Day 15 – April 20
Straight off, I bought me a through train ticket,
Ridin’ cross Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans. – Promised Land – Chuck Berry
Mickey has gone off for another NCIS shoot. William is getting ready to walk his dogs. He has left me with the key for the apartment next door in case the new tenants arrive while he is away.
We walked around to Frenchman to the Louisiana Music Factory where WWOZ has an information counter. I want to pick up our Brass Passes for Jazz Fest. The Brass Pass gets you into each of the seven days of the Fest plus gets you access to the WWOZ hospitality tent where you can relax and avail yourself of the free iced coffee and fruit salad. Opps I forgot you have to pick up the passes at the radio station itself.
Kate and Wendy have gone over to the nearby Electric Ladyland where Kate wants to get a tattoo. Bad luck for Kate as the tattoo artist has up and left for Texas without telling anyone he was going. They have taken our cell number and will call when another artist is available.
We have missed breakfast again so I decide we should go and eat at the Praline Connection which I know from the past is a fine soul food restaurant. The girls have gone for a serve of ribs with sides of potato salad and cheesy mac. Guess who is having the cheesy mac. I am pretty sure that neither of them will be able to eat all their ribs. I went for two starters instead of an entree (don’t get confused as an entree is the main meal). I ordered BBQ oysters (that is pronounced ersters) and spicy chicken wings. The ersetrs came out swimming in a very tasty sauce with four pieces of bread for dipping. I got six pieces of chicken. Kate asked me after the first bite of chicken if it was hot. ‘No’, i said. I spoke a little to quickly on that as after the second bite I was on fire. The chicken was fanatasticly finger lickin’ good. I went through 6 paper napkins for my hands and two root beers to help put out the fire. I was real proud of Kate, after yesterday weakening and going to Maccas, today she has eaten corn bread and liked it. I was right the girls only managed to eat half the ribs and we have to get another doggie bag.
Williams came in to have a chat. When we went into the Microsoft store yesterday he was looking at a new HP tablet. He bought in his old Nexus Tablet as I told him I would have a look at the specs for him to see if he really needed to upgrade. Of course we had a couple of ciders to help the process. W chatted for an hour about all sorts of things and I tried to explain our political process. He was very surprised when I told him that the Queen of England had the power to dismiss our government. It sounded ridiculous when explaining it to William and it looks ridiculous when I am writing this down. Bring on our Republic I say. Long may the King reign (Elvis that is – for more on Elvis see tomorrows blog).
Cheryl and her crew from California have arrived and it is good catching up with them all. They have been coming down for Jazz Fest for over 10 years and always stay in the apartment next to us.
We left at 4:30 for the walk down to Lafayette Park for the free music in the park. We will meet up with Carol and Stew. We got there just after the music started with the support act being Alexis & the Samurai. Caught up with Carol and Stew and spotted a few Aussies that are in town as part of the Brian Wise tour group including Ann who comes to our Way Out West gigs.
The main act for the night is the Honey Island Swamp Band a real favourite of Ian Fraser and me for that matter Great set as always. I spoke to the singer from the first band as I noticed he had a tattoo of the world wrapped around his bicep. Asked him if Australia was part of the tattoo and he said yep and showed me, even had Tassie and New Zealand featured,
I got a beer and was walking back to where the girls where when I heard a voice call out Rob (in a southern accent). Turned around and it was the actor Rob (forgot his last name) who was in the Treme series and the film 12 Year a Slave. He wanted to welcome me back to N.O. and came over to say hello to Wendy and Kate. Kate went over to one of the artists stalls and bought a collar for our pup Gumbo. He will look resplendent in his Fleur Dis Lis collar. The free Wednesday night concert series which is held during Spring is always a lot of fun. Lots of locals, families, eccentrics, dogs and party goers in general. Blankets and picnics and just a hint of the herb in the air. The Honey Island Swamp Band rocked and Ivan Neville also jumped up for a couple of songs on the Hammond.
We also ran into Ken Gilmore and Lisa and a few newbies to N.O. who are also with the Brain Wise tour.
We left with Carol and Stew just as the band were finishing up to go over to Mona’s on Frenchman for a gyro. Always good Lebanese food here.
After our meal Stew said we should check in for a beer at the nearby Blue Nile. Stew knows the bouncer and we get let in and then notice that we have gate crashed a private wedding. Well this is New Orleans and everyone is welcome. The groom is dressed in a sparkling top-hat with feathers and the bride in in white in a New Orleans styled outfit. We even finished up with some wedding guest to go cups. Got to see the bride though out her bouquet. Stew then took us upstairs to another room which also hosts bands and then we spent a very pleasant half hour or so out on the balcony watching the goings and comings of the very popular Frenchman Street and its music clubs and eating houses. There is a brass band playing down on the next corner with a large crowd spilling out on to the road. What a hoot this was, watching New Orleans and its visitors out and about. Stew told me that a lot of the people are all members of the same Craft Club. I must have looked a little confused. He said yeah, ‘Can’t Remember A Fucking Thing’. I had to write that down as I think I may be an honouree member of that very same Craft Club.
P.S. To all you grammar Nazis I am using a U.S. spell checker ya’ll