Search
| Clear, 80 F (27 C)
| RSS | |

SECTIONS:

 

Arts · Politics · Crime
· Sports · Food ·
· Opinion · NOLA ·
Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

samedi

September 5th

 

Super Fresh Hip Hop Fest

Lakefront Arena, 8p.m.

Salt N Pepa, Slick Rick and others take Nola

 

Louisiana Seafood Festival 

City Park Festival Grounds, 11a.m.

Celebration of the state’s seafood and music

 

Disorientation

Howlin’ Wolf, 9:30p.m.

Naughty Professor + Elysian Feel and more

 

Bourbon Street Extravaganza

Bourbon and St. Ann Streets, 6p.m.

Free outdoor concert as part of Southern Decadence

 

Crescent City Farmer’s Market

700 Magazine St., 8a.m.-12p.m.

Downtown edition of the city's prime local market

 

Freret St. Market

4405 Freret St., 12p.m.

September's version of the monthly arts and food market

dimanche

September 6th

Louisiana Seafood Festival 

City Park Festival Grounds, 11a.m.

Last day to grab some seafood and catch some jams

 

Mistress America

Prytania, 12p.m.;2p.m.;4p.m.;6p.m.;8p.m.;10p.m.

A college freshman is seduced by her step-sister’s mad schemes

 

What So Not

Republic, 9p.m.

Australian electronic music project

 

September Open Mic & Slam

Old Marquer Theater, 6:30p.m.

Monthly slam and fundraiser 

 

Southern Decadence Walking Parade

Golden Lantern, 2p.m.

Pride and parades

lundi

September 7th

Alex Culbreth

Circle Bar, 10p.m.

Playing with The Idlewild String Confederation and Necessary Gentlemen 

 

In The Den: Fair City Fire

Howlin’ Wolf, 8p.m.

Also ft. Fire Bug and Bon Bon Vivant

 

Alexis & The Samurai

Chickie Wah Wah, 8p.m.

Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft

 

Higher Heights Reggae Band

Blue Nile, 9p.m.

Roots, rock and reggae

 

Yes Ma’am

Hi-Ho Lounge, 10p.m.

Royal St band takes the stage

mardi

September 8th

Jesmyn Ward

Dixon Hall, 6:30p.m.

Reading by author of "Men We Reaped"

 

Passion Pit

Joy Theater, 7:30p.m.

Known for "Take A Walk" and "Sleepyhead"

 

Geeks Who Drink Trivia 

Publiq House, 7p.m.

Grab a beer and a Scantron

 

Cyrus Nabipoor Residency ft. Monomyth

Gasa Gasa, 9p.m.

Also ft. Doombalaya and Brass Lightening 

 

In The Den: Comedy Beast

Howlin’ WOlf, 8:30p.m.

Free standup showcase

 

Jon Cleary 

Chickie Wah Wah, 8p.m.

British blues pianist and composer

mercredi

September 9th

From Leah Chase to Morgus the Magnificent 

410 Chartres St, 6p.m.

A lecture looking at post-Katrina development

 

Roman Holiday 

Prytania, 10a.m.

Princess Audrey Hepburn lives like a plebeian for the day

 

Crooks on Tape

Circle Bar, 10p.m.

Los Angeles trio

 

Blues Night 2015

HOB, 7:30p.m.

Blues music benefiting Crimestoppers GNO

 

Heartless Bastards

OEJ, 9p.m.

Garage rock from Ohio

jeudi

September 10th

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6p.m.

This week ft. The Brenton Sound

 

Paper Airplanes

Old Marquer, 9p.m.

Betrayal in modern day NYC

 

Tink

Howlin’ Wolf, 10p.m.

Rapper & singer-songwriter

 

Crookers

Republic, 10p.m.

Italian electro-house

 

Funk Monkey

d.b.a., 10p.m.

Funk from Nola

vendredi

September 11th

Tedo Stone

Gasa Gasa, 10p.m.

Rock n roll from ATL

 

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

NOMA, 5p.m.

Art, music and movies in the garden

 

Halestorm

The Civic, 7:30p.m.

In support of their new album, “INTO THE WILD LIFE”

 

 

Lawrence Sieberth Quartet

Marigny Opera House, 8p.m.

Monthly Jazz Series 

 

Errata

Old Marquer, 7p.m.

Adventures of crooked cop and French Quarter stripper

 

Scales & Ales

Audubon Aquarium, 8p.m.

Music, drinks and fish

samedi

September 12th

The Rising

Ogden Museum, 4p.m.

Gallery talk about the rise in the photography community in New Orleans

 

Earl Sweatshirt

Republic, 9p.m.

Also ft. Remy Banks and NxWorries

 

The Wind in the Reeds

Historic Carver Theater, 6p.m.

Wendell Pierce’s Katrina memoir

 

Saints 5k Kickoff Run

Champions Square, 7:30a.m.

Grab your running shoes and your Saints jersey

 

Continental Drifters

Tip’s, 8p.m.

