Betty Harris made fame in the sixties with her uptempo Soul. Back in the day, she had three big hits with: “Cry to Me” (1963), “His Kiss” (1964) and “Nearer to You” (1967). Although her song “12 Red Roses” didn’t reach as high as other songs, this is really a cool story built on a grooving beat about love and life.
Hailin’ from New Orleans The Deslondes are remarkable for their inventive take on New Orleans Country and Rhythm and Blues. From Bluegrass to Folk and further, it is amazing how this band adopts all genres in the American Roots tradition in their repertoire. This September the band released their sophomore album Hurry Home via New West Records.
New Orleans based The Deslondes
The Deslondes released their second album which includes my personal favorites “Muddy Water” and “Hurricane Shakedown”. Hurry Home contains 13 songs in a variety of blues, roots, and country.
This April Trombone Shorty released a new album called Parking Lot Symphony. For the New Orleanian singer and multi-instrumentalist Trombone Shorty, this is his debut album for Blue Note Records and his first release for four years.
New Song from Parking Lot Symphony
Parking Lot Symphony features 10 new original songs along with covers of Allen Toussaint’s “Here Come The Girls” and The Meters’ “It Ain’t No Use” and was released las month. Trombone Short released “Here Come The Girls” recently and is a real hit. This song could be featured on all radio stations because of the approachable beats, soulful vocals, and the New Orleans style arrangement.
Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu
It was on Dr. Johns Gumbo, the Dr. John album where he ‘honored’ the great artists and music of New Orleans when I first heard the music Huey “Piano” Smith. Dr. John recorded a medley of Huey’s songs. One song that was not part of Dr. John mix is “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”.
Ace Records 1957 release by Huey “Piano” Smith
Ace Records was the biggest independent label in Mississippi in the 1950s and 60s containing a roster of Mississippi blues artists and Louisiana musicians like Huey “Piano” Smith. Alongside label owner Johnny Vincent, Huey Smith wrote the “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” in 1957 and scored a minor hit, nr 52 in the billboard Chart.
The song gained a whole lot of attention in 1972 when Johnny Rivers scored and international hit with it and reached number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 during the winter of 1973.
Johnny Rivers – 1972 version “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”
The Honeydripper Bluesman Roosevelt Sykes
He was always present in the studio ready to play the piano. And you could recognise the bluesman of this article by his stylish suit and hat. Roosevelt Sykes the Honeydripper bluesman had a career in blues which lasted seven decades. He made fame in four Blues cities Helena. St. Louis, Chicago and New Orleans and performed with a whole lot of great musicians.
Sykes music was divers, but always groovy
You will like Roosevelt Sykes for his diversity. For example: ‘Sputnik Baby’ is an electric Blues song with influences from Boogie Woogie, to Chicago Blues. On the other hand St. James Infirmary is a jazzy New Orleans blues song that is slow emotional and goes through your bones. Sykes sings beautiful his piano style is soulful and grooves fine on the slow rhythm.
“The Blues Player, he ain’t worried and bothered,but he’s got something for the worried people”
Roosevelt Sykes – Sputnik Baby
Recording His First Songs for Okeh
According to All music’: Sykes began recording in 1929 for OKeh and was signed to four different labels the next year under four different names (he was variously billed as Dobby Bragg, Willie Kelly, and Easy Papa Johnson)! Sykes joined Decca Records in 1935, where his popularity blossomed. After relocating to Chicago, Sykes inked a pact with Bluebird in 1943 and recorded prolifically for the RCA subsidiary with his combo, the Honeydrippers, scoring a pair of R&B hits in 1945 (covers of Cecil Gant’s “I Wonder” and Joe Liggins’ “The Honeydripper”).
I listed some of my favorite tunes of the Honeydripper in this article Scroll down and experience for yourself!
Feel like Blowing My Horn
Roosevelt Sykes – “Gulfport Boogie”
ROOSEVELT SYKES- SWEET OLD CHICAGO
Roosevelt Sykes – St. James Infirmary
“My music is homegrown from the garden of New Orleans. Music is everything to me short of breathing. Music also has a role to lift you up – not to be escapist but to take you out of misery.”
ALBUMS | Allen Toussaint: 3 Albums you should listen
Last week the legendary producer, songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint passed away. Following a concert at the Teatro Lara on Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo in Spain, he suffered a heart attack at his hotel and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.
Allen Toussaint wrote songs for musicians like Jessie Hill, Ernie K Doe, Soloman Burke, Dr John and The Meters. Allthough he wrote songs for a whole lot of musicians, Allen Toussaint recorded also some very good solo albums.
