Here are the Best CD releases of 2011, handpicked by WWOZ's show hosts. Many of the discs are by local New Orleans artists, while others are from national and international acts—and all of them make great gifts for yourself or loved ones.
A.J. Rodrigue, "The Boudin Man" [view show host profile]
Ratty Scurvics and the Black Market Butchers - In Time
Big Freedia - Scion A/V Presents Big Freedia
David Kunian [view show host profile]
Jelly Roll Justice [view show host profile]Overnight Jazz with Jelly Roll Justice, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 3-6am
Jazz from the French Market with Jelly Roll Justice, Thursday 4-7pm
Jim Hobbs [view show host profile]Cajun and Zydeco with Charles Laborde or Jim Hobbs, Sunday 12-2pm
Joel “Heavy D” Dinerstein [view show host profile]The Morning Set with Joel "Heavy D" Dinerstein, Mondays 6-9am
Mark LaMaire [view show host profile]The Morning Set with Mark LaMaire, Tuesdays 6-9am
Missy Bowen [view show host profile]Blues and R&B with Missy Bowen, Thursdays 7-10pm
Camile Baudoin - Old Bayou Blues
Yes I produced this, and am prejudiced, but this stands out for its musical and production quality and because very few artists dare take on acoustic music these days, especially someone known for his rock/funk electric performances. This CD has a great story, well-executed, and is a quiet hit.
Maria Muldaur - Steady Love
One of her best efforts. A couple of clunkers, but generally an all around A effort from a woman who can deliver if she chooses to. We are glad she let New Orleans help her make that choice.
The Butanes - Long Time Thing
They backed up Earl King after the Radiators ceded the job, and now rule the R & B/blues scene in the upper midwest. This release with Willie Walker on vocals is consistent, high-energy, and true to the soul.
Dave "Snaker" Ray - My Blue Heaven
A fan-driven release of some of Dave Ray's last material before his totally tragic death from cancer in 2004. A treasure if only to hear Dave's commentary, but his silky growl and understated-because-he's-that-damned-good-and-doesn't-need-to-show-off guitar work make me hollow inside, sad because I will never hear him again in person, and happy that this new CD is here. (One of the greatest days of my life was the day he drove an hour out to my cabin to jam with Camile. I made the best pork roast of my life that afternoon, using the kitchen bustle as an excuse to eavesdrop on those two playing together, wishing I had a way to record them.)
Marcia Ball - Roadside Attractions
Marcia's best in a while. A bunch of winners in this one - it can stand being in the CD player on "repeat" without me getting sick of it. That's a backhanded compliment, but it's really a compliment.
Sally Young [view show host profile]
REISSUES & COMPILATIONS:
Russell [view show host profile]
Sondra Bibb [view show host profile]Jazz from the French Market with Sondra Bibb, Mondays 4-7pm
T.R. Johnson [view show host profile]Jazz from the French Market with T.R. Johnson, Tuesday 4-7 p.m.
And the best re-issues of the year:
Add a comment below if you would like to submit your own picks for 2011 or to comment on the picks above.