Today From The Mermaid Lounge, Leon Russell Live, Our NOLA Tribute Continues With Dr. John, and Tom Rush’s Album of The Week, Thursday, February 18, 2021

Good Morning, Musicologists! We’ve got a great line-up today here from The Mermaid Lounge as we continue our musical tribute to New Orleans and its artists.

Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr. Also known as Dr. John.

Here’s today’s line-up:

11:00 a.m. Leon Russell Live at Long Beach Arena, August 27, 1972

Leon is a legend. In addition to his solo career, he teamed up with many artists over his sixty-year career, including George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones. His genres covered the spectrum, including country, rock, folk, gospel, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and the Tulsa Sound. Today we have him live from Long Beach, California.

3:00 p.m. In the Spotlight: The Music of Dr. John UPDATED!

Speaking of legends, today’s New Orleans entry is Dr. John, the Nite Tripper, a guy who was so influential that one of the Muppets was modeled after him. No lie. He wrote his first song at the age of 14, and his musical hero was Professor Longhair. In addition to his solo career, he was a much sought-after session musician, playing with Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, James Taylor, Van Morrison, and Maria Muldaur. You can learn more about the great Dr. John right here.

7:00 p.m. Album of The Week: Take a Little Walk With Me by Tom Rush

This makes it a Legends Trifecta because our Album of The Week makes it a third musical legend whose career spanned sixty years. Tom Rush is credited with ushering in the era of the singer-songwriter, and rightfully so. This is his second album for Elektra, and was released in 1966.

You really ought to be tuning us in. Seriously. We’re free. We require no credit card, no personal information, and we allow absolutely no advertising. In fact, we are not-for-profit. We make no money. We are sharing our personal music collection with you. For free. Just click the link below.

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It’s Another (Mostly) Open Stream Wednesday EXCEPT For One Great New Orleans Playlist, On February 17, 2021

Good Morning, fellow music lovers! Here we are on our usual (mostly) Open Stream Wednesday. But we do have an amazing playlist for you today called the Down in N’Awlins Playlist. It offers just a hair (like, one second) over four hours of authentic music from one of great music centers in the world (in my humble musical opinion).

We’ve got four hours of great New Orleans music for you today!

Here’s what you’ll hear!

12:00 p.m. Down in N’Awlins Playlist: Various Artists UPDATED!

We have only one playlist for you today, and it’s a pretty amazing eclectic collection of all sounds New Orleans and Louisiana, from Cajun-Zydeco to the blues. We’ve also updated it from last year’s version to keep it fresh and to reflect music we’ve hunted for over the past year. Here are some of the people you’ll hear:

  • BeauSoleil
  • Clifton Chenier
  • Allen Toussaint
  • Kermit Venable
  • Dr. John
  • The Neville Brothers (together and solo)
  • Professor Longhair
  • Tony Joe White
  • Antoine “Fats” Domino
  • Irma Thomas (The Soul Queen of New Orleans)
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Queen Ida
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Chance Bushman & Friends
  • The Daywalkers
  • The Boogaloo Swamis

Some of the people on this list I discovered on my trips to New Orleans. The Neville Brothers, for example, I saw at the world-renown venue called Tipitinas on one of my earliest business trips to the city.

I discovered The Daywalkers on a vacation trip I took in 2014 at one of Bourbon Street’s most famous venue called The Cat’s Meow. I spent the day driking Tito’s vodka and just having a blast with the music. I discovered another band on that same trip at a great restaurant called Cafe Sbisa, which has sadly closed temporarily due to COVID-19. The band’s name is Chance Bushman & Friends. By the way, they also make a great Bacon Bloody Mary for the day after.

One band, however, I discovered right here in the Boston area; in Somerville, Massachusetts, to be exact. The Boogaloo Swamis were as good a Cajun-Zydeco band as anything you can hear in New Orleans because they genuinely loved the music. It was a craft to them. We’d spend every Friday night at a great place called Johnny D’s Uptown just partying with the Swamis. Great food. Great Drinks. (And a great Sunday Blues Brunch as well.) The family-owned venue rocked for 47 years. It finally closed for good in 2016, but it remains one of the great Boston-area music venues of all time. Great memories. I went on a hunt for Boogaloo Swamis music. I found some. I have some in vinyl form that I will send out for conversion to mp3’s over the next couple of months, but I did have some in CD form which have already been converted and added to the radio station. You’ll hear some of it today, and it has also been added to the general rotation.

