Friday, December 31, 2010

Julian Dawson - Countdown Continues

More reflection, sort of...

George Winston - Just In Time

Saw the real "GW" at the historic Saenger Theater in New Orleans long before Katrina all but destroyed it. He shared his admiration for Professor Longhair which was a nice touch. One magical performance thanks to musician and venue...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eric Clapton - Let It Grow

Used to practice this one on the drums right here in the den of this little house. On one hand, it seems like a long time ago and on the other, it seems like just yesterday. To a much simpler time...

The Beatles - Countdown Continues

Needed a reminder for reflection as the year winds down. Per John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." All too true. I checked my pick with our resident expert on the Beatles and this one has Lex's approval.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Paul Rodgers, Seagull - Countdown to the New Year

Saw Mr. Rodgers & Company at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans back in the '70s. Very tight performance with an amazing drum solo by one Simon Kirke but this is the number that I remember from the concert.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Marc Broussard - Home

Good bit of rain this Christmas morn, wind has been howling something fierce tonight with a freeze forecasted for bright and early tomorrow. Toasty warm in the old home with Bella fast asleep on the old bed and next to her, Lex is playing a game on her fancy new laptop from Santa and I just hung a "New Orleans - Proud to swim home" print by PK7 on the bedroom wall.

Nothing better than being Home, just ask one soulful Mr. Broussard of Carencro, Louisiana, up the bayou a bit.

Mia Borders - A Very Special Christmas Gift

One for each of my readers - pick a favorite if you're able. Merry Christmas! Oh and E - I know what you are thinking but you claimed Grace all for yourself, so back off...

Friday, December 24, 2010

James Dewar - Christmas Is Here

Hail Hosanna To The Lord, Welcome To The Newborn King. Countdown Complete With A Performance For The Ages.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One For Two Brothers Headed Home

Teens to be taken off life support

By John DeSantis, Senior Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 11:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 11:47 a.m.

HOUMA — Two teenage brothers rescued from a wreck Friday in Bourg will not survive their ordeal, family members said this morning.

Derrick “D.J.” Williams, 19, and Zane Williams, 13, were being kept alive so their organs could be harvested to ensure life for others, said an aunt, Joyce Thibodeaux of Houma.

Paul Rodgers & Buddy Guy - Muddy Water Blues

Of two things I am certain - Paul can sing and Buddy can play, two masters of their trade. While there is nothing wrong with the visual on this one, try it kicked back with your eyes closed.

Benny Grunch & The Bunch - Countdown to Christmas

I know, I know but it's tradition in N'Awlins ya'll. Hope "Where y'at?" is a good place for you this Christmas...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CCR - Born On The Bayou

Springsteen was spot on when he said that they may not have been the biggest but they sure were the best.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fogerty's Tribute to Elvis

Only the original from Centerfield (released January 1985) would do here. Two Big Trains if you ask me... Thanks JF.

Jeff Beck Group w/ Cozy Powell - From the Vault

One for Blaise, Rock On Brother. Looking forward to seeing you and the family after too long...

Nothing like a little Cozy Powell on the drums to pull it all together.

Aaron Neville - Countdown to Christmas

The voice of an angel, a big one. No one does it better.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jb&S "Once We Had Hair" Music Award - The Romantics

Lex didn't believe me when I told her about the hair on the boyz from Detroit but here's proof positive.


Mark Knopfler Starts the Countdown to Christmas

When Jack Frost came for Christmas
With a brass monkey date
The rail-king and the scarecrow
Hopped a florlda freight
And they blew on their paper cups
And stared through the steam
Then they drank half a bottle
Of ragpicker's dream where

The whiskey keeps following
Cold pitchers of beer
Me and my associate
Like the clientele here get
The onions and the 'taters
Rib-eyes on the grill
Toothpicks and luckies
And a coffee refill as

The rail-king lay rocking
He was leaving the ground
Then he was flying like santa claus
Over the town where
He came to the window
Of a house by a stream
It was a family christmas
In the ragpicker's dream there

Were kids at the table
All aglow in the light
Music in the wintertime
Sure carries at night there
Was turkey and gravy
Pie and ice-cream
And gifts for each and everyone
In the ragpicker's dream where

The red-eye keeps tumbling
In our glasses of beer
Me and my associate
Like the service in here there's
A ten for your trouble
You have beautiful hair
Make the last one two doubles
It's a cold one out there where

The scarecrow and the rail-king
Have started to dance
But a nightstick and a billyclub
Won't give peace a chance here
I think they went thataways
Your song and dance team
Heading home for the holidays
With the ragpicker's dream on

His knees like a fighter
The rail-riding king
Like a sack of potatoes
Like a bull in the ring where
The scarecrow falls over
With a tear in the seam
Home for the rover
In the ragpicker's dream where

The red-eye keeps tumbling
Like tears in our beer
Me and my associate
Like the ambience here where
They cornered two castaways
In a white flashlight beam
Merry christmas and happy days
In the ragpicker's dream

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ten Years After at Woodstock - Goin' Home

Speaking of going home, Jetboy can't wait for this coming Wednesday. Wonder if Alvin Lee's guitar ever caught fire...

