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Making music is a family affair for Parmalee

Photo by BBR Music Group -- Parmalee

After grinding hard in the music business for a decade, country-rock band Parmalee’s efforts paid big rewards this year. Two of the North Carolina group’s songs went Top 10. “Carolina” became the band’s first No. 1 hit and “Close Your Eyes” recently became the group’s second Top 10 hit. Both songs are from… Continue reading →

LSU brings ‘Dido and Aeneas’ opera to stage for two performances

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --   Aeneas, played by Jame Turcotte, lifts up Dido, played by Chelsey Geeting, in a scene from LSU Opera's 'Dido and Aeneas.'

Aeneas is the perfect guy — strong yet gentle, protective and attentive, not to mention good-looking. He’s also a Trojan hero. Maybe he’s too perfect, which is reason enough for Dido’s mistrust. For when something seems too good to be true, it usually is, and Aeneas will deceive her before all is said and done, thereby… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters’ documentary brings them back to N.O.

Photo by ANDREW STUART -- Dave Grohl joins Preservation Hall Jazz Band players Ben Jaffe, Clint Maedgen, Rickie Monie, Mark Braud, Ronell Johnson and Freddie Lonzo in New Orleans in May.

London’s massive Wembley Stadium and New Orleans’ tiny Preservation Hall. The Foo Fighters, the American rock band led by singer, guitarist and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, performed in the vastly different concert spaces with equal delight. In May, the Foo Fighters turned Preservation Hall into their recording studio. The traditional jazz venue at 726 St.… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Photo by SHELBY DUNCAN -- A.J. Croce --A.J. Croce, the singer, songwriter and recording artist son of Jim Croce, performs Friday at the Red Dragon Listening Room, 2401 Florida St. Patrick Sylvest opens the show at 8 p.m. Croce recorded his latest album, 'Twelve Tales,' in various cities throughout the country. Those cities include New Orleans, where Croce worked with local musicians and songwriter, producer and pianist Allen Toussaint.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 21-27, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

One Direction’s ‘Four’ teen dream in song

One Direction has done the almost impossible for a boy band: The English-Irish quintet has held the fickle attentions of teenage girls the world over for three years — the equivalent of 30 in tween years — and the band’s new album, “Four,” isn’t likely to diminish the group’s stronghold.… Continue reading →

One-day Highlander Music Fest to celebrate coffee house’s lease renewal

Advocate staff file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Highland Coffees owner Clarke Cadzow reported that its lease has been extended

Eight musical acts will perform Friday at the Highlander Music Fest. The one-day festival marks this week’s announcement of the renewal of the Highland Coffees’ lease. The multi-genre music festival follows online and in-person movements to keep Highland Coffees open. An online petition in support of the 25-year-old Chimes Street business drew more… Continue reading →

Darrell Scott wraps up 2014 dates with final show in Baton Rouge

Photo provided by Michael J Media -- Darrell Scott

Singer-songwriter Darrell Scott didn’t live in rural Kentucky long. His parents moved north, like so many other Southerners, in search of a better life. But Scott, whose Kentucky roots run for generations, never lost his mountain soul. It’s easy to hear his ancestral home in the poignancy of one of Scott’s best-known songs,… Continue reading →

Todd O’Neill Band set to play St. Aloysius Parish Fair

Advocate file photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Todd O'Neill performs with the Todd O'Neill Band during Bayou Country Superfest Fan Fest at LSU in May.

Todd O’Neill grew up in Hammond with parents and older siblings who all liked different kinds of music. Under one roof, O’Neill heard contemporary country music, classic country, classic rock, pop and doo-wop. And at the future singer’s grandparents’ house, his grandmother played classic country albums by Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves… Continue reading →

Jimmy Vaughan will perform at LA Vets Fest in St. Francisville

Photo by Todd V. Wolfson -- Jimmie Vaughan

When Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters took his traveling HBO music series, “Sonic Highways,” to Austin, the Texas music people he interviewed included Willie Nelson, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and, naturally, Jimmie Vaughan. Blues-rocker Vaughan — who’s performing Saturday at the LA Vets Fest in St. Francisville — formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds in… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 14-20, 2014

Photo provided by the Agency Group -- John Michael Montgomery -- Country star John Michael Montgomery performs Friday at the Texas Club.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 14-20, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

John Sinclair returns to N.O. for series of shows

Photo provided by Carlo Ditta -- Poet and radio personality John Sinclair, left, on stage with Carlo Ditta.

