Friday, April 23, 2010

Backroads Tour
Days 6 through 8
The Pelican State

First Day

A little late on this update but NO will do that to you.
There's almost nothing better than driving over Lake Pontchartrain...mostly because you are minutes away from the Crescent City.
Our host treats us to a day of local colour and a handful of bars. Unlike our '03 trip which was spent mostly in the French Quarter and in a drunken haze this trip allows us to see the rest of the a drunken haze.
We start at Gram Parsons grave, 'cause it's there and many don't know why. Afchter that bodysnatchers episode and a futile attempt to create ashes to scatter at joshua tree, Grams body ended up in the hands of his step-father and in a cemetary near Metarie, LA.
As we were wandering around trying to find the site a groundskeeper showed us the way, noting many people come through here for just this purpose. Seeing dead-people sometimes just reminds you how many wasted lives the '60's and 70's created.

More dead people at St Louis Cemetery #1, the voodoo queen, Marie Laveuax. When we happend upon this site there was a young man doing a documentary, explaining the juju that surrounds Marie. He relegated her unique knowledge of persons to her job as a hairdresser as well as a contact, via her daughter, with other sources of information. No magic involved.

Along the road we saw the house Bob recorded Oh Mercy in, Ann Rice's home before the fans made her move, and a tour of the Lower Ninth Ward where the greatest engineering failure in American history wiped out a neighbourhood.

Fats Domino's house is in decent shape, due to the help of Tipitina's fundraising effort.

Unfortunately there's no such fund-raising for the house next door.

One thing to keep in mind, amoung a hundred, is that parts of the 9th ward were decrepit before Katrina. The issues surrounding rejuvenation and rebuilding are complex. Efforts have been made, even if they were misguided.

A less distressing stop was made at Ernie K-Doe's bar.

You want bars? Visit NO. Lafitte's in the French Quarter is a nice spot to stop. The oldest building left standing after a series of burn-downs during the Spanish Occupation.

More comfortable are the bars on Frenchmans Street. Not quite 'locals only' but they are devoid of first-time-visitors. We stopped in at the Spotted Cat.

A quick stop by Tipitina's to pick up our Patti Smith tix rounded out the early day.

And a totally unrelated observation, here's what the Battle of New Oleans looked like from the wrong side.

Night time is filled with a show at Tipitina's French Quarter where 5 generations of the Neville's were partaking in "Nevellution". I can't remember them all and will need the help of my recording to refresh my memory but the night started with a youngun' I'll call 'Hip Hop Neville'. He didn't suck terribly but the band he had supporting him could have used some help.
When Snoop Dog Neville (Cyril) took the stage with Charmaine the night got better. Now I don't have my editing software with me and I don't even have headphones so I can barely hear this stuff on my laptop but the show turned around at Papa Was A Rolling Stone. Hope to have more good sounds after I get home. this recording is a little 'hot'. We missed seeing Art 'cause he was a little tired.

Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Day 2

Cece and I missed our chance for a plantation tour because I didn't know how long the drive was. That's ok, it's always nice to have a reason to go back.

We were supposed to be worried about the Gators but this cat has evil on his mind.

We did get up close and personal with some Gators during the swamp tour though.

Nightime entertainment was dinner with our hosts at Brigtsen's. Good food, good company, that shit can't be beat.

Day 3

Simon and Garfunkel at Jazzfest. Art's voice was shot but it was nice to see the audience cheer him on. Now it's one thing to have your voice suck at the Jazzfest where our $45 got us a ton of other acts, including Art Neville and his Funky Meters, but they best not bring this shit to Toronto where the tix are costing $250 dollars. I don't think the audience will be so kind.

Catch this wonderfully horrific version of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

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