Friday, May 22, 2015

Ponderosa Stomp 10 years on

Now that memories of my West Coast US trip are fading, thoughts are turning to my next American trip in the autumn when the high point will be the 12th Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. The Stomp showcases roots musicians from the fields of rock and roll, soul, swamp pop and blues and organiser Dr Ike manages to find many of the almost forgotten names of the fifties and sixties, some of whom haven't performed very much in many years, as well as some of the great names from the era. This year's line up includes soul singers such as Mable John, Irma Thomas, Brenda Holloway, Barbara Lynn and Willie Hightower. Rock and roll is represented by Freddie Cannon with Los Straitjackets, Roy Head and Al Hendrix, swamp pop by the likes of Rod Bernard, Warren Storm, Tommy McClain and Gene Terry, with the Mama Mama Mamas, a spin off from the Lil Band of Gold, with C C Adcock, Steve Riley and Dickie Landry, and blues by Billy Boy Arnold. Then there are the rarities and obscurities, including songwriter P F Sloan, Jimmy 'Pistol' Jules, original members of Sunny and the Sunliners and several artists about whom I know nothing. It's a mouth watering line up and I can't wait.
The first Stomp I went to, along with several other Woodies, was number 4 in 2005, which was held at the old Rock 'n' Bowl. Acts performed in both the upstairs and downstairs rooms so the two evenings were spent running from one to the other. It was a bit chaotic and impossible to see everyone and the second night ran over time badly, but it was a fabulous event, sandwiched as it was between the two weekends of Jazzfest, and I've tried to get to as many of the others as possible. This year's is the first for two years and it's been a long wait!
Here are some photos from the 2005 Ponderosa Stomp, many of which I haven't put on line before. First we have Link Wray, making one of his last appearances before his death later that year. Man, he was loud! And menacing. But exciting.
Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics provided the backing for many of the acts back in 2005 and he will be doing the same thing this year. Here he is with Nokie Edwards of the Ventures.
Guitarists dominated in 2005 and here is Travis Wammack, famous for Scratchy.
And here is the great Scotty Moore, who backed Elvis.
Scotty played with Billy Swan, who wrote Lover Please but is best known for his 1974 hit I Can Help.
Another guitarist on the 2005 show was Lady Bo, who played with Bo Diddley from 1957 to 1961.
Another great female guitarist and a wonderful soul singer, Barbara Lynn is one of the star's of this year's show.
Here we have one of the modern kings of rock and roll and R and B Barrence Whitfield.
One of the first Hi artists, recording Tuff in 1962, this is sax man Ace Cannon.
One of the wild men of rhythm and blues, this is H Bomb Ferguson, who sadly died in 2006.
Another artist no longer with us is rockabilly singer/guitarist Dale Hawkins, who died in 2010.
Also from the world of rockabilly, and still with us, is Hayden Thompson.
Most famous for his 1967 hit Gimme A Little Sign, this is Brenton Wood.
A true wild man of rock and roll and swamp pop, this is Roy Head, who is on the bill for this year's Stomp as well.
This is blues piano player and singer Henry Gray.
Another soul man at the 2005 Stomp was Archie Bell.
One of the genuine highlights of any New Orleans trip I've made, and definitely a spine chilling moment, was a rare appearance by Phil Phillips, who sang his big hit Sea Of Love not once, but twice.
Finally, here's a photo of Jewel records soul duo the Carter Brothers, with me (in the middle!).


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