Allen Toussaint – 1975 -Southern Nights
In this article I’ll show you three of my favorite Allen Toussaint albums. Starting off with Allen’s Southern Nights which was released in 1975 and consists some great soulful songs. This album has been called Toussaint’s signature album. Southern Nights really has the boogie, and bassplayers will like the album very much. According to wiki ” Southern Nights” was Toussaint’s tribute to evenings spent with his Creole family on a porch in the song-writer’s native Louisiana.”
Allen Toussaint – Last Train
A cool example of that boogie is “Last Train” a song with like you would expect a nice groove, the bassline is funky and the vocals are smooth and soulful.
Allen Toussaint – The Bright Mississippi (2009)
The Bright Mississippi is an album with a whole lot of different sound. The funk and soul is replaced for New Orleans Blues and Jazz
According to Wiki: “The album title is taken from the 1963 Thelonious Monk song of the same name and features a new version of the song. The album is a unique juxtaposition of modern and traditional jazz tunes with stylistic cues drawn from both worlds”.
Some great tunes on this record are “St. James Infirmary”, “Egyptian Fantasy” and “Blue Drag”. The trumpet and piano really connect on this album which is ideal to come back to earth after a wild night.
Allen Toussaint – The wild sound of New Orleans
Allen Toussaint’s debut album concist a crazy mix of New Orleans part music inspired on Rhythm and Blues. WhirlAway is by far my favorite song on this album, mostly becvause of the speed the catchy piano tune and the train-esque saxophone.
“there was something about that city, though it didn’t let me feel guilty that I had no feeling for the things so many others needed. it let me alone.”
― Charles Bukowski
Jessie Hill New Orleans Rhythm and Blues
New Orleans Rhythm and Blues legend Jessie Hill had a life full of ups and downs. Hill toured throughout the U.S and recorded and wrote with the best songwriters around. But he also was homeless for a while when his career went rock bottom. You may best remember Jessie Hill for the classic “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” a favorite at Mardi Gras and “Whip It On Me”.
Musical career alongside the greatest
Born and raised in the Crescent City alongside Eddie Bo, Oliver Morgan, and Prince La La, it was according to allmusic almost inevitable that he would pursue a career in music, and by his teens he was playing drums in bands fronted by Kid Arnestine and Freddie Domino.
When Hill was 19 years old he started his own group the House Rockers. With these guys he performed in local bars all over the northern U.S. This trip lasted about a year and after the House Rockers split up Jessie became part of Professor Longhair’s band as a drummer. Unfortunately there are no recordings of this collaboration found. After drumming in Professor Longhair’s band he took a spot in Huey “Piano” Smith’s band. In 1958 Jessie Hill took the stage again to lead a new version of the House Rockers.
Biggest hit Ooh Poo Pah Doo
The origins of his Biggest hit “Ooh Poo Pah Doo”, released in early 1960, lie with a local pianist known only as Big Four. According to Allmusic A drunk who played the club Shy Guy’s Place for booze and tips, he once performed the song with the House Rockers in attendance, and Hill scribbled the lyrics and melody on a paper sack. “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” reached the top 5 of the Billboard chart, and as a Mardi Grass traditional it sold over 800,000 copies.
Favorite song Whip It On Me
Also released in 1960 ‘Whip It On Me” is my favorite Jessie Hill song. The boogie woogie piano, the strong voice and the fantastic backing vocals make this song. It is nice to see how ‘easy’ a good song can be made. A catchy lyric, a groovie drum and not to forget a fine swinging saxophone tune. Whip it on me was suceeded by “Scoop Scoobie Doobie,” which was a local hit.
Relocated in California
For a long time Jessie Hill was a succesful singer, songwriter and drummer and in an effort to reignite his career he moved to California. There he befriended fellow bayou expatriates Harold Battiste, Dave Dixon, and Mac Rebennack (the future Dr. John), who convinced him to temporarily sideline his performing career in favor of songwriting. His songs were covered by Ike and Tina Turner and he wrote alongside Willie Nelson.
Career went Down
In the seventies Hill’s career went down he served a while in the Los Angeles County Jail for an accumulation of traffic warrants, his car, which contained all of his songwriting material, was stolen. 1977 he returned to New Orleans and drove his own cab called “the Poo Cab”. For a time Hill was homeless.
Hill passed away due to heart and kidney failure on September 17, 1996, and his body was laid to rest under a plywood grave marker in New Orleans’ Holt Cemetery.
JESSIE HILL Scoop Scoobie Doobie