Day Ten

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’ Charles M. Schultz

Little Freddie and Stalker

I had another sleep in and got out for the second day of FQF around eleven.

I stopped off at the Tropical Isle Stage to listen to ‘The Nation of Gumbollia,’ who are one of the newer Indian Mardi Gras tribes. I was only going to stay for a song or two, however, they were so good that I stayed for the whole set. I even contemplated buying a CD (first for this trip), until the singer mentioned that it was their first live performance and they had not recorded yet.

Weather wise, it is perfect for me, overcast with a cooling breeze. There is a lot of traffic on the Mississippi today. Cargo ship after Oil tanker and the usual long barges being pushed by tugs.

Over to the Jack Daniels’ stage to see Stew and Carol and watch the Lena Prima band. Lena is the daughter of the legendary New Orleanian, Louis Prima. Fantastic swinging jazz with a hot band backing her up. She sang hit after hit of her famous father’s recorded legacy as well as some of her own

recordings. What an enjoyable show it was. I have a large collection of Louis Prima’s recorded output and I will have to revisit it again when I get back home. Louis’ was held in such high esteem in New Orleans that after Hurricane Katrina, the first song that radio WWOZ played was Louis’

I walked down to the Abita stage to wait for Little Freddie King to grace the stage. On the way I had a feed of Fried Chicken Strips, Potato Salad and Iced Coffee. Jeff gave me my artist’s pass and I went up

On the stage to watch the performance. I just love listening to Freddie’s unique take of the blues. Age is not slowing this immaculate trouper down one bit.

I got to say hello to Freddie after his set and have a phone photo taken. He and his Manager (also his drummer), ‘Wacko’ Wade are keen to get to Australia. ‘Wacko’ told me that he has applied to our Byron Bay Blues Festival a number of times with no success. He does not like Peter Noble (Promoter) at all. I told him he is not alone there as many Aussie musicians have told me that he is not a nice guy. I haven’t been to the Byron Fest for a number of years now, and have no intention of ever going again. In my opinion it is a bloated behemoth of a production.

It’s still overcast with a cooling breeze coming off the river, the locals may not be happy about the lack of sun but I sure am. I haven’t been taking out the big camera as it is heavy to carry around all day. Not sure how Wendy manages to do it. I am planning to get out next week and walk around the French Quarter’s residential area and take some snaps of the Easter decorations.

I stayed at the Abita stage for a few songs from Iguana’s set and then left for the GE Stage to hear Tricia Boutté and Nordic Swing. I am pretty proud of myself, I just learned how to insert that little mark above the ‘e’ in Boutté. The Boutté family are music royalty in this town.

I headed off around 5:30 today. I walked back via Royal St to avoid the crowds on Decatur and Bourbon streets. Also proud to report in that it was another alcohol free day.

ROYAL: Of all the streets in the French Quarter, the name of ROYAL STREET is most befitting. The street was originally called Royalle-Bourbon to honor the royal family and dynasty, but Governor Bienville ordered it changed to Rue Royale, which it remains to this day. Although Royal parallels Bourbon, the two streets could not be more different. While Bourbon is known for its bars with three-for-one drink specials, strip clubs and T-shirt shops, Royal is known for its art galleries, posh hotels and antique stores. Rock music, jazz and the sounds of off-key karaoke enthusiasts blare out from clubs on Bourbon, while Royal hosts street musicians such as Dixieland jazz bands, bluegrass pickers or the odd solo songstress armed with a banjo and sleeping hound dog that occasionally adds his baritone backup vocals. A section of Royal closes to vehicular traffic daily from 11:00 am. until late afternoon, transforming it into a pedestrian mall to allow people to leisurely cross the street back and forth to peer in the windows of their favorite stores. Bourbon, meanwhile, takes the opposite approach, closing to cars nightly at 7:00 pm. to allow people to match their gait with Bourbon’s neon pulse. Bourbon and Royal are the quintessential alter egos of New Orleans, prompting Walt Disney to once remark of the two streets, “Where else can you find iniquity and antiquity so close together?”

Asher, Sally. Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names (Landmarks) . The History Press. Kindle Edition.

One thought on “French Quarter Fest – Day Two

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