It’s not just the Tremé television series; the music of New Orleans has been riding high in the charts courtesy of actor Hugh Laurie’s blues album Let Them Talk. Laurie has rhapsodised about the sound of the city, generating new interest in figures such as pianist Professor Longhair, whose song Tipitina he listens to “nearly every day”.
While no slouch as a musician, Laurie would be the first to acknowledge there are many more-talented players in Tremé alone. But Shorty does not begrudge him his success: “The guy is a famous actor and he gets a big deal. But it’s no bad thing if it means more people get exposed to our music”.
Anyway, BluesFest London looks like an impressive lineup, with performers including Annie Ross, B.B. King and the Blind Boys of Alabama. (There's also blues stalwart Liza Minnelli ... whuh?) And New Orleans will be well-represented, not just by Shorty but also by Dr. John and Jon Cleary.