Austin to New Orleans

Day 37 – May 15th

We hit the road at 9:45. Heading out of Austin in a slightly different way as to the arrival. The next 70 odd miles are through countryside, ranches and is more scenic. Fewer trucks as well, although having said that the truck drivers are very courteous, and will only use the overtaking lane to overtake, very unlike the pushy truck drivers back home. We went past the turnoff to La Grande ( Z Z Top) and went over the Colorado River at least four times. Pat has been playing more of Bob’s compilations and I am taken with one artist by the name of Big Daddy O. Gotta check him out some more.

At 11:15 we hit Houston, I am really struggling to keep my eyes open. Note sure how Pat is managing to stay wide awake. You know you are driving through Texas when you see a large billboard advertising the Taxidermy services of John with a picture of a deer in the cross-hairs. Also, every second billboard (and they are very frequent) is advertising a Litigation Lawyer.

It is 2:30 and we are all feeling a little hungry. We stopped at a Hamburger place in Beaumont, Texas by the name of Whatabuger. Founded in 1950 and based in San Antonio. Beaumont is redneck country. Sign in the window of Whatabuger, ‘One Nation, Under God, Indivisible’. But they don’t say which God!

At 3:10 we crossed over into Louisiana. There has not been much in the way of road kill but what there is is a little different from back home. An Armadillo and a reasonably large Alligator on its back.

Saw a sign saying forty miles to Baton Rouge. You think oh that is not far then remember that it is miles, not kilometers. The speed limit on the major roads is 70 Miles per hour (roughly 113 K’s). We got a heavy shower of rain but no more than 5 minutes. Once we went over the Atchafalaya River we were in the home straight. We got back to the house around 6:50.

Dropped off the bags, said g’day to Bob and then headed out to dinner at a local diner.

Dowie and Cara want to have a go at a shooting range tomorrow, There is a Range a few minutes-drive from Bob and Pats. We head over to the neighborhood bar, Roy’s. The barmaid on tonight (Julie) also works at the shooting range so we are going to scope (pun intended) out the cost to fire a few rounds. All locals at the bar and they are friendly as we had a nightcap. The Confederate flag flies in the bar. There are three darts boards and I was surprised to see that the scoreboards were set up for Cricket. Julie told us that she has a friend in Melbourne who has just reopened a New Orleans restaurant (Ding Dong Lounge)  in Market Lane called Girl with the Gris Gris which specializes in New Orleans food. We are going to go and say hi when we get back. The T.V. news is on and the weatherman is saying that New Orleans has had their hottest day on record for May 15th. Ninety-Four degrees which is four degrees above the previous record. Yeah, I know we get hotter, but remember this is still Spring here and the humidity is the real enemy. I got out of the air-conditioned car and my glasses fogged up so quickly that I could not see.

On the short drive back home, we witnessed an incredible show of heat lightning. No rain or thunder just flashed of lightning. Pretty spooky indeed.

The rain came about 20 minutes later.



Day 36 – May 14th

I am left to my own devices this morning. Everyone is going to a retail outlet which is about a 20-minute drive.

Left the apartment complex around 10:45 and believe it or not I could not find my way out. Finally backtracked to the carpark where Pat parks and went out that way. Could be a dangerous move letting Wendy take my Credit Card. I walked a short distance down to South Congress and found a trendy Japanese Restaurant (Lucky Robot) that opens at 11 AM (now). Ordered an appetizer of Pork and Shrimp Dumplings and an Entrée (Main) Spicy Chicken Bowl. Some of the best Japanese food I have ever eaten. Sure, got a sweat up eating it.

I browsed the shops on South Congress and found another shirt to buy. Just what I needed another shirt. It is humid in Austin.

The crew are back at 4 with a fair number of shopping bags.

Around 5ish we headed to a BBQ place housed in an old Iron Works and unsurprisingly called Iron Works. It is advertised as real Texas BBQ. The restaurant had been recommended to us by a local barman and our friend Cheryl. The food was ok but not as good as the ribs I had at Rendezvous’ in Memphis a few years back.

