Monday, March 11, 2013

The Stomp is back

The Ponderosa Stomp, the festival that celebrates the unsung heroes of rock and roll, is returning to New Orleans, after a year off, this October. The line up at the new Rock & Bowl was announced today and includes some very different names from previous years, many of them obscure and all of them potentially interesting. I've only seen four of them before - soul star Maxine Brown, zydeco man Lynn August, southern soul man Spencer Wiggins (excellent at Porretta on two occasions) and Watch Your Step singer Bobby Parker. The rest are all new to me and therefore unknown quantities, although I've heard records by some of them, mostly recorded in the fifties or sixties.
From the soul world there is Baby Washington (pictured), whose That's How Heartaches Are Made came out on Sue in the UK in 1964, Gino Parks, an early Motown artist, Chris Clark, the label's first white singer, and New Orleans artists Charles Brimmer and Richard Caiton. 60s garage rock is always well represented at the Stomp, which this time includes the Standells, of Dirty Water fame, the Sloths, Ty Wagner and the Guanga Dyns. Rockabilly is represented by Bobby Crown and regular UK visitor Charlie Gracie, while country soul singer George Perkins is also on the bill. There are also a couple of R and B artists - Sonny Green and Boogaloo - and James Alexander, one of the original Bar-Kays.
Many of the names on the list will inevitably raise the inquiry: who? They are obscure and unknown, even to the most dedicated music lovers. But that's the point of the Stomp. Organiser Ira Padnos has an uncanny knack of finding performers who are all but forgotten, but still have something to offer.
Maybe this year will be one when I will be making not one, but two trips to the Big Easy. I'm off to Nashville next month and then travelling with three friends through Alabama to New Orleans where we will catch some of Jazz Fest. The Stomp line up looks like a second visit this year is essential.


At 10:01 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Correction - I've seen Charlie Gracie a couple of times.

At 11:19 pm , Blogger john marriott said...

just been reading through all your ever interesting posts since I last looked. Re the Stomp. There's a few on the list which I've never seen myself -love to see George Perkins particularly and Charles Brimmer and Richard Caiton are 2 NO artistes I've never caught.
There's a couple more you've seen though - James Alexander was on Porretta last year and I'm sure I spoke to you after seeing Chris Clark at Hammersmith a few years ago.

At 11:21 pm , Blogger john marriott said...

also didn't you see Gino Parks with all the Detroit artists at Utrecht in the late 90's. Were you going then - sure you were

At 8:07 am , Blogger Nick said...

You're right - I did see Chris Clark at Hammersmith and James Alexander at Porretta. I think I may have missed Utrecht the year that Gino Parks appeared though. Was it 2003?

At 9:15 am , Blogger john marriott said...

Checked my diary and it was 2003. I had remembered it was the year the Solitaires were on. Whilst getting a autograph scan on a one of his 45's, told him another (which he didn't have) was for sale upstairs in the record bars - wonder if he bought it. Now getting all misty eyed over the fantastic 45 boxes they used to have - bags of cd and album buyers but hardly anybody seemed to buy the singles.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home