John Sinclair — poet, recording artist, radio personality and inspiration for John Lennon’s 1971 protest song, “John Sinclair” — returns to New Orleans this week. A native of Flint, Michigan, and longtime Detroit resident, Sinclair lived in New Orleans from 1991 until his move to Amsterdam in 2003. While in New Orleans, he’ll perform several gigs… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters’ latest a worthwhile trip

'Sonic Highways' album cover

Twenty years into their career as one of the leading rock bands in the world, Foo Fighters continue to find ways to challenge both themselves and their listeners. On “Sonic Highways,” a companion to the similarly named HBO television series, the Dave Grohl-fronted band, with assistance from… Continue reading →

LSU bands combine for annual Tigerama performance

Photo by Rachel Saltzberg -- The LSU Colorguard will be featured in the Tiger Marching Band's performance at Tigerama on Wednesday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Editor’s note: Click here to see a video from Tigerama. by LSU Tiger Marching Band Videographer Moe Athmann and editor Tyler Robinson. Be on the lookout for a patriotic halftime surprise at the LSU-Alabama football game Saturday night. Then, prepare yourself for the biggest concert on campus. Well, Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 7-13, 2014

File photo -- Black Joe Lewis -- Austin-based rock, funk soul band Black Joe Lewis will perform Friday at Chelsea’s Café.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 7-13, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Black 47 honors Irish history

Photo provided by Crossover Touring -- Black 47

It’s a match made in history. Black 47 is the Irish rock band formed 25 years ago in New York. Saturday night, the band performs for the International Irish Famine Commemoration Gala in New Orleans. The Irish government established the annual famine commemoration in 2009 to memorialize the 1 million… Continue reading →

‘I was an amazing talent scout,’ founder of pop band New Pornographers says

Photo by CHRIS BUCK -- The New Pornographers are, from top left, Neko Case, A.C. Newman, Kathryn Calder, (next step, left) Blaine Thurier, Kurt Dahle, John Collins and Todd Fancey.

Sixteen years into their existence, the New Pornographers achieved the highest sales chart debut of their career in August. “Brill Bruisers” — an album of shiny power-pop songs inspired by tuneful late ’60s vocal groups and the synthesizer-decorated, 1970s- and ’80s-era of the Electric Light Orchestra — entered the Billboard 200 albums chart at… Continue reading →

Neil Young breaks out orchestra

Attention rock stars: No matter how much you want to, resist at all costs orchestrating your songs. Almost without fail, it is the wrong call. Case in point: Neil Young’s latest effort, “Storytone.” Thankfully, Young has done listeners the favor of presenting the songs both with full orchestration and solo… Continue reading →

Keb’ Mo’ marks 20th anniversary of album debut

Photo provided by Aristo Media -- Keb' Mo'

Keb’ Mo’ just naturally blends his many musical experiences into his modern-day blues. “All those things are part of me,” he said recently. “That’s why they blend. That’s the blend of me. So it’s honest.” Marking the 20th anniversary of his album debut this year, Keb’ Mo’, aka Kevin Moore, sounds completely… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters, Outkast, Arctic Monkeys headline N.O. Voodoo Experience

Photo by  STEVE GULLICK Foo Fighters perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience returns to New Orleans’ City Park this weekend for its 16th annual Halloween event. Star attractions among the 79 acts include Ritual Stage headliners Foo Fighters, the Dave Grohl-led rock band featured in the HBO music-documentary series “Sonic Highways” ; British rock band Arctic… Continue reading →

Rise Against brings its message to Voodoo stage

Photo by LEANN MUELER -- Rise Against

Chicago rock band Rise Against makes its Voodoo Experience debut Friday on the festival’s biggest stage. The foursome’s latest album, “The Black Market,” entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 3 in July. Singer-guitarist Tim McIlrath regrets that Rise Against can’t see more of Voodoo Experience’s three days of music… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters snared for Voodoo Fest

Photo by ANDREW STUART -- Dave Grohl joins Preservation Hall Jazz Band players Ben Jaffe, Clint Maedgen, Rickie Monie, Mark Braud, Ronell Johnson and Freddie Lonzo in New Orleans in May.

One Saturday night in May, Stephen Rehage, founder and producer of the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, was having dinner in the French Quarter. Like thousands of others in the area, he couldn’t help but hear the Foo Fighters’ surprise show that night, coming from an unlikely place: Preservation Hall. The sound of… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2014

File photo -- Indie-rock band Neutral Milk Hotel, which formed 25 year ago, performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, and Friday, Nov. 7, at the Varsity Theatre.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

U.S. Army Band and Chorus set to play three free concerts

Photo by ROB MCIVER -- The U.S. Army Field Band, along with its Soldiers Chorus, will perform in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Hammond next week.

