Day Twenty Seven – Lafayette Square

Blues Idiom – Gutbucket – On plantations down south during slavery, the hogs were slaughtered in December. The ham and chops went to the main house and the hog guts, ears and feet and other leftovers were given to the slaves. The gut bucket was the bucket the slaves took to the slaughterhouse to collect the hog parts. Slaves improvised dishes with the kitchen cast offs, which became ‘soul food,’ such as chitlins, ham hocks and cracklins. Gutbucket also referred to the bucket placed underneath whisky barrels in dive bars to catch any leaking liquor. Soon anything low was called Gutbucket i.e. gutbucket blues.

Another late morning. Lunch/Breakfast at the I Hop diner on Canal Street. Open 24 hours but clean and good food. Kate has seen (unlike most menus we look at) many dishes she can eat. I had a turkey melt sandwich which came with the biggest fried onion rings I have every seen.

We crossed over Canal street and walked for 10 minutes or so to get to the World War Two Museum I have visited the museum before. There is a new building to explore. The girls have tickets and I am just going to laze about. I have a copy of the latest Off Beat Magazine (Jazz Fest Bible) and I need to research and lock in some artists as ‘must sees.’ Included in the tickets for entry to the sprawling museum is a couple of interactive movies. We have planned to meet up at 4:30 and then walk across the street to have a look at the much smaller Confederate War Museum. When we did rendezvous Wendy said that they have hardly scratched the surface of what is on view. She asked at the ticket counter if they could come back tomorrow. All good as the tickets are good for one week.

My main aim was to be up and about for the free music at Lafayette Square. Every Wednesday throughout spring there is a two band show from 5PM to 8PM. New Orleans finest are showcased to a mainly local audience. The two bands tonight are Sweet Crude followed by Flow Tribe. Kate was surprised by how young the first band where and she really enjoyed the band. Stew is sending out free beer to me from the artist area. A recognised a few faces from previous years. The guy  with the bright green handle bar moustache stands out as usual. It really is a great park for live music. Food is available and everyone is out for a good time. Flow Tribe are sensational, a mix of New Orleans R’n’B, reggae and hip-hop. They are real energetic as well as being excellent musicians. I got talking to a local (Cheryl) who is the step mother of one of the band members from Sweet Crude. She has had a few to drink and is very talkative. She spotted Kate’s ‘crikey’ tattoo and got into a conversation with Kate on how much she loved the late Steve Irwin. Kate told her about her course she completed at R.M.I.T and Cheryl has offered to get her a job with Sweet Crude. Kate has now two job offers here in New Orleans, stripper and sound engineer! While Flow Tribe are doing their thing a guy left of stage has set up an artists easel and is painting the band in action. The end result is amazing.

As we left the park after the music has finished we were offered some free pizza from one of the stalls.

We headed over to the casino for a few drinks and had no luck with the slots. Walked back down Bourbon so as Kate could witness the street later at night. We picked up a couple of pieces of pie at the local corner market for a late night snack. Our friend Cheryl McEvoy is back in the apartment next door and we spent some time catching up.

Rob Rowe

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