Live Review: Tab Benoit @ The Birchmere — 10/21/21

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Tab Benoit (Photo by Jerry Moran)

“I consider myself a live artist, not a recording artist,” the Louisiana blues guitarist told the audience at The Birchmere last week. A native of Baton Rouge currently residing outside of New Orleans, Benoit’s playing has earned well-deserved comparisons to iconic virtuosos like Albert King and Albert Collins. A member of his home state’s Cajun community, Benoit is one the foremost exponents of the style known as “swamp blues.”

To understand what I mean by “swamp blues,” I want to take a step back for a moment and talk about the blues more generally. If you’re not particularly familiar with this kind of music, you may have the misconception that the blues is monolithic, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The genre’s history stretches further back than we have recorded music, to a time when the only music people would hear is the music that they heard played live. The music that people heard live was determined by where they lived; music was distinctly regional in that era.

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Snapshots: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ Wolf Trap — 8/24/21

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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue perform on the Filene Center stage at Wolf Trap, Aug. 24, 2021 (Photo by Ari Strauss).

Multi-instrumentalist Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his R&B, rock, rap, and funk band, “Orleans Avenue,” delivered a New Orleans-style, “Treme Threauxdown,” to an audience armed with face masks and picnic suppers at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center outdoor concert venue on recently.

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Preview: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue AND Michael Franti & Spearhead @ Wolf Trap, 8/24/21

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Trombone Shorty (Photo courtesy Blue Note Records)

Experience an evening of good vibes with the funky jazz rhythms of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (“Hurricane Season,” “Tripped Out Slim”) and the high-energy, inspiring music of Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Say Hey (I Love You),” “The Sound of Sunshine”) at Wolf Trap on Tuesday, Aug. 24!

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Song of the Day: “Animule Ball” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

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Squirrel Nut Zippers (Photo courtesy the artist)

Since 1995, the Squirrel Nut Zippers have sacked and plundered the old, weird America then sailed off to further distant lands. They have used New Orleans as their hideout and base of operations. Jean-Lafitte-like the hide in the lee side of barrier island, receiving goods and masking dark back channel deals; hiding in cellars or in plain view.

On Sept. 25, fans will be able to gaze into the tea leaves that make up their brand new album: Lost Songs of Doc Souchon to see if they can discern their own destiny. The first single from the album “Animule Ball” was originally recorded back in 1938 by Jelly Roll Morton.

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Livestream Preview: Jason Marsalis Marsalis Quintet @ Facebook Live, 6/12/20

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Jason Marsalis (Photo by Dwayne Hills)

The Jason Marsalis Marsalis Quintet will perform “The Music of My Father” for the next installment of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park’s interactive Facebook live stream series, “Golden Hour,” hosted by Nick Spitzer of the public radio program American Routes — in conversation with Jason and band between tunes.

Tune in on Friday, June 12, via Facebook Live!

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