The 35th annual French Quarter Fest was rained out Saturday, which is a crying shame. Many of the biggest acts were set for that day including Grammy-winners, Rebirth Brass Band. It was supposed to be a day of having to make hard choices about what to miss, but a massive storm wiped the day away.
Sunday was sunny, windy and super-chilly (50’s). Sarah Quintana’s teeth were chattering and her trumpet player was trying to keep at least one hand warm enough to play. But Sarah Quintana (with her nightingale’s voice) and the Miss River Band managed to put on a beautiful show. Bruce Sunpie Barnes joined Continue reading
The last day of French Quarter Fest was just as gorgeous as the first 3. Sadly, for locals, the day started with the sad news that former Saint, Will Smith, had been shot 7 times leaving 3 children and a wife (who sustained 2 shots) behind. He had posted on Instagram, “Having a blast at the #fqf2016” earlier. Many of us wore Saints gear and checked for updates as the story evolved from one of random violence to something more thought-out and personal.
As for festing, we started the day with a Softshell Crab Po-Boy ($10) from Jack Dempsey’s then tried Love at First Bite’s Crawfish Pasta ($8) and my favorite, the Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($8) from their partner, Walker’s Southern Style BBQ. We hit the Abita stage in time for party-band, the Bucktown All-Stars. Their playful covers included “Rubber Band Man” complete with a dance of silly, stretchy poses. 85 year old Joyce La Nasa joined on tambourine wearing her signature white gloves. Continue reading
After being cancelled for weather last week, YLC’s Wednesday at the Square was back with Bonerama and Bucktown All-Stars. Organized by the Young Leadership Council (YLC), proceeds from food and beverage sales go back into the non-profit to benefit the community. Bucktown All-Stars is a party band specializing in covers of 60’s R&B, 70’s funk and New Orleans’ standards. Formed in 1992, the band includes honorary member, Joyce La Nasa, an 85 year old woman who began playing percussion in 2005. Her daughters were fans and brought her to a show. She kept coming – playing tambourine beside the stage at the bands’ gigs until they finally invited her onstage. Continue reading
Word must’ve gotten out because over 12,000 people attended the second annual King Cake Fest at Champions Square. And they came hungry, buying more than 50,000 “tasting tickets” benefitting babies and children at Ochsner Hospital for Children. The tickets sold at $10 for 10 King Cake tastings. Vendors also sold full-size cakes and specialties from donut King Cakes to King Cake bread pudding. But the all-day concert featuring Old Sole, The Lucky Dogs, Dr. Jazz, Bucktown All-Stars, and Cowboy Mouth was free. Continue reading
The second annual Oyster Fest had plenty of improvements over last year’s premiere but the same nagging problem at its core – who holds a raw seafood fest on blacktop in 95 degree weather? Organizers provided the misting tent so popular last year and added several tented areas for eating at tables in the shade. Continue reading
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