Read & Spin

NON-FICTION

For anyone who has ever wondered about the story behind New Orleans’ often historically, sometimes colorfully and occasionally whimsically-named streets, Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names is your new best resource. Author, historian and photographer Sally Asher weaves together the tall tales, seedy underbelly, political battles, art and culture of the Crescent City, along with explanations of the head-scratching spellings and pronunciations of the city’s street names in this comprehensive and accessible history. The book also features Asher’s photography, which has appeared in Newsweek, U.S. World News and this publication.


BLUES

July 15 marks the release of Viper’s Drag by Henry Butler-Steve Bernstein and the Hot 9. It is the first issue by the Impulse! label, reactivated by Universal Music Group this year. Legendary New Orleans pianist Henry Butler serves up his brand of low-down jazz and blues, along with trumpeter, bandleader, arranger and composer Steven Bernstein. Impulse!, known for its release of classic recordings by legendary artists, including John Coltrane, was a force in the 1960s and ’70s. Butler, who was born blind, has been performing since he was 6, and as a professional since age 12. He has performed at Jazz Fest and countless festivals in the United States and abroad, and was featured on Treme, Season 2: Music from the Original HBO Series.


FICTION

When Charley Bordelon inherits an 800-acre Louisiana sugarcane farm from her late father, the widowed mother of an 11-year-old relocates from Los Angeles for a fresh start in her hometown. In, Queen Sugar, writer Natalie Baszile delves into the world of the region’s sugarcane farming and the challenges faced not only by a woman, but also a woman of color, in a male-dominated business in the rural South.


COUNTRY

On July 12, Christian Serpas and Ghost Town celebrate the release of their new album, Revved Up and Ready to Go, at Old Point Bar. The CD features originals and a sweet cover of “You are my Sunshine,” in the band’s signature twangy, rockabilly-meets-rock sound.

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