Day 30 – May 2nd.

The One and Only Mavis Staples

There’ll be two dates on your tombstone. And all your friends will read ‘em. But all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ‘em. Kevin Welch

First day of the 50th Jazz Fest. I am up late, last night went longer than planned. Today (2nd weekend of the Fest), was the Rolling Stones day. It will be interesting to see the size of the crowd. A lot of people I have spoken to have received their ticket refunds and did not bother with getting a replacement ticket.

I didn’t get out to the Fairgrounds until after one. Walked straight in without the usual lines of punters waiting for the security check. Food was an urgent requirement. I had a serve of Lamb Tangine and Rice followed by a Crawfish Monica washed down with, an oh so sweet Strawberry Lemonade. I must have eaten 20 Lbs of Crawfish this trip.

It is an overcast day, humid, and then hot, when the sun breaks through periodically.

I went over to the Gentilly Stage for Marc Broussard. Marc played at FQF and I was not overly impressed on that occasion. This time around however I like what I heard.

I stayed at Gentilly for *Rita Coolidge. She looked fantastic, all in white. I was rapt to hear her sing, ‘Superstar’, from the epic release ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen.’

*‘You know the honeyed voice if you’ve heard the 70’s soft rock rendition of ‘Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher’ or the epic power ballad ‘We’re All Alone,’ but before that Rita was one of rock’s most in-demand backup vocalists (Leon Russell) wrote ‘Delta Lady about her). – Offbeat Jazz Fest Bible

I have had my eye on a black and gold 50th Anniversary t-shirt. Looks like everyone at the festival had the same mindset as they have sold out already.

Over to the Blues Tent for a favourite of ours, *Eric Lindell. Great as always. I hung around to buy his latest CD release from him. I was rather pleasantly surprised that he remembered my name from previous trips.

*Once a Californian skate- punk, Lindell had more success as a blue-eyed soul and blues-man after moving to New Orleans. His tight backing band explore the edges of Louisiana’s roots rock.’ – Offbeat Jazz Bible

It has been amazing the number of people who say something to me when I am wearing my Jerry Jeff Walker t-shirt. It is like we are part of a mystical family of Jerry Jeff fans. Another guy has just told me his Jerry Jeff story. ‘I saw Jerry Jeff in the early 70’s, he came on stage four hours late!’ He had just finished his second song, when he started to stumble backwards, doing a back-stroke maneuver.’ ‘He crashed through the drums and promptly fell asleep.’ ‘The drummer said, thanks for coming out to the show, it’s goodnight from Jerry Jeff.’ The storyteller said all this with a big smile on his face.

Pat must have seen me trying to get some photos and she came up to say hello. She is going to hang in for Mavis Staples and then go over to see her teenage heart-throb, Tom Jones.

My must see today is *Mavis Staples. She did not disappoint. For an eighty year old lady, she still has am amazing voice and energy. She at one stage said, ‘I am going to bring out my little brother.’ Trombone Shorty came out and lifted her performance even higher. You could see the great respect he had for Mavis. The Staple Singers with Pops at the helm were legendary in the sixties Civil Right’s movement. I was going to go and see some of Tom Jones myself, but how could I possible leave such a moving and riveting performance. I later read that Ton Jones had showed up at a Jon Cleary gig at Chickie Way Wah and sang a few songs. That would have been awesome. By all reports his Jazz Fest performance was top notch. And no, he did not sing, ‘What’s New Pussy Cat!’

*She’ll take you there. The Grand Dame of Gospel’s first family, who stoked her street cred when the 70’s on hits like ‘Respect Yourself’ and ‘I’ll Take You There, is getting even more respect today with her solo career; no one else at the Festival except from Al Green combines the sexy throaty passion of R’n’B with the sweet release of Gospel.’ – Offbeat Jazz Fest Bible

I must say that the homecoming bus trips have been a breeze compared to previous years. No long waits at all.

I had a knock on the door around 8pm and was invited in for dinner. Rick is an exceptional cook. He brought all his cooking stuff down from Kansas City. Had a Mexican soup with crushed tortillas, baby-back ribs and some mustard glazed corned-beef. Very tasty.

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