The Black Rose of New Orleans

by The Saturday Nite Fish Fry

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about

The original Saturday Nite Fish Fry began in 2001 and debuted a first recording – Jump, Shout Rock da House. Soon after, blues vocalist Shakura S’Aida joined the band and remained until breaking solo in 2006. Shakura was featured on two recordings – Rhythm & Soul and Dirt Road Blues. After S’Aida’s departure, Bill King – band founder, moved on to various recording projects with young singers and in 2008 introduced the first edition of Rhythm Express and the soul/jazz recording, Beat Street.

A few months back King was asked to bring back the band and play a corporate gig in Collingwood. This time around he used Rhythm Express sidemen along with vocalist Maiko Watson up front. Not long after, guitar legend, Danny McBride arrived in town for an exhibition of his paintings at True North Gallery. Dan played on King’s early recording for Capitol records (Goodbye Superdad) in 1971 and again in Canadian rock group China (Epic Records) in 1982. King says “Danny’s one of my all-time fav guitarists.”

King had an original scripted a few years back for a musical he wrote, Gloryland, he thought would serve the band well – with a new sound and energy. “The Black Rose of New Orleans” is about the women who operated the brothels of New Orleans in the 20’s and 30’s and looked after the first jazz musicians in Storyville. Jelly “Roll” Morton and the likes; fertile ground for a new music revolution. King began to imagine what these women were like; their surroundings and the times. “They were tough, commanding figures – proud and ambitious,” he says. The song wrote itself.

King was looking for a Big Mama Thorton type of voice – auditioned a couple of singers, then co-producer and drummer, Everton Paul’s daughter Liza introduced them to a thirty-something newcomer – Ania Soul. “We really liked her attitude, willingness to step behind the microphone, let it roll and accept direction. That sounds easy, yet it’s a tough one to wrap your head around if you haven’t spent time with the great earthy singers long before. Ania gave us early Aretha! That worked for us,” says King.

lyrics

The Black Rose of New Orleans
(Bill King)

They say I’m a dangerous woman
Cause I know every man in town
They say I’m a dangerous woman
They think I write it all down
But don’t worry about me honey
Your fantasies are safe and sound

They call me the Black Rose of New Orleans
I can make the devil appear in your dreams
They call me the Black Rose of New Orleans
I can make the meanest man scream
When there’s whiskey in the bottle
There’s gold between my knees

I’ve got a room near the lobby
No policemen around here
The cards all look funny
And the gamblers live in fear
I’m the Black Rose of New Orleans
I’m your ace in the hole - so it seems.
When Sunday night turns to Monday
I leave the boys in a deep, deep sleep

When the boats reach the harbor
Longshoremen rule the docks
As Thursday turn to Friday
Big boss man beats back the clock
It’s all about the money
The crazies run around half-cocked.

There ain’t no living like the present
Nothing sweeter than a woman’s gifts
ain’t no time for resentment
only the feel of a good woman’s hips
The men they come easy
The days - they come in shifts.

They call me the Black Rose of New Orleans
I can make the devil appear in your dreams
They call me the Black Rose of New Orleans
I can make the meanest man scream
When there’s whiskey in the bottle
There’s gold between my knees

Come on and rock … roll
Rock .. anything goes
Come on and rock and roll
Rock .. anything goes

credits

released January 9, 2017
Executive producer – Everton ‘Pablo’ Paul
Writte/piano - Bill King
Ania Soul - lead vocal
Danny McBride – guitars
Chris Whitely – harp
Everton Paul drums
Shane Forrest – engineer/bass
Alexander Brown – trumpet
Michael Arthurs – tenor sax

Recorded: Side Door Records
n and produced/arranged

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