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
1:50 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Professor Longhair’s Legacy

Professor Longhair.
Credit Music Inside Out

The name that our musical guests have most consistently mentioned is Professor Longhair. It began, well, at the beginning. Longhair, whose friends call him Fess, figured into the very first answer from the very first guest on the very first Music Inside Out.

Since then, others have conjured his name when describing the best of New Orleans music. As it turns out, Longhair — who died in 1980 — remains a guiding spirit to musicians and music lovers everywhere. So as a matter of duty and privilege, we’re spreading the joy.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:04 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Luke Winslow-King's Music Is So Good You’ll Want To Slap The Guitar Player

Luke Winslow-King.
Credit Matt Robinson / Elephant Quilt Productions

What do you get when you combine modern jazz, the music of Woody Guthrie, Delta blues, and Antonín Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet?

You get Luke Winslow-King.

Born and raised in Michigan, a crime landed him in New Orleans. But, ever the optimist, Winslow-King decided to stay. And yet, the road has been more of a home in recent years. While he’s back home now, Winslow-King spent the final months of 2013 on a European tour.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:15 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

A. J. Croce Is Telling Tales

A.J. Croce.
Credit Shelby Duncan

It’s easy to tease out the artists who’ve inspired A.J. Croce’s singing over the years — Ray Charles, Paul McCartney*, Buddy Holly, even Ray Davies of The Kinks. He loves early rock n roll and R&B. So perhaps it’s ironic that A.J. rarely sounds like his father, singer-songwriter Jim Croce, who made his mark on music in the late 1960s and early 70s.

With nine albums to his credit and more than 20 years as a touring musician, A.J. Croce is his own man, performing his own music. And a devoted fan base has shown its appreciation for the genre-busting of the younger Croce.

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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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