Sasha Smith - California

Came across this performance while searching for the musician who played piano on Tommy Malone's 2001 Soul Heavy release. Sounds right to me and might just take a good friend home for the moment - "crank up Randy Newman, crank up the Beach Boys." That would be a good thing.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bobby Charles & Friends - Last Train To Memphis

Had a request for more "old school" music during the week from a friend who hails from New Iberia, La. Came across this tune (along with a quick history lesson) while looking for something close to her neck of the woods.

Mr. Guidry, passed in January of this year just shy of his 72nd birthday. But before he did, this son of Abbeville, La., sure made his mark. He penned a few that you might recognize - See You Later, Alligator (a hit for Bill Haley & the Comets), Walking to New Orleans (Fats Domino) and one of my all-time favorites, Why are People Like That (Tab Benoit). And, there are more...

This one taking us to Memphis to see the King is from a 2003 release where he got a little help from the likes of Sonny Landreth, Delbert McClinton, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Maria Muldaur, Neil Young and Willie Nelson among others. Good company for a country boy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rainy Night In Georgia with the Neville Touch

Still a teenager, Tony Joe White of Oak Grove, La., penned this timeless beauty in 1962. Brook Benton nailed it in 1970 just like New Orleans' own Aaron Neville does here. Reminds me of another time and place and also that there are good things to come. Rare indeed...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nils Lofgren - No Mercy

This one came to mind after reading Eclectipundit's post in memory of Jacques Sandulescu and in admiration of his wife, Annie. I've got some reading to do. Thanks E for the reminder and for yet another lesson...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Revival Style

From start to finish, no doubt about this one. Can I get an Amen?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Isley Brothers - Who's That Lady

Five brothers strong and a brother-in-law for good measure on this one. Man oh man, Ernie Isley could play that guitar all night long. If only the volume on my stereo could go up to "11." Keep smilin' as you bob your head - I'm just keepin' it real...

Average White Band - Work To Do

More from the '70s. Nothing like a little funk from Scotland...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Staple Singers - Family Style 1972

Please take me there Pop, Mavis , Cleo and Yvonne one more time. Mercy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jimi Hendrix - The Wind Cries Mary

Heard this sweet one by yesterday's birthday boy on the drive back tonight. Time certainly marches on...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beach Boys - One of their Best

On break from working outside. Feels good to come in and warm up for just a bit. So much to do but with today's inspiration from Gabriel and my daily Eclectipundit fix, a seed is planted.

Vocals, vocals and more perfect vocals. And Dennis had the grunge look down way back then - drummers rule. I'm on a roll...

Elliot Lurie and Looking Glass

The boyz from Rutgers University scored twice in the early 70s. Lurie sure had a distinctive voice and the band played some tight back in the day. Proof positive here.

Early Morning Inspiration a la Peter Gabriel

Sun's just coming up. Everyone's sleeping in the old home but Bella and me...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Marc Cohn - Walking In Memphis

Stopped to get gas and spotted a family of five each wearing a Saints jersey. Couldn't help but smile. Also noticed that their old car had a Tennessee plate...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Alvin Lee - The Bluest Blues

Back home for Thanksgiving. Feels good to spend a little time with caring family, old friends and special neighbor. Needed something with feeling and just right tonight. One of my favorites by Mr. Lee & Company gets it done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Orleans Is A Rough Place

Just ask this alligator...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Los Lobos - Don't Worry Baby

And the Jb&S Deuce Music Award goes to Los Lobos for the killer guitar work on this bad boy right here. Man, how these cats did play back in the day.

Joe Ely - Me & Billy the Kid

For the history buffs among us...

Kieran Kane - Cool Me Down

Good one for what's deep down inside...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

John Hiatt - The Open Road

Great lyrics, great sound. Got to hand it to the Man - no sign of tapering off whatsoever...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Grayson Hugh & Betty Wright in New Orleans

Thanks for taking me home tonight Mr. Hugh and thanks for this year's new release as well. Need to get the Comeback Kid of '10 over to the Bradfordville Blues Club for sure...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Secret Agent Man

You can bet the folks in Baton Rouge are celebrating large time this weekend - the Tigers got by Nick & the Tide yesterday and today the kid from Baton Rouge High turns 68. My younger brothers and I thought that this was the coolest song ever way back when. Thanks Johnny Rivers.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jimmy Robinson - Acoustic Extraordinaire

One for E of fame - Congrats on the new gig! I think you will dig this one. If you want to check out Mr. Robinson live some time, drop by New Orleans' Carrollton Station for a cold one.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Aaron Neville - Jb&S "All Aboard" Award Winner

Folks back home know there's only one thing to do when the A-train comes to town - hey if you don't believe me just ask Linda Ronstadt...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Subdudes on Halloween

Another sweet one from the 'dudes...

Chris Robinson - On A Sunday Morn

This one is from his 2002 solo debut. Perfect song to start the day...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Twofer for a Friday Night

Just felt like it...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

John Butler at the '08 Jazz Fest

Another incredible acoustic guitar performance...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jb&S Austin City Performance Music Award - Monte Montgomery, When Will I

For SHudson and her performance on the job today, well done indeed! Easy to see why Lee digs this dude.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Robert Randolph, The March - One for the Saints

Got their game back today and went marchin' in...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Orleans On My Mind

Not bad - the still sweet and mellow sound of Paul Cotton & Cali's Poco on a Saturday afternoon.

