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New Orleans Legend Al "Carnival Time" Johnson and a Guilloteen's Swan Song

McManus plays his last Houston gig this week, while a Big Easy piano-pounder plays his first

Also, he has other, more direct obligations. “I need to get over there next weekend so I can start doing some of those ‘sweat hours' for my place in the Musicians' Village,” Johnson says. (One of the conditions for acceptance in Musicians' Village is that the musicians help build their own houses.) “I might set up a piano up there while they workin' on it — I think I can do that. I don't guess it'll work, but I'm gonna see. 'Cause it might work, huh?”

In the meantime, he is willing to play for whoever will set him up a piano here in Houston, too, within reason. “Houston loves Al ‘Carnival Time,'” he says. “I guess I would like to play here some. I don't want to overdo it, though.”

Anyone needing a shot of Mardi Gras spirit need look no further. Before hanging up the phone, Johnson offers me one last word of advice: “Always remember, John, it's Carnival time, all the time!

Like most Hurricane Katrina refugees, Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson is working hard to get back to New Orleans.
Courtesy of Al Johnson
Like most Hurricane Katrina refugees, Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson is working hard to get back to New Orleans.

Al "Carnival Time" Johnson is available for booking at 713-670-9653.Scuttlebutt Caboose

This weekend marks the end of the line for the Fatal Flying Guilloteens as we have known them. Guitarist and former Press Nightfly columnist Brian McManus rang in from Philly to say this will be his last Houston show with the band he cofounded in 1996 on the north side. This isn't the first time McManus has announced he was leaving the band, but he swears that this time, he's gone for good. “Quantum Fucking, the next album, is coming out in July, and I was just looking at all the commitment I would have to give it to make it work, and I just thought it would be best for both me and the band if I told them to get a replacement,” he says. “I would have to tour for weeks or maybe months. They've been getting a lot of great offers lately — the Hold Steady offered them an opening slot, Pelican has too. They are talking about touring Japan later with Les Savvy Fav. I really want to do those things, but I just can't. Basically, I sat down and saw 33 [years old] staring me in the face.”

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