Ponderosa Stomp, day two
And so another Stomp is over. Two nights of insane rock and roll, to quote the ads. Day two was another excellent one, with many lesser known acts performing just three or four numbers, each interesting in their own way. But it was the established artists, especially Irma Thomas and Barbara Lynn, who stole the show.
First on, backed by Lil Buck and the Top Cats,was Raymond George, a decent blues guitarist from Houma, whose sole record was Just Let Me Be. Jimmy 'Pistol' Jules came next, a soul flavoured NO R and B singer with a deep voice who recorded several sides for Atlantic including Nothing Will Ever Change This Love Of Mine, Just One More Time and Take It Like It Comes, all of which were excellent. Blind organ player Lynn August played and sang a couple of soulful numbers - Guilty Of Loving You was particularly good - and he was followed by some great up tempo soul from Louisiana born James Alexander, including You've Got The Power and Slip Away. Then it was the turn of New Orleans soul man Tony Owens, a big man with a big voice, whose four numbers (I'll Be There, I Got Soul, Confessin' a Feeling and the funky Got to Get My Baby Back) went down well. Swamp pop drummer/singer Warren Storm also sounded good on Mama Mama Mama, Lonely Lonely Nights and Prisoners Song. His hair and moustache are still as black as ever.
The next act, Mack Banks, was a new name to me, an 82 year old who rocked his way through Be Bopping Daddy, Beer Drinking Blues, They Raided The Joint, Drinking Wine Spodie Oh Di and Johnny B Goode. Hard driving trucker music and very solid and enjoyable. Next up was Mike Waggoner, who appeared at Hemsby a while back. Backed by the excellent Deke Dickerson he came across quite strongly on primarily covers, including Good Rockin' Tonight, Let It Rock and Say Mama. I was interested to see the next act, Augie Meyers, whose organ playing with Doug Sahm was so expressive. He didn't disappoint, with rocking versions of Dirty Dirty Feeling, I'm In Love Again, the Sir Douglas classic Mendocino (played on keyboard rather than organ) and the biggie She's About A Mover featuring Speedy Sparks on vocals. Moving to his accordion, he finished with a searing If You Got the Dinero.
I didn't know what to expect of the next act, the San Antonio West Side soul revue with Rudy T Gonzales, Little Henry Lee, Rudy Palacios, Manuel Bones Aragon and Jack Barber, some time members of Sunny and the Sunliners. The answer was a mix of soft soul, rock and Tex Mex flavoured pop. Numbers included Smile Now Cry Later, Put Me In Jail If I Fail and Do The Jerk Like Me. It was listenable stuff but didn't really grab me, unlike the next two acts, left handed guitarist Barbara Lynn and the soul queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas. Barbara did a couple of her hits We Got A Good Thing Going and You'll Lose A Good Thing but otherwise it was covers, but her guitar playing and vocals were top notch. Even better though was Irma Thomas, bubbling with personality as ever, who stuck to her sixties material, including Ruler Of My Heart, Two Winters Long, Breakaway, Wish a Someone Would care, It's Raining and Time Is On My Side. A superb set, and not long enough. Next on stage was Texas wild man Roy Head who was his usual exuberant self on Treat Her Right, Just A Little Bit, Lucille and Linda Lu and then came rockabilly guitarist Royce Porter, who was excellent with Yes I Do and Looking, among others. Billy Boy Arnold finished the night with some blues, before Roy Head returned for a second set, this time of rockabilly.Another great night at the Stomp.