Tag Archives: Frere Jean Cajun Seasonings

Bandits, Robin Hood & Kismet In Old New Orleans

Airlift Mike & The Shadow at Airlift Productions, where Every day is ‘Take your Doggie to Work’ Day

I first met Jake Landry, innocently enough, while walking my faithful four-footed friend The Shadow through the Old Bonnabel subdivision here just outside NOLA.

After our brief introduction, he told me he played guitar, sang and wrote music, while I told him that I owned and operated a recording studio.


A fave boyhood hero and model of mine was Robin Hood, who heroically stood up for the oppressed, rescued damsels in distress, and went about righting wrongs.

Jake Landry Records at Airlift Productions NOLA

Jake told me his band was called The Right Lane Bandits and he wanted to make his mark, steal a few hearts, and change the world with his music.


For the record, ‘kismet’ is an old Arabic word that’s often used to describe something significant that was meant to be, that happens seemingly by chance, but is steered by fate or destiny. (Dude, that’s deep.)

For the record, yes, Jake and his band of Merry Men will together with yours truly, Airlift Mike (Robin Hood), make many!

Records, that is.

Harp-man Paul Piazza mystifies and amazes with his masterful microphone maneuvers at Airlift Productions

Our first project together was a jingle for the Frere Jean Cajun Seasonings folks, but that session merely served as my introduction to Jake’s rather formidable talents and passion.

As producer & recording engineer, my suggestion to Jake was pretty simple: Original tunes are one thing, but we need to give Linda & Larry Listener, Karl & Karla K-Mart, Arnold & Alice Average (who’ve never heard your work before) a yardstick by which to measure your talents – a totally excellent cover song.

So, this past week, that’s exactly what we did at Airlift Productions… record the ultimate, classic cover song.

Written by musical Christian mystic troubadour Van Morrison and with lyrics like “We were born before the wind, Also younger than the sun” …. rockin’ your gypsy soul, Linda & Larry Listener,  here come the Right Lane Bandits —

** “Into the Mystic” ~ Right Lane Bandits at Airlift Productions **

(L-R) Paul Piazza, Jake Landry, Zach Fellman, Brandon Bates entertaining the house at the House of Blues in NOLA’s French Quarter


Catch-up with The Right Lane Bandits when you can, around the House of Blues here in NOLA, or at a night club or wedding reception near you.

While you still can.


***Jake and his posse in Greenwich, CT this past month, entertaining the troops via You Tube ***

The ‘kismet’ moral to the whole story here?

Keep your faith in your boyhood heroes.

And walk your dog more often.

ports Director & Anchor … and current King of Daytime Television, ********************************************************************

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from NOLA since 1984NewOrleansskylineg studios share something in common with great concert venues.  They both have a… what is it?  An aura, a vibe, a karma, an


Original WDSU-Airlift Productions-Children’s Hospital ‘Healing House’ krewe ~ (L-R) Heath Allen, Brian Landry, Rich Lenz, Micheal Ziants

“Great recording studios share something in common with great concert venues. They both have a…what is it? An aura, a vibe, a karma, an ambiance? Whatever you call it, it’s as real as any speaker on the wall or slider on a console. You can’t see it, but, you can absolutely FEEL it. 

Airlift Productions has IT- thanks to the man behind the board ( and in your ear). Michael Ziants has a knack for gently pulling your best work out of you- and then improving upon it in the final mix. The finished product always leaves you thrilled, satisfied and amazed that you really had it in you! The best part- he gives you all the credit and you only realize later what great hands your material was in. 

Do yourself a favor- give Airlift a try. You’ll love the results and every moment you spent producing them.” 

— RICH LENZ, former WDSU-TV Sports Director and currently KING of Daytime Television at KOTV-Tulsa


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Airlift Productions Spices-Up N’awlins Airwaves

Just like a good gumbo, a memorable radio jingle has to have the just-right ingredients to make it POP! Talented musicians + a catchy tune + the magic of a kids’ chorus = a Jingle that tingles!  (too much?)

Frere Jean Salt-Free Cajun Seasonings, available all throughout southeast Louisiana, and on line, visited Airlift Productions NOLA to make their products "Sing"!
Frere Jean Salt-Free Cajun Seasonings, available all throughout southeast Louisiana, and on line, visited Airlift Productions NOLA to make their products “Sing”!

Well, Frere Jean’s got it Goin’ On!

One week ago today the Airlift Productions Studios were hummin’ and buzzin’ as, together, we cooked-up one serious gumbo.

Jake Landry & Paul Piazza – of Right Lane Bandits – Record Jingles At Airlift Productions NOLA, Sept. 2015

Jake Landry & Paul Piazza, front men for the notorious (and wickedly talented) Right Lane Bandits showed-up to lay-down guitars, tambourines. harmonica, and vocals as Ingredient #1.


