OffBeat Magazine October 2009
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VOODOO N NO MUSICIANS CLINIC N YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE N SEAN ARDOIN N LENNY KRAVITZ
LOUISIANA MUSIC, FOOD AND CULTURE
Tab Benoit speaks for the wetlands
Free In Metro New OrleansUS $5.99 CAN $6.99 UK 1.95
OCTOBER 2009 O 5
Features20 When Band-Aids Arent Enough Juli Shipley looks at the challenges faced by the
New Orleans Musicians Clinic.
22 Sean and Secrets Jason Hutter discovers what led Sean Ardoin to
24 Classic Songs of Louisiana: You Are My Sunshine Jeff Hannusch tells the story behind the most
famous song sung by a governor.
26 The Pod People Alex Rawls contends that our personal
listening devices explain the diversity of Voodoo Music Experience.
32 Voices in the Wilderness John Swenson reveals the increasing
desperation of Tab Benoit and the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars as they try to get action before its too late.
40 The Gravy: In the Kitchen with Greg Greg Schatz struggles not to get hyper when
cooking with OffBeats Elsa Hahne.
Online ExclusiveFestival of Friends: Kathleen McCann gets the story behind the booking for Gretna Heritage Festival.
Departments 6 Letters
8 Mojo Mouth
18 Obituary: Juanita Brooks
42 OffBeat Eats Peter Thriffiley and
Rene Louapre review Crabby Jacks, and June
Yamagishi is in The Spot at Mojo Coffee.
54 Club Listings
61 Backtalk with Lenny Kravitz Alex Rawls talks to the part-time New Orleanian about design, Trombone Shorty and Let Love Rule
20 years after it was released. It hasnt dated, Kravitz
says, and that was my point 20 years agoto make records that dont date.
October 2009 Volume 22, Number 10
Publisher and Editor-in-ChiefJan V. Ramsey, [email protected]
Managing EditorJoseph L. Irrera, [email protected]
Associate EditorAlex Rawls, [email protected]
Consulting EditorJohn Swenson
Listings EditorCraig Guillot, [email protected]
ContributorsCarrie Chappell, Lisa M. Daliet, Ayah Elsegeiny
Robert Fontenot, Jr., Elsa Hahne, Andrew Hamlin, Jeff Hannusch, Bobby Hilliard, Jason Hutter, David Kunian, Aaron Lafont, Bill Lavender, Rene Louapre
Clifton Lee, Kathleen McCann, Scott RossJuli Shipley, John Swenson, Peter Thriffley
Teresha Ussin, Dan Willging
Design/Art DirectionElsa Hahne, [email protected]
Advertising SalesBen Berman, [email protected]
Advertising DesignPressWorks, 504-944-4300
Business ManagerJoseph L. Irrera
InternsAyah Elsegeiny, Brandon Gross, Bobby Hilliard,
Clifton Lee, Kathleen McCann,Brandon Meginley, Lauren Noel,
Kyle Shepherd, Mary Sparr
DistributionPatti Carrigan, Doug Jackson, Shea MacKinnon
OffBeat (ISSN# 1090-0810) is published monthlyin New Orleans by OffBeat, Inc.,
421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116(504) 944-4300 fax (504) 944-4306
e-mail: [email protected], web site: www.offbeat.com
Copyright 2009, OffBeat, Inc.No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. OffBeat is a registered trademark of OffBeat, Inc. First class subscriptions to OffBeat in the U.S. are available at $39 per year ($45 Canada, $90 foreign airmail). Back issues available for $6, except the May issue for $10 (for foreign delivery add $2).
Submission of photos and articles on Louisiana artists are welcome, but unfortunately material cannot be returned.
Louisiana Music & Culture
ARMSTRONG PARKYou are right on with your
[Weekly Beat] article on Armstrong Park. I moved here eight years ago and opened a bed & breakfast. I had been active in neighborhood associations in other cities I had lived in and jumped right in here. The pettiness you describe about people who didnt get their way when something good was suggested has got to stop. This city will always be seen as a third world country unless people start looking past their own noses and decide that doing something good for the city and for all citizens in New Orleans is better.
