Night Music: Little Queenie and the Percolators, “My Darlin’ New Orleans”

When I’m asked what the best live show I ever saw was, I sometimes say it was Little Queenie and the Percolators at Kenny’s Castaways in Greenwich Village, maybe in 1980. Other times I say it was the Wild Tchoupitoulas at the Bottom Line, which was perhaps that same busy week as that Little Queenie show. Or not too long after. Sometimes I say it was Rick Danko and Levon Helm at Gerdes Folk City, on West 4th Street in the Village (next to the McDonalds), a few years later.

Those are my three. Small clubs, unexpected delights, rollicking rhythm music pulsing in the big city, courtesy of the south. Mostly New Orleans.

This tune showcases Queenie’s plain spoken and lyrical voice, and a tough rhythm section. It’s one of those chamber of commerce tunes, which is how it ended up as the closing music for the first episode of Treme. But that’s okay. New Orleans has a lot of that and it doesn’t seem to matter. The band plays, the feet tap, memories are made. Imagine.

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