Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Stomping 2010 - 6

The final day of Jazzfest looked in doubt as heavy storms were forecast but we took a chance and despite some rain it was an excellent day. It was a day for the old guard of New Orleans R and B and soul and blues. First on was 73 year old Clarence Frogman Henry, doing his usual singalong act but still in good voice and looking well. Next it was the turn of Irma Thomas (69), the Soul Queen of New Orleans, looking and sounding great, with some new songs (hopefully my travelling companion Dave will provide one or two set lists at some point) and - this time - good sound. After a short spell in the Gospel Tent watching Sherman Washington I went across to watch swamp pop king Warren Storm (73), with Willie Tee and Cypress - again a good set, although by this time the rain was falling quite hard. A quick dash to the next stage to see Dr CC Clarence Carter (74), who attracted a largely black crowd who enjoyed both soulful singing and his raunchy humour, as did I. A real highlight of the trip, even if it did piss down throughout. Escaping from the rain I went to the Blues Tent for a bit of Jazzfest regular Luther Kent and the start of B B King's set. At 84 he is leaving much of the work to his band these days but his guitar work is still stunning. Finally it was over to the big stage for the Neville Brothers (aged from 62 to 73), who never disappoint. Altogether a tremendous day.
Next day it was off to Houston for the flight home, stopping off to take a look at the excellent Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur on the way. Not surprisingly there was much there on the city's most famous former music resident Janis Joplin, but there was a stack of info on other Lousiana and Texas musicians and I had my photo taken alongside the bust of the Big Bopper, who came from nearby Beaumont. I will be putting some photos of the trip on the blog over the next few days.


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