Recording at the Music Shed for "Never Trust the Living" 

TIME STAMP: New Orleans end of July 2014.

2 sweaty days in the lower garden district recording live for the new release. The Music Shed  was an ideal place and provided an old school live sound. No headphones, isolation, or fancy or dirty tricks...Just 4 guys (and a few cases of the Original) getting together in a big room and playing some music while Ben Lorio and his boys record the results. The sound at the Music Shed was wide-open and fat with the harmonica bouncing all around the place, The band hit…Read more

The Move to New Orleans - Part IV - Local Saviors 

Living in the 9th ward shows a whole other side to the city I fell for and things can get pretty sketchy with serious issues day to day with race, guns, crime, poverty and weather,  Really a few of the local bands saved me from going crazy for the first 6 months. Chris Polacek and his Hubcap Kings started hiring me as a sideman and we were really busy for my first year here. Not once did I hear the guys in the band gripe about the light money getting even lighter with me joining the band. Not once.  I…Read more

Boudin Session Lafayette, LA  

In the Spring of 2014 we traveled to LA Spice studios in Lafayette to record some new songs and help studio owner Mark Anzalone work out some technical issues.  He had recently bought a new board and wanted to have a live band play and check out the process.  The initial goal on our end was to get a few songs for an EP. What ended up happening was we worked out some of the new material and this session was really a demo session for the new record.  I could hear where some of the songs needed to be punched…Read more

Preparing for a recording date. 

Sometimes just going into the studio COLD is fruitful and spontaneous, but it can also be an expensive experiment gone awry if things don't go well.  We almost always record live and like this last record, no isolation or fixes which adds to the rolling of the dice effect.  It is very possible to have musicians lose it, computers constantly crashing, engineers with crazy ideas, bad headphone mixes, and sometimes the band (or is it me) just sounds off.  Nowadays we try to prepare and "feel out" those…Read more

The Move to New Orleans - Part III - New Arrivals 

Living in New Orleans is like living in another world in a lot of ways. It's kinda isolated down here and very european for an american city. There is a lot of love and magic here and things just "seem to happen" more than in any place I have ever seen.  It also reminds me of a 3rd world country in some respects with its roads, poverty and challenged infrastructure.  But like all things in life, to have all the good, there has to be some bad to balance it out.  The bad is not on the surface and living here…Read more

The Move to New Orleans - Part II - Roosters and Subwoofers 

This is one loud and wild place!  People drive kinda wild, the neighborhood kids are wild, the streets are missing a lot of signs, the weather is wild and people blast hiphop at unbelievable low frequency decibels. Furthermore, there are all kinds of subtropic insects and spiders and there are the roosters.

I never thought about roosters much until I moved into the 9th ward,  They live under the house, roost in our tree in the backyard, and devour any food left for Checkers the feral cat we inherited with…Read more

The Move to New Orleans - Part I - Double Nickels on the Dime 

I'd been coming to New Orleans since 1989 when the French Quarter Festival was just one or two stages! Like a lot of natural relationships, I didn't like New Orleans right away.  But over time I did become seduced by the city. This was mainly due to the beautiful people, street culture, European feel and overall vibe of the city. I started to picture New Orleans as an exotic experienced woman, waiting to be discovered, Before Katrina, I got married here on the Mississippi River and had Treme Brass Band…Read more
Never Trust the Living

Never Trust the Living

Unused Cover

Unused Cover

Lyrics "Never Trust the Living "

Who is Indrid Cold?

On November 2, 1966 Woody Derenberger was driving home when he was stopped by a bizarre vehicle on route 77 outside Parkersburg, West Virginia.  A strange man in black got out and came back to his car and "talked" to Woody.  He said he was a "traveler" from far away and asked a few questions about city lights in the distance. Woody went home and told his wife and the next day, appeared on TV to tell his story. Read more about the strange encounter here.

Story Behind the Cover

After the artwork for the record was finished, we decided it was a little unclear and changed the whole thing!  The 1st version did not include any text and was based on my neighborhood. Unfortunately no one outside of New Orleans would recognize what the cover was.  A carnival mask and simple text with a black red, white and black vibe was used instead.

Here is the discarded cover and a brief description:

For generations people have left objects at the Saint Roch chapel to honor Saint Roch (pronounced "rock" in New Orleans) who is the patron saint of healing.  The picture is of ex votos left at the altar to thank St Roch for healing (or in hopes of healing) an ailment represented by the object.  For examples, crutches might be left after surviving a bout with childhood polio. The chapel was built to honor Saint Roch himself after the yellow fever epidemics in the 1800s. Read more about this tradition here .

