Day 4 – April 12th
Awake at 11 (barely). I went straight down for the start of the 35th French Quarter Festival (FQF) https://fqfi.org/ First thing is to get some food and I could not go passed the Crawfish Pasta. Gunna be a long day so I need to carbo load. I ran into Joey our policeman friend and he asked how Kate was. Kate met Joey a few years back and they hit it off.
I headed straight to the Abita Stage (the largest at the festival). I immediately caught sight of David Jeffersen (Jeff) who is the main Stage Manager. Jeff always looks after me by giving me an artists-pass which allows me to sit on stage if I want. He is very keen to get to Australia one day with his wife. I gave him a Lonely Planet book on Australian culture and slang and he was very appreciative.
Irene Sage is playing and even though I have seen her several times she is so good that I stayed for her set. Jeff introduced us after her set. She took my email address as she is keen to do an Australian tour one day. She even gave me three C.D.’s which was nice.
I listened to half the set of the New Breed Brass Band (again very good) and then headed off to the Jack Daniels stage to say hello to our friends Stew and Carol Sadowsky. We will meet up with them on Monday for dinner at the Middle Eastern Restaurant Mona’s on Frenchman.
Then I wandered over to the Jackson Square stage for some traditional New Orleans Jazz with Banu Gibson. Found a food concession selling my favourite Yaka Mein https://nola.eater.com/maps/best-yak-a-mein-yakamein-new-orleans-nola
I have made this soup at home, it is not too hard to make and is super delicious. I washed it down with a French Market Cold Brew (iced coffee). I think I may have put too much hot Crystal Sauce in my Yaka Mein!
I headed back to the Abita Stage for the young band Sweet Crude. I took advantage of being able to sit up on the side of the stage. I really like this band and they are getting better and better over the years I have seen them. Ah, life is good in New Orleans. You may have noticed while reading that I have not mentioned Abita Amber today? I am having an alcohol-free day which is very hard to do in this city.
I kept my spot on the stage for Irma Thomas (the Soul Queen of New Orleans). What a privilege to be up this close and personal to Irma, a Grammy Award winner and Blues Hall of Fame inductee. Marcia Ball (another mighty fine singer/pianist) came on to the side of stage to listen to Irma. When Irma spotted her, she asked her to come on stage and sing a song with her. Pretty special indeed. I got talking to one of the crew who asked what we Australians thought of their their ‘dumb ass President’. I told him to rest assured as he is hated all over the world.
Jeff asked me to come down and meet a guy he was talking too. The well-dressed gentleman he is talking with gave me his card. Albert J Moten Jnr. is a Producer/Director for Film and Television. He told me that he is doing a couple of documentaries. One with Irma Thomas and one on the upcoming New Orleans Jazz Fest. Jeff must have told him that this was my 8th visit. Albert wants to film an interview with me next week! That is cool.
I left before the festival closed for the night (7 PM) and went home to catch up with the blog writing. Please forward your congratulations via Word Press for achieving a no booze day.