Music

Browsing Roaming the Arts quickly leads to the understanding that music was the inspiration for creating this type of non-commercial web presence devoted to exposing artists to a wider audience, build their fan base, and drive traffic to their websites. Most of the musicians posted so far have been seen by us in live performance or are actively being followed, awaiting an opportunity for live entertainment to return to the fold. Each post has an embedded video chosen to entertain and give a sense of the artists style. Continuing on to “Visit Site” will take you to the artist website to check schedules, new releases, and a variety of information and links to videos.

John Cleary

Jon Cleary’s love and affinity for New Orleans music goes back to the rural British village of Cranbrook, Kent, where he was raised in a musical family.  Cleary’s maternal grandparents performed in London in the 1940s, under the respective stage names Sweet Dolly Daydream and Frank Neville, The Little Fellow With The Educated Feet  – she as a singer, and he as a crooner and tap dancer.  

As a teen Cleary grew increasingly interested in funk-infused music and discovered that three such songs that he particularly admired – LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Robert Palmer’s version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,” and Frankie Miller’s rendition of “Brickyard Blues”  – were attributed to Allen Toussaint as either the songwriter, the producer, or both. Cleary’s knowledge of Toussaint’s work expanded significantly when his uncle returned home to the U.K., after a two-year sojourn in New Orleans, with a copy of a Toussaint LP and two suitcases full of New Orleans R&B 45s.

In 1981 Cleary flew to New Orleans for an initial pilgrimage and took a cab straight from the airport to the Maple Leaf Bar, a storied venue which then featured such great blues-rooted eclectic pianists as Roosevelt Sykes and James Booker.  Cleary first worked at the Maple Leaf as a painter, but soon graduated to playing piano there – even though his first instrument was the guitar, which he still plays and has recently reintroduced into his live performances. 

As word of Cleary’s burgeoning talent began to spread around town, he was hired by such New Orleans R&B legends as Snooks Eaglin, Earl “Trick Bag” King, Johnny Adams, and Jessie “Ooh Poo Pah Doo” Hill, while also gaining the respect of the great Crescent City pianists Dr. John and the late Allen Toussaint. Years later, in 2012, Cleary recorded a critically acclaimed album of all-Toussaint songs entitled Occapella.
Today, Cleary’s work pays obvious homage to the classic Crescent City keyboard repertoire created by such icons as Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Dr. John, and James Booker – while also using it as a launching pad for a style that incorporates such other diverse influences as ’70s soul and R&B, gospel music, funk, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Cuban rhythms, and much more.

Deciding to stay in New Orleans, Cleary recorded his first album of nine, to date, in 1989.  His ever-elevating profile led to global touring work in the bands of Taj Mahal, John Scofield, Dr. John, and Bonnie Raitt.  Cleary has led his own group, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, for over two decades now, but he still collaborates frequently with these old friends.  At the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, for instance, Cleary performed alongside Raitt in a heartfelt tribute to Fats Domino.


The Wood Brothers

The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.” The wistful ballad “Strange As It Seems” floats on a cloud of stream of consciousness, standing in stark contrast to “Sky High”—a Saturday night barnburner built upon stinging slide guitar funk. “Seasick Emotions” is rife with turmoil, yet “Sparking Wine” is jaunty and carefree. The end result is undeniably The Wood Brothers’ most dynamic recording to date.

Danielle Nicole

Danielle Nicole is a Blues/Roots/Soul Singer and Bassist based in Kansas City, MO. Formerly bassist and shared vocalist of popular band Trampled Under Foot.


J. P. Soars

Soars got bitten by the blues bug via a legendary source in 1988, when he won a guitar and two tickets in a raffle to see B.B. King in concert. Meeting the iconic guitarist and singer further enhanced the young musician’s quest to learn more about the timeless power of the music. Soars started his blues recording career a decade ago with the 2008 release Back of My Mind, followed by More Bees With Honey (2011) and Full Moon Night in Memphis (2014). Collectively, his catalog has received extensive airplay on the XM Radio programs of Little Steven (“Underground Garage”) and B.B. King (“Bluesville”); Top 50 status on the “Living Blues” charts, Blues Music Award nominations for “Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year,” and “Best Blues CD” and “Album of the Year” accolades from the Palm Beach Post.

A gritty and expressive vocalist, Soars elicits signature tones from hollow-body guitars, plus a home-made two-string cigar box guitar for his incendiary slide guitar playing. All of which has helped him earn dates at the Baltic Sea Festival in Germany, the Liberation Day Festival in Holland, and other shows in France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Colombia as well as road work throughout the United States and Canada.

Jackie Greene

also see Trigger Hippy

Jackie Greene is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He has a solo career and was a member of the final lineup of the Black Crowes, who disbanded in January 2015. Wikipedia

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She has released dozens of albums and singles over the course of her career and won 14 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and numerous other honors, including induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Wikipedia

Nick Lowe

Nicholas “Nick” Drain Lowe, is an English singer-songwriter, musician and producer. A noted figure in power pop and new wave, Lowe has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. Along with vocals, Lowe plays guitar, bass guitar, piano and harmonica. Wikipedia

Nick Lowe has made his mark as a producer (Elvis Costello-Graham Parker-Pretenders-The Damned), songwriter of at least three songs you know by heart, short-lived career as a pop star, and a lengthy term as a musicians’ musician. But in his current ‘second act’ as a silver-haired, tender-hearted but sharp-tongued singer-songwriter, he has no equal.

Starting with 1995′s ‘The Impossible Bird’ through to 2011′s ‘The Old Magic,’ Nick has turned out a fantastic string of albums, each one devised in his West London home, and recorded with a core of musicians who possess the same veteran savvy. Lowe brings wit and understated excellence to every performance, leading Ben Ratliff of the New York Times to describe his live show as “elegant and nearly devastating.”

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He made his début as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material regularly and frequently performs live at venues throughout the world. Wikipedia

Joan Armatrading

Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading, MBE is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996. Wikipedia

Eva Cassidy

in memorium

(February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American singer and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz and blues. In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by the 1996 live solo album titled Live at Blues Alley.

Scroll to top