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Sneak Preview 

With Jazz Fest 2003 now just a month away, the New Orleans music scene is preparing to burst at the seams. It's become a tradition of sorts for Louisiana bands to issue new CDs in time for the festival, and 2003 is shaping up to be no exception. To prep your ears and your wallet, here's a sneak preview of fresh New Orleans and Louisiana CDs just hitting stores or currently en route from the pressing plants:

Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles check in with Mr. Stranger Man on Shanachie Records, with Boudreaux collaborator Anders Osborne serving as producer. ... Basin Street Records is finally dropping the long-awaited Headhunters reunion CD, Evolution Revolution, featuring original members Paul Jackson, Bill Summers, and Mike Clark. Summers and his bandmates in Los Hombres Calientes will try to recapture their previous marks as the top-selling group at Jazz Fest with the just-released CD, Vol. 4: Vodou Dance, also on Basin Street. ...

From the north Louisiana front, Shreveport bluesmen the Bluebirds are back with Highway 80 East, their first studio album in seven years. A few songs on the album were co-written by piano man, songwriting ace and Filé/Lil' Band o' Gold member David Egan, who's also releasing his debut solo CD, Twenty Years of Trouble. Both albums are on Louisiana Red Hot Records ... The funky Meters' Fiyo at the Fillmore Vol. 1, originally released in a limited pressing by the band, has been picked up for re-release by Fuel 2000 Records and contains a bonus studio track. Fuel 2000 is also the home for Boozoo Hoodoo! The Songs of Boozoo Chavis (Fuel 2000 Records), where artists such as BeauSoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco, Marcia Ball and Sonny Landreth interpret Chavis classics like "Uncle Bud" and "Keep Your Dresstail Down." ... Landreth and his running partners in The Goners -- drummer Kenneth Blevins and bassist Dave Ranson -- are once again backing up John Hiatt on Hiatt's forthcoming CD, Underneath This Gruff Exterior. (Hiatt has also been added to the Jazz Fest evening concert schedule, replacing Youssou N'Dour in the opening slot for Crosby, Stills, and Nash's show on Friday, April 25, at Municipal Auditorium. N'Dour recently cancelled his U.S. tour in protest of the war in Iraq.) ...

Singer/songwriter Andi Hoffman and his band B-Goes serve up the independently produced CD Living in the Big Wide World. ... John Boutté and Uptown Okra are releasing Carry Me Home, another blend of Okra's good-timey bluegrass and Boutté's vocals. ... New Orleans progressive rockers Woodenhead celebrate signing a label deal with Free Electric Sound Records with their sixth album, Perserverance, which was recorded live at Carrollton Station. ... Louisiana native and former New Orleanian Lucinda Williams imagines a World Without Tears on Lost Highway Records. ... Garage a Trois, featuring Galactic drummer Stanton Moore with guitarist Charlie Hunter, saxophonist Skerik and vibraphonist Mike Dillon, releases Emphasizer on Tone-Cool Records. Moore and his Galactic bandmates will also issue Vintage Reserve, a best-of compilation on Volcano Records. ...

Papa Grows Funk's sophomore CD, Shakin', just hit record stores this week, with an all-original program of New Orleans funk. ... Piano queen Marcia Ball returns with her sophomore CD for Alligator Records, So Many Rivers. The album was produced by Austin bad-ass Stephen Bruton, and features a guest appearance by Wayne Toups on the song "Honeypie." ... Clarinetist Tim Laughlin releases an all-original program of trad jazz on his self-released CD, The Isle of Orleans. Dash Rip Rock embraces new technology on its new DVD and CD set The Band, The Myth, The Legend. The DVD is a Dash documentary, while the accompanying CD, Hits and Giggles, is a Dash greatest-hits compilation. ... Pianist Joe Krown is releasing a new CD of solo piano on the STR Digital label, with a title TBA. ....

If you're a local band with a new CD arriving in time for Jazz Fest and want to be considered for coverage, please send two copies of your CD to the Gambit Weekly office at 3923 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70119, by no later than Friday, March 28.

click to enlarge Tim Laughlin's The Isle of Orleans is one of the flood of new local CDs arriving in time for Jazz Fest.
  • Tim Laughlin's The Isle of Orleans is one of the flood of new local CDs arriving in time for Jazz Fest.


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