Friday, May 27, 2011

Sazerwrap up for Jazzfest 2011

 I have been putting off this wrap up of Jazzfest off because mentally I still feel like a part of me is still there and... that is a fantastic feeling.  I will do my best here but it would do more justice to that fantastic town and all the great people to chat about the experience over Abita's in a garden somewhere just west of the river.  (As always click on the pics for bigger versions)

Like last year, the trip started under glorious skies as I lazily walked through Jackson Square heading from the River into the Quarter.  I had to stop in the St. Louis Cathedral to pay some the ghosts wouldn't haunt the know...
Then it was time for some grub and I headed to EAT on Dumaine St. Jeff found this joint last year and I gotta say it is a great way to kick things off...the Crawfish Pie and Fried Green Tomato's where absolutely divine and while there were other things I really wanted to try on the menu, it is hard not dancing with the one who brought you to the prom.
Now that I was full and ready to party I headed over to the Louisiana Music Factory who were putting on one of the best free lineups I have ever heard of, courtesy of Basin St. Records
 I strolled up just as Kermit Ruffins was starting his set and got to hear him play a half hour of tunes highlighted by "If I Only Had A Brain" off his most recent release Happy Talk.  The cast of Treme were in the record shop signing DVD's and I had the pleasure to hang out next to most of them as they strolled onto the side walk to soak in the sun and the tunes.  As other bands where waiting to play the sidewalk literally became a whose who of musicians, actors, fans, passerbye's and curious folks.  I had the pleasure to chat with Kermit after his set, Corey Henry from Rebirth Brass Band before they played and Irvin Mayfield who had all the ladies taking notice.

The cast of Treme were all good-hearted towards the autograph seekers (not my style) and seemed genuinely happy to be partaking in the moment.  (Lucia Micarelli was particularly stunning in person).  Meeting up with friends Carrie, Brooke and Kelli we caught Rebirth and then Garage-a-Trois play a shortened set before cleaning up and grabbing some Gin Gin Mules from the best bar in town, Swizzle Stick in the Loews Hotel.   
Those drinks at that bar are reason enough to go to New Orleans.  It was tough to pull away, but we knew we would be back after a jaunt up Canal St. to catch Tom McDermott and Meschiya Lake perform at Chickie Wah-Wah's.  Expect some more here and there from Meschiya in the near future, but for now I can share this video I took of their set closing cover of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee"

The night took off as more friends arrived, cocktails were slung and memories were created.  Thursday lent itself to Jazzfest proper but not before grabbing some lunch at Luke.
 Now that is a lunch!  Sazerac's and Kumamoto Oysters...heaven.  Heading up to the show we managed to catch some fine playing from a host of musicians, but my highlight was Maceo Parkers set on the Congo Stage:

After catching Wilco's encore we headed back to town for some cleaning up before we hit up GW Finns for dinner, which was the worst of our meals...Lobster Knuckles aren't in season?  C'mon man.  The crap meal didn't stop us from having a fantastic night though as we went uptown to catch The Soul Rebels Brass Band at Le Bon Temps Roule.
While the band was pumping and the bar was flowing, the show was completely oversold, so after some strong drinks and hip shakes it was back to the quarter and the old Erin Rose to chat until sunrise. 

Friday saw the crew relax at the pool of the fabulous Windsor Court and then attend a great early dinner at Cochon.
It doesn't get any better then that. 

Cruising back we hit up Lucy's and while we were stuffed from Cochon the Crawfish boil outside smelled out of this world and hanging out by it with Miller Hi Lifes was a complete highlight.
Friday kept a rollin' into Saturday and while half of us made it to the fest to catch The Strokes, others just recouped and got ready for the late night fireworks of Ryan Scully and The Rough Seven.

I got a ton more to say on this one...but it is already written and in the review queue over at Glide so you will just have to wait until it's posted...OK I will give you one tidbit...IT WAS...
The band absolutely slaughtered it....2012 Jazzfest can not come soon enough.

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