Category Archives: Genre Diversions & More

The Louisiana Hajj

Louisiana has always held a special place in my heart. Moss-covered magnolias, the piercing sound of cicadas on sweltering Summer days. The food —distinct in its own Creole and Cajun evolution that defies the American meat and potatoes idiom and instead utilizes fertile swampland for an array of dishes, from court bouillon to crawfish.

The music? Oh the music… Zydeco, brass bands and Southern soul music carve their own unique sounds into your consciousness that causes smiles from ear to ear and beckons you to wear out the soles of your shoes dancing. Music so good that it can make you forget it’s so hot outside that even the windows, covered in condensation seem to sweat. Let Eddie Bo or Clifton Chenier or Trombone Shorty make you sway like the Cajun Pied Pipers they are and if only for just a moment, forget your worries in a world unlike any other.

The people, much like my fellow Texans, take great pride in their heritage and can sometimes appear abrasive by those not well acquainted with local customs. The hue of hot and humid weather and thick-as-molasses accents generally wears away and the salt of the earth charm and southern hospitality generally wins over all visitors in due time.
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Filed under Genre Diversions & More, Scenes from the Road

Chasing Moby Dick in East Texas

Look at File 58

Not too long ago, I went on a record hunting safari in Southeast Texas alongside some good friends. Though many East Texas towns have become rather malnourished and storm-beaten shells of themselves over recent years, this was quite the fertile soil musically speaking for many decades. From Port Arthur soul artists like Al Trahan to Beaumont garage rock scene runners SJ & the Crossroads, the guardians of our Eastern border forged sounds of their own and tended to do it well. Many artist traveled West to Houston for exposure and many local labels traveled East to the Golden Triangle to discover new talent. The symbiotic relationships produced such musical fruit as Huey Meaux catching a deal with Atlantic for Barbara Lynn and James Kelly Duhon recording for Mainstream.
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Filed under Genre Diversions & More