Continuing my write-up of the music I saw in New Orleans the last week of April, 2008, here is the portion devoted to Day 3. The earlier days were all covered in the prior two blog entries. This whole account can be found in the June 2008 Jazz & Blues Report which you can download as a pdf file from that publication's website.
The weather forecast Sunday was even less promising than Saturday, but the morning was sunny, so I ventured back to the Fairgrounds where my first stop was Lionel Ferbos, who made it and led his band through several vintage numbers including the old classic ballad, 'Try a Little Tenderness,’ that was refreshing to hear in its pre-Otis Redding form. On the way to the Blues Tent, the Paulin Brothers Brass band kept alive the legacy of their day, Doc Paulin, who died relatively recently. Into the Blues Tent to catch Little Freddie King who was getting down with his boogie and tend a bit of hot zydeco from Willis Prudhomme on the Fais do Do stage before catching pianist and songwriter David Egan (he has written for so many, and has a gritty vocal style). I stopped in Economy Hall to hear the excellent group led by clarinetist Tim Laughlin that included Tom McDermott (a marvelous ragtime rooted pianist who is a superb Jelly Roll Morton interpreter) and cornetist Connie Jones for some first class music, and with the clouds gathering, I headed to the blues tent to catch Larry Garner, with special guest Henry Gray. Garner’s music, full of wit and irony was delivered in his convincing, understated style before he brought the former Howlin’ Wolf pianist Gray who perhaps carries on the legacy of Big Maceo better than anyone still alive. One last musical stop for me to catch Leroy Jones, trumpeter with Harry Connick and others with an entertaining set. With the crowds getting ominous, I left. regretfully I missed Tab Benoit and the Voices of the Wetlands All Stars with r. John and Cyril Neville amongst others as well as Davell Crawford’s New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, perhaps the two acts I would have wanted to see the most. The rains likely dampened some enthusiasm but after I headed back to my hotel, the music continued with such names as Irma Thomas, Nicholas Payton and Pete Fountain holding forth and the closing acts that day (for those hardier than I) included Tim McGraw, Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, Al Green and Beausoleil. Even this shortened day did not prevent me from getting a good sampling of music.
I have been told that the weather was better the second weekend and among the performers for those four days included Bonerama, Widespread Panic, Randy Newman, Deacon John, Donald Harrison, Mem Shannon,Bettye LaVette, Steve Riley, C.J. Chenier, Papa Grows Funk, Art Neville, Stevie Wonder, John Prine, Trombone Shorty, John Boutté, The Lee Boys, John Hammond, Belton Richard, D. L. Menard, Terence Blanchard, The Subdudes, Jimmy Buffett, Diana Krall, Steel Pulse, The Bad Plus, John Mooney, Pinstripe Brass Band, Geno Delafose, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstafunk, Santana, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly, Galactic, The Radiators, Dianne Reeves, Jonathan Batiste, Snooks Eaglin, Derek Trucks, and The Neville Brothers. My protestations of the booking major pop acts does not change the fact that there is so much still to enjoy of the culture and food of New Orleans and Louisiana.