Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Whole lotta shakin' at Jazzfest

New Orleans Jazzfest is almost upon us and I've been studying the line up which, as usual, contains literally hundreds of acts. There are some great names appearing but I can't help feeling that the organisers have made a serious mistake pitching Jerry Lee Lewis and Irma Thomas at the same time at opposite ends of the Fairgrounds. I'm a fan of both but it looks as though I will have to choose between one or the other, which is a shame, because they are both fantastic. Having said that, the first weekend offers some good stuff. The first day, Friday April 27, includes performances by Eddie Bo, Dr John and Percy Sledge. Day two features Johnny Rivers, Davell Crawford, Mose Allison, Bobby Charles and Linda Hopkins, while day three includes Clarence Frogman Henry, Marcia Ball, Jean Knight, Bonnie Raitt and George Thorogood and the Destroyers, as well as Jerry Lee and Irma.
These are my highlights, but there are loads of other acts which will appeal to others, including Van Morrison and Lucinda Williams on day one, Rod Stewart, Norah Jones and Richie Havens on day two, and Jill Scott on day three. As ever there are plenty of good gigs at the local clubs during Jazzfest. including Dr John and Buddy Guy at the House of Blues, Allen Toussaint and Marcia Ball at Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Landreth, Walter Wolfman Washington and Snooks Eaglin at the Mid City Bowl. And of course there's the Ponderosa Stomp at the House of Blues - well worth a look.
A quick RIP to three people who have died - jazz singer Dakota Staton, ventriloquist Terry Hall, and Special Branch star George Sewell. In true Tales From The Woods style I raise a glass to them all.


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