Before last weekend, I had never seen New Orleans, but I had definitely heard it. I didn’t realize until I was on my way there how much music is truly influenced by the NOLA culture. It’s the birthplace of Jazz and Blues. A place where anyone with brass had the power to make people dance in the streets, and dancing is a must when you’re in New Orleans.
On the road trip down, with nothing but Jazz Fest on the brain, Brittany and I had a blast coming up with tracks to add to this playlist and getting in the right mindset for the perfect weekend celebrating our favorite things - music and culture! Here are my thoughts on my favorite tracks from this fine mixtape.
THE CHAIN - FLEETWOOD MAC
That kick pedal is just addictive, and the gypsy soulful lyrics just make me picture a big dock party in the middle of a bayou swamp. Plus that banjo, I just can’t get over how powerfully deep this song hits me. Especially once that bass solo comes in and the tempo picks up, I lose myself in it. Damn you loved, damn you lied. Rock on Stevie girl.
HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN - THE ANIMALS
The organ in this song is just so catchy, and the Animals really don’t hold back on this one. That classic raspy voice, along with the lyrics just make you feel like you’re in the Big Easy, or at the very least a house in New Orleans.
NEW ORLEANS - KID ROCK
Okay, it was purely ironic that Brittany and I had just seen Kid Rock at the 420 Fest and he has a song called New Orleans. The song picks up and all you need is that saxophone-piano-harmonic mixture to get you grooving. This one shouldn’t be overlooked, because it really captures everything about the road trip. "Burning through Mississippi with the Big Easy on my mind!"
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL - THE CARS
This slow and steady jam has such a simply put message; let the good times roll! It can’t be put better than that, unless you say it in French which is what the locals in NOLA like to do. So, for the sake of blending in, next time you’re on Bourbon Street give someone a big “laissez les bon temps roulez” and they’ll probably buy you a drink.
S.O.B - NATHANIEL RATELIFF
Mmmm, that clapping down-country big band kind of sound just makes me think ‘hot damn, Louisiana!’ Get me a drink and a dance floor, pronto. This song just felt like it belonged on the list, and if you haven’t heard it yet you’ll be hooked by the first note.
SWEET JANE - THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
I love Lou Reed’s classic voice and it just seems to fit in so perfectly when it comes to this playlist. And those soft ‘oOoOoh’s make you drift off into a relaxed state of mind.
This was easily the lengthiest mixtape I've published here yet, so picking out just six songs really doesn't feel like enough! I guess you'll just have to listen to it to see what other great hits are hidden along the way - and maybe grab yourself some jambalaya and make a party out of it!