Ryan Scully/ Josh Cohen Pt.2

Listening to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly; earliest music appreciations; the way ideas move through the 40s; song rejection; mcmurray talks of songs with the 40s; mother-in-law; how the music makes people react; Ebola? (too soon?); lifestyle descriptions in the songs; Morning 40 style; Funkadelic; the olfactory sense; discovering Nirvana and liberation by record store; Josh and binaural beats; Scully’s other material outside the 40s; whether the band broke up because of problems between Scully and Josh; how members have come in and out of the band; financing of recordings; how the music has changed over the years; songs about age; prog rock math rock vs. minimal type etceteras; josh expresses himself.


Brice Miller Interview Pt. 3

Brass bands in other parts of the United States; the "mythical" Congo Square; the role of formal musical education in the development early jazz artists- Buddy Bolden; brass bands around the world; jazz funerals, 2nd lines, benevolent societies and their roles in solidifying the place of people of color in the city- the taking of it; why brass bands in New Orleans have outlived the traditions in other cities; political needs for brass bands; more on cultural mentorship, cultural capital, social capital; the relation of brass band music to other musics in the city;  Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Nicholas Payton- their start associated with the brass band tradition; being able to speak collectively; Trombone Shorty; the difficulties of talking to music press and their false ideas of what audiences will find interesting; the maligning or ignoring of intellectual sides to musicians in the press; coming out of depression after Katrina; the way that Brice's identity was used and became a caricature after the storm;  going to the University of Alabama; telling the story of real New Orleans music, and the 200 year history of brass bands, honestly; the indignity of the reduction of all narratives of people of color to slavery; the influence of personal understanding of history on personal identity development; final comments- retelling your own stories.

Jeff Treffinger Interview Pt.4

Part 4- How The Geraniums formed; getting others to record their songs; meeting and working with Glen Styler; Alex Mcmurray in The Geraniums; what Jeff is currently up to- writing, upcoming records he's producing, the family album; the changes that Jeff sees in New Orleans since he showed up in the 70's; what happened to older people going to shows too?; succumbing to convention; changes in the art world.  


Interview with Tim Green, Part 2

Part 2- Musicians' awareness of the importance of heir own work; when the decision to come to New Orleans was made; the pain associated with learning an instrument and the desire and drive to get past that; beginnings in playing music with others; desire for formal studies and starting at Berklee, 1978; problems with Berklee; meeting the 'passport' to New Orleans; serendipitous winning of trophy at the St. Patrick's Day parade in the French Quarter; deep lessons for a negligent saxophone teacher.

Tim Green Interview part 2

Interview with songwriter, Luke Allen, of The Happy Talk Band. part 2

Luke Allen is the leader of an interesting local New Orleans group, The Happy Talk Band.  He writes in a style unlike anyone else in town.  He has a generous, though un-imposing, personality and this comes through well in his songs.  In this conversation he explains a lot of where he came from and uncovers some connections between his life travels and New Orleans residency and how those things impact his songwriting.

The interview was conducted where he felt at home, Markey's Bar in the Bywater.  There is background noise from the conversationalists and jukebox but it provides a nice backdrop for Luke's lively conversation.

 

Part 2- Playing with Bailey and relationship with The Morning 40 Federation; gaining a following and seeing people in the audience starting to know his songs; Checkpoint Charlie's, Hi-Ho Lounge, Matador, Circle Bar, Kelly Keller; how he chose the kind of music to go behind his songs; the stylistic influences on his sound; his difficulties with recording and playing live; the band's recording history; working with Mike West; interest in other types of writing and the impact on his songwriting; his writing process; audience response to The Happy Talk Band; desired future directions in music; being a bartender and his views of the profession; his views on New Orleans and changes over the years; what he's liked in music in New Orleans and what he's liked about the city.

Luke Allen Interview Pt.2

Interview with songwriter, Luke Allen, of The Happy Talk Band. part 1

Luke Allen is the leader of an interesting local New Orleans group, The Happy Talk Band.  He writes in a style unlike anyone else in town.  He has a generous, though un-imposing, personality and this comes through well in his songs.  In this conversation he explains a lot of where he came from and uncovers some connections between his life travels and New Orleans residency and how those things impact his songwriting.

The interview was conducted where he felt at home, Markey's Bar in the Bywater.  There is background noise from the conversationalists and jukebox but it provides a nice backdrop for Luke's lively conversation.

