Sunday, May 31, 2009

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air...

Just back from four days of golf/eating/drinking at Old Cape Cod with Vin, Keith, The Rick and guys from The Hartford (isn't that name a little pretentious, like THE Ohio State University?) in Ryder Cup-style format. The weather sucked (except for Saturday afternoon), the golf was generally less than stellar (except for Vin's solid 75 on Friday which propelled him into 'he got some game' status), but the camaraderie was thoroughly enjoyable. Worked tirelessly on our list of Twitter's 3wordsaftersex (no, I will not reveal the details). Also, since we were always too tired by evening, we never got the chance to get out to any clubs and piss off a band with our smart-alec comments like we did a few years ago with The Generators. Didn't have much wi-fi access (or time), so nothing posted here. Stay thirsty, my friends.

Music for the drive: The Strange Boys/The Kooks/Bettye LaVette/James Hunter

Somehow, during the week the conversation turned to Johnny Ray, so here he is:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Strange, boys...

The boys from Bay Ridge popped home for the Memorial Weekend and brought along The Strange Boys from Austin, Texas. Sure, we always have room for friends, strange or otherwise. No, Dad, you jerk, it's a new CD and they're really good, recommended by the Black Keys' drummer in an interview G-Man caught.

And, after listening to And Girls Club, I agree. We think 60's garage rock, early Kinks, a touch of Strokes. Should Have Shot Paul may alienate the McCartney fanatics, but get over it, enjoy! They will be performing at the Market Hotel in Brooklyn on Saturday, June 13. No CT dates appear on their MySpace page. What's up with that, Cafe Nine?

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Congratulations from all the management and staff of johnnykmusic
to ELIZABETH KENNEDY, 2009 graduate of Boston College

Friday, May 22, 2009

From Gumbo (Mr. eHarmony) in Vegas....

In Las Vegas finishing up a show, staying at the LV Hilton which is Barry Manilow's anchor show site. Sitting at the breakfast counter and happen to overhear a conversation between two women who are in town for the BM Fan Club conference. One happens to mention she is the secretary of the club. Had thoughts of suggesting they log on to johnnykmusic to post their love of Barry but on second thought, just didn't want to get into the conversation of how Barry (no relation of course to the Barry of the infamous PHS's duo) still rules the music world.

More Farquahr memories...

I have been a "Farquette" forever and the panties to prove it! I have an album titled 'Farquahr' and their first 'Fabulous Farquahr' album, as well as, cassettes for the First, Second, Third and Country Farquahr. You couldn't ask for nicer people and greater friends. We love you guys, Patty & Dave Jones

(comment on previous posting)

Farquahr albums - Happy Hour Parrott

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What, no Queen?....

According to the Associated Press, the following songs were loaded onto Queen Elizabeth II's iPod gift from President Obama:
"If I Loved You," Jan Clayton, "Carousel"
"You'll Never Walk Alone," Jan Clayton, "Carousel"
"There's No Business Like Show Business," Ethel Merman, "Annie Get Your Gun"
"Once in Love with Amy (Where's Charley?)," Ray Bolger
"Some Enchanted Evening," "South Pacific"
"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," Carol Channing, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"
"Getting to Know You," Gertrude Lawrence, "The King and I"
"Shall We Dance?" Gertrude Lawrence, "The King and I"
"I Could Have Danced All Night," Julie Andrews, "My Fair Lady"
"I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," Rex Harrison, "My Fair Lady"
"The Party's Over (Bells Are Ringing)," Judy Holliday
"Maria," "West Side Story"
"Tonight," "West Side Story"
"Seventy Six Trombones," "The Music Man"
"Everything's Coming up Roses," Ethel Merman, "Gypsy"
"The Sound of Music"
"Try to Remember," Jerry Orbach, "The Fantasticks"
"Camelot," Richard Burton
"If Ever I Would Leave You," Robert Goulet, "Camelot"
"Hello, Dolly!" Carol Channing
"If I Were a Rich Man," Zero Mostel, "Fiddler on the Roof"
"People," Barbra Streisand, "Funny Girl"
"On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)," John Cullum
"The Impossible Dream," Richard Kiley, "Man of La Mancha"
"Mame," Charles Braswell
"Cabaret," Liza Minnelli
"Aquarius, Ronald Dyson, "Hair'
"Send in the Clowns," Judy Collins, "A Little Night Music"
"All That Jazz," Chita Rivera, "Chicago"
"One," "A Chorus Line"
"Tomorrow," Andrea McArdle, "Annie"
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina," Patti LuPone, "Evita"
"And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," Jennifer Holliday, "Dreamgirls"
"Memory," Elaine Paige, "Cats"
"The Best of Times," George Hearn, "La Cage Aux Folles"
"I Dreamed a Dream," Aretha Franklin, "Les MisDerables"
"The Music of the Night," Michael Crawford, "The Phantom of the Opera"
"As If We Never Said Goodbye," Elaine Paige, "Sunset Blvd."
"Seasons of Love," "Rent"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bonnie Raitt circa 1974 at the Palace Theater in Providence...

