JAZZ FEST | 04.26 - 05.06 | NEW ORLEANS

Words by: SuperDee

04.27.07 :: FRIDAY


Rosalie 'Lady Tambourine' Washington :: 04.27
By Zach Smith
Driving through the city to the Fairgrounds, I noticed changes from last year. No more gigantic piles of garbage everywhere. Realty signs are rampant, and while some houses are still wrecked many are under re-construction. Things are looking better. It's hopeful.

Upon entering the Fairgrounds, I made a beeline, as always, for the soft shell crab po'boy booth followed by a blissful strawberry lemonade. After filling our bellies, we went to the Jazz Tent to see Astral Project - a JazzFest staple by true masters.


Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews
04.27 by Adam McCullough
The day turned into the delicious gumbo of genres as we wandered from stage to stage. We got washboard Zydeco as we walked by the charming Fais Do Do Stage where Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie was playing. We doubled back to the Congo Square where Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove was performing a devout version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?"

From there, we grabbed some famous cheese and spicy crawfish bread followed by an iced cafe au lait. Back to Congo Square for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave's mixture of hip-hop and funk with killer brass. They had the entire crowd jumping up and down. Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is a virtuoso musician and was clearly born to be a bandleader.

Next stop, a visit to the Gospel Tent where the McDonogh #35 High School Gospel Choir was raising sprits. There were about forty kids on stage singing their hearts out in perfect angelic harmony. It was the most inspiring thing I saw all day. As the first Fairgrounds day neared its end, we picked up some crawfish monica and checked out Van Morrison's lackluster set. We moved on to the Gentily Stage for Lucinda Williams.


McDonogh #35 High School Gospel Choir
04.27 by Seth Rubin
Shockingly, this was my first taste of Williams live and I found her to be both beautifully soothing and little gruff. Following a local tip, we took a stroll to the Lagniappe Stage to see the Happy Talk Band, a New Orleans alt- country outfit featuring members of Morning 40 Federation, The Iguanas, and 007. This is definitely "one to watch" after the fest. Having enough of the sun, we walked out of the fairgrounds as Lucinda Williams absolutely killed Bettye LaVette's bittersweet "Joy." Day 1 fairgrounds... check!


ANDERS OSBORNE :: 04.27 :: THE ROCK 'N' BOWL


Anders Osborne :: 04.27 :: Rock 'N' Bowl by SuperDee
If there was one "must see" for us this year, it was Anders Osborne at the Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl. We came home raving about last year's show, and this year proved no less praise worthy. The Rock 'N' Bowl is an institution. The Mid City lanes have been open for 40+ years and what was once a bowling alley with some live music is now a rock hall with lanes. Its owner, John Blancher, is ecstatic about both music and bowling as he enthusiastically introduces the bands in his bowling shirt.

Anders Osborne's band is the quintessential New Orleans style blues rock. Tim Green on saxophone and Kirk Joseph on sousaphone make up the high and low ends, complimenting Osborne's guitar work and the distinctive New Orleans beat provided by drummer Eric Bolivar. The predominantly local crowd was already quite loose by the time Anders took the stage, so he ripped right into the first song without holding back. "Cry you a river, I'll cry you a hurricane," he snarled as he wailed out his first guitar solo of the night. We knew immediately we were in the presence of musical perfection.


Good, Bad and Funky :: 04.27
Preservation Hall by Adam McCullough
Osborne's lyrics hit deep on tunes like "I've Got a Woman," an ode to someone that's sweet-as-can-be and always there for him. But, you get the sense he can't quite make things right with this woman even though he wants to. The song that completely blew us away, both lyrically and musically, was "Louisiana Rain." Osborne sang about New Orleans, his friends that had to leave, the yearning to have everyone come back and be together once again. You could feel the pain, regardless of what city you call home. "Please bring me back home again," he cried with absolute sincerity as he ripped into another gut wrenching guitar solo.

This was a powerhouse show delivered by a SMOKIN' artist. Yet another JazzFest tradition not to be broken.

04.27.07 :: FRIDAY :: FAIRGROUNDS


Dr. John by Adam McCullough

Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians by Adam McCullough

Van Morrison by Adam McCullough

Jazz Funeral for Ed Bradley by A. McCullough

Percy Sledge by Adam McCullough

Big 9 SAPC by Zack Smith

Amazonies: Women Drummers of Guinea by Zack Smith

Luke Allen of Happy Talk Band by Zack Smith

James Carter by Seth Rubin

Kirk Joseph by Seth Rubin

Continue reading for Day 1 coverage of JazzFest...


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