Friday, May 01, 2015

Can there be a PIANO SHIRT FRIDAY without Johnny Gumbo?,,,

Johnny Gumbo piano shirt
A good night's sleep on my luxurious pull-out couch bed.  The PHS do not wake until late morning, so I'm up, dressed and walking - across Poydras, down Tchoupitoulas past Mother's and Restarant August (another simmering feud, something about Barry miffed at not being allowed the dinner menu while seated at the bar), across Canal Street, all the way up Bourbon (freshly hosed down, so not TOO smelly) to Esplanade, then over to Frenchman, where I see the new location of the Louisiana Music Factory.  This walk, in retrospect, was not a well thought out idea, for we will be on our feet the whole day.

Stud sighting at Parkway's
Mark and Barry FINALLY awake from their slumber, then work out/run, announce themselves sufficiently buff, complain that I did not bring them up any food from the hotel breakfast buffet that they would NEVER eat at, shit/shower/shave, dress.  Sensitive to my thought that we COULD be getting out to the Fairgrounds a bit earlier this year, we set out, grab a cab out to the Parkway Bakery & Tavern at the corner of Hagan/Toulouse for some poor boys.  It's a small neighborhood joint with a big reputation for their poor boys.  I grab a table while Mark waits in the long line until Barry finds out that if you get a table in the bar, the bartenders will take your order.  We find a table in the back of the bar near the back door.  Lots of people in and out picking up orders.  Mark offered to hold the door for one young lady, loaded down with a bunch of bags.  "No need, honey, that's why God gave me this big booty" as she used said booty to bump the door open.  The Studs are starving and order Stud-sized shrimp and ???.  I go for the more human size BBQ steak.  Very good, but we agree that it does not quite compare with Mahoney's.

We're about seven blocks from the Fairgrounds, so we decide to walk it.  Gorgeous day.  Getting pretty warm.  Bright sunshine, no clouds, temperature in the 80s.  The grounds should be dried out from the 1st weekend rains and Monday's severe storm.  The ticket line is short; we purchase tickets for all three days, each of which is up to $70.  Our expectations for today's music are low, No Doubt and Chicago as the closers?  Disappointing, but let's see what we can find.  I suggest Gal Holiday & Her Honky Tonk Revue over at the Sheraton Fais Do Do Stage.  We arrive early in her set and find Gal looking and sounding hot as the weather, a simple shift-type dress, boots, and a short cut to her dark hair.  Oh, did I mention that she shaved one side of her head?  Great look!  She tells us she's from originally western Maryland, but after 16 years living here, she's a New Orleans girl through and through.  Great voice, great backup band playing in a sort of country-swing fashion.  Some originals, some Hank Williams, some Dylan.  Very, very good start.

Luther Kent & Trick Bag at Gentilly Stage:   Luther's been around for awhile but I've only caught him
Piano Shirt Friday?
once before. His biography says he was lead singer for the touring Blood, Sweat & Tears in the early 70's, but record contract issues kept him from ever recording with the group.  Big man, rough, soulful voice backed by a huge band which features once of the sax players often,  Good sound.  We stick around for a good chunk of his set.  We've finally found the New Jersey crew. More hugs, laughter, tears while everyone samples the liquid concoction that they've smuggled in.

Damn, it's getting warm, so New Jersey Mark suggests we go into the Miller Lite Tent (he's got some free passes) at the back of the Acura Stage for Galactic with Macy Gray.  It gets us out of the sun with free beer and funk to boot! But I've targeted Shooter Jennings back at Fais Do Do as a possibly good show so Mark G and I leave the group and make our way over there.  His set has just started,  Looks a bit like his old man, Waylon.  As he introduces his next song, it's quickly apparent that he is NO fan of Nashville (something like "My Favorite View of Nashville Is From Afar"), but all those anger issues result in some great songs.  Hell of a backing band, too.  The dude on pedal steel/harmonica is fabulous!  "So, a few years ago a guy from Nashville said he was doing a tribute album for George Jones and asked folks to write original songs and submit them, so I wrote a couple songs for him. Turns out the guy was full of shit, but here's one of those songs I wrote."  Funny story, great song.  Great show, Shooter.  Best of the day!

JK, Elisa, Pool Hall Studs at Gentilly
Chicago closing at the Acura Stage: Does anybody know what time it is?  Does anybody really care? I don't. And I tell the others that there's no way I'm going to see No Doubt or Chicago, today's "big name" closers at Acura and Gentilly respectively. MAYBE I'm a bit of a music snob, but I loved the Chicago Transit Authority (saw them twice at Yale Bowl in the late 60s) through their first 3 albums until Terry Kath died and everything went to mush.  And there's, like, one member left!  But I'm a team player and I go along.  Okay, okay, they do sound pretty good (except for some generic songs that sound like Journey).  I'm getting killed by everyone.  We venture into the crowd closer to the stage to meet up with Elisa, longtime friend of the Pool Hall Studs.  I met her years ago just as she was moving from New Orleans out to Denver for professional reasons, but she and her husband have recently returned to NO permanently and are finishing up renovating a place in Marigny.  Hugs, laughter, tears.  The sun is lowering in the background as Chicago continues to prove my assessment of them MAY have been a bit harsh.  Last song:  25 or 6 to 4  Killer good.  Okay, OKAY!

And, of course, what would Jazz Fest be without the Pool Hall Studs' dressing for Marshall's annual themed dinner.  Personally, I would not trust ANY read from that caddy!

Words cannot describe

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