Thursday, June 25, 2009

Music pictures 1989-1992

My first trip to New Orleans was in 1989. Between the two Jazzfest weekends I drove around Louisiana and up to Memphis. I paid my respects at Graceland and Sun Studios and had a wander round Beale Street, which struck me as being like a film set. It wasn't crowded in those days and there were quite a few genuine black clubs, including the Club Royale where I think I was the only white patron and enjoyed a soul band called SRO. Just off Beale Street, byt the statue of W C Handy, I came across an intriguing ceremony taking place - the crowning of the 1989 Cotton King and Queen - apparently a tradition going back many years - by none other than Rufus Thomas. Sadly, Rufus died in 2001.During my journey around the deep south I kept crossing paths with the UK group who had gone to New Orleans with Festival Tours. One such occasion was at a gig at Mulate's restaurant in Breaux Bridge where Beausoleil were playing, with special guest Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention fame. Group leader Michel Duchet is to the right of Richard.
I knew no one when I arrived but quickly met up with a number of visitors from the UK which led on over time to the Woodies group that exists today. Here's a photo taken in the Landmark Hotel with John Howard, Dave Thomas and some others whose names I fear I can no longer recall.
Back in the UK there were some good gigs in the late 80s and early 90s. One such was on April 1, 1992, in quite a strange venue - the RNA Club in Plaistow - and featured Charlie Gracie, with D J Fontana on drums. Charlie is still performing at the age of 73.
In New Orleans that year one of the Jazzfest performers was blues legend Charles Brown, who also played a venue called Charlie B's. Charles died in 1999.
Also in 1992, the Tan Canary Johnny Adams guested at Irma Thomas's Lions Den club on Gravier St. One of many great nights at the club - now no more. Johnny is also with us no more - he died in 1998.
Back in the UK, slide guitarist Roy Rogers played the Mean Fiddler on July 8, 1992.
One of the highlights of 1991 was the appearance of the Texas Tornados at the Town and Country Club on July 7. The Tornados comprised Doug Sahm, Augie Meyer, Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez. Here's Tehano accordionist Flaco in full flow.
And here's Doug Sahm who sadly passed away in 1998. Freddy Fender is in the background.
The final picture of this particular trawl through the albums is of blues harp player Charlie Musselwhite, who played at the Town and Country 2 on July 22, 1991.


At 11:06 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see Patricia in Plaistow?

At 11:36 am , Blogger Nick said...

No. Didn't see Billericay Dickie either.


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