Monday, December 31, 2007

Buddy Flett is Shreveport artist of the year; see him with the Bluebirds Mon, Dec 31, at Jayne Marie on Cross Lake, 5:30 to 9 pm

Buddy Flett, Jimmie Caskey
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Big year for Buddy Flett.

In 07 a long train came through, the conductor being former Shreveporter Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The passengers were a bunch of blues shouters and the destination was 10 Days Out: Blues from the Crossroads. Everyone on the dvd / cd project seemed to have gotten off on Flett's stop for Honky Tonk.

Happily for Flett, he was packing baggage of the smartest kind, a new cd called Mississippi Sea.

Mississippi Sea, a delta blues project cut with Steve Howell, has won excellent reviews. It's a well-made piece of latter-day blues from a fellow who lives at the intersection of black and white cultures.

Sample Mississippi Sea at

And of you want to ride the train with Buddy and brother Bruce Flett, wave your hands tonight, Dec 31, at Jayne Maries on Cross Lake. They're at the station from 5:30 to 9 pm.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fresh music recommendations via musician and KSCL dj Tyler Davis

Matt Sansalone, Tyler Davis
Originally uploaded by trudeau
"If you are a fan of driving around in your car singing "la-la-la-la, do-do-do-do!" to tunes that you make up off the top of your head, then you would probably love the musical styling of Prints. Certain fun and uplifting tracks such as "Easy Magic" or "Too Much Water" will make you feel less alone in your car if your friends have refused to ride with you due to your… creative nature," says Tyler Davis, music maven with a show on KSCL, 91.3, on Weds from 6 to 8 pm.

Asked for his recommendations in recent music, the musician and Centenary College student also waved his torch over . . .

Cass McCombs' third album, Dropping the Writ: "This is one of the most dynamic pieces of musical talent you will experience. Melodies are so defined yet intangible; one may feel the urge to sing along to his songs, but will soon find that any attempt is thwarted by his beautiful, light-as-air vocals. The music itself is hard to define in terms of genre. There seems to be various forms of rock, folk, pop, and psychedelic.

Thurston Moore: "With a career spanning three decades and several genres, Thurston Moore, co-founder of the legendary post-punk noise band Sonic Youth, recently released Trees Outside the Academy. It is a lyrically poetic and sonically acoustic frolic through the acid-washed audio mind of Thurston Moore.

The Album is predominantly a folk-based acoustic album, yet some tracks exhibit signatures of Sonic Youth-esque noise intros such as on the track "American Coffin."

Find KSCL's Top 100 albums of the year here, says Jon Schleuss.

Dennis O'Bryant: finishing the year with a portrait of the artists' teacher, Erin Lambers

Artist Dennis O'Bryant has had a productive year in painting. But he's had an even bigger year of growth in pottery. The 2 pursuits meet in this portrait, Teacher.

Says O'Bryant, "This woman has had a big impact on my work this year and I am truly grateful for her presence in my life. She is half my age and is my pottery teacher.

Sometimes I have fun bucking her rules; she is a good sport and takes it in stride but she challenges me and I her - a very amiable artist/friend relationship. I have noticed her work growing and changing as well. I enjoy lifting her up - with just a touch of envy for her powerfulness and grace in her craft and art."

Asked about his current artistic direction, O'Bryant responded, "Where am I going? Oddly enough when I let go and let the higher power just move through me - there is great art to be created. One thing (I think) I've noticed is that the influence of clay modeling has shown up in my painting; the pieces were more 2 dimensional before.

The best thing is to let it unfold while I continue only to be the instument.

The new year is always a beautiful time for a "clean slate", a fresh a few weeks a trip to Amsterdam, more sketches, paintings and of course more of the beautiful clay sculpture under the quidance of my friend and teacher, Erin Lambers."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Deck the Halls art and crafts market at Artspace, Shreveport, open through Sat, Dec 29

Oils, acrylics, sketches, photography and sculpture ranging from primitive to uptown are on sale through Sat, Dec. 29, at Artspace Shreveport.

There are earrings, necklaces and tchotchkes, too.

Hours are like 10 am to 6 pm.

Call 318-673-6535.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by director Jared Watson for Shreveport Little Theater opens Jan 10, 7:30 pm, for 3-night run at LSUS Theater

John Bogan, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
John Bogan, above, is one of a fluent group of actors bringing the Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to LSUS Theater, says Bobby Darrow.

The cast includes Rachael Magill as Maggie, Wesley Weathersby as Brick, John Bogan as Big Daddy, Patricia Reeves as Big Mama, Josh Talley as Gooper, and Paula Rae Brown as Mae, with supporting cast members John D. Cook as Doctor Baugh, Jamie Norwood as Reverend Tooker, and Carolyn Bryant as Brightie. In addition, there are five children in the production.

Jared Watson directs and designs the production.

Tyler Krieg is assistant director and Hope Gutierrez is production stage manager. Other creative team members include David White, lighting design; David Anderson, sound design; Judy Disbrow, wig design; and, Michael Boyd, production photography. Casting was by Alexandra Seal.

Robert Darrow is SLT’s producing/artistic director.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will be staged January 10, 11, 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center Theater on the LSUS campus.

Tickets: $15, adults
$13, students, seniors, and military.

Mary Thoma Acting Workshops for youths and teens on Jan 5 at East Bank Theater

On Jan 5, young actors will have the opportunity to work with
professional actress/director and instructor Mary Thoma (Mr Brooks, Last Lullaby, Not Like Everyone Else). She will offer a workshop in Acting Fundamentals at the East Bank Theatre for two age groups:

9 am - 12:00 Acting Fundamentals for Young People, age 8 to 12.

1:00 - 4:00pm Acting Fundamentals for Teens, age 13 - 17.

$60 per child (discounts are available for siblings)

East Bank Theater: (318) 741-8310
Mary Thoma@ .

Port Belly Project trio performing at La Boardwalk club RWB Nightlife Thur, Dec 27, 9 pm

Port Belly Project members Kahina, Chala and Habibi will be performing 2 sets at RWB Nightlife in the Lousiana Boardwalk in Bossier this Thursday night, says Port Belly's Kathy Fontaine. The first set will be at 9pm, 2nd set at 9:40.

