Jazz Fest started last week which means lots of things including packed hotels, music everywhere nearly all night and day and plenty of crawfish boils. Sunday was my annual family reunion crawfish boil and Monday was the 2nd annual BIRNout Boil at the Sandpiper Lounge hosted by Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives (BIRN).
Only in Nola is it perfectly normal to expect people to show up at 3pm on a Monday for a concert and boil and only in Nola would we all do it less than an hour after tornadoes and a mini-hurricane blew through. The storm was so strong, thousands are still without power and perhaps you saw the footage of winds so forceful they blew a long train off a bridge. Continue reading
It’s Jazz Fest and there’s music and crawfish everywhere! Wednesday, we passed on the terrific and free concert of Eric McFadden, Jerry Joseph, Norwood Fisher, Eric Bolivar & Special Guests with Gravy at Wednesday at the Square. Instead we joined Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives (BIRN) behind The Sandpiper Lounge for the “1st Annual BIRNout Boil.” It was an intimate group (50 or so) partying on a lawn in front of some of our city’s finest musicians literally playing as a garage band. Continue reading
I haven’t been to the YLC’s Wednesday at the Square in awhile. With events like Chaz Fest, Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest, I’ve been spoiled silly for live music lately. But I made the effort to catch my pick for Favorite Musical Auteur 2012 Billy Iuso. “NOLABilly” band N’awlins Johnnys were onstage when I arrived. Lead singer Harry Barton, in a yellow tie and button down shirt, looked like he had come straight from one of the nearby law offices to the stage. Like many bands here, their sound was a fusion of genres including jazz, rock, swing, zydeco and funk. Most fun was when they covered a Professor Longhair song mimicking his complicated Calypso piano chords with a guitar. (“Fess” is the father of all modern NOLA jazz and the soundtrack to Mardi Gras). Continue reading
I haven’t done a TV show since 2000. My manager retired and, without representation, most of my connections were in film. My first audition after I moved to New Orleans was for a new show called Treme. Everyone was talking about it as it was from the creators of The Wire, considered by many to be greatest drama ever on television. I didn’t get the part, but I kept trying. I auditioned for another part in season 1 and another in season 2. Third season’s the charm and I was finally cast as David Morse‘s ex-wife in the premiere episode. Saturday, I attended a cast and crew screening at the newly restored Joy Theatre. Continue reading
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