From Wolfgangsvault:
Which brings us to this January 1974 performance, recorded on the Takin’ My Time tour at Providence, Rhode Island’s Palace Theater, headlining a bill with Roomful of Blues. With her longtime cohort, Freebo on bass, she was now working with her first band, featuring Dennis Whitted on drums, who would anchor Raitt’s bands for years to come and the phenomenal piano player, David Maxwell, who had performed with the likes of Freddie King, Otis Rush and James Cotton. Raitt focuses on the strongest material from her first three albums, with several choice covers thrown in for good measure. The set opens with Sippie Wallace’s "Special Delivery Blues" followed by a lovely cover of Jackson Browne’s "I Thought I Was A Child, recently recorded for her Takin’ My Time album. The new album is also well represented by a smoldering performance of Chris Smither’s "I Feel The Same,” Fred McDowell’s "Write Me A Few Of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues,” which features some of Raitt’s trademark slide guitar work, and a unique interpretation of Randy Newman’s "Guilty.” - complete concert summary

Tuesday morning trail shuffle...

Warm Baby (Lovin' Spoonful) Daydream
Turd On the Run (Rolling Stones) Exile on Main Street
Good Love Is on the Way (John Mayer) Try!
F.E.E.L. (The Animals) The Complete Animals
Traveling Riverside Blues (Eric Clapton) Me & Mr. Johnson
Burn One Down (Ben Harper) Fight For Your Mind
Black Cross (Bob Dylan) Gaslight Tapes
Big River (Rosie Flores) A Tribute To Johnny Cash
Miss Nickelodeon (Kinky Friedman) Kinky Friedman
I Wish I Didn't Love You So (k.d. lang) Shadowland

Monday, May 18, 2009

Oh, so that's the song from the Heineken commercial...

I started throwin' bass, she started throwin' back mid-range
But when I sprung the question, she acted kind of strange
Then when I asked, 'Do ya have a man?' she tried to pretend
She said, 'No I don't, I only have a friend'
Come on, I'm not even goin' for it
This is what I'm goin' sing

You, you got what I need but you say he's just a friend
And you say he's just a friend, oh baby
You, you got what I need but you say he's just a friend
But you say he's just a friend, oh baby (lyrics)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quick pre-Celtics walk/run on the trail...

All Through Cryin' (James Hunter) People Gonna Talk
Blind (Talking Heads) Best of Talking Heads
Hound Dog Man (Roy Orbison) Only the Lonely
Mambo Caliente (Arturo Sandoval) Mambo Kings
Living In Babylon (Donna the Buffalo) Live From the American Ballroom
You Don't Understand Me (The Raconteurs) Consolers Of the Lonely
Makin' Whoopie (Portia Nelson) Sunday In New York
God Must Be a Boogie Man (Joni Mitchell) Mingus
Blues About You Baby (Al Anderson) After Hours

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Daryl Hall looks back to a year-and-a-half of Live From Daryl's House with retrospective, performing influential covers...

If you have not yet checked out this online series of informal concerts with Daryl Hall, this is an excellent sampler (link).

19th edition of landmark webshow features highlights from first 18 episodes, with Daryl performing songs that formed his musical roots:
NEW YORK, May 11, 2009 - A year and a half ago, Daryl Hall launched his monthly webshow Live From Daryl's House with an eye towards opening up the music-making process to his fans by collaborating with both established artists who've had an impact on his music and new artists that have, in turn, been influenced by him. This month, Daryl takes a look back at the previous 18 episodes, featuring musical highlights and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, in a brand-new episode which debuts May 15 at, where it can be seen along with archived footage of past episodes.

"It's been an incredible run so far, and this is just the beginning," says Daryl about the experience. "This has been one of the most rewarding musical experiences of my life working with all these different people and sharing it with the world."