Jb&S 'Cross the Pond Award - Fredrick Strand Halland

Rock on, Kid. No doubt, Stevie Ray would be proud.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lilly Hiatt - Bet Dad Is Proud

I know I would be. I mean I will be. Come to think of it, I'm already there. Cool.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tabbin' - Houma's Own Tab Benoit

Needed something a touch old school this morning to get me going - "moving slow like Uncle Joe" for some reason. Excerpts here from another outstanding production. Tabbin' is what some of the locals call his guitar strumming technique during the Intro - and "we" love it. "Blues So Bad" is one of my favorites and was co-written by none other than Levon Helm. Nice to see the audience appreciation for this extraordinary talent who plays small venues all over for a reason.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Angel Taylor, Like You Do - More Young Talent

A Message for my Alexis, from one Angel to another. What a great video - there's even an old dude dancing with his very own Skip...

Amanda Shaw - Jb&S "Go Girl!" Music Award Winner

Been waiting for a decent music video on "Pretty Runs Out" for some time now. Met Covington's Ms. Amanda briefly a couple of years ago (all of 18 at the time) while getting her autograph for my own young daughter, Alexis Lily. She was very appreciative of the request not like some old egos - a lesson here boyz. Hope she stays so...

Friday, October 8, 2010

One Very Lucky Man - Steve Winwood & Guest

What more can I say...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For KDeGray from Bayou Teche - More Trombone Shorty

Like fine wine and a cool bayou breeze, the TMan and his boyz keepin' it real for just a few of their Big Easy friends lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Bad - Art Neville & The Meters, Cissy Strut

So this young teenage kid in Tally no less wants to know why Jb hasn't posted Cissy Strut by the Meters given my New Orleans connection. I was so flummoxed (my all-time favorite word)that I had no response, stunned me but good that little shiite did, no offense kid I think. You got me so enjoy. Guess there's hope for those next up after all...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Are Friends For - Radio Girl by John Hiatt & The Goners

Ole E of fame gave my little site a plug today just like John Hiatt did back in the day for his bandmates in this tight performance. Never knew it but it turns out that all three of the Goners hail from Louisiana. Kinship is a very good thing. Thanks Eman.

Fat Tuesday by Tommy Malone - "Boy, you ain't seen nothing yet"

From what I've heard and read, this "phenom" musician spent some of his youth in Edgard, La., a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River. Not much there as I recall but it is the place of one of my favorite childhood memories.

Before my oldest brother shipped off to spend time with the Coast Guard back in the day, he left his 1963 Chevy SS Impala out of harms reach with my grandparents out in the country. This "Heavy Chevy" had a beautiful black paint job, not a touch of bondo, spotless interior with buckets, a built big block with help from Shreve Automotive, 4-speed and 456 gears. I found that there really wasn't all that much for a young kid to do during the summer months in Wallace, La. But when his very kind and elderly grandfather decided that just the two of us should take the car out for a drive so the battery didn't run down, my Mardi Gras came to town.

I remember turning on to River Road and my grandfather commenting on how rough the engine idled and that maybe we should take it in for a tune-up. I knew enough to say that it was because of the race cam in the engine and that she sounded great. The car jumped hard each time he shifted gears as he tried his best to manage the beast. As we appoached Edgard, there was a section where folks gathered on both sides of the old road to hang out. Our car was moving at a pretty good clip when my grandfather had to downshift in a hurry as there was a car stopped in the middle of the road with men on both sides talking with the driver. The startled men cleared and waved us around and my dear grandfather inadvertently revved up, dumped the clutch and launched that bad boy to the cheers and waves of the crowd. Grown men jumping up and down cheering! I wonder if they later told stories about the old man and little boy from out of nowhere. I made sure to look down at the road at the right spot when my mom took me home to the city later that week - two long black lines where he smoked first and second but good, managed to keep her pretty straight too. Miss you to this day Wilson Campeaux. Thank you Tommy Malone.

Two from Back in the Day - The Radiators & Mason Ruffner

Just what the good doctor ordered - feelin' better already...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Isle of Man's Back Door Slam

Nothing better than jammin' with your mates and that feeling of nailing one...

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Taste of Rory Gallagher, 1974

Back in the Day, my brother and I would play pool in my garage, drink shots and beer long after midnight and thanks to Wil, listen to Ireland's finest.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

One for Andrew BMan - You have the Gift

Very nice spending time with you, fam & the subdudes and very nice having someone like you looking out for my son - Should you ever need a hand down the road of life, you need only ask...

Jb&S Music Award - Best Songwriter

We have another unanimous vote - John Hiatt takes the second Jb&S Music Award presented to date in a landslide vote...

Subdudes in Port St. Joe

Magical in a word. Met the 'dudes briefly last night for the first time and heard this one about a group of hippies who parked their bus behind the levee next to the Mississippi River way out in the "country" of Louisiana back in the '70s. The locals would gather at the end of the day and listen to their music and repeatedly tell the children not to get too close. And yes, there was a funny smell in the air.

