This year's festival is being held again at the Southdown Plantation in Houma. This is the third year the festival has been held at this location.
This is the fifth year of the festival, founded by Tab Benoit to bring attention to our vanishing coast line. After taking over the Downtown on the Bayou Festival in 2004, it has become one of the biggest festivals held down here on the bayou in Terrebonne Parish.
The festival is fashioned after a festival named Lagniappe on the Bayou, which was a church fair held in Chauvin, Louisiana, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church . It was a festival Tab Benoit cut his teeth at performing with the priest Father Brunet and the Lagniappe Singers. The festival was discontinued when the catholic archdiocese did away with events that served alcohol.
A lot of the foods such as jambalaya, white beans and alligator sauce piquante are served at the V.O.W. Festival. It is cooked by some of the same families that cooked for the Lagniappe on the Bayou festival.
Dash Rip Rock opened the show. They played songs off their new release and invited a lady from the audience onstage to perform a song with the band on a ukulele.
Next up was the start of what was billed as a "Guitar Showdown" with Mike Zito, John Lisi, Josh Garrett and Ronnie Fruge on guitars to get things started. Jumping Johnny Sansone came up and joined in on vocals and harmonica, and after a couple of songs none other than the "Lafayette Marquis" Charles "C.C." Adcock came up and fronted the band.
Then the star of the show, Tab Benoit, took over the show and was later joined by Joe Starks. After a few songs, Tab spoke from the stage of how he didn't think he could pull the festival off this year after the two storms that hit this area recently. He said that it was important to have it so that everyone could come down and see the damage caused by these storms due to our vanishing coastline.
Dash Rip Rock's Bill Davis joined the stage, making it seven guitars on stage at one time. To kick it off, they all showed off the first licks they learned on the guitar. "Smoke on the Water," "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Stairway to Heaven" were a couple of the riffs I could identify. Then all hell broke loose with a sound you could not imagine.
The music started back up at noon on Saturday. Highlights are The Bluerunners, Jimmie Hall of Wet Willie, Tab Benoit with Jimmy Hall and Louisiana LeRoux closing the day out.
Come on down and pass a good time cher!
See previous installments of About Town with A.J.: