Lyndsey Beaulieu was born and raised in New Orleans but moved away to attend the University of Virginia. After college she lived in Los Angeles where she became part of the HBO family as an assistant at the HBO offices, then as a Writers' Assistant on ‘Big Love.’ She has been with ‘Treme’ since the pilot and currently works as the Writers' Office Coordinator.

 

Entries in eric overmeyer (4)

Friday
Jun102011

Eric Overmyer’s Music Crypt – Part III

By Eric Overmyer

Hoodoo queens are a whole subgenre of New Orleans music.  Dr. John does his version of "Marie Laveau" on the unjustly neglected 'N'awlin: Dis, Dat, or D'Udda' (which had the misfortune to come out in the summer of 2005).  I have an abiding fondness for Oscar "Papa" Celestin's version from the Fifties.  There are a number of different songs about another hoodoo queen, Mama Roux, including those by Dr. John, Henry Butler and Wanda Rouzan.  And then there's "Mojo Hanna," in versions by the Neville Brothers, and Aaron Neville on his own.  I like Aaron's version, but Art's lead vocals for the Brothers are superb, too.  "She's a gumbo cooker/And an alligator hooker/Make a dead man jump and shout/Talking about a woman named Hanna/Where she live?/Thirteenth Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana/What she do?/Tell me she's a mojo worker."  Work it up, Hannah.  If you don't think the various Neville versions are genius, listen to Tami Lynn's early take on the same song.

Early Aaron Neville?  Nothing better than "Struttin' On Sunday."  Late Aaron Neville?  His version of the eccentric Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence's "I Bid You Goodnight" is transcendent.  Praise Jesus.  And from the same album, 'Warm Your Heart,' "Angola Bound" is in the classic tradition of great prison songs like "Shoo Fly," another New Orleans subgenre, alas.  "Too many mornings gonna wake up soon/Oh Lord and eat my breakfast by the light of the moon/If you see my mama tell her this for me/I got a mighty long time I never go free/Angola bound now, Angola bound/I got lucky last summer now/When I got my time/My boy got hundred, I got ninety-nine."  Dr. John can be heard on the chorus harmony.

Getting back to hoodoo, how about a couple of white boys spooked/thrilled by the whole idea?  Sonny Landreth's "Congo Square." from his great 'South of I-10' album.  That slide guitar is genuine gris-gris.  And the drums?   Like the song says, "Might be superstition but some kind of something going on down there/It's that old time tradition when they play the drums at night in Congo Square/You can hear 'em in the distance/And the old folks up the bayou say a prayer/That's when the voodoo people gather/And they play the drums at night in Congo Square."  Some kind of something going on down there, indeed.  Marie Laveau had devotees from all walks of life, black, white, rich, poor, slave, free.  That's New Orleans, that's Creole-ization.

Some more Creole-ization -- BeauSoleil's "Conja (New Orleans 1786)" from their 'Cajun Conja' album.  The great Cajun band has also delved deeply into the Creole and Zydeco traditions and acknowledged the ties and connections -- and this song celebrates the coming of voodoo to Louisiana. "From Santo Domingo, Guadeloupe and Martinique/Came the voodoo in 1786/There were people of color, seeking their freedom/Musical sorcerers, root doctors and griots/Reposing their powers on New Orleans."  The song goes on to reference the historical Dr. John, a rival of Marie Laveau.

Friday
May272011

Talking ‘Treme’ in Los Angeles

By Lolis Eric Elie

On ‘Treme’ we try to illustrate the role that culture played in bringing New Orleans back to life after Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures. It’s no accident that the first episode of Season 1 opens with a second line parade, albeit a somewhat anemic one. Eric Overmyer, one of the show’s executive producers, has observed this interplay between culture and recovery both as a writer on the show and a part-time resident of the city. He’ll be talking about this subject next month in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. 

 

Art, Music and Survival: New Orleans Post-Katrina, An Evening with Eric Overmyer, will feature Eric in conversation with Josh Kun, Associate Professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. In addition to Eric, there will be other guests from the ‘Treme’ family to be named later. The event will take place Monday, June 6, at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.aloudla.org.

Friday
May202011

Eric Overmyer’s Music Crypt – Part II

By Eric Overmyer

My list of semi-obscure/not-quite forgotten New Orleans/South Louisiana albums/songs/performers/artists. 

On the cover of ‘Goin' Back to New Orleans,’ Dr. John is in full Indian regalia.  And his cover version of the title tune is fantastic.  But so is the original, by Joe Liggins and His HoneydrippersDeacon John does a good one too.  Joe Liggins was one of many New Orleanians, especially from the Creole Faubourgs (Treme, the Marigny), who chose their own version of flight and exile and went to Los Angeles post Jim Crow.

Another New Orleans singer who's as forgotten as Joe Liggins is Chuck Carbo, who led a doo wop group called The Spiders (remember them?  No?)  Chuck recorded a number of albums, and some of his most popular songs were "Black Drawers," "Drawers Trouble," and "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On."  I know what he was thinking about.  For years, his "Second Line On Monday" could only be heard on WWOZ and found on the flip side of the 45 of "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On," but it was reissued last year on ‘Chuck Carbo With Ed Frank's New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Band.’  Sonny and Annie sang it in Jackson Square in Season 1's Mardi Gras Episode.  "He must have been a VIP, for the Second Line to wind/From the CBD to the Vieux Carré /To Claiborne and Ursulines."  Talk about local.  Chuck Carbo should have been that kind of VIP, and Ed Frank, too, a now half-forgotten, and never famous, genius New Orleans piano professor. 

Like Ronnie Barron.  A running buddy of Dr. John's, a virtuoso player and singer, a Boogalese from the West Bank.  Check out his amazing vocal on his own compositions, "Louisiana Flood" on ‘It All Comes Back’ and "Broke My Baby's Heart” on ‘Better Days,’ both with the great Paul Butterfield.  There are a million versions of Earl King's "Big Chief" (five hundred thousand by Professor Longhair alone), but one of the best is Ronnie's, off his own solo album, ‘My New Orleans Soul,’ a great and undeservedly forgotten record.  He even whistles like Fess.  And drink some "Pink Champagne" off the same joint.

Goin' Back to New Orleans is not one of Dr. John's obscure albums, but ‘Tango Palace’ is, and it has some of my favorite Mac Rebennack tunes.  He wrote the album with the equally legendary Doc Pomus.  The title tune is tremendous: "Every town's got a tango palace…Every town's got a tango dancer/Pretendin' Latin ancestry…"  If only.  A great version of Chris Kenner's “Something You Got," the wonder "Louisiana Lullaby," and my personal favorite, "I Thought I Heard New Orleans Say."  "Red beans and pinball machines/Chicory coffee and hoodoo queens/File gumbo and pralines/Everything's hot down in New Orleans/I thought I heard New Orleans say/They is a street parade/Down on Esplanade/If it rains we'll feel no pain/Cause we gonna march today."  Yeah you right!  Tighten up with dat umberella!  Tell your bidness!