|Basking in warm sunshine at Jackson Square|
I stroll past Cafe Du Monde, where I pause to take in the sights and music from a couple of soul-saving old gents, one on trumpet, the other on guitar. The Square is gearing up for another busy day, a mixture of street artists, performers, horse tours, panhandlers. I slip into the French Market Inn to see how they've come on their renovations since our stay there last year. While the new, relocated lobby looks very cool, a peek back into the courtyards finds much of the same, work-in-progress look.
We have lunch reservations for noon at Atchafalaya over on Louisiana Avenue, but since the Studs got extra shut-eye, that's not happening. The alternative is good, though. Emeril's Nola in the Quarter! Miss Hays' stuffed chicken wings are insanely good with a Bloody Mary or Abita. For an entree, Shrimp and Grits. We're ready for Day#3 at Jazz Fest! Oh, wait a minute, the PHS's need to sneak into the Omni Hotel to take care of some business, so I get a chance to sample some street music. Thusly refreshed, we catch a cab out to the Fairgrounds. Saturdays are always the biggest crowds, so we pity the people who didn't buy their tickets earlier.
First up, we catch the last couple songs from Yvette Landry at the Sheraton Fais Do-Do Stage. This is a very under-rated spot to catch great music and sometimes some big-time acts. Patty Griffin, Asleep At the Wheel, Amanda Shaw, Theresa Andersson come to mind. Nora Jones' side project, The Little Willies, will be here later. Off to sample some gospel with the Boutte Family, then to the very crowded Blues Tent for Eric Lindell, all the while trying to hook up with famed baseball Svengali, Mickey "Big Michael" LeBlanc. Mark and Lisa's crew are here too. And we FINALLY run into the infamous Shoe Ladies, who have taken time out from their very busy shopping schedules to grace the Fairgrounds! We fail to catch some of Terence Blanchard's set in the Jazz Tent or the Joe Krown Trio in the Grandstand. Disappointed. It is already past four o'clock, so we rush back to Fais Do-Do for the Little Willies. Very crowded, people got the memo about Nora. She sets up a the piano in the corner right side of the stage, out of view. We keep sliding left until she finally comes into view. The Little Willies originated with informal jam sessions at The Living Room in NYC singing Willie Nelson songs and grew into a couple of very fine albums. So, they've decided to take the next step and tour. Lucky us. Nora does her best to deflect attention, but is only partially successful. Nice harmonies, very entertaining set.
Everyone is going to Fleetwood Mac over at the Acura Stage. Not me, I've taken JFK's recommendation to try Phoenix, a band out of Paris (France, not Texas), who he says play some high-energy, very catchy pop. The very large crowd at Gentilly probably averages 30 years younger than the Fleetwood Mac crowd. Trying to blend in, perhaps not successfully. I've never heard them, but I hear bits of The Strokes in their performance. I kind of like them (the crowd loves them), but there seems to be a hint of auto-tune (I apologize if I'm wrong) going on with the lead vocals, which turns me off. Not bad, though. Oh, I guess I'll finish up with a touch of Mac, what the hell. I'm a big Christine McVie fan, so her not being part of this tour is a bummer. I ease into portal 4 for a decent vantage. Meh. The 60-year old gent in front of me is fondling his 30-something girlfriend's ass (away on business?). Hey, just reporting.
Oh great, my cell goes dead just after the Studs text that they are leaving early to get ready for a cowboy-themed dinner at Giacomo's tonight with Marshall's Krewe. I don't see them anywhere at the Seahorse, so I resign to getting into the monstrous cab line for a ride back to town. Two hours later, I arrive back at the hotel, just in time to wish the Studs well. They look MARVELOUS (see below)! I finally get enough cell juice to hook up with Mickey W and friend Kaky for some wine and conversation at W.I.N.O. a block up on Thoupitoulas.