Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ponderosa Stomp - day 1

The Ponderosa Stomp just gets better and better. This year's seventh celebration of rock and roll, soul and New Orleans R & B at the House of Blues more than lived up to the excellent standard of stomps of past years. The highlight was, of all people, Dr John, appearing as Mac Rebennack and running through a great R and B set, including Storm Warning (playing guitar, rather hidden behind the piano) and blistering versions of Carry On and Lights Out. The fact that he was backed by the Wardell Querzerque Revue, including the great Herb Hardesty on sax, clearly helped, but this was New Orleans at its best. The revue also featured little known soul man Tony Owens, whose day job is driving a horse and carriage around town for tourists, Jean Knight and Tami Lynn, all of whom put in polished, if short, sets.
The evening kicked off with a short set by the madman Roy Head, followed by some superb soul and swamp pop from Barbara Lynn (pictured) and blues by Lazy Lester, whose early 45 gave the Ponderosa Stomp its name. Meanwhile on the other stage there was some thumping rock and roll from Barrance Whitfield and rockabilly from Joe Clay, Dale Hawkins, who was on great form, Sonny Burgess and Hayden Thompson. But I stuck mostly to the main stage, where after a slight lull with Earl Stanley and Skip Easterling (rather uninspired white New Orleans R and B) things hotted up again with the Bo-Keys and a great version of Shaft, followed by some wonderful soul from Betty Harris - sounding even better than she did the other night when I saw her in a little club - and an absolutely stand out performance from William Bell, who still has a great voice and showed what a great performer he is.
I was interested to see Mary Weiss, former lead singer of the Shangi-Las, who did a mix of new songs and Shangri-La classics, of which Leader of the Pack stood out, with enthusiastic support from the audience. Finally I watched the Collins Kids, who are anything but kids these days but can still rock and roll.
To think that this was just day one and we have another action packed evening ahead of us tonight. This is some festival!


At 7:42 am , Blogger sexy said...





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