We'd like to start by giving a big THANK YOU to CDBaby for helping the Community Center by generously donating $2 for every album sold. These guys are absolutely AWESOME to work with, so if you have any music to distribute, check them out!
The musicians who contributed to this CD are typical of the amazing hidden talent that can only be found in New Orleans, the Big Easy. If you haven't heard them yet, you're in for a wonderful treat when you listen to this CD.
Mike released his full 1st full length album "Hocus Pocus" in 2009. The
album was released by STR Digital Records and is available for sale as a
digital download on iTunes and Amazon, and at the Louisiana Music Factory.
Mike was born at the Alameda, CA naval base, and was transplanted to
Louisville, KY at an early age. He got his start playing piano around the
age of 13 when his best friend's father showed him a few chords. From
there, he taught himself to play by ear and graduated from the Youth
Performing Arts School (YPAS) of Louisville (the equivalent of NOCCA in
His first professional band was Bass Boat Radio; he also played with Chuck
Sharp of Sweet Soul Vibe for a few years. At the age of 19, he discovered
his forté, New Orleans style music, when a friend told him he sounded like
Professor Longhair. It's been full steam ahead ever since. Before moving
to New Orleans, he played with the El Roostars, Lamont Gillespie and the
100 Proof Blues Band, and occasionally with Steve Ferguson and the Midwest
Creole Ensemble (of NRBQ fame).
Since moving to New Orleans in 2000, Mike has acclimated to the music
scene here with ease. Of late, he's been playing regularly on Frenchman
Street (the Mecca of NO local music) at the Apple Barrel, the Spotted Cat,
and Alley Cats. He recently played at the French Quarter Festival and his
first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with Coco Robichaux, and made
a guest appearance at the Jazz Fest with Eric Lindell. Mike has been
playing solo piano and singing at Laffite’s Blacksmith since 2007. You can
see him at Lafitte’s every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night.
He also has a new album in the works . . .
Mike is also an accomplished guitar player and is happy to be able to play
both instruments at any given performance. While his musical influences
(Steve Ferguson, Terry Adams, Dr. John, Thelonious Monk, Chuck Leavell and
Keith Richards, among others) may be recognized by the discerning music
fan, Mike has a style of his own, that has won the hearts of fans
throughout the New Orleans musical community and around the world.
Even in a city that doesn’t play by the rules, New Orleans’ Bonerama is something different. They can evoke vintage funk, classic rock and free improvisation in the same set; maybe even the same song. New Orleans’ fertile club scene was directly responsible for Bonerama getting together in the summer of ‘98. Trombonists Mark Mullins and Craig Klein were both members of Harry Connick’s band, where they’d been since 1990. Both were looking to supplement this gig with something a little less structured. “Harry sets the bar pretty high, and you have to play it the same way every night for everyone to follow.”
At the time, Mullins had a weekly residency at Tipitina’s in the French Quarter. The club was turning weekly slots over to some of the city’s favorite musicians, including Allen Toussaint and Cyril Neville. Mullins got charge of Wednesdays and word got one week out that he and Klein were staging their trombone super-session. “It seemed that half the trombone players in town showed up,” Klein recalls. “At the end of the night we had them all onstage, maybe fifteen trombones at once. It sounded like a freight train; a big wall of sound coming right at you.”
The buzz on Bonerama grew with hometown acclaim, with the band winning numerous OffBeat Magazine Awards and Mullins regularly topping OffBeat’s trombone category. They’ve gained national attention as well. Bonerama has repeatedly been recognized by Rolling Stone, hailed as “the ultimate in brass balls” (2005) and praised for their “…crushing ensemble riffing, human-feedback shrieks and wah-wah growls” (2007). The Vail Daily in Colorado noted that “the sound is fat and wet; sometimes downright lusty.”
Bonerama has produced three live albums, and most recently, a new EP entitled, Hard Times. The album features four studio tracks, including their version of “When the Levee Breaks” and the song, “Lost My House,” which Klein describes as, “a true story inspired by the the levee failures in 2005. The verse was written by Dave Malone, who knows the story of the Rugalator. In the song, it is symbolic of losing everything, but still having the things you love and cherish. Some things can’t be taken away.”
Bonerama carries the brass-band concept to places unknown. As cofounder Mark Mullins puts it, “We thought we could expand what a New Orleans brass band could do. Bands like Dirty Dozen started the ‘anything goes’ concept, bringing in the guitars and the drum kit and using the sousaphone like a bass guitar. We thought we could push things a little further.” According to critical acclaim, the band has achieved its goal. As OffBeat Magazine put it, “That nerdy kid in the band room with the trombone just might have the last laugh after all.”
