HISTORY: In Lift Your Spirits: A Celebratory History of Cocktail Culture in New Orleans, by Elizabeth M. Williams and Chris McMillian, the authors lead readers through New Orleans’ storied relationship with the bottle, glass, mug and – well, you get the picture. Williams, founder and director of the Southern Food & Beverage Institute, and McMillian, a world-renowned bartender, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail at SoFab and co-owner of Revel in Mid-City with his wife Laura, cover the culture, history, myths and legends of cocktailing in the Crescent City, as well as offering up recipes and recommendations for cocktail bars. With black-and-white illustrations and a glossary of mixology terminology, this boozy little book is bound to become an invaluable reference in your cocktail library.
JAZZ: The first volume of a six-part set, Davell Crawford’s, Piano In The Vaults, Vol. 1, was released in June. This vibrant 13-track album pays homage to piano greats, such as James Booker in “Song for James” and “Booker Days,” as well as Jelly Roll Morton, Percy Walker and the pianist and singer’s own grandfather, James “Sugarboy” Crawford.
Steeped in New Orleans’ tradition of piano music, Crawford’s own compositions mingle deftly with the covers. The entire set includes music recorded between 1998 and 2013 and is released by Basin Street Records.
SOUL/BLUES: The Royal Southern Brotherhood released its The Royal Gospel in June. Recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, the Ruf Records release is the supergroup’s fourth album.
ARCHITECTURE: In many ways, residents and fans of the Warehouse District have Pres Kabacoff and Edward B. Boettner to thank. The two men are the visionary leaders of HRI Properties, which has been integral in the New Urbanism movement and revitalizing abandoned historic neighborhoods. Revitalizing Cities: The HRI Vision, a new release by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, explores the history and philosophy of this innovative real estate company. Color photos add to the inside view of these passionate visionaries.