The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:
An “Easy D” Perspective: Friday, April 30, 2010
Although I was extremely well rested from the mega-sleep Thursday night, I did not make it out to the fairgrounds early. We waited while one of our Krewe finally made it to the hotel after a very bad Air Tran experience. Hey, more time to party…works for me!
The weather forecast for the rest of the weekend was cloudy, windy, with the chance of rain getting worse as the weekend wore on. The storm that ravaged Nashville, Tennesse and many other places looked like it would stay north of New Orleans; Sunday might be the worst rain day. We made allowances for the weather by throwing raincoats and ponchos into a backpack.
The Chateau Bourbon Hotel portion of my Krewe turned me on to the school bus shuttle to the Fest. For a $17 round trip, you get door to door service to the fest in an air-conditioned school bus. It was like being in the HOV lane! So much better than taking a taxi. Take note you future festers!
Once out to the fairgrounds, we paused at the Jazz & Heritage stage for the Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors. Not the best of Indian shows. We didn’t stay long since we were on our way to Gentilly stage anyway for the subdudes.
The subdudes are a great roots rock band that has been around on and off since 1987. They are known for their sparse instrumentation with a strong emphasis on songwriting and vocal harmonies. The current lineup consists of:
Tommy Malone – lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
John Magnie – vocals, organ, keyboards, accordion
Steve Amedée – vocals, tambourine, drums, percussion, electric mandolin
Tim Cook – harmony vocals, bass, percussion
Jimmy Messa – bass, guitar, vocals
Look for a club show action shots of the subdudes in a future installment. The dudes set was excellent, left me wanting more…I knew I would see them again soon…
Next up: A stroll by the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do stage for Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, a great Cajun band. This is an act I have been meaning to check out for years. A special treat: three trombonists from Bonerama joined the stage during their performance!
Steve Riley’s 2008 performance at Jazz Fest earned him a Grammy Award nomination. Though he lost out to Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience Band, Riley is a musician worthy of local support and national acclaim. Zydeco music is mostly heard a little further west, but Jazz Fest is a great opportunity to check out some great local music. ~The Daily Reveille~
Time for some food! I chose another one of my all time favorites. My friends and I call it the Trio, but it is identified as a platter. The Trio consists of Alligator Pie, a large Shrimp Stuffed with Crabmeat, and Fried Green Tomatoes. Mmmm…and all for $10.
Henry Butler – Piano and Vocals
At the fairgrounds, in the below video, the New Orleans Social Club burns through the end of the Wild Tchopitoulas classic “Indian Red.”
If you ever get a chance to see Henry Butler perform, I urge not to walk, but run to see him. He is a national treasure. To give you an idea, check out this video about the recording of Honeybee for Papa Mali’s Do Your Thing album:
There was no reason to leave the Blues tent since The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band were up next. This husband and wife team were excellent as usual. The band also included a couple of Burbridges: Oteil, the bassist from The Allman Brothers Band and Kofi, keys, flute, etc. from The Derek Trucks Band.
It was very hot and extremely humid in the tent so my gang moved on. Earlier in the day, we received word that Aretha Franklin had canceled for some undisclosed diva reason. Late replacement: Earth, Wind and Fire at the Acura stage! Very nice! After a couple of sexy soulful tunes, my Krewe (of guys) all started looking at each other kinda funny. We realized that we better head for the school bus and head back to the French Quarter. A very nice day indeed. And the weather held up!!!
Friday Evening at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl
There were lots of great music choices for Friday night club shows. I really wanted to see 7 Walkers featuring Papa Mali and Bill Kreutzman. They were playing a theater show opening for Gov’t Mule as well as a later show at Mardi Gras World. When I’m in New Orleans, I much prefer to go to the clubs instead of a theater. There are so many fun clubs in New Orleans in so many different neighborhoods. Much of the time, magical things happen when musicians go from club to club to sit in on other artist’s sets.
We decided to go to The Rock ‘N’ Bowl, a great music venue and bowling alley in the Mid City neighborhood. A couple of years ago, The Rock ‘N’ Bowl moved from one location to more spacious quarters on Carrollton Ave. The new place is much nicer for music, much more spacious and comfortable. The lineup for the evening: John Mooney and Bluesiana, Sonny Landreth, and Bonerama.
John Mooney is a delta, swamp, slide, Louisiana blues guitarist and singer who has called New Orleans home since 1976. John’s trio put on a great performance while enduring the chatter that opening acts inevitably have to deal with.
Next up Lafayette Louisiana’s own Sonny Landreth, another Louisiana slide master. I am a longtime fan of Sonny. How big a fan? My 12 year old Nissan Sentra sports a Sonny Landreth bumper sticker that reads ‘My Other Car is a Zydecoldsmobile’ which references Sonny’s rockin’ tune USS Zydecoldsmobile. Sonny has a long career of collaborations with the likes of John Hiatt and the Goners (along with Sonny’s bassist David Ranson), Bonnie Raitt, Buckwheat Zydeco, Jimmy Buffett, and many others.
For this show, Sonny had his usual power trio setup with David Ranson on bass, and a drummer du jour. Tunes in the set included Native Stepson, Port of Calling, All About You, and USS Zydecoldsmobile. To get a sense of Sonny live, I recommend Sonny’s Grant Street live album.
Lastly we all had to get ‘boned’. Bonerama is a rock band fronted by several trombones/horns. In addition to playing killer covers, Bonerama featured three songs in the set from their excellent recently released Hard Times EP. Later in the show, the Bones brought up to the stage guitarist Jimmy Robinson (Woodenhead, Twangorama) for the end of the set and the encore. Bones and guitar for Whipping Post and War Pigs! Yeah you right!
Bonerama set list:
Lost My House
I Got Loaded
Close The Door
Whipping Post *
Encore: War Pigs *
Note: * w/ Jimmy Robinson on Guitar