Please tune us in. We’re sure you’ll love this playlist. It begins at noon.

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Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2021 Style

It’s a rough year for a lot of tradition. This year in New Orleans, all of the Mardi Gras parades have been cancelled due to COVID-19, I’ve been to New Orleans many times over the years. In fact, in a former life, I traveled there yearly for The Pittsburgh Conference. In spite of its name, the conference was always held in NOLA. Generally speaking, it was after Mardi Gras week, and I nearly always took a week vacation after the business was over.

A New Orleans street musician, photographed during my trip in 2014.

One of the best things about New Orleans is the street music. It’s everywhere, and it doesn’t have to be during Mardi Gras week either. It’s a daily tradition in New Orleans, as are the Jazz Funerals, which I got to witness a few times during my stay.

Although this year’s Mardi Gras festivities are cancelled, the party hearty people of New Orleans have continued the tradition in a very creative manner — by turning their homes into Mardi Gras floats. We’d like to share some of those photos with you today.

We hope you enjoyed the show, and that you will continue to tune us in as we celebrate the music of New Orleans this week.

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It’s Not Only Tuesday Bluesday, But It’s Fat Tuesday, and We’re Feeling New Orleans in Our Bones on February 16, 2021

Good Morning, Bluesianans (is that a word or did I make that up?)! We are not only in the midst of Mardi Gras, but it’s Tuesday Bluesday here in The Mermaid Lounge. Luckily, we don’t have to compromise!

It’s Fat Tuesday and we’re celebrating NOLA all week!

Here’s today’s line-up:

11:00 a.m. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (2012)

I only got to visit the NOLA festival once, while I was on business in New Orleans in a previous life. I didn’t get to see Tom Petty, but what could be better than our House Band playing at such a legendary festival? Don’t worry. We’ll be playing a lot of traditional Louisiana music throughout the week at various times. This is a short concert set by Petty standards, but the participants are allotted a certain amount of time. There are plenty of participants over lifetime of the festival. Enjoy this one.

3:00 p.m. The Best of Louisiana Blues, Volume 1: Various Artists

Yes, there’s also a Part 2, which we will get to later in the week. You’ll be hearing artists like Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo, Little Walter, Clarence Frogman Henry, and Boozoo Davis.

7:00 p.m. Album of The Week: Take A Little Walk With Me by Tom Rush

The only entry today that has absolutely nothing to do with Louisiana, Fat Tuesday, or the blues. But nevertheless, Tom Rush owns our Album of The Week and here it is for you!

Tune us in. This is just the beginning of our ode to New Orleans. We’ll be running great music all week long in celebration of Mardi Gras. Yes, the parades have been cancelled due to COVID. But the people of New Orleans are turning their homes into floats! We hope to be showing you some photos on the blog during the week. You’ve got to love that party attitude.

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It’s a Bluesy Saturday With Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, and Albert King, September 26, 2020

Don’t scratch your head. The Heartbreakers often sang the blues both live and on vinyl, and the original Fleetwood Mac was a blues band. We also have one late-night tradition we cannot break here.

Peter Green (at the mike) and his blues band, the original Fleetwood Mac

Here’s your Saturday line-up:

11:00 a.m. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Sing The Blues

There wasn’t any style of music The Heartbreakers couldn’t make, and they have a lot of bluesy music in their catalogue. Mr. Petty often said he envisioned the band sitting around in chairs playing the blues when they got too old to rock. I have absolutely no doubt they could have pulled that off. You won’t either after you hear this playlist.

4:00 p.m. Album of The Week: Born Under a Bad Sign by Albert King

This will be our final airing of Albert King’s gem. Tomorrow at this time, there’ll be a brand new selection! If you want to learn more about this album, or any of our albums, all you need to do is click on the photo in the right sidebar of this blog!

7:00 p.m. Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac Live at The Warehouse, New Orleans, February 1, 1970

Is there a better place to hear a blues band live? Maybe Chicago, but that’s about it. No, this is not the current Fleetwood Mac. The original Fleetwood Mac was a blues band, baby. It might interest you to know that Black Magic Woman wasn’t a Santana song. It’s a Fleetwod Mac song.

