French Quarter Festival – We only dipped in and out of the FQF on Thursday and Friday. Saw a fair bit of Zydeco, Lynn Drury Band, Bag of Donuts, Cowboy Mouth, Marc Stone, Kid Merv & All That Jazz, Irma Thomas, and the Batture Brothers featuring Tommy Malone and Ray Ganucheau.
Friday evening we went to the Tribute to Toussaint After-party at the House of Blues to benefit the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness Foundation, formed by Allen Toussaint and Aaron Neville. The line-up included Toussaint’s band and Leo Nocentelli, Big Sam, James Andrews, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Davell Crawford, Joe Krown, and Robin Barnes. It was an only-in-New-Orleans experience.
There’s been other music around the fringes. In addition to Anders Osborn, Colin Lake, Honey Island Swamp Band, John Boutte, and Rebirth Brass Band (mentioned in our Mar 28 post), we saw Jon Cleary at Chickie-Wah-Wah, Soul Rebels at Le Bon Temps Roule, Helen Gillet at Bacchanal, the Vettes and Amanda Shaw at Lafayette Square, Dirtyface at RF’s, and Washboard Chaz Blues Trio at the Spotted Cat (too crowded to get a photo).
We also went to Hogs for a Cause, where we saw Deertick and nearly saw, but heard Tab Benoit (there was so much mud after heavy rains that one would have to sacrifice one’s footwear to get closer.)
Mask Parade – On April 3, Jen and I went to the Mask Parade, the last wearing of the Mardi Gras costumes by Mardi Gras Indians, flag boys, scouts, spy boys, baby dolls, and Big Chiefs from the various tribes. First they laid out the costumes and masks at a park along the Bayou St. John, so everyone could admire them. The beadwork depicted buffalo soldiers, wildlife, African scenes, and Native American themes. They work on these costumes most of the year, wear them on three or four occasions (this being the last) and then start work on next year’s costumes. As they started to don their finery, they posed and strutted for the crowd. Then the drums and chanting began as they formed a slow procession down the route. We followed them for awhile and then reclaimed our bikes and rode around in City Park, along the Bayou, and to the Bayou Beer Garden. A lovely NOLA day. Ted was sorry he missed it, but he was busy with a fantasy baseball draft (priorities!).
Wandering around the French Quarter has been lovely as ever, though we’ll be glad for a quiet interlude.