Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SING THE STATES #18: Louisiana

Did you know that Louisiana is also known as "New France"? Seriously. Wikipedia told me so. What else have I learned recently about the 18th state to join the Union? Well let me tell you: It's the only state that's divided into parishes instead of counties. It was named after King Louis XIV, and was originally called the "Land of Louis" in French. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the state dog. It's home to "The Frog Capital of the Word", "The Crawdad Capital of the World", and "The Most Cajun Place on Earth". In addition to the Creole, jazz, and blues music we all know and love, Louisiana's also home to Zydeco, an accordian-driven brand of Southern folk music that's often still sung in Creole French. Also, Better Than Ezra is from Louisiana. (That's for you Kristin!)

Our song for the state that looks like a stocking is from The Walkmen, who need little introduction. These guys from New York make the kind of music that sounds like its been tutored by just about every major American musical movement from the 20's onward. This song in particular could be an old sepia-tone photograph from the South, with its sauntering bayou beat, lazy-summertime guitar, and mariachi brass. Enjoy!

Also considered: Muddy Waters - Louisiana Blues; Mason Jennings - Going Back to New Orleans; Portugal. The Man - New Orleans; R.E.M. - New Orleans Instrumental No. 1

mp3: The Walkmen - Louisiana
from the album A Hundred Miles Off (Amazon/iTunes)

Check out the rest of our SING THE STATES posts!

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