MEMOIR: For any fan of the Beatles, meeting Paul McCartney is a defining life moment. For a young musician, meeting and spending time with McCartney and his wife Linda as they visited New Orleans to record the fourth studio album for Wings was a dream come true. Earlier this year John Taylor, bass player for the Meanies, background actor in more than 40 films and now author, released his memoir Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975. The 88-page volume includes more than 60 candid photos Taylor shot of the McCartneys, along with his recollections and the reminiscences of other locals who met them during their stay in the Crescent City. The meeting took place when after hearing the McCartneys were coming to New Orleans to record; Taylor decided to stake out local recording studios. He started at Sea-Saint Studio, because it was in his neighborhood. After nearly leaving due to cold feet, a car pulled in and to Taylor’s amazement, his idol was in the driver’s seat. The book details that breathless account, as well as many charming tales of the famous couple’s time in New Orleans.
OPERA: In his first solo album for Warner Classics, Héroïque: French Opera Arias, American tenor and New Orleans native Bryan Hymel delivers powerful and passionate performances. The strength of his voice and ease with which he delivers even the highest high notes is worth the price of admission, but in Hymel listeners get not only technical precision, but also dramatic, emotion-filled style. A fast-rising star, Hymel is the go-to tenor for challenging French repertoire. He is the winner of the 2013 Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for a trio of performances in Les Troyens, Robert le diable and Rusalka at London’s Royal Opera House. He has performed in top opera houses throughout the world. He studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia under Bill Schuman. Upcoming performances include his house debuts in Les Troyens at the San Francisco Opera in June and in La Damnation de Faust at the Opéra National de Paris.
AMERICANA: Shreveport-born singer and songwriter Kelcy Mae is touring in support of her 2014 double EP release Half-Light. Catchy melodies are infused with the New Orleans-based musician’s bluegrass, country and rock influences, and its expressive lyrics reflect her creative writing background (Disclosure, Mae writes for New Orleans Magazine publisher, Renaissance Publishing LLC). Catch Mae performing at Siberia on March 15, and at Banks Street Bar and Grill on March 26.
Please send submissions for consideration, attention: Melanie Spencer, 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005.