In around 1962 or so we would be driving home late from visiting aunts and uncles, or my uncle Jack’s famous party. My Mom and Dad, with a car full of small children and no build-in DVD players, had to do something to keep the lid on. So we sang songs, all the way home. Old songs, one after the other. We Were Sailing Along Down Moonlight Bay was the one that really stayed with me every since.
Fast forward. 1975 or so, I was playing trumpet with a little band, and we began hanging with Kid Bastien. “You gotta listen to Kid Thomas, man,” he told me, and again, “You gotta listen to Kid Thomas!” Well, I listened to the records, but I just didn’t get it.
Fast forward again to 1978, my first visit to New Orleans, my first meeting with Kid Thomas in person, and the most important musical event of my life. I sat on the Preservation Hall floor not three feet in front of Tom as he played Moonlight Bay, and he changed everything for me. Suddenly, I did get it.
Dr. Michael White, our guest on this CD, is a native New Orleanian who worked with Kid Thomas during the last years of Thomas’ life. One of his favourite of Thomas’ tunes was Moonlight Bay. “The way Kid Thomas used to play this muted style when he did Moonlight Bay, and he just seemed to make the trumpet speak. Made it sound like a baby cry, but it would make you really shake.”
Kid Thomas passed on in 1987; Kid Bastien in 2003. This CD was recorded at the annual festival held in memory of them both. Moonlight Bay is a testament to their legacy and to the spirit of New Orleans Music.
Dr. Michael White appears courtesy of Basin Street Records.
released December 12, 2009
Patrick Tevlin trumpet, vocal (2, 8, 14); Dr Michael White clarinet; Toby Hughes alto sax; Kid Kotowich trombone, vocal (3, 6, 10); Roberta Tevlin piano; Alex Ralph banjo, except: Rainer Hunck banjo (2, 8, 9, 10), Ted Jensen banjo (7); Tyler Thomson string bass; Chuck Clarke drums, vocal (12).
Recorded by Krzysztof Ciarka.
Produced by Patrick Tevlin.
Art and design by Stefan Berg.
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