NINE LIVES: A CHORUS SECOND LINE
Mayor Mitch Landrieu sings the praises of New Orleans
There's a bit of the performer in most politicians -- some more than others.
Harry Connick Sr., the city's former district attorney, has frequently moonlighted as a nightclub crooner, albeit to smaller crowds than his much more famous son. Former City Councilman Oliver Thomas is currently starring in a play. And there's Frank Minyard, the trumpet-playing coroner.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who took singing lessons and contemplated a stage career as a young man, is the latest elected official to take to the spotlight, appearing on a CD compilation of original songs by Paul Sanchez and Colman deKay titled "Nine Lives: A Musical Adaptation."
NINE LIVES A MUSICAL ADAPTATION, VOLUME 1 by Colman deKay & Paul Sanchez
based on the novel by Dan Baum
Mystery Street 2011
Paul Sanchez producer
Wes Fontenot, Mark Bingham engineers Nine Lives
New Orleans' musical renaissance, so well documented in the HBO series Treme, has reached its apotheosis with this expansive project. Paul Sanchez, a versatile singer-songwriter who performs in dozens of different contexts around New Orleans with many of his cohorts, joined forces with lyricist Colman deKay and several local musician buddies to write forty songs based on Dan Baum's best selling novel, Nine Lives. Sanchez then enlisted over 100 musicians to realize this dream, and they took this three-ring circus into Piety Street Studios, where Sanchez - abetted by engineer Wes Fontenot and resident master of mixology Mark Bingham - proved an able ringmaster.
Baum's novel is tough to...
Nine Lives , by local author Dan Baum, could become musical
Bridging the gulf
Jazz performers join to help other musicians survive tragedy
Award-winning singer-songwriter Paul Sanchez of New Orleans was ready to bring a celebratory spirit to
his debut performance at the Provincetown Jazz Festival.
It’s been five years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged his city, “and things were starting to come along nicely,”
Sanchez says. “You could see neighborhood kids playing on the street.”
But then the gulf oil spill happened.
Now his performance can’t help but be “tinged with sadness….A much bigger battle is being waged. It’s such
a kick in the guts.”
Post-Kartrina “was a tragic time, but we bounced back,” Sanchez continues. The gulf spill “is not something
people can rebuild from. It will kill the wildlife and put thousands of people out of work. It will last.
Generations of fisherman and shrimpers have...
Bridging the Gap
Shamarr Allen is a born front man, the kind of artist who embraces a showy star turn. Throughout his career performing and recording with brass bands, jazz ensembles, and his recent funk-rock projects, listening to Allen perform has meant hearing his sensibilities and his powerful trumpet drive a band’s rhythms and shape its sound. On Bridging the Gap, his collaboration with veteran New Orleans singer-songwriter Paul Sanchez, Allen’s charismatic musical presence is uncharacteristically subdued.
In its style, arrangements and rhythms, Bridging the Gap is primarily governed by Sanchez’s whimsical roots-rock. It doesn’t feature many star turns at all. The CD’s 10 tracks highlight the duo’s mutual influence and the fun Allen and Sanchez obviously have making music together. The ideas they...
Paul Sanchez on Shamarr Allen
- by Paul Sanchez -
I met Shamarr at an in-store in Louisiana Music Factory Jazz Fest 2006. I was still with the Mouth and he was still with Rebirth. They were playing after the Mouth set, and during our set I sang Randy Newman’s “Louisiana, 1927,” and Shamarr got up and joined me on that song. I said into the mic, “I don’t know who that young trumpet player is but that was beautiful.” I asked him to play on Exit to Mystery Street and hired him for as many gigs as I could.
(THR added: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMP9iEg99es)
“Recording Bridging the Gap was Shamarr’s idea. He called me up one day and said, “Unc, I just saw a video on YouTube of Johnny Cash and Louis Armstrong playing together; we got to make us a record.” I said cool and he said, “We’ll record old people’s music...
Various Artists: Nine Lives: A Musical Adaptation
This wrenching adaptation of journalist Dan Baum's book about nine intersecting New Orleanian lives spanning Hurricane Betsy through Katrina represents the sound of the city in a way that's never been tried before. Screenwriter Colman deKay teamed up with former Cowboy Mouth front man Paul Sanchez (and on many tracks John Boutte') to retell the story.
The story is not an easy one to tell, rendering numbers like the emotion-drenched opener, "Fine in The Lower Nine", more complelling than the toungue -in-cheek "King Of Mardi Gras." The theatricality of the latter, with it's harpsichord and booming Harry Shearer contribution, would border on cloying without the context of the full album. But the scope of the project is so impressive that combing through the story lines becomes part of...
THE BEST OF THE BEAT 2009 WINNERS
NEW ORLEANS MUSIC NEWS
Music critic Keith Spera sounds off on the best local CDs of 2009
South Louisiana delivered yet another bounty of CDs in 2009. None shined brighter than Allen Toussaint’s "The Bright Mississippi," his jazzy collaboration with producer Joe Henry and an all-star cast of modern jazz musicians.
Keith Spera/The Times-Picayune
Allen Toussaint’s “The Bright Mississippi,” a jazzy collaboration with producer Joe Henry and an all-star cast of modern jazz musicians.
Threadhead Records, the nonprofit label founded by a federation of Jazz Fest fans, had a big year. The best of Threadhead’s ’09 releases was "How to Be a Cannonball," by man-about-town guitarist and songwriter Alex McMurray. His lyrics are populated by his usual assortment of vivid, eccentric characters in the tradition of Tom Waits and Randy Newman.
Also on Threadhead, the New Orleans...
Farewell to Storyville
The Threadhead Records phenomenon has reshaped the profile of the local recording industry, allowing veteran musicians to make albums that might otherwise not have happened, giving deserving new artists a jump start on their careers and even producing such delightful one shots as this year’s Christmas release. No musician has benefited from this breakthrough more than Paul Sanchez, who has established himself as an important solo artist since leaving Cowboy Mouth with no small help from the label. This is the third Threadhead-financed album Sanchez has made,
and each has been remarkably different.
Sanchez has been preparing to make Farewell to Storyville his whole career. It’s an impromptu,
mostly solo session in which Sanchez tells stories about each song before singing it, a...
PAUL SANCHEZ- FAREWELL TO STORYVILLE
Singer-songwriter Sanchez' offers up more than most on this autobiographical musical journey, as he tells stories about the inspiration behind the music, and mesmerizes the listener with his heartbreaking voice and heartfelt words. Each song is an engrossing slice of life and Paul Sanchez welcomes you into his world with the warmth and grace one expects from the great people of the great city of New Orleans.