Jazz Fest Weekend Two
And an interview with Lucy Dacus
Once we made it past the rain on Thursday, the weather for Jazz Fest has never been finer. It’s been a big 50th for the festival already and there is a lot more to come this weekend. This evening Cécile McLorin Salvant will close out the Jazz Tent. Tomorrow John Prine brings home to Blues Tent and Sunday we get Jimmy Buffet on the Acura stage and Chaka Khan at Congo Square. Here are some recommendations for weekend two.
The Iguanas 11:20am Acura
Tommy Sancton 12:20pm Economy Hall
Leo Nocentelli 1:35pm Gentilly
Susan Cowsill 1:50pm Lagniappe
Trumpet Mafia 2:50pm Jazz Tent
Kamasi Washington 4:20pm Gentilly
Ani DiFranco 4:15pm Fais Do-Do
The Deslondes 4:20pm Lagniappe
Cécile McLorin Salvant 5:45pm Jazz Tent
John “Papa” Gros 11:15am Acura
Joe Krown Trio 12:20pm Blues Tent
Amanda Shaw 1:20pm Gentilly
Hot 8 Brass Band 1:25pm Congo Square
George French 1:40pm Economy Hall
Marcia Ball 2:50pm Blues Tent
The Earls of Leicester 3:45pm Fais Do-Do
Fountain and Hirt Tribute 4:15pm Economy Hall
John Prine 5:45pm Blues Tent
Diana Ross 5:45pm Gentilly
George Porter Jr 11:20am Gentilly
Trib to Alvin Batiste 12:20pm Jazz Tent
Little Feat 2:00pm Gentilly
Dr. Michael White 3:05pm Economy Hall
Jimmy Buffett 3:05pm Acura
Chaka Khan 3:25pm Congo Square
The Radiatiors 3:50pm Gentilly
John Boutte 4:05pm Jazz Tent
Herbie Hancock 5:30pm Jazz Tent
Lucy Dacus at One Eyed Jacks with Mothers
Over the past couple of years you’ve heard a lot about Lucy Dacus in this space. Her debut record No Burden was my record of the year in 2016 and her 2018 followup Historian placed fourth on my list for last year. This week Dacus plays her first headlining show in New Orleans supported by the outstanding group Mothers. I caught up with Lucy by phone to talk a bit about her extensive touring schedule and her approach to songwriting. From the start she felt that the unexpected success of her first record left the public with an incomplete picture of her as both an artist and person.
“When we recorded No Burden, we just picked songs from my whole batch of songs that we liked…I didn’t have aspirations for lots of people to hear it…The response to that was wholly unexpected, it really threw me off. It was amazing, and also terrifying, but really unintentional. I like to be an intentional person. So, with Historian, I knew from the beginning that people are gonna listen, I want people to know who I am more thoroughly, and who I am now. So, I collected these songs that felt more vital. I think that once I put out an album I meant for people to hear, that’s why it felt better than No Burden.”
Taken together the two records present a version of Dacus that is both intimate in tiny detail and expansive in her ability to weave stories. I asked her to talk a bit about her approach to the autobiographical elements of her work and how her perspective on these moments changes over time.
“I think it changes all the time. I’ll usually write the song starting with some kind of confusion – so that’s personal to me – then part of the song is figuring out what I think about something. That’s why the structures of my songs are usually beginning, and something I need to figure out, like a thesis statement. A lot of time I’ll write the song, and not know what it’s about, and listen to it once it’s done, and be like, ‘Oh, that is about me in this way.’ Because that’s kind of what everyone else goes through when they hear a song…So, if it came from me, it probably is about me – but for awhile – I feel as though I’m writing characters until I figure out which character is me.” She followed up with some more developments in her writing. “Recently, I’ve been writing way more directly about my life, and that’s been very intimidating. I think it’s easier to write generally and then see yourself in it, then to simply tell people things about yourself.”
You can expect this tour to be a bit less focused on the new material than the tour for Historian and more directly focused the relationship between the band and the audience.
“I feel like we’re between album cycles, so I’ve been taking a lot of requests…We’re playing more songs from No Burden, we kind of put them away for the Historian album cycle. But it’s been fun to come back to those songs and breathe new life into them. I’m far away from who I was when I wrote those, but I can still enjoy those songs. I guess I can enjoy them more now, as songs, than facets of who I am. I don’t know, I really like having shows because I like saying thank you to peoples faces. I don’t know if it means anything, most artists say thank you. But it’s meaningful to me to be able to look into the faces of people who are coming to the show, and be like, ‘You make this possible. I don’t know if you know. Thanks.’”
Lucy Dacus and Mothers play One Eyed Jacks Thursday night. Check out her Pitchfork Live performance below.
Also Going on This Week
Tonight Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is at the Orpheum while Big Freedia and Boyfriend are at Republic and Mike Gordon plays the Joy. You can also catch The Cult at the Fillmore and George Porter is at One Eyed Jacks. Saturday Spafford will be jamming at The Civic. While Gov’t Mule play the Orpheum and Galactic returns to Tipitina’s. Sunday My Morning Jacket front man Jim James plays the Joy while Mr Twin Sister play Gasa Gasa. Monday Shinedown is at the Fillmore and The Murlocs are at One Eyed Jacks. Evanescence drop in the Saenger Tuesday night while Blac Rabbit play Gasa Gasa. Wednesday Rob Zombie plays the Fillmore while Cyril Neville plays Wednesday At The Square show at Lafayette Square Park. Thursday the outstanding pair of Lucy Dacus and Mothers will play at One Eyed Jacks.
To Listen This Week
- New track from KAYTRANDADA via Youtube
- Better Oblivion Community Center stopped in to do a Tiny Desk Concert via NPR
- Kate Tempest has announced a new record and shared the first single via CoS