I finally got a chance to return to my beloved Wednesday at the Square free concert series sponsored by the amazing New Orleans Saints and benefitting the Young Leadership Council (YLC). The day started with the Navy Band New Orleans honoring National Military Appreciation Month. Dressed in crisp white uniforms, they played a number of standards peppered with fun choices like Michael Jackson’s Human Nature and Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise. They closed the show with a crowd-pleasing When the Saints Go Marching In as the adorable Saintsations shook their pom poms behind them.
During the break, I supported the YLC by munching on a Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Crepe from Crepes a la Carte and downing a locally brewed Abita Beer. The day was sunny and beautiful with a strong breeze, a great day for good food and amazing free music.
I’ve seen Tab Benoit (ben-wah) play with other people before, but as the owner of a couple of his CD’s, I’ve been looking forward to see him play with his trio since I moved here. By the time he tore into Nice and Warm, a bluesy song about getting back home, I knew he would exceed my expectations. As humble as he is handsome, he seemed surprised at the great turn-out, “I thought people would be tired after Jazz Fest. New Orleans is a town of stamina!”
With a guitar as worn and faded as his jeans, he shredded through song after bluesy original song. Perhaps that’s why the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inducted him in 2010. A Cajun from Houma (my mother’s hometown), he has also dedicated his considerable energy to his non-profit, Voice of the Wetlands, an organization dedicated to preserving our state’s critically important wetlands.
Bassist Corey Duplechin is as good an argument for live music as any. A picture’s worth a thousand words and I took plenty but nothing can capture the non-stop animation in his face. Along with Anders Osborne and Ivan Neville, among others, Benoit released his 18th album, Medicine, in April. I, for one, will be checking it out for more of his feel-it-in-your-bones blues.
I ran into lots of friends, including DancingMan504, and got a chance to wear my new latonola.com t-shirt featuring the phrase, “Carnival, Concerts, Cuisine, Culture” and photos of each from my blog. Click here to purchase your own in the New Orleans Products section of my new Zazzle store. On my feet, I donned my favorite brand of dirt, mud, sand and rain-proof recyclable rubber sandals, Oka B. At $20 a pair, I’m collecting these cute, colorful shoes like baseball cards.
There are only 3 weeks left in the Wednesday at the Square series starting with next week’s The Revivalists and Eric Lindell. Be there!