Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ponderosa Stomp

The Ponderosa Stomp. What can you say about this fantastic event? It's billed as '1 night of insane rock and roll', but it's much more than that, with blues, swamp pop, soul, funk and New Orleans rhythm and blues as well. This is the 6th Stomp and it's back in New Orleans, having been evacuated to Memphis last year after Katrina. The House of Blues proved to be the perfect venue, with three stages going simultaneously.
It's hard to know where to start, but a few of the many highlights included: Dave Bartholomew, the godfather of rock and roll, appearing at the age of 88 and still blowing his trumpet. The R and B review conducted by Big Easy music meastro Wardell Querzerque also featured Jean Knight, Tony Owens (a name new to me but an excellent soul singer) and a rare performance by Robert Parker of his big hit Bare Footin'. There was also a guest appearance from Allen Toussaint and Herb Hardesty, Fats Domino's sax player, was hard at work selling CDs.
Barbara Lynn , a southpaw guitarist and swamp pop queen, was great in her set, including her hit You'll Lose a Good Thing, while Roy Head was over the top - and on the floor literally - with his Treat Her Right. There was some rockabilly from Dale Hawkins and Joe Clay, both of whom were excellent, and some top New Orleans funk from Willie Tee, with guest artist Tami Lynn. Then there was Stax guitar artist Dennis Coffey, swamp bluesman Lazy Lester, high pitched jazzy stuff from Little Jimmy Scott, obscure white blues from Skip Easterling (pictured), acoustic blues from Rockie Charles and, quietening things down a bit, some great songs from the Dan Penn songbook. There was also some swamp pop from Jay Chevalier and Grace Broussard (one half of Dale and Grace who hit big with I'm Leaving it up to you in 1963), Tex Mex with Augie Meyers and some 60s garage punk from Roky Erickson formerly of the 13th Floor Elevators.
Dr Ike and the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau have seen this event thrive and prosper over the last six years. He's managed to showcase half forgotten names from the 50s and 60s and given us an opportunity to see stars of the past that we never thought we would experience. A fantastic evening. Let the Stomp continue


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