The 4 days of French Quarter Fest came to a close on Sunday. Employing over 1,700 local musicians, the fest features genres from funk, R&B and jazz to rock, gospel and Zydeco. Over 1,500 volunteers and a variety of local companies handling sanitation, security, stages, sound, etc. insure that all of the money spent producing the festival remains within the local economy.
We started the day with Shrimp Ragivote over Fried Green Tomato ($9) from Tujague’s Restaurant. Continue reading
The final day of this year’s French Quarter Fest began with a huge rain storm that blew in after midnight. For the lucky people who found themselves still out at music venues after the power went out that night, bars were lit with candles and bands went unplugged. The rain soaked the ground and messed up food booth and stage equipment so the day started around noon. The rain also scared off a lot of people who drive in from Baton Rouge or Mississippi, etc. so the crowds were much thinner. Despite the day’s wet beginning, it was gloriously beautiful – 70’s and sunny with breezes. And after 2 solid days of festing, we were happy for a shorter more low-key afternoon. Continue reading
It’s Halloween season and in NOLA, that means costumes and Voodoo Fest. The festival features more rock, metal, rap and experimental music so I haven’t made it to Voodoo yet but I couldn’t miss Los Angles band, Vintage Trouble. The band has only been around a couple of years but they’ve already opened for acts like Bon Jovi and KISS and are set to open for The Who’s upcoming tour. Though I’ve known drummer Richard Danielson for over a decade, this is only the second time I’ve gotten to see the band live (the first being their “Big Dance” NOLA debut last April during the NCAA Final 4).
Yesterday, it was time once again to head to City Park’s beautiful Botanical Garden for Threadhead Thursday produced by Threadhead Records. Threadhead Records helps Katrina-affected musicians by loaning artists money to produce a CD. The artist pays back the loan within 6 months (and the money is returned to the investor-fans) along with a 5% donation to the Threadhead Records Foundation or other recognized charities benefitting local musicians and 5% to cover expenses. It’s a win-win situation resulting in amazing music. Continue reading
HBO’s Treme is back with new opening credits, some new cast members and the same great music. The story has moved forward to 14 months after Katrina left the region in ruin. I guess I’m glad people are seeing how little was done to step in and help the city, to hear that 85% of the remaining residents were on medication for depression and related disorders. Though it’s a downer to watch it play out again, it’s nice to know how far the city will come in the years leading to the present. Continue reading