Saturday, May 05, 2012

Take a load off Annie...

The Gumbo event puts us behind schedule a bit.  We are off to Willie Mae's Scotch House for what is rumored to be the world's best fried chicken, but when we arrive, the line is way too long.  A quick walk gets us over to a much shorter line at Dooky Chase.  Cool looking place inside, obviously a favorite for the politically connected, with pictures of George Bush and Barack Obama prominently displayed, not to mention lots of handshakes and backslaps going around.  We get the buffet - a very good choice.  The fried chicken is awesome.  We eat WAY to much!

We get to the Fair Grounds around two-thirty, too late for Wayne Toups and Barry's fav, Theresa Andersson.  The Studs go off on their own; it's hot as hell, so Peter and I decide to get out of the heat, up to the grandstand for a Little Anthony interview.  As we settle in, Peter notices that the interviewer is none other than his friend, Derek Huston!  Anthony is quite entertaining.  At the close, Peter says hey to Derek and we are off to Acura for Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, passing the Yvette Landry Band at the Lagniappe Stage as we exit the grandstand.  We find the Shoe Ladies camped out in the crowd at Acura for a good spot to hear Grace, who was channeling her inner Heidi Klum, with bared legs up to her armpits and tossing her roots-exposed blond mane all over the place.  She sure has glammed it up lately!  Sounds pretty good too.

A text from the PHS says that Bonerama is fabulous at Gentilly.  Peter and I join up with the Studs at Congo for a taste of the about-to-go-back-to-jail Mystical, thenover to the Gospel Tent, where Mavis Staples is up at four-fifty.  I was really looking forward to Mavis's original pairing with Levon Helm.  The place is overflowing; we find a place outside the tent (sides are rolled up) along the chainlink fence.  Not a bad spot.  The oppressive sun goes behind the clouds, so it's quite pleasant.  Mavis is in great voice.  Peter likes that she does hit you with an over-the-top approach (he felt Grace Potter did that too much).   Staples introduces a guest Glen Hansard; the band doodles a familiar line and suddenly the crowd is on its feet as Staples starts - Pulled into Nazareth, feelin' 'bout half-past dead..... A great Jazz Fest moment!  Everyone standing, cheering, singing along.  At the completion, Mavis yells out "Levon Helm!  Levon Helm!  Levon Helm!  Priceless.

Now for the closers (ouch, makes me think of Mariano).  Zac Brown Band  at Acura, the much buzzed-about Rodrigo y Gabriela at Gentilly, Bunny Wailer at Congo, Little Anthony & the Imperials at Blues Tent.  On the way to Zac Brown, we catch Tears On My Pillow.  Decent.  Big crowd for ZBB.  I think I'm wearing Peter out a bit with all the walking, but he's a trooper.  Over to Congo Square for some Bunny Wailer, then reunite with the Studs for Zac Brown cover of Rage Against the Machine.

Pretty tired at this point.  Back to Ryan's in the Quarter to catch the 2nd half of the Celts win over the Hawks.  Finally, a quick shower, something to eat at the Crescent City Pub around the corner with Peter and the tardy Studs, one of whom with a very strange stride (inside stuff, sorry).  Peter decides to call it a night, but the rest of us walk over for a nightcap with the Shoe Ladies in the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt.  I'm tapped, guys.  Bedtime. We're at the halfway point, guys! (more pics on Twitter)

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