Review:New Orleans Jazz Festival day 3

Posted on: Sunday, May 2, 2010

For those of you with an interest epicural, I can confirm that I again called at my “local”, La Bayou on Bourbon Street, to partake of refreshment after the rigours of another day at the Fest. The seafood gumbo was truly historic, and the  golden “session” ale hit the spot as always. Thanks to Michelle and the team for the warm and friendly welcome, and great service!  Help! I’m turning into Michael Winner………back to the music!

Today, for me ,was all about great guitar playing. Two of the best performances were away from the blues stage , but I make no apology for talking about them given that the artists concerned have their roots firmly embedded in a blues heritage.

First up was Sonny Landreth who gave a meisterclass in slide guitar! His playing is legendary, and it’s no wonder that some of the biggest names in the business, John Hiatt and John Mayall to name but two, have had him guest in their bands. It’s not one way traffic though – his most recent album has contributions from Mark Knopfler, Vince Gill, and Eric Clapton! My intention had been to catch a little of this set, then rush right across the site to the main stage where Pearl Jam were headlining – not my cup of tea musically, but a good photo opportunity! Such was the quality of Landreth’s playing that my plans changed, and I stayed where I was!!!

Mention of Clapton leads me nicely on to my second highlight – Jeff Beck, a contemporary of Clapton, gave us an absolutely stunning set. Is it jazz or fusion/rock? Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn! Whatever it is, I, and the huge crowd, thoroughly enjoyed it….. and yes, you can still clearly hear all of his blues influences coming to the surface in his playing! Even in his version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”!!

My final “guitar hero” of the day headlined in the blues tent, much to the appreciation of the assembled throng!  Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who first came to our attention as a young, “guitar slinger”,  gave us up-tempo,up-volume blues/rock , but always with feeling!  Time spent with his elders whilst making the DVD “10 days out: Blues from the backroads” was obviously time very well spent – you get the feeling he’s now playing blues from the heart!

So far we’ve had no rain at JazzFest, but tomorrow promises to be very different! Expect the next review to be written by a very damp correspondent – ah! feels like home to me!

Ian Williams


Pete Evans

May 2nd, 2010 at 13:55
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You’re getting to sound like a Guardian journalist mate!!!



May 2nd, 2010 at 14:07
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Supporting the Lib Dems you mean….?

…and speaking of Michael Winner – weren’t we all saying the other day just how much Ian is getting to look like Michael Winner.


Pete Evans

May 2nd, 2010 at 14:17
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Ken – don’t get so excited – Calm down dear…