Saturday, April 30, 2011

Whew - I Survived

Last night was a whirlwind of people, clubs and music. It's all kind of a jumble in my head. But maybe that IS New Orleans.

While watching the Season 2 premiere of Tremé Sunday I noticed several characters were in a club called The Spotted Cat. So of course that's where we had to go. Awesome little place. So awesome that we had to get the T Shirt. Trouble was that they had two T Shirts: one with white writing and one with yellow. So Hoov asks the older guy sitting next to him which shirt he would recommend.

Older Guy: The yellow one.
Hoov: Why?
Older Guy: Because it's more yellow.

Alrighty then. How can you argue with that logic. But again, maybe that's New Orleans.

Frenchmen St., in a neighborhood outside the French Quarter, where the Spotted Cat is located is fantastic. Not nearly as crazy and loud as Bourbon St.

Bourbon Street. Eh. Been there and done that.

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First Night

A great first night to the trip! After finding Cooper in the mayhem that is NOLA airport traffic, we fought our way downtown to the hotel and checked in. We had no real plan, guided only by Coop's recommendations from watching Treme, and the hotel lobby bartender, "Big Daddy Chuck", who pointed us that way as well--the Faubourg Marigny, on Frenchmen Street--and added a couple of referrals of his own.

And they served us very well. Our first stop was the Apple Barrell, an extremely tiny bar that's cash only. When we walked in there was a guitar player accompanied by a drummer playing--nothing special...Cooper would've been far better. And that's not a knock on Cooper! He's gotten very good!

But it got much better from there. After a tasty "Italian-Cajun" (I know, don't ask; it's mostly about the seafood and sauces) meal upstairs from the Apple, we walked next door to the infamous Spotted Cat. Bang--first win of the night! Washboard Chaz was commanding the stage with his three piece band. Playing a great mix of "old-timey" blues and Oh Brother Where Art Thou bluegrass, they were the highlight of the evening.

There were several street bands out as we checked into a couple of other places--Snug Harbor, the famous jazz bar, among them.

Coop's never been to New Orleans before, so we made one pass down Bourbon Street so he could witness that lunacy. But at the end of night we both agreed with Big Daddy Chuck: "If y'all wanna fine' where WE go fo' du' good stuff, y'all needs to get to da Frenchmen..."

I think we'll be back there today...but first stop: a pawn shop for Coop to pick up a guitar.

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Location:Chartres St,New Orleans,United States

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Getting Ready

24 hours until I get on a plane bound for New Orleans and the start of our road trip. I gotta say, flying to a road trip feels a little odd.

The sore throat I've had the past couple days seems better. Yay!

Even though I've been working on my pre-flight to-do list all week it still seems like there's 1,001 things left to do. Ugh.

I thought I better try out this iPhone blogging app before the trip. OK, cross that off the list. Just 1,000 more...

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Road Trip!

I always look forward to a great road's like it's in my DNA. Even these godforsaken five hour drives from Evansville to Chicago or vice versa (and actually, I should point out that my record, established just this past Sunday, is 4 hours and 42 minutes...but I digress) are a little slice of heaven to me, especially since I got satellite radio.

But seven days with Cooper and great music, memorializing our pal Bazoo, and having guitars with us too?! Exactly...

At this particular time in my life and career, things are very challenging. The stresses of life and job, one child graduating from college, another from high school, the first year after I turn 50...I guess what I'm saying is that I may be primed for one of the best trips of my life. So the guitar is tuned, I'm packing tomorrow night, and I can't wait to see Coop at the airport on Friday.

Let the good times roll! :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Road Trip

Woohoo, it's almost here! Hoov and I meet in NOLA Friday to begin our blues road trip. Hot damn!

Discussions for this trip began a couple years ago and the trip has evolved and mutated several times. Originally planned to be a Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial road trip starting on the 20th anniversary of his death, at the site of his death in WI, and ending in Dallas or maybe Austin. Then it was a SRV/Jim Bazini Memorial road trip. Well, the anniversary of SRV's death came and went with no firm plans. Greg and I decided that since we seemed to be the only two showing real interest that we would just plan a blues road trip - and while the SRV Memorial aspect of the trip has fallen by the wayside I'm sure, without really discussing it with Greg, that the Bazini Memorial aspect of the trip is still vital. Anyway, the current plan is to start in NOLA at the Jazz and Heritage Festival (I've never been to NOLA), then Memphis, Nashville, Bloomington and Indy, and finally Chicago. And while we're still calling this our blues road trip I hope and plan to hear jazz, zydeco, country...

Come along for the ride!