Here is a description of what Roy Orbison looked like to me when he performed at the Jazz Fest in 1985: A stick. A black stick on a stage, with a stick band behind it. Oh, and the stage seemed to be about a half-mile away. Orbison, who always dressed in black, drew a crowd. […]
Coalesce Goods is a new plant-based dining concept that has recently opened at St. Roch Market. Texas chefs Alex Davis and Jasmine “Jas” Rogers have established a cult following in Louisiana for their creative, indulgent vegan fare by hosting local pop-ups that push the boundaries of plant-based foods. Their menu includes options like vegan boudin […]
For the organized wardrobe of your dreams, look no further than California Closets. Equipped with a range of products and space-saving solutions from custom design to bins and boxes, you can easily transform clutter into a tranquil space. California Closets, Californiaclosets.com. The most effortless way to lighten up your space for spring? Swap out pillows […]
April is usually an entertainment-filled month in New Orleans, from the music lover’s dream of back-to-back French Quarter Fest and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, to weekends filled with food festivals along the bayou and beyond, lazy Sunday brunches at sidewalk cafes and DIY picnics in the park. While New Orleans is slowly […]
I was sad to miss Carnival season this year, sadder than I originally expected. I normally wouldn’t call myself the world’s biggest fan of the whole thing; I tend to feel like the stress of traffic and parking and muscling through crowds isn’t worth it for the payoff of pounds of beads and cups and […]
fdg Budsi’s Authentic Thai, a vibrant and buzzy newcomer in the Marigny, steps into two niches simultaneously. It is both unfamiliar (with a distinctively singular regional Thai menu) and rooted in the pleasures of home (i.e. the cooking that owner Budsaba Mason grew up with). Launched by the wife and husband team of Budsaba and […]
Seen here in this 1867 stereopticon slide made by New Orleans photographer Theodore Lilienthal is the luxurious old St. Charles Hotel that once dominated the entire 200 block of St. Charles Street (now Avenue). At the time, it ranked among the grandest hotels in the South and an important social and business gathering place for […]
Owner Skye LaTorre, a sommelier with more than 20 years of experience who began her career in New Orleans at Emeril’s Delmonico, has opened Pluck Wine Bar in the Warehouse District. The wine bar focuses on small, ethical producers, all offered in a welcoming, inclusive environment. The curated list of world-class wines and accompanying food […]
I’m told we’re examining the matter of senior living in this month’s issue of the magazine. But is “senior living” any different from other kinds of living? I’ll answer that for you. Hell yes it is. You know everything has changed when you wake up in the morning and with every slow step you take […]
fight With Jazzfest postponed until October (when crawfish season will be in the rearview) I offer this recipe so you can make it at home for your Festing in Place (WWOZ 90.7-FM and wwoz.org, April 22-25 and April 29-May 2, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily) experience. Years ago, I spent days tinkering with the […]
No one thinks about New Orleans and says, “you know, they lack creativity.” And this past year, in between a global pandemic and natural disasters, New Orleanians did their best to keep themselves entertained and keep the creative juices flowing throughout the city. During one of the city’s creative efforts in response to the cancellation […]
The Gunch family has been getting a reputation. Not good. My mother-in-law, Ms. Larda, is very upset. Last month there was the mix-up, which was NOT her fault, at her Catholic ladies’ book club. She had recommended “River of Fire,” an inspirational book by a nun, and she had no idea it had the same […]
Most people want peace and comfort where they live. Yet the current pandemic and the emphasis on staying home have further emphasized the desire to put the “OM” in “HOME.” “Instead of spending money on travel, entertainment and eating out, everyone is focusing on their [living] spaces,” said decorator Hattie Sparks Collins. When creating a […]
dg New Orleans has long enjoyed a tradition of outdoor dining, from crawfish-laden picnic tables to candlelit courtyards. Over the past year, many restaurants have responded to COVID-19 concerns by adding, expanding or beautifying outside seating to give patrons and staff extra breathing room. As we settle into spring, there’s no better time to sample […]
Arriona “Tank” Ball After a lavish musical introduction by her backing band, Tarriona “Tank” Ball – lead singer of Tank and the Bangas – playfully danced onto the stage to perform her song “Spaceships” to a rocking crowd. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say the fans were mildly heaving, swaying, rolling, pitching and/or “yawing,” […]
It’s April, which means Major League baseball swings into high gear this month. In a perfect year, that is. At press time the baseball gods seemed to smiling down upon the nation’s less-than-active baseball stadiums. Despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19, this year fans may be watching 162 games for the 2021 season. But, if […]
From the Fat Man to Mahalia: Paintings by James Michalopoulos The New Orleans Jazz Museum will host an exhibition by acclaimed local artist James Michalopoulos from March 25 to October 10. It will span his entire career, from his recent paintings of street musicians to rarely seen works on loan from private collectors, including his […]
ugh Where you live matters, at every stage of your life. With some 71.6 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. between the ages of 57-75 years old, the notion of downsizing as a way to free yourself from the daily chores of homeownership and enjoy the next chapter of your life holds great appeal. […]
Dear Julia, I grew up on the Alabama coast (Orange Beach) in the mid ‘50s. My parents managed a hotel (Gulf Gate Lodge) and all family members worked there. At night, I used an old Crosley radio to serenade me to sleep. I would listen to New Orleans when a station went to “clear channel” after a […]
huio Kimberly Patton Bragg created Keeper of the Crossroads for a New Orleans themed cocktail competition in Las Vegas. The drink honors the voodoo deity, Papa Legba. “I know he usually drinks rum,” admitted Bragg “but I figure he likes to switch it up.” Maurin, a bitter liquor, has a label featuring a fiendish devil. […]
With the roll-out of vaccines underway, we will someday soon be able to gather with friends and family and be more present in the world outside of the home. For people with hearing and eye problems, it’s possible that increased isolation may have disguised the severity of any issues. Being ready to safely hear live […]
Over the last year, one disease has owned the spotlight and globally altered life as we know it. Unfortunately, other life-changing health problems have not dissipated with their lack of spotlight. This month, we’re increasing stroke awareness with information that could be helpful to you or a loved one in the instance of stroke. Take […]
For many people, the circumstances of the last year brought into focus life priorities and finances. Often, the two are intertwined. Planning for the future and having the ability to weather uncertainty have proven worthy goals, and there are resources aplenty for bolstering your financial security and being able to afford both the things you’ll […]
Of late, low interest rates and a year of cabin fever have inspired people across New Orleans and the Gulf South to upgrade their homes. Whether that means moving into a larger space, simplifying for retirement, buying a vacation home, exploring countryside properties, or renovating your current home, agents and banks are well positioned to […]
Spring is officially here, and compared to this time last year, there’s much more to do in and around New Orleans. From booking unique travel escapes like a beach weekend or luxurious resort getaway to dining out with loved ones, there are ways to soak up the good vibes and great weather that come with […]
Your guide to the dining, entertainment, lifestyle, culture and people of New Orleans from the trusted editors of New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Home, New Orleans Bride, and St. Charles Avenue.
Here is a description of what Roy Orbison looked like to me when he performed at the Jazz Fest in 1985:
A black stick on a stage, with a stick band behind it.
Oh, and the stage seemed to be about a half-mile away.
Orbison, who always dressed in black, drew a crowd. Those of us in the rear would have been better off staying home and listening to a record.
This is our second April without a Jazz Fest (though maybe in October) so we are just left with memories of the other times: Take Ernie K-Doe, for example. He remains my favorite New Orleans R&B performer of all time with his classic “’Taint It the Truth” still Number One on my personal Top Ten list. Besides his singing, K-Doe was known for his chatter, including the revelation he made one afternoon at the Jazz Fest. Never lacking self-esteem, K-Doe announced that he was “the best thing that ever happened to New Orleans.” I could not disagree, though some people would rank building the levee system and finding a cure for yellow fever as competitors. But we had to respect that K-Doe approached the stage wearing a crown and a cape.
Frankie Ford was from New Orleans too. His biggest hit was “Sea Cruise” which began with a ship bell clanging followed by a wishful journey.
Old man rhythm is in my shoesIt’s no use to sittin’ and a singin’s the bluesSo be my guest, you got nothin’s to loseWon’t you let me take you on a sea cruise?
It is a cliche among many performers to introduce one of their songs by saying, “it goes something like this.” Not Ford. Refreshingly, at the 2009 Jazz Fest, he announced his hit accordingly: “This next song does not go ‘something like this,’ it goes exactly like this.” Clang, clang.
Word usage hit a rough note when the band BeauSoleil was being introduced. The stage announcer, a D.J. for a local country music station who obviously did not know much about Cajun pride, introduced the group by saying, “and now for some real coon ass music.....” Michael Doucet, the band’s founder and star approached the microphone and icily responded. “We are not coon ass; we are Acadian.” The crowd cheered. The D.J. retreated to a corner of the stage like a boxer staggering from a blow.
There are many great performers who have played the Jazz Fest but none who can claim to be the founder of a genre of American music, except for the late Bill Monroe. The mandolin player is credited with having created bluegrass. Derived from rockabilly, bluegrass sizzles with stringed instruments played so fast, especially Monroe’s mandolin, that they could be smokin’. One Sunday, at the closing hour of the festival’s last day, he and his band, the Blue Grass Boys, who were dressed in suits, boots and Stetsons, were joyously singin’, pickin’ and cloggin’. The performance should have been preserved for the Smithsonian. Instead, the music was overlooked by the many Fest folks who walked past Monroe’s stage on the way to the Neville Brothers’ traditional closing performance.
Monroe played unfazed and even asked those few in the audience if they would like for him to come back one day. They cheered. But if there is a lesson to be learned from the Jazz Fest—never have to compete with the Nevilles.