Story has it that Jon Cleary’s first stop after a trans-Atlantic move to New Orleans was the Maple Leaf Bar, where he worked for cheap drinks and five bucks an hour (presumably spent on those very drinks). One day, James Booker missed his set, so Cleary took the stage.
Now, the pianist’s name is synonymous with his city, and he’s releasing a new record, Gogo Juice, on August 14. Check out “Pump It Up,” one of his new tracks, below.
From Cleary: “‘Pump It Up’ is a fun tune that lies in that gap between Jamaican Ska and New Orleans R&B, a bit of a romp that celebrates the joy of New Orleans excess. It represents one of the flavors of the music from this city and complements the various moods of the other tunes on the album.”
Each week, we bring you a new track with Music Premiere Monday by Associate Editor Travis M. Andrews. For music updates, follow Andrews and Southern Living on Twitter @travismandrews and @Southern_Living.