In an email to her friends, Fontaine said, "Please come, have a cold beer or glass of wine and yell. These guys don't know what to make of us!" At the RWB Nightlife website the dancers are referred to as the "Shakira" Belly Dancers.

Fontaine says, "RWB is on the "downriver" side of the LA Boardwalk, ie, come out of the parking garage, turn left and follow yer nose."

RWB: 742-9950

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Digital studies and the next generation of artists: a brief interview with teen Insun Chong

Insun Chong is a magical young fellow who attends Caddo Magnet High in Shreveport. He is ranked in fencing, in math competition and is a National Merit Semifinalist. Insun also loves art and has been working on serious drawing as well as fun graphics for several years. Recently I queried him about diigtal sketching.

"The programs that I've used are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Corel Painter. I've mostly used my tablet for fine art studies.

My time originally was spent more on traditional media such as oils and charcoals. However, after time, my time spent on the tablet has dramatically increased. Even though digital work isn't quite up to par with the actual stuff, the benefits, I believe, far outweigh the cons: there is no mess, waiting for paint to dry, or fear of damage to the work.

The most important factors are that a tablet should be big enough to get a comfortable representation of the screen eg. similar to the screen's size. That way, the user is given the best experience in terms of speed and ease of use. Also, a good tablet is a tablet that will sense the tilt of the pen. Most advanced drawing programs such as Photoshop or Painter will support brushes that change shapes based upon the tilt of the pen.

Another point is that software is pretty important. Different types of software can be used for different things and can really change the user-experience.

The Bamboo tablets (editor: a new line by Wacom; I bought one for $67) are good for recreational use, but if you're actually looking at serious drawing, the Intuos line (starting about $370, acc to my quick search) is probably your best bet. The Bamboos are a bit lacking in sensitivity and features, making them hard to use for fine art."

The Great Debaters: movie made in region wins plaudits for literacy, passion, history, performances

Denzel Washington
Originally uploaded by Blu3_Sky777
Stephen Holden writes in the NY Times: "Its steadfast humanity, its literacy, its passionate belief in education, its faith that history teaches invaluable lessons and its strong, emotionally grounded performances: There are enough things to admire about “The Great Debaters,” the heavily fictionalized true story of The Little Debate Team That Could, that your impulse is to forgive the movie its shortcomings."

Locally, it's at Tinseltown. Also showing there are 2 other touted movies: Juno and Sweeney Todd.

Debaters: PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Mild sexual situations and some strong language.

Background on the production: Alex Kent on Louisiana Movies.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Join the Blanc et Noir Marching Society and second line to a funky brass band in the Krewe of Highland Parade on Sun, Feb 3

B & N 1
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Find out more about adding a New Orleans vibe to Carnival in North Louisiana by attending the Blanc et Noir Marching Society's Twelfth Night Brunch at Brother's Seafood at noon on Sat, Jan 5. The lunch is casual and you pay your own tariff.

Blanc et Noir membership comes by sending a check for $30 per adult or teen (children are free and welcome) to Robert Trudeau, 912 Monrovia St, Shreveport 71106.

There will also be a Costume Workshop on Sat, Jan 19, noon, location tba. Recommended: bring your rag bag, scissors, paint, fabric glue, felt, umbrella, fringe and black blazer.

In truth, there are no color theme or costume strictures for B&N. Except we want everyone to mask. And face paint will do.

More at the Blanc et Noir web site.

The gift of music: Asian revolution in manufacturing amps, guitars, keyboards makes music tools more affordable

The new Super Champ XD is a good example of Fender taking advantage of Chinese manufacturing. They're selling a 15-watt tube amp - with digital fx built in - for about $300. And the amp, with 10" speaker, is 24 lbs. It's light in weight but loud enough to play beside a drummer, I've read. Might it be a perfect model for boomers like myself who want vintage vibe in their gear to take to an improv session?

This particular amp has caused excitement at Fender Forum. If you love playing blues and rock n roll, this'll get your juices going. I tried the Super Champ this week and was delighted by the sonic palette. Didn't give it a high-volume check. See what you think. Shreveport Music got their first one this week.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fountains Of Wayne have Song of the Year as bestowed by the Geography Teacher's Association of North Louisiana

Fountains Of Wayne
Originally uploaded by
At, one of my favorite new sites of the year, I found a recommendation for the latest album by the Fountains of Wayne. Incidentally, this droll Wayne conflation, "New Routine," has been recognized as Song of the Year by the Geography Teacher's Association of North Louisiana, according to H. Kenneth Berg.

Two men sit in the corner of a diner
Both of them look quite a bit like Carl Reiner
One of them is smoking even though the sign says not to
The waitress says to stop, he says sorry but I've got to
They tell each other jokes that they both know that they both know
They talk about real estate, prostates, Costco
And when they finish up they leave a twenty on the table
The waitress picks it up with their half-eaten bagels
And when her shift is over she goes back to Mineola
Sits on the couch, opens up a diet cola and says

I'm so, I'm so sick of this place I'm so ready for a change of pace
I'm just looking for a new routine
So she spins her globe and the next thing you know
She's living in Liechtenstein

She doesn't speak German, only high school Spanish
But within a few weeks she discovers she can manage
But there's not much going on except for banking and skiing
So she breaks up with the man that she just started seeing
He drops her at the airport in a diesel Mercedes
Thinks to himself I'm so feeble with the ladies and I

I'm so, I'm so sick of this place
I'm so ready for a change of pace
I'm just looking for a new routine
So he grabs his cap
Throws a dart at a map
And now he's living in Bowling Green

He talks his way into
A job at La Quinta
Falls for the manager
Who's moving back to Canada
She's tried Roanoke, Reykjavik, Rome
Says you're really sweet but I just want to go home

Two men sit in the corner of a diner
One of them says I might take a trip to China
It's one of those things we should do before we're too old
Thanks but no thanks, bring me back an egg roll
Bring it back

Interview and historic footage of Maestro John Schenaut, Shreveport Symphony Orhestra founder, Sun, Dec 23, 9:30 pm

KPXJ Channel 21 in Shreveport will broadcast the premier of Dixie Film’s new documentary Shenaut: A Maestro’s Life on Sun, Dec 23, at 9:30 pm, says David Cole.

It is the story of John Shenaut’s 33 year career as the music director of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.

