Day Thirty Eight – Jazz Fest Last Day

Day Thirty Eight – Jazz Fest Last Day

Blues Idiom – Trick,Trick Bag – To trick someone is to put a spell on him or her. A trick bag is used to curse someone, although the phrase ‘trick bag’ has come to mean any unpleasant situation one has been placed into by another person. Whereas ‘mojo’ and ‘gris gris’ bags can be used for protection or a curse.

Well we are nearly there. Last day of Jazz Fest. Today we have to get to Iggy’s by 9:30 as Mike is cooking up a large pot of Crawfish Monica. Everyone is welcome to eat as much as he or she can. I had three small bowls. The other night Mike gave Wendy his recipe which has been recorded in my travelogue. The Crawfish Monica was delectable.

We were settled in early at the Blues tent for Guitar Slim Jnr, a great set of blues and Kate was impressed. The girls are going to stay in the tent all day. I took a break to go over to see Feufolliet at the Fais Do Do stage. They had a great write up in a local magazine. A new breed of cajun music, still with a traditional feeling. Very good indeed.

I found the tent that sells the live recordings and purchased the 2014 compilation (3 C.D.’s) plus the live recording of this years festival (Eric Lindell and Cowboy Mouth.) They will be good memories of Jazz Fest.

The girls got to see Ironing Board Sam and his theatrics, including his drummer setting his sticks on fire while still using them.
I was back in time for Glen David Andrews a very entertaining (as always) set. You don’t get to relax when you see Glen David as we all become part of the performance. Cyrille Neville came on stage and joined in for ‘Hey, Pocky Way.”I had a chat to Glen David’s Manager, Kimball Packard who I met on my three month sojourn. Kimbo told me that Glen David may be touring Australia later in the year and he gave me his business card to keep in touch!

Next on the bill was the legendary Buckwheat Zydeco and man did he put on  a show. I wanted to go out and catch Steve Winwood. I went to the wrong stage at the wrong time and saw a few songs from Lenny Kravitz. What a mistaka to maka! I don’t get what all the fuss is about with Lenny Kravitz?
Got back to the Blues tent for Tab Benoit and his band. Another of Wendy’s Louisiana boy friends. We are front row and not about to leave as the closing act is none other than Buddy Guy.

Buddy came on to raptured applause and prowled the stage like a man half his age. We have been getting reports through that B.B. King is not well at all and is back in hospice care. Buddy and B.B go way back. I know that Buddy plays up to the crowd with his tricks and that he also has a mighty fine young gun slinger to help him out. That takes nothing away from his dynamic guitar playing nor his still strong vocals. He demands your attention while at the same time making you part of the performance. As is the norm he got off stage to get in among the crowd. We were blown away when he stopped right in front of us. I was so close I could smell his cologne. He turned and sang straight to Kate who recorded it on her phone! Beat that Mr. Smith.

We got back to Iggy’s, tired but happy. I was the one that piked as just to tired for a final beer at our local bar. We went around and said goodbye to all our new found friends and was told that we had to come back next year. If it is alright by the WOW committee I want to make the Iggy crew honory members of Way Out West, for the hospitality they all have show us and that of course includes Gentilly Jnr (who yesterday was wearing his WOW tshirt), Pat, Stew and Carol

Rob Rowe

Day Thirty Seven – Jazz Fest Day Six

Day Thirty Seven – Jazz Fest Day Six

Blues Idiom – Stones In Passway – A passway is a path frequented by an intended hoodoo victim, such as the path to a person’s doorstep. Spreading ‘goofer dust’ or something similarly noxious on the passway places a curse on the person who steps on it.

The girls are not going early to the fair grounds today. It does catch up to you after a while. Me I am a seasoned festival goer and I can fight through the pain.

I got to Iggy’s just as (two doors down) one of New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tribes were packing their truck with all their finery. They are performing at Jazz Fest today and are having a mini party on the sidewalk.

My meal this morning was Jamaican chicken, rice and veggies (yes veggies)

I sat outside of the blues tent for a while and listened to the New Orleans R’n’B divas (including the Dixie Cups) singing all their hits.
Went and sat in the shade at the Langiappe stage and had a listen to the Cardinal Sons. The girls arrived at 2:15 and we met up at WWOZ.

One of today’s must sees is the Royal Southern Brotherhood with special guest Samantha Fish. Charlie Wooten is the bass man and he is very good friends with Geoff and Michelle Achison. Michelle told me last year that if I can I was to say hi to Charlie. Well I did get to say hi and he said to send his regards to the Achisons and that Royal Southern may be touring Oz in the fall (our spring.) Make sure you keep an eye out for that tour.

