Friday, 1 November 2013

New Orleans

New Orleans was always a draw card for us.  Not only for the music but the architecture and the food. They love colour in their dwellings, called "shotgun" houses.  Often two doors, with corridors running down each side. Allowing for quick exits apparently!

     Many had these intricate decorations holding the verandah up.

   This one had such a lean it was in danger of falling over!  We always walked past it on the opposite side, just in case.

At the end of our street, called Desire st. in Bywater, was the most amazing record store.  Selling vinyl, not CDs.  Robert was in heaven. It was early in October and many places were set up for Halloween.

There was a festival on over the Mississippi River at Gretna, that we naturally had to check out.
Crossing the river on the ferry we saw many of these large ships taking their cargo further up river.

    Stall selling hand crafts like these were abundant. (Emma, I don't want one for Christmas!)

    Saw this 72 yr old drummer, Paul Ferrara, really enjoying his job!

    Tab Benoit (competing with the New Orleans Saints football game on the big screen.  They're very passionate about their football)

Were accosted by this random guy who thought we were the only Texas Longhorn fans there apart from him!

This happened while we were watching 'Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys'. She kept calling us "Y'all!". Bill & Dave, we think she may be the new Waylon Thibodeaux!

Some of the venues we attended:  all in Frenchman st., apart from BMA (which was just around the corner).

Our personal favourite, and still operating since our last visit just after 'Katrina'. The Spotted Cat, stands alone and looks very run down, however the music is great. It was great to see many of the clubs that were closed after the devastating hurricane are now back in business. Sadly 80,000 former residents have not returned.
We went several times. First we saw Sarah MaCoy and the Whoopsie Daisies.  The guy with the orange turban was wearing a dress with a tigers tail!  He could play guitar though!  And the pianist had a huge belting voice.  They weren't the best act we saw, but were fun.
    Meschiya Lake and the Little Bighorns played jazz variety and were great to dance to. Bill, sound was reminiscent of Radio Days.

  This guy, Andrew Forest, gave us a private performance for one hour before anyone came in.  It was great, he didn't mind and played his guitar and harmonica as if the room was full. Fabulous.

The best group we saw were "Lil' Band O' Gold" at  the DBA venue over the road.  They played non-stop from 7-11.00pm. Here is Steve Riley who also plays the accordion (he had four on stage at his feet), playing during the intermission break with the sax player, Pat Breaux. 
   The key board player, David Egan, had a spot at half time too!
  Guest singer, Tommy McLean, looking pretty sharp for his 73 years.  
The drummer for the band was 81yr. old, Jo Ettienne, replacing Warren Storm, who we thought was old.   The whole evening was just amazing toe tapping stuff. One audience member who has seen them 51 times, said that was the best he'd heard them. They were so good I had to souvenir the flyer.
We have seen them several times in Melbourne but it was exciting to see them on their own patch.

Another great show was Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers at 'The Blue Nile'.  Kermit had a sensationally good key board player. A young Japanese guy. Yes we were that close!

This group were performing on the street.  Recognise the bass fiddle player?  Yes, same guy playing with Sarah MaCoy!  Doesn't the wash board player look interested in her work!

What better way to finish off a visit to New Orleans than a rousing performance by the Treme Brass Band.  They look very sedate here but not long after the photo shoot, they came down into the audience and had us groovin' & jivin'.  It's hard to see the tuba player, so I took a shot of him for you.
Fabulous.  How do they extricate themselves from that instrument?

 So that's a brief overview of our musical interlude in New Orleans. Hope you enjoyed it, 'cause we certainly did!  More in the next blog from Austin.
Robyn & Robert, 
The Tourin'Travellers 

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