Sunday, October 15, 2017

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival 1

After the excitement of Baton Rouge we returned to New Orleans and checked out some music landmarks, including the tomb of Ernie K-Doe and Earl King, the Dewdrop Inn and Fats Domino's house, now seemingly empty. The evening entertainment was provided by Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Bluesrunners at the Rock & Bowl. A competent band enjoyed by the Cajun dancers. Next day was the first of the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, with two long standing local bands playing. Luther Kent and Trick Bag had a six piece horn section and Luther's strong voice was good on some Bobby Bland and BB King numbers, a New Orleans medley and the ubiquitous (on this trip) Let's Straighten It Out. Deacon John's Jump Blues had an old style feel, with Deacon John conducting, in between singing and playing guitar. He had a good female singer called Lady T with him who was great on Clean Up Woman, but the set was mostly jump blues and standards. We had heard that Guitar Slim Jr was playing at the Mother In Law Lounge so went along. It wasn't the case, as a lady called Natasha was having a birthday party. We were invited in and made welcome and had a drink while Dave chatted to a fellow Gooner who was there. The bar is now owned by Kermit Ruffins and all references to former owner Ernie K-Doe inside have gone, although the murals outside remain. Later we caught Little Freddie King at Siberia. He looked smart as ever and finished every number by saying 'Thank you very much.  Thank you.' Hypnotic and quite effective.
The first full day of the festival was mixed, with headliner Robert Cray in fine form, oozing class throughout. Numbers included old favourites such as Strong Persuader and Smoking Gun, and some newer numbers, including one having a dig at Trump. I also enjoyed Grady Champion, a dynamic showman with a hint of Howling Wolf in his voice. He included Smokestack Lightning, plus South Side Of Town, Do Something and Baby Don't You Panic. He had something of the preacher about him and is good to watch. Of the others, King Edward was fine on his Mississippi blues, Louis 'Gearshifter' Youngblood was pretty soulful, Samantha Fish looked cool in her hot pants and dark glasses but was a bit too rock orientated, A J Ghent proved to be a young funkster with attitude, and John Mooney, with sousaphone accompaniment, provided some acceptable New Orleans music. After the fest, we caught what proved to be the best set of the day, that of Nikki Hill at the Ace Hotel. We had to wait for 90 minutes while a DJ twiddled with his knobs and had a few beers. It was worth the wait. Nikki is a sassy and classy singer and really rocked through her own numbers like Strutting, and classics such as I Know, The Girl Can't Help It, Sweet Little Rock and Roller and New Orleans, finishing with Twisting The Night Away. Great stuff and very enjoyable. We got wet on the way back and also a little pissed as Ronnie insisted on a final drink.
Nick Cobban


At 12:34 pm , Blogger Lex Jansen said...

Hi Nick,

It was fun meeting you in Clarksdale and New Orleans!
Here is the Geeshie Wiley link I mentioned:


At 4:04 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Yes, great to meet you and Lambert. Hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did. Fascinating article - thanks for the info. Nick


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