Documentary director John Fertitta interviewed the Maestro earlier this year. Joining Fertitta is Kermit Poling, station manager of KDAQ Red River Radio and for twenty-two years the voice of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Poling, the Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, also arranged and performed the music for the program. The program was the brainchild of producer Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee.

There's more on Cole's film projects at

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday project time: create an artful map as a antidote to the world of mass market goods

Bradley's France
Originally uploaded by trudeau
As a break from the commonplace, I encourage parents and students to pursue a quick holiday craft assignment called the Artful Map. It makes a good hand-made gift, I believe.

1. Buy an art mat or 2 from Hobby Lobby, Michael's or Walmart. The mat (also matte) acts as a frame and reminds you of the power of a considered presentation. In mats you'll find the 5X7 travels easily and takes little display space. The 8X10 offers more room for calligraphy and illustrations. Don't start the illustration until you can measure the interior space of the mat - they vary.

2. Choose a location to illustrate that makes you dreamy.

3. Experiment with watercolor for the large fields of color. There's something about water media that evokes romance and a by-gone era. Sometimes colored pencils are easier to use. You can easily shade the fields and give weight to the borders with the map pencils.

4. Consider putting the title inside a box in the shape of a scroll. Practice your calligraphy. Lay out the print in light pencil before inking it.

5. Add a compass rose.

6. Add an interior border - not on the mat, but on the map sheet - composed of rectangles filled with alternating colors.

7. More ideas will be inspired by perusing books that may contain old maps. There are a marvelous number of web sites (a Google image search, for instance) with examples.

8. if it comes out smartly and has strong color and contrast, you might consider scanning it or putting it upon a copier. The resulting copies might be swell. Depends on the artist and the project.

Now to make one of my own. This year my target will be the Atlantic side of Massachusetts, state of my birth. If you make an artful map, snap a photo and email it to me, s'il vous plait.

KSCL best music recommendations: Michael Laffey likes soundtrack to Dylan pic I'm Not There

Michael Laffey
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Michael Laffey, media professor and advisor to KSCL at Centenary College, Shreveport, recommends the soundtrack to *I'm Not There*, Columbia-Sony. He says, "Todd Haynes' film presents six Bob Dylans; the soundtrack delivers 34 more. Few twentieth century artists performed the cultural work of hide-and-seek with more depth and dimension than the man from the North Country.

Just as Dylan once lived, played, then ultimately transformed & re-designed the revivals of the 1960s (folk, blues, etc.), the 2 discs in this collection offer contemporary listeners a sprawling treasure map promising riches that listeners are barely beginning to appreciate."

This is the first in a series of holiday music recommendations from the gang at KSCL, 91.3 fm.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Evan Williams founded and has a new success in the social site called

Evan Williams
Originally uploaded by PinarOzger
It is my pleasure to crank up Blogger every day and to jump upon this sort-of courier's motorcycle. Toss the latest regional arts and culture news in the saddlebag and away I whine. Paste it up on a billboard at the crossroads.

My blogging pattern is dead simple. Here's what I teach in workshops: sign up for, where you'll store photos. Sign up for Blogger, the place where your pics and thoughts will come together. Both are easy, free services that have revolutionized how we talk to each other.

Today I learned the name of my benefactor in this business. The mensch who co-created Blogger is Evan Williams. In an Economist article entitled The Accidental Innovator, I found a profile of an amazingly successful fellow who dropped out of both U of Nebraska schooling and employment at Google.

He created Blogger out of a need to communicate with fellow software creators on a big project undertaken in the late 1990's (the world wide web debuted in 1991). The group's internal diary, as it's called by the Economist, became the the successful part of the project.

Today Williams has a company called Obvious Corp and another software success, Founded in 06, Twitter connects people via tight text messages. The status update feature on Facebook is a variation on Twitter, says the Economist.

Evan Williams has both a blog,, and a account at

Merci from Louisiana, Evan.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rest in peace Frances Drew, Shreveport painter, multi-faceted artist and minister, 1949 - 2007

Frances Drew, an enormously productive painter known for her bold and color-rich scenes of regional life and images of suffering, died about a month ago, according to fellow-artist Tama Nathan.

On Tama's blog, Shreveport Images, she wrote, "How sad that when I "googled" Frances Drew, I had only one hit...this close-up of a detail on one of the 2 Texas St. kiosks that she and Barbara Abbot created. Dear Frances died a month ago according to her son's communication with SRAC.

Most recently I was wowed by her paintings in the reception hall of the Flournoy-Lucas Catholic church. They glow with dense color and religious fervor. When I called to tell her how beautiful they were, we had our usual hour long chat and she did tell me that her physical condition had deteriorated. I wish I'd made the time for a visit.

I met Frances about a yr. after she'd gotten her B.A. from Southern, S'port. I was amazed by her expressive brushwork and use of color. If she didn't have enough $ to buy canvas, she painted on cardboard, on discarded pieces of panelling, anything that would hold paint.

Our next meeting was in Joe Kincheloe's doctoral class at LSU-S. By that time she had a solid vita with a Master's degree and teaching experience. She absorbed the curriculum theory like a sponge and by the next semester was in Baton Rouge absorbing more. A car accident prevented her from fully completing her doctorate, and she returned to teach in Marshall, and worked at her art in her Egan St. home. I visualize her, wearing one of her mom's dashiki creations, sitting among her paintings, ceramic works and poetry tapes at Revel and Downtown Neon Sat. Night.

Shreveport's arts community has had a great loss. Could we do something special in her memory...any ideas?"

In recent years Frances seemed to be painting her way to redemption, inasmuch as her paintings focused entirely on the suffering of Christ. She signed her work "Minister Frances Drew" as an additional act of devotion.

But there was no redemption needed. She gave her time and vast talent - singing, preaching, painting - to the community. I remember the year she had a grant to speak to high school students about how she painted. After the talk, she donated a vivid painting to the school. In it a black girl stands at a crossroads on a muddy, clay road deep in the Pine woods. The girl is dressed nicely; she is on her way to a mission church on foot.

Once I was showing a French exchange student around Shreveport. Stopping at Frances' house we entered a world of stacked canvasses and card tables strewn with paints and brushes. There was little furniture but a stream of talk from Frances furnished the house nicely.
Before we left Frances presented the student with a small painting of a girl dancing. I was touched by her generosity. I wanted to say to the French student, "Express your thanks! Do not take this loving act for granted." I doubt that Frances felt that way. I think she knew not to expect much, but to be happy and quenched by her own act of kindness.

