Johnny Sketch may have been born in Maine, but after a few years playing in rock bands throughout Greater New Orleans, he was able to capture the soul of the city. He studied at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and graduated from Loyola University in 2002 with a degree in classical cello performance. But don’t let the fancy degree fool you. On his new release, Live at the Spleaf, Johnny and his band the Dirty Notes show some down-to-earth roots. You can’t help but wish you were at the show – les bons temps seem to flow through your speakers as Busta Gnutt flicks the bass on “H.B.I.” Theresa Andersson provides guest vocals on “Bandicoot,” a tune that inspires a long drive across a stretch of Southern landscape. Steve Miller plays sax on “Big Blow (Afrifunk).” The final track, “Sherm,” features Harry Pothead on violin, an unexpected addition to the energetic horns evoking circus music toned down with a little sensuality – and that’s just the first three minutes of the almost ten minute track!
Fiction l Carolyn Haines leads the reader through 1940s New Iberia with thrilling twists and turns in Fever Moon. What could make a Southern novel more pleasurably haunting than a murder in a small Louisiana town? Perhaps if the murderer is a suspected loup garou, the Cajun version of a werewolf.
Non-fiction l There was no better time than Mardi Gras for Tami Hotard to release her book In Pursuit of Pat O’Brien, a sardonic journalistic biography of the cocktail king of New Orleans. Hotard offers a colorful account of the locals she meets as she twists and turns through the debaucherous bars, homes, streets – and even a prison – of New Orleans to discover the secrets of the tragic O’Brien family.
Non-fiction l A.J. Meek’s biography of the controversial New Orleans photographer, Clarence John Laughlin: Prophet Without Honor, explores the artist’s life and work through interviews with family and friends and over 30 black and white photographs. Meek, professor emeritus of art at LSU, reveals how the eccentric photographer captured New Orleans and its people.
Children’s Literature l Uno the Cat and Hurricane Katrina, by Catherine Haydel tells the miraculous story of a resilient cat named Uno found a week after the storm by his two loyal owners, Zoe and Caitlin. Uno and the girls, based on the author’s two daughters, remind young readers of the importance of family.
Please send submissions for consideration, attention Morgan Packard, to 110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005.