In addition, Daryl takes a trip down his own musical memory lane, playing a set of songs with longtime collaborator T-Bone Wolk that formed his own musical roots, including incredible covers of Ruby and the Romantics' aching "Our Day Will Come," Paul Butterfield's blues classic "In My Own Dream" Bob Dylan's "You're a Big Girl," from Blood on the Tracks, The Four Deuces' doo-wop novelty hit, "WPLJ" ("White Port and Lemon Juice"), which gave the N.Y. station its name and was later covered by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and Gladys Knight and the Pips' "Neither One of Us," from Daryl Hall and John Oates' Our Kind of Soul album.

Sitting around with his band, Daryl talks about previous episodes of the groundbreaking web series, including how he discovered guitarist/songwriter Monte Montgomery on YouTube playing an incredible version of "Sara Smile," then invited him to play it with them on the show.

Past episodes of Live from Daryl's House have featured a mix of well-known performers like The Doors, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Gym Class Heroes' Travis McCoy, Finger Eleven's James Black and Rick Jackett and the Bacon Brothers, along with newcomers such as Philly soul singer Mutlu, Canadian techno-rockers Chromeo, MySpace pop-rock phenom Eric Hutchinson, Cash Money rocker Kevin Rudolf, Wind-up Records' Chicago rockers Company of Thieves and Bay Area singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson.

Live from Daryl's House started with Daryl's "light-bulb moment" idea of "playing music with my friends and putting it up on the Internet," and the show has subsequently been praised by such varied publications as Rolling Stone, Daily Variety, Yahoo and the influential Lefsetz Letter.

Picked up at Borders last night....

Maestro (Taj Mahal)
1.Scratch My Back backed by Phantom Blues Band
2.Never Let You Go with Los Lobos
3.Dust Me Down with Ben Harper
4.Further Down the Road with Jack Johnson
5.Black Man, Brown Man with Ziggy Marley
7.TV Mama with Los Lobos
8.I Can Make You Happy with the New Orleans Social Club (Ivan Neville, George Porter, Leo Nocentelli, Henry Butler, Raymond Weber)
9.Slow Drag backed by Phantom Blues Band
10.Hello Josephine with the New Orleans Social Club
11.Strong Man Holler
12.Diddy Wah Diddy backed by Phantom Blues Band
(Taj Mahal will be touring this fall with Bonnie Raitt - tour dates)

Piety Street (John Schofield) - New record with New Orleans musicians Jon Cleary, George Porter Jr, Ricky Fataar, John Boutte, Shannon Powell, who put on a wonderful show in the Blues Tent at Jazz Fest a couple weeks ago. review - "Scofield's blues roots have never sounded this good. With the rock-solid support of bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Ricky Fataar, the album grooves with a comfortable, in-the-pocket vibe ranging from the buoyant "That's Enough," with Jon Cleary's wonderfully supportive piano work, to the ambling groove of the substantially rearranged "Motherless Child," one of vocalist John Boutte's best performances. The up-tempo "It's a Big Army" evokes images of deep south churches, with an entire congregation taken up by the sheer joy of the music, while the funky "His Eye is on the Sparrow" is driven by Fataar's visceral, behind-the-beat pulse. "Ship of Zion" is a slow, simmering blues that features a lengthy opening solo from Scofield filled with nuanced bends and gritty, Wes Montgomery-style octave work."

Saturday breakfast (remembering the Fabulous Farquahr)...

From HappyHour Parrot - A song about the perils of Divorce...and keeping the damm cat! This is a small tribute to "The Fabulous Farquahr" a group that entertained a generation of Happy Hour goers throughout New England, especially summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. "My Eggs Don't Taste the Same Without You" is one of their original classics and this cover is attempted by a huge fan... in an attempt to keep some of their music alive! Thanks guys for all the memories and laughs!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beehive Friday...

Ronnie Spector, Christine Ohlman and Amy Winehouse...

Ronnie Spector: Who didn't have a crush on Ronnie Spector in the 60's. While hubby Phil Spector took 'crush' a little too literally, Ronnie seems to have survived quite well, currently living in Connecticut and performing occasionally in the area. for Be My Baby

Christine Ohlman: This queen of blue-eyed rock n' soul grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples. Teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process. She's the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, who sang at SNL's 25th Anniversary telecast, Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary bash at The Garden, and the Central Park Summerstage Tribute To Janis Joplin; appears on Grammy nominees A Tribute To Howlin' Wolf (with Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams) and Charlie Musselwhite's One Night In America. Catch her shows at Cafe Nine in New Haven. You'll be glad you did.

Amy Winehouse: What else can you say about her - brilliant and self-destructive. Will she live long enough to record a followup to her amazing Back to Black? - article

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Allen Toussaint to play Village Vanguard...

I've listened to Allen Toussaint's music since my high school days in the 1960's, even though I had no idea who he was back then, with Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law, Lee Dorsey's Working in a Coal Mine, Chris Kenner's I Like It Like That and many more, through the 1970's with Little Feat's On Your Way Down on the classic Dixie Chicken album and Robert Palmer's Sneaking Sally Through the Alley, until I finally discovered him for myself by sampling his albums from cutout bins. Been a big fan ever since, catching him lately at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Since Katrina, he has relocated temporarily to NYC where he has played a series of Sunday Brunch shows at Joe's Pub in Manhattan, but I haven't been able to get The Reet and friends down there to see him.

Starting next Tuesday through Sunday (May 19-24), Toussaint will play a series of shows at the legendary Village Vanguard supporting his new jazz album The Bright Mississippi with The Bright Mississippi band: Don Byron, clarinet; Christian Scott, trumpet; Mark Ribot, guitar; David Pilch, bass; Jay Bellerose, drums. I've listened to it a couple times already. Very tasty. Hmmmmmm. Reet, what do you think? Anyone?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, all you mothers!...

WolfgangsVault Mother's Day Mix:
# 1. B.B. King | Nobody Loves Me But My Mother
# 2. John Lennon | Mother
# 3. Steve Goodman | Mother, Queen Of My Heart
# 4. Rubinoos | Mothers Always Know
# 5. Raw Soul | Song For My Mother
# 6. Traffic | Every Mother's Son
# 7. UFO | Mother Mary
# 8. Alabama | Mamas Don't Let You Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
# 9. Alela Diane | Oh! My Mama
# 10. B.J. Thomas | Mama
# 11. Jason and the Sco… | Pray For Me, Mama (I'm A Gypsy Now)
# 12. Joan Armatrading | Mama Mercy
# 13. The Rowan Brothers | Mama Don't You Cry

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Revisiting Piano Shirt Friday at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival...

This is what happens when you think you're taking photos, but actually have the camera on "movie." It does, however, give you a feel for the 3rd annual Johnny Gumbo Piano Shirt Friday (always the 2nd weekend) at Jazz Fest. The point is to have Johnny Gumbo take a photo with everyone we meet wearing the famous piano shirt (yes, we now know it is actually an accordian shirt, but we've gone way to far with this thing to change it now).

Friday, May 08, 2009

Long distance information get me Memphis, TN...

30th Blues Music Award Winners Announced (Blues Foundation)
Acoustic Album of the Year: Mississippi Number One - Eden Brent
Acoustic Artist of the Year: Eden Brent
Album of the Year: Skin Deep - Buddy Guy
Band of the Year: Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials
B.B. King Entertainer of the Year: Janiva Magness
Best New Artist Debut: 2 Man Wrecking Crew - Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year: Skin Deep - Buddy Guy
Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year: Buddy Guy
Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year Janiva Magness
DVD: M For Mississippi: A Road Trip Through the Birthplace of the Blues - Broke & Hungry Records, Cathead Blues & Mudpuppy Recordings
Historical Album of the Year: Albert Collins Live at Montreux 1992 - Eagle Records
Instrumentalist-Bass: Mookie Brill
Instrumentalist-Drums: Willie “Big Eyes” Smith
Instrumentalist-Guitar: Sonny Landreth
Instrumentalist-Harmonica: Billy Gibson
Instrumentalist-Horn: Deanna Bogart
Instrumentalist-Banjo: Otis Taylor
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player: Marcia Ball
Rock Blues Album of the Year: Mess of Blues - Jeff Healey
Song of the Year: “Let Life Flow” - Kenny Neal
Soul Blues Album of the Year: Simply Grand - Irma Thomas
Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year: Etta James
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year: Bobby Rush
Traditional Blues Album of the Year: One Kind Favor - B.B. King
Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year: B.B. King
Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year Koko Taylor

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

We're home...

Well, all of us get home except Gumbo, who texts Mark that his plane was hit by lightning upon arrival in New Orleans and was not available for his flight out. One more night in the Crescent City for the young man who has been on the road for the past three weeks. We suggest a nice dinner at Mother's.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Johnny Gumbo pissed, announces boycott of Mother's...