We are now front row for Aaron Neville and he put on a fantastic show. Opened up with a tribute to his very good friend and soul legend Ben E.King who passed a few days ago. Sure was great to be up so close to the performance. We even had a medley of ‘Down By the Riverside and When the Saints Go Marching In’ with everyone in the crowd singing along. “Who Dat, Who Dat, Say They Gonna Beat Them Saints?.

We were in the shuttle bus on the way back to Iggy’s when my life flashed before my eyes. As we approached an intersection, where we had right of way, a woman sped (and I mean sped) through a stop sign. If not for some real good driving we would have smashed into the side of the car.

We got to Iggy’s and Gentilly Jnr and Pat were waiting for us. We had a great time having a drink with our special friends. Kate had a vodka and red bull. She was a bit tipsy after her second drink but I must remember that if they bar person likes you then there is no such thing as a standard measure. I had to apologise to the owner Big Dave when Wendy and Kate started singing to the Juke Box which was playing Men At Work. Somehow we got talking about New Orleans insects and Gentilly Jnr said: ‘Did you hear about the termite who walked into a bar and asked is the bar tender here?’ Boom,Boom.
Little Dave (part owner of Iggy’s) phoned Aussie Mark Jackson at his bar in St Bernards Parish. You may recall that we went to a crawfish boil there a few weeks back. I spoke to Mark on the phone. He told me that he finished his vegemite in two days and thanked us for the gift. We will leave another tube with Big Dave to give to Mark.

Rob Rowe

Day Thirty Six – Jazz Fest Day

Day Thirty Six – Jazz Fest Day Five

Blues idiom – Stavin’ Chain was a 19th century railway man of legendary strength and stamina. According to Lil’ Johnson’s 1937 recording of Stavin’ Chain:
‘Stavin’ Chain was a man of might,
He’d save up his money just to ride all night’

Another full day of music is ahead of us. We caught the second shuttle bus from Iggy’s. My breakfast this morning was sausage jambalaya and pecan pie.
In the Blues tent for the Colin Lake band. Colin is not high profile outside of New Orleans but he is a very fine player, songwriter and singer. I recommend you check him out via Mr. Google.

We then headed to the Gentilly stage for Luther Kent & Trickbag, for a set of mighty fine New Orleans R’n’B. Luther had a short stint as the touring singer with Blood Sweet and Tears. Also caught a little of Jarekus Singleton in the Blues tent. He is also worth following up.
We are all tired but I wanted to go out in the heat to see a little of Shooter Jennings (Waylon’s son) over on the Fais Do Do stage. It is hot out there. Damn hot. I heard the Fais do Do stage described as like a beach without the sea to cool off in. There is one large tree a ways back from the stage but this is well staked out.

Our main aim today was to see the super band ‘Voices of the Wetlands.’ A who’s who of New Orleans finest put together by Tab Benoit to high light the destruction of the wetlands and the problems this causes. Great music across many genres. One of the featured artist is Anders Osborne. Anders has a ruptured disc and you can see he is in agony. Virtually unable to walk but it don’t stop him. He stands, very painfully, with his guitar resting on a thigh high table. Unable even to sling his guitar due to the pain but it does not stop him ripping off a trade mark solo.

We got to the shuttle pickup around 6:45. Our pick up point is right in front of a restaurant with outdoor tables. It is packed with diners. One of the diners very close to me is wanting to give away his fried green tomatoes, not because they are not tasty but because he is already full. I took up his offer and pinched a fried green tomato from his plate. We share everything down in New Orleans.

Back to Iggy’s for a drink. I tried to order a Chardonnay with little success. Every bar I go to the conversation goes like this:
‘I’ll have a chardonnay please.’
Sorry, what did you want?’
A chardonnay please,
Sorry, I can’t understand,
No worries, I say, what white wine you got?’
We got chardonnay’
O.k. I’ll have that.’

When we got back to the apartment Mickey was waiting out front for us. It is after ten but Mickey was there to tell us that William has had word that his mother had passed away. Although it was expected we still felt very sad for William. Mickey said that William wanted to say goodbye to us as he will be leaving in the morning to fly to Georgia. William came out and we all gave him a hug. He had a gift for us. William worked in Queensland in the mining industry many years back. He loves our fauna and last year I gave him a toy Koala. He told us that his koala had mated (not sure with what, but this is New Olrenas)and he produced a lovely small head pillow that he had made at a local shop that had a red koala stencilled on it. Very nice gesturre of friendship. He wanted us to know that we are welcome back anytime.