Rest in peace, Frances Drew.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Melody Kiper sculpts catfish to be used in city-wide Volunteers for Youth Justice benefit program,

melody kiper
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Melody Kiper, Savannah School of Art grad, designed the catfish sculpture that will be used across the city in a benefit for Volunteers for Youth Justice, says Susan Stafford.

The 5 foot-long fish will be painted in divers designs by artists and displayed in numerous locations 'round the city. Similar benefits have been built around sculpted horses and cows.

The fish will leap into public view the summer of 08, says the site At that site artists and potential sponsors will find their guidelines. Background on the Volunteers for Youth Justice program will be found at

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One of downtown's success stories: the TNT Express; get aboard at Artspace on Th, Dec 20, 4:30 - 8:30 pm

TNT Express Dec 20
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Thursday Night Trolley tours established for Shreveoport Regional Arts Council by Bonne Summers have been an auspicious series. Of course, everyone wants to ride with costumed historic narrative charmer Jan Pettite. But a good time is promised on each of the trolley runs.

Downtown's secrets are explored: there's the Southern University Museum of Art with the Mitchell Soulful Santa collection, the Spring St Museum, the new Crafts Guild Shop at Barnwell, and, at home base, Artspace, a bake sale and sweet shop.

Then the trolley extends its run to SciPort, to Meadows Museum of Art and to a historic dwelling, the Davis House.

It begins at 4:30 pm and is happening til 8:30 pm.
Artspace is at 710 Texas St.
Your ride is a gift from SRAC.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday gifts for those who love music, singing and pageantry: tickets to Shreveport Opera

Shreveport Opera
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Eric Dillner and staff at Shreveport Opera have a reminder for a gift that is easy to display and store, as well as low in calories: tickets to the opera. They have personalized gift certificates ready at 212 Texas St., suite 101. "We'd love to see you," says Dillner.

Coming up are

The Marriage of Figaro, March 1, 2008
La Traviata, April 26, 2008

(318) 227-9503

Jane Ryder's shop, Designers' Emporium, brings together creative types at 208 E King's Hwy

"We have original, one-of-a-kind fashion, jewelry, accessories, pet couture, shellwork, and much more," says Jane Ryder at Designer's Emporium. "We are currently creating custom-made clothing and accessories for Mardi Gras, prom, debutante events, etc. for the New Year. I have just finished working on the Lifetime movie "Queen Sized" with Nicky Blonsky (just nominated for a Golden Globe in "Hairspray") and now I'm working on "Sordid Lives: The Series." I've actually been creating some costumes for the latter. We have been getting a lot of movie people in the store including costumers and a film producer over this past week. We have also created some personal pieces for them, including a raincoat for a costume designer's dog!"

Designer Consortium, 208 E. King's Highway - across from Counter Culture - will be open until 8pm on Friday, Dec 21, for late night Christmas shopping and refreshments.

Ms Ryder - 218-6593

LSUS campus now wireless; in how much more of the city can we install wifi hotspots?

Wifi tree stump.... or not?
Originally uploaded by xeeliz
Mayor Cedric Glover thinks Shreveporters should be discussing public Wifi connections. He is happy that the city council is researching the possibility of a wireless internet network for downtown. The Times has run articles exploring the impact of downtown wifi and I think it's safe to say that the Times tech-oriented editor, Alan English, is a proponent. Without looking into the exigencies, I've proposed that Wifi hotspots be considered for the Highland neighborhood.

Today LSUS announced that "Students, faculty and visitors to the LSUS campus now have access to wireless internet. Wireless access is available in every campus building and extends into the parking lots."

Joe Hayes, president of the LSUS SGA, led a student coalition group to enact the wireless plan, says Jennifer LaPierre. “We really believed that getting the campus wireless was important for the students because it is an essential element of college life,” Hayes said.

It's a bit late for such an announcement to bring a reaction of anything but "Finally." Still, the part about LSUS visitors having access to the wireless is cool. It means that soccer and swimming parents can check email and read the news while waiting for their young athletes.

Hotspots are an investment in the community's future. While they're not cheap - Starbucks and the airports have long forsaken free wifi, as I'm sure you've noticed - they enable the digital class to work with maximum flexibility.

As a blogger, artist and teacher I'm the kind of person who will use wifi hotspots. I don't think it's unfair to say that the availability of wireless nodes across the city will encourage the educated class to see Shreveport as an amenable home.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Poetic, philosophical, satirical writing by artist Michael Harold, Shreveport, nominated for a Pushcart Prize

"The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best 'poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot' published in the small presses over the previous year. Magazine and small book press editors are invited to nominate up to 6 works they have featured," says

Michael Harold, Shreveport artist and writer, has won 2 nominations for a Pushcart Prize, says Michael Parker. One nomination fingered his poem, Cross-Media, published by Also named was a book published under the pseudonym Michael Aro. It is an umbric, satirical commentary entitled M.

From his Cross-media:
"Mind is
a quantum,
n-dimensional space

New Media,
Cross Media and
Transmedia are art forms
that intersect and recursively transcode
in quantum, diegetic n-dimensional space.

See more at

Harold calls himself "an artist and technologist." He won the 2005 SRAC Multidisciplinary Fellowship, noted Carlos Colon. His paintings and multi-media pieces have been exhibited widely, including at Stoner Arts Center, Arodasi Center and Artspace Shreveport.

CD release recital: Offenbach cello duos by Paul Christopher, Ruth Drummond at Hurley Music Bldg, Centenary College, Sun, Dec 16, 3 pm

Paul Christopher, Ruth Drummond
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Cellists Paul Christopher and Ruth Drummond, along with producers Helen and Beecher Wood and recording engineer Roger Barnes, invite you to a CD Release Recital/Reception from their newest recording of Jacques Offenbach cello duos.

Sun, Dec 16 at 3 PM
Anderson Recital Hall, Hurley School of Music, Centenary College

Reception will follow in the foyer. The performance is free and open to the public, says Drummond.

