Krewe du Vieux
The Krewe du Vieux, or Vieux Carre (which means French Quarter), is a New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewe. It is one of the earliest parades of the New Orleans Carnival calendar, and is known for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing some of the best Brass and Jazz bands in New Orleans.
Keep up with the Krewe du Vieux
This is Toni Bernette's (Melissa Leo) not-so-secret weapon in getting past the desk sergeant to speak with Lieutenant Colson (David Morse). King Cake, which was originally taken from a Catholic tradition in celebration of the Epiphany, made its way over to the United States via the French settlers in New Orleans. The Louisiana version is a round, cinnamon roll-like cake, made of brioche dough; which is then frosted, sprinkled in purple, green and gold for the colors of Carnival, and come with a variety of fillings. Included with the filling, each cake has a small, plastic baby trinket, sometimes said to represent baby Jesus, hidden inside. The person who finds the baby is the lucky one who gets to bring King Cake to the next party. The first cake is eaten on January 6 th, the Twelfth Night and first day of Carnival, and is consumed through the last day, which is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
The King Cake Origins
Order a King Cake online (sorry they're not currently in season!)
Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) is gifted a new 'bone by Mr. Toyama (Tatsuo Ichikawa) who is working with the Tipitina's Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to support Louisiana and New Orleans' irreplaceable music community and preserve the state's unique musical cultures. The Foundation works to support childhood music education, the professional development of adult musicians, and the increased profile and viability of Louisiana music as a cultural, educational, and economic resource. Just last weekend they held the annual "Instruments A Comin'" benefit which goes towards purchasing musical instruments for New Orleans Public Schools. Find out more about the Tipitina's Foundation and upcoming events here:
JoAnn Clevenger, owner and general manager of Upperline, guides Creighton (John Goodman) and Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo) to their seat where they will soon be indulging in some of Chef Ken Smith's fine Creole dishes. In addition to the fantastic food at Upperline, the restaurant is also home to Clevenger's treasure trove of local art which she's been collecting for over 40 years. Upperline is located in Uptown at 1413 Upperline Street; call ahead as Reservations are recommended.
Roy Blount, Jr.
Roy Blount is the clever writer who may or may not be mocking Creighton (John Goodman) and his YouTube rants. Hailing from Decatur, GA, Blount is an esteemed author who has worn many different hats over the years. From his one man show at American Place Theater in NY in the 80s, to reporting at Elvis' funeral, to playing alongside Stephen King and Dave Barry in the all authors rock band "Rock Bottom Remainders", Blount has had a rather interesting career to say the least. He's done all of this and more in addition to writing twenty-one published books. Find more on Roy Blount, Jr. here:
Roy Blount, Jr.
Word of Mouth Recording Studio
Along with convincing all the musician's to work for cheap, Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn) also convinces Tim Stanbaugh to let them record in his studio, Word of Mouth Recordings. The studio specializes in recording Jazz, Funk, R&B, Brass Bands, Gospel and Latin music with a few of their many clients being Craig Klein, Donald Harrison, Jr., Tom McDermott, and Big Sam's Funky Nation. Word of Mouth is located on the West Bank in historic Algiers Point, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, at 400 Belleville Street.
Word of Mouth on MySpace
Shame, Shame, Shame
DJ Davis McAlary's (Steve Zahn) anthem is a new take on an old Smiley Lewis song of the same name. Treme co-creator, David Simon, penned the lyrics for this version, which is already a smash hit in Davis's eyes. The following musicians are those who helped Davis turn his idea into a reality.
Smiley is a classic New Orleans rhythm and blues singer, and also the original composer of "Shame, Shame, Shame". However, his version is slightly different and less political, in that he's singing to Miss Roxy, and not the President of the United States. Listen to the original version here:
Smiley Lewis on iTunes
Dr. Jimbo Walsh is a New Orleans bassist who has played with a number of bands. He also holds a Doctorate in Composition and is the Conductor of The Naked Orchestra, a 23 member band which features guitarist Jonathan Freilich. Their second release, "From Pandemonium to a View of Eidolons" was released just days before Katrina hit, and features several of Jimbo's compositions. Jimbo also plays keys in his own group, The Jimbo Walsh Quartet.
The Naked Orchestra on iTunes
Davis Rogan, who we've mentioned before as being the partial inspiration of Steve Zahn's character and the writer of the crowd pleaser "Strippers", makes his appearance in Davis McAlary's band on the piano.
Davis Rogan on MySpace
Derrick "Mr. Smoker" Freeman began classical training in piano and percussion at the age of 8. By 20 he was playing steady gigs with Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers. He has played in other various successful projects over the years including a hip-hop brass group called "Coolbone", "All That" which included Davis Rogan, and Crönk, which sent him touring all over the country before he rejoined Kermit in 2004. Derrick currently plays the drums in Kermit's band and has also started his own group called "Smokers World".
