#22504 - Burris and Minos the Saint play New Orleans

New Orleans has a rich history of live local music and buzzes with culture, but just 75 miles up the river, Baton Rouge sits pulsing with a different kind of energy. Baton Rouge has been described as 'up-and-coming' with a diverse music scene full of everything from singer/songwriters to local rappers and new Indie bands. “New Orleans has a different cultural history than Baton Rouge. Because of that, I think there is a lot to be learned and I think that it is a source of very interesting interactions between artists in the two cities. New Orleans has been known as a center of culture for centuries. Most would agree that Baton Rouge is very new to seeing itself in that way. New Orleans is such a unique city in the world that experiencing its culture and community is a valuable experience for anyone. It’s a fantastic city, and it’s the closest city to Baton Rouge. It’s a logical place for Baton Rouge bands and musicians to go beyond their hometown and develop listeners in other places,” said Ben Herrington of Minos the Saint and Burris.

Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal Street. Photo from Chickie Wah Wah's facebook page

Chickie Wah Wah, 2828 Canal Street. Photo from Chickie Wah Wah's facebook page

John Driver, a music/talent buyer in New Orleans agrees. Driver, as Family Fish Productions, is responsible for booking two Baton Rouge bands, Burris and Minos the Saint this Friday at Chickie Wah Wah, in New Orleans. Driver said, “I’m a true music lover. I go out and scout music for you to listen to in different venues. I buy the music I like. If I don’t buy the music I like for myself, how can I convince you to like it? Burris and Minos the Saint are two bands I scouted highly and they are probably, along with Ship of Fools, the three best things I’ve heard come out of Baton Rouge in the last two years. I thought Burris and Minos would garner a good crowd that would appreciate them more in an intimate setting, which would focus on the music. Chickie Wah Wah is a listening room; it is a fine listening room. You can come and have a good time but first and foremost, it’s the music.”

Driver is excited to host these two Baton Rouge bands and the bands are excited to play this post Thanksgiving show. “A lot of our friends play at Chickie Wah Wah. It’s always nice to play in a new venue that supports local music especially one that is not afraid to invite Baton Rouge bands into the New Orleans scene; it was very kind of them to do that,” said Peter Simon of Minos the Saint.

Driver books shows intentionally and has high hopes for this upcoming Friday show. He hopes to get music listeners interested in what’s happening and bring some Baton Rougeans to New Orleans while also involving the New Orleans scene in what is happening in Baton Rouge. “First, I hope to create a Baton Rouge buzz in New Orleans where students, resident and fans from BR will make the trip downriver to see Minos the Saint and Burris in an entirely different venue. I hope to garner a portion of the Baton Rouge audience. I also want to get these bands off to a new start. I want to get the music buyers interested in something new and something exciting. Lastly, these kids are going to come in here and kick ass and have a good show. I hope to not only garner a Baton Rouge audience who will make the trip downriver but also garner a New Orleans audience who will continue to support them,” Driver said.

“Music makes its way around; I think there are a lot of New Orleans bands that people care about in Baton Rouge and in the same way, New Orleans people will hear stuff they like and want to support it,” said Peter Simon of Minos the Saint.

Minos the Saint at Ogden Park Prowl. Photo by Nick Martino

Minos the Saint at Ogden Park Prowl. Photo by Nick Martino

This Friday, Minos the Saint will grace the stage at Chickie Wah Wah at 8pm. Driver said, “I’m interested in how Minos the Saint takes this chamber music and twists it around. I don’t know what to call it but I like the instrumentation and the way they take these mellow, sit back songs and energize them. That’s my attraction to Minos the Saint.”

Ben Herrington of Minos the Saint described Minos’ unique sound, “I think it’s the combining of equal part improvisation, classical background and folk with very unique songwriting. Those are essentially the basic elements that make our sound unique. I don’t think there are many groups who draw as strongly on those elements as we do. We draw on them in equal parts, the classical background, improvisation, folk influences and unique songwriting.”