Rob Rowe

Day Thirty Five – Jazz Fest Day Four

Day Thirty Five – Jazz Fest Day Four

Blues Idiom – Signifying is the use of language to affirm one’s cultural identity in the face of oppresion. How does one seek to one’s ‘masters’ and retain any shred of dignity? By insulting or manipulating ‘the man’ without him realising it.

We arrived in time at Iggy’s bar to get the shuttle bus over to the fair grounds for the start of the second week of Jazz Fest. It feels so good to be recognised at a local neighbourhood bar and be treated as one of the crew.

The girls filled up on vegemite toast before we left. My method of getting a morning feed is to go to a different food vendor each day we arrive and try a little of the local fare. Today I had two Nachitoches spicy pies followed up with a visit to the WWOZ hostility tent for fresh fruit salad and iced coffee. The pineapple is oh so sweet down this way. I don’t get to eat fresh pineapple back home as no one but me likes it.

We started the days music over at the Congo Square stage with Shamaar Allen & the Underdogs. Shamaar is one of Wendy’s favs. A young sensational trumpet player that mixes traditional New Orleans funk with hip-hop. Kate seemed to enjoy the performance. Towards the end of the set Shamaar bought on six young horn players that he is tutoring. They are real good. The next generation on show for all to see and admire.

We headed to the Gentilly stage for Amanda Shaw and her Cute Guys. We stayed for three tunes and then headed back to the Blues tent for Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns. We finally caught up with Fras and Jan and caught up with all the news of their travels. Meschiya as always is sensational. My first Margarita of the day was going down real well.

Next up was Eric Lindell and his band, another favourite. Eric has an 8 piece band and does not disappoint Blue eyed soul/blues at its best. Many of the artists are being recorded with the C.D. edited and available for sale the next day. As I am typing this blog I am listening to Eric’s live set.
Next up is Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials. Full on Chicago blues.

We had no trouble getting the shuttle back to Iggy’s for a cool drink. Feeling hungry we started back towards the Quarter. We had only walked one block from Iggy’s when we came across a funky neighbourhood restaurant called Horn’s. The menu looked good so we had a feed. Wendy and I both had Crawfish Etouffee and Kate the Cheesy Mac. The etoufee was one of the best I have ever had. I washed the meal down with a ‘lazy magnolia southern pecan beer.’

Rob Rowe

Day Thirty Four – Rock ‘n’ Bowl

Day Thirty Four – Rock ‘n’ Bowl

Blues Idiom – Shimmy is a dance that was popular in the Cotton Club of Harlem in the 1920’s although it was performed in Juke Joints as early as the mid-to-late 1800’s. It was named after the silky chemises that women often wore out in the evenings.

We are up early (early for New Orleans) at 8:30 for the walk down to the Mississippi to watch the Navy ships depart. Today marks the end of Fleet Week here in the U.S. Kate has decided to stay in bed as she is not feeling well. It is a lovely morning morning, warm, no clouds with the hint of a breeze.
The U.S. ship Colorado is due out of port at 9:30. Already the ship is lined with crew and deck hands. In the distance we can see another ship has left it’s mooring and is steaming towards us. It turns out it was a Canadian vessel. Two gigantic tugs are heading our way with a harbour patrol gun ship overseeing proceedings. It was a sight to see as the tugs worked their magic in pushing and pulling the Colorado out into the fifteen knot current of the mighty Mississippi.

We met up with Pat at the local (Esplanade) legendary hamburger joint ‘Port of Call’ for lunch. Every year I have come to New Orleans I had wanted to grab a burger here. Every year there has been a line waiting to get in. That’s what happens when you get a goof review in Lonely Planet. Today we have arranged to get to the Port of Call at 11:30. Kate is still feeling ill so it is just the three of us. Pat has eaten here many a time and it was a no brainer to order the same meal as she did. A cheese burger with a side of a jacket potato. I was glad I finally made it to the Port of Call the food was great. We didn’t completely abandon Kate as we took back a jacket potato for her.

Back at the apartment and our landlord William Wigins invited me for a ‘pint’ at his local haunt the gay bar known as Lafayette in Exile. William is a real nice gentleman and I have no problems with the gay bar thingy. As we walked past one of our neighbours I remarked that he seemed a nice guy as he always said hello and had time for a chat. William told me he was a grave robber who spent two years in the infamous Angola prison. Seems he comes from a rich creole family and he deals in relics. Trouble is he was caught by the police rifling old graves. Never know who your neighbours are in New Orleans!

Ian and Jan are coming into town this afternoon and we went over to the Maison Dupuy to see if they had arrived. They have not hit town yet but we did run into Brian Wise and it was good to have a chat and drink and to swap notes of what we have been up to. In fact after a few beers with William early in the arvo and now a few more I am gearing up for a big one. I am not sure what we were chatting about but Brian came up with a great quote that I just had to copy down. ‘In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.’

Headed down to Lafayette Park for the Wednesday free music series. Marcia Ball is the headliner. Meet up with Stew and Carol . Stew has a couple of things for me. The November 2013 Offbeat Magazine has a featured article about Glen David Andrews titled ‘Get Behind Me’, how he fought his demons and won. The cover has a cool photo of Glen holding back a couple of vampires and he has signed the cover. The other collectible item is a first edition stamped envelope (Jimi Hendrix stamp.) The envelope celebrates the legendary New Orleans funk band the Meters. All four of the band have signed next to their portrait.

Stew has let us into the artist area and Wendy was able to get some good shots of Marcia while I availed myself to free beer. Wish Kate was with us but she is still ill. What bad parents we are leaving her at home. We hung around to 7:30 and then caught a cab to the Rock ‘n’ Bowl.
Wendy has never been to the ‘bowl.’ It is what it says. A ten lane bowling alley with a stage area for bands. Tonight is swing night and we have come over to see the Creole String Beans plus main act Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars. The crowd are dancing from the outset. We also caught up with Ross and Anika. Snack of Boudin Balls and hot mayo. Real good.

We did not stop until the end of the Roddie Romero set as Jazz Fest starts again tomorrow and we have four days of music, heat and crowds ahead of us. When we got home Wendy was in a very talkative mood and Kate said the next morning that she was well over the limit (and that’s saying something for New Orleans.)

Rob Rowe

Day Thirty Three – No Rain

Day Thirty Three – No Rain

Blues Idiom – Salty Dog – In French Creole, salte means dirty. In Wright’s Olde English Dialect , salty appears to have an Olde English meaning similar to horny. In blues songs like ‘Salty Dog’ and ‘Candy Man,’ the salty dog is someone who wants to have sex without the responsibility of a love relationship The Reverend Gary Davis sang about a women who told him, ‘If you can’t be my candy man, you can be my salty dog.’

At last, the rain has stopped and the weather forecasts are good. Today being Tuesday is my washing duties day. While I do the domestic work the girls head back to the World War Two museum to finish their visit.

I headed out around 11:30 to the French Market for my favourite tropical smoothie. I grabbed the newspaper to have a read and found a very interesting article about our fascination with celebrities and reality shows and our trivialization of society. I will post the article in a later blog.

Headed down to Canal street to met the girls. Had a coffee at P.J’s and logged onto their Wi-Fi and messaged Kate to say where we would meet up.
Down to the River Walk Mall for a feed of charred grilled oysters. Right outside the balcony is a U.S. Aircraft Carrier. One big mother f* of a ship. The public are allowed onboard to have a look over the ship. Armed guards with assault rifles patrol the warf. Tomorrow morn the fleet leaves town and we have planned to get up early to watch.

Rob Rowe

Day Thirty Two – Rest Day

Day Thirty Two – Rest Day
Blues Idiom – Rounder – Rounder is a professional gambler who travels around looking for high – stakes poker games. A rounder takes big risks for big money – and sometimes big losses.

After three days of Jazz Fest the following Monday is usually a rest day for me. It takes a lot out of you having fun (no fake sympathy please.) Lucky for us that it is a rest day as there has been thunder storms all morning and into the early afternoon.
We finally got out at just after two and headed to the I Hop on Canal street for a meal. Kate has already indicated that she liked this diner as it has ‘normal’ food she can eat. I went for the fried chicken dinner. Four pieces of chicken, mashed potato and corn.

We took a slow walk back to the apartment. There are still many armed forces personal looking around town. I read in the newspaper that the month to date rainfall has been 11.40 inches as as opposed to the average to date of 4.13 inches (29 centimeters.) No wonder I am feeling sodden. Kate has also had another tornado warning on her phone. The storm yesterday with the accompaning wind was so stong that is blew four empty goods rail carriages off a local bridge!

Early night for me. The girls think I am sleeping but I heard one thunder clap and it nearly blew me out of bed and it scared the bejesus out of the girls (if the groans where any indication)

Rob Rowe