Listen To This: "Rock This World (feat. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo)" [World Premiere!]

“Rock This World” cover

“Rock This World” cover

Wednesday is always a good day for new music, especially from Mista Cookie Jar. MCJ’s music blends all sorts of genres together and his first 2019 release shows that he’s not changing that approach now. “Rock This World” mixes some EDM, some trap (without the darker undertones), and Mista Cookie Jar’s characteristically revved-up optimism into a song perfect for celebrating anyone who needs a little celebrating. And if that’s not enough, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo throws in a verse, the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae (or the scoop of ube ice cream on top of the halo halo).

I’m happy to be world-premiering this track. Listen below or wherever you and your family jam to digital music.

Mista Cookie Jar (feat. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo) - “Rock This World” [Bandcamp]

Video: "Who Got the Baby in the King Cake" - Johnette Downing

The twelfth day of Christmas, known as Epiphany, is the kickoff to a whole season of “King Cake” baking in New Orleans. During Carnival season, folks bake this ring-shaped pastry with brioche dough, with a plastic baby hidden inside. The lucky person who finds the baby is “king” for a day… and, in some traditions, is obligated to host the next party. It’s a virtuous, party-giving circle, all the way through Mardi Gras.

Johnette Downing has recorded many albums featuring the music and traditions of the New Orleans area she calls home, not to mention having written and illustrated a number of books as well. Her latest book, Who Got the Baby in the King Cake?, recounts the tradition.


To go along with the book, Downing and her husband Scott Billington recruited a trio of Crescent City heavy hitters for a horn front line (trumpeter Kevin Clark, trombonist Craig Klein, and clarinetist Tim Laughlin) to record the book’s accompanying musical track. It grooves and struts sounds classically New Orleans. (The track is from Downing and Billington’s forthcoming album Swamp Romp.)

Anyway, there’s a video to go along with it, which also features Downing’s vibrant illustrations. It’s a bunch of fun. Here’s hoping you find the baby in at least king cake this season.

Johnette Downing - “Who Got the Baby in the King Cake” [YouTube]

Listen To This: "All The Sounds" - Lucy Kalantari and the Jazz Cats (World Premiere!)

All the Sounds album cover

All the Sounds album cover

Big weekend for New York's Lucy Kalantari this weekend -- she's appearing on the Kidzapalooza stage at Lollapalooza today (and yesterday), which, frankly, would probably be enough to qualify anyone's weekend as "big."

But on top of that she's also releasing her new album All the Sounds today, ten songs featuring Kalantari's warm voice and a broad range of jazz styles nimbly interpreted by her backing band The Jazz Cats.  (There's also a guest spot by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, who blends in quite nicely.)  The album's mostly uptempo, but the closing track, which is also the title track, is a lullaby emphasizing the album's theme of listening to the world around you and the desires inside you.

I'm happy to be offering the world premiere of "All the Sounds" -- the track, and the rest of the album, are available to the world today.