Friday, April 25, 2014

April 12, 2014 The Ott Brothers Get Drunk then Beignets at the French Quarter Festival (Concert #17)

Jeff & I walked down to the Sound Cafe to pick up some Upper Nine Doughnuts for breakfast. We passed the Balcony Guest House on the way. We were going to stay here but it was booked. We ended up renting a beautiful house only a block away which is where we enjoyed our doughnuts on the front porch. It's another perfect weather day as we head to the French Quarter.

Our first stop was at the Old U.S. Mint, we watched the crawfish eating contest for a few minutes...

...but we came for the music so here is the Onward Brass Band.

Some great seats across the street from the Popeye's Brass Band Stage.

Steve Pistorius & the Southern Syncopators on the Traditional Jazz Stage in the French Market. 

Lots of good seats in the "200" and "300" Levels

This busker needed money for guitar strings. We donated to this good cause.

We caught the end of Lynn Drury's set..

...and the beginning of Russell Batiste & Friends who were introduced by the Landry-Walker High School Drummers.

Russell also brought out the Wild Tchoupitoulas...

...and Jason Neville.

Chrissy & Jeff relaxing at the Big River Stage.

Local favorites, the Dixie Cups drew a big crowd and they sounded great.

I agree.

The All For One Brass Band were entertaining a huge crowd on Decatur Street.

There are always great t-shirts at music festivals. I wanted the shirt that has the French Quarter Festival motto, "I want to live in a music festival forever" but it was sold out.

Egg Yolk Jubilee

Chrissy looks good wearing my hat, too bad she hates wearing hats.

Renard Poche Band

Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Krush

During the FQF, every morning I would read about the bands playing that day. A band called The Scorseses caught my attention today..."a ska/punk band". I added them to my list of bands to check out. I'll admit that five straight days of drinking, music and staying out late was catching up with me today. That is why the next story still makes me smile. We headed over to the Voodoo Lounge Stage at the House of Blues to see The Scorseses....

....five beers and an hour and a half later...we are all wide awake, having a great time singing and dancing to this fantastic young band. This is why I love good music, it can be so powerful for many different situations.

They also had an artist painting the band as they played.
They mixed their original songs with several 70's rock classics by Chicago, Boston and Billy Joel which they played as ska punk songs. They had everyone singing and bouncing to every song. I've said this about most New Orleans bands...showmanship is incredible. I think the kids that grow up here see so many great performers that it comes naturally to them when they start a band.

The band had really young fans and this lil' guy was trying to impress this girl with his air guitar you know how come so many musicians come from New Orleans. When they played the Sublime song "Date Rape", the singer made the song suitable to the all ages show by editing out a few words throughout the song. It still was a great cover song. 

With the sun setting on another beautiful day, we headed down to the Big River stage to see Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. & the Wild Magnolias.
While we enjoyed a 12-Hour Roast Beef Po-Boy with Horseradish Cream and Pickled Red Onions with an Abita Amber, these two were preparing for a career in music with the Wild Magnolias as their teachers. They'll probably be on this stage in a few years.

Good food, lots of sunshine and alcohol, great music, a cool breeze off the Mississippi River and getting to hang out with my brother Jeff all day...what could make this day any better...

But wait, the line for a seat is 50 people deep, the carry out line is just as long...what could we do...make an offer to a waitress standing around that we will make it well worth her while to get us a bag full of those delicious powder sugar covered pieces of deep fried dough...three minutes later we are walking down the street with a bag of fresh, hot beignets. When I opened the bag it looked like I was carrying a kilo of cocaine, I had to dig through the powered sugar to pull out a couple of beignets. Since Jeff & I were pretty much hammered or as Christy put it "shit faced", we ate them with no concern for the amount of powdered sugar coating our faces as we walked back to the house...

...the laughter continued all the way back to the house. This reaction was to Chrissy giving us the details of our drunken walk through New Orleans. I guess some people were laughing at our inane alcohol fueled banter or maybe it was our powdered sugar covered faces. This was a fun day spent with my brother...something we have rarely done since I moved away 30 years ago. Thanks Jeff for deciding to hang out with us today, it meant a lot to me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 11, 2014 French Quarter Fest Day 2 (Concert #15) & Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp Band at d.b.a.(Concert #16)

It's another beautiful day in the funky neighborhood. We are starting on Bourbon Street for the FQF Second Line Kick-Off Parade. While waiting I took a few shots of the surrounding scenery.

Finally the parade reaches us. It was bigger than I thought it would be and we both caught beads at first New Orleans parade. I had to lift up my shirt, Chrissy didn't because she got some for making me put my shirt back on.

This couple has been married for 50 years and still partying on Bourbon Street.

Everybody dances in the streets in this city. After the parade we had breakfast in Jackson Square, a crawfish and goat cheese crepe with shrimp & eggplant stuffing and a praline bacon & Nutella crepe. Then it was off to Woldenberg Park along the river...

...for some music from Marc Stone...

...and some alcohol, a 20 oz Daiquiri refill.

This was an interesting band, Sweet Crude. They play eclectic music that embraces the region's French speaking tradition.

I really loved Paul Sanchez & Minimum Rage. Paul has some great story songs and the perfect voice to sing them. That is Paul on guitar in the photo below.

His band was very talented also. This city has so many talented musicians. 

His song called "A Stew Called New Orleans" really captures what makes this city so wonderful.

Music+Food+Alcohol+Sunshine+Mississippi River=A Perfect Day 
The Honey Island Swamp Band

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers

The never ending dance party at the Cajun/Zydeco stage...

...with Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band.

Street performers were everywhere, did not get the name of this brass band.

This band is known as "Yes Ma'am". They were really good... I bought their CD which came wrapped in a brown paper bag.

These kids were the biggest band of street performers we saw in the French Quarter this year. They sounded good, not as performance savvy as most but they are young and they were entertaining.

Leroy Jones' Original Hurricane Brass Band

Camile Baudoin and the Living Rumors

Wild Turkey Washboard Band from Switzerland on the International Stage

Kid Merv & All That Jazz

Some days the sun just shines on your ass. We had a good spot at the Abita Beer Stage during Kermit Ruffins but I decided to check out other bands. By the time we got back to that stage to see Dr. John, it was packed. We were so far away the sound was awful. I headed to the Big River Stage and stumbled across this Russian band...Debauche.

They spoke English but all their songs were sung in Russian...
...and they were great. Our favorite band of the day, tons of energy, lots of fun to watch and dance along. I was pissed about missing Dr. John but so very happy I saw this band.

We had to walk back to the house to meet my brother Jeff but we passed as many stages as possible along the way. Here's Fred Dupin's New Bumpers Jazz Band from France.

We had a fantastic dinner at Mariza in Bywater. We had dinner at the bar and were entertained by the friendly bartender and the prep chef who also shucked the oysters. Damn good food at this place. Then we walked to Frenchmen Street to see my friend Andy Levin at the Frenchmen Street Art Market. Then we headed across the street to see Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band at d.b.a..

Of course they had the bar bouncing until late in the night. I think it is physically impossible to not dance when zydeco music is being played live right in front of you. I am a stiff old white boy but can't help shuffling my feet or swaying my hips when everyone around me is dancing...more alcohol and I might attempt to really dance...but Chrissy won't let me...she'll be too embarrassed. Another fun day comes to an end. Good night.