Went out Saturday night after Jazzfest ended for the day with some old friends from Ohio (and a couple of new ones from I-forget-where.) We ended up at One Eyed Jack's. Just missed Eric Lindell (New Orleans native, funky roots music and a goatee that would've made a Havlicek proud) but noticed him standing around in his blacknwhite slip-on Van's to watch C.C. Adcock perform. (And, yes, I know that picture looks like a pink Jesus.)
Before they started, I chatted to a local p.r. guy who was rambling on about some girl a famous lounge act fella had written a song for years ago. Angelina, I think it was. She had a bubble butt, he said, and bubbles in the front, too. Standing right over there. He showed me a tacky little plastic "cell phone" flask he'd snuck in to doctor his drinks. And I know I'm probably making him sound tacky, too, but he wasn't. He was a straight up and down nawlins citizen- knowledgeable, friendly, easy to talk to. He gave me the history of the band we were about to see (I've forgotten, so don't ask) and told me about a very funny idea he'd had for a line of p.j.'s. And apparently, I gave him an idea for a story he was having a hell of a time publicizing. That's me- the p.r. muse coming up with a notion from my ONE (count 'em) p.r. class in college. Always happy to help strange men ogling other women in deliciously sleazy New Orleans clubs. That's all I've got to say.
Anyway, when they stepped onto the stage, I realized I recognized these fools from the day before at Jazzfest. I'd been walking like a silly person the crowded way (i.e. not around the track, but through the seated/ standing crowd) to hear Cowboy Mouth and Wilco at the end of the day. (And, no, they were not playing together.) I had a huge hat on my head, a little top that was sliding off my shoulders and bag over one of those shoulders with a chair in it. I was taking up way too much space and was very mindful of the chair- wouldn't want to actually hit anybody who was threatening to flatten my too-big hat. As I pushed forward through the crowd, I had my eyes on the ground and saw two pairs of gorgeous cowboy boots. Skinny jeans crumpled just so, red and silver belt, tight and rumpled shirt on one and a jacket on the other. And their faces... well, let me say that the pink Jesus picture doesn't do Mr. Charlie justice. I know I smiled for a second looking into their eyes. Hell, I smirked. I think I even said well done. These were a couple of men who knew the power of image. Had to be performers I thought and I kept going.
So, when they showed up right in front of me at One Eyed Jack's, I had a chance to see what they were about. (Bayou, swamp, alligators, wet heat, decay, alcohol, black, white, voodoo, zydeco, cajun, rockabilly, country, funk, hip hop?, and blues in case you were wondering.) Swamp pop is what they call this stuff. It had me dancing, I mean really dancing, for the first time in a long, long time. Ran to the bathroom at one point and saw her again- the warmest ice queen ever, glowing white. That music made me happy. It was good. Not clean by a long shot, but good. And these kinds of crazy music people are playing constantly in my city.
Oh, it's going to hurt me to leave.