If “gay rapper” is an oxymoron where you come from, how to get your head around the notion of a gay rapper performing in a sports bar? What in most cities might seem plausible only as some sort of Sacha Baron Cohen-style provocation is just another weeknight in the cultural Galapagos that is New Orleans. Sometime after midnight on the sweltering Thursday before Memorial Day, the giant plasma-screen TVs at the Sports Vue bar (which “proudly airs all major Pay Per View events from the world of Boxing and Ultimate Fighting”) were all switched off...
Irma Thomas (b. February 18, 1941, Ponchatoula, Louisiana) whose only national chart hit in a 50 year career is 1963's "Wish Someone Would Care", is an enduring, Grammy winning, soul, gospel, rhythm and blues singer from New Orleans. Known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans", she is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, but did not tour as relentlessly, and industry support and major commercial success eluded her for decades.
Allen Toussaint (born January 14, 1938) is an American musician, songwriter and record producer and one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was a prolific writer, producer and arranger, creating numerous hits for a variety of artists including Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, The Showmen, The Meters, Betty Wright, Solomon Burke and Willie West. He produced material for Dr John, LaBelle, Chocolate Milk and Aaron Neville amongst many more.
The Funky Meters are an offshoot variation of the original New Orleans funk group The Meters formed by bassist George Porter Jr and keyboardist Art Neville. Generally the difference between The Funky Meters and The Meters is that original guitarist Leo Nocentelliand drummer Zigaboo Modeliste of the original group are absent from this regular touring lineup. They are replaced by drummer Russell Batiste Jr and currently Art's son Ian Neville on guitar.
Tuba Skinny of New Orleans, Louisiana has played traditional Dixieland Jazz and Old Blues songs under the name Tuba Skinny since 2009. They're cousins of Loose Marbles, as is Baby Soda in NYC. These groups have interchangeable players and it is a joy to witness these youngsters spreading the word about the New Orleans music. They have three albums, 'Tubaskinny' (2009), 'Six Feet Down' (2010) and 'Garbage Man' (2011), all of which can be streamed for free and are also available for download on their Bandcamp page.
The Rebirth Brass Band is a New Orleans brass band. The group was founded in 1983 by tuba player Philip Frazier, his brother Keith Frazier and trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, along with other musicians with them at the Joseph S. Clark Sr. High School in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. Rebirth is known for combining traditional New Orleans brass band music, including the New Orleans tradition of second line with funk, jazz, and soul influences. In 1992, Ruffins and Rebirth split amicably after Ruffins decided not to accompany the band on a trip to Africa.
A respected session and sideman, British blues pianist and composer Jon Cleary has worked with rock, blues, and soul artists like Bonnie Raitt, D'Angelo, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal, and Eric Clapton. Originally a guitarist, Cleary began playing at age five, and started his first band at 15. Raised on blues, jazz, and soul records, his love of new orleans blues and jazz in particular took him across the ocean after he graduated from art school.