Thursday – April 10th
Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washinton & Groupie
‘Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music’ – George Carlin
I was up at 9:30 feeling a little dusty. We are in for another sunny day with the temperature to be around 24 degrees
One of Wendy and my favorite places for breakfast last year was Envies on Decatur St. It is a bit out of the way for the tourists and you see a lot more locals eating there. Bruce ‘Sunpie’ Barnes called in for a coffee. Wendy took some great shots of Bruce at a performance at the Old Mint. I just read in one of the local papers that he has been on tour for the last two months with Paul Simon. I opted for the French toast and an iced coffee.
I got down to the start of the French Quarter Festival and Stew gave me a wrist band that gets me into side of stage. The first day of the festival is called locals day and it is the most comfortable crowd wise. The next three days will see huge crowds. The festival is into its 31st year and is the biggest free music festival in the United States. The musicians who are on the bill are all locals. The festivals site is set throughout the French Quarter. I am at the Abita stage which is the largest stage and tends to attract most of the headline acts. The pass that Stew has kindly given me also allows me access to the professional photographer’s area front of stage. I will be the only snapper that has set the dial of his camera to automatic. The pressure will be on to get some good shots.
‘I have the body of a God, unfortunately it’s Buddha’
I just had a chat to Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington. Walter is a 72 year old living New Orleans legend who has played guitar with the likes of Ernie K Doe. He is a true gentleman and is always dressed immaculately. He told me that he is trying to get a tour over to Australia late this year. Let’s hope we can get him to Way Out West. He is keen
Lunch was from the Bubba Gump food stand. Bubba Gump shrimp and two shrimp cakes. Look out gout here I come again.
Had a chat to the drummer of the Bucktown Allstars. They will be playing on the last day of the fest. Wendy was up on stage with them last year taking photos for them to use on their Facebook page. He remembered us both. This must be the only festival in the world where as a back-drop you can see a 100 year old paddle steamer (the Natchez) plow down the mighty Mississippi.
The Soul Queen of New Orleans Ms. Irma Thomas performed superbly as could be expected. She is also in her 70’s but once she is on stage the years just melt away. Her voice is as powerful as ever. She is loved by the people of New Orleans and she never disappoints them. Songs included in her set were her classic ‘You Can Have My Husband, But Please Don’t Mess with My Man’, ‘Hip Shaking Momma’, ‘Proud Mary’ and a spine tingling version of ‘Forever Young’.
Here is a turn up. A lady behind the barricade has asked to take a photo of me. She has never met an Australian before. I celebrated with my first Abita Amber at 3:30
Next up was a younger R’n’B performer P J Morton who was nominated for a Grammy this year. He grew on me and by the end of his set I must say that I enjoyed his performance. The girls at work will be proud of me listening to some modern black R’n’B.
I hung around for the last band of the day Bonerama. The band are darlings of New Orleans and play a funked up set of great music.