Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ernie K-Doe's memory lives on

The great thing about New Orleans is that the unexpected happens. So it was on Saturday evening after the second day of Jazzfest. My girlfriend heard about this regular poetry and music evening at a little bar near what used to be the 9th Ward until it was flattened after Katrina. Turned out to be a really interesting 60s style soiree with Mardi Gras indian music, some soul, a Ukrainian singer who skrieked and some poetry reading, washed down with some wine.
Afterwards we went to the Mother in Law Lounge, which used to be New Orleans R&B singer Ernie K-Doe's club before his death in 2001. When I last went there he was sat on a throne looking somewhat bemused (ie drunk) and he performed a strange if riveting version of Jerry Butler's I Stand Accused. The club was run down and dirty and my friend and I were the only people in there. Now, however, the club is trendy and crowded. Ernie's widow Antoinette has turned it into a shrine to her late husband - The Emperor of the Universe as he is modestly dubbed - and there are 'Baby K-Doe' cushions and other souvenirs on sale. Musicians go there - C C Adcock was there on Saturday - and business is booming. Fantastic. Photo shows a life size mannequin of Ernie that can be seen at the club.


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