Terrifying (brilliant) New Orleans Piano - James Booker

I’ve been really enjoying Jon’s New Orleans piano lessons, and thought I’d share this for anyone else keen on the style:

Something to aspire to … in a million years :joy:



You’re right! This is “terrifyingly brilliant.” Sort of just leaves me with a big “Wow.” I’ve had it on replay for some time. So good! His voice is a lot like that of Levon Helm from the incredible group, The Band (quite popular in the late 60s-early 70s and even made it to the cover of Time magazine.) They’re one of my all-time favorite groups.

Martin Scorsese filmed the documentary The Last Waltz for their last performance together. It’s well worth a look.

I’m sharing a couple of their tunes that I think are in keeping with this vibe. I’d urge anyone who finds this interesting to check them out. They were a group of Canadians (with a drummer from Arkansas) who were Bob Dylan’s backup band for some time as well.

I have eclectic tastes, and The Band is definitely in my top 5 acts considering all genres and artists.

Thanks for sharing! :musical_keyboard:


Nice find @JJC - I’m also a big fan of James Booker.

I did a 10 hour drive last summer and took the opportunity to listen to his entire discography :grin:

Here are my favourite Booker recordings. These are all vocal versions and I’ve added the timestamps for his solo piano fills which may be of more interest to you. His introductions on these recordings are wonderful.

Ain’t Nobody’s Business

Baby Please Send Me Someone To Love

  • Beautiful introduction
  • 2:50 to 3:55
  • there are a couple of versions of this tune if you search YouTube

Since I Fell For You

  • Beautiful Introduction
  • 1:05 to 1:15
  • 3:09 to 4:30

If You’re Lonely

  • Beautiful Introduction

True - Live at Montreux Jazz Fest


If you are interested in learning this style and learning more about James Booker, here are some lessons, courses, and seminars:

Here is a breakdown of his arrangement of “True”

Also see the chapters on James Booker starting at 43 minutes in this seminar to learn more about him and his music:

Finally, the 8 bar blues is a great medium to explore his style:


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These are all great links - thanks guys! My neighbours better brace themselves for an extended period listening to Booker and The Band. :joy: Fortunately for them, my own efforts will be silenced by the headphones on my piano.

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And special thanks for the time stamps Haydn - so helpful! I’ll see how much I can figure out of what he’s playing, though much of it is waaaaaay too fast for me!