The Historic New Orleans Collection
If any one musical artist embodies ALL of the Crescent City elements and personalities shaken and stirred in one Mardi Gras-hued brain, it was Ernie K-Doe. Yes, he had a modestly successful career as an R&B singer (most notably for "Mother-in-Law"), but he was a terrific entertainer, an amazing disc jockey for the hometown WWOZ radio station, and held court for years at his own Mother-in-Law Lounge. What a life! The musicians and personalities he knew, and the adventures he had, were absolutely unique. And Sandmel, a fine musician in his own right, writes eloquently and wittily in this gorgeously constructed book. People all the time ask me what's magical about New Orleans. Read this, folks.
- RICK KOSTER