In one of the early episodes from the first season of Treme, the American TV drama series themed on post-Katrina New Orleans, Elvis Costello drops in at a club to watch one of the flood-ravaged but still music-drenched city’s leading lights, jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, play. Ruffins, of course, has no idea about who or how big the English singer-songwriter Costello is. When, during a break, someone tells him he should go and say hello to his famous fan, Ruffins, whose gigs usually end with a free-for-all cook-out that he does himself for his audience, is reluctant. “So, do you want to spend all your life playing small clubs and doing your barbecues in New Orleans?” asks the rather surprised man. “That’d be alright,” says Ruffins with a smile. Read more
Rarely have I known someone to be as passionate about music as was my friend Amitava. Incorrigible Deadhead and passionate lover of guitar jams, he’d drop by in office occasionally to check what I was listening to and pass me his pen drive for a top-up. I enjoyed feeding him new music; mainly because he would not only listen to the stuff I proffered but promptly provide feedback on the music as well as regularly on this column. Amitava ‘Goldie’ Guha passed away recently and I shall miss him sorely.
The first time I went to New Orleans, it was a short, unsatisfying visit. This was long before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and a few months before 9/11 had even happened. But, it was bang in the middle of Mardi Gras, when the city gets caught up in a frenzy of activity and a throng of tourists. I was there to attend a conference for three days and the little free time that I got in the evenings to explore the city wasn’t enough. Yet, in the madness of Mardi Gras I got a taste of a city that I instantly decided that I had to come back to. Read more