Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gypsy Jazz...

You may have got the idea there is all kind of music at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival if you follow these reports posted here. Here's a couple of bands I'll lump under the name gypsy because if not directly inspired by that pre war genre it is music inspired by a traveling, listening spirit.     

This band was called Tatiana Eve Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band. They are based in New York and are the prime example of the Paris Hot Jazz scene of the 30s and 40s as influnced by Django Reinhardt and St├ęphane Grappelli. Look it up, you might like it.

The Avalon Jazz Band.

Tatiana Eve Marie. 

Gypsy Jazz Guitar. Django only used his thumb two fingers on his fretting hand. The other two fingers were paralyzed in the 1920s when the gypsy wagon he lived in caught fire. Never say can't. 
String bass


Here's the drummer. At the jazz fest I'm always on the look out for the guy doing something unusual. This drum kit is two small cymbals, a wood block and you may not be able to tell it but that's washboard laid flat. Sounded like a full set to me. This is a little lesson for you kids out there. You can go buy that name brand instrument you see your favorite guy or gal playing in TV but I got news for you. You won't sound like what's on TV. Throw together something odd or broken and make the music in your heart.   

This was the Tangiers Combo. Their web pages lists their inspiration for sound as French bal musettes, Latin waltzes, the great American songbook and Caribbean beats to connect South Louisiana, North Africa and 1930s Paris.  

I enjoyed the string bass sound. He had the much sought after tuba tone. You know, it sounds like a tuba but it's not. I guess you don't know. As I listened to this band I thought to myself I think I could cover these bass lines on tuba or bass. Makes me wonder how things would have been if I had fell in with a band like this instead of spending so many hours trying to cop "Whipping Post." 

When you saw jazz I bet you thought this was about Kenny G. 

Most people say there is no new good music. How about go out and catch some different music. 

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Another Fishing Reort...

On a trip that was me, Cathy and her brother Matt we put 51 catfish and 1 bream in the boat. They were deep. We tried a shallow water spot for about a half hour when we first arrived but no bites. That's not to say they are not shallow. They are everywhere, deep or shallow. They are aggressive.  I was fishing a double hook rig and this little blue cat took both hooks. 

Fishing is good for all. On the left branch you see a big gizzard shad carcass that the ospreys in the nest above have saved for later.   

A cormorant dries his wings

Cathy unhooks. 

Bent pole for Matt. 

Cathy and Matt with a double. 

The tub shot. 

Blackened catfish and grilled garlic butter catfish. 

I'd give a more detailed report but people are hollering about hot grease. 

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Friday, May 18, 2018

You Gonna Fish or Write Some Hoodoo Blues Song...

From the swampy looks of this fishing spot I might just have come up with a hoodoo blues song. All you need is a few words about mud, catfish, a woman with a skeeter hawk tattoo on her hip (wait a minute, Tony Joe White done used that) and laying down at the waters edge while it is on a steady rise. Make it an E, G, A progression and you will be good to go. We lazed around on the lake yesterday and I did not really write a song but we went into the water for a swim and caught 14 catfish. We could have kept a few more but with the warming weather we just wanted to make sure we were on the fish when Matt comes for a fishing visit this weekend.  

The bait store tried to sell us some minnows with a report that the crappie are biting at the 147 bridge pilings. They probably are but I typically don't do as well fishing when I try to chase what everybody else is doing. While in the store two guys leaving the lake stopped and reported the catfish had stopped biting when the wind calmed. We got to the lake there was a nice cooling breeze and they were biting. Fish bite all the time. Maybe not where you are at the moment but they bite somewhere. You just got to be there. 

Forecast says 92 tomorrow so we tried out one of our deep spots. There were a few fish there including this nice solid channel cat I caught. Feels kind of good to get my photo on the blog holding a fish for a change. 

Of course there are bird photos. 

Osprey perches on a stick up with a nest in the hazy distance. Not a whole lot of horizontal limbs left in the old dead standing timber to perch on.  

That's not bothering this fellow who is actually the same bird as the last photo. I wondered how many time I have taken the photos of the same birds that hang around my fishing areas. 

Back to that hoodoo thing. I caught three kinds of fish yesterday. Catfish of course, a bream and this gaspergou on a crappie jig. That should be called a Texas Three Toed Pete.  

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sights on the Lake...

Took a canoe tip to the lake today for a little light tackle bream fishing. I caught 30 bream on beetle spins and short paddle tail crappie sliders. You know they say that the famous blues man Howlin' Wolf could eat 50 bream at a sitting. Good thing he won't be over tonight. 

It was a very good day and here are some of the sights. 

This little boat was tied up at the Hank's Creel boat dock this morning. Pretty cute and all rigged for fishing. 

Later after fishing in the campground cove I was headed out and this guy was headed in. My guess he was a camper. The campground dock is out of commission with a missing walk way section so he could not tie up there. 

How the lake looked at 7am. 

