Archives for February 14, 2019

Johnette Downing and Scott Billington Explore Louisiana Culture with Album SWAMP ROMP



All-Ages Dance Party Traverses the Rich Music and Culture of New Orleans and Beyond;
Available in Time for Mardi Gras 2019!

Inviting her many fans to “pass a good time” in the new year, Johnette Downing, a multi-award-winning and internationally touring musician, author, and former educator, will release SWAMP ROMP on February 15, 2019.  This festive “Louisiana Dance Party” is Downing’s first project with partner Scott Billington, a three-time GRAMMY Award-winning record producer and musician.  Featuring a stellar array of Louisiana musical talent, SWAMP ROMP arrives in plenty of time for Mardi Gras celebrations. The first single “How To Dress a Po’ Boy” (also the title of one of Downing’s many picture books) is available now from  www.johnettedowning.com.

Five years in the making, and debuted publicly at a recent GRAMMY Museum concert, this record is anhomage to the place, people, music, and culture that both Downing (a New Orleans native) and Billington hold dear. A tasty mélange of musical styles is reflected in these 15 original child-friendly songs (and one adapted traditional Cajun tune). The physical album includes 16 pages of lyrics and colorful liner notes, offering teachers and families a useful resource for learning about Louisiana’s rich heritage.

The laissez les bon temps roulez spirit comes alive with the first title track, a jaunty harmonica-laced “swamp pop” party song. From there, Johnette and Scott take listeners for a ride through the landscape of Louisiana roots music, from New Orleans R&B to Cajun to traditional jazz. Supporting musicians include Irma Thomas, Roddie Romero, Joel Savoy, James Singleton, Doug Belote, Lee Allen Zeno, Matt Perrine, Wilson Savoy, Jake Eckert, C.R. Gruver, “Washboard Chaz” Leary, members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Roger Lewis, Kevin Harris and Kirk Joseph), members of the Dukes of Dixieland (Kevin Clark, Craig Klein and Tim Laughlin), the McCrary Sisters and members of the ReBirth Brass Band (Keith Frazier and Derrick Tabb).

Sonically sophisticated to please grown-up ears, SWAMP ROMP was created with the youngest listeners in mind. Downing’s three-decade career as a family music performer and recording artist has caught the attention of critics and fans around the country.  Some of the songs on her previous ten albums reflect her Louisiana upbringing. “In some ways, SWAMP ROMP is the culmination of all I’ve been doing and creating for children,” Downing says. She advises her listeners to “take off your shoes and roll up the rug. It’s time to Swamp Romp!”

Johnette and Scott will share the new songs at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in January and February. Johnette also launched her new music video and book Who Got the Baby in the King Cake?  The song for the book appears on SWAMP ROMP.  More concerts and music videos are planned to celebrate the release of SWAMP ROMP during 2019. To extend the cultural learning, Downing is developing an activity guide for classrooms and playgroups. Visit www.johnettedowning.com and follow the group on Facebook for the latest news.

I had the opportunity to listen to this CD and it’s a lot of fun! I highly recommend for young children!

Self Disclosure: I received a free CD to facilitate this post. Images and information was also provided from Sugar Mountain PR.