Derrick Freeman on MySpace
Ellman, who joins the lineup on sax, is probably most well known for being a member of the popular New Orleans funk outfit, Galactic. Galactic's recent work with local bounce rappers on their new album, "Ya-Ka-May", inspired Ellman to take things a step further. Combining out-takes from the "Ya-Ka-May" sessions with old school samples from New Orleans rap, Ellman put together a fascinating mixtap titled "Gypsyphonic Disko". Download the mixtape for free here:
Gypsyphonic Disko on MySpace
Also featured on sax is Aurora Nealand. Like most New Orleans musicians, she is involved in numerous projects. She currently plays sax for the Panorama Jazz Band, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?, Sweet Nothings, the New Orleans Moonshiners, (who play every Thursday at the Spotted Cat), and several bands out of New York. And though we would love to link to every one of her bands' websites, we're going to just link to Aurora's as she mentions all of them on her page. We promise they're all worth going through the work of looking them up yourself!
We would hope you know a thing or two about Kermit by now. But in any case, he does what he does best and takes the lead on trumpet for "Shame, Shame, Shame".
Kermit Ruffins on iTunes
Tyrus has played on many albums with many bands, both as a trombonist and trumpet player. He was a member of the The High Steppers Brass Band, and has played with many others, including the Free Agents Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama to name a few. He steps in on trombone in this episode.
Rounding out Davis's band, are the Pfister Sisters, who lend their voices to Davis's recreation of Smiley Lewis's "Shame, Shame, Shame". Made up of Holley Bendsten, Debbie Davis, and Yvette Voelker, the Sisters are well known for doing some recreating of their own, as they recreate and incorporate threepart vocal jazz harmony arrangements of the Boswell Sisters into their own music. For 3 decades the Pfister Sisters have been touring and singing with artists such as Jimmy Buffet, Linda Ronstadt, and Boswell Sister herself, Vet Boswell.
Pfister Sisters on iTunes
Sazerac: The Nectar of New Orleans
As of 2008 the Louisiana State Legislature made Sazerac the Official Cocktail of the City of New Orleans. How cool is that? The drink consists of Absinthe, Rye Whiskey, Simple Syrup, Bitters, and a lemon peel. You can find the recipe and more about the classic cocktail here:
Many people across America know Tom Colicchio, one of Janette Desautel's (Kim Dickens) unexpected dinner guests, as the lead judge from Bravo's Emmy and James Beard Award Winning culinary series, Top Chef. During this time of rebuilding, many nationally renowned chefs would come to New Orleans for various charity gigs (as is the case in this episode) in efforts to help restore New Orleans cuisine. Just last week, Tom was awarded the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef which named him the Top Chef in the Nation. He is also the founder of Craft restaurants which you can find
more about here:
French born Eric Ripert, is the internationally known Executive Chef of Le Bernardin in New York City, a position he's held since 1994. The last five years have been very good for him and the restaurant as they have been winning multiple awards annually. Ripert is also the owner of several other restaurants; West End Bistro, 10 Arts, and Blue. He has been a guest judge on Top Chef numerous times, and debuted his own TV show this past fall on Public Television called Avec Eric.
David Chang is the Korean-American chef behind the string of restaurants under the Momofuku brand. In 2008, he opened "Momofuku Ko", a 12 seat restaurant that only takes reservations 6 days i advance. It has caused a lot of frustration for people as their website begins taking reservations at 10:00 AM each day and are booked by 10:05 AM. However, critics say its worth the wait and effort. Chang was also listed on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2010.
Wylie got his start in the kitchen working for Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the Michelin 3-starred restaurant, "Jean-Georges". He worked as a chef in several other high-profile restaurants before opening "wd~50" (named for his initials and street address) in Manhattan's Lower East Side in 2003. He has starred as a judge on Top Chef and recently competed in Bravo's Top Chef Masters.
New Orleans Music Exchange
Located at 3342 Magazine Street, right on the border between the Garden District and Uptown, the people at New Orleans Music Exchange are dedicated to finding the right instrument for you, no matter how big or small your budget. Home to a wide selection of new and used instruments, you can buy, sell, trade, or rent here. They have worked closely with the Tipitina's Foundation for many years and also give music lessons on a variety of instruments.
New Orleans Music Exchange
Free Agents Brass Band
The Free Agents are one of the newest Brass Bands in town, forming just shortly after Katrina in September of 2005. Band Leader, Ellis Joseph, put together the band while displaced in Atlanta, GA, hoping to give other Nola natives the resonance of home. They returned home in time for this particular Second Line in 2006, where we hear them play their post-Katrina anthem, "We Made it Through that Water". The Free Agents quickly earned the respect of the community and are often referred to as "The People's Brass Band".
Free Agents Brass Band on MySpace
Free Agents on Facebook
This bar in the Treme is a shrine to the late Ernie K-Doe, best known for his 1961 hit Mother-in-Law (written by Allen Toussaint). His presence can still be felt at the bar where a mannequin of him remains to this day wearing K-Doe's stage outfits, which is seen at the Krewe du Vieux meeting. The lounge was nearly destroyed in the storm, but was restored and reopened a year later.
Candlelight Lounge is easy to spot, as its the building with the large street-side mural of "Uncle Lionel" Batiste, the beloved percussionist from the Treme Brass Band. This is the neighborhood dive where Davis (Steve Zahn) gets himself into a bit of trouble with another patron due to his usual running of his mouth. Stop by on a Wednesday when the place is hoppin' for the Treme Brass Band's weekly gig. Candlelight Lounge is located at 925 N. Robertson St.
Big Easy Trading Post
This is the pawn shop where Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce) discovers his pawned 'bone. Stop by their location at 116 Carondelet Street.
Big Easy Trading Post