Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ponderosa Stomp - day 2

The music just keeps getting better. The second day of the Ponderosa Stomp - New Orleans' annual tribute to the unsung heroes of American music - had plenty of good stuff on offer. Probably the top act was Ronnie Spector, still looking great, who ran through the Ronettes song book, with no guitar solos or other filling - just two and a half minutes of magic per song. Absolutely dazzling from start to finish. But that wasn't all. We had the full Hi Rhythm Section playing together live for the first time, with vocals from Percy Wiggins, followed by some brilliant blues and soul from Syl Johnson (pictured).
Meanwhile on the Parish stage at the House of Blues the evening kicked off with a Swamp Pop revue with Warren Storm and the Haunted Hearts, with appearances by Tommy McLean and Margaret Lewis. Elsewhere there was piano blues from Henry Grey and James Sugar Boy Crawford singing spirituals with his grandson Davell. Eddie Bo showed that New Orleans R and B isn't dead with a stomping set. Roscoe Robinson performed some interesting soul/blues and I missed Ralph 'Soul' Jackson because I was watching Ronnie. The evening featured three 60s garage bands. The Green Fuz apparently made one obscure 45 which failed to hit and has since become very collectable.They were OK without being great, as was Roki Erickson from the 13th Floor Elevators. But my choice was undoubtedly ? and the Mysterians, who belted out some high energy numbers, including of course the great 96 Tears, with Question Mark dashing around the stage wearing an outrageous orange frilly top. There were some other acts as well , including Jay Chevalier, but for me Ronnie, Syl and Question Mark stole the show, with Eddie Bo coming up on the rails. Congratulations to Dr Ike on yet another great Stomp. May it continue forever.


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