Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Easy D’

The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

(Read Easy D’s “Prologue” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Wednesday, April 28, 2010” here)

The weather for Thursday looked like it would be the best of the entire weekend.  Partly cloudy, breezy, high in low 80s.  Nice!  We arrived in time to see the first act of the day:  Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians at the Jazz & Heritage stage.  Some of the Madi Gras Indian acts are a blast.  This act was one of the better ones I’ve seen over the years.

Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians at the Jazz & Heritage stage

Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians at the Jazz & Heritage stage

Crawfish Monica

Crawfish Monica

Next it was a quick stroll through the food area en route to the Acura stage.  One of the benefits of Thursday is that the festival is less crowded, hence the lines for the popular food items are nonexistent.   The most popular item is Crawfish Monica, a delicious combination of crawfish, pasta, and a nicely spicy creamy sauce!

Next up:   Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove at the Acura stage.  Kirk is a sousaphone player and original member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  He has also collaborated with Anders Osborne among others over the years.  The current Backyard Groove lineup also features CR Gruver, a master keyboardist.  Very entertaining set featuring a versatile horn section and nice backup vocals.  I had learned from Kirk that he was having gall bladder issues a few weeks prior to the festival.  He decided to try to deal with it nutritionally so that he could get through the festival gigs.  He did not disappoint with this set.  Stay well Kirk!

Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove

Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove @ Jazz Fest 2010

CR Gruver of Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove @ Jazz Fest 2010

CR Gruver of Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove @ Jazz Fest 2010

The ‘scenery’ around the stages was starting to build on this slow day.  Let’s just say that some folks put together fest wardrobes and devised ways to be comfortable at the festival:

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Next up:  Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk at the Acura stage.  Dumpstaphunk is by far one of my favorite bands.  The funksters played the now familiar favorites such as Meanwhile, Turn This Thing Around, Shake It Off, Creedence Clearwater’s Fortunate Son.  Music with a message.  I know I put my troubles in the Dumpsta!  Plus the crowds are starting to build.  Dumpstaphunk lineup:

Ivan Neville – Keyboards and Vocals

Ian Neville – Guitar

Nick Daniels – Bass and Vocals

Tony Hall – Bass, Guitar and Vocals

Raymond Weber – Drums and Vocals

Dumpstaphunk crowd shot @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Dumpstaphunk crowd shot @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

As the crowds build, the large video screens enhance the experience:

Raymond Weber @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010
Raymond Weber @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

By this time, more of my extended entourage appeared including my Uptown New Orleans friends who traditionally stake out an area to the right of the Acura stage soundboard they call The Condo.

Easy D and friends @ Jazz Fest 2010

Easy D and friends @ Jazz Fest 2010

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Next up: A quick stroll over the the Gentilly stage to catch the end of Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys.  Amanda Shaw is a 19 year old fiddle and vocal phenom who has been playing professionally for several years.  I think the first time I saw her play at the festival,  Amanda was 13.  While she is building a catalog of original songs, she also plays fun covers such as Charlie Daniel’s The Devil Went Down to Georgia and The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go.  By the way, several years ago,  Amanda turned down Disney’s offer of the title Hannah Montana role to sign with Rounder Records and pursue a serious music career.

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

And then, stroll back toward the Acura stage for some of Gov’t Mule.  There’s something about strolling around the Fairgrounds while Warren Haynes sings Thorazine Shuffle.  The Gov’t Mule Setlist:

Blind Man In The Dark
Steppin’ Lightly
Broke Down on The Brazos
Railroad Boy->
Beautifully Broken
I’ll Be The One
Thorazine Shuffle
Soulshine

Warren Haynes @ The Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Warren Haynes @ The Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

At this point, I wanted to catch a little bit of Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Gentilly stage.  En route, paused at the Congo stage where the Soul Rebels Brass Band were playing:

Soul Rebel Brass Band @ Gentilly stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Soul Rebel Brass Band @ Gentilly stage, Jazz Fest 2010

While walking by the Fais Do Do stage, I ran into more of my Krewe who were watching Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, an excellent zydeco band.  Decided to stay here for a while; it was so good.  Plus the dancers to the right of the Fais Do Do stage are always very entertaining:

Geno Delaflose & French Rockin’ Boogie @ Fais Do Do Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Geno Delaflose & French Rockin’ Boogie @ Fais Do Do Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Dancin' @ Jazz Fest 2010

