b r e a t h i n g   r o o m

25 Apr 98

parked at Carollton and Delgado (jotted it down so i wouldn't forget). Café' du Monde for huge iced coffee and beignets caked with powedered sugar, checkin' out the contemporary crafts. B likes the beaded jewelry but feels she spent her budget already. I tell her she could buy and I could reimburse her later but she taunted me: "like my bathrobe?" (the one I couldn't afford to reimburse her for). Then to the Lagniappe stage where the oyster bar turns out to be, for Butch Mudbone, a pretty good (white) electric blues guitarist. We walked across to the Fais Do Do stage to hear Amy & the Hank Sinatras (but we heard no Hank, no Sinatra). B got autographs from all the older Hackberry Ramblers.

Next, small fillet catfish po'boy, a tase of B's beans and rice, a bbq shrimp po'boy (small) and sips of B's unsweetened rosemint tea. Tasted Steve and Elizabeth's fried eggplant with oysters. Wow is that good!

Oops, bit my finger cramming a piece of po'boy in my mouth. The infield, where contempo. crafts used to be before they were moved out next to the jazz and gospel tents next to the new grandstand, is now a great place to hang, eat, and listen to Keb' Mo' at the Ho'Blues stage. Steve says all they need out here is a ganja booth. B, S & E all put on more sunblock and we head back to the Lagniappe stage for a Panamanian band Eliz. saw yesterday and vouched for, Osvaldo Ayala y Su Grupo, not unlike very spirited Tejano (with accordion as the main lead instrumental voice) and two sexy blackhaired, black-eyed hotties dancing with their hips, shoulders, and hands (and singing the occasional harmony).

15 min. before their end we headed over to the Fox/Polaroid stage to hear the second half of George Porter and Running Parnders' act, sounding surprisingly poppy (steel-drum heavy), but that soon evolved into an Allmans-esque groove with some bass bombs eventually announcing George's presence, on Just Kissed My Baby w/ Johnny Adams guesting on vocals. Known as the "Brown Canary," Adams is introduced by Porter today as the "Tan Canary." If you ain't had enough, catch us at the Howlin' Wolf, they chant, alternating with catch us at the House of Blues.

Waited forever for some so-so frozen lemon jazz (sorbet/ice) w/ strawberry service. B got a twice-as-good mango freeze in half the time and headed off for the Hackberry Ramblers. I follow Steve and Elizabeth to the Congo Square stage for the very upbeat ("have you got your dancing choose?") Ricardo Lemvo & Makima Loca (Cuban? salsa? samba) after a sidetrip for crawfish combo (bisque and pie - quit excellent but I was too full by then and couldn't do it justice). They announce their new album Mamba Yo-Yo, and this song about a "beautiful woman that stuck the knife into my heart." Now I'm off to find B at the Fais Do Do stage.

The Ramblers covers includes Johnny B. Goode ("you will be the leader of a cajun band") and Proud Mary (guitar going badly out of tune). Snapped a photo of the (dyed-orange)-hat wearing sunflower ladies of a certain age (some occasionally two-stepping with younger voluntary beaux). We split with S & E and headed for Etta James at the Ray Ban stage (with a side-trip to the cash machine for me and to the rosemint tea both - a large - for B). Then we plopped down for Etta's Come to Mama. (Bonnie's up next - what a great twofer!) She announced a tune first recorded by Aretha's older sister then by the late, great Janis Joplin, and launched into Take a Piece of My Heart. Why is it that cigar smokers are almost always fat guys with moustaches? You Can Leave Yo' Hat On ("y'all got plenty of hats") ... Baby What You Want Me to Do? (shaded of Harry Barcia) -> Bright Lights, Big City. Love and Happiness. She got Zigaboo on drums, she scatting along with him -> Take Me to the River (minding me of seeing Al Green hearing doing his signature song, last time). One chorus and she intros the rest of the band, her son on drums ("trying to get him to play like you, Zig"), and her youngest son on bass.

lines too long for the port-o-sans between sets. More cigar nastiness. Some Etta fans leaving.

Bonnie Raitt starts with Let's Get Back to the Fundamental Things (from her new album, Fundamental). Let's Give Them Something to Talk About (from Nick of Time?), learned next from the great Seal Johnson, for Johnny Adams, the greatest soul singer alive (sitting "back there" in the backstage area, where a huge gallery of local stars have gathered to watch - or sit in with - Bonnie's set, it having been eight years since her last appearance, before she truly hit it big): sound like "have on board" or hee hun hoah, but not, Leave Home Boy (?), burnin' slide guitar solo but no wanking. Songs are short. "That's why I wore red, so you could tell which one I am." Rick Vito on guitar (new bandmember but she's known him since her 20s) sings next duet with her. Intros rest of band and into a song by Johnm Hiatt, Lovers Will (? "do almost anything for the thrill that love can bring/love is a healer...").

"Here's a song about how much fun it is to not get along ... marriage ... it's a rollercoaster ride and I'm here to take it," reggae groove (new album). Woman with perfect sock tan. Wrote this next song with her friends "why is the trust so hard to say? ..." Just One Belief Away (?). J.B. Lamar wrote and recorded with Willie Dixon the next tune, Around and Around. Then she sings the Aretha song that Zero sometimes plays instrumental: Baby, Baby (Baby, I Love You) with Keb' Mo' on vocals (they about to tour together). Next two songs written for the new album. Why as why? (?), Roasted on the Spit of Love Again (?), love balland, "I can't make you love me if you don't," Jon Cleary piano solo (he playing tonight with his band at the Maple Leaf). Thing Called Love (from Nick?) with tasty elaborate slide solo.

+ Art Neville on organ (George Porter "back there"). "Hope I look good from the back...." + Ziggy Modeliste on drums. Hand me a guitar quick. and roll orchestra sez b. + someone else. "then we'll do one you know." That's just Love Sneaking Up on You (with a ref to the Meters tune Just Kissed My Baby - this is the first Zig/Art collaboration in years). Artie solos, Bonnie solos. -Art -Zig.

Jon Cleary workout, Gettin' Crazy Up in Here. (Is that a picture of Gatemouth on the canopy? or Fess?) + Earl Palmer on drums (he was on her third album) + John Mooney (calls him the "new Son House... he's altered his gene pool"; Mooney's rehab has been feature news in the Times-Picayune this week) + Art + Zig "damn this is fun," says Bonnie. Also, that she's donating some of her funds to prevent a Syntec toxics plant from going into a poor black neighborhood. It's gonna be in G. "I swear I'm the luckiest woman on earth." - blues tune (Big Road), with "if the river was whisky and I was a diving duck" verse (but resolved this time with "I'd swim to the bottom and drink my way up"). Big finale, big bow.

yester morrow
day one
first lines

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