Thursday, May 22, 2008

From Jazzfest to Crawfishfest

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is still an echoing memory as the countdown begins to its junior counterpart, Michael Arnone's Crawfishfest. The countdown to Crawfest is underway -- in nine days the sounds, sights, tastes and aromas of Louisiana will inundate the green mountans of western New Jersey.
The Radiators will headline Friday night's show after warming up with a pair of gigs this weekend at the venerable Maple Leaf in New Orleans. Fans of this extraordinary band know how special the Rads have been over 30 years of history. Over that time no two sets have been the same as principal songwriter Ed Volker has penned literally thousands of songs while he, frontman Dave Malone and the rest of the band have mined the history of New Orleans music dating back to Jelly Roll Morton and worked up arrangements of traditional folk, country and classic rock songs that allow them to classify all their material as "fish head music."
The Radiators own an important footnote in rock history -- this is the the only rock group to have toured consistently under the same name over the last 30 years with all of its original members. During this time the Rads have been on the road nonstop, taking a brief break from their rigorous touring schedule only to record. This work ethic, and the band's sense of carrying the flag for the musical heritage of Louisiana's music, has kept the Radiators' sound fresh through all the myriad changes the world at large and the strange universe of popular music has experienced over that time. Though they have been together longer than a lot of bands that are stuck in an "oldies" rut the Rads will never rest on laurels but are always willing to stake their collective reputation on how good their next set is going to be. That's a standard every artist should aspire to.

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