The weather forecast for the afternoon did not bode well for the already soggy Fairgrounds. It was sunny at the hotel but with dark skies moving in from west, I make the decision to pack the rain gear and make the trek. A rainy day listening to music is much better than a dry one in the room listening to my iPod…
This review will be a short one due to the fact that my fumbling fingers and a puddle of water turned my notes into mush. Oh well, a least it was not my camera…..
First stop after feeding my face was the Gentilly Stage for Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters. Rockin’ Dopsie is also a throwback to my college days in Lafayette with the exception his dearly departed father, Rockin’ Dopsie, Sr., is no longer around to spice things up.
Introducing Rocking Dopsie was the youngster who played Ray Charles in the movie Ray, Eric O’Neal Jr., and he did a few dance moves to warm up the crowd. Rockin’ Dopsie is also talented when it comes to movement of the feet and as usual it does not take long for him to do one of his patented splits on stage.
After a montage of James Brown songs, the washboard is grabbed and the intensity level of the crowd climbs even higher. Eric O’Neal Jr. even makes another appearance on the drums for Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman”. Nice start of the day.
I make a quick run over to the Acura Stage before the skies open up for Voice Of The Wetlands Allstars, a group consisting of Tab Benoit, Jumping Johnny Sansone, Cyril Neville, Dr. John, George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidacovich, Anders Osborne, Waylon Thibodeaux and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. The band was formed after Hurricane Katrina to bring notice to the erosion of the Louisiana marshes. Unfortunately, the heavy rain cut their set short after a few songs. Bummer….
So I trudge through the water and mud over to the Jazz and Heritage Stage for the Midnite Disturbers Brass Band, a collection of local talent that includes Ben Ellmen and Stanton Moore of Galactic, Skerik, Mark Mullins of Bonerama, Sam Williams of Big Sam’s Funky Nation and several others. WIth the rain reaching Noah’s Ark levels, these guys did not let up and was by far the best set of music as I am high ankle deep in H20.
After a quick afternoon snack and admiring the rising pools of water, I head back to the Acura Stage for a few songs of local legend and Grammy Award Winner Irma Thomas, who was one of the subjects of a JazzFest poster this year.
Now I head back over to the Gentilly Stage for Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello. I have seen Allen on several occasions but this is my first time for Elvis. I have to admire a guy who is long on talent, short on looks and can marry a beautiful woman such as Diana Krall.
Now the man that had all the ladies sighing was the one and only Al Green at the Congo Square Stage. After being out of the spotlight for many years while doing his religious pursuits, he is back as strong as ever and still knows how to work the estrogen sect to wobbly leg syndrome. Throwing red roses and wowing them with such hits as “Here I Am” and “Let’s Stay Together”, I don’t even think John Mayer at the 2007 Jazzfest commanded this much attention.
Damn, my memory is better than I thought….