’ll Take You There.” To experience the best of soul music and to get a taste of what soul music was like in the 1970s go see Mavis Staples. The energy is extraordinary! We concluded the evening with the English rock group Coldplay. “The Scientist” and “Clocks” made the set list, while an Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” set up a very nice “Fix You.”

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Friday

The Best Albums of January 2010

  1. Ryan Bingham and Various Artists Crazy Heart [New West 2010]
  2. Vampire WeekendContra [XL 2010]
  3. Various ArtistsDub Like An Antelope – Legends of Reggae Celebrate Phish [Red Hillz Music 2010]
  4. SpoonTransference [Merge Records 2010]
  5. SizzlaCrucial Times [VP Records 2010]
  6. Dave Rawlings MachineA Friend Of A Friend [Acony 2009]
  7. Snoop DoggMalice ‘N Wonderland [Capital Records 2009]
  8. Corinne Bailey RaeThe Sea [EMI 2010]
  9. Souls of MischiefMontezuma’s Revenge [Hieroglyphics Imperium 2009]
  10. Julian CasablancasPhrazes For The Young [RCA/Jive 2009]
  11. Animal Collective Fall Be Kind EP [Domino 2009]
  12. Two High String Band – Hot Texas Bluegrass Burrito [THSB 2009]
  13. Ray Wylie HubbardA: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) [Bordello 2010]
  14. Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures [Interscope 2009]
  15. Various Artists The Princess And The Frog [Disney 2009]
  16. Young Money We Are Young Money [Cash Money 2009]
  17. Works Progress AdministrationWPA [Signature Sounds 2009]
  18. Chris SmitherTime Stands Still [Signature Sounds 2009]
  19. Rosie Flores & the Pine Valley CosmonautsGirl of the Century [Bloodshot 2010]
  20. Mark E Works 2005 – 2008: Selected Tracks & Edits [Merc 2010]
  21. Lee “Scratch” Perry Alien Starman [Secrets 2009]

The Best Albums of January 2010

Jam-Tex Top 10 Albums: August 2008

1. Cutty RanksReggae Anthology: Limb By Limb [VP Records 2008]
2. SeraniThe Future (Doh!) [2008]
3. Girl TalkFeed the Animals [Illegal Art 2008]
4. Randy NewmanHarps and Angels [Nonesuch 2008]
5. Joe Gibbs & Errol Thompson – Reggae Anthology: Scorchers from the Mighty Two [VP Records 2008]
6. Randy TravisAround the Bend [Warner Brothers 2008]
7. Eleven Hundred SpringsCountry Jam [Palo Duro Records 2008]
8. CultureCulture & the DeeJay’s at Joe Gibbss [VP Records 2008]
9. Old 97’s Blame It on Gravity [New West 2008]
10. Luke Doucet Blood’s Too Rich [Six Shooter Records 2008]

Cutty Ranks, the original dancehall ragamuffin, slays deejays with his rough, raw, and precise rhymes on songs like “A Who Seh Me Dun,” “Gunman Lyrics,” “Stopper,” and “Limb by Limb.” But also the boss deejay turns out to be quite the lady killer, toasting over reggae crooners, such as Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Beres Hammond, and Wayne Wonder, and making panties wet from Oisten, Barbados to Austin, Texas.

On a trip to Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines I found myself listening to the new dancehall sensation Serani. His album The Future (Doh!) assembles some of the newest hits, including “She Loves Me” and “Doh” featuring ragga general Bugle. Since I was with my lady I found the song “She Loves Me” perfectly sensual for afternoon romps. Jah blessed Young Island on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Serani and the sunset made for a perfect romantic setting. Serani played on the local radio stations in the Caribbean, blazing up digicel’s hot caribbean 30, but also country music emanated from the radios in the Grenadines. Randy Travis was a favorite among local sail boat captains and cooks. Truly country music is global and the people of the Caribbean respect its soulful sounds.

Singer-songwriter Randy Newman took time off from producing timeless movie soundtracks to drop a new album and to unleash a timeless criticism of the current administration. Newman sings in “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country:”

A President once said,
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Now it seems like we’re supposed to be afraid
It’s patriotic in fact and color coded
And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
Why, of being afraid
That’s what terror means, doesn’t it?
That’s what it used to mean

And then Newman brings it home:

The end of an empire is messy at best
And this empire is ending
Like all the rest
Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
We’re adrift in the land of the brave
And the home of the free

Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

Randy Newman you have got a friend in me!

Jam-Tex Top 10 Albums: August 2008