Category Archives: gulf coast soul

Introducing A Closer Walk, an Interactive Map of New Orleans Music History Sites

We’re excited to introduce you to A Closer Walk (ACW), an interactive map of New Orleans music history sites at The Stomp has teamed up with WWOZ radio, Bent Media, ePrime Media, and author Randy Fertel to tell the story of New Orleans’ greatest musical places, people, and moments in pictures, audio, and video.

New Orleans Music History, Block by Block

ACW is mobile-optimized, with an intuitive design that’s easy to use on a desktop or on your mobile device as you navigate the city using GPS. Filters let you find historic sites based on your interests and location — for example, clubs where the Meters played in the 1970s, or landmark record studios within walking distance of you. Pre-curated tours are available, too.

Put a Tour Guide in Your Pocket

A team of experts has written and selected the best available content about each location. You can read descriptions by acclaimed music writers like John Broven and Jeff Hannusch, see rare archival photos of sites in their heyday, listen to music and oral histories with artists, and watch music videos and interviews. Links to related books, articles, and documentaries let you do deep dives on your favorite subjects.

Browse a Treasure Trove of Artifacts

ACW is a first-of-its-kind collaboration, with specialists drawing material from personal holdings, community-based collections, and institutions including the Amistad Research Center, the Historic New Orleans Collection, Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University, Louisiana State Museum, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive. On ACW you’ll find everything from Allen Toussaint’s business card to photos of female impersonators on stage at the Dew Drop Inn.

Find Gems from the Stomp’s Archives

ACW is a great way to relive highlights from previous Ponderosa Stomp Festivals, or catch up on something you missed. It features photos from every Stomp Concert going back to 2003, and videos from every Music History Conference, like this panel from 2009, when Dr. John revealed why Earl King recorded Professor Longhair’s vocals on “Big Chief”:

Discover More Than a Century of Musical Landmarks

ACW has been years in the making. Early on, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation partnered with project manager and technology solution provider Bent Media to design a site focused on postwar music history–Bent worked with the Stomp on the landmark exhibit “Unsung Heroes: The Secret History of Louisiana Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which was featured in the Louisiana State Museum from 2009 – 2014.

Later, community radio station WWOZ brought us together with ePrime Media and Randy Fertel, who were chronicling the history of traditional jazz in New Orleans. Merging our efforts yielded ACW, which covers New Orleans music history from Buddy Bolden to Juvenile.

Help us make history in New Orleans

For too long, accurate, comprehensive information about New Orleans’ musical legacy has been hard to find. While the city has a wealth of historic locations, many are unmarked, hiding in plain sight. ACW establishes a network of sites, like a digital version of Mississippi’s “Blues Trail,” to highlight their significance and, by recording the current condition of each, to advocate for their preservation.

Yes, go there!

This October, the Ponderosa Stomp Music History Conference and Concert are walking distance from each other, and from dozens of historic sites in downtown New Orleans. With ACW, you can customize a tour — say  from your hotel to Cosimo Matassa’s storied recording studios in the French Quarter. Or hop in a car and check out Fats Domino’s Lower Ninth Ward compound and Ray Charles’ favorite spot for gumbo.

We’ll be adding new sites to the map before the Stomp, so find us at to keep up with the latest.

Our goal is to present 300 landmarks on the map in honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial in 2018. To learn more and support the effort, email

If you haven’t made plans for this year’s festival, now is the time!




Barbara Lynn: Texas R&B Guitar Goddess Still Got a Great Thing Goin’, Baby

WRITTEN BY BILL DAHL Barbara Lynn has never lost her good thing. Producer Huey P. Meaux must have been knocked out the second he saw her perform. After all, how many lovely young left-handed guitar-playing R&B singers emanating pure soul were working the Gulf Coast circuit? What’s more, she was her own best source of … Continue reading Barbara Lynn: Texas R&B Guitar Goddess Still Got a Great Thing Goin’, Baby

Ponderosa Stomp Festival 2015: The Countdown to the Next Musical Blowout Begins (“Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro”)

“There are no shortcuts to quality.” — guiding principle of legendary New Orleans culinary institution Hansen’s Sno-Bliz The 2013 Ponderosa Stomp Festival was our most successful to date! Thank you to everyone who helped to make the amazing 3-day event possible: the participants, musicians, donors, volunteers, staff, sponsors, collaborators, and attendees! The additional time we … Continue reading Ponderosa Stomp Festival 2015: The Countdown to the Next Musical Blowout Begins (“Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro”)

From the Pen of the Dogg: Irma Thomas – In Between Tears

” a lost classic that captures deep soul at its most poignant and resonant …” Following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Camille on New Orleans in 1969, Crescent City Soul Queen Irma Thomas relocated to California, temporarily putting her music career on hold and quietly taking a job in retail. That would all change when … Continue reading From the Pen of the Dogg: Irma Thomas – In Between Tears

Margaret Lewis: Reconsider Me – Song of the Day

Margaret Lewis Warwick’s soulful country ballad “Reconsider Me,” penned by Warwick and RAM label owner Mira Smith, reflects the hours the songwriting duo spent together honing a mournful, intimate interplay of voice and guitar. The world-weary lyrics and Warwick’s forlorn, wistful vocal fit like hand in glove with the echoing guitar lines. Ironically, the pair’s … Continue reading Margaret Lewis: Reconsider Me – Song of the Day