Pat dropped Dowie and Cara at the famous Graffiti Park ay nearby Castle Hill Pretty spectacular if you are into that sort of thing. Sadly, it is to be demolished to make way for a housing development. We drove past the New Orleans Saint’s Bar (Shoal Creek Saloon) which is a Mecca for expat New Orleanians when the Saints are playing. The place has 31 T.V’s to watch the games.

The Continental Club on South Congress is a famous Austin Music Venue which has been in operation for over 60 years. At 6:30 there is a young trio playing (the Peterson Brothers). Funk/Jazz Fusion and a little Blues. Free entry. They are pretty good. I think Pat and Wendy were surprised when I told them I have their C.D.

Driving around Austin as we have done for the last 3 days I have noticed how clean the City is. Also, the number of food trucks around the place is staggering. Each neighborhood has its own little restaurant hub. I like this city a lot.

At 8 o’clock we are off to meet Dowie and Cara as are hundreds of other tourists on the South Congress Bridge to watch the nightly awaking of some 1.5 million bats as they take off for nightly foraging. They leave around dusk from March through to November and are a must see. At 8:45 we are still waiting, at 9:00 we are still waiting then at 9:10 I thought I saw a few shadowy shapes. I guess us Aussies had imagined that the bats would be the size of our own Fruit Bats which was not the case and so initially I thought the show a bit underwhelming. Once we moved a little further along the bridge and could see more clearly where they were emerging from it was cool. Check it out

Our road trip is coming to an end as tomorrow we start back for the nine-hour drive back to New Orleans. It has been a fantastic 6-day adventure that would not have been possible without our lovely friend Pat taking time off work to drive us through the wonderful State of Texas taking in San Antonio, Gruene, and Austin. We will forever be grateful.


Gruene Hall



the great Gonzo – Jerry Jeff Walker


Day 36 – May 13th – Mother’s Day

You can go to hell, and I’ll go to Texas” – Davey Crockett

Pat has made a reservation for all of us to enjoy a Mother’s Day brunch at North Italian. This afternoon we will leave for New Braunfels, Gruene (pronounced green) where we have tickets to the oldest dance hall in Texas to see the legendary Jerry Jeff Walker. Dowie and Cara will be doing their own thing as they need a rest from the oldies.

We got to North Italian just on 11:30. Nice establishment. I have gone for the traditional breakfast dish Nonna’s Casserole, torn bread, Italian sausage, all baked in a red sauce with two fried eggs on top. Delicious. All of us commented on how good the food was.

I had to get my photo taken under the Willie Nelson Boulevard sign. You must like a city that names a boulevard after a pot-smoking country singer and that the boulevard runs off a street named after a saint (San Alamo). Willie Nelson is pretty much a Saint according to the good citizens of Texas. I saw a large mural of Willie with the notation of ‘Willie for President’, surely, he would be better than the buffoon currently holding the title of POTUS.

The drive over to Gruene takes a little over an hour. We had to stop for Pat as she had a hankering (Texas talk) for a Starbucks coffee. Gruene was founded by German immigrants around 1845. Cotton was the cash crop for these settlers. The Historic District has been saved and it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in the mid 70’s. It truly is a beautiful part of the country. Old buildings retain their charm and the antique store is more like a museum. You could spend hours browsing the wares. The Gruene General Store is also worth a look.

We sat down for a cold beer (Fat Goat) at the Grape Vine as country singer Bo Porter played some tunes in the outdoor garden.

The Jerry Jeff Walker show does not start until 8 with doors at 7. Pat has given us a head’s up as there is limited seating in the hall and a line generally forms to get in an hour or so before the doors open officially. There has been a band playing an afternoon session and most of the crowd has left, it was a good opportunity to got into the hall and have a look at the photo history and enjoy a Lone Star beer (the National Beer of Texas). The walls are adorned with a who’s who of singers and bands. Most are in the Country style but there is also a cross-section of genres that have performed at this most famous venue. B.B.King has played here as (to my surprise) our own Kasey Chambers. I seem to recall that our Patron Saint of WOW Mr Chris Wilson telling me that his lovely lady Sarah Carroll had also been on the hallowed stage. Wendy got a message from Fras and Jan, they are in Seattle, Washington on their way to Canada. Al. Trish and Bernie are in Memphis, Tennessee.

We left the hall around 5ish to line-up to come back in. Sounds crazy but that is how you do it. If you were still in the hall you would be kicked out at 6:45 for set-up. Civilised in any case as you can always go and by a beer to wait in line. The doors opened right on time at 7PM. There was no pushing or shoving as we made an orderly entrance and got a pretty good seat on the bench like pews with long tables to lean on. There is also theatre type seating available. The show (A Red Neck Mother’s Day) is sold out. The Hall has a capacity for 800 punters.

It is damn warm in the hall. The sides of the building are open (covered with chicken wire). No A.C. of course but there are some twelve huge ceiling fans doing their best to create a breeze. The Lone Star’s are going down well. Jerry Jeff just walked through the Hall and got a standing ovation. He is a little like the Pope down here in Gruene, Texas.

By 7:50 there is a buzz in the air. The crowd is a mixture of old and young, maybe more are old. They are all fans. Many people are wearing Jerry Jeff T-shirts that go back decades.

The band kicked off right on time. Jerry is looking his age (76) but still sprightly with a mischievous smile and a twinkle in his eye. His first words to the audience, ‘put those damn cell phones down’. His second words that brought a roar from the crowd, ‘okay buckaroos’.

He told us that his voice will be a little ravaged somewhat by cancer of the throat. ‘I had some surgery and they radiated it, not that I didn’t fuck up my throat over the years’.

Yep, his voice is a little rough, but no one cares. He put on a show that went for near on two hours.  His band is hot. His well- known hit, ‘Mr Bojangles’ was the second song of the night. ‘I like the feeling when I’m lost in song’, so do I, Jerry Jeff. He likes to talk a bit and is humorous and likes to take the mickey out of himself. He pulled up one longish intro by saying ‘I’m turning into Rambling Jack’, meaning Rambling Jack Elliott, another old warrior of the road. He did a great version of ‘L.A. Freeway’. Most of the time the band (guitar, bass) sit on stools. A few songs get raucous and they all get up to jam like young men.

The stage had been a little dim and Jerry asked why the lights that were in front of him were not on. When they got turned on to a crowd cheer he said, ‘well that is the radio part of the show over’. The whole crowd joined in on ‘Up Against the Wall Redneck’, especially the chorus :

‘And it’s up against the wall, redneck mother
Mother who has raised her son so well
He’s thirty-four drinkin’ in a honky tonk
Kickin’ hippies’ asses and raisin’ hell’

 Jerry just kept picking songs that he wanted to play, and the band held on for dear life. ‘These guys are good as I just keep playing shit they don’t know’. You gotta like a song that has a line that goes, ‘I like my woman a little on the trashy side’. Got to hear the classic song ‘I love Sangria Wine’.

What a great night we had. My music life has just taken another shot of joy. I am so glad that Pat emailed us many months back to ask, ‘Do you know/like Jerry Jeff Walker as he is in Gruene when we are in Austin’?



How to look after important people

Day 35 – May 12th

We are out for a late breakfast at Phoebe’s Dinner (good name eh Phoebe Giles). Pat researched the place on Yelp. It is off the beaten track a little and has excellent food. Very busy. I went for the Crabmeat Omelette with Hashbrown Casserole with of course the bottomless coffee cup.

We explored the hip Sth Congress Street for a couple of hours. A nice little market for the girls to explore. I headed over to Allen’s Boots. You can smell the leather before opening the door. The boots and Stetsons are to die for but oh so expensive. Will have to give buying some cowboy boots a miss.

The day is a little overcast but when the sun breaks through it is damn hot. Not New Orleans hot as there is no humidity.

I got talking to some guys who were selling bottled and brewed Kombucha. One of the guys had relatives in Perth so he knew a little about Australia. I had a Hibiscus Kombucha, very tasty. I sat for a while until the girls found me, they had been looking for me for half an hour. I knew where I was! They have threatened that they will put a GPS on my ankle.

At 3:30 we headed over to Rainey St. Pat has found a place via Yelp (she is a very good researcher) called Bangers. They have 100 craft beers on tap and sell various types of home-made sausage. You can even get bangers and mash. Rainey Street is not far from where we are staying and is another little hip street will all kinds of eating houses from BBQ to Indian. Great feel to the street, a lot of college types. Tried a couple of craft beers. At one stage the barman asked me if I wanted a XXXX I told him I was from Melbourne, not Queensland. He said then ‘do you want a VB or Carlton Draft‘. His name is Miles and he comes from Perth! Been living in Austin for two years and is married to an American.

Wendy ordered the bangers and mash and Pat, and I shared Boudin and Crackers, Bierwurst sausage and Honey Pepper Jerky. Gotta say the Jerky is the best I have ever eaten. The menu has a message that states that if you get a tattoo of the venues logo at a nominated tattoo parlour that Bangers will foot the bill. I am seriously thinking of doing this on Monday. It is a small tattoo that looks cool and is a good (to my mind) representation of Austin, Texas. Look for the boot with a sausage and tell me what you think.

The Alamo to Austin



Day 34 – May 11th.

Going to be another hot day.

We are off to the Alamo this morning. Dowie and Cara had a look at this old historical Spanish Mission yesterday.

I am so impressed with the Alamo and how it has been preserved. Free entry as well. Beautiful gardens/re-enactments, history film and museum of Spanish/Texas artefacts. I spent a few dollars in the gift shop. Not sure Kate would have enjoyed the gardens as the squirrels are very brave. I know that most readers will have some knowledge of the significance of what happened here and how that event shaped Texas and the United States we know today. One might even say like our own Galipolli. Check it all out here

After a few hours we decided that lunch was necessary. We headed to the old Pearl Brewery site which is now high-priced apartments and restaurants as well as nice public-space. Pearl is also the site of the Culinary Institute of America. We found a nice Bakery that offered freshly made sandwiches.

I am a sucker for a good bookshop and there is one next door to the bakery. Got a copy of ‘101 Chillies to Try Before You Die’. I am sure that if you sampled some of the chillies that are listed as Super-Hot your death would be somewhat hurried. Listed at 101 is the Carolina Reaper. The author writes that he tasted the pod. ‘I have eaten a few superhot chillies and some amazingly hot sauces over the years, but I was in over my head with this one – it nearly killed me. A few chews and the rest of my taste was a blur followed by a lot of milk and ice cream,’ – David Floyd.

At 2PM we are on the road for the one-and-a-half-hour drive to Austin. The proclaimed capital of the music world. The slogan of ‘Keep Austin Weird’, will give you an idea that Austin is a hip city.

The drive over was uneventful apart from when a motorbike rider went past with a death wish.

We are staying on South Congress Avenue and arrived around 3:45. I can already feel the great vibe out on the street.

After a bit of a rest, we headed to 6th Street where there are many bars with live music. We called into the San Jac saloon where a guy was up singing in the Americana style. The barman was cool, we got a box of popcorn given to us which has been sprinkled with some hot spice. Good marketing as it made you drink your beer fast. One thing I noted on walking around that there are parking spots designated specifically for musicians to load in and bump out. Between sets, the barman played some Johnny Cash and some music by an unknown (to me) singer. I had to ask who it was. The barman took me behind the bar to show me his Spotify playlist. The singer is Tim Barry and I am going to have to get some of his stuff.