Dancin' @ Jazz Fest 2010

Once arriving at the Gentilly stage, after listening to Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers for a few minutes, I quickly decided that the energy level was not up to the Jazz Fest scene.  I am a fan of the Steep Canyon Rangers having seen them at the Delfest Bluegrass Festival last May.  On this day, they just didn’t work for me.  So it was back to the Acura stage to close the day with Widespread Panic.   The band consists of :

JOHN BELLguitars, vocals

JOHN “JOJO” HERMANNkeyboards, vocals

JIMMY HERRINGguitars

TODD NANCEdrums, vocals

DOMINGO S. ORTIZpercussion, vocals

DAVE SCHOOLSbass, vocals

John Bell @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

John Bell @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

This was the 3rd time that I have seen Widespread Panic at Jazz Fest.   They always play on Thursday so that they can play a full 2 and a half hour set.  This is the 2nd time I have seen the Panic since the death of guitarist Mikey Houser.  While I miss Houser, the supremely skilled Jimmy Herring is a terrific replacement.  Bandleader John Bell was in very fine voice, better than recent shows I have attended.  They performed a couple of my favorites including Imitation Leather Shoes, Ophelia, and the excellent Mikey Houser tune This Part of Town.  Here is a snippet of lyrics from This Part of Town, music with a message IMHO:

I was walkin’ the other day with my head down,
When I met a man who had his hand out.
So I gave him, gave him a dollar,
But as I walked away I heard him call out,

“Tell me Brother, can you see the sun
From where you’re standin’ now?
I’ve been up and I’ve been down,
But I’ve never been to this part of town.”

David Schools @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

David Schools @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

Here is the Widespread Panic set list:

Love Tractor, Pigeons, Space Wrangler, Walkin’ (For Your Love) > Blight, Thought Sausage, Imitation Leather Shoes > Jam > Proving Ground, Down*, Walk On The Flood > North, Up All Night** >Tall Boy**, Good People (w/Dark Bar Rap)**, On Your Way Down**> Bust It Big**,Ophelia** > You Should Be Glad**,This Part Of Town, Aint Life Grand*

Comment: *w/John Keane on Pedal Steel — **w/The Megablasters

Oh by the way, it was a party at The Condo:

Acura Stage @ Jazz Fest 2010

Widespread Panic @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Mikey Houser (yes, even Mikey, may he RIP, was at the fest!)

Mikey Houser (yes, even Mikey, may he RIP, was at the fest!)

Widepread Panic - painting started and completed during the set.

Widepread Panic - painting started and completed during the set.

Well, after this glorious day, we worked our way back to the hotel.  While working our way through the cab line, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell on my right hip.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I broke the fall with my camera pouch.  I was uninjured, but my camera was a casualty.  I will have to depend on others in my Krewe for the remaining installments.

After returning to the hotel, I was tired and in need of a shower and nap.  My ‘power nap’ ended up lasting 10 hours.  Best sleep I’ve had in years.  So, no club show report for Thursday evening.  Next installment: Friday.

~ Continue to the Friday installment of Easy D’s Jazz Fest 2010 adventure~

Read Full Post »

The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Friday, April 30, 2010

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

(Read Easy D’s “Prologue” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Wednesday, April 28, 2010” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Thursday, April 29, 2010” here)

Canal Street (Photo by Jon Weber)

Canal Street (Photo by Jon Weber)

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!

Photo by Lynn Lesh

Photo by Lynn Lesh

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!

Photo by Derek B.

Big Chief Victor Harris the 2nd Friday @ Jazz Fest, Jazz & Heritage Stage (Photo by Derek B.)

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 (Photo by Adam McCullough)

The Subdudes' John Magnie (Photo by Adam McCullough)

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…

Steve Riley And The Mamou Playboy (Photo by Tamara Grayson)

Steve Riley And The Mamou Playboy (Photo by Tamara Grayson)

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~

The Trio (Photo by David Grunfeld)

The Trio (Photo by David Grunfeld)

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.

Next up: The set that I have been looking forward to for weeks: The New Orleans Social Club in the Blues tent.  This is an all-star band consisting of:

Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk) – Keyboards and Vocals

Henry Butler – Piano and Vocals

George Porter, Jr. (The Meters, etc) – Bass and Vocals

Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) – Guitar and Vocals

Raymond Weber (Dumpstaphunk) – Drums 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!!!

