Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Orleans Jazz Fest - Friday 4/23/10 Ramblings

Muddy Feet
Is it too late to include a few final ramblings on the trip to New Orleans for jazz fest? We’ve already been over the culinary delights of Thursday and that night’s festivities at Vaughan’s with Kermit & Co. We ran you through the 90 minutes of My Morning Jacket that we saw on Saturday. What about the rest of the weekend? We saw lots of other music too and some of it was pretty keeeck ace. Let’s see if we can remember the rest of the weekend here.

Friday April 23rd was a wet one. We arrived at the grounds in our $1 SoCo ponchos (best purchase of the weekend?) in the midst of a serious rainstorm. Anything exposed was immediately soaked and footwear was a muddy mess. We watched New Orleans’ own Jon Cleary bang away in the rain on the piano at the Gentilly Stage. The crowd seemed sparse for the whole day as many people probably decided to wait for better weather, but the people that made it out in the elements were giving it their all. Feet may have been dampened, but spirits were not as fans danced and twirled carelessly in the mud.

After Jon Cleary we made our way to the other end of the grounds to the Acura Stage where we were drawn in by Deacon John doing a cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers To Cross”. I love that tune. We stayed a minute, but he finished his set shortly thereafter and we decided to retreat to the Jazz Tent for a break from the rain and to see the Chicago born trumpet player Maurice Brown. We had seen him play the night before when he joined Kermit at Vaughan’s. The Jazz tent on Friday was decidedly more subdued in its appreciation of the playing, but it was appreciative nonetheless. We would find ourselves humming Brown’s tune, “Holy Cow” for much of the rest of the weekend.

A little drier and recharged after sitting for the Maurice Brown performance we made our way back into the rain and watched a little of the Semolian Warriors in their Mardi Gras Indian outfits.
Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians
We scooted by George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic for a minute and continued down to watch the Lost Bayou Ramblers at the Fais Do-Do Stage. That was a fun band to watch…some good Cajun music.
Lost Bayou Ramblers

From there it was on to catch a few songs from The Black Crowes. Kinda refreshing to hear some rock and roll. We saw them play “Jealous Again” and then decided we better get up to see Lionel Richie or we’d regret it.

We made the muddy trek back up to the Acura Stage again to catch the last hour or so of Lionel Richie. He killed it. The guy played one jam after another; “Hello”, “Dancing On The Ceiling”, “Three Times A Lady”, etc. He reminded the crowd often, “oh, we got songs…” I remain impressed with his stage presence and entertainer chops. He was awesome. I didn’t even realize I knew that many Lionel Richie songs, but every one was a jam. He tapped into The Commodores catalogue and played “Brick House”. By the time he came out for an encore performance of “All Night Long” nobody cared that it was rainy and muddy.

Well, my friends the time has come,
Raise the roof and have some fun.
Throw a-way de work to be done,
Let the music play on…

Fitting words for the Jazz Fest.

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