The United States Army Field Band & Soldiers Chorus will perform in three area venues in the coming week. The groups’ first performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Arts, 220 E. Thomas St., Hammond. The show will move to the Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W.… Continue reading →

Sister duo First Aid Kit returns to U.S. for 21-city tour

Photo provided by Sony Music -- First Aid Kit

In another time, before the Internet left music splintered and compromised, First Aid Kit’s heart-grabbing “Emmylou” might have been an international hit. A country-folk-pop duo from Sweden, First Aid Kit consists of sisters Johanna Söderberg, 24, and Klara, 21. “Emmylou” is a plea for love that won’t be extinguished, devotion of the kind that… Continue reading →

Album Reviews: Pop goes Swift; Yusef poised for return to mainstream

Taylor Swift 1989 Taylor Swift’s all-out move into pop music on her fifth album, “1989,” is the sound of a young artist who has gradually evolved from a teenager obsessed with boys and journal writing into a young woman embracing life in New York and stepping to a new beat. “Shake It Off,” her first… Continue reading →

‘The Big Beat’ documentary brings out the stars

Photo provided by the New Orleans Film Society -- Fats Domino, left, made a rare public appearance Oct. 23. He joined Dr. John, center, and Dave Bartholomew, Domino's longtime producer, at the premiere of  'The Big Beat,' a documentary about Domino and Bartholomew.

Fats Domino made a rare public appearance Oct. 23. He joined Dr. John and Dave Bartholomew, Domino’s longtime producer, at the premiere of ‘The Big Beat,’ a documentary about Domino and Bartholomew.… Continue reading →

Three authors to discuss music books they penned

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Barbara Barnes Sims, who worked at Sun Records in the late 1950s, recounts her years at the Memphis hit maker in her new book 'The Next Elvis:Searching for Stardom at Sun Records.'

The authors of three LSU Press books about music will discuss their books at 6 p.m. Thursday at Lagniappe Records, 705 St. Joseph Street. Barbara Sims, author of “The Next Elvis: Searching for Stardom at Sun Records,” joins John Wirt, author of “Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia… Continue reading →

Jack Bruce, bassist of 60’s band Cream, dies at 71

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 file photo, British musician Jack Bruce performs at the 'Zildjian Drummers Achievement Awards' at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London. British musician Jack Bruce, best known as the bassist from the 1960s group Cream, has died. He was 71. A statement released by his family on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 said ìthe world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.

LONDON (AP) — British musician Jack Bruce, best known as the bassist from the 1960s group Cream, has died. He was 71. Publicist Claire Singers said Saturday Bruce died at his home in Suffolk, England. A statement released by his family said “the world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives… Continue reading →

Whether pedaling his bike or cruising through genres, cellist Ben Sollee enjoys the ride

Photo provided by the Manship Theatre -- Ben Sollee

The ride is always an adventure, but it isn’t always the wisest choice. There are times when Ben Sollee doesn’t do his research and finds himself riding his bicycle in the steep hills between Kentucky and Tennessee. Or following the sandy Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Pensacola on U.S. 90, which is rigorous enough when… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Oct. 24-30, 2014

Photo provided by DUSTIN EISKANT -- Old Salt Union From St. Louis, Old Salt Union performs music influenced by bluegrass greats the Del McCoury Band and Sam Bush, Bill Evans, Danny Elfman and the Punch Brothers. Old Salt Union performs Tuesday at the Manship Theater's Hartley Vey Theatre.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Oct. 24-30, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Love, discipline fuel Neil Diamond’s latest album

Invision/AP photo by VICTORIA WILL -- Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond wrote and recorded his first studio album of new material in six years floating in the heady glow of new love. The 73-year-old entertainer, who married for the third time in 2012, says happiness with his new bride fueled his work on “Melody Road,” released on Tuesday.… Continue reading →

How pianist Mary Grace Gellekanao -- with only one hand and an undersized leg -- plays concerts for charities

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- A small crowd gathers to hear Mary Grace Gellekanao play at Mid City General Hospital on Oct. 3.  Gellekanao said she has been drawn to music since the age of 6, and credits God and her family for the discovery and cultivation of her talent.

Born in the Philippines with only one hand and an undersized right leg, Mary Grace Gellekanao embarrassed some in her family, who told her to stay in her room when people visited. “I didn’t have any friends. I had nobody to talk to,” she said. “As a kid, I didn’t know what was going on. When… Continue reading →

Ziggy Marley’s reggae music follows family tradition

Photo by MALIA JAMES -- Ziggy Marley

When Ziggy Marley, son of reggae music’s brightest star, Bob Marley, performs onstage and writes songs that contain meaning and messages, he’s following family tradition. “Most of my family is musicians,” the Kingston, Jamaica, native said last week from his second home, California. “Going back to my grandmother and my grandfather, on both sides… Continue reading →

New Orleans Suspects is more than the sum of its musical parts

Photo provided by Michelle Roche -- New Orleans Suspects -- From left, 'Mean' Willie Green, Reggie Scanlan, C.R. Gruver, Jake Eckert and Jeff Watkins.