Following Minos the Saint, Burris will play at 10pm. “Burris is unique in that every member of the band has a different musical identity; we all have very distinctive styles, we have a way of doing what we do that is all our own; the band also has such a wide range of influences and that comes from having a 7-person band,” said Scott Graves of Burris.

Burris at The Highlander. Photo by Nick Martino

Burris at The Highlander. Photo by Nick Martino

"I like Burris’s professionalism. When I refer to a band as being professional, I don’t mean their business sense. I mean their chops, their musical ability. I’m basically saying this a good band; this band has a future,” said Driver.

You can make the trip to Chickie Wah Wah to hear these two bands on Friday, November 27 and support Baton Rouge music making some noise in New Orleans. “I think the way for Baton Rouge bands to start playing in New Orleans more is to get connected down there. I think Baton Rouge musicians need to draw upon the experiences we’ve had in BR and how we formed our connections and community here and use that to help us understand how we get connected in New Orleans. I think for us it is first of all, respecting what is already going on there and learning about who is doing what and just allowing collaborations and interactions to happen naturally,” said Ben Herrington of Minos the Saint and Burris.

Burris at The Highlander. Photo by Nick Martino

Burris at The Highlander. Photo by Nick Martino

We should be supporting the fact that New Orleans has such a history of live music whereas Baton Rouge is up-and-coming. For New Orleans to open up its doors for musicians like us, that’s really cool. I think one way to see this happen more is for bands to work with each other,” said Chris Hochkeppel of Burris.   

Driver is doing what he can to create a space for Baton Rouge musicians in New Orleans. He describes himself as a music lover who wants to support good music. Baton Rouge has a great music city and a great music program; Baton Rouge is more remembered for blues artists. I think a lot of these younger bands that are coming from Baton Rouge are really the torchbearers of this new scene. This is my first step; Chickie Wah Wah is making a dent. There’s no other music venues down here sticking their neck out and it’s gotta start somewhere,” said Driver.

Baton Rouge is conveniently located near two other great music cities, Lafayette and New Orleans and there’s no reason not to take advantage of our geographic location and shuffle around between these music communities. “I’m excited to have the people that I’ve been meeting in New Orleans come out and see these two groups. I’ve been hanging out with new people in New Orleans and I’m excited to expose them to two very hardworking Baton Rouge groups who are trying to be an active part of a New Orleans dynamic. I’ve heard Baton Rougeans say that you can’t play in NOLA unless you live there. That is not true but it is true to an extent. I think that in order for Baton Rouge bands to have a role in the scene in New Orleans, they need to come to the scene in New Orleans and make connections. As a New Orleans transplant via Baton Rouge, I’m happy to bring Baton Rouge bands into New Orleans. My connections are growing; I’ve met a lot of people. The New Orleans scene is bigger and a little more competitive than Baton Rouge, but still a very friendly scene,” said Scott Graves of Burris.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Jive team and don’t forget to emerge from your turkey coma and make the trip to New Orleans this Friday to #listenlocalBR
~Emily Jean McCollister

Jive Picks (Week of November 20th)

The Enchanted Forest (LSU Campus) today, 11/19

The Enchanted Forest (LSU Campus) today, 11/19

Hello Baton Rougeans, Happy Thursday!

As per always, it's a beautiful day in BR (even if it's November and Summer refuses to die).

There's a lot happening these days in the city and you don't want to miss out on this weekend's festivities!



Friday, November 19th:

~Ship of Fools + Royal Teeth + Von Mozes @ Spanish Moon. 9pm. $10 cover.

~Nice Dog + Sari + Camp Life @ BRMS. 8pm. $7 cover.

~White Light Night in Midcity. 6pm.

~KLSU A Backyard Beat Affair @ Beauvoir Park. 6pm. $5 cover.

Saturday, November 20th:

~See Schaff Run w/ Motel Radio (formerly Palmyra) and Renshaw Davies @ Chelsea's. 9pm.

~T-Ray the Violinist, Drexal Flowers, James Jackson & Vance Hommes @ Spanish Moon. 9pm.

