Saying Goodbye to Spencer Bohren

This year at Jazz Fest, Spencer Bohren finished his set in the AARP Rhythmpourium (seriously!) with his cover of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready.” Bohren was living with prostate cancer, and it was clear that the cancer was winning. In that context, the song’s “train to Jordan” lyric rang with extra significance, but that’s not where he was going with the song. Instead, he introduced it by pointing out the lines that gave the song resonance during the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. John and the Importance of Making Groceries

Dr. John’s most enduring mode was translator of New Orleans. He covered a few careers’ worth of musical ground and was never simply anything, but after 1972’s Gumbo, that was his gig—to help the rest of the country understand his hometown. Its history, its reality, and its romance. That role resonated in a way that psychedelic explorer of the alternative spiritual planes didn’t, and it was a role that left him room to grow.

Friends, Fans Remember Lemmy

A friend pointed out that part of the brilliance of Motorhead was how they cut across audiences, particularly in the early years. Metalheads, punks, glam rockers, psychedelic freaks, the curious, the trendy, and miscellaneous weirdos all showed up to see Motorhead Mach I, with Lemmy, Fast Eddie Clarke and Philthy Animal Taylor. In Motorhead, Lemmy created something that was clearly metal (though he always denied it), but it was his own thing.

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