Saturday, January 3, 2015

In Depth... The Mick "Slewfoot" McLaughlin Video

Slewfoot was MarkMcLaughlin.  He told me his friends called him Mick, and I considered it an honor to be so regarded.

I first met Mick in 2004, where he was playing pretty much in the same place you see in this video, on the east bank levy of the Mississippi River at the corner of the New Orleans French Quarter.  He was performing for tips with his girlfriend and musical partner Cary B.  She can be seen in several of the video stills.  I was so impressed that I bought one of his CDs.  Before my next visit there, Katrina hit and I lost touch with him until 2010.

When we met again, he looked haggard and his voice was gravelly.  I suggested he just play and not sing.  “People won’t tip you if you don’t sing,” he said.  So he continued to sing his heart out.  He died in his sleep in 2011, and was honored with a second line (jazz funeral) procession lead by the Treme Brass Band and Uncle Lionel Batiste.

The video is my gift to Mick.  I took the studio CD recording and used it to cradle his weak voice on the levy.  Some portions of the video were re-paced to match the slight variations in cadence between the video and CD recordings.

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