When jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport got off the road to take a lengthy engagement at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, he said no one seemed more surprised than his former boss — Harry Connick Jr. Davenport had traveled the world in Connick's band, which was and remains, hot stuff.
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. He's written, produced and arranged chart-topping hits for scores of artists. And lately, Toussaint has been performing his catalog more often around the world.
This week, Allen Toussaint has plenty to say to Music Inside Out. Check out his major chords. And the minor ones too.
More than six billion people live on the planet, and yet relatively few human voices are recognizable to the naked ear.
Irma Thomas has one of those voices.
For more than 50 years, Thomas has written, recorded and lent her voice to some of the most precious songs that Louisiana has ever produced. Now music lovers all over the world know the contralto that she calls, "Irma's sound." This week, Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins makes way for the Queen of New Orleans Soul.
When John Boutté commits to a song, he tailors it like a suit from Savile Row, breaking down the lyrics then building them back up again to say exactly what he means. If a Paul Simon song conjures the image of early Americans sailing to the New World on the Mayflower ship, Boutté will sing the same song and mention early Americans who sailed on the slave ship Amistad. If Dave Bartholemew writes that the grass looks greener somewhere else, Boutté will sing that the grass is greener right here at home.
Susan Cowsill is one of the great harmonizers in the music business. Just ask Hootie and the Blowfish or Jackson Browne or her old bandmates in the Continental Drifters. The proof is on their recordings.
Harmonizing is a skill Cowsill learned as a tomboy back in the 1960s, when she was trying to win a place in her brothers' band. She got in. And The Cowsills went on to great success on the national charts and on television.
Sonny Landreth and his slide guitar have flown a million miles to entertain audiences around the world — and he's got the card from his airline to prove it. So if you haven't yet seen Landreth in concert, whose fault is that?
This week, Music Inside Out travels to Lafayette, Louisiana to hear the great Landreth play.
Bonnie Raitt, John Hiatt, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Winter and Eric Clapton are among his fans. And after hearing our interview, you'll be a fan too.
Though we usually talk about going into business, on this week’s show Peter talks to two women who got out of business.
Kendra Jones Morris walked away from consulting Fortune 500 companies to found Rural Revolution, connecting women artisans in the developing world with direct marketing women in the United States. Mary Lee Murphy left the business world to become Development Director of the education non-profit City Year.