Day Nineteen

Day 19 – April 24

On the front stoop
of my house
Watchin’ folks go by
Lazy Days
Chewin’ on ice
We all just waiting on July
And ‘OZ plays Irma
We all know what it means
Rag-a-tag-a rain
City so low
Summertime in New Orleans – Anders Osborne

Michael Jerome

Jazz Fest – Day 3

We get to Iggy’s earlier than normal as Mike has made Crawfish Monica and it is help yourself to as much as you want. The news has just come through that Jonny Lang who was due to close out the Blues Tent today has had to cancel due to personal reasons. The replacement act will be JOHN MAYALL. How awesome is that. I had pencilled in Jonny Lang as my close out for today but to get the chance to see JOHN MAYALL again will be a blast.

We are straight to the WWOZ hospitality tent for fresh fruit. I have eaten more fruit in the last three days than I have all year. Who said New Orleans was fattening.

We got to the Blues Tent half way through the opening act. Deak Harp is from Clarksdale Mississippi. Wish I had of got to the start of the set as he and his accompanying drummer are awesome. He sounds like he is straight from Red’s Juke Joint. Kate was pretty impressed. Standing ovation. The stage announcer summed it up when he said this was Deak’s first Jazz Fest but it surely will not be his last. I must try and get a C.D. I got to speak to Deak and I asked him if he knew Fiona Boyes as Fiona is a regular in Clarksdale. He said he knew her well

We settled in for Little Freddie King. Freddy is dressed to the nines as usual and I never tire of listening to his infectious grooves. As he sings ‘Ya gotta walk with Freddie, Ya gotta walk with the King’ and we all do.
Got me my first beer and it tasted so good that I get a feeling that today may be an imbibing day. Kate has been hinting to us both that we should go and get her some beignets and we have been ignoring those hints. Well she finally weakened herself and has gone out to buy her own beignets and I am pretty sure that they will not be shared.

Meet up with my friend Gary who I see every year in the Blues Tent.

We then went over to the Acura Stage to catch Better Than Ezra whom my friend Michael Jerome plays with. Remember yesterday I kept missing Michael to say hello. I think Kate thinks I may not really know him at all. Better Than Ezra recently released a 25 year anniversary disc. They are a local New Orleans alternative  rock band and are real popular in this part of the country. Great set. Even more so when they invited four young boys on stage to sing with them. The boys all come from the same Metairie school and they kicked arse as they sang, did a bit of rap and danced like seasoned professionals. These are four rock stars in the making for sure. One of the Iggy’s crew gave us all a home-made jello shot which got us in the mood (so to speak). I think Kate likes the band as they are more to her style.

There is a family standing next to us and the husband asks us if we are Australian. He then introduced us to his wife who is from Wantirna but has lived in N.O. for seventeen years. They have a one year old daughter who was born on Australia Day!

The girls are going to stay at the Acura for Voices of the Wetlands. I decided to try another stage. Not that Voices of the Wetlands are not worth seeing, far from it. I have decided that I need to try and see more bands that I have not seen before otherwise you may be missing out on a new band to add to your list.

I went over to Gentilly for Royal Teeth. A young band with lots of rhythm and enthusiasm. I hung in for a few songs. A young crowd that is in a dancing mood.

I then walked over to the Fais Do Do stage for the Grammy award winning BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. The front of stage is pretty packed ,so I had to sit a fair way back, and as the band are not loud rockers they were a little hard to hear mainly due to a lot of bleed from the nearby Congo Stage. Still I found a shaded spot to sit and finish my margarita.

Had a look over the C.D. outlet and believe it or not I didn’t buy a thing. I did however weaken at the nearby book outlet and got a copy of Southern Cocktails. Look out for the next party at Muir Street. Grabbed me some crawfish bread and then headed over to WWOZ tent for a clean pee. If you have been to Jazz Fest you know what I mean. I held the door open for the next guy in line and he said ‘thanks mate’. Now there is a give away. He lives in Yarraville!

I nearly made a big mistake as I left WWOZ. I guy ran after me and had my diary in hand. That was lucky as if you recall in my previous writings I am a member of the CRAFT Club. I Can’t Remember A Fuckin Thing’. If I loose my diary I will have no way of doing the daily blog.

I went back to the Fais Do Do Stage to wait for the Taj Mahal Trio. The girls are going to meet up with me here before they then head over to the Acura Stage for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I sit to the side of the stage and a young guy looks down at me and said, ‘How ya’ll doin old fella,’ OLD FELLA, do you mind, sir. He was a nice guy and he asked a lot of questions about Australia. The girls finally found me and listened to the start of Taj’s set before moving on. I stayed put. Just after the girls left, who do you think walked toward me but Michael Jerome (Better than Ezra and the Richard Thompson band.) He was real glad that we finally caught up and he hung around for half an hour and chatted. I told him that I think the girls really think that I have made up our friendship. He said. ‘I can fix that’, and he took a selfie of us and emailed it to me. I left Taj after he finished singing a favourite of mine, ‘Lovin In My Babies Arms.’

Met up with the girls at the Blues Tent for John Mayall. John was born 29.11.1933 making him 82 years of age.  John Mayall & the  Bluesbreakers had some of the up and coming great guitarists go though his band in the 60’s. Guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mark Almond, Walter Trout and Harvey Mandel cut their teeth in John’s band. We got seats in the third row. Guess who is playing guitar, no other than the legendary Walter Trout. John was magnificent.
Everyone in attendance was blowin’ away by John and his band. He swapped piano for guitar and then harp and vice versa. The extended jam of Parchman Farm drew a standing ovation. For a man of 82 years of age (although looking his age) he played like a man half his age. What a highlight.

We had a real long wait at our pick-up spot for the shuttle back to Iggy’s. The road is in gridlocked going both ways. We did not get back until after nine P.M. but who cares as the day was sensational and one thing you need to have in this city is patience.