Liner Notes

"Never Trust the Living"
1) Snake Doctor 2:19  (Mastrogiovanni, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
2) Whiskey  3:40  (Mastrogiovanni, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
3) Judgement Day 6:36  (James Pryor, Brown BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
4) Monkey Man  3:18  (Mastrogiovanni-Brown, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
5) Don't Believe 2:46  (Mastrogiovanni, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
6) House of Rising Sun 3:35 (Traditional, arranged Mastrogiovanni, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
7) Walking  3:21  (Mastrogiovanni-Brown, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
8) Never Trust the Living 3:07 (Mastrogiovanni-Brown, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
9) Bucksnort Annie 2:35 (Mastrogiovanni, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)
10) The Sad Night Owl 3:21 (Freddie King)
11) Indrid Cold   3:27 (Mastrogiovanni, BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI)

Produced by Johnny Mastro assisted by Ben Lorio & Smoke
Engineered by Ben Lorio
Mixed by Ben Lorio assisted by Johnny Mastro and Smoke

Recorded Live Summer 2014 in New Orleans, LA  USA at the Music Shed

Executive Producer Roxy Music! Bergeron CSB/Roxy Music, LLC

Johnny Mastro - Vocals, Harmonica
Smoke - Guitar
Dean Zucchero - Bass
Rob Lee - Drums & percussion

Special Thanks: Roxy Bergeron for making it happen, Rich Parrish for spiritual consultaion, Ben Lorio for his sonic expertise, Ruby at Music Shed for her awesomeness and Bernd Schulte for everything.

Johnny endorses Lone Wolf Delay Pedals, Tom Austin Mics., and Rich Parrish custom harmonicas.

Art Direction & Design : Pink Arguello

Band & Booking Info:
Phone :

outside North America:

Muddylives Promotion
+49 170 386 3770
+49 5906 933 447

All Rights Reserved

All Songs Published by BlackRollercoaster Music, BMI

and Smoke would like to thank...

 Laura Mae "Mama" Gross, Roxy Music! Bergeron, Babe's & Ricky's Inn, Bernhard & Margaret Schulte, Roberto aka "Captain Kirk", Lisa Cee, Coors Original, Ray Bailey, Jeff Henry,  City of New Orleans, Truus Janssen, Jerry Lee Luithle, Dave and Jacky Hayden at the HOH. Joe G, Dave Melton, Chef Dennis, Barry G, Mike "Mississippi" Hightower, Michael Leasure.  Hound Dog Taylor, Trappist Beer, Liuzza's By The Track, Jenny McCue Aka "Mama Smoke", The Dodgers, the Mastrogiovanni Family, Everyone at Pal's Lounge Lounge, Gibson Guitars,  Christophe Gaillot, King James and the Special men, Bob and Alta Cardiff, Jack White, City of Amsterdam, Gollem, In de Wildmen, the Old Nickel Hotel , Rich Parrish, Jayne Intveld, James Intveld, Chet Cannon, Carolyn Jan The Caldwell's, Paul Loranger, Sharon Blackburn, William Clarke, Lester Butler, Valerie, The Yellow Bastard, Valerie Tuttle, Pabst Blue Ribbon, John Walsh, Vince Jordan, David Petrou, Cecilia Ellison, P.J. Minten, Annemiek Rongen, Max Bangwell, The Blue Cafe - Long Beach California, Mike Watt, Jimbo Goodall, Rob Defries, Rick Leon & Mama Crow, Joe McCue, Charlie Chan, Gina Zena, AJ at Marble amps, Anna Jenkins, Robert Lucas, Bluesin' Ivy, Tona Timms, Paul Pierce, Scotty at Rip Cat records, Whiteboy James and the Blues Express. Wendi at St. Roch Tavern Glen Asched, Ben and Travis Guichard, Mike Arguello,  Matt "Boom" and the Ortolanti family, Tokyo Mississippi,  WWOZ, Tim Berresheim, Jan and Suzie at the Crossroads Cafe, Hollywood Johnny, Julie Jenkins, Kathleen, New York City, the Balcony Music Club, Ian Siegal, Erkan Bass player, Pizza Delicious, Taylor Mills, Manule Uribe, Bill Blok, Andy Rogers,