Next, we bar-hopped to the Jackalope Bar. The whole area is now buzzing with young punters. I had some Buffalo Wings (Honey and Jalapeno). Gave my lips a nice burn. By the way, if you don’t know what a Jackalope is then have a look here

Off we went again this time to the Mug Shot bar. Easy to see why so named as the walls are covered with Polaroid shots of the punters over the years. A lot of which are young women with breasts exposed, not that I was looking. I asked the bartender what his favourite beer was. He told me to try the ‘Willie’ named for Willie Nelson. Very spookily that when my beer arrived a Willie Nelson song started up on the Jukebox. I had a few Willies and the girls finished with a Fireball. I like Austin already.

San Antonio




Pat @ River Walk, San Antonio

Day 33 – May 10th

We are out at 9:30 for the short drive to Market Plaza. Dowie is being conscientious and has gone to the Gym. We walked around the Plaza for a while. All tourist shops selling mostly Mexican stuff. Was tempted to buy a Sombrero but common sense won out. We found a Mexican bakery, nice pastries. The temperature is fine now, but it is predicted to get to 30C.

We went down to the famous River Walk just after Noon. Fabulous spot. I asked Pat on the drive over if she had been here before. She told us that she and Bob had spent 4 weeks in San Antonio after being evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They were much to busy just trying to survive those four weeks than simply being a tourist out to enjoy the sights of San Antonio.

The River Walk is a must do if you ever visit this city.

When in Rome etc. We had lunch at Rita’s on the River. Tex Mex food of course. I had the Green Chile Enchiladas. We even got serenaded by three amigos on guitar, trumpet and violin. The singer asked me if we wanted to hear La Bamba. I asked for something more traditional. I guess singing La Bamba for the tourists is like a band playing When the Saints Go Marching In down in New Orleans or Mustang Sally on Beale St. Memphis.

We decided to do the river cruise. I got the Senior’s discount. Didn’t even ask me for proof that I was over 60. Thirty-Five-minute tour on the meandering river. I liked travelling under Crockett Bridge. Brought back memories of watching the old black and white T.V. show.

The 1968 Word’s Fair was on this site as well. Nice statue of Saint Anthony (San Antonio).

We went and had a look at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum.

We worked out last night that there will be a Blues musician playing at the Barriba Cantina tonight. More luck than good fortune, we found the place mid-afternoon and it was happy hour. We went in to have a cold beer and check the place out. The bartender asked where we are from. He had guessed Australia but wanted to confirm it. He is ex-navy and spent some time in Perth in the 70’s. He is originally from Birmingham, Alabama and moved to San Antonio in 1985. I told him that I wanted to get to Birmingham one day. He asked, ‘why’? , For the history of the place’, I replied. He told us he lived there during the violent Civil Rights movement. He said that he was not bitter about what happened during the 60’s and that he had moved on.

After a cleansing ale, we took a long walk along the river to find the shopping mall. I sat with a cold drink while Wendy and Pat had a look around. The Food Hall has a couple of New Orleans themed concessions. One vendor asked me if I would like to try some of their Louisiana chicken. Didn’t have the heart to tell her that I had eaten Fried Chicken at Dooky Chase in New Orleans proper.

Dowie and Cara caught a bus back to the apartment. The streets of San Antonio are very clean, little graffiti and not many beggars.

We got back the Barriba’s around 5:30 and settled in with good seats for the band that will start at 7PM. The musician we are here to see is Will Owen Cage.

Pat told us the story of when Bob M.C.’d on the Riverboat President. The acts on that night were B.B.King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Now that is impressive. The cantina has run out of chardonnay so Wendy is not happy. The staff took the time to send over a sample of a similar wine which was good service. We had a snack of Guacamole and Devilled Eggs topped with crispy Jalapeno Bacon.

Will turned out to be a good guitarist/singer. He is backed by three older guys, drums, keys and bass. I would sooner they played the blues-rock style they started with, after a few songs an older Mexican guy (Little Roger Gonzales) got up to sing Santana covers.

An important lesson for me Cerveza is a Spanish word meaning Beer.

Little Roger then sang La Bamba. Guess they are playing for the tourists. Will welcomed us Australian’s to the Cantina. There is a guy in the crowd who reminded me of John Goodman (the old BIG John Goodman). He told me he likes Australians and went and got me a beer. That was good as the beer is going down easy tonight. We left half-way into the second set. The city looks pretty at night. There are many Cinderella-like carriages lining the street ready for passengers. They look good all lit up with lights. Pat and I finished the night with a Tequila shot as recommended by our waitress Melissa.

New Orleans to San Antonio

Day 32 – May 9th

The road trip has started, we are on the road at 7:50. We are going to Texas, baby. Pat told us that we head West on the I10 for pretty much the whole trip. Right now, we are heading toward the state capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge (Red Stick). The road is officially known as the I10 (I meaning- interstate) but more romantically it is HWY61. Thirty-Six miles out and the flora is green and lush interspersed with vast tracks of water.

We hit the outskirts of Baton Rouge at 9:50 and we got a view of the State Capitol building. We crossed the mighty Mississippi and looking out can see that Baton Rouge is a very busy shipping port. Now heading for Lafayette (the Cajun Capital).

At 10:10 we crossed into Iberville Parish. In the rest of the U.S. there are Counties but in Louisiana there are Parishes. At 10AM we see a sign for Opelousas (thought I would mention that as it is a cool name).

Next, we are in Scott, Louisiana, the Boudin capital of the State. I love a good Boudin.

It is sixty-three miles to Lake Charles (Texas) and we are eating up the miles. Pat is driving like a champion as we listen to a bunch of Bob’s music compilations. The music is good as would be expected from someone who has had his own radio show on WWOZ for over thirty-five years. I am getting to hear a lot of new artists and am frantically writing down band and artists names to research.

Bob has made us sandwiches for the road which are very tasty indeed.

Just went through Rayne and Pat let us know that the Town has an annual Frog Festival. That sort of means you get to eat frogs in all sorts of ways.

At 11:15 we are nearing Evangeline. Another cool name for a town.

We pulled into Lake Charles (Popeyes) at 11:45. From what I can see this is an industrial working-class town. The Popeyes’ diner’s car-park is full of trucks (oversized utes) and there is a long queue waiting to order. Popeyes is a Louisiana fried chicken outlet and it a 100-times better than KFC.  I like it when you ask for mashed potato and the guy asks if you want your mashed spuds spicy. In fact, our server was very excited to hear that we were Australians. I think he has just seen Aussies for the first time in the flesh.

We are on the road again at 1PM. Still, a long way to go. We cross over into Texas at 1:20 and hit the first largish town (Beaumont at 1:20. It is now 78 miles to Houston. We made Houston at 3 PM. Passed the Pasadena turn-off. Got a good view of Houston’s CBD as we crossed another bridge. I made a salute as we passed the Budweiser Brewery.

Just saw the first signage for San Antonio at 3:10 and then saw the turn-off for Galveston. I am naming some of the turn-offs as they remind me of songs I have heard over the years mentioning these very same places. Sort of makes them more real and not just places in a song.

It took forever to get through Houston which is wide-spread. Pat told us the history and the law relating to how the American Flag is to be flown and how the State of Texas is a law unto itself. Worth a read here:

We arrived at our new home at 7PM. Dropped our bags and headed out on foot to the Tycoon Flats Bar and Burgers. I had a Philly Cheese Steak Focaccia washed down with a Hans Pils Real Ale. We are all tired from the drive especially Pat who drove all the way. Not a late night as we planned out what to do tomorrow including trying to find some live music.

New Orleans

Day 31 – May 8th

We are up early today for our last day in the French Quarter. Pat will pick us up around 6PM for us to stay at their home so we can get an early start tomorrow for our 9-hour drive to San Antonio, Texas.

