Friday, April 27, 2007

Basin Street Records Showcase at Howlin' Wolf And More

Continuing my thoughts from the previous post.

So on Day One in town, for lunch we had 'po boys at Felix's in the French Quarter - shrimp and oyster po boy and a crawfish po boy. Tasty, crispy, the perfect start to a weekend of NOLA cuisine. Dinner was at an old standby -- Mother's, at Poydras and Tchoupitoulas. We split a bowl of Jerry's Jambalaya and a roast beef po' Boy. Tasty, but not nearly as delicious or as spicy as I remember from past trip's to Mother's, once upon a time a quite popular local joint. Maybe tourism hurt it?

I got a chance to speak with Basin Street Records President Mark Samuels on Thursday night at Howlin' Wolf, where two of his label's acts -- Theresa Andersson and Henry Butler -- were playing a bill with Little Feat.

Jimmy Buffett and his posse walked through the club shortly after Henry Butler finished, with plans (I heard) to do a meet-and-greet with Henry. Mark told me that Henry and Buffett had met before, when the pianist opened for a live concert that Buffett presented not long ago.

Theresa Andersson impressed, again, with a show mixing swamp rock (the opener, built on a "Taxman"-style riff with blues and Americana. She turned in fierce work on fiddle, which she sometimes souped up with distortion and other effects, and she closed with a psychedelic, acid-washed tune that reminded me of something out of the Cream book. Her voice is more forceful and more mature than ever, a soulful, bluesy wail that variously suggests Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin.

Next up was Henry Butler, the blind New Orleans pianist, now temporarily relocated to Colorado. He played a tightly arranged mix of New Orleans R&B, blues and jazz with occasional gospel overtones. His set included two tunes associated with Professor Longhair - "Iko Iko" and "Go to Mardi Gras."

Mark Samuels told me much about the present and future of Basin Street, but I'll save that info for later. Now it's off to another Jazz Fest set.

Back to the

No comments: