Hell’s Kitchen Radio #302: Godfather of the Big Easy
Thursday, May 11, 6pm
– John Hell
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I was out of town last week, so I have a lot to make up for. I think I did a fairly good job doing so. You be the judge. I have a good excuse though. I was down in the Big Easy, New Orleans, performing a marriage ceremony for Hell’s Kitchen Radio friends Eric McFadden and his bride, Delphine De St Paër. And what a party it was! Five days and four nights during Jazz Fest in NOLA cannot be beat.
The wedding was on the fourth day, featuring what was probably the greatest wedding band ever assembled: Angelo Moore on vocals/theremin, Doug Wimbish on bass, RonKat Spearman on guitar, Wally Ingram on drums, CR Gruver on keys, with Corey Glover joining in on vocals, Lantz Lazwell on guitar. Leo Nocentelli of The Meters performed “Just Kissed My Baby” to the lovely couple, as well as James Hall singing the most beautiful song of his own, and the groom leading the backing band into a 25 minute Maggot Brain while the 66 members of the bridal party made their way down the aisle before the three ring bearers, four flower girls, three junior bridesmaids, parents and finally the bride herself made it to the altar. Whew! There was too much more, including the backing band leading the entire wedding party and guests out into the street for a Second Line to end all Second Lines. The after party was a who’s who of amazing musicians all night long.
I tell much of the story during the second hour of this here show.
Having been gone I missed the KFJC annual James Brown birthday celebration “Doin’ to Death”. The first show features JB in all his funky glory. Get your dance shoes on for this one.
The second hour starts with my feature on NOLA. I bought some local music while I was in town. Would you blame me? I actually start the hour off with Chicago rocker, and old friend of Eric McFadden’s, and my new bestie, Adam Mackintosh‘s “Teenage Phase”. I can’t stop playing this song. I’m playing it now as I’m writing this. Listen to it and you’ll understand why. I hope he writes a song about the Roach Motel we both shared. That was fun.
I close out the night with my tribute to what many consider to be the greatest Grateful Dead show of all time, May 8, 1977. This being the 40th anniversary of said show, I would be remiss if I didn’t pay homage. I don’t consider it the best show they ever played. I do think it deserves to be in anyone’s collection. I would also place it in the top 5 or 10. It was probably their best show of the Spring 77 tour, and the recording itself is pristine. The playing is spot on and the jams are tight. A bit too tight at times. What makes it so highly considered is that this bootleg, which first made an appearance in trading circle back in the mid-80s, was the first high quality recording and show of it’s kind from that era to make the trading scene. Everyone loved it, and deservedly so. But to call it the BEST EVER? I can think of at least five other shows throughout their career that beat it. But that’s for another post at another time.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on the playlist below, and click the links above to stream or download this sparkly delight.
Next week I have so much more music wonders to share with you all.
Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Radio Valencia in SF
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Drug PSA: James Brown
I Feel Good: James Brown
My Thang: James Brown
Stagger Lee: James Brown
It’s A Man’s World: James Brown
Get on the Good Foot: James Brown
Bodyheat: James Brown
Since You Been Gone: James Brown
People Who Criticize: James Brown
Funky Drummer: James Brown
The Grunt: The JBs
Teenage Phase: Adam Mackintosh
Big Chief: Professor Longhair
Gator Bait: The Gaturs
Love Lots of Lovin’: Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris
Gospel Bird: Sam and the Soul Machine
Scarlet Begonias/Fire on the Mountain: Grateful Dead (05-08-1977 Barton Hall, Cornell U, Ithaca, NY)
Ace of Spades: Motorhead —- It’s the Eight of May. Get it?
I Got the Feeling: James Brown
For those who aren’t in the know, Eric McFadden played guitar for George Clinton and P-Funk at one time. Check out this Maggot Brain below.