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

New Orleans

Day 28 – May 5th


The weather is threatening today with rain to come after 1 PM. The good news is there will not be a lot of rain and there should be no thunder and lightning.

Went over to the Lagniappe Stage to have a look at Em Sunshine. She is a young slip of a girl aged 14 but has a huge voice and is an exceptional talent. Keep an eye on this young lady as she is going places.

Light rain set in at 12:45 and we sought the shelter of the Blues Tent with Laurie Bell. A great set of Chicago Blues classics and originals.

I saw a t-shirt I liked. ‘There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better’ – Bob Dylan. That is now my new motto.

The rain let up very quickly. In fact, for New Orleans, you could not even call it rain. Over to the Gentilly Stage for New Orleans rock outfit ‘Better Than Ezra’. The band is celebrating its thirty-year anniversary. They are a crowd favourite. The band’s drummer is Michael Jerome who tours regularly with the legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter Richard Thompson. A couple of years back I had the privilege of showing Richard around Williamstown.

I headed over to the Acura Stage around 3 for the end of Dumstaphunk in anticipation of the next band Cowboy Mouth. Fred LeBlanc always puts on a great show and he and the band did not disappoint. The sun is now peeking out and there should be no more rain for the rest of the day. As Fred said, ‘It is a great day to be alive, in the greatest city in the world, New Orleans Louisiana’. Amen to that.

Seen a flag flying out on the grass area of Acura, Slicky-Palooza. My niece Skye would like that.

I normally choose Abita Amber as my preferred beer, but it is not sold at the Festival. I am starting to get a taste for Coors Banquet. Brewed with Rocky Mountain water since 1873.

I was hanging out to have a listen to Delbert McClinton, he was ok but not as good as I expected.

I headed over to have a listen to the band ‘Cage the Elephant’. They are now one of my new favourite bands. I was very impressed and am glad I took the time to check them out.

I took a tumble off my chair, going back onto the race track sand. Gotta say I did pretty good as I never spilt one drop of beer. A nice looking New Orleanians yummy mummy came to my rescue.

New Orleans


Lazy Lester and Kenny Neal

Day 27 – May 4th.

Today I am getting interviewed at the apartment for a documentary about New Orleans music/Jazz Fest. It will be centered around Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint’s son (Reginald) and Robin Barnes and ask the question about the changing music scene in New Orleans. The Director/Producer is Albert Molten Jnr. I was introduced to Albert at the FQF and for some reason, he thought that I could give an outsider view as to how people on the other side of the world perceive New Orleans and its music. Exciting for me to be involved in a small way. The interview is booked for 3 o’clock which means that I will miss most of day 2 of the festival.

Wendy hitched a ride to the festival with Cheryl and her crew and I did the boring but essential laundry. The weather has become overcast and sticky with rain predicted for Saturday.

I think the interview went o.k. Al posed some tough questions for an hour or so. They may need to add sub-titles when it is aired!

I got an Uber to the festival. It would have been easy to abandon the whole day, but I was determined to see Ruthie Foster close out the day in the Blues Tent. So glad I went as she was fantastic. What a voice.

Pat has been hanging with Wendy and I found them at the end of the day. Cara and Dowie were shell-shocked from yesterday’s bus episode and left early. Wendy has managed to get Aaron Neville to sign a photo as well as Glen David Andrews. She can relax now as ‘mission accomplished’ with all the artist photos that she brought over.

Pat suggested we get a meal at the Red Chinese Bar/Restaurant of St. Claude. We shared the Pork Belly Buns, a Shrimp Fried Rice and a spicy Eggplant dish. On the drive back, we passed a venue that must be hosting some sort of girly show. I spotted a very long-legged young stunning girl in bunny ears and a G-string. Now the meal we just had was tasty and filling but suddenly, I fancied some rabbit.

We were back at the apartment early. A couple of guys out front looking at our boxing kangaroo flag. One guy asked in a distinctive U.K. accent if this apartment was an Australian Community House. I told him it was the Australian New Orleans Consulate. He said he was married to an Aussie from Tassie.