10:00 p.m. Live Dead! The Grateful Dead Live at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, New York, June 27, 1985 NEW!

Here’s another band who could sing it all in their own unique style, and they often sang the blues on stage. This is our one non-blue Saturday night offering that will not be denied. The SPAC was one of our favorite musical venues when we were young. I remember packing up the car on the weekends and heading out to upstate New York. We’d camp (for lack of money) and spend what we had at SPAC. We saw many bands here and I have so many fond memories. Never got to see The Dead here, but the imagination still works.

This would be an immensely good day for you to use your index finger to tune us in. It’s really very simple and it’s completely free and without strings, if you can imagine that.

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BLUES WEEK Continues with SRV and Double Trouble and Our Louisiana Blues Playlist, Plus One Long-Standing Tradition Here, Monday, September 21, 2020

Good Morning, Blues Lovers! As we continue to upload more and more blues here in The Mermaid Lounge today, we continue to play it out the other end!

“I’ve said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.” -B.B. King

Here’s your Monday line-up:

11:00 a.m. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Live at The Bluebird Lounge, Ft. Worth, September 30, 1979

“I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn’t have any drums.” -SRV

Thankfully. Every day, I hear people who claim to be music lovers having ridiculous conversations about who’s a better blues guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton. The discussion is moot. We don’t need to pit one against the other. They were compatriots in life and, by the way, they had different styles and sounds. No need for that shit.

Stevie Ray Vaughan died way too young at the age of 35. Who knows what could have been, and to think about it is pointless. What we do have is an amazing body of work to listen to. This one is with his band, Double Trouble, and is live from the Bluebird Lounge.

3:00 p.m. The Best of Louisiana Blues, Volume 2

Haven’t heard this one since Fat Tuesday, and that seems like decades ago in the land of COVID-19. Wish I could tell you who’s playing on this one, but I can’t even remember where I found this file. It was on one of my late-night music hunts over last winter. I just know I’m glad I did.

7:00 p.m. Mudcrutch Monday! The Complete Mudcrutch

Mudcrutch Monday is a longstanding tradition here in The Mermaid Lounge, and it will not be denied on this day. You know, not many musicians who have been doing it for 30+ years would go back and resurrect the band that started it all, but Mr. Petty did. And we are all musicially enriched because of it.

Mudcrutch did not “make it” in the early seventies, but it did morph into Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Then, after the Heartbreakers’ 30th Anniversary Tour, he brought the band back together, and it was amazing.

Mudcrutch is Tom Petty (on bass in this band), Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench (from The Heartbreakers), Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh. All are from the original Mudcrutch. Have fun. I know I will!

This would be an excellent day to make #BecomeUngovernable Radio your choice in music. Do it.

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Dylan & Petty On The True Confessions Tour ’86, We Go Down To N’Awlins, and Our Album of the Week, Thursday, August 6, 2020

Good Morning, Music Lovers! We’ve got some great programming today, including one playlist that hasn’t been heard since Fat Tuesday!

bob-dylan-tributes-tom-petty

Here is your musical landscape:

11:00 a.m.   Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Live at the Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, June 12, 1986   NEW!

Perhaps a bit of pre-Wilburys foreshadowing here. Any time you get two guys like this on stage together, the result can only be musical nirvana. This show is from the second leg of the True Confessions Tour.

3:00 p.m.     Album of the Week: All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

This was, without a doubt, a brilliant effort by Harrison, and it deserved all the critical accolades it received. You can learn more about this album by clicking on its image in the right sidebar.

7:00 p.m.    Down In N’Awlins: Various Artists

This is one sweet playlist that hasn’t been heard since Fat Tuesday back in February. Music is from BeauSoleil, Clifton Chenier, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, Tony Joe White, Fats Domino, Lucinda Williams, and many others. We hope you enjoy it.

I guess I should stop saying “join us.” There’s nothing to actually join. Tune us in would be a better phrase. No credit card or personal information required any day. No commercials. No political talk. Just music. 

