Music Inside Out With Gwen Thompkins

Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at Noon

Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins presents the standard-bearers of Louisiana culture — musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, music writers, and more — as they talk about the art of making music and the songs that influenced them.

Join us for an appreciation of the truly cross-cultural nature of our region’s music. The musical styles, instruments, and techniques of many peoples and lands come together in New Orleans, like nowhere else.

Connect with the show on Facebook and on Twitter.

Major support is provided by the Historic New Orleans Collection, with additional support from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.


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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:11 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Rebirth Brass Band: Feel Like Funkin' It Up

Rebirth Brass Band at Underground Arts in January 2014.
Credit Wendy McCardle / MusicInsideOut.org

This is not John Philip Sousa’s band music. Don’t get us wrong, Sousa is in the pantheon of them-who-haul-brass-through-the-streets, but we suspect the maestro might be surprised by the music today. Which, if you think about it, is good.

Otherwise, there would only be the old-timey brass band idiom and the genre would have lost touch with the people.

Which is precisely where this music has always lived. With military bands and civic orchestras and parades and funerals and weddings, brass band music has always been popular music.

And in New Orleans, it still is.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:00 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Shannon Powell's Joyful Drums

Shannon Powell.
Credit Shannon Brinkman

An Hour with The World’s Greatest Drummer

The only thing more fun than talking to Shannon Powell is listening to him play. Powell is one of the most charismatic drummers to ever grace a stage. His secret? “I’m happy,” Powell tells Music Inside Out. “I was a happy child. I’m a happy spirit.”

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
7:43 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Marcia Ball: Make 'Em Dance

Marcia Ball.
Credit Lilly M / MusicInsideOut.org

Few piano players are as tall, glam and terrific as Marcia Ball. Born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and schooled in the dance halls and roadhouses of the Gulf South, Ball can’t help but make you boogie woogie. That is, unless you wanna two-step. Or boogaloo. She does that too.

Ball’s songs are postcards of small town life in this region and the dilemmas that drive people to the choices they make.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
3:24 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Laughing It Up With Don Vappie

Don Vappie.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

Don Vappie can play just about anything on banjo — classical compositions, traditional jazz, even funk music. So wherever he goes musically, there’s always an audience eager to hear what he has to say.

What most people may not know is that Vappie’s talent extends to bass, guitar and any other instrument that needs playing. His ears are just that big. And his hands are just that good. Maybe that’s why Vappie tells Music Inside Out that one of his favorite songs is the old Charles Wright hit, “Express Yourself.” Because that’s what Vappie does best.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
3:49 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Allen Toussaint, Dean Of New Orleans Music

Allen Toussaint, Dean Of New Orleans Music.
Credit MusicInsideOut.org

Allen Toussaint says he’d rather let his piano do the talking. Lucky for us.

Toussaint’s fingers have done the talking on song after song for more than 50 years, defining the modern-day New Orleans sound.

In 2013, Toussaint was awarded the National Medal of Arts in recognition of his influence in preserving and advancing the music of New Orleans.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
7:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Shannon Powell's Joyful Drums

Shannon Powell, in a still from "Tradition is a Temple."
Credit Tutti Dynamics / Vimeo

The only thing more fun than talking to Shannon Powell is listening to him play. Powell is one of the most charismatic drummers to ever grace a stage. His secret? “I’m happy,” Powell tells Music Inside Out. “I was a happy child. I’m a happy spirit.”

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:26 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Meschiya Lake: An Honest-To-Goodness, Modern-Day Chanteuse

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns.
Credit Babs Evangelista / MusicInsideOut.org

Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns have been playing together as a band since 2009. But their repertoire suggests a much longer, deeper history, dating back to the early part of the last century, when people were buying phonographs and drinking absinthe in its original form.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
5:00 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Music Inside Out: Lights! Camera! Music!

Bob Mondello, Benh Zeitlin and Terence Blanchard.

The Art & Craft Of Marrying Film And Music

From the earliest days of motion pictures, music has played a crucial role in setting the mood for movies. Just take a look at the clip (above) of the final moments of Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 film “Modern Times.”

It’s hard to imagine that scene without the song “Smile.”

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:40 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Treme's David Simon: 'I'm A Storyteller'

David Simon.
Credit American Library Association

For most of his working life, David Simon has been telling an epic story of the American city — one corner at a time. First on the pages of The Baltimore Sun, then in the books Homicide: Life on the Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:14 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Music Biz: Scott Aiges Pulls Back The Curtain

Credit Guillaume Laurent / Flickr

Consider the musicians.

After the crowd goes home, after they pack their gear and instruments, when their van rolls through the night and the smell of smoke still lingers on their clothes, the bottom line remains. The business of music never sleeps.

Artist royalties, mechanical royalties, revenue streams and recording contracts occupy the minds and sleepless nights of managers and artists the country over as they head to their next gig.

You could fill a college course with everything an artist needs to know. Trust us, they have.

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