Turns out I was there as a kid during the summer months, my grandparents lived nearby in Wallace, La., where they built a small brick home to retire in, had a small garden and grew their own (food that is), my grandfather sharpened saws and blades for extra money, had to eventually move back to the city given health as the nearest hospital was a long way off back then. But before they did, I too got to dig "Papa Dukie and the Mud People."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jb&S Music Award - Best White Boy Soul Performance

We have a unanimous vote. And the Award goes to Jonny Lang, Breakin' Me...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anders Osborne - The Lucky One

For when I forget to remember...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Little Something to Go With My Second Cup of Coffee

Skip and Bella are chasing each other all around the room at 90mph having a grand time when it dawns on me - More Hiatt please...

For NY Just One Weekend After - Let It Fly, Sonny Landreth

Found this one right after scanning the NY Times bright and early today. I'm the guy who thinks up a witty remark a few days later, true to form. This one's powerful so better late than never.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wishbone Ash - 1972

Been a long time since I heard this one last - Vintage in a word.

Paul Sanchez with Ivan Neville Riding the Keys

Hot back home too and someone's always cookin' up something good like this one...

Still Hot Out

Like most in this neck of the woods awaiting cooler weather, patience is a virtue. Soon I know - 'til then a little Santana to cool things off...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Went Right Today - Sept 16, 2010

Usually when I drive my daughter to school all too early each morning not much is said despite repeated attempts by yours truly. You know I'm "just not very cool" so I'm told - still have hopes of joining the ranks of E's Hall of Fame though perhaps as an unknown honorable mention or the likes, but I digress. So today I snuck in one of her favorite CDs (early Beatles release - yes, I'm proud) and we sang together the whole drive. Left me feeling something like this tune here...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peter Green & Some Serious Blues

Must have had a previous life cuttin' heads in the Mississippi Delta... Recognize the drummer and bassist at the start?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fire and Rain - Jb's Political Statement for this 911 Weekend

A la James Taylor - one of the best released On This Day in 1970. Strength in Faith is a must...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sonny Landreth and Eric Clapton, When I Still Had You

Landreth's 2008 From the Reach CD arrived today. The guitar work is incredible - seems a few guests lent a hand - Clapton, Knopfler, Robben Ford and Eric Johnson. Looks like I'll be shopping for some new speakers...

J'arrive Acadie - For the Long Journey

On this Labor Day weekend, one from Robbie Robertson helps to remember those before. Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oasis - Definitely Maybe

Released on this Day in 1994. Just love the guitar work on this one. The video kicks as well.

By Special Request

Thanks for visiting Golden Crusader. Tips are appreciated.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anniversary Music for the Folks Back Home

You just had to be there at one time or another to know what it really means...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Orleans, Home of the Blues - Rollin' and Tumblin' up the Mississippi

Powerful Stuff - Lyrics below by Cyril Neville, Taj Mahal and Friends. Tab with Carl Dufrene on bass and Darryl White on drums were as tight as could be back in the day.

The Blues Is Here To Stay

Long before I learned how to tie my shoes
I learned that New Orleans was the home of the blues
Not long ago one mornin' the sun in the city
The blues went rollin' and tumbin' ya'll up the Mississippi
Up through the delta
Up to Memphis Tennessee
Where every people struggled ya'll
struggled to be free
The blues is the music
That fanned the flame
That burned in the soul
Little Walter and Elmore James
The blues is a music
That anyone can feel
It comes from the crowds of the people that worked the cotton field
The blues grew out of pain, but now it can heal
and the more I sing it, the better I feel
and nobody can give it away
nobody can take it away
nobody can throw it away
and you can't even pray it away
and the blues is a feelin' that will never die
and the blues is a feelin' to stay
what would this world be without BB King
without Bobby Blue Bland doin his thing
without T Bone Walker and Howlin' Wolf
without Bessie and Big Mama struttin' their stuff
there'd be no Elvis no Jerry Lee
a young Eric Clapton would have never crossed the sea
without old Lightnin', Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters to grow up on
hey the Beatles and the Stones they'd of never left home, no no
the blues is the gospel of the common man
the story of a people in a hostile land
built on a foundation that will never fall
thanks to Robert Cray, Stevie Ray,and Taj Majal
and nobody can give it away
nobody can take it away
nobody can throw it away
and you can't even pray it away
and the blues is a feelin' that will never die
and the blues is a feelin' to stay

New and Improved Sunday Morning Ritual

Stopped getting the newspaper delivered since they were not capable of delivering the (traditionally much desired) Sunday issue for some reason. Reported it repeatedly and eventually they would show up with it but never before Sunday noon and believe it or not with attitude on display. Who the hell my age wants their Sunday paper delivered at noon?

Then the evening phone calls came with the tired "what can we do to make it right?" After discussing the questionable merits of quality control, the near impossibility of hiring decent talent these days, delivering your product with even just a bit of the intensity of their commitment to the follow-up calls and the obligatory "I'll think about it," it dawned on me.

