Allen Toussaint 1938-2015

A Young Allen Tousaint

Allen Tousaint 1938-2015

Yesterday, Allen Tousaint passed away after playing a concert Monday night in Madrid, Spain. Toussaint was a a prolific song writer, performer, and producer. His contributions to music are numerous. He nurtured and produced some of my favorite New Orleans artists like The Meters, Earnie-K-Doe, and Dr. John. Thank you for enriching the lives of so many, you will be missed.

Get Out My Life Woman, Allen Toussaint

For more about Allen Toussaint listen to Gwen Thompkins and Music Inside Out.

Red Beans and Rice…and Vinyl

If you’re from New Orleans and “…you know what it means to miss…” then you’re not alone. I learned at a young age that nourishing one’s body requires some key ingredients. Never short on this list was love, dedication, and soul. Pouring yourself into the cuisine or music of New Orleans is a birth right, and I dove right in! Rather, I swam in the swamp water funk and filled my belly with meal after meal of soul satisfying cuisine. After leaving my hometown, these experiences found their way into this portable homesick remedy. The two key ingredients are: a record of  The Meters (yes, it should be the vinyl version), and Camellia Red Beans

These two homegrown items serve a joint purpose: they transport your senses back to the Big Easy. The correct vinyl mixture with an authentic bowl of red beans can cure all that ails you. This is about as close to a soul cleansing as you’ll get without an all night gorging and dancing in the Crescent City.

What do red beans and rice have in common with vinyl records you ask? More than you would think, my friend. Both The Meters records and red beans should be lovingly cared for and cleaned thoroughly. This ensures that all the soul and flavor is readily available and able to be extracted. Secondly, they both take time and patience. Whether it is soaking your red beans overnight to make them tender or selecting your Meters record rotation for cooking, these activities cannot and must not be rushed. Most importantly, red beans and rice require specific spices to achieve peak flavor. Seasoning your vinyl album and stylus tip with the appropriate amount of “spices” (Last Stylast) will allow all the analog tone to come through. I almost forgot, Don’t forget to save your bacon drippings and ham hocks, you’ll be needing those essentials to pull this off!

Both red beans and The Meters provide that quintessential staple of southern comfort. Once combined, you will know what I’m talking about. Unlike many audiophile recordings, these Meters albums aren’t sonic intricacies that are meant to be distilled through super critical listening sessions. Rather, the heart and soul of this music is felt – this is music without all the additives and preservatives. With your red beans simmering and The Meters laying it down, you will surely be in a happy place.

Click here for the receipe for Red Beans and Rice

The Meters on LP:

The Meters              Kickback

Rejuvenation         Cabbage Alley

Look-Ka Py Py      Fire on the Bayou

-C‘est le bon ton roule!

Another killer live recording of The Meters here!