Only in New Orleans | 01.28 – 02.02
Only in New Orleans.
Friday Rolled out around 1 p.m. to my favorite bar in the French Quarter, Yo Mamma’s on St. Peter near Bourbon. Boiled crawfish for breakfast? I had two orders. Again, there were no lines to get in and a seat at the bar. On the walk back to the hotel in the rain I heard a voice and accordion that stopped me in my tracks. Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers were kicking out their brand of high energy zydeco, so I just hung out at the Krazy Korner ’til the rain stopped. I got a spot in front of washboard player Alex MacDonald and I didn’t mind taking up a barstool for my camera bag. The place was reasonably crowded but not packed.
I could easily have stayed for the entire show and would have if this had been in any other town, but this is New Orleans. Off I went to Tipitina’s to see The Radiators‘ 32nd anniversary show. For 32 years these New Orleans legends have been offering up a gumbo of rock, blues, funk, and folk music. They have played with the early New Orleans legends Professor Longhair and James Booker, and have held the closing spot at Jazz Fest for many years. I have seen the Rads many times at big festivals, but here they were playing for a mostly hometown crowd with room to dance.
Saturday Woke up late and got ready for the Krewe De Vieux Mardi Gras Parade. Mardi Gras is a long celebration and Fat Tuesday was still two weeks away. The parade was led by Dr. John. My plan afterwards was to go check out Kermit Ruffins at the Rock N’ Bowl, but the realities of time and space compounded by the party at the Mardi Gras parade, well, it was just out of my hands. As Anders says, sometimes you just have to let the old man steer.
I’m a fishhead, so it was back to Tip’s for more Radiation, where I was rewarded with a kick ass second set. These guys can bring it, plain and simple. Congratulations to Frank, Reggie, Dave, Camille and Ed for 32 years of fishhead music.
Monday Got up early and went to Café Du Monde for a café latte and beignets. Bloody Mary at the Gazebo, and what do you know? A good band was playing for tips. Stayed for one more drink, just taking in the French Quarter. By 5 p.m. I was wondering what to do till Papa Grows Funk at the Leaf that night. Lovely Renee, my bartender at Yo Mamma’s, suggested I go across the street to Preservation Hall. What I found there was straight up Dixieland jazz played by musicians carrying on a way of life that is found only in New Orleans.
Back to the Maple Leaf for Papa Grows Funk, or should I say Momma Grows Funk. Sitting in for the newly married John Gros was Keiko Matsui. A very good piano/B3 player, she wailed. Of course, she had help from June, Jason, Jelly Bean, and Marc. Gros finally showed up as the band teased “The Wedding March.” The band and the audience had a good laugh, then got down to business. The funk was flying, and it seems married life is treating Gros well.
So, there you have it, folks. Five nights, eight shows, and a Mardi Gras parade, without one complaint about crowds, overpriced rooms, not being able to get a cab, not being able to get a beer and then get your spot back – none of it. Only in New Orleans.
Continue reading for more pics…
|George Porter Jr. Trio|
|Papa Grows Funk with Keiko Matsui|
|June Yamagishi – Papa Grows Funk|
|Preservation Hall Jazz Band|
|Ed Volker – The Radiators|
|The French Quarter|
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