It's official! Johnny Gumbo, in response to a perceived disrespect given him (and his shrimp po boy order) at Mother's Restaurant on Saturday evening, announced today, through his press secretary, that he is leading a boycott of the famous New Orleans landmark. He hopes to use his considerable influence as one of the country's leading event planners to teach Mother's that there are some people you just don't want to mess with. Johnny Gumbo is them people. "Saturday dinner (at Mother's), some low-rent sandwich place with very poor service, the meal was disgusting, would never eat there again, others need to know how bad it is."

When asked to comment on the boycott, a Mother's representative replied, "Who the fuck is Johnny Gumbo?" Stay tuned folks, this could get ugly.

We're outta here...
Tuesday is getaway day. Shove all your dirty shit into your bags and stow them in the lobby after checkout. We don't fly out until almost five, so we walk up Decatur to Central Grocery. I walk a couple doors down to find a little something for The Reet at Java House Imports. While I listen intently to the owner's description of jewelry he created for his wife, Barry gruffly interrupts, saying he has to get somewhere and wants to pay for his item. It makes my purchase of The Reet's opal earrings much quicker. We grab a cab over to MiLa, where we meet stay-in-bed-forever Mark for lunch. According to their website, MiLa is the culmination of both the marriage of chefs Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing and their respective home states cuisines-Mississippi and Louisiana. With a seasonal menu driven by fresh picked produce from Lujele Farms, MiLa delivers a new style of Southern fare with a lighter touch using French techniques in an elegant yet relaxed setting in downtown New Orleans. The restaurant is surprisingly large, with a very cool lighted bar at the entrance. Service is slow and a bit disjointed, but my entree of local grouper followed by homemade banana ice cream was very good.

Not much time left. Gumbo and Barry/Larry retreat to the hotel, while I accompany Mark back to Java House Imports. It's time. Everyone piles into a cab (no Garland, he left Sunday night for Houston) for the airport. And what is the airport food of choice? LUCKY DOG! On the flight back to Detroit, while the Pool Hall Studs relaxed, I had to nurse a shaking, teary eyed young lady (she ran out of her medication) through our somewhat bumpy flight to Detroit.

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's Monday, Jazz Fest over, but still lots to do before leaving tomorrow...

A Monday morning tradition - walk to Cafe du Monde. No busy schedule to adhere to. The Louisiana Music Factory has hourly in-store concerts set up (with $2 coupons for Abitas!):
noon Tom McDermott
1PM Cyril Neville
2PM Alex McMurray
3PM Glen David Andrews
4PM Marc Stone
5PM Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show
6PM New Orleans Nightcrawlers
7PM John Boutte

Cyril Neville performing at the Louisiana Music Factory on Monday afternoon.

The Twin Towers (Mark & Larry) leave for lunch at the Red Fish Grill, while we head to Johnny's Po-Boys. We all rendezvous at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, where we waste away for a spell with margaritas and mojitas. On the way back, I realize that I have not yet sampled that French Quarter delicacy, the Lucky Dog!

Barry (or Larry, as he is now known), after numerous reminders from Gumbo, books us for dinner at Lüke, "an authentic brasserie on St. Charles Ave. combining German and French Old World cooking techniques. Located adjacent to the Hilton St. Charles in the heart of the Central Business District on St. Charles Avenue, Lüke’s space is as warm and nostalgic as the menu. Brasserie features include blackboard specials, and newspaper racks. There are also elaborate pulley-and-belt driven ceiling fans, an early air-conditioning system first admired by visitors in the 1880s that has been re-created for the restaurant. Lüke is John Besh’s homage to old brasseries that once reigned in New Orleans." Great food and drink, no-drink toasts, interesting conversations about origins of common slang, command appearances by our chef, our bartender and "Ratdog."

Post-dinner we cab it up to Frenchman Street one more time to d.b.a. to catch the Pine Leaf Boys. The bar books a full lineup of bands during Jazz Fest, usually two per night, often more. Glen David Andrews opened here at six o'clock. Steeped in music since children and hailing from farms and towns in Cajun country, the Pine Leaf Boys have preserved the traditional Cajun sound, while allowing it to breathe and stretch with those who play it. They present their music in multiple configurations such a twin fiddle, duo accordion/fiddle, bass, drum, and foot-stomping jurés (myspace). I hear they have two Grammy nominations, too. Gumbo is dancing up a storm. Finally, after a couple 'one more song' turns, the PLBs call it a night after one o'clock. And so do I.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

It's Sunday already?...

No Lucy's today, for Gumbo and I are off to the Jazz Mass at St. Augustine's Church. Went alone last year and it was pretty cool. We finally hail a cab, but our driver has no clue. We finally get there and ease into our pew. Gumbo is game for this with one condition - he refuses to do the "lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight fight fight" thing. It is a traditional Catholic mass, but with some great horns and percussion to back up the piano and choir. No collection plate here, but rather a big 'ol wicker basket is placed up near the alter and everyone parades up under the watchful eye of the priest as the band and choir rock the house. Good start to the day.

After church, we walk over to Port of Call on Esplanade to meet up the the Pool Hall Studs for lunch. No contact with them yet, so Gumbo goes inside to find them. I turn around and a woman, who was reading the back of my shirt, asks, "Who is Johnny Gumbo!" Perfect timing - the Man strolls out the front door. This is Johnny Gumbo. The woman is amused. A call from the PHS explains they are JUST getting started, so we'll eat and catch them at the Fest. Monsoon is the signature drink at Port of Call. For Gene's sake, I'll not describe what we eat. That finished, we're out on the street to hail a cab out to the Fairgrounds. One of our cabmates from San Clemente tells us he has some extra tickets and only want $25 for the $50 tickets. Cool. We pick up the cab fare.

John Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen are first up for us on the Gentilly Stage followed by Allen Toussaint over at Acura. Both do not disappoint. Gumbo's pick for the day is an all-star collection called The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars featuring Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone, Waylon Thibodeaux and Dr. John. The Pool Hall Studs finally arrive on the scene and catch the end of the set. Excellent call, they're great (Tab is a bit long-winded toward the end explaining the need to curb the destruction of the area wetlands)!

Old man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you (no, Neil, you ARE him!)
Next up is Neil Young at Acura, so we work our way through the huge crowd to friend Marshall's spot to the right side of the stage. Neil sounds good, his thin voice hasn't eroded too much. Drags out all the hits. Here's Cinnamon Girl:

Now that I have my Neil Young check mark, I head out to sample Luther Kent & Trickbag in the Blue Tent and The Rance Allen Group in the Gospel Tent. Good thing, too, for it suddenly pours like hell! Give me an AMEN!

Who to close with? We go with the Radiators over the Nevilles (it's not just me who thinks they kinda mail the closing set in after all these years) and the Rads, looking grizzled, give us a solid show. Hadn't seen them live since Tipitina's on my first trip to Nola in 1989. Wow, it's over. This is where we've usually gone to Shell Fest, a gathering at a nearby Shell Station for beer, tunes & camaraderie, but that has lost some of its lustre lately. Hey, here's a novel idea, let's get back to the hotel and rest up for a change! Gumbo and I do, taking a cab back with a couple from NYC who just arrived today to volunteer for Habitat For Humanity next week.

Cleaned up and refreshed, J-Gum & I head out to Lucy's, but decide to stop at the steakhouse near our hotel for a nice romantic dinner al fresco. It's a gorgeous evening. Order up a couple of steaks, a bottle of wine, some tasty bread. Nice. Well, nice until the Twin Towers come along and plop themselves down to spoil the mood. They're on their way over to Cochon further up Tchoupitoulas Street. After our respective meals, we rendevous at Vic's Kangaroo Pub to watch the Celts clinch and resume our pool grudge matches. The Studs MAY have edged us out, but I don't remember exactly. We catch up with Elisa, a current resident of New Orleans about to relocate to Colorado. Where's Gumbo? Mark, it was your turn to watch him! Well, I'm too tired to worry. Going to bed.

Sunday pics...

View of Fairgrounds Clubhouse from the track.

Huge crowds for Neil Young.

Coolin' off with a frozen daiquiri between the Gospel & Blues tents just before the skies opened up late in the day..

Cyril Neville in full Mardi Gras Indian garb during The Voice
of the Wetlands Allstars set. Outstanding.

Is he ordering a beer for his empty coozie? He does NOT have The Dead coozie (purchased for Barry/Larry by Cheryl from a street vendor at the Meadowlands. The Dead coozie is unique, for it holds your beer, but doesn't colds your beer (but if you're at a Dead concert, you're probably not noticing).

I'm NOT grumpy!

Storm clouds, what storm clouds?

Blodie's Jazz Jam in the WWOZ Jazz Tent during the only
rain storm we had all week.

Luther Kent & Trickbag at the Blues Tent late Sunday.

Don't ask.

Sunday @ Jazz Fest...

Today's closers:
  • Neville Brothers @ Acura Stage (The tradition)
  • Radiators @ Gentilly Stage
  • Maze feauring Frankie Beverly@ Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage
  • Kurt Elling@ WWOZ Jazz Tent
  • Buddy Guy @ Blues Tent (a legend; got to catch at least some of his set)
  • The Genius of Sidney Bechet- A Tribute @ Peoples Health Economy Hall Tent
  • Nathan & Zydeco Cha Chas @ Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage
  • Soul Rebels@ Jazz & Heritage Stage
  • Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries @ Gospel Tent
  • Benny Grunch & the Bunch @ Lagniappe Stage
    Other notables:
  • Neil Young 2:55-4:55 @ Acura Stage
  • Ellis Marsalis 2:55-3:55 @ WWOZ Jazz Tent
  • Allen Toussaint 1:00-2:10 @ Acura Stage
  • Jon Cleary & Absolute Monster Gentlemen 12:35-1:35 @ Gentilly Stage
  • Saturday, May 02, 2009

    Saturday @ Jazz Fest...

    Today's closers:
  • Bon Jovi @ Acura Stage (might catch a glimpse- to the dismay of gman & jfk, but it's tough to go from Gentilly to Acura quickly)
  • Kings of Leon @ Gentilly Stage (very tempting)
  • The O'Jays @ Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage (people all over the world, join hands!)
  • Miles Davis' Kind of Blue at 50 @ WWOZ Jazz Tent (wow, I'll try to fit this in too!)
  • John Mayall @ Blues Tent (a legend; got to catch at least some of his set)
  • Gregg Stafford's Jazz Hounds tribute to Danny Barker featuring Juanita Brooks @ Peoples Health Economy Hall Tent
  • C J Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band @ Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage
  • Midnite Disturbers @ Jazz & Heritage Stage (I've got Gumbo every night for that!)
  • Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Choir @ Gospel Tent
  • New Orleans Bingo! Show @ Lagniappe Stage (your guess is as good as mine)

    Our second day at the Fest starts out with a trip up to Lucy's to discuss strategy. Gumbo wants to get out early enough to see Keith Richards. Really? Yeah, if he falls out of a tree, because it's ZACHARY Richards, you knucklehead (to quote a famous Larry). I'd like to see Courtney Bryan in the WWOZ Jazz Tent. Doesn't happen, we don't get out until the Dr. John set at 3:15. Always a good choice. I stay for a half-hour of Bon Jovi (hey, they were good) before heading over to the Jazz Tent for the Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool tribute featuring original session drummer Jimmy Cobb. Very good. To top things off, we stand to the back of the Blues Tent for a taste of John Mayall.

    We're beat, so we opt for dinner at Mother's, a legendary spot across Poydras from our hotel. The lines are usually long, but we get through in reasonably short order. I order the Pool Hall Studs, Gumbo and I order our po-boys & Abitas, pay and wait. Now it gets ugly. We wait some more. Finally, the PHS get their orders, but what about us? No sympathy from them as they stuff their faces full. Gumbo is fuming. It's getting personal. A waitress comes over and tells us, "I asked about your order but they said they didn't know." Then she takes off. "God dammit," cries out Gumbo in his best Patrick Swayze/Dirty Dancing voice, bewildering at least three nearby tables, "They're going to pay for this. Nobody does this to Gumbo (at least he didn't say 'nobody puts Gumbo in the corner')."
  • Saturday pics

    Cool boots

    Huge crowd at the Acura Stage for Bon Jovi

    WWOZ Jazz Tent for the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool tribute
    featuring Jimmy Cobb

    They apparently got they memo.

    Waiting in the Port-O-Let line

    Waiting for a cab after the Fest

    Friday, May 01, 2009

    Bonnie rules Piano Shirt Friday!...

    I'm up early, so down to the breakfast buffet for some coffee and oatmeal (take note, Gino). Gumbo finally awakens from his slumber, grabs some coffee and gets ready for the day. As you are probably aware due to the massive media attention, the second Friday at Jazz Fest is Piano Shirt Friday. So Gumbo carefully irons, then dons his spiffy Piano Shirt. We're off to Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar for our traditional pre-game Bloody Marys while we study the 'cubes.' The weather is perfect. The Pool Hall Studs are nowhere in sight. We can't wait forever for them. Catch a cab out to the Fairgrounds with a trio of Canadians.

