Arts & Culture

Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Dave Alvin
American Routes

Texas High Plains Troubadour Jimmie Dale Gilmore and SoCal roots-rocker Dave Alvin were born worlds apart. Gilmore in Lubbock, where he co-founded the Flatlanders. He left music to join an ashram, and played Smokey in the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski. Dave Alvin was raised in Downey, California, and once of age took off for Los Angeles to play guitar in punk and rock bands. Over the years, Alvin and Gilmore crisscrossed paths and admired each other from afar. They recently joined forces on the road and for the upcoming album “From Downey to Lubbock.”

The Black Panthers And A Community Named Desire

Apr 19, 2018
The Historic New Orleans Collection

On September 15 of 1970, rising tensions between the New Orleans Police and the Black Panther Party came to a head in a 20-minute shootout. The police arrived at the Desire public housing development armed in a war wagon to evict the Panthers. Malik Rahim was there. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Malik speaks about how he joined the Panthers and remembers the showdown in Desire.  

Crista Rock

This week on Inside the Arts, a look at St. Kampos. The giant skeletal seahorse becomes the newest addition to the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by the Helis Foundation. The newly commissioned work by emerging artist Ashley Pridmore celebrates International Sculpture Day. Ashley Pridmore stops by for a chat.

Surviving Being Human

Apr 16, 2018
Natsha Guynes
Photo by Jason Falchook

Cynthia Shelby Lane sets her sights on a job that’s out of this world. Lemn Sissay attempts to uncover a hidden past.
Natasha Guynes desperately tries to hide her past from co-workers on The Hill.
Matt Brown confronts his insecurities in an unconventional way
Daniel Turpin deals with the aftermath of a split second decision.

This week on The Reading Life: Debut novelists make a splash with two very different books. Bryan Camp creates a fantastic version of the Crescent City with a magician named Jude Dubuisson in “The City of Lost Fortunes," and Iris Cohen, author of “The Little Clan,” takes on high and low literary culture in her New York-set story of a bookish young woman's coming of age.

American Routes Shortcuts: CJ Chenier

Apr 13, 2018
CJ Chenier
American Routes

Accordionist CJ Chenier is the son of the late king of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, who mixed R&B and soul into Louisiana Creole music. CJ was raised in Texas away from his French-speaking relatives. He played in jazz and funk bands, finally joining Clifton’s band and playing accordion a few years before the king passed in 1987. Like his father, CJ continues to push the boundaries of Creole music.

Photograph by Michael P. Smith / ©The Historic New Orleans Collection

Tripod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a new episode that spotlights a famous musical family, the Lasties. Host Laine Kaplan-Levenson sat down with drummers, and cousins, Herlin Riley and Joe Lastie. This is the first in a series of episodes focusing on the rich history of New Orleans music. Listen to the full interview with Herlin Riley and Joe Lastie here

Photo by Zack Smith Photography, Courtesy of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.

This week on Inside the Arts, the largest free showcase of Louisiana music in the world is celebrating a birthday. French Quarter Festival, presented by Chevron is 35! CEO Emily Madero stops by.

This week on The Reading Life: Bill Lavender and Megan Burns talk about the upcoming New Orleans Poetry Festival, April 20-22 at the New Orleans Healing Center. The Fest is three years old this year and features approximately 200 poets! And scholar Jeroen DeWulf talks about "From the Kingdom of Kongo to Congo Square: Kongo Dances and the Origins of the Mardi Gras Indians."

James "Chicken Scratch" Johnson
American Routes

Guitarist James “Chicken Scratch” Johnson grew up near Baton Rouge in Erwinville. When he was in elementary school, guitarist Albert Collins played a concert there. In that moment Johnson knew what he wanted to do. Years later, James joined with harmonica player Slim Harpo on beloved songs like “Raining in My Heart” and “Scratch My Back.” Nick Spitzer spoke with James Johnson the night before the 2016 Baton Rouge Blues Festival about playing with Slim Harpo and growing up in the country.

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