Have a good weekend and #listenlocalBR

New School Year, New Website, Same Jive

Dear Reader,

We at Jive Flamingo felt like it was time to freshen up our look and usher in a new season. With the start of the Fall Semester, we figured that there was no better time to shake things up.

Who are we?

Jive Flamingo has been serving the Baton Rouge community by providing a calendar and blog since early 2013 and we are excited for what is to come! The Baton Rouge music and arts scene has a lot to offer and we are here so that you know about it. We don’t want you to miss a thing.

Jive Flamingo is a volunteer-run music project dedicated to Baton Rouge. We believe that original music can be the backbone of a solid community, and we know that Baton Rouge is not lacking in artistic and musical talent. We affectionately refer to ourselves as “Baton Rouge’s music cheerleader” because we love to support, encourage, and celebrate all the great things Baton Rouge musicians are doing. We want to see the city of Baton Rouge embrace its arts community and be as proud as we are to call Baton Rouge home.

On our website you can:

●      Read blog posts. We update our blog weekly with fresh content!

●      Access a Calendar. We maintain a weekly calendar that will point you to our hand-selected recommendations for local original music in Baton Rouge.

●      Check out our photo gallery. We are in the process of updating our gallery. Once it is completed, there will be albums of photos from shows in Baton Rouge taken by local photographers like Chelsea Layne, Nick Martino, Jordan Hefler and more! 

Thanks for reading! We hope that you are as excited as we are for all the great things happening in Baton Rouge. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and always #listenlocalBR

Jive On,

Emily Jean McCollister

Jive Flamingo’s Managing Editor

JIVE PICKS (week of august 12th)

IT IS TIME FOR SOME JIVE PICKS! *raises the roof*

It’s a lovely day here in the Rouge and there are amazing musical things happening left and right! Check out our calendar for additional events, get off your couch (it’s comfy, I knowwww) and #listenlocalBR!





"Uncle Flam" says...

Jive Flamingo is very proud to introduce fancy new graphic capabilities-- thanks to our newest team member, Lafayette native and LSU alum, Mr. Tanner Simoneaux. Thanks to Tanner, today "Uncle Flam" reminds you to do your patriotic duty and support our local music community. ONLY YOU can prevent lameness in Baton Rouge.

Look out for more creative work from Tanner on the blog and Facebook page coming soon! And check out his introduction below! 



About Tanner Simoneaux

Tanner is affectionately known by his peers and admirers alike as Tan the Man because he is just that, The Man. The man with the plan, the man with the brand, and the man with the steady hand. With a knack for doodling rivaled only by his limitless creativity, his lifelong quest is to show the real world the imaginary one in his head. Through eye catching visuals, clever wordplay and the best tool of all, humor, he's just a nice dude trying to make the world a little nicer and a little prettier. Not one to drag things out or get long winded, he sums it up quite nicely in his own personal mantra, "Please the eye, provoke the mind"... And that he does, that he surely does. (But don't call him Shirley)

In Conversation with Cafe Au Lait

cafe au lait Between the steady dedication to creativity of Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room and the Shaw Center and the fresh offerings at Third Street venues like this Friday’s Water Seed/Cafe Au Lait/ Glamour Profession  line-up at the Roux House, original music has officially taken root in the downtown scene. “I don’t mean to be bragadocious, but we kind of spearheaded that.” Anthony “Tony Phlare” Knighten, bandleader and drummer for New Orleans/Baton Rouge trio Cafe Au Lait, said during my interview with the band on Tuesday. “Yeah, we were there years ago, when it was not popular to be an original band playing on Third Street. We were that band that was splitting up 30 dollars.” Andrew Davis, who plays guitar and synth with the band, reiterated that the downtown scene has really changed, “Mike Foster and John Gray were out there even before us, and they just moved in to Monday nights [a successful weekly series at the Roux House that Jive covered recently].”

Bassist  Lawrence

Third Street isn’t all Cafe Au Lait members Knighten, Davis, and bassist Lawrence “Chief” Ussin, have seen develop over the years.  The three men, who all studied music at Baton Rouge universities and have worked together locally for more than a decade in various configurations, say the city’s music community has come a long way. “It’s like big brothers watching the little guys come up.… I’m proud that Baton Rouge is finally realizing how much musical talent and ability is coming through the city. There are a lot of gifted musicians who are coming out of Baton Rouge right now. I’m thankful, because ten years ago it wasn’t like that.” Knighten reflected.

