Day Seventeen – French Quarter Fest (last day)

Day Seventeen – French Quarter Fest (Last Day)

Blues Idiom Lesson Three – Boogie – May have taken several routes to arrive in American English by the 1700’s. The Bantu word Mbuki means to dance, and speakers in Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa use Bogi to mean dance, especially up tempo music.

Rain, rain and more rain. Good chance to catch up with the writing but would sooner be out listening to some music. I did go out around noon to get some lunch from the Verti Mart, a block down from us. Verti Mart is open 24 hours a day and the food is more that acceptable. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. I have learned from experience that one meal here is two meals at home.

At 1;35 the rain finally relented and we are out, baby. A band that Wendy and I both like a lot, the Creole String Beans will be playing at an outdoor stage near the Old Mint, only ten minutes from us. The weather is still looking iffy. There is a large grassed area in front of the stage which reminds me of an old fashioned mid-winter footy ground. Mud, mud and more mud. The Beans are a great party band, playing classic New Orleans R’n’B the likes of Fats Domino, Lee Dorsey, Professor Longhair and Smiley Lewis as well as some real good originals. The crowd gets involved with a bit of mud dancing. I went to get a Chardonnay for Wendy and the elderly lady said to me ‘you want a shot of what.’ She even asked me for I.D. which made me think she was taking some shots herself. After the Beans had finished we walked down to the Abita Stage (15 minute walk). Don’t you like it when you can walk out your front door and take a quick stroll to hear some of the finest music there is.

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers were in full flight by the time we got to the stage. Quick hello to Stew & Carol and off to get a beer. I had to get Kate to buy my Amber as I had no I.D. The authorities have cracked down and irrespective of how old you are you must have I.D. A light drizzle has set in and it looks like it is here to stay.

We headed over to the Tropical Island Hand Grenade Stage to catch a favourite band of mine. The Honey Island Swamp Band, great country driven rock a little like the Allman Brothers but definitely their own style. Excellent musicians and great songs (mostly originals). The Natchez is in dock and the huge Ocean Liner the Norwegian Dawn is pulling out of dock. What a sight to behold as it  makes the huge right turn of the Mississippi. It looks like the river is taking the ship were it wants as it swings around.

I can see (being a semi-local) that the weather is closing in again. Time to make a move. We decided to have dinner at Cafe Maspero (Ian Fraser’s favourite ‘awlins bar). Kate has gone for the roast beef ‘po boy (poor man’s sandwich) with gravy on the side and Wendy and I share a fried oyster plate.
We headed back home in the rain, wet but not cold.

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Honey Island Swamp Band with a one of a kind back-drop

Rob Rowe