Going to be another hot one in the Crescent City. We are going out to do some last-minute shopping. First port of call is the Louisiana Music factory to stock up on CDs of artists we got to see at Jazz Fest. Wendy cut loose more than me and we finished up buying 12 albums. A couple will be to be gifts. One is for you Skye MacKay!

Next to the Spice Emporium for rubs and sauces. One is for you Skye MacKay rated a 16 out of 10. It is the hottest sauce on sale.

I had my eye on a cool leather hat from the same shop where I have purchased an out there shirt. Finished up spending way too much but the hat will outlive me, and I will be able to leave it to someone in my will (it is that good).

We are now packed and ready for our departure. William and Mickey came out to sit with us for a while. William seemed genuinely upset to see us leave and I detected a little tear in his eye. He is a good man with a big heart.

We got over to Pat and Bob’s just after six. Bob has made a great CD of Johnny Cash covers for me and I can’t wait to have a listen. He has also been slaving over a hot stove all afternoon and has prepared a very tasty Jambalaya for us. We all had to go back for seconds as it was that good.

Early to bed for a rest and early morning start.

New Orleans


Sure gunna miss these lil’ critters

Day 30 – May 7th

Well, that was fun. But it sure knocked me around. Didn’t get up today (Monday after Jazz Fest) until after 1 PM. We went down to Belle’s diner for a bite to eat and then back to the apartment to catch up on the blog.

William and Mickey have invited us out tonight to Frank’s on Decatur for a traditional (for Monday) Red Beans and Rice dinner. William and Mickey are very good friends and we enjoy their company.

Not much else to report for the day. Tomorrow will be our last day in the French Quarter and we plan to do some last-minute shopping. The credit card may take a battering.

Got to rest up for our road trip to Texas starting Wednesday morning.

New Orleans



On Bourbon

Day 29 – May 6th

No clouds, no rain today for the last day of Jazz Fest 2018. The body is tired but the desire for more music is strong.

We got to the festival early today. Johnny Sansone is opening the Blues tent. Johnny and his band played a great set and really got the audience pumped.

Over to the WWOZ tent for some fruit and finished up having a long chat with Brian Wise around the music scene back home. We both thought that the crowds for Saturday and Sunday are down on what we have seen before. Seems to be more comfortable walking around the track than past years.

Sat out in the sun at the Fais Do Do stage for Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, another band celebrating a thirty-year anniversary at Jazz Fest.

Went and said hello to Jeff at the Lagniappe and caught the last five songs from a band called the War and Trophy. Another band I had not heard of but blew me away. There is so much good music to be discovered if you go off the beaten path. I saw Al Molten (interview) who told me that he was impressed with our talk and the filming and said that I will be in the documentary.

My must-see artist today is Bill Kirchen. Been hanging for years to see Bill perform. Many of you will know that Bill was a member of the legendary Commander Cody way back in the 60’S. Loved the show, he sang the classic ‘Down to Stems and Seeds’ a fantastic version of Dylan’s ‘TheTimes They Are a Changing’ and he finished the set with ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’.

Saw another Aussie in the crowd Steve Sandri who many readers will know. He had been in South Africa for the Cricket Test Series.

Caught the end of the Radiators set on the Gentilly. The crowd is swelling in anticipation of Steve Miller Band closing out the festival. It is damn hot out here. Listened to an hour of Steve Miller which I enjoyed. Then went over to the end of Buddy Guy in the Blues Tent.

Home for a shower. The WOW crew are booked into the Grape Vine Wine Bar and Bistro. It will be the last time we are all together in New Orleans. Tomorrow Al, Trish and Bernie hit the road for Memphis via Clarkesdale. Fras and Jan are flying out to Sacramento and then into Canada. We are booked for 8:30. Wendy got a call from Fras who said that their Street Car had been in a bingle on Canal Street. The meal was grand. Even had vegetables that had not been deep-fried. Many beers later and we decided to grab some beers and sit out on our stoop and just enjoy New Orleans as a group for a few more hours.

A great day/night. Safe travels to all and we will see ya’ll back in Melbourne