Tour Diary – New Orleans, LA (June 14, 2010)

Cafe du Monde

(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)

Headed straight for the French Quarter as I rolled into New Orleans. It was crawfish etouffee for lunch followed by beignets and café au lait at the legendary Café du Monde. The not always pleasant smell in the streets, the aging, colorful buildings and the sagging balconies give New Orleans a personality all its own. There is no shortage of voodoo shops and graveyards in this old pirate town.

Tonight’s show was held at a juke joint that first opened in 1977. Not much had changed inside since then. Tipitina’s was named one of the top 40 music venues in the United States by Paste Magazine. Longevity is sometimes mistaken for importance. The skies opened during soundcheck and then as the rain moved on, a rainbow came down on the roof of the club. In a town steeped in superstitions, I took it as a good sign for the night ahead.

The show was loud, aggressive at the right times, and subdued when the music demanded space to breathe. The musical crayons sometimes strayed outside the lines but it only added to the unique evening. The acoustic set wrapped with ‘River Waltz’ and the acoustic guitar went directly into the intro to ‘Bea’s Song’ and a new arrangement of the trilogy was born with Al and Pete remaining still until the solo. When they came in, the undercurrent of the song began to quicken and built into a tense ‘Dragging Hooks’.

A late night excursion to Bourbon Street provided some well earned R&R for the band’s might  crew of two. Generous pours or rum fueled the exploration of a quiet Monday in the French Quarter. There were more beignets and coffee at Café du Monde as the clock pushed past 2am and Bourbon Street began to dwindle down to only bad decisions waiting to happen.  It was time to go home.

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One Response to “Tour Diary – New Orleans, LA (June 14, 2010)”

  1. charlie Says:

    June 19th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I first heard the Junkies in New Orleans in the 80’s loved them then. We lived there for about 20 years. Tipitina’s was one of the music venues we patronized. Thorny Penfield, professor of English at Southern University, NO had been a founding supporter of Tip’s. Thorny was a Quaker, blues lover, humanitarian. We listened to Professor Longhair, Dr. John and the Nevilles at Tip’s.

    Now we live in the desert southwest Cascabel, AZ. It is not the music center of the world. So it is good to have NPR and we heard your interview this morning 6/19. Just a few days after you played in NO at Tipitina on Tchoupitoulas and Nashville.

    Also while i have never been to China I have practiced Tai Chi Chuan for 30+ years even taught it while we Lived in NO!!

    good luck on your new album! Ho mia

    charlie thomas