As noggins in New Orleans go, there is no noggin like that of singer-songwriter Alex McMurray. He's got more original characters in his head than a Hollywood film library. Why else would McMurray write a song about the man who shot the man who shot Liberty Valance? (Spoiler Alert: John Wayne is in the crosshairs).
Listen to this week's episode of Music Inside Out with singer/songwriter Jim McCormick.
The poetics of pickup trucks and cutoffs are not lost on Jim McCormick. Nor are the subtleties of Trans Ams and the beverage choices of the young and hay-baling set. And that's how it should be for a poet-turned-Nashville songwriter.
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."
Any piano player worth his fingers in New Orleans has been influenced by Professor Longhair. C. R. Gruver was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and moved to the city six years ago. He now plays piano for a band called, The New Orleans Suspects.
At Gruver's house, above the antique upright piano, are portraits of the Professor and two of his most gifted disciples — James Booker and Mac Rebbenack, a.k.a. Dr. John. It's a modern-day triumvirate of piano talent. Here's a lesson Gruver gave reporter Gwen Thompkins on the related styles of the three players.
Irma Thomas returns to Music Inside Out for a whole new, fresh, hot buttered and yummy conversation. The Queen of New Orleans Soul pays her respects to some of her musical influences and talks about the bottom line of a Grammy Award. Turns out, there's a reason why they call it show business.
Whether you’re stopping in at Promenade fabric store on St. Charles Avenue for five yards of Chanel or a spool of thread, Herbert Halpern welcomes you warmly. He looks a little like a fashionable Albert Einstein.
For 45 years, he has minded and cultivated the store his father, Max Halpern, started in the late 1930s, steering it through some choppy waters. If businesses are forged on deep friendships over time, then Herbert has certainly got the goods.