 

Part 1- Where he came from, Salinas, Santa Cruz; how he came to New Orleans and why;  how he started writing his own material; where the dark themed songs come from; playing music before Happy Talk; how The Happy Talk Band formed; how the band name came about.

Luke Allen Interview Pt.1

Interview with Hart Mcnee- Flautist/Saxophonist


Hart Mcnee was a very interesting local musical figure.  He died a couple of years ago but while alive he left quite a mark on all of us, friends, family or musical comrades.  He was from Chicago originally but he had moved at a fairly young age to San Francisco. Initially he was staying with his friend, the iconic guitarist Mike Bloomfield (an early hero of this site's author.)  Hart played all over the San Francisco blues scene primarily on baritone sax but especially known was his stint with Boz Scaggs.  He was also with Albert Collins, Otis Rush who he recorded with and others.  He had come from Chicago and knew many key bluesmen.  He was even driving Magic Sam home for a while.  His prime instrument for his own expression was flute and he will be remembered by all of us New Orleans friends as hugging that singularly marked bass flute.  

Hart was a close friend and I wish that I had gotten to interview him but this may be even better.  Here another really close friend, the film-maker, actor, and screenwriter Henry Griffin got a really vibrant interview with Hart not long before he died.  This interview was conducted May 8, 2006.

I'll never forget hearing his flute sound coming out of Cafe Istanbul on Frenchmen St early in the 90's.  A lot filtering through the doorways that particular summer was unremarkable but here was this very vocal, very driven, bluesy but un-cliched, large flute sound drifting onto the streets.  I could feel instantly that his phrases were bold and exploratory but immediately honest at the most human level and, peeking in the door, I just hoped that I would get a chance to play with this guy.  I was lucky and we fell in big from interest in blues and the same sorts of jazz musicians.  I was real amazed to find that he knew Bloomfield and others and I think he thought it was cool that anyone knew about that stuff.  over the years I got to play with him in many of my own projects and many others.  What fun! And I was proud of the fact that he liked my guitar playing because he openly detested most guitarists work.

Hart was a good deal older than a lot of us playing with him at that time and there was a lot about our wilder drives and things that we weren't aware of that he helped us to understand.  His honesty about where he was at and where he had been at helped clarify a lot of things.  At the same time, he wasn't what would be called mellow.  His drives and personality were loaded with obsession, vibrancy, unquestioning compulsive pushes towards everything that he may have found that he had an urge for.  But mainly, he had a drive for beauty and I think it made his death a lot simpler than it could have been.

All of this and much more comes out in this honest but humor filled interview.  I'll leave it in one part if you are interested in life, hang in until the end...

Hart Mcnee interview

- almost buying a gun twice; adventures in the army after attempting to dodge the draft, his sharpshooting abilities compared to Lee Harvey Oswald and the resulting suspicions; working with missiles and phobias entering into the picture; beginnings in music; getting a radio and being appalled by what the music of the day seemed to be; suddenly becoming aware of blues on the left hand side of the dial and wanting to be those artists; starting on tenor sax; how he got to be a professional musician; advice on how to get better in music; drugs and coming away from heroin addiction and drinking; cancer diagnosis and what's involved; whether phobias pass after being diagnosed with terminal disease; how he chose songs for his recordings; interest in Orixa songs, voodoo and involvements in ceremonies; the impact on his playing; the question of the healing power of music; his views of what happens after death; belief in the soul and the soul as a verb; what he would have done if he could've done it all over again; what would be the heaven of Hart's dreams.

Hart Mcnee Interview

Follow up interview Pt.1- with Piety St. Studios founder/engineer/producer/musician/composer, Mark Bingham

  Here is a second, concluding interview with a big contributor the current face of New Orleans music.  Mark is a good talker and pretty free with colorful stories about artists and the machine that keeps them "out there." This talk has quite a different flavor from the first interview.

Part 1- Initial move to New Orleans; meeting and doing work with WWOZ; acquiring studio gear for New Orleans; first studio recordings:John Cleary, Bunchy, Mike Ward, Amadee Castanell, John Mooney; how the Boiler Room came about; cheap acquisition of 2.25 inch tape machines; differences in recording spaces; who was recorded at the Boiler Room; Lump and Ben Ellman; Delfeayo Marsalis; Glenn Patscha, Johnny Vidacovich; What changed since the days of the Boiler Room; the other studios in New Orleans in the 90's; angry studio customers and mistaken blame; the kinds of work Mark has to do in the studio; why the Boiler Room folded.


