New Orleans guitar great Snooks Eaglin has passed

I got an email a few hours ago from George Porter, with the news that Snooks Eaglin passed away this afternoon. Snooks was one of the great musicians and characters of New Orleans.

I only had the chance to play with Snooks once, as I recall, maybe twice. It was a situation where Snooks was making a guest appearance for part of a set. He never really called tunes, he just started playing, and everyone else hopped on. He will be missed.

There is a brief article here. I am sure more news and tributes will appear soon.

edit Here is Gambit’s blog post on Snooks.

Curious Case

My wife and I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Britten Button last night. I guess I will have to call it a good movie, since it was quite thought provoking, and provoking thought should be at least one of the reasons for doing things like making movies.

The thing that really struck me, however, was the great amount of personal anxiety that was generated by the hours-before-Katrina setting of the hospital scenes. That combination of a hospital and approaching Katrina brings some very specific thoughts to people that followed the news around here in the year and some change after the storm. Fortunately, the movie didn’t go there, but I didn’t know it wasn’t going to go there until right at the end. Seeing the clips of familiar weather forecasters on the air in pre-K prediction mode was also very unnerving, since we know what eventually happened.

I thought the payoff of all this, the scene with the clock in the warehouse, was very effective, but I didn’t think I would still react so viscerally to the set up.

Matt Wilson in Travellin’ Light

Travellin’ Light: “What I dig is when you get to eat great local food made with love.”

This quote reminded me of when I was traveling with the Harry James ghost band. We were fed every night between the sound check and the concert. It was usually catered, but the night we played in Orange, TX, the food was provided by the ladies that were part of the Community Concerts group that was presenting the show. It was all homemade, and just wonderful. One of the saxophone players, named Sid, commented, “you can taste the love,” and that was very true. We played one of the best shows of the tour that night.

No gumbo…for once

(This post is specifically for Benjamin Lyons, but the rest of you may find it interesting as well.)

It has happened. A review has been written about a CD made in New Orleans, and said review does NOT contain the word gumbo. Even better, the writer does somewhat address the idea that usually brings out the gumbo analogy.

Richard Kamins’ review of my new CD, further confirms, at least in my mind, his excellent taste. Read it here.

John Boutte

John Boutte is a bad dude. A Facebook fried just posted an audience video of John singing “Blackbird,” which made me search out and play the track “Why,” which he recorded with the New Orleans Social Club. It’s really heavy, especially in context.

There was a big concert at the New Orleans Arena on the one year anniversary of Katrina. It was a big gospel blow out fundraiser that also included NOSC, Dr John, and Stevie Wonder. I was standing next to the stage while NOSC was on, and when John sang “Why,” I had to go backstage into the hallway. It wasn’t a couple of tears kind of emotional, it was “I am going to bawl like a baby if I don’t walk away” emotional.

If you get a chance to check John out, don’t miss it.