JJ CALE’s LEGACY

Born in 1954, I awakened to music in the very early days of the 1970’s. JJ Cale was a great influence as music was going through the growing pains of the metamorphosis in styles between the 50’s and the 60’s. The early 70’s created some of the most prolific and talented musicians I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

Every time I hear this song, I think of JJ Cale. RIP to one of my favorite musicians.

I found him just about the time I found Bonnie Raitt,, Bonnie and Delaney, Duane Allman Boz Scaggs, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and the rest of them.

From Wikipedia

Songs written by Cale that have been covered by other musicians include “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton,

“Cajun Moon” by Randy Crawford,,

“Clyde” and by Waylon Jennings, ,

“Magnolia” by Jai and Poco,, but I prefer JJ Cale’s version myself

“Bringing It Back” by Kansas,

“Call Me the Breeze” and “I Got the Same Old Blues” by Lynyrd Skynyrd,

Like To Love You Baby [live] – Tom Petty… by XavierMuff“>”I’d Like to Love You, Baby” by Tom Petty,

“Travelin’ Light” and “Ride Me High” by Widespread Panic,

“Tijuana” by Harry Manx,

“Sensitive Kind” by Carlos Santana,

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kevin Ayers,

and “Same Old Blues” by Captain Beefheart.

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Amy Winehouse in the black for real this time

Amy Winehouse died today, and you can read all about it on the righteous Huffington Post obituary that reminds us her demise was just a “slo-mo car crash.”

Her death is not altogether shocking, but it is disturbing nonetheless.

In a sense, her artistic marketability stemmed from a bad-girlification of 1960s soul music.  She was a skinny, tatted-up tough girl from working-class London, with big hair and a voice to match.  Her struggles with (or seeming acceptance of) drug addiction only enhanced her reputation as a true entertainer, one with moxie, attitude, and presence.

Fans relished her bad behavior, cheering lyrics like “You love blow and I love puff” (Back to Black”) and “I told you I was trouble / You know that I’m no good” (“You Know That I’m No Good”).  Her refusal to go to rehab was celebrated in a Grammy-winning song (“Rehab”), in which Winehouse admits to suffering from addiction and depression.

This glorification of mental illness and self-destructive behavior sends mixed messages to those who also struggle with these issues.  Winehouse’s drug use was not only acceptable but legitimized by her celebrity status.  This was a double validation:  Her drug use fed into her being perceived as a rock star, and her being a rock star forgave her drug use.  And now she’s dead, and no one’s surprised.

So what does it take to remove the idolatry from substance abuse?  The wasted talents of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and many others including Amy Winehouse now, have all developed into a tragic mythos of “forever young,” without acknowledgement of what really ripped these creative beings from our midst.  The real scourge is untreated illness, the exaltation of which prevents honesty, recovery, and true grit from being communicated to a public sold on the dangerous cheapness of entertainment.

Bragalicious

Over at my personal blog (which has recently been re-named), Jill of All Genres, one of my most regular types of post is what I call the “bragging post,” where I take the opportunity to brag about the accomplishments of my talented friends. It’s one of my favorite things to do and luckily, there are no shortage of accomplishments to brag on.

Charlotte suggested that I post my most recent bragging on post, Bragalicious, here, since many of my shout outs are local New Orleanians (or Baton Rougeians). It’s been too long since I’ve written a post on NOLAFemmes, so I am happy to post Bragalicious here for you.

Speaking of NOLAFemmes and bragging…Judy’s post “Up, up and away!” was a “Freshly pressed” pick on the front page of WordPress yesterday (now page 2). That is totally bragalicious.

* * *

First and foremost, as we speak, pretty much all of The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance is gearing up for The Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. Four of our members are attending, including Maurice Ruffin, Terri Stoor, Tad Bartlett and J.Ed Marston. That means something like 40% or so of our membership was accepted.

Jamey Hatley is also attending the Summit. Additionally, she’s won a prestigious waitership to Bread Loaf later in the summer.

Also, Maurice Ruffin‘s short story “And Then I Was Clean” will be published in UNO’s Ellipsis Journal.

Another Peauxdunque member, Joselyn Takacs has been accepted into the MFA program at Johns Hopkins University and is on her way.

A little birdie told me that Barb Johnson will be receiving the Barbara Gittings Literature Award at the ALA Conference tomorrow.

Sarah Morton is creating a graphic novel out of a short story written by Bobbi Perry, who attended the LSU MFA with me and Jamey. You can read it online!

Helen Krieger and Joseph Meissner are screening Flood Streets at the San Antonio Film Festival on Thursday.

Lindsay Rae Spurlock‘s song “As for Now” was featured on Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital.” You may still be able to download it for free if you like her Facebook page. Here’s an awesome photo of her, too:

Lindsay Rae Spurlock, photo credit Julia Henry

Congrats to all my phenomenally talented friends!

Only In New Orleans

Sunday I went to The French Quarter Fest. I only had a few hours to spend and had decided I would use them to see Susan Cowsill, whom I had never heard sing live. It turned out to be a fantastic decision because I (and everyone there) experienced one of those magical New Orleans moments that come along sometimes when you least expect it. Susan was singing “River of Love”, the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing cool off the river and then…..two fire boats began twirling in circles, spraying water up to the blue sky. Sweet.

We criticized you
We recognized you
I memorized you
And I eulogized you
I loved you more than you’ll ever know
Man I hated to see you go

I’ll be waiting by the River of Love


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Karen Dalton-Beninato has written a beautiful in-depth post about Susan’s set with some background comments about Susan’s brother, Barry, who was found in the river after the levee breach and Hurricane Katrina.  Read it here.

Listen to this – Lissie and Grace Potter

Tuesday at the House of Blues Parish Room brought singer Lissie to New Orleans. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time and have written about her on my own blog and for the So You Think You Can Dance fan site PureSYTYCD. So I was stoked when I saw that she was playing the House of Blues. I suspected from her YouTube videos that Lissie is an amazing live performer and I was not wrong.

In between songs, she told many little stories and cited Metallica, Led Zepplin and Janis Joplin as influences. Like Janis Joplin, she has a voice that sounds not just husky, but eternally on the edge of hoarse. She can do a stellar bluegrass, then turn around and sing what could be a pop hit on the radio, but through it all is a solid rock core. She’s a very pretty girl (several female audience members kept calling out, “You’re so pretty!”), but performs with an abandon and lack of concern for her appearance that is refreshing.

If she’s ever back in New Orleans, you should definitely check her out. In the meantime, read this excellent Gambit write-up and th audience-made video of Lissie’s encore performance of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” from Tuesday’s show that I found. I’ll also embed my favorite of her songs, “When I’m Alone.” While you’re looking, check out her cover performances of Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” and Lionel Richie’s “Hello.”

Planning ahead, if you haven’t heard of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals yet, start checking them out now. They’re phenomenal and will be at House of Blues February 20th.

Femme Fatale Friday: Romy Kaye

I was doing a little research on female singers from NoLA and I remembered a great video of Romy Kaye I had posted on my personal blog. I decided to see if she had any more vids on YouTube and, SCORE!, she did. This was posted about a month ago and it looks like an impromptu performance for a gathering of friends. Personally, I prefer vids like this over the smooth perfection of professionally produced ones.
So Romy inspired the title of today’s post and, who knows?, maybe I’ll do this again.
Enjoy!

Romy Kaye’s Website
Romy Kaye on MySpace with free streaming MP3’s.