Day 29 – Jazz Fest (4)

My name is Piggly-Wiggly, and I swear you can help yourself And I’ve got to have your greenback, and it don’t take nothin’ else. —Lucille Bogan, “Groceries On The Shelf,” 1933

It is going to be a long day. Week two of Jazz Fest starts on a Thursday. The weather is hot and sunny and, still, luckily no humidity.

Pat picked us up around 10:15 for the drive out to the fairgrounds. Today is locals’ day which is a terrific innovation. If you live in the area you can buy a discounted ticket. Cara and Taylah are off to get their weekend wristbands.

In the years I have been coming over to New Orleans I have often frequented a Middle Eastern restaurant, Monas. They had a presence on Frenchman St. The building they were in has been condemned. Luckily they have a concession food outlet at the festival. I enjoyed a plate of shawarma, hummus, fresh salad, and pita bread.

Today’s music fare starts with an unknown (to me) Bluesman, D.K. Harrell. He was fantastic and worked very hard to get the crowd involved. Check him out as he is well worth a listen. It is always a pleasure to hear a new artist plying their trade

Next up is a long-time favorite, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns. Her music takes you back to a bygone era. Dan Braum of the New Yorker said – “Meschiya Lake rocks back on her heels, lifts her chest, and opens her throat like an air raid siren to croon in a thrilling pre-microphone style that…can make you feel by turns as though you were shivering around a campfire in a railroad yard or drinking in a Budapest nightclub in 1938”.

The Blues Tent has a good enough line-up to keep me there for most of the day. Next on the bill is John Mooney a hard-working traditionalist who moved to New Orleans in 1976. As with many older bluesmen, he has had his share of past addiction issues. He is looking road weary but does not let the crowd down.

The Johnny Sansone band is next up. The sound for the first song was way too loud but the sound techs eventually got it right. The crowd is with Johnny all the way. Another great set of music.

Cara and Taylah are off to the main stage to see the legendary Buddy Guy. See what happens when you have a positive influence on your children!

We headed off to the Allison Monor stage to see a band that was new to me. Loose Cattle, described as Americana Cowpunks! Very enjoyable.

As I headed back to the Blues Tent I ran into Johnny Sansone and his partner Michelle. We talked for a while. Johnny told me how proud he was to be featured in our 20th anniversary WOW book. He also said he is working very hard to come back to tour Australia. While we were chatting it was amazing to see how many people said to Johnny. “awesome set” as they passed him by.

I caught the end of the tribute to Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington. Walter was an institution in the music scene of New Orleans. He sadly died Dec of 2022. His photo now adorns the Blues Tent along with many other past legends. He was so revered in this town that a park is being renamed in his honor.

When the Jazz Fest line-up was first announced I had earmarked a “must-see” as Larkin Poe. Two very talented sisters. “Rebecca & Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe are Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist sisters creating their own brand of Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll: gritty, soulful, and flavored by their southern heritage. Originally from Atlanta and currently living in Nashville, they are self-producers of an electrifying, critically acclaimed body of work and are known for constantly touring across the globe with a fiery vitality.” Indeed they were a featured act at this year’s Byron Bay Blues Festival. I thought their show was great, full of energy and the enthusiasm of youth. I even put them at the top of the ‘best of the fest’ to date. When I caught up with Bernie, Hoff, and Wendy they were not so enamored with their performance. Oh well, we all have different tastes in music I guess.

Before we left for the ‘Last Hurrah’, Bernie had booked our tickets to see the Mississippi All Stars at the iconic Tippatinas. I sadly am just too tired to go to the show which starts at 9 PM. A full day at Jazz Fest is all I can manage these days.

Day 28 – Compere Lapin

She’s a kitchen mechanic that’s her regular trade She got the best brown Betties that ever was made. —Blind Blake, “I Was Afraid Of That.”

We went down to Frenchman Street to browse the Louisiana Music Factory. I got myself a Slim Harpo T-shirt and three C.Ds by artists, the Flatlanders, Tommy McLain, and Dave Thompson.

Bernie and Hoff have discovered a new coffee spot on Decatur Street, Cafe Envie. It just so happens that I have been a regular customer of that particular cafe since for most of my trips to New Orleans. We all had a late breakfast. Cara and Tahlay met us at the Cafe.

The Louisiana Music Factory has free 45-minute gigs during the off days of Jazz Fest. Bernie is the self-appointed President of the Australian chapter of the John Lisi fan club. I am a big fan as well. We headed back over to “The Factory” for the John Lisi and Delta Funk’s performance. John is a very good musician and songwriter with a kind of Frank Zappaish sense of humor. The band is resplendent in astronaut suites. It was a fun set of songs, mostly about drinking and overindulgence. For example, one song title off his new album is “Too Much Blood In My Alcohol Stream”. The final song in the set was “John Lee Hooker Song”, with that very familiar Hooker boogie and the band adlibbing some hilarious lyrics.

John Lisi and Delta Funk

Wendy has wandered off to get another tattoo! Please don’t tell her mother. I just hung around for a while in the Quarter to soak up the atmosphere then headed back home at 3:30.

Tonight Skye has booked us in for a special dinner at the very classy Compere Lapin. Skye dined at this restaurant the last time she was in town and has raved about the food ever since. Pat had joined us for the special occasion, and she told us that she has always wanted to dine here. What a fabulous experience. The service, the decor, and most importantly the food was first-class. As there was a large group of us we had a set menu. Sometimes set menus can be hit or miss. Let me tell you, everything we ate on the night was delectable. A very memorable night of fine dining was had by all. Here is our menu. By the way, the fish of the day was Red Schnapper:

The Boss Man Krewe Minus Photographer