On the program will be the Op. 52, #2 duo as well as the extraordinary cello sextet which Christopher and Drummond recorded in layers

This third CD is a continuation of a project begun in 2004 to record the duos of Offenbach's "Cours Methodique", a teaching method for violoncello which is quite thrilling and melodic.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ron Johnson and Stan Lewis worked with the late Ike Turner, remembers Shreveport musician Bruce Flett

Windstorm 1990s
Originally uploaded by trudeau
In the Windstorm photo above is guitarist Ron Johnson (far right), a pillar of the Shreveport music scene. For years Johnson was second guitarist for Ike Turner, says Bruce Flett in a note on Turner and Shreveport.

"Ike had many associations with Shreveport. Two men that can verify dozens of Ike Turner stories are Shreveporters Stan the Record Man Lewis and Ron Johnson, lead guitarist of Windstorm and many other bands.

Turner spent many years as a talent scout and producer. He helped start the careers of - some say 'discovered' - BB King, Howlin' Wolf, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Elmore James, and of course, Tina Turner, whose real name is Dorothy Prime.

In the early 1950's a teenaged Turner riding in the back seat of a brand new Buick convertible pulled up to 710 Texas Avenue with the Bihari Brothers - owner of Modern / Kent Records of Los Angeles. There they teamed up with Stan Lewis to distribute the records that the Biharis were releasing with the help of Ike Turner, the producer.

Stan's association with Ike would continue in years to come, releasing a stunning Ike Turner CD recorded in Chicago at Cobra studios with the same band that recorded "Rocket 88," called a seminal cut in musical history. Lewis later released a CD of Ike & Tina Tuner featuring previously unreleased cuts.

Ron Johnson was second guitarist for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue for years. Ike was a bit of a svengali to have as your boss. But Ike liked Ron's playing, especially his Hendrix-style licks.

Ike, incidentally, was one of The first blues guitarists to use a Fender Stratocaster. He used one on Otis Rush's first records. Some of the Rush guitar solos were actually Ike!"

You can enjoy more such stories if you catch Bruce on break from making history with the Bluebirds. They're at Lee's Lounge, King's Hwy, from 9 to 1 am on Sat, Dec 15. Listen to them at Superior bar and Grill on Line Ave, Sun, Dec 16, 6:30 to 10 pm.

Get Shreveport Blog exposure for your art by posting photos of your work on

Originally uploaded by rasputina1
This painting is by Rachel Stuart-Haas, a savvy Shreveport-based artist who has showed her work in galleries from Kansas City to Houston. Because she photographs her new work and posts the pieces to a photo-storage site called, her friends and I get to follow the evolution of her imagination.

Because they're on, she gets feedback from a variety of art-minded people. And because my home base for blogging is, I can find and publish her work easily.

I'd like to ask each artist I know or any serious artist who reads this blog to consider posting to and making me a contact.

I'm not promising that I'll post everything you do. But I can at least promise you that - you can sign up for a free acount in about 5 minutes - is a stable and easy-to-use site. My wife and I have been using flickr for several years and have almost 10,000 photos stored there.

If you join flickr you'll probably upload a mix of art work and photos from your personal life. We mix it all in one account. You can package the art photos in a flickr Set; again, it's not difficult.

Examples of artists on flickr: the blog for artist Talbot Hopkins and flickr site of a painter from New Orleans, Keith Perelli.

Red River Children's Choir and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra sold out for Sat, Dec 15 - please call if you are not planning to attend

If you've got tickets for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra's concert for the holidays, terrific. The show, starring Michael Butterman, Red River Children's Choir, the orchestra and guests, will be splendid. But if you're not planning to attend - it's pretty derned cold out there - please call the ticket office, at 673-5108. That way you can release your seats to be resold by the SSO - to someone like us. We would certainly appreciate it. And happy holidays.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cyber Day: Red River Radio's online fund drive may become a wave of the future for non-profit organizations

Kermit Poling
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Public radio has captured my attention quite a bit lately. My personal ranking of useful and appealing programs begins with the timely Terry Gross interviews aired in the evening as Fresh Air. Though I don't find Warren Olney's voice appealing, I like the way he assembles the experts and wrangles their remarks on To the Point.

All Things Considered and Morning Edition are pillars of my life, as is probably the case with you.

Evening Jazz with local host Wally Derlith, Nick Spitzer's American Routes, World Cafe, This American Life: life in a tertiary city of the Deep South is quite tolerable when driving time is enriched by such programs.

Today Red River Radio manager Kermit Poling has declared a day of fund raising based upon online contributions. It's a helpful novelty.

In the future many more entities based on public funding will find some way to have their own version of Cyber Day. Media partnerships, imagination and improved web sites will allow many more groups to employ the leverage of online pledging.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Producer-performer Daniel Lanois and Shreveport native Brian Blade collaborate on film and album called Here Is What Is; release/download Dec 15

Daniel Lanois and Brian Blade
Originally uploaded by cinetech
Brian Blade, along with father, Pastor Brady Blade - of Zion Baptist Church - are part of a new documentary film and album called Here Is What Is, says Sean Stroope. The project was created by singer, songwriter, producer Daniel Lanois, known for producing some of the most-successful albums (U2, Dylan, etc) in the last two decades.

Here Is What Is was recorded in Toronto, Los Angeles and Shreveport, LA with Lanois, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Garth Hudson. In addition to tunes by Lanois and Blade, the album includes philosophical interludes and conversations with Brian Eno taken from the film by the same name, says

Here Is What Is, the film, has earned a positive review and a negative review since its Sept 07 release.

Sean Stroope, local bassist who has played with groups in Nashville and Shreveport, played on the Shreveport Lanois-Blade sessions. It is not clear to me whether brother Brady Blade, Jr, was also a player on the project.

One of the movie trailers contains an explosive solo by Brian Blade and another features the rich singing of towering Reverend Blade.

Rest in peace: Ike Turner passes at age 76 in San Diego

Ike Turner
Originally uploaded by Never Slim
Ike Turner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died Wed, Dec 12, said the AP. He was age 76. Turner was credited by many rock historians with making the first rock 'n' roll record, Rocket 88, in 1951. Produced by the legendary Sam Phillips, it was groundbreaking for its use of distorted electric guitar.

Anna Mae Bullock, aka Tina Turner, brought him his greatest fame.

Turner met the 18-year-old Bullock, whom he would later marry, in 1959. He made the husky-voiced woman the lead singer of his group, refashioning her into the sexy Tina Turner.

