Samatha Fish @ Jazz Fest
Day 19 – April 27
The first day of Jazz Fest and the weather is fine. In fact, the forecast for the three days is looking good.
We went over to North Rampart to get the bus to the festival. A cool dude on a push-bike is riding around with a cooler bag strapped to the front of his bike. He is selling iced cold water and Bud Lite. Jazz Fest brings out the entrepreneur in so many locals.
As Brian Wise has always told me the bus ride is a cheap way to get to the festival at $1.25 but the offside is that there is no such thing as a timetable. Well, that is not truly correct as you can look up a timetable it is that the driver of the bus does not know there is one. Once we got onboard a bus a guy from Houston struck up a conversation. He will shortly take a cruise ship on the East Coast of Australia and then over to New Zealand. He knew a bit about our country. He is a tennis fan and always watches the Australian Open. He even asked us for our opinion of Nick Kyrios. You can guess what we said!
The bus driver pulled over unexpectedly and got out and had a verbal with an Arab taxi driver that was taking a shortcut down a designated bike area where he nearly cleaned up some cyclists. Never a dull moment in New Orleans.
At 11:15 we are at the festival and I am eating my first Yaka Mein while Cara is having a Gyro Chicken Po-Boy with her mum going for Red Beans and Rice.
At 12:30 we are at the Gentilly Stage (2nd. biggest stage) for Eric Lindell. Wendy is hoping to get a photo signed of Eric that she took a few years back. Ian is upfront somewhere. Alan set up a NOLA group on WhatsApp which is a great way to keep in touch.
I went over to the Acura Stage (the biggest) to see if I could find Iggy’s Crew but I could not spot their flag. I had a listen to the Givers, but I was not overly impressed.
Time to hit the Blues Tent and catch up with old friends in the audience and the security staff. I had a few Australian road signs to give to the friends I see every year in the Blues Tent. You know the ones that depict a Kangaroo or Koala next 5 kilometres. They were all very appreciative.
I sat in for most of Sidi Touré of Mali. Fantastic African Blues. Very impressed indeed.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidi_Tour%C3%A9
I mentioned a few posts ago that Jeff was working the Lagniappe Stage (under the Grandstand). It is a stage to cool down and there are always some interesting acts on. A much smaller stage and even though most of the artists are unknown to me there is always someone that plays who takes my fancy. Jeff gave us all a back-stage Artists Pass which was very nice.
We headed back to see Luther Kent and Trick Bag (Mojo Bag) at the Blues Tent. I have recommended Luther to the WOW crew. He did not disappoint. Real New Orleans R’n’B with a large horn section. Luther toured with Blood Sweat and Tears in the 70’s but never recorded with them. He got a great second line going. Even Bernie got out his hankie to wave over his head like a local.
I hung around for the next artist Samantha Fish. I like here but Wendy is not that impressed. Way Out West was asked to consider her on her upcoming November tour to Australia. We are still in negotiations.
Next, I headed back to the Lagniappe Stage for some of the band Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. That must be one of the best band names ever. They are from Canada but are playing some really good Irish fiddle music. The crowd is up and dancing.
The girls are going to finish the day at Acura where Sting is playing. I am not so keen on seeing Sting so head to Gentilly for Sturgill Simpson. Sturgill plays a jam like country rock set and he is damn good. Wendy had a portable seat mailed to our New Orleans address and although I was reluctant to take it with me I am sure glad I did. It has made the festival experience much better for me on the open outdoor stages where permeant seating is not available.
Now I am not sure I should admit this as it may get me impeached and removed as the President of WOW. I decided that seeing as I had never seen Sting (and never have wanted too) it would be silly to not give him a look. WOW, he is sensational. The sound, his voice and stage persona are all first class. He sure won me over and for me, it was the highlight of the day’s music.
We caught a bus to Esplanade and then a Street Car to Elysian Fields and walked a few blocks to the Artisan Bar which is co-owned by our fried Big Dave. Unlucky for us that Dave left a little before we got there but we did manage to catch up with Mike who is the head Chef. I had a very good Turkey Burger.
I got word on the WhatsApp from Bernie that we all have to vote 3,2 and 1 for our favourite artist of each day of Jazzfest. Here are the results:
- 11 votes Eric Lindell
- 8 votes Luther Kent (the love child of Alan Hart and Alan Maltman)
- 4 votes Sting