Susan Cowsill at Ogden After Hours

There’s no letting up with great music in the city of New Orleans even as the Jazz Fest fades into the past.  This evening from 6-8 PM, the singer/songwriter Susan Cowsill plays at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on Camp Street.  Susan rose to fame as a member of the famed Cowsills; the family band that inspired the 1970s television show, the Partridge Family.  But she crawled out from under that possible career liability long ago.  She has an acerbic wit that will certainly be on display during the interview and Q & A portion of the performance.  But it’s her voice, melancholic and filled with heartache or soaring with sheer joy, that will undoubtedly have the place packed.

Luther Dickinson to Record Live Album at the Maple Leaf

The guitarist for the Black Crowes and the North Mississippi Allstars is no stranger to the stage at the Maple Leaf.  Tonight, he will make history when he records his first solo record live at the legendary saloon.  Dickinson has always been known for his good taste in musical partners (perhaps he got it from his Dad, the late, great Memphis producer Jim Dickinson) and this evening he has invited the wonderfully reflexive rhythm section of Johnny Vidacovich and James Singleton to back his sterling guitar work.  Tomorrow night, he joins the trio with Vidacovich and George Porter, Jr. at the same location.

Jazz Fest Is Over, But the Music Continues

While most of the industrious musicians of New Orleans are sleeping off ten days of multiple gigs, those with regular weekly engagements are still working regardless of how many shows they played over the marathon that is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  For a chance to see a player who was a regular local for five years during the early 1980s, head over to Snug Harbor for the Moutin Reunion featuring Rick Margitza.  Margitza is an exceptional saxophonist who performed around town with numerous other modern jazz musicians during that period.  After he left town and moved to New York, his profile increased considerably.  He was a member of Miles Davis’ band and he recorded three albums for the esteemed Blue Note label. The rest of the band is based in Paris and includes Francois Moutin on upright bass, Pierre de Bethmann on piano, and Louis Moutin on drums.  The group also performs tomorrow night at Snug Harbor.

Jazz Fest Picks- Day Seven- May 2, 2010

Ah, the final day!  Are you burned out?  Or are you ready for more?  Get started early with Mia Borders (pictured- photo by Kim Welsh).  This young lady plays some guitar and sings her ass off on songs that you will be humming long after the Fairgrounds closes for another year.  Ruthie Foster, another woman with a great voice, follows her.  Why not just stay at the Gentilly stage all afternoon?  You can’t go wrong with Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue, the Dead Weather and the Radiators.  But if you choose to roam and are in the mood for some choice Caribbean sounds, check out Chouval Bwa of Martinique- they brought their own hand-driven carousel.  Richie Havens is a veteran of Woodstock (the first one in 1969) and has played countless numbers of festival sets.  He also lives in New Orleans now.  Check him out on the relatively tiny Fais Do Do stage, if the crowds are too much at the end of your day.  Happy Fest!  Remember- you can’t judge a Jazz Fest by what you heard, you can only judge it by what you had to miss!

Jazz Fest Picks- Day Six- May 1, 2010

Russell Batiste and Friends featuring Jason Neville will be opening the Acura stage on what is bound to be one of the more crowded days.  Get there early to hear the Funky Meters drummer and the other singing son of Aaron Neville.  Jason does a credible version of the Beatles’ “Blackbird.”  Have you ever heard a band at the Jazz Fest that actually made you laugh?  Go see the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra.  They have a theramin player and he adds an otherworldly effect to the band’s music, which pre-dates most traditional jazz.  Brian Blade is one of the most acclaimed drummers of his generation who got his start right here in New Orleans.  His Fellowship band is loaded with top-notch talent and they haven’t played in New Orleans in a while.  Jeff Beck (pictured) is one of the most mercurial guitarists in rock.  If he wanted to he could have been as big as Clapton.  This is another rare local appearance.