Monday, May 30, 2011

The Golf Godz release debut album...

Seldom has there been a debut album with less anticipation than Teed Off from the post-punk band, The Golf Godz, but lack of talent has not deterred these bad boys from putting out a tome of golf-themed anthems that has taken the music industry by storm.  Word of their sold-out, riot-filled concerts at the VIP Lounge has made them the hottest act in town, not to mention a boon to sexy lingerie sales.  Who'd have thunk it!  The spoken-word grumbles of guitarist/keyboardist Krazy Keith are juxtaposed with the sweet Latin-tinged vocals of bassist Vinny V, while legendary raconteur Rant On provides the group's signature funky backbeat.  This offering is not for the faint of heart (or for those with an ounce of taste), but give it a try, you might.....survive it.

Teed Off (Lost Fairway Records)
1. That's What She Said (Steve the Bod, backing vocals, mouth harp)
2. Eighteen (Alice Cooper cover, not the Celtics mantra)
3. Never Up, Never In Blues
4. Gimme Dat Damn Putt (Good/Good)!
5. Never Enough Club For You (clarinet solo- Gino Z)
6. Joey, the Mountain Course (recorded live Myrtle Beach, 1995)
7. New Sheriff in Town; The Legend of Johnny E
8. I Think Natalie Gulbis Lusts For Me
9. Delusions (Think Again)
10. We're no B Group! (guest lead vocals by Westie Punk Gussy P)

Rainy Memorial Day morning trail mix...

Sandy Boys (Carolina Chocolate Drops) Genuine Negro Jig
No Place In History (Al Anderson) Pay Before You Pump
Push Out (Ethel Waters) Best of...
City Lights (The Flamin' Groovies) Yesterday's Numbers
Nothin' But Time (Jackson Browne) Running On Empty
Peel Me a Grape (Anita O'Day) Time For Two
Scratch My Back (Taj Mahal) Maestro
You Don't Know How Glad I Am (Bonnie Bramlett) D&B Together
Bus To Baton Rouge (Lucinda Williams) Essence
Evil Hearted You (The Yardbirds) Over Under Sideways Down
Young Man's Blues (Mose Allison) Greatest Hits
Harry's House/Centerpiece (Joni Mitchell) Hissing Of Summer Lawns
Her Mind Is Gone (Professor Longhair) A Proper Introduction To...
Kill Your Sons (Lou Reed) Live In Italy
Lover's Rock (The Clash) London Calling

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron in Harlem, New York, 2010, the year he released a well-received album, I'm New Here, after a 16-year absence.
  (Photograph: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)
Very interesting New Yorker article by Alec Wilkinson from the week of 9/8/10 here

Very sad news on the doorstep. One of my favorites...

NEW YORK – Musician Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork 
for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and 
spoken-word poetry on songs such as "The Revolution Will Not Be 
Televised," died Friday at age 62.  A friend, Doris C. Nolan, who answered the telephone 
listed for his Manhattan recording company, said he died in the 
afternoon at St. Luke's Hospital after becoming sick upon returning from
a European trip. - (more)

(per Wikipedia, so it must be true)- Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 80s, and for his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron's recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". His poetic style has been influential upon every generation of hip hop since his popularity began. In addition to being widely considered an influence in today's music, Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here. (more)

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, let them be...

Johnny Elway, the QB who still gives this Cleveland Browns fan nightmares thinking back to The Drive, is all in a tizzy about some obscure punk bank playing under the name Elway.  Johnny, get over yourself, dude.  Replies the band to Elway (the legend)'s threatened lawsuit: 
"We have no intention of changing the name again. We love the name, regardless of what connotations are inferred by the listener. Surely, if the Dead Kennedys could become one of punk's most popular bands without incurring litigation, Elway can keep their moniker and continue making so-so music for our dozens of fans to enjoy." 
 I couldn't find anything on YouTube for Elway, so here are the Dead Kennedys:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pool Hall Studs part of coalition battling Grammys over category cuts....

