Jazz Fest started last week which means lots of things including packed hotels, music everywhere nearly all night and day and plenty of crawfish boils. Sunday was my annual family reunion crawfish boil and Monday was the 2nd annual BIRNout Boil at the Sandpiper Lounge hosted by Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives (BIRN).
Only in Nola is it perfectly normal to expect people to show up at 3pm on a Monday for a concert and boil and only in Nola would we all do it less than an hour after tornadoes and a mini-hurricane blew through. The storm was so strong, thousands are still without power and perhaps you saw the footage of winds so forceful they blew a long train off a bridge. Continue reading
The Creole Tomato Fest continues to evolve in its 28th year. Now that the Cajun-Zydeco Festival has moved to next weekend, the Tomato Fest has moved almost entirely to the French Market, but this year the layout was a lot easier to manage (thank goodness). With more manageable lines and crowds, we ended up eating far more starting with a beautiful Creole Tomato, Burratta Cheese & Pesto Sauce ($6) from The Three Muses. Continue reading
I haven’t been to the YLC’s Wednesday at the Square in awhile. With events like Chaz Fest, Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest, I’ve been spoiled silly for live music lately. But I made the effort to catch my pick for Favorite Musical Auteur 2012 Billy Iuso. “NOLABilly” band N’awlins Johnnys were onstage when I arrived. Lead singer Harry Barton, in a yellow tie and button down shirt, looked like he had come straight from one of the nearby law offices to the stage. Like many bands here, their sound was a fusion of genres including jazz, rock, swing, zydeco and funk. Most fun was when they covered a Professor Longhair song mimicking his complicated Calypso piano chords with a guitar. (“Fess” is the father of all modern NOLA jazz and the soundtrack to Mardi Gras). Continue reading