Any day that starts with a garbage bag full of fresh crawfish, homemade cocktail sauce, wine, and bluegrass music is likely to end well… If first impressions count the most, I’m moving to Louisiana.
Big thanks to John and Alan for the warm welcome and great food. John regaled me with stories about the clubs known as the ‘crawfish circuit’ and salt&pepper bands. Imagine a mixed race band playing across the South in the 50s. Johnny said those mesh wire cages really were used…
Spent the afternoon and evening hanging out with Alex Cook, writer for the local 225Magazine. Got another history lesson: Leadbelly (godfather of the blues) got a pardon from Earl Long and was released from Angola Prison when his musical talent was discovered by an RCA talent scout. He was serving a life sentence for murder. Many bluesmen spent time in jails – Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, ‘Bukka’ White.
Very interested to learn that in the 50s, black music was sold in non-traditional outlets (barbershops, etc), while white music was sold in the mainstream record stores and appliance stores (note: just like the current chopped&screwed. Amazing parallels).
Alex took me on a great musical tour in the evening. Started off at Teddy’s Juke Joint – hundred year old shack out in the woods – for some blues from blind Bryan Lee. Would have partaken of the homemade BBQ, but we’d eaten. Settled for mud pie…
Then on to Red Star for some swamp-cajun-rock-boogie from Shreveport’s Dirtfoot. Amazing sound – guitars, standup bass, sax, pans (as in kitchen pans), drums, and a drop by euphonium player (a shrunken tuba). Plus ad hoc percussion from the crowd. Picked up their CD.
Gentle end to the evening with some jam band music at Chelsea’s.
Hope to be back here.