The pair would have two sons. They also produced a string of hits. The first, A Fool In Love, was a top R&B song in 1959, and others followed, including I Idolize You and It's Gonna Work Out Fine.

While their public life depicted a powerful, dynamic duo, Tina Turner would later charge that her husband was an overbearing wife abuser and cocaine addict.

While he would readily admit to drug abuse, Turner always denied abusing his ex-wife.

“His last chapter in life shouldn't be drug abuse and the problems he had with Tina,” said Rob Johnson, one of Turner's record producers.

Turner won a Grammy in 2007 in the traditional blues album category for Risin' With the Blues.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Indy pop giant Ian Moore at Sharpie's with band ands guest Cameron Meshell on Th, Dec 13, 9 pm

ian moore30
Originally uploaded by sierraromeo
Listening to singer-songwriter Ian Moore on his myspace site has made me a fan. Moore has a post-Beatles, eclectic sensibility that crosses the digital divide to reference a truckload of living. It's rock, it's folk, it's witty, it's visceral music. Moore dislikes comparisons and categories; he says it's "other, other, other."

The fan site, is a good place to either get acquainted or remind yourself of why you go ape at Moore shows. Listen to live cuts from some of the rippingest bars in Houston and Austin.

Moore's got a new album on Justice Records; it's called To Be Loved.
His site provides additional music, wit and warmth.

Th, Dec 13, 9 pm

The talented vagabond Cameron Meshell - Jimmy Wooten told me not too long ago he was that Meshell was in London with a recording contract - is opening. Hearing Meshell's uptown tunes will be worth the price of the evening.

Louisiana Crafts Guild has new artisan gallery and shop in the Barnwell Art Center, Riverfront, Shreveport

Spiral Design 1, Susan Breeland
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The new Louisiana Crafts Guild Gallery / Gift Shop opened at The Barnwell on December 7, says Susan Breeland.

The new Shop is called "The Store". The artisans included have all been juried into the Louisiana Crafts Guild. The Guild is sanctioned by the Louisiana Division of the Arts and represent the Crafts
Marketing Program for our State.

Notes Breeland, "The Barnwell is offering a completely new type of artisan collection, something the people of Northwest Louisiana have not seen in our area before. Many of the Guild artisans have exhibited throughout the United States and abroad."

Barnwell Garden and Art Center

Monday, December 10, 2007

Myspace allows you to listen to Radiohead before you dismiss them

thom yorke.
Originally uploaded by tarita
Having to spend a few hours in a car alone recently taught me that folk-rocker Andrew Bird is not my idea of the next schuetzenhoffer. Nor is Animal Collective. Nor Bjorke.

The emperador for rock fans who want something interesting, something evolved, an eclectic spillover built on a good drummer, is Radiohead. Though I enjoyed the media mosh created by the news that we could all download their album, In Rainbows, I was too much in a rut to follow up and soak in the 10 cuts.

Via the Johnny Greenwood myspace page you can sample with simplicity and ease. Then you'll know where to place them in the inevitable top 10 lists that come at you this time of year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

karlheinz stockhausen ist tot // is dead: electronic music composer, 1928 - 2007

An obit for Karlheinz Stockhausen by Peter Kirn, of Create Digital Music: "A massive pioneer in thought about composition and electronic music in particular, an inspiration to rock and pop figures as well as academics, and sometimes a lightning rod for controversy, Karlheinz Stockhausen died this week.

Stockhausen’s thinking about sound in all his work has had a deep impact on electronic music, particularly in his influential early works for tape and, by the 1960s, live electronics mixed with instruments. And, of course, aside from earning bonus points for showing up on the Sgt. Pepper album cover (the Beatles were big fans), you have to admire a composer who puts a string quartet in helicopters in order to combine the sound of the machinery with choreographed flybys and live video feeds. If that doesn’t make him a hero of ours, nothing will.

Stockhausen also represents the generation of experimental art that was able to escape the grip of the Nazis — an experience that claimed his mother as a victim and haunted his life. He’s part of the legacy of experimentation that Hitler once tried to silence.

I expect that Stockhausen’s death will mean his quote following September 11 will be trotted out again. Press seized upon the phrase “greatest work of art” to describe those events; Stockhausen for his part says he called them Lucifer’s greatest work of art — an enormous difference, coming from someone who survived Nazi Germany. In the years that have past since that quote, however, I personally feel, as a New Yorker there at the time, a growing sense of a day that transformed how many of us feel about art making.

But I’ll stick with Stockhausen’s one fantasy: dreams of flying. And I hope more people compose for helicopter."

SptBlog's favorite piece of Stockhausen - though long lost - remains Song of the Youths / Kontakte, on Deutsche Grammaphon. Don't suppose you'd have a copy of it to loan me, would you?


Peter Pan Players Shreveport artistic director Trey Jackson uses web sites to reach cast, parents and public with production news

Trey Jackson, Jennifer Gieseke
Originally uploaded by trudeau
"Peter pan Players is now part of the world wide web; please find us at, says Trey Jackson.

"I have also started a blog, partly at the encouragement of Robert Trudeau's SptBlog. Ours is .

Don't forget that we are also on myspace; see We have a face book site somewhere. Just look for Peter Pan Players on facebook.

The PPP rehearsal schedule is on myspace under the blog section and it is also on the website under the calander section."

On Jan 3 the company opens the 34th season with a Drew Hunter (aka Dr Blood) play called Happy Birthday, Mr BB Wolf. Please see more at the PPP blog.

And there's 318-869-9619, too.

Big Wide Grin sings at Fairfield Studios: have a harmonious Saturday on Dec 8, 7 pm

Big Wide Grin
Originally uploaded by argarg1
"Hailing from both coasts, Big Wide Grin is a trio of singers that offer a combination of cultures and personalities. They are a truly harmonious - and I do mean harmonious - bold blend of charm, in-your-face honesty and care for all living things," says performer and folk aficionado Sandra Odom.

7 pm
smoke-free, pristine acoustics

Art show at Lee Hardware Apartments, 719 Edwards, Downtown Shreveport, at 6 pm Sat, Dec 8

Downtown Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Writes artist (this poster and numerous others) and musician (the Noids) Paul Garner about the show, "I dont really know a full list (of the artists). Its a lot and its kind of an open thing; the noids arent playing but there will be poetry and musical performances - acoustic."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Shreveport Madam back in print via Ritz Publications; book release party Sun, Dec 9, Spring Street Museum, Shreveport; 1 to 3 pm

Shreveport Madam
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Shreveport Madam, a story of downtowner Annie McCune, has been out of print since 1982, says Sarah Hudson Pierce of Ritz Publications. In this hardbound re-issue historian Eric Brock has written a new intro and portrait of the late author of Shreveport Madam, Goodloe Stuck.