Interview with Aurora Nealand Pt.2

Aurora Nealand is all over the current New Orleans local scene.  She seemed to emerge out of nowhere.   Some of her appeal is  that she has a humble nature, coupled with a fiery attack when she plays, and a real fearlessness about sitting in and getting involved.  She plays solo performances with a gas mask and an accordion. You'll see her playing soprano sax and clarinet exchanges with herself at Pres. Hall with The Royal Roses (see earlier post on front page.) You'll see her playing duos with pianist/composer Tom Mcdermott.  These are just a few of the interesting things she gets up to.  I have seen her under deeper cover than that, and been amazed at how easily she blends in or stands out.  She reveals a lot here about where she is coming from and where she wants to go.  She also talks a lot about the various communities and social scenes that currently surround some parts of the local scene.

  This is Part 2 of interview with performance explorer, Aurora Nealand- beginnings in music, studying electronic composition at Oberlin, early biography, The Jazz Vipers, the challenges of the mentality fostered in students in jazz education, early experiences of the music scene in New Orleans, graduate school in Austin for composition, interdisciplinary/ collaborative/experimental performance, at The Jacques Lecoq school, early experiences sitting in with new Orleans bands, Ben Schenck and Panorama Brass Band, Vavavoom, the appeal of the accordion, theatricality in her music, issues of communicating with the audience in the current "trad" scene, what is the appeal of "retro?", sexual dynamics in the vintage/retro scene, relationship of fashion to the gigs, formation and communities around music and comfort.

Aurora Nealand Pt.2

Dr. James "Jimbo" P. Walsh interview pt.1

Coherence creating scenarios, consciousness as a rationalization for pre-conscious mechanisms, music compositional systems as an analogue to the coherence creating system in society, how different coherence scenarios clash and cause difficulty in musical appreciation or communication, coherence and incoherence as a concept in western compositional and how it integrates with other cultures, Pat Carpenter, Schoenberg's concept of the musical idea and organic unity, study and analysis of western musical classics, the heresy of organic unity in the post-modern era, beginning playing experiences, music in his family, affection for the Beatles, family dynamic, influence of Father and his engagement with philosophy.

Dr. James P. Walsh pt.1

Phil Degruy interview pt.5

Phil is one of the most fascinating and innovative instrumentalists from New Orleans.  His creativity is not bound by the guitar- he also modifies, or maybe corrects, a lot of what falls in front of him and on him.  He even invented and plays a kind of guitar- the guitarp.  In this interview, he talks about style in his playing, his guitar influences, alternate lyrics, new orleans guitar scene history, and converses and hypothesizes about the problems of music business and herd mentality.

Phil Degruy pt.5

Phil Degruy interview pt.4

Phil is one of the most fascinating and innovative instrumentalists from New Orleans.  His creativity is not bound by the guitar- he also modifies, or maybe corrects, a lot of what falls in front of him and on him.  He even invented and plays a kind of guitar- the guitarp.  In this interview, he talks about style in his playing, his guitar influences, alternate lyrics, new orleans guitar scene history, and converses and hypothesizes about the problems of music business and herd mentality.

Phil Degruy Pt.4

Phil Degruy interview pt.3

Phil is one of the most fascinating and innovative instrumentalists from New Orleans.  His creativity is not bound by the guitar- he also modifies, or maybe corrects, a lot of what falls in front of him and on him.  He even invented and plays a kind of guitar- the guitarp.  In this interview, he talks about style in his playing, his guitar influences, alternate lyrics, new orleans guitar scene history, and converses and hypothesizes about the problems of music business and herd mentality.

Phil Degruy Pt.3

Phil Degruy interview pt.2

Phil is one of the most fascinating and innovative instrumentalists from New Orleans.  His creativity is not bound by the guitar- he also modifies, or maybe corrects, a lot of what falls in front of him and on him.  He even invented and plays a kind of guitar- the guitarp.  In this interview, he talks about style in his playing, his guitar influences, alternate lyrics, new orleans guitar scene history, and converses and hypothesizes about the problems of music business and herd mentality.

Phil Degruy Pt.2

Phil Degruy interview pt. 1

Phil is one of the most fascinating and innovative instrumentalists from New Orleans.  His creativity is not bound by the guitar- he also modifies, or maybe corrects, a lot of what falls in front of him and on him.  He even invented and plays a kind of guitar- the guitarp.  In this interview, he talks about style in his playing, his guitar influences, alternate lyrics, new orleans guitar scene history, and converses and hypothesizes about the problems of music business and herd mentality.

Phil Degruy interview pt.1