Cafe Au Lait’s growth as a band in some ways mirrors the larger community’s evolution. Its history began with a predecessor project formed in 2003 called “Category Six,” experimentation with a variety of genres (including gospel, heavy metal, AND gospel with heavy metal elements), a break-up over growing pains, and a coming back together story.  Now, as a “stripped down” trio, the band has found a sweet spot of richness and versatility that can meet any audience where it’s at and get everyone into the groove.  Knighten explained, “It’s funny, because we always try to be on the side of funky with a mix of R&B and jazz in there, but for whatever reason when people come to hear us play, they always come to the conclusion that we make baby-making music.”

Andrew Davis

Davis agreed, “There’s a blending that has to happen, because there’s only three of us. if we all have the same vibe at the same time, it can be a little stale. So, we taking a complementary approach to what we’re playing. I love to play things in a lyrical, smooth, connected a way…. By bringing our different textures it’s a lot easier to fill up the sound.”

Through development of their distinct, individual voices, the members of Cafe Au Lait come together to produce a colorful, well-layered sound. While Knighten drums with what he calls “rhythmic melody” to complement the rest of the band, bassist Ussin brings that “baby-making” funk pulsing through Cafe Au Lait’s songs. When asked, Ussin wouldn’t attempt to explain his musical style: “Most of the players I like are funk, like Bootsy Collins and stuff like that, but it don’t really come out that way. I can tell you who I aspire to be like, but all I can say is that I play like Chief.”

Like the band’s delicious namesake-- “cafe au lait” is a mixture of dark roast coffee, hot milk, half and half-- the trio’s resulting sound is bold and rich with a smooth finish. “Basically, people say Lawrence and I are like one instrument,” Knighten said of he and Ussin’s percussion/bass collaboration. “And Drew [Davis] plays the silky thing.”

Although Cafe Au Lait is a solid standalone act, the band’s versatility has lent itself to numerous collaborations, particularly with vocalists. One night, the band might play an all original set with Michael Liuzza, and the next they may be covering jazz standards with Christien Bold. They even took one of their collaborators, Clif Saint Laurent, with them to their second appearance at the Destination Aquin International Festival in Haiti last April.


When asked about their experience at the Haiti festival, Knighten said “Haiti is our second home. Period.” Davis agreed enthusiastically, “The bookers [of the festival] told us, ‘You’re the first non-Haitian band to play at this festival two years in a row.’” This likely has to do with the deep cultural connection between Haiti and New Orleans. “Haiti spirit is very much like that of Louisiana.” says Knighten. Indeed, Afro-Latino influence, so deeply rooted in the New Orleans music tradition, pervades the band’s music.

Although Davis said the band members “could talk all day” in interview, he invites you to engage in conversation with the band on Friday. Instead of having a pre-planned setlist, Cafe Au Lait gets on stage ready to engage in a “give and take” with the audience.  Knighten elaborated, “We might get somewhere and we’re thinking we need to play a more rocky show, but it all depends on the mood and temperature of the crowd.  We’re reading their emotion and taking and augmenting their emotion... by the time you’re on the third song, you realize that you’re moving without even thinking about it.”

Beyond this Friday, the band is looking forward to sharing new music that reflects all the aspects of its funky personality, anticipating an album release by the first of next year. And “Chief” Ussin, who was the most reserved of the three in the interview, let me know in no uncertain terms to be ready for that day: “All I have to say is, come January 2016, everybody just prepare to get your faces funked off.”

My calendar is marked, Chief.


Catch Cafe Au Lait with Water Seed and Glamour Profession at the Roux House this Friday night. Details here. AND look out tomorrow and Friday for ticket giveaways to this and the Hydrogen Child/Startisan/Breton Sound (details here) concert on the Jive Flamingo Facebook Page!