Jambalaya Girl Talks New Orleans Food and Music with Wednesday at the Square Bands March 16 2016
In the spirit of festival season, Jambalaya Girl is celebrating good food and good music in New Orleans! At the weekly spring festival in New Orleans, YLC Wednesday at the Square, Jambalaya Girl's food booth serves up her signature Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya. And each week, Jambalaya Girl gets the chance to talk with the bands over a bowl of jambalaya. Check out the highlights from our conversations below and come out to the Square each Wednesday for an all-star lineup of Louisiana musicians and local food (and come say hello to the Jambalaya Girl!). Can't make it to the Square? Check out each band's website to see if they are coming to a city near you soon and order some Jambalaya Girl Jambalaya Rice Mix for an authentic New Orleans festival experience!
Wednesday, March 16
Talking with the Bucktown All-Stars . . .
- Looking forward to y'all joining forces with Bonerama for Wednesday's show, can't wait for all that brass on one stage. What's in store for fest goers for this epic horn blowing performance? This will undoubtedly be the horniest... no wait the most horny... no that isn't what I mean either...let's just say we're gonna turn Lafayette Square into a brass hole... I give up on this one.
- I started my business from my Dad's jambalaya recipe. Being a homegrown NOLA group, what is one of your favorite recipes you learned from your Mom or Dad? Not really a recipe but culinary advice... don't trust anyone who serves red jambalaya!
- It's crawfish and jambalaya season in NOLA. How many crawfish boils have y'all been to so far this year and what's your favorite fixin' to throw in the pot? Is this a trick question? Nothing bad has ever come out of a crawfish pot!!! Can't wait to see everyone getting their Nola horn fueled fix on Wednesday!
Talking with Craig Klein of Bonerama . . .
- When I hear your song "Shake Your Rugalator" it makes me want to shake my regulator to get the Jambalaya pot cooking faster! What does it mean to you shake your Rugalator? A rugalator is something my friend and fellow band mate from the Storyville Stompers brass band invented. It's a painted coconut with lots of voodoo symbols on it with bb's inside that is basically a percussion instrument. Also, makes me think of shaking your butt.
- I started my business from my Dad's jambalaya recipe. Being a homegrown NOLA group, what is one of your favorite recipes you learned from your Mom or Dad? My dad learned to cook from his dad so I learned from both of them. Red beans and rice. We all have our own recipes for that. Mines basically the same except I use very little meat for seasoning, just enough, lots of the vegetables,and I do use lots of garlic and butter in the last couple hours of cooking.
- Who in the band has the biggest cast iron pot or aluminum pot? I have a 15 inch cast iron skillet and I use it all the time. It's seasoned well and getting better all the time. Tho Greg Hicks also likes to cook and he may have a big skillet too.
Wednesday, March 9
- What's the story behind the name, N'awlins Johnnys? The band's name literally came from the mouth of my late grandfather, Harry V. Barton, Sr. I went to Baton Rouge to meet him for lunch one day and I guess I was dressed a little too flashy for his taste. He eyed my up and down and said in his dignified Southern Gentleman's drawl, "Boy, you look like a N'awlins Johnny." I didn't know what it meant, and I didn't dare ask, but the name was stuck on me. A few weeks later I wrote a song called Ballad of New Orleans Johnny, and a few weeks after that I started the band. Only well after the band was up and running did I find out that "New Orleans Johnny" was what my grandfather and his Navy buddies called sailors who missed their port times because they were, um, detained somewhere in the city with a lady of the night. So basically, my grandfather was saying I was dressed like some AWOL john, but it sounded so right when uttered in his voice, that it stuck.
- I started my business from my Dad's jambalaya recipe. Being a homegrown NOLA group, what is one of your favorite recipes you learned from your Mom or Dad? My current favorite recipe isn't really a New Orleans recipe. My grandfather (the other one) was Lebanese and then married a Cajun woman after he moved here, so she put a Cajun flair on all his traditional dishes from "the old country" and those got passed down to me from my mom. The dish I'm thinking of, and which is re-heating presently in my oven, is laham mishwe. That means meat & onions and is about as simple as that sounds. Cube some sirloin steaks into 1.5" cubes and quarter a few sweet onions. Season the meat with cayenne, salt and worchestire sauce. Put the meat and onions on skewers, alternating one piece of meat with one layer of the quartered onion. About 6-7 pieces per skewer. You'll need about 3 skewers per loaf of french bread. Then cook the skewers over an open charcoal pit, no grill. Each time you're going to rotate the skewers, take them off the grill one at a time and place them inside the loaf of french bread, then smoosh. The juices from the meat will soak into the bread this way. Repeat 3 more times so that each side of the skewer get charred. After the last smooshing, take the skewers out, leaving the meat in the french bread. Wrap in foil and let it toast in the oven on low for a while. Cut into portions and serve. Tender steak, inside bread that's soaked with juices of the meat and onions, yet still crispy, is the result.
