Kate Chopin's "The Awakening"
Kate Chopin is an American writer who spent a good portion of her life living in southern Louisiana. Now considered one of the most important novels written by an American woman in the 19 th Century, "The Awakening", was widely condemned, and considered vulgar and morbid upon its release in 1899. It wasn't until long after Chopin's death in 1904, that the novel began to see praise amongst scholars in the 50s. This, along with the resurgence of her short stories throughout the 20s and 30s, led to what became one of the greater literary revivals in the United States. You can read more about Chopin and her other works below.
Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen
A Londoner by birth, Jon got his first taste of New Orleans from an uncle who had spent some time living in the French Quarter. Cleary eventually crossed the big pond and made New Orleans his home. After 2 years of listening and learning, and a stint back in England, he began hustling and gigging like crazy, playing weekly spots at Tipitina's and The Maple Leaf. After much success on his own, Cleary, who is also a touring member of Bonnie Raitt's band, set out in search of a permanent band of his own to grow with. The void was eventually filled by Cornell Williams, Derwin "Big D" Perkins, and Jeffery "Jellybean" Alexander, and so the Absolute Monster Gentlemen were born.
Absolute Monster Gentlemen on iTunes
Jon Cleary on Myspace
Cornell "Continental" Williams
Born to play the bass, his first one was an electric guitar passed down from an uncle, of which he removed two of the strings, and tuned the rest down an octave to get a bass sound. Since his mother was a church organist, Cornell spent most of his time playing there. This led to his meeting with eventual band-mate, Big D Perkins, whom he played in The Friendly Travelers with. Cornell also has a new group, called Pokit Tyme, which features Perkins as well.
Cornell "Continental" Williams on MySpace
Derwin "Big D" Perkins
Big D also began his music career in the church, and it was those gospel gigs that made people take notice. Derwin has had the opportunity to record and perform with local greats, such as Snooks Eaglin and the late Raymond Myles, as well as international acts such a Master P and Juvenile. Derwin and Cornell were discovered by Cleary while performing with the hot gospel act, The Friendly Travelers. The three musicians fit together seamlessly.
Derwin "Big D" Perkins on MySpace
Jeffery "Jellybean" Alexander
Rounding out the Monster Gentlemen on drums, is Jellybean Alexander. A self taught drummer, Jellybean "came out of the womb bangin'" as he puts it. At the time of his joining, Jellybean was playing with R&B cover band, PTC (Posin' till Closin'). You can also see Jeffery playing with Papa Grows Funk.
Jeffery "Jellybean" Alexander on MySpace
Papa Grows Funk
Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana
Big Chief Tootie of the Yellow Pocahontas tribe is a Mardi Gras Indian icon. During a time when the Indian culture was laced with violence and many battles ending in bloodshed, Big Chief Tootie emerged and changed the game from fighting with guns and knives, to battling with skill and craftsmanship. He became known as the Peaceful Warrior and was crowned as the first and only Chief of Chiefs. Tootie passed away at the City Hall podium in 2005 while addressing the City Council about the rough treatment of Mardi Gras Indians by police on St. Joseph's Night 2005; the Battlefield, as Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters) refers to it. His last words were "I want this to stop", when he was suddenly struck by a fatal heart attack. Thousands turned out for his Jazz Funeral in the Treme, creating one of the largest second-lines this city has seen.
Tootie's Last Suit
This documentary explores the complex history of the Mardi Gras Indian culture while telling the story of Allison "Tootie" Montana.
Musicians at Davis's Party
Among the many musicians that have come to jam at Davis McAlary's (Steve Zahn) party, is Charlie Kohlmeyer. Charlie is a local drummer who has played with John Ragusa, the I Tell You What band, and The Improvisational Arts Council, of which fellow party-goer, Jimbo Walsh, is also a member.
I Tell You What on MySpace
Davis Rogan makes yet another appearance, jumping in on the piano.
Davis Rogan on MySpace
Tara, who plays the stripper with the pipes, belts out Irma Thomas's "I Wish Someone Would Care". Tara has been working locally in theater, both on and off stage, as an actress and choreographer, for the past ten years. You can see her this month in "To Kill A Mockingbird" at the Nims Blackbox Theater. Check out NOCCA's website for show times.
James "Jimbo" Walsh
Jimbo Walsh of the Naked Orchestra, Improvisational Arts Council, and the Jimbo Walsh Quartet takes up the bass for another Davis McAlary (Steve Zahn) jam session.
Tyrus, also a member of Davis's (Steve Zahn) studio band, shows up to the party with horn in hand. Tyrus is well know for his time as a member of the High Steppers Brass Band, as well as having performed with the Free Agents, and Rebirth Brass Bands.
Joe Braun, who made an appearance in episode 2 with The Jazz Vipers at The Spotted Cat, returns to Treme with his sax to join in on the night's festivities. Take a time out to spend some time with the Jazz Vipers.
Jazz Vipers on MySpace
Another repeat performer, Glen Andrews, was first seen in Episode 1, playing trumpet with the Rebirth. You can find Glen with the rest of Rebirth at the Maple Leaf on Tuesdays. Rebirth Brass Band
Recognizable by his long grey hair and soul patch, John Magnie of the subdudes, drops by the party as well, and sits in on piano for "Agent 00 Soul". When told his previous band was too loud, he pulled some friends together and decided to take a more subdued approach to the music. Thus, the subdudes were born. Today, the subdudes are as successful and busy as ever, with a national tour currently under way.
Subdudes on Myspace
Subdudes on iTunes
Liuzza's by the Track
Liuzza's is a favorite Mid-City joint among locals. They are known for their unique take on the BBQ Shrimp PoBoy, where they hollow out the french bread roll and stuff it with goodness! Its located right by the Fairgrounds, so stop in after a day at the races, or during Jazzfest, held annually at the track.
Liuzza's by the Track