Guitar Slim, Jr., was in street clothes the first time I saw him, just strolling on in to Jim Russel Records buy their last copy of his own album. Without recognizing him, you could tell by the way he dressed and the way he held himself that he was a performer. Sunday he was in full force, coming out howling "Everybody Knows About My Good Thing" in his ultra-showy outfit, giving every camera lens a personal smile.
Rather than squeezing through crowds for a good view at the Acura Stage, I figured all of the smaller stages would be putting on their best acts last, so I had a feeling I really couldn't go wrong. I decided to go check out some bands I'd never heard of, going by a simple, general rule of mine: If it's from Brazil, it's probably good.
Tuesday's show will feature two live performances: Theresa Andersson and Matt Lemmler. I will also be interviewing a number of people about books and music and also trying to find time to play some of the latest releases.
As I was snooping around some of the shadier corners of the Jazz Fest Fairgrounds, I encountered a young mistress who offered to tell my fortune for a small price. Intrigued, I paid my quarter, and she asked me to pick a number between one and ten, "except not nine or ten."
The Crescent City All-Stars may not be as much of a household name as the others, but they managed to ensnare lots of people traveling from show to show with their hard-driving sound. Trumpeter James Andrews had an amazing energy about him and kept spirits high and light, dedicating "You Talk Too Much" to his ex-wife.
Everybody knows that the food is a vital part of every New Orleans Jazz Fest, but there's one vendor that really stands out from the sweaty crowds. Mister Okra's "songs" are burned into the subconscious of anyone that has lived in the French Quarter, Fauborg Marigny, or Bywater neighborhoods in the Crescent City. And here he stands as a sort of living exhibit, complete with tricked-out pickup truck full of only the freshest fruits and veggies for sale at a modest price.
As the sun bears down on Festival- goers, many people start to look towards the misting tents and grandstands to cool off. The WWOZ Hospitality Tent has certainly never seen this much action while I've been here!
The Dixie Cups may have been teenagers back when they made Iko Iko in 1965, but just like so many of this city's talents they proved that great showmanship doesn't age. With synchronized dance moves that certainly made their way into the crowd, rhythm and blues harmonies and great sense of humor to throw you way back, they had the audience transfixed.
Day Two of Jazz Fest kicked off (for me) at the Blues Tent, with Henry Gray and the Cats delivering some gorgeous, earthy blues. Believe it or not, it was rockin' enough to inspire a few to dance even at this first show of the day.