- As Purveyors of the Boogie, what's one of your favorite songs to play to get the crowd dancing at a festival? Would you know, I've got the fewest words to say about the music. Our favorite originals that get people moving are both about dancing, they're called "Don't Wanna Dance" and "She Move So Fine." You'll hear both of those at the Square. For covers, "I Got Loaded" and "Big Chief" are our secret weapons for getting a dance floor, or patch of grass at a festival, moving.
Wednesday, March 2
Talking with Royal Teeth . . .
- You guys are great ambassadors for Louisiana music & culture. What has been one of your favorite ways to represent NOLA through your band? "Touring! When we are on the road, we take the spirit of New Orleans with us. New Orleans has a special feel to it. We love to capture that. Lots of of drums, rhythm, energy, and fun. We love sharing that with people from all over the country."
- You just announced your tour and new music next month, will we get a preview of some of your new music on Wednesday? "Yes! We will be playing a good mix of new, old, and even a few covers. It should be a good time!"
- I started my business from my Dad's jambalaya recipe. Being from Louisiana, what is one of your favorite recipes you learned from your Mom or Dad? "When I was a kid, my Dad started a side business boiling crawfish for special events and festivals around LA and the gulf coast region. I’ve been a part of that business for as long as I can remember. The recipe works whether you are boiling one sack or 15,000 lbs. - Joshua Hefner"
Talking with Naughty Professor . . .
- You guys played 130 shows in 64 different cities in 2015. What were some of your best bites of food outside of NOLA while you were on the road? We love to eat! We're always looking for the best local cuisine of a new city we're playing in. Texas tends to bring us on the wildest food excursions, perhaps because a few of our band members are originally from there and know the hot spots. One of our most memorable meals at a restaurant was stuffing our faces with glorious BBQ from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas. We tried a taste of everything and everything was amazing. I especially enjoyed the "burnt ends" on the brisket. Aside from a variety of Tex-Mex throughout the state, I would be remiss if I didn't mention our favorite fast food chain, Whataburger. It has become a staple in our road diet for better/worse and it's always there for us when we want and need it most.
- My business was inspired by cooking at festivals and events throughout Louisiana with my Dad. What was some of the inspiration for your band? We were inspired to pursue this band as a full-time project once we realized how collectively we can achieve much more as a collaborative unit than what we can do otherwise. Seeing eye to eye musically and artistically has helped us grow confident in the future of Naughty Professor and we're really excited about where it's going. Plus, we're all good friends so it's a lot of fun.
- As you kick off festival season this Wednesday, what are some new things on tap for Naughty Professor in 2016? We have a lot of great things on tap this Spring! We're currently working on a new album where we're collaborating with some extremely talented vocalists and instrumentalists. Our first recording session was last month at The Music Shed and we featured locals David Shaw (The Revivalists), Jason Butler (Shamarr Allen), Dexter Gilmore (Sexy Dex & The Fresh) and Alexey Marti. We also brought in our friend Cole DeGenova from the Chicago-based band The Heard and recorded original material with everyone. This Friday, March 4th, we have a second studio session booked and are bringing in the world renown baritone rapper Chali 2na from the legendary hip hop group Jurassic 5. We'll be recording new originals with Chali at The Parlor Studio here in New Orleans as well as performing that night with him at Nola Brewery starting at 5pm. We're also sharing the bill at this special event with The Motet featuring Leo Nocentelli! A third studio session for our album is on our calendar between weekends of Jazz Fest with more featured guests TBA. But that's not before we hit the road for a 2 week tour toward the north east states as well as playing our first time at French Quarter Fest on April 9th on the Esplanade in the Shade stage. Hopefully we'll get to play for the crawfish eating competition and join in that action afterwards... We're staying busy and loving it! Thrilled to be kicking off this years Wednesday at the Square concert series and looking forward to all the great music and food ahead!