Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Orleans Zydeco Music Festival

 We woke up bright and early- First Morning in NOLA. It's the zydeco festival. Lets get rolling.
 Settled in 1720, the town of Washington is the third oldest settlement in Louisiana. The trails also take you through Opelousas where zydeco music was born.
At its essence, zydeco is the dance music of the black Creoles of southwest Louisiana and east Texas, says Michael Tisserand, whose book "The Kingdom of Zydeco" tells the story of the music and the communities that produced it. Though it started in the swampy bayou lands in the early part of the 20th century, it has exploded in popularity in the past few decades. It's common to find zydeco festivals in California and the Northeast and Louisiana bands can now tour the world with their music.

Terrence Video

Louisiana is known for Cajun, Creole and French mixture- Its not some- hold on to the "motherland". Its its own culture in the here and now as much as parts of the past. New York, Savannah and Chicago has history and allot to offer- NOLA is an American city that I think is so different and unique enough you honestly think Old Orleans must be a country somewhere.

1755 - Cajun & Zydeco Music Cajuns, who were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755, brought with them music of French origins to Louisiana. Then it simmered in a gumbo of Native American, Creole, West Indian, British, Spanish and other European influences. Now ...Cajun & Zydeco Music Cajuns, who were expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755, brought with them music of French origins to Louisiana. Then it simmered in a gumbo of Native American, Creole, West Indian, British, Spanish and other European influences. Now, Cajun tunes are primarily thought of as dance music, gallops, reels and polkas
Dec 12, 1987 - 12 December 1987, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Singer, guitarist, and harmonica and accordion player is regarded by many as the "king of zydeco music" . Chenier  started performing at dances.
1988 - Founded in 1988 , the festival has managed to transform itself into a city-wide, multi-venue program featuring a wide variety of renowned artists ranging from classical and jazz music to Americana and world music. Held in historic downtown Savannah, the festival will shake your foundations during its themed dance parties with Cuban, Cajun, Funk, and Zydeco music.
These guys where the Kings of The Festival. Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience .. and yes That is Marc Stone hiding in the back. The place was jamming, old people young people drunks and conservative.. Love shaking there ass's to zydeco. New Orleans is the place to grow older- there was no judgment with older "well to do people drinking and dancing like teenagers in the middle of the day. I could only imagine the judgment if these folks acted like that in central park or where I grew up in Ohio. -" it's hard to stand still when you're hearing great zydeco," says Tisserand.
Sure enough, wherever a zydeco band is performing, feet begin moving, bodies begin swaying and couples come together for fast-paced dancing.

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience

Here is Marc Stone, he told us he was performing  at the festival the night before, we figured it was on one of the small stages. We walked around the market- one band better than the next, we were sipping frozen cocktails for breakfast and worried we missed Marc.. We hit the final stage and it was the coolest sound- Controlled Chaos.. Instruments that you wouldn't think go together making perfect music Angie and I grabbed a couple Abita's and danced in the grass along with the others. Angie said- wait that's Marc on stage and he was playing his ass off- couldn't believe it- he was unbelievable and just then Amanda Walker- Marcs girlfriend came out and sang.. or should I say- belted an amazing couple songs out.

We were just hanging with them the night before- Ive hung with artists my whole life but there was zero ego on these two and they could have been jerks with that talent!

Angie and I loved IKO IKO- our favorite song and the whole band came out to close with it!.
"Iko Iko" is a New Orleans staple song that is about two "tribes" of Mardi Gras Indians. The song, under the original title "Jock-A-Mo", was written in 1953 by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford in New Orleans. The story tells of a "spy boy" meeting a "flag boy"  He threatens to set the flag on fire, it truly is the first "rap song"- its just talking shit about how our flag boy can kick your flag boys ass.
"Jock-a-mo" was the original version of the song "Iko Iko" recorded by the Dixie Cups in 1965. Their version came about by accident. They were in a New York City studio for a recording session when they began an impromptu version of "Iko Iko", accompanied only by drumsticks on studio ashtrays.
Can you imagine how cool that had to be- just fooling with your pals and it becomes what you known for.

Said Dixie Cup member Barbara Hawkins: "We were just clowning around with it during a session using drumsticks on ashtrays. We didn't realize that Jerry and Mike had the tapes running". Session producers Leiber and Stoller added bass and drums and released it
After 6 or 7 hours of dancing we met up with Marc and went to Frenchman street for food and drinks- It really was a perfect night. Started early, ended late and there was a lot in the middle. Between the music, food, heat, dancing I felt great- alive! like I haven't since a Jr High School dance. Being completely honest: I wasnt sure how time really worked in these moments.. It felt like we were there all day but at the end of the night I didnt know where the time went.

Marc Stone

Because zydeco is so strongly associated with the culture of south Louisiana, visitors are often surprised to find not allot of clubs offer live zydeco music on a regular basis. Jazz, New Orleans-style brass bands, blues, rock and funk are much more played in the city than zydeco or Cajun music. That's because most zydeco musicians come from southwestern Louisiana and east Texas - from the communities in and around Lafayette, Lake Charles and Houston - and when they aren't touring the country or abroad tend to play closer to home.
Perfect way to end an amazing day of watching The Best Music.. Oysters.
To me The best way to describe Zydeco is controlled chaos. Here are The Lost Bayou Ramblers. I love it- in fact I want to rename Gizmo Jobear