The day starts out humid, plenty of sunshine and a welcome breeze blowing, I walk over to the Southern Comfort Blues Tent for Henry Gray & The Cats, piano player for Howlin’ Wolf for many years. At 82, he shows no signs of slowing down and starts off the day with “Baby, Don’t you Wanna Go” and later a tribute to Ray Charles with ‘What’d I Say ‘.
My next stop on the agenda is over to the Gentilly Stage for Zigaboo Modelistes’ Funk Revue and again Mark Mullins makes an appearance at trombone. Zigaboo is the original drummer for The Meters and starts off with “War” and a plea to bring the all of our soldiers back from Iraq and brings a bit of a funky version of “Darling, You Thrill Me”.
Now heading back over to the Southern Comfort Blues Tent to catch Snooks Eaglin who is backed up by George Porter Jr. on bass and John Gros from Papa Grows Funk on the Hammond B-3 organ. Snooks has been blind since he was about 1 year old but now in his early 70’s he has never slowed down from setting the strings on his guitar ablaze. I first saw him for the first time back in 2005 at the Jazzfest and I was so blown away that I had to catch him again at the House of Blues for a night show. After “That’s All Right” and ” Let the Good Times Roll ‘, the crowd was rocking and camera flashes lighting up the tent along with his music.
Catching Galactic at the Acura Stage was a must see as they are one of the hardest working jam you will ever see on stage. Ben Ellman is the main man on sax and even though Rich Vogel is more than capable at keyboards, he graciously gave it up briefly for Ivan Neville to play and lend vocals to “Cabbage Child” and “Hell Below”. Next up on stage were Donald Harrison, Jr. on sax and Mark Mullins again lending his brass to another gig and for the finale, John Mayer joins in before his set for an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”.
The floppy-haired one returned to stage to close out the day and the smell of estrogen was high as he performed his usual guitar magic. I first saw him 3 years ago at the Crossroads Festival in Dallas and looked like a frightened kid as he came on to trade licks with Buddy Guy, BB King, Jimmie Vaughn and Eric Clapton ( can’t blame him ). He has come into his own and the only reason to be scared now if one of the screaming ladies runs onstage and uses him as a tackling dummy. After going with “Waiting on the World to Change” and “Why, Georgia”, he sends the crowd into a frenzy with “Gravity” as I head to the exit feeling musically satisfied for the day.