NEW YORK (AP) – A coalition of musicians is demanding the Recording Academy restore more than 30 categories cut from the Grammy Awards, alleging the reductions unfairly target ethnic music and were done without the input of its thousands of members.  A protest was held Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif., at an academy board meeting. A modest turnout of musicians hoisted signs above their heads with such slogans as "Grammys Honor All Music" and "It's Not Just About Rap, Rock or Country." Some Latin jazz protesters brought instruments and turned the rally into a spontaneous jam session. - (more)

The Pool Hall Studs, 2008 runnersup in the niche category "Biggest Ego in a Talentless Duo/Group" for their critically acclaimed album Where the Hell Did the Gumbo Go, are furious with the Recording Academy and plan to bring their considerable influence to bear on the issue. 

Meanwhile, the PHS are about to release their 2nd album, rumored to be titled Who Wants Our Seconds?  Johnnykmusic exclusive sources note the album tracks as follows:
1. Remembering Scarlett O'Hara
2. Faces In a Sidewalk
3. The Invisible Lady's Shoes
4. Lucky Dogs 'N Bourbon
5. Gumbo, Gotta Treat Yo' Mutha Rite
6. No Fare, I Got It Last Time
7. Jamesons at Ryan's Will Getcha
8. Comin' Home (On Ditchin' Bob)
9. Spank Yo' Burger, Mama
10. No Way, No Gumbo In the Big Easy!

The bet here is she never releases another album...

Well, while she's alive anyway.  Jesus, Amy, what the hell are you doing to yourself!  Adele is really good and all, but you blow her away.

NEW YORK (AP) – A representative for Amy Winehouse says the singer has checked into a treatment program in London.  Spokesman Chris Goodman said Friday that the 27-year-old songstress wants to be sure she's ready to perform in Europe this summer.  The rep says she'll stay at the clinic on "doctors' advice." It was not clear what treatment she'll get at the Priory Clinic. It offers treatment for a range of psychiatric problems, as well as drug and alcohol addiction.  Winehouse's breakthrough disc, 2006's "Back to Black," won her five Grammy Awards and helped her achieve worldwide stardom, but her music has been overshadowed by drug use and legal run-ins.  Winehouse has not released much music since, but she performed a short tour in Brazil in January.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursdays are for....John Mayer and the girl from 4e?

Can I get a hot tub?  Holly Lynch, the girl from 4e in the State Farm Insurance commercial, is also the girl in John Mayer's Your Body Is a Wonderland video:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sonny Smith (of Sonny & the Sunsets) 100 Records project...

I've really fallen for this guy's music.  He's kind of a mix of Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman meets Jan & Dean.  Pure pop.  Love it.

(Village Voice)- Sonny Smith is playing the ultimate game of "You Know What Would Be a Cool Band Name?" Not only did he come up with 100 imaginary acts, he wrote and recorded their songs and commissioned cover art. Then he built a jukebox to house it all. "For two months, I was just hacking away at doing vocals and seeing what would work," the thirtysomething multitasker explains from his San Francisco home. "To show how naïve I was, at first I was going to make 200 songs, for an A-side and a B-side. When I pulled back, I was actually relieved, like, 'Ah, 100, I can do that.' - (more)

Oh, they call it stormy Monday....

You light up my life.  Nevermind.
NEW YORK – Joseph Brooks, the Academy Award-winning songwriter of "You Light Up My Life" who was awaiting trial on charges of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women, was found dead Sunday of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan apartment, police said. (more)

Johnnykmusic note: One only wishes that Mr. Brooks had decided to off himself BEFORE he wrote that song!

I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night
Former KISS guitarist Vincent Cusano allegedly smacked his wife in the face and dragged her through a pile of broken glass on the night he was arrested ... and when cops arrived to the house, they found 4 dead dogs at the scene ... (more)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Reet is safe at home!...

You go out and up, I'll heave it to you for a TD!

Great super group (Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, etc.) who never made it big, but put out one of my favorite albums of the 70's.
(Per Wikipedia, so it must be true) - The Souther Hillman Furay Band (SHF) was a country rock supergroup led by singer-songwriters Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco), Chris Hillman (The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas), and J.D. Souther (Longbranch Pennywhistle, noted songwriter for Linda Ronstadt and Eagles). The band recorded two albums during the 1970s before breaking up due to the disagreements between the members. - (more)

Oh, hell, might as well give you a little Poco, too! 
(Per Wikipedia, so...) - Poco is an American country rock band originally formed by Richie Furay and Jim Messina following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968.   The title of their first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, is a reference to the break-up of Buffalo Springfield. Throughout the years Poco has performed in various groupings, and is still active today. - (more)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Waitin' 'til the end of the world trail mix...

October Night (Naomi Sommers) Flying Through
Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Mose Allison) Greatest Hits
Here Comes the Meter Man (The Meters) Best of...
Too Late (Angela Strehli) Deja Blue
If (Freddy Cole) Always
You Can't Put Your Arms Around Memory (Ronnie Spector) She Talks To Rainbows
Jambalaya (Emmylou Harris) Elite Hotel
Addicted (Tab Benoit) Power of the Ponchartrain
One of Us Must Know (Bob Dylan) Blonde On Blonde
I'll Be Your Mirror (Velvet Underground) Velvet Underground & Nico
God May Forgive You, But I Won't (Rosie Flores) A Honky Tonk reprise
Lovey Dovey (Otis Redding) The Very Best of...
Righteously (Lucinda Williams( World Without Tears

Johnny Sansone, Anders Osborne at Louisiana Music Factory...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy, happy birthday, baby....

Cher is 65!

Joe Cocker is 67!

Sadly, legendary Donna's not an option at Jazz Fest any longer...

August 21, 2010
Hi everyone,
Just a note to let you know that Charlie and I have decided to close Donna's permanently. We have had a good run on Rampart St but it is time to move on. We will never forget all the good times and the people who passed through our doors to listen to the best musicians in New Orleans and to eat Charlie's good food.  Charlie is doing great. He is busy writing a cook book and re-inventing himself as an author! :) I, of course, am still "Miss Dr. P" to my science students and I enjoy every minute of it.

Please feel free to contact us via this email address. I will most certainly keep the website active for a while until we know that our customers "across the pond" and elsewhere in the world know that Charlie will not be "holding court" any longer in Donna's kitchen! :)

Donna and Charlie
"Do what you wanna, but don't miss Donna's!"
Presenting the very best
Jazz, Brass & Home Style Cooking available in New Orleans.
800 N. Rampart, NOLA, corner St. Ann

 Link to the original Donna's and the short-lived reincarnation of Donna's on Rampart

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thirsty Thursday...

G-Man & Yvette to see the Felice Brothers in Brooklyn tonight.  Can't believe I missed them at Cafe Nine last year!

Just purchased from
So Beautiful Or So What (Paul Simon)
Tears, Lies & Ailibis (Shelby Lynne) 
Hit After Hit (Sonny & the Sunsets)

Sonny & the Sunsets will play the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Friday, July 29, then the following night at the Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:
(From AMG) - Sonny Smith will never be Buddy Holly, but if Buddy were around, he’d recognize a kindred spirit. So would Rick Nelson, Bobby Fuller, or Marshall Crenshaw (who isn’t dead but still...), or anyone else who made simple but powerful pop music with brains, guts, and hooks sharp enough to cut glass. Hit After Hit is that good.- (more)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm thinking, couldn't he just outrun her?...

Sammy Wanjiru, a record-shattering Kenyan marathon runner and reigning Olympic champion, died May 15 in Nyahururu, a town about 115 miles north of Nairobi. He was 24.  The circumstances of his death remain murky, complicated by reports that he had multiple wives.  Mr. Wanjiru’s wife Tereza Njeri reportedly found him in bed with another woman. Following an argument, Tereza locked her husband in the bedroom and ran away.  “He then jumped from the bedroom balcony,” police chief Jasper Ombati told the Associated Press.   - (story)
(Hey, I hate when that happens!)

Early Brian Wilson influence passes on...

LAS VEGAS – Bob Flanigan, an original member of the four-part jazz vocal harmony group The Four Freshmen, has died in Las Vegas at age 84, a manager of the group said Monday.  Flanigan and his cousins Ross Barbour and Don Barbour formed the group in 1948 with Hal Kratzsch while attending Butler University in Indiana. Flanigan played trombone and bass and sang lead parts.   Don Barbour died in a car crash in 1961. Kratzsch died in 1970.   The group produced more than 50 albums and 70 singles, and had six Grammy nominations over the years.  Their best-known recordings were "It's a Blue World" in 1952, "Mood Indigo" in 1954, "Day by Day" in 1955 and "Graduation Day" in 1956. The group was credited with being an early influence on Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson. - (more)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jazz Fest 2011 winners/losers from Johnny Gumbo...

Johnnyk, agreed with yours. A few of mine:
(winner) Morning bloody marys at Lucy's.   Even if you think you don't want another, the bar maid knows the real truth.
(loser) Dinner at Lucy's.   "Service" what's that? "Take your order correctly" what's that?
(winner) National WW II museum.   Great now, will be extraordinary when completed. The "Beyond the Boundaries" documentary in the full experience theater narrated by Tom Hanks was incredible.
(losers) The Public Works Department for the City of NOLA. For maintaining such poor uneven sidewalks that can make walking very dangerous.
(winner) Food at the Fest.  Always a winner. New this Fest for the Gumbo: grilled chicken livers with pepper jelly. Continued favorites: crawfish monica and fried soft-shell crab po-boy.
(losers) All those suckers standing in line at Mother's.  Obviously first time tourists who get suckered in by the "What to do in New Orleans" pamphlets.
(winners) Gumbo's music faves.   Willie, JB, Radiators, Baritone Bliss, Trombone Shorty, Bluerunners Reunion, RAM of Haiti
(loser) Inside room at the Ambassador.  No windows, small room, bed next to the elevator shaft, loose tiles in the bathroom, shower wouldn't drain, old creaky wooden floor, no dresser for clothes...BUT plenty of towels.
Good friends, good food, good memories....jg

Lazy, rainy Sunday morning mix...

Jenny Take a Ride (Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels) Best of...
Ecaroh (Gary Burton & Friends) Departure
A Line for Lyons (Chet Baker)  Boston, 1954
Sinner's Prayer (Eric Clapton) From the Cradle
Poor Man's Paradise (Johnny Sansone) Poor Man's Paradise
Back Off Baby (Rob Stone & the C-Notes) No Worries
World I Never Made (Dr. John) Our New Orleans
16 Day In, Day Out (Horace Silver) Horace Silver Trio
Dream Baby (Roy Orbison) A Black & White Night
They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore (Kinky Friedman) Kinky Friedman
Astral Plane (Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers) Roadrunner
You Can Leave Your Hat On (Etta James) Burnin' Down the House
Cheap Reward (Elvis Costello) My Aim Is True
A Friend Like You (Ruthie Foster) The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster
Ten Cent Pistol (The Black Keys) Brothers

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Jazz Fest winners/losers....

A brief summary; please feel free to share yours in the comments below.  

(winner) The Weather: Perfect.  Temperatures in low 80s, no humidity until Sunday.  No rain to make the Fairgrounds a muddy mess (although that meant we didn't get to view the Pool Hall Studs in their full plastic condom rain attire, which makes them look like big penises from an SNL skit).   

(loser) Gumbo in his feud with Mother's:  The lines to get into the iconic lunch spot at the corner of Poydras/Tchoupitoulas were back and as long as ever despite Gumbo's well-publicized boycott; even the PHS broke the picket line for lunch one day (nice solidarity, boys!)   

(winners) Music acts we liked: Lucinda Williams (great beginning to the Fest; back in good form; word is Treme was using her concert as a backdrop for a scene), Gregg Allman, Ruthie Foster (again, fabulous in the Blues Tent), Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (featuring our new bff Freaky Pete Murano), Kid Rock, Charlie Musselwhite (both in the Blues Tent and with Cyndi Lauper), Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys (have seen her since she was 14), Jesse Winchester,   the Radiators' Farewell w/ Friends (great end to the Fest), Eric Lindell

(losers) Music acts that didn't make it:  Michelle Shocked (big disappointment, although Mark enjoyed her leftist political rantings), Jon Batiste (too much showoff), Arthur Clayton & Purposely Anointed (un-anoint him)

(loser) Johnny Gumbo's face:  in the battle with sidewalk in front of our hotel; no contest, although the bright blue nose bandage was sexy.

(push) Annual pool competition with JK/Gumbo v the PHS:  None this year, mostly because Gumbo made friends with Ange & Bob at Ryan's Irish Pub on Thursday night. 

(loser) Bob

(winners) Lunches:  Stuffed chicken wings at the bar (no need to tip, per JG) at Emeril's Nola on Thursday; burgers, baked potatoes, S&M at Yo Mama's (a new rival to Port of Call) on Sunday; Monday lunch at Stanley in Jackson Square (companion restaurant is the renowned Stella- get it?)

(winner) jukebox at Vic's Kangaroo Bar:  great selection of tunes with good friends after a great wrap up dinner at a Mano (I'm working on it!) on Monday night with Nola buds Pat, Bruno & Terry.

(losers) Boston Celtics game#4:  In the bar, screaming at Paul Pierce to get a good shot at the end of regulation; a real downer, this series is toast

(loser) Lucky Dog on Bourbon late Monday/early Tuesday:  Seemed like a good idea at the time; tauntingly stayed around in my stomach forever.

(biggest losers) Jazz Fest 2012 & all of us: On the news that Gumbo may not return.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Monday morning is traditionally cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde on Decatur with Gumbo.  The weather has turned hot, muggy.  A table in the sun is not an option.  We spear one in the middle of the outdoor cafe, Gumbo neatly boxing out an elderly couple while I dive into the chair.  Two orders, please.

We're not thrilled with today's lineup of hourly concerts at the Louisiana Music Factory, but perhaps we'll drop in.  No structure today.  JG is planning to visit the WWII Museum; the Studs are working out (allegedly);  JK will work on this thing for awhile, then go into the Quarter.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A fine farewell to the Radiators...

After three perfect days, it is really warm and a bit muggy.  We get out to the Fairground around two, missing out on Anders Osborne at Acura and the Lost Bayou Ramblers at Fais Do-Do.  Gumbo and I head for the Gospel tent, not for religion, for relief from the heat.  Not crowded here.  The tents are set up with mist sprays, so it's refreshing.  But we are unimpressed with this group, Arthur Clayton & Purposely Annoited.  Off to the Blues Tent; very crowded and hot for Henry Butler.  Okay, we'll try the WWOZ Jazz Tent, where Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of talented Marsalis family, is about to start his set.  We manage to not kill anyone climbing up the metal stands, although I think JG kind of crushed some lady's shoulder for balance.  We stay for a few numbers; son Jason Marsalis is on vibes.  A bit refreshed, we only step on a few unsuspecting souls on our way back down the metal seats.  I show Gumbo Kiki Huston's jewelry, but he didn't find what he was searching for.  Then we split up because....

They call me KID ROCK!  Yes, I did, despite disgusted sighs from Gumbo, Jonathan & G-man, I thought I'd check him out.  And I lived to tell about it.  He was pretty good!  You've got to admit a line like "I want to love you like I'm never going to see you again," is pretty funny on Mother's Day.  Kid showed off his versatility by playing guitar, piano, drums and some scratching while taking a couple shot of Jim Beam.  Huge crowd (mostly young, but not all).  I leave for Gentilly to meet up with Gumbo and the Studs for the Radiators Farewell w/ Friends and later find that Trombone Shorty came out for a couple songs with Kid.

photo: Times-Picayune
I catch the final couple songs from Michael Franti & Spearhead, a reggae-type band; very energetic.  Very entertaining.  There is quite a wait while they set up for the Radiators, but we see a couple kids in their 20s being handcuffed by police/security and carted off.  What the hell could you possibly do, besides murder, to be arrested at a music fest?  Oh well.

Quint Davis gets all choked up introducing the band, saying that only three groups have had regular closing day status at Jazz Fest:  Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers and the Radiators.  Saw them for the first time Uptown at Tipitina's in 1989 while visiting New Orleans and have been a big fan ever since.  After a couple songs, they bring out fab fiddle player Michael Doucet, then three horns from Bonerama, Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes and Paul Barrere from Little Feat. Really cool set.  Coaxed back by Quint Davis for one encore, I Like It Like That, the 1961 hit co-written by Chris Kenner and Allen Toussaint, then Jazz Fest 2011 is done!

Dinner at Tommy's Cuisine on Tchoupitoulas.  A bemused Maitre 'D leads us through the crowded restaurant to a special room for the wonder foursome, no doubt because of Gumbo's reputation.  Very good service, excellent food (very rich Pappiotte fish served in paper wrapping, sweetbreads, Duck! Tchoupitoulas, Crabmeat au Gratin, Shrimp Remoulade, Creme Brulee, chocolate pecan pie, some kind of fancy bread pudding) and a couple bottles of Barbera.  Will return.  

Buskers playing in the Quarter Sunday
Arthur Clayton & Purposely Anointed at the Gospel Tent
Kid Rocked
Pool Hall Studs, Johnny Gumbo & friend
Same crew, exit friend, enter JK
Amazing closing set for the Radiators

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Port of Call (the old standby) or Yo Mama's ("The best hamburger in New Orleans and possibly the world") for lunch?


Review of Yo Mama's from website:
As a resident of the French Quarter, let me sum this place up quickly: - better food and less wait than Port of Call. I've seen waits over an hour at PofC - more variety than PofC in regards to types of burgers AND chicken sandwiches - Can get loud in there, avoid back booth right by speakers - Wait staff will not tolerate attitude. If you are impatient, go elsewhere. Otherwise, they rock. - Baked potatoes, always "load the bitch up" - Not a family place, try to keep your group at no more than four. - Great variety of tequila! Yum! 

Sounds good to me! 

Well, got to love a joint where you can get a little S&M with your burger! I can see why you wouldn't bring the youngsters along, unless, of course, you care to let them gaze upon the stripper pole, some chains hanging from the ceiling, restraints, cuffs, artwork of women in submissive poses.  We told our bartender/server that we're going to see how the place stacks up against Port of Call.  "Not worried," she responded.  And she shouldn't.  My peanut butter/bacon burger was outstanding (Barry didn't like it, the other two did).  As for the potato, we did indeed "load up the bitch."  Stuffed.  Satisfied.  And we saved an hour of waiting for a seat at the bar at Port of Call.

Entrance to Yo Mama's on St Peter's
One of the interesting artifacts upstairs (along with restraints and a stripper pole)
These boys look, how you say....whipped???

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Just another perfect day in Nola...

Out to Lucy's early today, sporting my Black Keys, Akron, OH shirt, getting a "Yeah, The Black Keys" as we enter.  Although it's pretty crowded, Gumbo and I manage to squeeze into our usual places at the Tchoupitoulas Street end of the bar, order up a couple Bloody Marys, and peruse Saturday's music listings.  Our plan is to get out to the Fairgrounds earlier today, which means the Pool Hall Studs will probably catch up later.  JG feels we should try out the hotel's $15 Jazz Fest round trip deal instead of our usual routine.  Fine with me.  Our bus driver tries to be a tour guide on the way out, but quickly runs out of ammunition.  We get there in short order; it's about 12:30 and I suggest we start the day with some Jon Boutte at the Congo Square Stage.  However, we quickly learn that it's Jon Batiste instead - and, after a couple songs, decide to move on to Marcia Ball.  It is already really crowded, but since it hasn't rained, it is easy to get around the Fairgrounds.

We get a text from the Studs that, despite the Gumbo boycott, they are eating lunch at Mother's. Gumbo and I split up, agreeing to meet around two at the Acura Stage for Voice of the Wetlands All Stars (featuring Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, George Porter Jr, Johnny Sansone, et al).  I end up just strolling around the grounds taking in the sights (Mardi Gras Indians parades, cd tent, some craft booths).  At the cd tent, I find Marcia Ball doing a signing gig.  I end up at the Gentilly Stage and happen upon the PHS.  Some guy named MyNameIs JohnMichael is performing.  Sounds decent.  After his set, while we wait for Trombone Shorty, I suggest we move over to Fais Do-Do for Jesse Winchester.  The PHS have never heard of him, but they trust my judgement, even after the Michelle Shocked episode. We sit on the ground; feels great to get off my feet for a bit.  Jesse is very mellow, tasty.  Nice respite. 

Back to Gentilly to reunite with Gumbo for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, who blew us away last year (while returning from the beer tent with four cold ones, I'm stopped by a guy who wants to take a picture of my Black Keys shirt).  The PHS saw them again at Stage One in Fairfield last fall.  And he's great again.  Great band. Interesting tidbit:  While Shorty is singing On the Way Down from his excellent album Backatown, the songwriter, Allen Toussaint, is playing his set over at the Acura Stage (I didn't say it was earthshaking, only a tidbit).  I wasn't crazy about them suddenly bringing out the sports arena staple, Shout, to get everyone jumping around.  C'mon, Shorty, you're better than that!  Great show, though.

Over to the Blues Tent for Walter Wolfman Washington - and a seat out of the very hot sun.  Feels good.  To finish the day, I'm going to pass up Jimmy Buffett, Bobby Blue Bland and Lauren Hill in favor of The Strokes.  That old Parrothead Gumbo opts for Jimmy Buffett, while the Studs are willing to try The Strokes.  Their first album was great, but they've not reached that level with anything since.  On this hot day, they must be dying in those leather jackets.  With lead singer Julian Casablancas is doing his disinterested thing, they get off to a somewhat slow start, but get better as the set continues.  Last Night is really good.  Mark spots 'Freaky Pete' Murano, Trombone Shorty's great guitar player, come in with his girlfriend.  Photo op.  Mark tells him about the gig in Fairfield; Pete said it was a great small venue to play.  Noticing my shirt as we pose for a pic, he comments that he loves The Black Keys.  Cool guy. 

Gumbo and I head for the shuttle bus and get back to the hotel quickly.  Evening plans are up in the air, but we are going to try to squeeze in at Herbsaint, one of our favorite restaurants in Nola.  A call from the Studs to meet downstairs at nine, so we go into the hotel bar to watch the 2nd half of Celtics/Heat.  After helping the Celts win, we head over to Herbsaint, where, after a short wait, we actually get a table outside.  Great dinner (nod to Peter).

A picture perfect Saturday...

Jon Batiste - didn't like his set
Very crowded early for Marcia Ball at Acura
Mardi Gras Indians Parade
More Mardi Gras Indians
Marcia Ball signing autographs after her set.
Some jazz and getting out of the heat.
The Strokes close at Gentilly
At The Strokes set - Hey, that's the guitar player for Trombone Shorty
Mark & Freaky Pete Murano.  "You guys were great when we saw you in Fairfield...and your girlfriend is hot."
JK & Freaky Pete Murano - "Hey, love the Black Keys"

Friday, May 06, 2011

Mostly a Blues Tent Friday...

A late sleep for the 5th annual (I think) Piano Shirt Friday.  Another spectacular weather day.  We get a text that the Pool Hall Studs are at Lucy's, but Gumbo has to pick up a forgotten credit card at Ryan's so we walk down to Decatur, retrieve the card and order a couple Bloody Marys, which kind of match Gumbo's shirt after last night's fall.  The PHS take their sweet time meeting up with us.

We get out to the Fairgrounds around two, just hearing Edie Brickell's final song as we walk through the gates.  The Studs go their separate way while we ponder.  Buckwheat Zydeco is next up at Gentilly, but we instead decide to roam, catching a little religion with Rev. Jermaine Landrum & Abundant Praise Revival Choir.  The Rev appears to be the hyper-energetic lead singer/choir leader, alternately singing, then handing off to a couple younger boys while he fired up the choir.  The place is rocking!  I'm almost saved, but not quite, so we stroll next door, settling in along the crowded right side of the Blues Tent for Luther Kent, a favorite from a couple years back.

After Luther, it's time for some food.  Catfish Etouffee, a Crawfish Sausage Po' boy and a Cochon Po' boy- delicious.  Back to the Blues Tent for Eric Lindell, one of our big favorites.  The boys saw him last year at One-Eyed Jack's, but I was too tired that night and passed (not out, just whipped).

The closers: Arcade Fire, Willie Nelson, Mingus Big Band, Gregg Allman.  I want to see what all the Arcade Fire hype is about and I love Willie, but I opt to go deep down front right after Eric Lindell to homestead a spot for Gregg Allman.  Gumbo, as always, goes for that old pot-smoking, tax-cheating hippie, Willie Nelson.  I squeeze down front in the center aisle, hoping not to be bounced.  After a couple close calls, I'm safe and Gregg appears.  Looks in great spirits, smiling, acknowledging the huge welcome.
View from front looking back in Blues Tent for Gregg Allman

Roadies setting up for Gregg Allman while those of us without seats crowd the aisles.

Sometimes I feel like I'm tied to the whipping post....

Gregg's there somewhere.

Derek Huston taking a solo during Gregg's set.
Good decision to go with Gregg.  Early night for JohnnyK, dinner with Gumbo at Lucy's where we see the Jersey Gang at an adjoining table.  Lousy dinner.  I pack it in, while Gumbo goes off to see what's cooking at Howlin' Wolf.

Yes, it's Piano Shirt Friday!...

A pensive Johnny Gumbo just outside Ryan's Irish Pub on Piano Shirt Friday

A rough landing for the Gumbo...

Mark gets a text that The Gumbo has landed and we were to meet at Ryan's Irish Pub on Decatur, the site of several heated pool matches with the Pool Hall Studs, but now they've taken out the table (too many fights).  We call Garland for pickup at the Seahorse just outside the Fairgrounds gate.  He arrives with cold ones and chicken wings and we pile eleven of us into the van for the trip back to the Quarter.

Another text says that he's at the Louisiana Music Factory where Amanda Shaw, then Marcia Ball are scheduled.  We finally find Gumbo back at Ryan's, where he has already befriended (cornered?) local couple Bob & Ange.  After some beers and Marcia Ball, we all make our way back to the hotel to drop off shit before getting some food.  As we reach the entrance to the hotel, the sidewalk jumps up and trips the Gumbo, sending him face first into the pavement.  Blood everywhere.  The Gumbo looks like one of those TMZ celebrity mug shots.  But we clean him up and drag him along with us for some burgers.  I think the highway crew might have to hose down the pavement in the morning.

"Thursday is the perfect day to be here at Jazz Fest. From now on, we've got to do Thursday." -Barry D

We catch a cab out to the Fairgrounds with a woman from Cali, who was looking forward to catching Lucinda, too.  Our cabbie is a bit on edge, swearing at the bicyclists for getting in his way, honking at everyone else.  No line at the ticket booth, so we get our full, 4-day allottment at $60 per.  Mark makes a preemptive strike at the port-o-lets and then shares with us a detailed description of the untidy toilet.  Thanks for that.

On our way over to the Acura Stage, we pass Eagle & Hawk at Gentilly and Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove at Congo Square.  We arrive in time to get down pretty close to the stage, slightly to the right.  Lu comes out, says howdy and launches into oldies Pineola and Drunken Angel, then Buttercup, the opener on her new album, Blessed, followed by the wonderful Emmylou Harris hit, Crescent City.  She sounds really good, almost saying, "Fuck you, Peter, I wasn't THAT bad up in Boston," a reference to a less-than-complimentary review of her concert there.  She's completely changed her band, with young stud Blake Mills on lead guitar.  A cool, sparse arrangement on Fats Domino's I Lived My Life, a great bluesy Essence, she mixes up her vast catalog nicely, ending her set with Get Right With God.  Great comeback, Lu, I thought we lost you a couple albums back.

Charlie Musselwhite was next at the very crowded Blues Tent, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers followed at the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys at Gentilly (a great version of the Clash Should I Stay Or Should I Go), and a disappointing miss with Michelle Shocked back at the Fais Do-Do.  

We then stopped at the Louisiana Marketplace to introduce ourselves to Kiki Huston of Kiki Huston Jewelry Designs, who is a family friend of brother-in-law, Peter.  Picked up a very nice present for The Reet.

I fell in love with the look and feel of silver as a young child, watching my father silversmith as a hobby. I live and work in New Orleans, hand-fabricating sterling silver with the tools I inherited from him. Each piece is unique, bearing individual marks of the hammer.
Kiki's husband, Derek, was a founding member of The Iguanas, has played with James Hunter and now plays with Eric Lindell.  The Eric Lindell Band plays on Friday at the Fest and Kiki tells me that Derek will also be playing in Gregg Allman's band on Saturday.

Of course, we can't pass up some great food, so, at various times, we stuff our faces with some crawfish pie (outstanding), gator, etc.  My legs are tired so I help myself to the back of an unattended golf cart.  Heaven.  Mark joins me until we are bounced (politely) when the cart is needed for more important duties than giving us relief.  The closers today are Wilco at Acura (I'm looking forward to catching at least some of that set), Cyndi Lauper at Gentilly, The Iguanas at Fais Do-Do, and Ruthie Foster at the Blues Tent.  We sample Cyndi first, interested after hearing good reviews of her Memphis Blues album and thinking that Charlie Musselwhite would be in her band.  He is.  She says she was originally a blues singer in a Janis Joplin cover band and has always loved that genre.  She sound good.  Off to see Ruthie, whom we planned to see in Fairfield last month (actually bought the tickets) until the UConn Huskies/San Diego State game conflicted.  And the Blues Tent has chairs!  Again, heaven.  Ruthie, you are, well, phenomenal!  She's so good and we are so comfortable, that we ain't movin'.  Wonderful show!
Ruthie Foster closing at the Blues Tent