BLUES: It is hard to put a label on many musicians due to their extensive knowledge of the art. Louisiana native Bobby Rush is no exception. While most would probably consider him a blues artist, there are certainly traces of funk, soul and soft Southern rock in his music. Nov. 27 marks the release of Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, a re-release of over four hours of his previous work. Rush, now 81, is proving that age doesn’t always slow you down, and earlier this year he took home two awards at the 2015 Blues Music Awards for Best Male Blues Artist and the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. If you consider yourself a fan of Bobby Rush or just a fan of pure music with real meaning, this collection is certainly a must-have.
PHOTOGRAPHY: In New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy, photojournalist Cheryl Gerber trains her lens on the everyday life of the city’s inhabitants. Celebrations, change and a look at the ever-present imbalances in New Orleans are all included in the colorful and often emotional volume. The book also includes a handy glossary and an essay by New Orleans writer (and New Orleans Magazine columnist) Chris Rose. Gerber’s work has appeared in this publication, The New York Times and The Associated Press, and the Press Club of New Orleans has honored her for both her news photography and labors on social issues.
COOKBOOK: New Orleans writer, cook and “Louisiana Eats!” radio show host Poppy Tooker’s newest effort, Tujague’s Cookbook, offers up 100 recipes from the famed French Quarter institution and the stories behind each one. The 192 page collection features 70 color photos and focuses on New Orleans creole dishes, including trout meunière amandine, shrimp remoulade and bread pudding. No book on Tujague’s would be complete without cocktail recipes. Sazaracs, Pimm’s Cups and Grasshoppers are all included, the latter of course having been created at Tujague’s.
NONFICTION: The obituary is a time-honored art form and there are few who do it better than award-winning journalist John Pope. In Getting Off at Elysian Fields: Obituaries from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Pope shares the best of the best, in a collection as vibrant as its city’s, gone but not forgotten former occupants.