It is nice to be back in New Orleans after spending some time in the Pacific Northwest. We got back on late September 10 and had nice meal at Katie’s. This award winning Mid-City place has been on our do-list for a while and did not disappoint. We had some NOLA classics: gumbo and chargrilled oysters, backed by a spinach salad and fried onion rings.
On our first full day we choose three wonderful acts from the broad WWOZ menu. First, we saw Colin Lake at Armstrong Park. I have been waiting to see him for some time as he frequently plays around town and here is Colin on YouTube. It was a last minute schedule change and I was pleased with the choice. Colin played some intense blues, including “I’ll Fly Away” and “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” I hope to see Trumpet Black and Nigel Hall soon. It was looking like rain so we headed over to Maison and missed Nigel Hill. Colin replaced Trumpet Black. There are so many great musicians here that there is always more to see.
Ducking out of the brief shower we saw the Shotgun Jazz Band at Maison led by Marla Dixon on vocals and trumpet with some excellent guests on trombone and clarinet. I had seen the band before at a Buffa’s Saturday brunch and bought two of her CDs that I listen to often. She provides earthy vocals to some trad jazz classics as well as newer numbers. Here is the Shotgun Jazz Band playing at Satchmo Fest.
Then we saw my favorite NOLA blues guy, Ed Wills and his band, Blues4Sale at Vaso. He was bathed in the blue lights that Vaso employs as you can see below. This set was especially strong and included some songs I have not heard him perform before. Here are three of them on YouTube: Ed Wills at Vaso: Blue on Blues. We often go to his Wednesday 8PM session at BMC. Here are more YouTube videos Ed Wills BMC sets. I highly recommend taking in Ed at either place or wherever plays. I noticed he was at Chris Owens place this past weekend. He also has an excellent CD with his original songs, including my favorite post-Katrina song, “I’m Coming Home.”
As they say, only in New Orleans can you find this range of music, especially for free or with no cover, as was the case in each of the above. It is nice to be home. My good friend Paul Tamburello was visiting from Boston and joined us for the evening. Paul writes a well written travel blog, PT at Large. He has been covering New Orleans food (Lunch At Coops and The Clover Grill) and music (both past - Donna's Bar and Grill and present - Grandpa Elliot Small) as well as Lafayette and the surrounding area (Fred's Lounge: A Mamou Mardi Gras Tradition and Bonsoir Catin Rocks 'n Rages at Artmosphere).