The original cover portrait of McCune by Shreveport painter Jasmine Morelock is intact. The re-issue is a gold-embossed, red leatherette-bound edition with polychrome cover and costs $54.95. Eric Brock and Jasmine Morelock will be on hand, says Pierce, to autograph copies of the book.

Also at the Spring St Museum to autograph books is former Shreveport mayor Jim Gardner. Gardner, a thoughtful author and gentleman, has captured his memories in two volumes. His memoirs, packed with names and places, are called Jim Gardner and Shreveport.

Sun, Dec 9, 1 to 3 pm
525 Spring St
Order online:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Academy of Children's Theater, Shreveport, presents The Diary of Anne Frank, Th - Sat, Dec 6 - 8, 7 pm, LSUS Theater

Samantha Ortiz, one of the capable cast members of The Diary of Anne Frank, wrote on Thurs: "We open tonight at 7 pm and run through Saturday night. I hope you can all make an effort to attend, as it has been coming along very well, and it is very powerful. I hope you saw us on the front page of the Living section in the Shreveport Times this week."

$10, students, senior citizens
$15, adults
LSUS University Theater
Academy of Children's Theater
Directed by Cynthia Whitaker

"The show starts at 7 and only runs about 1.5 hours; hope to see you there!"

Interestingly, she wrote to us via, an impressive medium that reaches a lot of classy students.

Blogging for the Arts Workshop continues for cultural organizations and artists; sign up for hands-on class on Wed, Dec 12, 4:15

In Feb 08, says Pam Atchison, tourism and the arts in the region will get an updraft by a new web site called Shreveport Bossier Fun Guide. Getting ready to take advantage of this high-visibility site means upgrading your web presence, says Wendy Benscoter. So she is offering a series of workshops called Blogging for the Arts. The instructor is shreveportblog creator Robert Trudeau.

Here's Benscoter's message:

Learn to Blog with a hands-on, 1 hour workshop
* It's Fast - It's Easy - And It's Free for Arts and Cultural Organizations.

Blogging for the Arts
Be one of the first organizations to get...
· High Internet Visibility
· Instant Posting of Photos & Images
· Fast Communication - Easy to Keep Updated

A hands-on, 1 hour, blogging workshop
by Robert Trudeau:

Wed. Dec. 12th, 4:15 - 5:15 pm

LANO Computer Lab
2924 Knight St, Ste. 406
Class size limited to 8.
Must have confirmed reservation to attend.
Email or call 869-0609

Brought to you by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, the Louisiana
Division for the Arts, Shreveport Bossier Community Foundation,
Shreveport Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and the Louisiana
Assoc. for Nonprofit Organizations

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Peekers have new EP, Cheer 4, on ParktheVan Records

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Singer Brittney Maddox writes about her group, the Peekers, "our EP on the Parkthevan Records label is out!"

The cuts on must be part of the new package. If so, it's pretty offhand and eclectic stuff. Check the Jackrabbit Lounge, their unofficlal home, for appearances.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Warmth and melody: the Shreveport Symphony's Holiday Traditions concert Sat, Dec 15, 7:30 pm, Riverview Theater

Horn / Susan Rogers, SSO
Originally uploaded by trudeau
To answer the need for holiday comfort food via soul-filling music is to attend the Holiday Pops concert on Sat, Dec 15, 7:30 pm, at Shreveport’s Riverview Theatre (formerly Civic Theatre).

Consume the Red River Children's Choir, the horns and strings of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and special guests.

Symphony box office: (318) 227-TUNE (8863)
$10, $20, $30 & $36 - $5 for students

Limited valet parking: $10.
Free shuttle schedule via the AmSouth garage every 10 minutes until concert time:

Pre-concert dinner at The Cambridge Club of Shreveport or Columbia Café benefiting the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra: $50 per person. Reservations by noon Fri, Dec 14.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Caddo Magnet High named one of America's best high schools by US News; CMHS is one of 3 Louisiana schools to get silver medal ranking

In its Best High Schools 2008 Search, U.S. News & World Report—in collaboration with— analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 18,000 public high schools to find the very best across the country. These top schools were placed into gold, silver, or bronze medal categories.

At the highest ranking for the state of Louisiana were

Baton Rouge High School
East Baton Rouge County

Bolton High School
Rapides County, Alexandria, LA

Caddo Parish Magnet High School
Caddo County, Shreveport, LA

Some 33 Louisiana high schools won honors.

In related school news it should be noted that he National Merit Scholarship Program designated 21 students from Caddo Magnet High as National Merit Semi-finalists for 2008, says Carol Brill.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Natchitoches' new theater company, Cane River Repertory, has Magi for the holiday season; opens Dec 6

Natchitoches Street
Originally uploaded by contrabandbayou
Cane River Repertory Theatre is a new venture in Natchitoches , says Kate Riley. She told me, "A group of us started a professional theatre in town this past summer called the Cane River Repertory Theatre. Please see We are getting ready to produce our first play in December: the Gift of the Magi."

Riley's mission is to help develop and employ professional artists as well as to provide "educational opportunities for the students of LSMSA and NSU, and provide quality professional theatre to the greater Northwestern Louisiana and East Texas communities."

Louisiana School for the Math, Science and Arts is filled with the state's best and brightest youngsters. NSU has the Scholar's College as well as the regular program. Thus Riley has quite a talent pool.

She also seems aware of how to fit the theater to "the artistic heritage and economic development of the Cane River Region." She plans to build upon the recognition of Natchitoches as a cultural asset and
a tourist destination for the state of Louisiana.

Cane River Rep brings balance to the image of Natchitoches, a town that should be known for much more than its holiday lights.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Prima Tazza continues its role as art center; see works on paper by Ellen Soffer beginning Dec 3

Ellen Soffer will exhibit her most recent, colorful and energetic works on paper in a one-person show Mon, Dec 3, through Fri, Jan 4, at Prima Tazza in Shreveport.

