Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mystery Street's Fine Collection of Contemporary New Orleans SOunds

Mystery Street Records is an affiliate of the fan-funded Threadhead Records, that was established after Hurricane Katrina, as a way for lovers of New Orleans, its food, culture, architecture and music, to assist in the recovery of the city and its musical scene. Mystery Street has just issued the second anthology of New Orleans music, Vieux Carré, that presents a wide range of music that might be heard in The fabled French Quarter. 14 selections from a variety of sources (not simply Threadhead productions) make for a throughly entertaining hour or so of listening.

Just to give a sampling of the contents there is an engaging rendition of Smiley Lewis’
Hook Line and Slinker, by the Creole String Beans, Ingrid Lucia’s sultry Midnight Rendezvous, John Boutté, Bill Lynn and Paul Sanchez joined by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a cynical look at BP’s response to its Oil Well spill, Nobody Knows Nothin’, Tricia Boutté and the Norwegian Ytre Suloens Jass-Ensemble on a stirring gospel Keep Your Hands On the Plough (I downloaded the underlying CD Oh Mahalia after hearing this), Holley Bendtsen & Amasa Miller on a wonderful song about missing New Orleans, Creole Moon, Ensemble Fatien’s African-jazz reworking of St. James Infirmary, Paul Sanchez and friends including Shamarr Allen recounting the horrors of the levees breaking on the previously unreleased Home, and Matt Clark and others (Sanchez, Allen, Ivan Neville, and Teedy Boutté) letting us know their spirit is Bent Not Broken, and that New Orleans will be coming back.

This is such a marvelous sampling of the diversity of New Orleans music.
Bent Not Broken and Nobody Knows Nothin were previously issued as digital singles and the other material is generally from recordings that can be obtained from and better sources. The applicable websites are and

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