Earth, Wind and Fire @ Jazz Fest 2010

Earth, Wind and Fire @ Jazz Fest 2010

Friday Evening at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl

Rock 'N' Bowl

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.

John Mooney at the Rock 'N' Bowl

John Mooney at the Rock 'N' Bowl

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.

Sonny Landreth @ Jazzfest 2010

Sonny Landreth @ Jazzfest 2010

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.

Grant Street Album

Grant Street Album

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.

Bonerama:

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:

Bayou Betty
Cabbage Alley
Lost My House
The Ocean
Hard Times
I Got Loaded
Close The Door
Whipping Post *
Folly *

Encore: War Pigs *

Note: * w/ Jimmy Robinson on Guitar

Read Full Post »

The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: The Prologue

(2nd Weekend: April 28, 2010 – May 4, 2010)

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy


JAZZ FEST 2010 Poster By Tony Bennett

JAZZ FEST 2010 Poster By Tony Bennett

This series of articles will recap my experiences and the experiences of my ‘Krewe’ in New Orleans for the 2nd weekend of the 41st annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.  I arrived for my visit in the evening on Wednesday, April 28 and left on the morning of Tuesday, May 4.  My recap will focus on the music I saw and listened to, but I will also describe some of the magic that is the City of New Orleans: the food, the people, the tourists, and the places.

2010 Congo Square Poster by Terrance Osborne

2010 Congo Square Poster by Terrance Osborne

When talking about my Krewe, I will not refer to them by name because ‘what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans’.  Unlike yours truly, the rest of my Krewe currently have jobs.  All of us, including me, have families.  You will have to believe me when I say that as a group, we were reasonably well behaved, but had a tremendous amount of fun with just the right amount of partying.  No one went to the hospital; no one got arrested.  A splendid time was had by all.

I planned to take a note pad wherever I went so that I could recall my activities during the weekend.  As soon as I arrived, I realized that this plan did not make any sense.  There is so much going on all of the time that I would surely miss something while writing on the fly.  You will have to depend on my memory, which I am happy to report is usually quite good.  You will not notice if I forget some things.

Fairgrounds Race Course during Jazz Fest

Fairgrounds Race Course during Jazz Fest

The 2nd weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held at the Fairgrounds Racetrack from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM from Thursday through Sunday.  There are 12 stages with music running simultaneously all day.  It is often quite a challenge to decide who to go see perform.  To get an idea of the schedule, go to www.nojazzfest.com and click on ‘music schedule’ where you can review ‘the cubes’ listing the acts performing at the stages on a given day.

Photo by Crawfish Monica

Photo by Crawfish Monica

Some of the stages are in tents (Blues, Gospel, Jazz, etc).  The rest of the stages (Acura, Gentilly, Congo, Fais Do Do, Jazz & Heritage, etc) are outdoors.  If the weather is decent, I prefer to go to the outdoor stages.  Some of my favorite artists have performed in the tents over the years, but if the sun is shining, I’ll often bypass a favorite in favor of an act outdoors.  Also, I enjoy strolling between the stages and discovering great music that I never intended to see.  Strolling between stages also affords the opportunity to stop at the food booths.  The food at the Fairgrounds is excellent and relatively inexpensive.  Many local favorites are featured including gumbo, jambalaya, po boys, many crawfish dishes, etc.

Photo by Lynn Lesh

Photo by Lynn Lesh

After a full day at the fairgrounds, it’s time to get back to the hotel, get a shower, perhaps a power nap, before partying again and going to a night club for even more music.  Club shows generally run from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM.  Late night club shows generally run from 2:00 until dawn or even later.  The vast majority of the music clubs are not on Bourbon Street.  They are scattered about in various neighborhoods.  A great source of club music listing is the ‘Nearly World Famous Jazzfest Grids’ at www.jazzfestgrids.com.  That’s a lot of activity to attempt for several days in a row!   So remember, there are no rules.  It’s OK to take a day at the fairgrounds off or a club show evening off.  With restaurants, shopping, Bourbon Street, etc., there are plenty of ways to relax in New Orleans.    And remember kids, it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

~ Easy D ~

~ Continue to the next installment of Easy D’s Jazz Fest 2010 adventure~

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: