LIVE IN NEW ORLEANS AT JAZZ FEST AND BEYOND: THE METERS, RANDY NEWMAN, DOUG KERSHAW & THE TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND
Some great live performances in and beyond New Orleans. First, from the cavernous Howlin’ Wolf club in the Warehouse District, The Meters perform a set of their bass-heavy funk blended with R&B and Mardi Gras Indian chants. Live from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, Randy Newman gives his satirical take on Louisiana/American life and politics; while fiddler Doug Kershaw and accordionist Steve Riley talk about bringing Cajun music from the swamp into the mainstream, and play Kershaw’s hit “Louisiana Man”— one of the first songs broadcast from the moon! Then, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks tell how they met at a New Orleans concert, and years later formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band, known for its live recordings of Southern soul-inflected roots rock a la the Allman Brothers. Now married, Susan and Derek talk about their solo careers as well as starting a family and touring band together.
Body, soul and Earth are rejuvenated at this special time of year when winter turns to spring. Spend some of it with Virginia-based gospel group the Paschall Brothers who perform an in-studio, a cappella set. Then meet the late Charlie Louvin, who along with brother Ira made up the Louvin Brothers. Famous for their familial harmonies as much as for their hellfire and brimstone tunes like “The Drunkard’s Grave,” and “Satan is Real,” Charlie recalls the brothers’ heyday and talks about getting his second wind as a performer. And take a ride with Shreveport, Louisiana’s Santa Maria Produce Company in their trucks covered by hand painted reproductions of da Vinci’s Last Supper and other religious iconography.
We peer into the minds of musical dreamers of the past and present, exploring dreams of love, immigration, and a more perfect union. Singer songmaker Jesse Colin Young of the Youngbloods speaks of the 60’s folk revival in Greenwich Village and his dreams realized in the anthemic 1967 song “Get Together.” Then, Haitian American cellist and singer Leyla McCalla describes her journey from New York to New Orleans, connecting the cultural histories she’d long dreamed of along the way. Plus dreamscapes from Rhiannon Giddens, Los Cenzontles, Mahalia Jackson and John Prine.
Two hours of music surrounding the forefather of the blues, Robert Johnson. The guitarist and singer is remembered by four other Delta bluesmen: guitarist Johnny Shines rode the rails with Johnson in the 1930s, pianist and guitarist Henry Townsend jammed with him, Robert Junior Lockwood is Johnson’s stepson and the late diddly-bow player Lonnie Pitchford followed in his footsteps. We’ll also hear Johnson tunes in the hands of latter-day artists the Rolling Stones and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.