    First up, Frankie Ford. We know nothing of Frankie except that he had the hit song Sea Cruise in the late 1950's. The crowd is fairly thin early in the day, so we get fairly close. After an opening number by his band, Frankie SLOWLY makes his way over to his piano. A few bad jokes about age and ex-wife. This is painful, but we hang in there for awhile. I can't take it, we're out of here. On the way over to the Acura Stage to see Marcia Ball, we sample Natchitoches meat pies, Crawfish Monica, crawfish pies, crawfish strudel, pheasant/quail/Andouille gumbo.

    We've seen Marcia a bunch of times, so after a few numbers we're out. Still no news from the Studs. We usually sample the Gospel Tent at some point during the Fest. It also allows us to sit for a spell. The cubes tell us we are listening to the Mount Herman Baptist Church Mass Choir. They blow us away! Stay for their entire set (by the way, as I'm typing this, Gumbo has taken his morning constitutional and it's seeping into the room; I know that's more information than you need, but I'm dying here).

    Back to the Acura Stage for Bonnie Raitt. It's packed. Gumbo wants to listen way in the back. No way, Gumbo, we're going in. We push our way slowly along the path until we're within decent range. I've seen Bonnie over a dozen times, most recently about five years ago at Oakdale (or whatever they call it this week). Kind of lost my zeal for her in the early 1990's when she went pop, but still a big fan. She's looking good, sounding great. No, let me correct that, she's sounding GREAT! And kicking ass on slide. Obviously energized by Jazz Fest and being in New Orleans ("Greatest town in the world, I've had so much fun down here, I'm surprised I'm not in jail."), she's bringing out some of the old stuff along with the new. John Prine's Angel From Montgomery is magic. The original plan was to see the beginning of Bonnie's set, then go over to the Fais Do Do Stage for Patty Griffin, but I'm going nowhere. This is awesome. Gumbo wants to see Patty, so he leaves. I can still catch a good part of her set after Bonnie. Jon Cleary is wonderful on piano (he'll perform later in the weekend with the Absolute Monster Gentlemen) and Bonnie trots out a killer horn section for a few numbers and really lets them play. Great set!

    Off to Fais Do Do where I run into the Studs and catch Patty Griffin. She's very good. After Patty Griffin's encore, we move over to the Blues tent for John Scofield. The ubiquitous Jon Cleary is on keys. The tent is packed, so we listen outside while catching up with Mark/Lisa from Jersey and Kenney/Mimi?? from San Diego. We're all invited down to Jersey for Mark and Lisa's annual summer bash. I sneak inside for the final number. Excellent finish to the day's music. Off to the Seahorse outside the gate to wait for Garland, who arrives in good time to take us all back.

    Quick shower and down to the Quarter. The Studs are meeting up with Marshall, so we're on our own. Dinner at Desire Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon, where I select the Crawfish Etouffe and Gumbo goes for the rice & beans. We top off the night by slipping into Fritzel's European Jazz Pub further up Bourbon, one of the few remaining bastions of "traditional" jazz in New Orleans' world renowned French Quarter. For over a quarter of a century its founder & owner GUNTER "DUTCH" SEUTTER has provided a friendly locale providing the very best in New Orleans JAZZ. In addition to showcasing local talent "Dutch" provides the opportunity for international bands & musicians to play in the "Birthplace of Jazz" on what is surely one of the most famous streets in the world. Artists from every continent have played at Fritzel's. Within the world of jazz there is no language barrier - people communicate through their mutual love of the music. During a group toast, Johnnyk is chastised for replacing his glass without sipping by Dani, a young lady in the front row who has her Brooklyn boyfriend of 4 hours thinking of life after jazz. The no-drink toast becomes an instant tradition.

    Piano Shirt Friday photos...

    All the girls are crazy 'bout them sharp dressed men.

    John Schofield & the Piety Street Band close Friday
    at the Blues Tent

    During French Quarter Fest, Fritzel's European Jazz Pub hosts numerous bands
    from all over the world who perform strictly New Orleans Traditional Jazz.

    Friday @ Jazz Fest...

    The plan:
    The Cubes for today
    12:55 Frankie Ford
    1:50 Marcia Ball
    3:30 Bonnie Raitt w/ Jon Cleary on the Acura Stage (over Patti Griffin, Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters, Julian Marley & the Uprising Band)
    5:45 John Schofield & the Piety Street Band in the Blues Tent (over Sugarland, Tony Bennett, the Iguanas)

    The venue (click on image for better view)...