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From Punk To Funk With Jon Cleary

Jesse Hiatt

This week, we bring you that funky gentleman from the Ninth Ward, Jon Cleary, who talks about his native England, his grandmother, the piano back home, his mum's songwriting chops, and a variety of other loves.

Cleary grew up listening to New Orleans soul, r&b and funk. And now, we listen to him.

As a mulit-instrumentalist and sideman, he's played with some of the best artists, including Earl King, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Snooks Eaglin, Ernie K-Doe and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. But Cleary is even better fronting his own band and digging into his own groove.

Mavis Staples might have said it best: "Get out the way and let the gentleman do his thing."



Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of "Occapella," Cleary's recording of Allen Toussaint songs, from filmmaker Jesse Hiatt.




Quiet a few of the songs heard in this week's show are available for you to stream to your desktop of your mobile device. You can download (.pdf) a complete playlist of all the music on the show to take with you to your local record store.


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Beginning in August, Music Inside Out moves to 7:00p on Thursdays. The encore broadcast will still be heard at Noon on Saturdays.

And we have lots of great music headed your way.

Join us in the weeks ahead for conversations with Terence Blanchard; a whole slew of up-and-coming New Orleans artists; and NPR's Bob Mondello, who talks with us about the portrayal of Louisiana on film and the soundtracks to those movies.

So mark your calendars: Thursday at 7:00p from now on -- and Saturdays at Noon.  

Remember, you can stay connected to Music Inside Out on both Facebook and Twitter, or by visiting the website

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Gwen Thompkins is a New Orleans native, NPR veteran and host of WWNO's Music Inside Out, where she brings to bear the knowledge and experience she amassed as senior editor of Weekend Edition, an East Africa correspondent, the holder of Nieman and Watson Fellowships, and as a longtime student of music from around the world.