The reunion show ft. all the members from every year

 

Family Fair 

Ogden Museum, 10a.m.

Fun art and activities for the whole family


Stomp and Circumstance

Ponderosa Stomp Provides an Earful of NOLA's Hillbilly History



Michael Hurtt, one of the founders of the Ponderosa Stomp, talks about the overlooked country-western influences that helped New Orleans music flourish.

 

Western swing, bluegrass, rockabilly and country are not genres of music that most people associate with New Orleans, having long been overshadowed by jazz and swept under the cultural rug in an unfortunate turn of events for a city that prides itself on its ties to history and American music. However, every September the city shakes the rug out a little for the annual Ponderosa Stomp, a festival that is in part a celebration of New Orleans' rich and seriously under-appreciated hillbilly history.

 

 

The Stomp, which was founded in 2002, is an annual roots music festival dedicated to recognizing the architects of rock-n-roll, blues, jazz, country, swamp pop and soul music that will take place this year at the Howlin' Wolf on Sept. 16 and 17. This year's celebration will include tributes to legendary soul and blues labels Stax Records and Excello Records as well as producer Cosimo Matassa, with tributes being paid by Allen Toussaint, William Bell, the Bo-Keys and many more.

 

 

But there will also be country. NoDef spoke to Michael Hurtt, one of the Stomp's founders and frontman for hillbilly-fusion heroes Michael Hurtt and His Haunted Hearts, who are not only one of the few local groups proudly representing the Crescent City's country and roots history but also one of the Stomp's key backing bands.

 

 

“We started basically because we were wanting to focus and shine a light on the hidden legacy of New Orleans hillbilly music, which was actually pretty big back in the 40s and 50s but seems invisible now.” says Michael.

 

 

Hurtt was involved with the Stomp as a consultant, idea man and band booker before he put the group together. He claims he never thought about playing because he didn't feel that he was good enough, but after an opportunity to back the Detroit soul artist Gino Washington came up. He couldn't say no. The next year he formed the Haunted Hearts, backed Jay Chevalier, and the rest as they say is history.

 

 

“We don't play just New Orleans hillbilly, western swing, rockabilly but all kinds of regional songs from places like Texas, the Midwest," Hurtt said. "Detroit has been a big focus for us. There was a really fantastic country scene there back in the day. So we just picked it up from that, and also we began writing our own songs inspired by that style.”

 

 

Leroy Martin is an artist who personifies the aim of the Stomp, an artist who made a few important records under his own name, wrote songs for Sunny & the Sunliners amongst other people, backed Barbara Lynn on “You'll Lose a Good Thing” and then seemingly faded from sight. He played the event last year, and backing him was described as a 'dream come true' by Hurtt.

 

This year, the Haunted Hearts will back Gretna native and early rock 'n roll hitman, Frankie Ford, swamp pop "anomaly," Jivin' Gene and singer and confidant to Uncle Earl Long, Jay Chevalier.

 

 

“It's so satisfying to be able to play with these guys, especially when they enjoy your band.” he said.

 

 

By necessity, Hurtt has been forced into the role of historian, a role that he never intended, but is now required if he hopes to keep the flame alive. The different styles of music that have been spawned and nurtured by the city do not need to be mutually exclusive. Hot jazz and brass band music can easily sit beside western swing, country, hillbilly music or whatever you want to call it as long as the cultural gatekeepers are willing to embrace the idea.

 

 

Luke Thompson, an an incredible bluegrass player – many refer to him as the father of Louisiana bluegrass - started his own bluegrass festival and has been releasing his own records for more than 40 years. Nowadays he can hardly get booked in his own city.

 

“He's basically been blackballed from Jazz Fest” says an exasperated Hurtt. “They don't want to hear bluegrass, they want to hear zydeco and brass bands. This guy is like a walking piece of history!”

 

 

Proof of hillbilly music's lasting influence is in some of the city's most iconic songs. The "Mardi Gras Mambo," which though made famous by The Hawkettes was originally recorded as a country and western song by Jodie Levins. The original "Mardi Gras Mambo" was a hillbilly song. Many of these young jazz bands doing traditional hot jazz may not realize how much of it draws from the same place as western swing, both of which in a lot of ways came from New Orleans. But the part about western swing usually gets left out.

 

 “I feel like the cultural gatekeepers here pat themselves on the back so much of the time, if its from New Orleans that's great but if its not the right type of music from the city then they don't want to hear it," Hurtt said. "Instead of being provincial, we are trying to take the genres that are being ignored and give them equal time, find some artists with local connections, or not, and put them together on the same stage because they are all equally fantastic, and that was the original idea behind the Ponderosa Stomp. Even people who come to the Stomp may not even know who they're seeing, but the stories behind these guys are amazing and so are the threads that connect them and their music.”

I would like to learn more

I would like to learn more about Luke Thompson.
Any threads out there?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here and we will link to it for you. (please include http://).
eg. http://www.kirkdesigns.co.uk
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter


Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Theatre Critic

Michael Martin

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock