Day Eighteen

Day 18 – April 23

Saturday night and I just got paid
Gonna fool about ain’t gonna save
Some people gonna rock some people gonna roll
Gonna have a party to save my soul
Hard headed woman and a soft hearted man
They been causing trouble since it all began
Take a little rice take a little beans
Gonna rock and roll down to New Orleans – Speed King – Deep Purple

Jazz Fest – Day Two

Finally got the washing done. It is going to be a hot one today. Sad news (yet again) as I just read that Lonny Mack has passed. Still remember seeing Lonnie a long time ago with Mr. Smith. Who is ‘Going to  Satisfy Susie’, now that Lonnie is gone?

We got to Iggy’s right on time for the shuttle. The first order of the day once inside the fairgrounds is some food for me. The girls loaded up on vegemite toast before we left. Two Natchitoulis Meat Pies for me and then some fresh fruit at WWOZ and I am ready to go into battle. There is not a cloud in the sky and a hat and sunblock are going to be mandatory as well as staying hydrated.

We went over to the Gentilly Stage for Bobby Cure & the Classic R’n’B Revue. Guest vocalists are  the legends of 50’s N.O. music. Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, Robert Parker, Al ‘Carnival Time’ Johnson, Sammy Ridgley and Jo ‘Cool’ Davis. All are in the late 70’s or older and age has wearied then but they are all up to each sing two of their classic songs. Another good start to the day.

We stayed at Gentilly for Big Sam’s Funky Nation. It is around 1:15 and the crowd is building up. You can feel the sun torching any bare skin and I must remember to keep applying sun screen.
1:50 and the girls go off for some food and I chill in the Grandstand where you can escape the sun and do some serious people watching. I am pretty sure there would be no better city in the world to people watch when there is a gigantic party in play.

We are back to the Gentilly for Wendy to watch her hunk perform. The Cajun heart throb Tab Benoit. Just so happens he is an incredible musician and I always enjoy seeing him play.

Overhead a small plane has just drawn a big smilie face which is most appropriate as there are not many here that ain’t smiling.

Back to the Blues Tent for John Hammond. Very surreal to see him up on stage in front of thousands and to think back a little in time to when we were privileged at WOW to have the very same blues legend on our small and humble stage. John put on a passionate set and the crowd lapped it up.

Wendy is staying in the Blues Tent for Boz Scaggs while Kate and I head back to the Gentilly for Van ‘the man’ Morrison. The crowd is as big as I have ever seen on this the second largest of the Jazz Fest stages. The race track is also packed but we managed to get a vantage spot. Van was terrific and his band was spot on. He eased his way into the set and then brought the crowd to a frenzy as the the first strains of ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ rang out which segued into ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ then into Parchman Farm and finishing back with ‘Brown Eyed Girl’.

Another great day at Jazz Fest. We didn’t stay at Iggy’s when we got back as it is starting to get a little dark and we wanted to get back to the apartment for a much needed shower.

Day Seventeen

Now if you’ve ever been down to New Orleans
Then you can understand just what I mean
All through the week, it’s quiet as a mouse
But on Saturday night, they go from house to house

You don’t have to pay the usual admission
If you’re a cook, a waiter or a good musician
So if you happen to be just passin’ by
Stop in at the Saturday Night Fish Fry – Louis Jordan – Saturday Night Fish Fry

Jazz Fest Yeah

Up at 8:30 to do some washing before heading off for the first day of Jazz Fest. Gotta have clean underwear. Bugger, the laundry is not opening until 3 P.M. today. Guess it is getting close to Anzac Day back home so I may have to go commando today. Sorry to all if I have made you ill at breakfast with that thought.

We walked around to Iggy’s at 10. We have been invited to avail ourselves of the Iggy’s shuttle bus again this year which makes getting to the fairgrounds a much easier task. I am wearing my Iggy’s t-shirt (it’s Jazz Fest every day at Iggy’s) and Mike was happy to see me so dressed. Told him I am wearing it with pride, dignity and grace. He told me that we would have to turn that thought around.

Yes, Mr. Smith we arrived early (before the gates opened). Once we were in I headed straight for my favourite food outlet to get me a serve of Ya Ka Mein. Can proudly say I purchased the first Ya Ka Mein for the 2016 Jazz Fest. If you are interested I can make ya’ll some Ya Ka Mein when we return as I do make a good version if I do say so myself.
We headed over to the Gentilly Stage for the opening act. Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes. Real good N.O. rock. It did take the sound guys a little time to get Johnny’s voice and guitar right but that is understandable. A great start to the next 7 days of music.

Back over to the Fais Do Do for the Deslondes, they are a little too country for the girls but I very much like what they are doing. Kate agrees that the harmonies are excellent.

Need more food and grabbed another favourite of mine the sausage and jalapeno fried bread.

Then over to the Blues Tent for Eric Lindell. When we got there we heard that Eric has had to pull out as his baby son is very ill and is having major surgery. We wish him and his family all the best and hope his son pulls through o.k. So we then decided to
take advantage of our Brass Passes and headed to the WWOZ hospitality tent for some fresh fruit and an iced coffee.
Back to the blues tent for Alvin Youngblood Hart and he did not disappoint. Playing in a trio he really powered through some blues rock. We nearly had Alvin at WOW a little while back but the tour was cancelled due to the falling Australian dollar. Hope we pick him up when he does tour next as he will bring the house down.
We are staying in the blues tent for the N.O. legends the Subdudes I caught up with some of the security staff that we have become friends with from previous years and gave then a small Australian souvenir each. They were all very thankful. The girls have the first strawberry daiquiri at 2:30.

The Subdudes are a N.O. institution and they receive a standing ovation as they come on stage. Fantastic set of original music, towards the end of the set I said to Kate that I hope they sing my favourite song. They did indeed finishing up the set with ‘All The Time In The World’. I got me a cooling Coors Beer and it is appropriate that I am using my B.B.King coozie (stubbie holder) as the Blues Tent is the last place that I got to see the King perform. Kate has called for an umbrella, it is not raining in the Blues Tent but they do have the mister working overtime and we are getting pretty wet.

We went over to the Acura Stage to catch up with the Iggy’s crew and listen to a bit of Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers). He sure has aged (like I ain’t) and with his white hair and beard he looks a little like Kenny Rodgers. He is O.K. but a little to smooth for me. Kate spotted the Aboriginal Flag flying just behind us. I went over to see where in Australia they are from. They ain’t from Australia but are locals who worked for Continental Airlines in the 80’s and spent a lot of time in Sydney where they got the flag. They have been flying the same flag at the last 20 Jazz Fest and told me that this is the first time an Australian has come over to say hello. They wanted to take my picture! The lady gave me her business card. She owns/operates Johnny White’s bar in the Quarter, the same bar we went to catch up with Pat and Gentilly Jnr. the other Friday.

The girls stayed at the Acura to catch some of Steely Dan and I headed over to the Gentilly Stage for Gov’t Mule. Saw Geoff walking the same way and we sat up shop on the racetrack to listen to the guitar maestro Warren Haynes. Great version of the Fleetwood Mac song ‘Does She Make You Cry’ with guest vocals from Grace Potter. Also did a version of Prince’s ‘When Doves Fly’ with some nice Weather Report riffs added in.

I just realised it is 6:20 and I have only had one pee all day. Must be the weather.

It has been a great day and it is only day one of Jazz Fest. Wendy bought me a back pack that also doubles as a cooler and a seat. Best $15 she has ever spent as it has really made it more enjoyable for me at the outdoor stages where I can sit and not have to stand in the heat which zaps my energy pretty quick. Not to mention my poor old aching knees.
I meet up with the girls at 6:30 at our rendezvous point at the Gospel Tent and we walked around to get the shuttle bus back to Iggy’s. We had a cleansing ale with the crew and debriefed the days events.