I’ve been posting YouTube stuff from the Royal Street playlist over the past week (or longer), but some of the stuff isn’t available, so here’s the Easter Egg version! In no particular order–except the last one, which is special to me….
1. Temporarily Ain’t Dere No More, by Benny Grunch & the Bunch. Benny and his group had done a couple of versions of a song called “Ain’t Dere No More” about all the longtime businesses that had closed in recent years. After Katrina, he re-recorded a Katrina version rapping a fraction of the places that were “temporarily” gone. Several places in Royal Street are mentioned: Lakeview, where Gerry St. Simon lives and where DJ grew up; Delacroix (pronounced Della-crow) and a bar called “End of the World” near Delacroix–this is where the opening scene of the book takes place. The CD came out the first Christmas after Katrina and this track also include’s Benny’s intro to the song “Over By Your Mom’n’em,” which I posted on Saturday.
2. Jean Lafitte, by Roy Mette. An obscure little song about our favorite pirate, who came into Royal Street for one scene–the opening–and just wouldn’t leave.
3. Walking to New Orleans, by Fats Domino. This is DJ’s ringtone for the first two books of the series. It was also my cellphone ringtone until a couple of years ago.
4. Zydeco Gris-Gris, by Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet. I love this song. It has a couple of Royal Street reference points. There’s a line in here about the loup-garou, which is French for werewolf. In the Royal Street world, the Loup-Garou is a rogue species of werewolf and very, very bad news. The direct reference to this song occurs over in the middle of Royal Street. DJ is feeling reckless after getting some bad news, so she goes to the Green Gator bar, plays this song on the jukebox, and pretty much dances around by herself.
5. Jolie Blon, by Zachary Richard. This is my favorite version of the song, and as I mentioned Saturday, Jean Lafitte’s pet name for DJ is “Jolie,” in honor of this old Cajun song which is often called the “Cajun National Anthem.” There are a bazillion versions, but this is my favorite.
6. Pontchartrain Prayer Flags, by Noelle Price. This song isn’t so much special to Royal Street as it is special to me. In 2006, not long after Katrina, a singer-songwriter from California came to New Orleans to manage an AmeriCorps construction crew rebuilding houses. She met my friend Nick Marinello in a coffee house where they were both playing, and eventually got married. They’re just awesome people, and this is a song Noelle wrote and recorded after seeing so many mardi gras beads smiling out from the rubble of people’s lives all over town. In Royal Street, I name the pizza place across from DJ’s house after Nick and Noelle. So when you see references to Marinello’s Pizza, well, that’s where the name comes from!
Hope you enjoyed the music!