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Call It Simple Programming Sunday: We Pay Our Respects to Peter Green, Premier Blues Guitarist and Co-Founder of the Original Fleetwood Mac & Joni Mitchell Owns Our Album of The Week, July 26, 2020

Good Morning, Ungovernables! Today we pay our respects to Peter Green, co-founder of the Original Fleetwood Mac (they really are two quite different bands with and without Peter), and we keep the women front and center with Joni Mitchells Miles of Aisles.

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac-1

Here’s your Sunday Funday line-up!

11:00 a.m.    Album of The Week: Miles of Aisles by Joni Mitchell   NEW!

Released in 1974, this Joni Mitchell album is a collection of songs from the tour she did in support of her brilliant album, Court & Spark. Not only was it Mitchell’s very first live album, but it was her first tour with a backing band. In a brilliant move, she chose Tom Scott & The L.A. Express.

I saw this tour on its trip through Beantown. It was at the Music Hall when it really was the music hall, and it was — hands down — one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen.

3:00 p.m.     Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Live at The Warehouse, New Orleans, January 30, 1970   NEW!

Peter Green and The Original Bluesy Fleetwood Mac opened The Warehouse with this show back in the day when they were a blues band and not a bunch of pop-rockers. Although he led a troubled life after he left the band, his contribution to the blues cannot be denied. He passed yesterday at the age of 73. Today, we pay him the respect he deserves.

I can’t fathom what the hell Americans are thinking. It matters not, though, because the rest of the world is listening in. We’ve always bee playing catch-up, no matter what they tell you about American Exceptionalism. It’s overrated.

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Women’s Week Rolls On With Irma Thomas in The Spotlight & Joni Mitchell Live in Milan, Italy, Friday, July 24, 2020

Good Morning, Ungovernables! It’s Friday once again. Women’s Week is coming down to the wire, but we’ve still got some great programming planned right through Sunday, so don’t go away.

Here’s your Friday line-up:

11:00 a.m.    In the Spotlight: The Music of Irma Thomas

Irma Thomas is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin, but she never quite reached that level of commercial success. Known as The Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma has been pleasing her audiences for many decades.

3:00 p.m.     The Inner Sanctum: The Skull That Walked   FINAL AIRING!

The final airing of The Skull That Walked, so get your spooky on. We’ve got a new one coming on Monday as we roll toward the end of our first season of Old Time Radio.

7:00 p.m.     Joni Mitchell Live at the Teatro Tenda, Lampugnano, Milan, Italy, May 9, 1983   NEW!

Someone once asked me why Joni Mitchell is so important. My response? “Are you fucking kidding me?” Roberta Joan Mitchell, Canadian singer-songwriter, has built a musical legend by weaving pop, rock, folk and jazz into her own amazing style. A prolific songwriter, Mitchell has written about love, abandonment, disillusionment, the environment, war and the human condition. Today we have her live from Milan, Italy.

Why not make today the day you join us in The Mermaid Lounge. I mean, seriously. What have you got to lose? We don’t cost a damned thing. Or require your information. So, there.

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It’s Tuesday Bluesday, Our Album of the Week is Back, and Happy 80th Birthday, Ringo! Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Good Morning, Ungovernables! Tuesday Bluesday is back and we’re heading down Louisiana way for today’s offering. And it’s Ringo’s 80th birthday, and we pay respects to him, an often underrated very important cog in the Beatles’ musical wheel.

ringo

Here’s today’s Tuesday Bluesday line-up:

11:00 a.m.   DJ’s Choice: My Favorite Ringo Starr Songs   NEW!

A simple four-drum kit was all Ringo needed to make his sound. If you watched the video I posted earlier on the #BecomeUngovernable Radio Facebook page, you’ll see that his peers revere that sound and try to recapture it. Ringo didn’t need to steal the show. He drummed to the level that the song required. He was never bigger than the song itself.

You can check out that great Ringo video here!

3:00 p.m.    Album of The Week: Homegrown by Neil Young

The release is finally here! Originally shelved in 1975, Neil Young’s 40th studio release, Homegrown, has hit the airwaves.

7:00 p.m.    Tuesday Bluesday: The Best of Louisiana Blues, Volume 1

Today we do something a bit different and head down to N’awlins for some Louisiana Blues!

Like Ringo, #BecomeUngovernable Radio is never bigger than the music. We’re free. No advertising. No credit card required. No politics. No bullshit. Just music 24/7.

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