The weather is a continuation of yesterday with the breeze clipping at 15 MPH and I start the day at the Gentilly Stage with 007, a local band whose roots are in Jamaican rock with heavy influence from Bob Marley and Desmond Decker. After starting off with ” Tears on my Pillow”, these guys continued to delight their heavy local following with one of their favorites ” Ba Ba Boom” and ending with Toots and the Maytals “True Love Must be Hard to Find”, who they just played with at the House of Blues two nights before.
Next up on the Gentilly stage is Papa Grows Funk with John Gros playing his Hammond Organ on this Sunday afternoon as if he were having his own religious experience and June Yamagishi strumming the strings on his guitar in way that would have made Buddy Guy proud. These guys are not to be missed if you are ever in the city, with a steady gig at the Maple Leaf Bar every Monday night. As the crowd was steady rolling in to hear some of the tightest funk played so far this Jazzfest, the only time these guys slowed down was in-between songs to wipe the sweat of their foreheads. After playing “Stanky” and “Walking in our Own Shoes” off their new CD, Mr. Pattersons Hat, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux came on stage with to play “This has Got to Stop”, a plea to stop the police violence and brutality.
Heading to the other end of the Fairgrounds to the Acura Stage, Allen Toussaint strolls on ever the distinguished gentlemen with a band that takes up the entire stage and their playing is as tight as you would expect from the present day Professor Longhair as their taskmaster. After getting the crowd rocking with “There is a Party Going On” and ” Get out of My Life, Woman”, he had a tribute for James Brown by playing ” Who Spread that Funk all Around”. With a sax player that could pass for Clarence Clemons brother and equally adept at playing the sax, the New Orleans icon is up next with “Mother, Mother”, a song he co-wrote with another New Orleans icon, Dr. John. To close out this musical extravaganza, he performed “Come home, Everybody Come Home” with lyrics of local delicacies being missed by being away to prompting the missing Neville Brothers to return to their roots.
With a buildup by her fabulous backup singers, Joss Stone gets the testerone flowing for the guys in front of the Gentilly Stage by strolling back and forth with a skimpy flowery dress and red highlights in her hair. This British sensation get’s it rocking with “Girl, They won’t believe it” off her new album Introducing Joss Stone before demonstrating her wide vocal range with ” Tell me ‘Bout it”, her prodding of men to just say what is one their mind. She finished about 20 minutes earlier than scheduled with ” My Dream” while throwing out flowers to the crowd in front, which from my vantage point caused more than a few bruises among the patrons.
For the last call of the day, I opted for the Radiators over Harry Connick Jr. due to the fact these guys are one of the legends in New Orleans music. Having been around for close to 30 years, their voices might not be as crisp as back then but making the most of their respective instruments they are second to none. With the original 5 members still in place, Dave Malone plays the guitar like he is on fire with a raspy voice that rivals Howlin’ Wolf with “Burning Down the House” and Ed Volkers’ energy at the keyboard doesn’t take long to show by the beads of sweat that form on his balding head. I have personally seen these guys go for 2.5 to three hours for a show, and they tried to pack as much in as possible in 1.5 hours. Just watching Camile Boudoin play guitar is akin to watching a doctor perform heart surgery. With a dozen albums out there and a set list that could go on for days, they are a must see if they are in your town and I am looking forward to the next show as I close out the weekend by walking out the gate listening to “The Man who Lost his Head”.