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.
"If you can make 'em dance, money becomes a space problem."
Ball's songs are postcards of small town life in this region and the dilemmas that drive people to the choices they make.
This week, we bring you that funky gentleman from the Ninth Ward, Jon Cleary, who talks about his native England, his grandmother, the piano back home, his mum's songwriting chops, and a variety of other loves.
Cleary grew up listening to New Orleans soul, r&b and funk. And now, we listen to him.
As a mulit-instrumentalist and sideman, he's played with some of the best artists, including Earl King, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Snooks Eaglin, Ernie K-Doe and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. But Cleary is even better fronting his own band and digging into his own groove.
Food may be the most popular subject on the planet. In fact, scientists have long said that men and women think about food more often than almost anything else: more often than global warming or world peace, more than super heroes, more often, even, than sex.
We can't beat those odds, so this week on Music Inside Out we make a grocery list and dedicate the show to Louisiana songs about food.
Marco Werman, host of PRI's The World, was in New Orleans recently and he filed this report — an interview with Gwen Thompkins, host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, and Yegor Romantsov of local band Debauche.
I recently spent some time in New Orleans and I wanted to tell you about a few residents I met while in the Big Easy. Gwen Thompkins hosts the program " Music Inside Out " on station WWNO. She is the former East Africa correspondent for NPR.