JD McPherson Finds His Place in Rock, R&B, and Rockabilly

JD McPherson learned much of what he needed to know from punk rock. That’s not obvious on his four albums including 2017’s Undivided Heart and Soul, where his debt to Buddy Holly and the pioneers of rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly, and R&B are far more evident. But punk rock was his gateway drug when he grew up in rural Oklahoma in the 1980s. It got him started playing in bands, and it introduced him to the artists who influenced the bands he liked. 

Jade Bird Invests In American Fans

It’s difficult to these days to be hopeful about anything American, but Jade Bird finds excitement in the American music scene. The 21-year-old, British songwriter born Jade Elizabeth Bird has an affinity for American songwriters, and is working to keep her work porous and evolving. She is currently opening for Hozier on tour, and will have a stop in New Orleans at the Fillmore Wednesday, March 27.

Jazz Fest: Tuesday Night in the Clubs

In recent years, Jazz Fest at night has been a jam fest, and that’s certainly going on. Every night this time of year, some combination of guys who don’t usually play together are playing something funky somewhere in New Orleans. Fortunately, this year’s offerings have been broader than that. People are still jamming, but we also get nights like tonight, where our highlights have a little range to them.

Old Crow Medicine Show Shows its Love for "Blonde on Blonde"

I’ve been more interested in Bob Dylan live than on record since I saw him remake “Maggie’s Farm” as punk zydeco at the Saenger one time. The afterlives he gives his songs speaks to the punk in me because they inevitably piss off the faithful who just want to hear him play his songs “right,” and because those interpretations open up facets of the song. Not all alterations are radical or contrary. When he sings “Like a Rolling Stone” these days, he usually does so with more charity than he once did.

Travers Geoffray Disbands Mississippi Rail Co., Makes Solo Debut at Jazz Fest

Mississippi Rail Company took a game stab at classic New Orleans R&B along with a number of related southern, piano-driven R&B styles. The band got warm but never hot, so when I received an email announcing a new album by Travers Geoffray, the leader of Mississippi Rail Company, I wasn’t surprised.

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