"Hey Mrs. J___ (we were on a first name basis by now), how are you? Thanks for calling yet again." Yes, I have given it more thought and appreciate the free one-year offer but I've already found a replacement. No, no dear, I'm not receiving an out of town, large city publication. I now sit by my pool early Sunday morn with Never heard of it, yourself? Oh dear, do I detect attitude and I thought that we were becoming fast friends. Why not stop by and join me poolside for some coffee this coming Sunday and I will introduce you to my new Sunday morning reading? What, Mr. J___ might not approve so you better be going now. Sure, it's ok if you or perhaps one of your coworkers calls me in the future but only if you check out my new source of news and information. Promise Mrs. J___? No, no, you have to promise before you call again. Seems we were disconnected - oh dear, someone should check with quality control...

For Buddy - Congrats on the New Gig

Celebrate with some music from the 'dudes who are headed to Port St. Joe next month. Should be there if the creek don't rise...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some Cajun Storytelling - Justin Wilson Would Be Proud

This is funny stuff. Houma's own Tab Benoit is always a crowd favorite. Cover the little ears.

Dog's Eye View - Just Wondering About...

State Your Full Name. So, how are you? I'm fine too. Thanks for asking.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason

Quiet down and pay attention boyz - here's how it's done...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tommy Bolin 1975

He lived a lifetime in a single year. Just 24 when his masterpiece Teaser was released. He also found time to join Deep Purple for their Come Taste the Band release where he helped write seven of the nine songs on the album. Found his peace one year later but sure left his mark... Thanks Blazer!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Advice from Steve Marriott

Tour de force (and best IMHO) cover of a tune co-written by Ashford & Simpson and recorded by Ray Charles in '66. Rock on, Artful Dodger.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good Advice from Cyril Neville -- Performing Over at Tip's

Baby brother is one bad dude but never stare down a voodoo queen...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simpatico - A Night to Remember

Can't help but think that if E and me had become successful musicians rather than corporate misfits then well, we would just have to sound and look something like this...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Six Strings Down - Neville Brothers' Tribute to Stevie Ray

Just didn't feel like waiting until August 27 to post. It was on that day in 1990 when SRV, only 35 years of age, lost his life. Legend has it that a concerned Eric Clapton once asked Buddy Guy's advice on how to go on stage following one of Stevie Ray's performances - the simple answer from someone who well understood was "Man, just do the best you can." Truly one of the greatest guitarists of all time...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Last Goodbye - Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

One of my favorites by KWS - the vocals and guitar work are spot on. Fond memories of the venue too.

Cool Article for Sunday Morn

Talent lost too soon be it a jail cell or the back of a Cadillac...

Sharing Demons With Hank Williams

Published: August 13, 2010

A month or so ago my husband, Charlie, and I left our home in the Shenandoah Valley and headed West on a summer driving trip. Our first stop was just a couple of hours away: a gas-station parking lot in Oak Hill, W.Va., where Hank Williams was found dead in his Cadillac convertible on New Year’s Day in 1953.

As we wound into Oak Hill, it occurred to me that every small town in West Virginia sits wedged between mountains, which makes driving through them something you choose to do, rather than something that just happens. Once you do take the trouble to visit, however, it’s my experience that small-town West Virginians are generally glad to see you. If you need something, all you have to do is ask. So Charlie and I pulled into a convenience store to buy sodas and fried pies and do just that. Could you tell us, please, at which gas station Hank Williams was found dead?

The counter clerk didn’t know, which surprised me. After all, if you Google “Oak Hill Hank Williams,” you get a lot of hits. She asked a man who’d come in to buy cigarettes, but he wasn’t sure, either. A conversation developed. Finally, a woman came in who did know. Down the street, she said. Just across from the church.

She walked outside with us to point out the right direction. “Used to be Burdette’s Pure Oil,” she said. “You can’t miss it. There’s nothing there now. Nothing at all.”

Musically speaking, I was raised on classical and educated on rock ’n’ roll. Then in my 30s, someone gave me an Emmylou Harris album, and I began listening to more country music. At the time, I was doing a lot of driving on America’s highways in a pickup with a camper, so songs about heartache, not enough money and rolling down the road seemed, somehow, more real. Bourbon, small-town fried chicken and Emmylou’s music kept me more cheerful than I had any right to be during those creative, chaotic, self-destructive years.

Back then I was still a bit of a snob, toting around a snob’s attendant limitations. Hank Williams’s music was too raw, too hayseed to have meaning. He sang completely in his head and through his nose. His songs were too simplistic, too plonka-plonka in their production. The same person could not possibly embrace Wallace Stevens and Hank Williams. It was only after I’d had a lot of the pretentiousness knocked out of me by my own addiction struggles that I came to understand all this was beside the point. Hank Williams didn’t write songs for hillbillies; he wrote songs for anybody interested in facing life with a modicum of openness and honesty.

Charlie and I drove down the street. There was indeed nothing left of Burdette’s Pure Oil except a concrete slab with a couple of grease spots, a few sprouting wires and some building scraps. I had seen pictures of Burdette’s on the Internet, and it looked to have been built in the ’30s: two gas pumps, peaked blue roof, small double-bay garage, outside restrooms, a soda machine. That’s what it must have been like 57 years ago when a college student named Charles Carr pulled in driving Hank Williams’s Cadillac, the 29-year-old singer slumped in the back seat, dead of too much alcohol, too many drugs, not enough peace. He probably died sometime earlier, somewhere on the road; no one is quite sure where. Not that it matters.

To me, there is no romance in such a death; and not much in the life that leads to it. I get to say this because I, too, once flirted seriously with self-destruction and know that when you’re an addict, the rest of your life is a shadow no matter how many songs you write or places­ you go or people you please. Or how many good times you have, for that matter. There’s no bargaining with alcohol and drugs once you have to have them. You either stop drinking and using or you die.

Charlie and I stayed around for about an hour, long enough to pick up some chips of Pure Oil’s signature blue roof tile. I plan to keep mine on my desk at work, along with fortune-cookie slips that tell me “curiosity is life” and I am “almost there”; six smooth pebbles from some river somewhere; and my 24-hour A.A. chip.

After close to two decades of sobriety, I do pray in a kind of haphazard fashion, and I am open to all things being possible, even after death. So, at Burdette’s Pure Oil, I said a quick howdy to old Hank. And a quick thanks for the songs. And then I offered him a cross-dimensional high-five. For me, as for him, life is a road trip. We’d both been on the road through Oak Hill, W.Va., yet for some reason, I got to keep going.

Martha Woodroof is the author of a novel, “Small Blessings.” She reports for WMRA public radio in Virginia.

Some Jet for Jetboy

Talk about a live performance to remember. Thanks to Evan for the recommendation.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

This One Always Brings Me Back

"No doubt about it, you just got to dig this one..."

Powerful Stuff from Roy Buchanan's When a Guitar Plays the Blues

My younger brother came home with this album back in the day and I remember that we were some blown away that afternoon. Blaise had a knack for finding really good music when you had to make that $5 count. Not long after, Roy was found dead under questionable circumstances in a Virginia jail cell. His passing was on this day in 1988.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Play It, Big Town"

Had one of those days today and just needed something Old School - thanks Kim Wilson.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Double Dose of the One and Only Trombone Shorty

Talked to a friend today about her plans to visit New Orleans. Until then, here's some of the finest young talent the Easy has to offer...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One for DB of Baton Rouge

Hope I Didn't Blow Your Cover...

15 Years Ago Today

A great debate took place between Ole E and me in the main hallway of the Whitney Building, a rather fine institution of days gone by. Onlookers of all walks stared in amazement as emotions ran high with no quarter given by either party. J. Carville, the Ragin' Cajun himself, would have been proud.

And still to this day, the question remains - was she looking at you or was she looking at me?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just 40 Years Ago Today

Never forget to have a little fun along the way...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Subdudes on a Saturday Afternoon

Great song with some wonderful photos - very nice combination indeed.

Vintage Steely Dan

Heard this masterpiece this morning on the drive from Tally to the Easy. More great lyrics and the guitar work of Elliot Randall is unmistakable. Seems strange but Bill Cosby (on the Intro) was young once upon a time.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Double Trouble - Keys on Letterman

Two can get the job done, my son...

Friday, July 30, 2010

John Waite - And What Are You Waiting For?

Something mellow for a Friday evening - John Waite in NYC.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten - The Boys of Badfinger

A little slide action from Pete Ham with that sweet bass touch of Tom Evans. Seems like just yesterday...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fogerty on Fire

Incredible Guitar, Vocals and Lyrics. And "The Baddest Dude of 1969 Award" goes to...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BP -"Big Pimp, Bad President, Billionaire Pirate"

Speaking of Lyrics - My Heading is from the recent release, "It Ain't My Fault" as performed by Mos Def and Ben Jaffe and as posted here previously.

Speaking of "And So It Goes," - From the NY Times:

Pet Owners, Squeezed by Oil Spill, Turn to Shelters
Published: July 22, 2010

VIOLET, La. — The trail of oil has invaded the marshes of St. Bernard Parish, seeping into the psyche of fishermen and flowing into the overcrowded shelter at the St. Bernard Parish Animal Services where Sasha, Melodie and Benny pace their cages awaiting adoption.

Since the BP oil disaster began, overwhelmed pet owners in coastal parishes, notably St. Bernard, and to a lesser degree, Plaquemines, have been dropping off their pets in droves. Some hand them over tearfully, others matter of factly.

“I think about how one day these animals are happy and go to sleep, and then the next day they wake up in a cage wondering, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ ” said Mary Gambill, 54, of Luling, La., who drove an hour south to St. Bernard to adopt Andrea, a yellow Lab whose ribs poked through her sickly coat.

“These aren’t just scroungy dogs on the side of the road,” Ms. Gambill said. “These are pets.”

Some owners told the shelter’s director, Beth Brewster, that they had to downsize to apartments that do not accept animals. Others said they were too busy cleaning the spill to properly care for them. Few people, however, are willing to admit that they cannot feed both family and pet.

“I think it’s the uncertainty of the future,” Ms. Brewster said. “It’s more logistics than it is poverty.”

In a proud parish where three dollar stores operate between shopping centers shuttered five years after Katrina, and where residents wait six hours for $100 food cards distributed weekly by Catholic Charities, the animal shelter’s statistics reflect the jarring anxiety of the oil-ravaged economy.

In June 2009, owners brought 17 pets in to the shelter; last month, owners relinquished more than 100 pets, Ms. Brewster said. To make room in the kennels, the sickest animals and those most unlikely to be adopted — primarily feral cats and aggressive dogs — have been euthanized, she said.

The situation is different than after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when owners abandoned their pets in haste, and later out of necessity when they themselves had no homes. Then, overcrowded shelters focused on rescue and reunion missions.

Now agencies like the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States are trying to ease the overcrowding by arranging adoptions with shelters throughout the country and by offering free veterinary services and pet food so owners can keep their pets.

“Once they get through our door, they’ve already gone through the emotions of grief in giving up their pet,” said Jacob Stroman, director for the Plaquemines Animal Welfare Society, which has a policy of noneuthanization.

The mission, he said, is to reach owners before they turn to shelters as a last resort.

At St. Bernard Catholic Church on Tuesday, Thomas Lopez, 65, and his companion, Vera Kerschner, 48, carried away a 17.6-pound bag of Kibbles ’n Bits for their Chihuahua, Shelby.

“She’s eating better than we are,” Mr. Lopez, an unemployed fisherman, said with a laugh.

The couple was taking advantage of the Louisiana S.P.C.A.’s Gulf Coast Companion Animal Relief Program, which in its first week gave out 377 bags of dog food to owners who could prove a connection to the fishing industry, said Ana Zorrilla, the group’s chief executive.

The program received a $100,000 grant from the A.S.P.C.A. and approximately $100,000 in private donations, while Del Monte donated 41,000 pounds of dog food.

On Thursday, Catholic Charities’ distribution day in Plaquemines Parish, James Bennett, 43, a commercial fisherman now mowing lawns, signed up for veterinary services offered by the S.P.C.A. in New Orleans.

He will bring his whole brood — six cats and seven dogs — the 75 miles north from Venice, La., for their appointments next month. Mr. Bennett, who said he easily spends $350 a month on pet food, wonders, however, whether the oil spill has given owners a convenient excuse.

“I don’t buy that — they’re giving up their dogs because they can’t feed them?” Mr. Bennett said at St. Patrick Church in Port Sulphur, La. “I just think they are trying to get rid of them.”

Billy Nungesser, the outspoken president of Plaquemines Parish who owns seven dogs, including one he rescued from Katrina, instituted a parish pet food giveaway every two weeks.

“With all the stress and frustration and worrying about getting your job back, that pet keeps you sane and can help you get through that,” Mr. Nungesser said in an interview.

Nonetheless, he said some owners had confided in him that they have had “to choose between their kids and their pets.”

For Lena Nguyen, holding her 14-year-old Husky-Shepherd mix, Keno, by the leash, there is no choice.

“I’m broke,” Ms. Nguyen said at St. Patrick Church on Wednesday, “but if you give me $100,000, a million dollars, and tell me to trade Keno, thank you very much, I’ll be poor, but I’ll be happy.

“Keno is my heart, my everything.”

Under the Heading of Great Lyrics

Check out The Verve Pipe's Happiness Is...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Landreth, Clapton & Dave Ranson on Bass

Holds it together nicely while these two Masters go at it! Being a drummer, there's nothing better than having a great bassist in the band.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swag On Point

Best not to taper off...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Zito Jams!

Turn it up...

One for Evan & One for Alexis

Miss you guys! Thanks to E for the "Kings" hook up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Check Out the Keyboard Solo along with Davy Knowles on Guitar

The Torch is in good hands...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Headed to Bayou Teche Tomorrow with some Hiatt & Landreth for the Ride

E, might we have seen these two together at the House of Blues in the Big Easy back in the day? Not sure you remember but I was digging this very drum kit before the show. Man oh man, what a performance we have here!

Tom Cruise & Werewolves of London

Just don't make them like this anymore. Draw blood!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Something Mellow for the Fourth

Just chillin' with Skip when this one came to mind...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

From my College Days

Saw Genesis at the UNO Lakefront Arena back in the Day - Man, did they tear it up!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Storyville at Antone's

Some mighty fine Austin talent...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For Whatever Road You Might Be On...

Here's some "Moore" California Talent to Enjoy and With a Nice Message for All Thinking of Home.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday P'mon

Hats off to Train - the feel doesn't get much better than this...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hey Youngblood, Check out this Combination

The Robert Cray Band and The Memphis Horns. No thanks required as this one is a lesson for all...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Felt Like Some White Boy Funk Today

This gets it done and then some. Thanks Subdudes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Father's Day Gift A La SRV

One of my all time favorites...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

To Jimmie the Brother & Stevie the Man

Seems like just yesterday... Told my youngest brother once that in my mind I was waiting for Stevie Ray's next release and he felt exactly the same responding "that it should be out any day now."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Benjamin Jaffe, the Real Deal like his Father

Preservation Hall is a New Orleans' institution thanks to the Jaffe Family. Proud to say that I jammed with the Man back in the day in my parents' living room of all places on my mother's birthday, a gift from her loving husband. Like then, here's to better days...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nothing Like a Little Acoustic on a Sunday Afternoon

A la Grayson Capps...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Performer with Best Head of Hair

Never paid attention in my younger days but what a great head of hair on ole Ricky Nelson. Song is on the mark and makes for a nice Sunday morning walk down memory lane. Gotta go drive a truck now.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Best Performance by a Group of Backup Singers

Their performance is priceless so enjoy the show...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Off the Beaten Path but It's Hiatt Nonetheless

E., check this performance by Hiatt and Lovett out. Also, check out "A Mess Of Blues" by Hiatt (could not get it to post as embedding was disabled) on Youtube, another fine performance by the HMan.

