It's just two weeks until my girlfriend and I go off to the States and things are looking good. In fact there's so much going on that we will need a rest when I get back by the look of it.
I've been checking out the New Orleans music scene while we're there and keep unearthing more and more goodies. Quite apart from the juicy line ups at the Ponderosa Stomp http://www.ponderosastomp.com/
and Jazzfest http://www.nojazzfest.com/
there are some great gigs going on in the clubs during the first weekend of the Jazzfest.
For example, soul singer Betty Harris is on at a place called the Old Point Bar in Algiers on April 25 and 26 http://www.oldpointbar.com/
. I saw Betty at Porretta last year and she is well worth seeing.
The wonderful Irma Thomas is playing five nights at the Generations Hall in the Warehouse District ( April 26 and 27 and May 1, 3 and 4), as well as at the festival itself on the 27th.
The House of Blues has some great gigs http://www.hob.com/apps/search/index.asp?q=new+orleans&x=36&y=8
. There's Dr John on April 25, the Juke Joint Jamboree with Bobby 'Blue' Bland and the James Cotton Band on April 26 and Etta James on April 27, not to mention the Ponderosa Stomp on April 29 and 30.
Tipitinas has the Blind Boys of Alabama and Allen Toussaint on April 26m http://www.tipitinas.com/default.asp
and there are a couple of good gigs at the Mid City Rock and Bowl - Snooks Eaglin on April 28 and an all star Zydeco night on May 1 http://www.rockandbowl.com/CalandarPAGE/mounths/april.html
I've also been checking out gigs in Memphis, as we'll be there for two nights when we first arrive and another two nights just before we go back to the UK. http://www.memphisflyer.com/template/MusicEvents.html?page=2&StartDate=2008-04-03
On April 17 there's the Roy Hughes Band at Hughes Uptown, which is supposed to be an interesting black blues club, and the following night the Soul Survivors play a regular gig at Wild Bills, another interesting black club. James Govan's Band is the house band at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street and of course the Beale Street Festival (1st weekend in May) has an interesting line up http://www.thebealestreetmusicfestival.com/
. Sadly we will miss Jerry Lee Lewis as we will be on the plane home.
We're spending a couple of days at the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale (April 19 and 20) where there is a long list of blues acts performing, including Big Jack Johnson and Johnny Rawls http://www.jukejointfestival.com/
, and we'll also be heading out to Shreveport where we 're promised some fun at the Holiday in Dixie festival http://www.holidayindixie.com/
Then it's on Lafayette for the first day or so of the Festival Louisiane where the Blind Boys of Alabama and Sonny Landreth among others are appearing http://www.festivalinternational.com/site30.php
Altogether an action packed couple of weeks. And they say there's no decent music around these days!