These fat boys wanted to play today. In addition to the 30 we kept I had quite a few throw backs. There are no restrictions on these fish but it does not hurt to let the little ones grow a bit. 

Of course an osprey watches it all. 

Blue heron fishes for the same thing I do. 

With a canoe you get up closer than when in the big boat. Not gonna swim in my belly. 

Here's supper. Soon to be swimming in my belly. 

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Don Vappie's Tribute to King Oliver...

So, is there jazz at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival? Well there sure is. You can find the modern jazz, which is the kind of music that makes Cathy want to slap someone or you can listen to traditional jazz. Traditional jazz is a whole lot easier on me. 

I had been wanting to see this guy, Don Vappie for a while. He's a tenor banjo player I only have him on one recording, Recapturing the Banjo which has Vappie, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Otis Taylor among others all performing in the early African American style that is directly descended from the music brought here on the original gourd banjo of Africa. 

This group was called Don Vappie's Tribute to King Oliver. Oliver was a cornet player, active from the 1910s to the late 30s. That makes some of the music performed by this group over 100 years old. And you say you like the oldies. Oliver was influenced by the mysterious but never recored Buddy Bolden and mentored many trumpet and cornet players the most notable being Louis Armstrong. Louie said with out Oliver there would have been no jazz.  

Here's Don on Banjo. I credit Bill Cooney with influencing me on my knowledge of traditional jazz and tenor banjo. 

I loved hearing these two guys on cornet and trumpet. Any guesses as to where they got their music degrees? Oliver was a pioneer in the use of mutes in the trumpet solo. 

Sax players. 

Sometimes I wish I had played clarinet. It's a fine jazz instrument.  

I suggest you check Don out. He's a cool dude with a lot going on. I think he had several groups and performances at the festival. 

Oliver was a true ground breaker. According to his wiki article  he crossed all lines of society, playing working class dives and society balls in New Orleans, Chicago and New York during his career and his compositions are still important today. By the late 30s his bands were undo by the economic hardships of the depression and he could no longer play his horn due to gum disease caused by his love of sugar sandwiches.  

Listen to traditional jazz. I promise you won't get slapped. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sonic Cajun Music...

So you went down to New Orleans there Mudbelly and you must have eaten good Cajun food and seen some zydeco. Well actually I ate at a Spanish restaurant and I heard one Cajun band. They are called the Lost Bayou Ramblers and this is music you should listen to.

To fill you in the group has been performing since 1999. They started out as you might expect, two brothers carrying on a fine old time family tradition. It has grown from there with the band contributing to the film score of the movie Beast of the Southern Wild to last years regional roots rock Grammy winning release "Kalenda."  

I mentioned this is sonic Cajun music. The band sings in French using traditional melodies but steps on into the sounds of other genres to make music that is suitable for any venue north of I-10. I liked them. I bough a cd. You should also.

One thing I liked about these guys was despite the pile of fine looking Fender amps and large closed back cabinets in this photo they had pretty working class kind of gear. Alverez, Squier, and Epiphone are fine instruments but nothing really fancy or high dollar. I have instruments of those brands at home myself. They get the job done as you can see here. 

If you going to play in South Louisiana you need to dress for the gig and nothing says style like this sportsman's jump suit. My dad and most of his brothers wore this kind of thing and one day if I beg enough or she dies first my wife might let me wear something like this to a gig. 

That's Louis Michot on fiddle and brother Andre on accordion and lap steel. 

Nothing says power like two triangles in a band. 

I love that Cajun lap steel sound. 

Matter of fact on the first day of JazzFest we caught Louis jamming with a band called the Rayo brothers. I think it was his brothers. Keeping it family. That's how I like to play. 

The Rayo Brothers were more Americana/Southern Gothic sound if you need to put a name on it. 

You can't go wrong getting out to hear music. It might turn out to be people doing what you least expect. 

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Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Kumasi Afrobeat Orchestra...

 Where do you start to write about all the good music to see at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival? It's hard. I chose this year to go because there were a lot of bands I liked. I also heard a lot of new things. A New Orleans blog I read and like is My Spilt Milk and they were of the opinion that this year's fest lacked star power. That's ok because it was more like the fest I first went to with lots of blues, traditional jazz and international sounds. As My Spilt Milk advises, see something in the Economy Hall tent, something in the Gospel Tent and something international you cannot see anywhere else and you will have a great fest.

I took the see something international advice a lot this fest. This band Kumasi Afro Beat Orchestra is actually a local band but is very much styled in the African sounds of Fela Kuti. I thought they were from Africa myself.  I'll be buying their music. You should also.   

They performed at the jazz and heritage stage. It was a good place to crowd in close for the good vibes while rock dinosaurs Like Aerosmith and the Steve Miller band, both dead from the neck down since 1972 or so played the big stages.

I tried to describe to a rock fan the Cuban, Haitian, African and traditional jazz music I saw at the fest and the response was, "I'd probably be bored." With the costumes, dancing and energetic beats I had to question myself why I listen to so much rock and country music that plods along 1, 2, 3, 4...

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