All five members of the New Orleans Suspects have impressive résumés. Bassist Reggie Scanlan played bass with New Orleans rock band the Radiators for 33 years. Drummer “Mean” Willie Green spent just as many years with the Neville Brothers band. Scanlan also worked with classic New Orleans artists Professor Longhair, James Booker and… Continue reading →

Steel Wheels makes south La. debut at Manship Theatre

Photo provided by LUCY HAISLIP -- The Steel Wheels

It’s fall in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. That means the foliage on maple trees, birches, poplars and hickories is turning red, gold and yellow. Trent Wagler, lead singer of the Harrisonburg-based string band, The Steel Wheels, which makes its south Louisiana debut Sunday at the Manship Theatre, loves being home for nature’s display.… Continue reading →

Blues and BBQ Festival returns to Lafayette Square in New Orleans

Photo provided by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation -- Los Lobos

The Crescent City Blues and Barbecue Festival, one of New Orleans’ favorite fall festivals, returns this weekend for a three-day stand in Lafayette Square Park. Presented each October by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation, the Blues and Barbecue Festival is a free event featuring music, food, a big arts market… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Oct. 17-23, 2014

Photo by C. TAYLOR CROTHERS -- The Josh Abbott Band -- The major-label debut from the Josh Abbott Band recently reached the Top 20 of Billboard's country albums chart. The band performs Wednesday at the Varsity Theatre.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Oct. 17-23, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

How Hendrix pointed a guitarman to music’s roots

Photo by LEN UMHOEFER -- Selwyn Birchwood

A child of the 1990s, Selwyn Birchwood didn’t grow up with the blues. Like his peers in Orlando, Florida, he listened to the era’s mainstream music, not the sounds of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy or John Lee Hooker. At 13, Birchwood picked up a guitar and learned songs by Nirvana and… Continue reading →

Erasure’s new album is masterfully crafted dance pop

Photo by PHIL SHARPE -- ErasureAndy Bell, left, and Vince Clarke are British dance-pop duo Erasure.

In September — nearly 30 years and 40 hits into its career — Erasure released its 16th album. True to form, “The Violet Flame” consists of masterfully crafted dance pop that’s bubbling with real, expressively sung melodies and anthem-level uplift. “The Violet Flame” turned out beautifully, but keyboardist Vince Clarke and… Continue reading →

Contra & Square Dance set today at St. Alban’s

A Contra & Square Dance will take place 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Alban’s Chapel, at Highland Road and Dalrymple Drive in Baton Rouge. Live music will be by Back Up & Push. Dancers need no experience. A basics for beginners session will be at 4:45 pm. Admission is $6. Call… Continue reading →

Musician converts wind, sun and rain into sounds

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Musician and instrument inventor Mr. Quintron has invented an instrument called the Weather Warlock that uses temperature, light, wind, rain, and other weather sensors to make sound seen here in his home in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. The sound from the machine can be heard on WeatherForTheBlind.org, a website that streams the synthesizerÕs output 24 hours a day.

In 2011, a group of artists built structures that were also musical instruments on a vacant lot, a project called the Music Box. The electronic artist known as Quintron contributed a prototype of an instrument he now calls the Weather Warlock — a synthesizer that converts weather into sound. But, in a… Continue reading →

The Widowers’ Matt Sigur brings musician friends in for studio album

Photo provided by Matt Sigur -- The Widowers

The Widowers is local singer, guitarist and songwriter Matt Sigur. It’s a band, too, albeit a band composed of various casts of Sigur’s talented musician friends. Sigur distills his ’90s rock influences into “Mint Grizz,” his first full-length studio album. He’ll play an album-release show Saturday at Spanish Moon, accompanied by bassist Jonathan… Continue reading →

After 50 years, Paul McCartney says he’s still in it for the fans

Photo by M.J. Kim -- Paul McCartney performs on his 'Out There' tour 2014.

He’s the act we’ve known for all these years. At last, Sir Paul McCartney’s makeup date for the New Orleans concert originally scheduled for June 19 is upon us. The former Beatle performs Saturday at the Smoothie King Center, a sold-out stop on his two-year-running “Out There” tour. McCartney’s New Orleans concert is… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Oct. 10-16, 2014

Photo provided by AFI -- AFI -- Platinum rock band AFI performs Saturday at the Varsity Theatre. The show also features Nostalghia.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Oct. 10-16, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Katy Perry ‘Prism’ tour brings a pop rainbow to N.O. on Wednesday

Photo by CHRISTIE GOODWIN -- Katy Perry performs during her Prismatic World Tour.

The ever-changing hair colors, cartoonish stage costumes, celebrity boyfriends and a brief marriage to British comic Russell Brand — it’s all kept the buzz about Katy Perry hot since she became a pop star in 2008. Recent items about the singer-songwriter include her Muppet-red hairdo. “It’s Animal-inspired pinky-red!” MTV.com reported. “KP… Continue reading →