One for Brother Man PK7

Here's one of your favorites from Zachary Richard's latest album. A powerful song for a good man hanging tough and helping out. Thanks for everything...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alex Yoncak, RIP Hero Who Dat

New Orleans Saints fan Alex Yoncak touched a lot of people
By Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune
May 22, 2010, 10:25PM

The Who Dat Nation lost a great one last month.

Alex Yoncak was a huge New Orleans Saints fan and a devoted family man.
Alex Yoncak died in a car crash near his home in Dingmans Ferry, Penn., on April 21.

The news report in The Pocono News consisted of three sentences. Under the headline "One dead in Pike crash," it read, in part, "Police say Alexander Yoncak, 37, of Dingmans Ferry, failed to negotiate a curve on Doolan Road, crossed into the oncoming lane, then swerved back and off the right side of the road, striking a tree." The accident occurred less than five minutes from Alex's home. He died instantly, the only positive news in this sad story.

He is survived by his wife, Abby, and their four children: sons, Xander, 11; and Sawyer, 6; and daughters, Bronwen, 10; and Anya, 8.

"My brother was a devoted New Orleans Saints fan who loved life and dedicated his life to helping others," his sister Kerry Yoncak wrote in an e-mail last week.

If there were a Hall of Fame for Saints fans, Alex would be a first-ballot entrant. There's a football term for guys like him. He was a difference-maker. He accomplished more random acts of kindness in his 37 years than most of us will in twice that time.

He saved the life of Jeremy Perrin when the boy fell through some ice and almost drowned. He served his country in the Marines. He coached youth sports teams and DJ'd at church and school functions (Favorite spin: "The Gummy Bear Song").

When he saw homelessness and despair in Mexico, he didn't just empathize, he bought a plane ticket, packed a hammer and flew south to rebuild homes - three times.

He touched lives

His classmates at Timothy Christian High School in Piscataway, N.J., remembered him as the prankster who kept everyone in stitches and eventually married his high school sweetheart.

His coworkers in the Local 157 carpenters union in New York City praised his work ethic and dedication to his craft.

His neighbors in the Pocono Mountain Lake Forest community extolled his charitable nature, selflessness and mentorship to the youth in the area.

And his fellow Saints fans at, revered him as sort of Drew Brees-Jeremy Shockey leader in their online community.

Everyone who ever posted a thread or read a message on the fan forum knew Alex, aka HammernNails. His ubiquitous avatar - a picture of him standing in front of the Superdome, dressed in his favorite gold Deuce McAllister jersey, gold-and-black Mardi Gras beads around his neck, head thrown back, arms thrust high above his head, expression of pure unbridled joy splashed across his bearded face - was one of the most recognizable sights on the site.

The photo was taken Sept. 25, 2006, the day of the historic Dome-coming game against the Atlanta Falcons. It was Alex's first trip to see his beloved Saints in person. There might be people in this world as happy as Yoncak was in that picture, but no one could be happier.

"That was exactly how I remembered him -- larger than life and enjoying every moment of it," said Steve Carp, a fellow Saints fan from Lynbrook, N.Y., who met Alex at the Saints' 30-7 victory against the New York Giants on Christmas Eve, 2006.

A true Who Dat, Alex would later get kicked out of the game by Meadowlands security for heckling Giants fans too intensely. He returned to his tailgate site, busted out his electric guitar and amp and immediately began singing disparaging songs about the Giants.

Yoncak's passion for the Saints started at the age of 7, when his grandmother played "When the Saints Go Marching In" on her accordion. A few days later he saw a Saints game on TV, loved the look of their jerseys and helmets and was hooked.

It took Katrina, though, to get him to New Orleans. Like many Americans, he was moved as he watched the disaster unfold on TV. He felt compelled to help. He'd worked to rebuild homes on church missions to Mexico and knew his skills would be useful in New Orleans. He posted his idea on Pledges of support poured in. Alex raised donations, rallied volunteers and requested nominations for help. The Hammer and Nails Project was born.

In July, Alex and Kerry made their first trip south to help rebuild the home of Blaine Miller, a fellow member whose Gretna home had two feet of floodwater and suffered close to $50,000 in damages.

Flush with $36,000 in donated supplies and services, an army of volunteers descended on the Miller home and worked through the entire weekend. They culminated that by eating crawfish and drinking beer.

Yoncak returned three months later to do the same at Mark and Emily Forbes' four-bedroom home in Arabi. Through website donations and a fund-raiser at the Mid-City Lanes Rock-N-Bowl the night before the Saints' home opener against Atlanta, the group raised more than $3,000, which was used to buy Sheetrock, paint and flooring.

"This may sound stupid, but it made me sad to think that because of a hurricane the Saints would no longer be the New Orleans Saints, that my team would be gone," Yoncak told me between sessions of sheetrock hanging that day in Arabi. "I wanted to do something that would make a difference. This is something I can do. Things happen for a reason."