Jess Beaty, New Orleans, LA
I normally totally agree with your opinions, but I have to strongly disagree that a fence keeps a park safer. The safest parks in this city, Audubon and City Park, dont have fences. Just like you need eyes on the street to keep a neighborhood safe, you need people in the park to keep a park safe. Park users with good intentions are afraid to enter a park with a fence because they know that there is no easy exit if they encounter one of the bad guys. If you took the entire fence down, the park becomes more public property and is better watched and used. This is one reason that Audubon and City Park are considered safe and have high user rates, and parks like Washington Square and Armstrong have greater concentrations of loiterers and troublemakers.
Angie Green, New Orleans, LA
MORE SEA CRUISEFrankie Ford has expressed his side of the
Sea Cruise story often, so I simply gave a portion of Hueys side of it, as Huey personally expressed it to me. I also spoke to James Rivers and Robert Parker, both of whom said they played the original Sea Cruise session. Of course, there is an existing and available
recording of Sea Cruise featuring vocals by Huey Smith and Gerri Hall. In fact, 75-year-old Gerri was living a short walk from the OffBeat office as of a few months ago.
So at least four people associated with the Sea Cruise session, other
than Frankie and Cosmo, are here to give their accounts. I suspect Frankie never
knew what happened behind the scenes. The song obviously was intended to be a Huey Smith and the Clowns record, but 1959, of course, was the era of the white teen idol. From a business point of view, Johnny Vincent and Joe Caronnaand Cosimo Matassasaw a chance to exploit that lucrative market.
John Wirt, Baton Rouge, LA
POTLUCKThank you so much for the historical treasure
trove of old OffBeats. I appreciated the 48 Hours of Music edition. What a great idea. I am a big Paul Sanchez fan, and the picture of him getting a haircut circa 1993 was awesome, I think that may be the only time I have seen him without a hat! I especially appreciate the personal touch of keeping track of what issues I receive, so I will not hesitate to order once again.
Maureen Rice, Brooklyn, NY
I was a little hesitant about this potluck deal, thinking that I would get mostly out of date concert announcements and reviews. But the issues were fantastic with timeless articles on Danny Barker, Mardi Gras Indians, Storyville, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Amd Ardoin, a photo essay of New Orleans music from 1983, a collection of Vic and Natly cartoons, and a lexicon of New Orleans music (from A to Z). I highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in New Orleans culture and history. And Im gonna order more.
Tom Barrett, California, MD
In the September issue, we neglected to mention that Up From the Cradle of Jazz was written by Jonathan Foose and Tad Jones in addition to Jason Berry. We regret the error.ED.
OffBeat welcomes letters from its readersboth comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.
I highly recommend [Potluck] to anyone with
an interest in New Orleans culture and history.
Tom Barrett, California, MD
6 O OCTOBER 2009
Navigating the Velvet-Lined Rut
I was sitting at my desk working on this issue on a Saturday afternoon, when I heard some music coming my way. Since it was early in the day, I knew it wasnt any of the clubs on Frenchmen, and it was moving, so I figured it was a parade. Whenever you hear a parade in the middle of the day in New Orleans, and it isnt Mardi Gras, you can be pretty sure that its a second line parade. Sure enough, musicians and dancers and marchers holding placards of the late, great flautist Hart McNee made their way down Decatur from Elysian Fields, passed under my window, and turned right to make their way down Frenchmen Street.
I ask you: where else can you find a raucous parade celebrating life (after death) but in New Orleans?
I believe that anyone whos grown up in the cityor for that matter, anyone whos tried to do business herehas a love-hate relationship with New Orleans. I see my friend and former co-worker Jim at Jazz Fest every year; his wife Kathy is an accomplished artist and has a booth at the fest every year. Its really the only time we see each other to talk. This year we were both bitching about all the stuff that is wrong with New Orleans: the corruption, the ineptitude, the apathy, the crime problems. You know the drill, if you live here. But then Jim asked me a question: But where else would you rather live? I knew that answer: nowhere else but here.
Despite all the crap you have to deal with to live in New Orleans, theres just nowhere else Id rather live. I used to think living in Manhattan would be really cool, but on many visits to the city I changed my mind. Too expensive. Too many people. And everything seems to be a hassle, from
walking your dog, to going to the movies. But damn, I love that city! I just dont see myself living there.
People have that k