Smoky Greenwell was born in Michigan on the 4th of July in 1951. After
attending school in Spain and Tennessee, he earnestly learned harmonica in
the mid-1970s by sitting in with venerable blues masters Furry Lewis,
Piano Red and Mose Vincent. Greenwell’s career as a first-class session
player began at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios and led him to take up residence
in Nashville in the ‘80s. Greenwell came to national attention in the band
Blues Co-Op (with Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes). It was in
Nashville that Greenwell began a long association with Allman Brothers
keyboardist, singer and producer Johnny Neel, a partnership that continues
to this day.
In addition to sharing a stage with legends such as Snooks Eaglin, Marc
Adams, Eddie Bo, "Big" Al Carson, Brint Anderson, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone
and Coco Robicheaux, to name a few, Greenwell wrote and produced a popular
harmonica course in 1984 that has sold approximately 22,000 copies. The
updated version remains in demand at music stores in New Orleans and
Nashville. Greenwell has lived
in New Orleans since 1981 and spends his time in the city when he’s not on
the road. Smoky is available for session work, performances, and private lessons.
Dubbed by Offbeat Magazine as “one of the hardest working musicians in New
Orleans,” Washington, DC transplant Margie Perez is a vivacious
singer/songwriter who burst onto the New Orleans music scene in 2004. She
not only leads her own band, but takes on many other projects, including
the West African percussion jazz band, Fatien Ensemble, and the Afro-Cuban
Jazz group, Michael Skinkus and Moyuba.
She has also had the pleasure of singing at Jazz Fest with Allen Toussaint, Marva Wright and Big Chief Monk
Boudreaux. Music legend Allen Toussaint says about Margie: “Not only is
she a great singer, but she’s also a great songwriter. She’s taking New
Orleans music in a direction I’ve never seen before.”
In August of 2008, Margie received the honor of a lifetime. She was
invited to represent New Orleans in a prime time speech on the opening
night of the Democratic National Convention. Today, Margie is a happy
homeowner in the Habitat for Humanity Musician’s Village in New Orleans.
She looks forward to many porch front jams in her promising new community.
Her latest CD, Singing for My Supper, is being rereleased with the help of
Threadhead Records. Where Y’at Magazine calls Singing for My Supper, “a
pleasing eclectic mix of styles and tempos ranging from slow blues to
lively, bouncy calypso/reggae.”
And, if you’re ever in New Orleans, you can see Margie live at La Maison
or many other clubs on Frenchmen Street.
New Orleans Cotton Mouth Kings
The New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings are a six-piece swing band playing regularly to enthusiastic audiences in New Orleans and all over the world. The band's repertoire comes from the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Dicky Wells, Benny Carter, and Count Basie, including well-known favorites and more obscure treasures.
Founding members John Rodli (acoustic guitar) and Robert Snow (acoustic bass) first met in 1995 when they were part of the vibrant street music scene in Jackson Square. originally known as the Jazz Vipers, the band evolved to its present formation in 2009. Trumpeter extraordinaire Charlie Fardella joined in the summer of 2002. Bass saxophonist Tom Saunders, whose extensive knowledge of the traditional jazz repertoire has been honed by years as a DJ at WWOZ, joined the band soon after, followed by Bruce Brackman. The most recent and very welcome addition to the band is Matt Rhody on violin. Lead vocals are handled by Joe, John, Tom and Charlie, and all the members of the band provide backing vocals.
Their second CD as the Jazz Vipers, Live on Frenchmen Street, won Offbeat Magazine's 2004 Best of the Beat Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album, and the "Hope You're Comin' Back", won the 2006 Best of the Beat Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album. The band has also won the 2005 Big Easy Award for Best Traditional Jazz Band as well as the 2004 "Best of the Beat" Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album (for the album "Live on Frenchmen Street"). In 2001 and 2003 they won the "Best of the Beat" Award for Best Emerging Traditional Jazz Band. The band was voted one of the top three jazz bands in the 2004 Reader's Poll in Where Y'at Magazine.
Part of the unique sound of the Kings comes from the fact that they rarely use any amplification, and they are part of a growing number of bands on Frenchmen Street who trust that the audience will eventually quiet down enough to enjoy the music. When necessary, mikes are used and set-up is minimal. The sound of the band is at the same time retro, full of energy, and unpretentious, with both up-tempo dance numbers and well-chosen ballads; it has been aptly described as neo-trad-jazz. The Kings are popular with swing dancers and the music appeals to audiences of all ages. To quote the review of their latest CD in offBEAT Magazine: "Above all else, these are cool musicians, fully cognizant that less is more and that jazz...is dance music."
Dominick Grillo and the Frenchmen Street All Stars
Local New Orleans Saxophonist and Frenchmen Street regular gets together with some talented fellow musicians to make some awesome music! Music is what it is all about! Nothing wrong with having lots of fun and
that's what's going on. FSAS are solid on the scene of New Orleans and
on Frenchmen Street one of best established and ever growing cool scenes to be on! Every Monday night you can have the pleasure of getting hammered at the Spotted Cat , The room fills up, people juke and jive. What else could you ask for other than some jaw droppin solos on sax,piano,upright bass or drumz. Its all there so
do something good for yourself and check it out.