An opening reception will be held Sat, Dec 15, from 12:00 - 2 pm, and is free and open to the public.

Prima Tazza: Mon through Fri from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
8835 Line Avenue, next to the Outback restaurant.
318 798-7862

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cooks and other artists of the kitchen get a showcase at Artspace in the December benefit called Bake Your Art Out

kitchen window
Originally uploaded by vw-busman
Donating samples of your artful goodies to Artspace in December will benefit the downtown facility, says Bonne Summers. And you may win glory for your expertise as part of the Bake Your Art Out program.

Kitchen artists are asked to help Artspace by contributing recipes and the foods that result from following those recipes. The product will be publicized and sold during the Thursdat Night Trolley event. The show and sale is Thurs, Dec 20, 10 am to 8 pm.

Bonne: 673-6510
Tracye at Artspace: 673-6535

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

World class event: the Wideman Piano Competition draws solo performers to Shreveport; concerts held at Centenary College Fri, Nov 30 to Sun, Dec 2

Young and highly-skilled pianists from Asia, Europe and the US gather in Shreveport annually for a prominent solo event, the Wideman Piano Competition. The performances, held at Centenary College, are free and open to the public, says Lester Senter Wilson.

The series of concerts begins Fri, Nov 30, at 10:30 am. Performances continue to 6:00 pm.
Concerts on Sat, Dec 1, are scheduled from 9:15 am to 7 pm.
Both days there is a lunch break from 12 - 2:30.
The finals, featuring 6 of the players ranked by the international group of judges, will be held Sunday afternoon, Dec 2; concert time will be announced soon.

Anderson Auditorium, Hurley Music Building, Centenary College campus.

Wideman info: 601-946-2063.

Pardon me for adding that if urbanity and erudition are what you miss as you hoe your row in Shreveport, this is one weekend when you don't have to flee. The lobby at Hurley is filled with polyglot chatter. There is a touching link between local host families and the young pianists. The performers are often vivid creatures. And their performances can be breathtaking.

More at The Times.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Story of the Velveteen Rabbit, directed by Reagan Cassanova, at Bossier Arts Council beginning on Fri, Nov 30, 8 pm

Cast of Veleveteen Rabbit
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Story of the Velveteen Rabbit is a musical by Marjery Williams, says Anne Susman of the Bossier Arts Council. The BAC production is directed by Reagan Cassanova.

It's a classic, magical tale of a desire to be loved. Perfect theatre show for the whole family, says the theater-wise Susman.

Reservations: 741-8310
Nov 30, Dec 1 , 7, 8 @ 8PM
Dec2 & 9 @ 2PM
East Bank Theatre at Bossier Arts Council
630 Barksdale Blvd. Bossier City, La.71111
Tickets: Adults $15.00 Seniors, Students, Active Military $13.00

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Winks (nudge, nudge) and The Funz at Artspace, Shreveport, on Thur, Nov 29, 7:30 pm; show produced by KSCL, 91.3 fm

The Winks
Originally uploaded by sfllaw
KSCL, college rock and eclectic sounds at 91.3 fm, will present Canadian art-rock group The Winks - with opening act The Funz - at Artspace, says Nadine Kaskas. The show will be Thurs, Nov 29, at Artspace, 710 Texas Street. The show begins at 7:30 pm.

The Winks, from Montreal, will be stopping in Shreveport as part of their 63-date tour of North America. Their latest album, "Birthday Party," has been reviewed in Spin Magazine, and the Winks have been recorded with the New Pornographers in addition to sharing the stage with Architecture in Helsinki and They Shoot Horses Don't They?.

Handmade Winks merch.
admission tba
Moinfo: 318-869-5296.

Former Katrina-Shreveporter Steve Allen: what it's like to be back in the Lakeview neighborhood in New Orleans

Debbie & Steve Allen
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Steve Allen, wife Debbie and sons Chandler and Parker, escaped Katrina by leaving their flooded neighborhood in New Orleans and moving to Allen's former home of Shreveport. Allen, sax player and ebullient personality, quickly jumped upon local stages with people like jazzer Doug Rust and R&B pianist Chris McCaa. His horn, smile and distinctive sense of style added a great vibe to Shreveport.

In August they returned to their renovated home in the lake front area of the Crescent City. They recently returned to Shreveport for a weekend while Allen played the Highland Jazz and Blues Fest. Asked for an update on the rebuilding of their lives in New Orleans, he responded thusly:

Our block in Lakeview was about 75% levelled by the various owners due to flood damage and basically it's still mostly flat. On 3 sides of us the neighbors demolished their houses. Two new 2 story homes are nearing completion; they've been built to the flood plain elevation.

We have restored our ranch style one story on a slab to a better version of it's original self. Right now there we and neighbor Susan Spicer, the celebrity chef, are the only residents, but around New Years our near neighbors will be living in their new houses.

My friend and great drummer Ricky Sebastian is building a house in the Musician's Village. He is putting in his 'sweat equity', working on the houses of others and they will in turn work on his as it gets built. All the houses are identical except for the colors, which are bright and varied. There will be maybe 3 or 4 solid blocks of them with a common park and community center when they're all done, maybe a year or 2 from now.

I have been getting calls to work as a sideman in a wide assortment of groups, but haven't started anything of my own since I've been back in New Orleans.

My boys are both in Lusher, in my opinion the coolest public school in New Orleans. Very arts oriented, Chandler is in a music focused curriculum and Parker is in sports and theater a little bit. His cast from the first football game comes off next week.

There is a weekly batch of emails that comes about events in the city. It is organized by a photographer named Pat Jolly. The sheer number of things going on in New Orleans on a weekly basis is really incredible. Art openings with live bands, festivals of every kind, 2 or 3 a weekend, screenings, plays, gigs, meetings, lectures... you just have to admire the spirit of the people behind all this energetic activity. And people come out to the things too. Last weekend there was the Po Boy Preservation Festival, a new one. Packed. Ran out of food.

It is very fun here, and I can't even spell out why. It just feels good here. Our house is very cute and cozy, and I guess knowing where every screw and wire and pipe in the whole thing gives it a special 'pinch yourself' joy to it. We will stay here until forced to leave, just like last time.

Shreveport was wonderful for me these last 2 years, and it felt weird last weekend to be there cause everything is so familiar and known, but our home is really here, in New Orleans.