*** First things first ~ Landry guitars + Piazza’s Harp – Wow! ***

Frere Jean's Kids' Chorus ~ Madisyn, Dayton & Daylan Having a Ball at Airlift Productions NOLA
Frere Jean’s Kids’ Chorus ~ Madisyn, Dayton & Daylan Having a Ball at Airlift Productions NOLA

Enter Madisyn, Dayton & Daylan –

Brother John Rodrigue Laying-down “Yep! ‘Dat’s ‘da One!”

Frere Jean’s owners’ grandchildren  – to punch-up the message with exuberant shouts & fun giggles – Ingredient #2.

Last, but certainly not least, add the voice of co-owner and namesake front-man for the organization – Brother John Rodrigue – tagging the whole effort with his “Yep! ‘Dat’s ‘da One!” at the tail – Ingredient #3.

*** Frere Jean Full Sing :15 Jingle recorded @ Airlift Productions ***

Mix well, add Cajun seasoning to taste… and you’ve got one fun, catchy, memorable jingle! Think “the Von Trapp Family meets Rockin Dopsie”.

Broadcast Veteran – and Actor – Micheal Ziants, plying his trade at the Airlift Studios

Oh, OK, I guess I left out one ingredient. And that would be some nondescript announcer dude doing all the stuff that would be impossible to do in a jingle – descriptive info and a definitive call to action … Airlift Mike closes the sale.

** Airlift’s Micheal Ziants delivers the Jingle ‘donut’ pitch **

A good jingle has to capture the essence of a company, what they’re really all about. And with a product name like “Frere Jean”, we had to emphasize Cajun-French heritage along with the qualities of Family & Brotherhood!

How’d we do?


(L-R) NBC’s “The Voice” Finalist Terry McDermott, Greg DiLeo, Micheal Ziants at Airlift Productions NOLA

“I have been recording at Airlift Productions since 2010, and I completed my album in 2012.  Micheal Ziants was a pleasure to work with, and he took my creative process and turned it into something I am proud to have on iTunes for sale.  Mike was like a second musical force in the room, moving the process along until we had a finished product I was happy with and proud to play. And he always brought  the most beautiful sounds out of my instruments.  I have a home studio with ProTools and all the bells and whistles added on, but I can’t get the warmth and presence that he pulls out of my recordings.  Kudos to Airlift.”

~ GREG DILEO, New Orleans’ “Legal-Minute” Attorney by day, Big Easy Troubadour & Recording Artist by night  


To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

                                     Airlift Productions Communicates   

Airlift Mike Spices-UP WWL ~ Cajun Style!

Airlift Productions’ Micheal Ziants Writes, Voices & Produces “Once Upon A Time” Radio Spot for Frere Jean Cajun Seasonings ~ for air on WWL Radio


You know,  it occurs to me that the last few blogs have been all about the rear view mirror …. radio memories of Walton, Johnson, Chapin & Rundgren from the ’70s & ’80s – so let’s tap the brakes a second and re-enter the 21st century ~ 2014!

Tonight “Once Upon A Time” debuts on WWL Radio, with it’s unique-to-New-Orleans totally awesome, 50,000 watt, clear channel AM night-time signal.  I mean, Hello … it covers and reaches 37 states in America!

I was entrusted by Brother John Foods to create ~ conceive, write, voice & produce ~ a sixty second radio spot to promote their one-of-a-kind SALT-FREE Cajun seasonings product.

The spot came out to be so much fun!

Pause to consider, the four most magical words in the English language are “Once upon a time …” for they set the stage for fable, myth, legend and fantastic stories.

And to think, there’s not a Boudreaux, cher, or ‘Ay-EEEE’ shout anywhere in the copy.  LISTEN here —

*** Frere Jean ‘Once Upon A Time’ radio :60 for WWL Radio  ***

The tinkling of the music box, the Chinese bell tree and the evocative music track sure help to set the stage for magic, huh?  And I had a riot writing and developing the story-teller copy points, right down to the idea of rescuing damsels, er ah,  princesses in distress – and their waistlines!

In fact, there’s so much packed into this sixty seconds of airtime that you hear and catch something different in it every time you listen.  In my estimation that is what great radio should be all about.

Using the medium for what it does best … to light-up the imagination – and then take that imagination  to front stage center in the Theater of the Mind!

{ Oh, and could you please clean this place up a bit?!  Apparently some clown spilled popcorn & soda and my feet are sticking to the floor…  LOL, LMFAO, BFF  🙂  ~ the management}


Micheal Ziants – New Orleans Voice Over Talent & Airlift Productions Studio Owner ~ 2012 promo pic


Airlift Productions Recording Studio ~ Telling America’s Great Stories from New Orleans …. since 1984!