ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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Everybody say, What's the matter with Walter? / Answer, Walter's an artist

always going to be trying something different, / risking it.

 

   

Walter Washington CDs

 Funk Is in the House  /  On the Prowl  /  Out of the Dark  /  Sada  /  Blue Moon Risin'  / Wolf at the Door

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Books by Lee Meitzen Grue

Goodbye Silver, Silver Cloud  /  In the Sweet Balance of the Flesh   / French Quarter Poems  / Three Poets in New Orleans  / Downtown

CD Live! On Frenchmen Street

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Walter Washington

            By Lee Meitzen Grue

 

Now the Wolfman got his teeth

shines them at Tip's.

 

Walter, you lit us up without

at Dorothy's Medallion on Orleans Avenue

Even James Baldwin went there listening

Some lights you can't hide.

 

Last night those slides snake-hipped

around your news, drive

lights flashed up, in our eyes, on stage,

some punk in your funk

almost like needle skips

Everybody say, What's the matter with Walter?

Answer, Walter's an artist

always going to be trying something different,

risking it.

 

Saying, Listening up,

everybody going to try it,

nobody going to do it.

 

And we shiver down, arms up, wave, clap,

and freeze, scream Walter, Walter, Walter.

 

But what gets our shaking admiration

don't get us in the gut

What moves is still the blues.

"Walter Washington" appeared in The Louisiana English Journal

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Walter Wolfman Washington on YouTube

 Live 1998  / French Quarter Festival 2008  / Big Easy  / Southern Comfort-I Got A Woman  / Tipitina's Jam

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Audio: My Story, My Song (Featuring blues guitarist Walter Wolfman Washington)

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Walter "Wolfman" Washington (born December 21, 1943) is an American singer and guitarist based in New Orleans, Louisiana. While his roots is in the blues music, he blends in the essence of funk and R&B to create his own unique sound. . . . Washington released his first solo album Rainin' In My Heart in 1981 from a small local label Help Me. He landed a contract with Rounder Records in the mid 1980s and he released total of three albums from the label. After the Rounder days, he also released an album from Virgin subsidiary Point Blank Records.

Washington started to play regularly with New Orleans musicians Joe Krown (org.) and Russell Batiste, Jr. (ds.) working as a trio at the Maple Leaf Bar.

In 2008 he released the critically acclaimed Doin' the Funky Thing, his first album in many years. Live at the Maple Leaf, a live recording by Krown, Washington, Batiste was also released in the same year. Wikipedia

Walter "Wolfman" Washington Biography

Walter Washington became a local legend in the Black clubs of New Orleans in the '70s and '80s and worked his way up to national status with a series of well-received albums and appearances. His recording affiliations have likewise moved from local to national independent to major label. An innovative guitarist and fine singer who has also done some excellent work with vocalist Johnny Adams, Washington does not perform in the classic New Orleans R&B mold but incorporates soul, funk, jazz, and blues with fluency and power.

Washington was born and raised in New Orleans, where he performed in his mother's church choir as a child. As he grew older, he fell in love with blues and R&B and he learned how to play guitar. His first big break came in the form of a supporting role for vocalist Johnny Adams, working with the singer in the late '50s. In the early '60s, Washington became a member of Lee Dorsey's touring band; after that engagment was through, he worked with Irma Thomas.

In the mid-'60s, Washington formed his own group, the All Fools Band, and began headlining at local New Orleans clubs. By the early '70s, his popularity had grown enough to earn him a slot on a European package tour of New Orleans R&B acts. In the late '70s, he toured Europe on his own with his new band, the Roadmasters.

Washington began his recording career relatively late, cutting his first album in 1981. The record, Rainin' In My Heart, appeared on a small independent lable called Help Me; it was later re-released on Maison de Soul. Four years after his debut, Washington landed a contract with Rounder Records, releasing Wolf Tracks in 1986. The guitarist recorded two more albums for Rounder -- Out of the Dark (1988) and Wolf at the Door -- before moving the major-label, Point Blank/Charisma in 1991. Throughout the '90s, Washington continued to perform regularly, particularly in New Orleans clubs, and he recorded occasionally, yielding Blue Moon Risin' in 1999 and On the Prowl a year later. Jim O'Neal, All Music Guide

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Downtown

By Lee Meitzen Grue

Lee Grue is arguably one of the finest practitioners of poetry in New Orleans' storied history. These superb writs are equal to the upwelling of jazz itself: from Tremé street corners, to the wayward French Quarter, to the carefree vibes of Bywater, all the way to back o' town; this astonishing collection speaks from a mythic pantheon off yowls & beats as timeless as the Crescent City herself. "If you're missing New Orleans, and you know what that means, you need to read Grue's book front to back, place by place, time by time, name by name, everything that breaks your broken heart and asks it to sing. A generous, loving tribute to poetry and to New Orleans"—Dara Wier

 "Lee Grue's work is one of the majestic pylons that keeps New Orleans above water, a pylon woven thickly and subtly from the city's history. Her poetry weaves her personal history to the five centuries of the city's own, a fabric stronger than the dreams of engineers. Lee Grue holds us all on the warm open hand of her music; she emanates the love that raises the soul levees"—Andrei Codrescu\

Lee Meitzen Grue was born in Plaquemine, Louisiana, a small town upriver. New Orleans has been home for most of her life. She began reading her poetry at The Quorum Club during the early sixties. There she met musicians Eluard Burt and Maurice Martinez (bandleader Marty Most). Burt had just come back to New Orleans from San Francisco, where he had been influenced by the Beats. Eluard Burt and Lee Grue continued to work together over many years. Burt and his photographer wife, Kichea Burt, came home to New Orleans from California again in the nineties, where the three collaborated on a CD, Live! on Frenchmen Street. Eluard Burt passed in 2007.

Kichea Burt contributed some of the photographs in Grue's book DOWNTOWN. During the intervening years Grue reared children, directed The New Orleans Poetry Forum workshop, and NEA poetry readings in the Backyard Poetry Theater. In 1982 she began editing New Laurel Review, an independent international literary journal which is still published today. She has lived downtown in the Bywater for thirty-five years. After the flood of 2005 she began teaching fiction and poetry at the Alvar Library, which is three blocks from her house. Her other books are: Trains and Other Intrusions, French Quarter Poems,  In the Sweet Balance of the Flesh, and Goodbye Silver, Silver Cloud, short fiction.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 7 July 2008

 

 

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