In retrospect, the 2013 Jazz Fest in New Orleans was a watershed event. It would be one of the last appearances of the legendary Allen Toussaint (who would leave us in 2015). Guitar Slim Jr. is still very much with us, and like everyone this past year, waiting to get back to gigging before a live audience again pulled a show-stopper with a memorable set.
Allen Toussaint was an influential figure in New Orleans rhythm and blues from the 1950s to the end of the century, described as “one of popular music’s great backroom figures”. Many musicians recorded Toussaint’s compositions, including “Whipped Cream”, “Java”, “Mother-in-Law”, “I Like It Like That”, “Fortune Teller”, “Ride Your Pony”, “Get Out of My Life, Woman”, “Working in the Coal Mine”, “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky”, “Freedom For the Stallion”, “Here Come the Girls”, “Yes We Can Can”, “Play Something Sweet”, and “Southern Nights”. He was a producer for hundreds of recordings, among the best known of which are “Right Place, Wrong Time”, by his longtime friend Dr. John (“Mac” Rebennack), and “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle.
Guitar Slim Jr. has worked for many years on the New Orleans blues club circuit, and his repertoire became more reliant on his father’s material. His debut album, recorded in 1988, Story of My Life, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1989. New Orleans music historian Jeff Hannusch stated in the sleeve notes for that album that Slim Jr. “has been a fixture on the black New Orleans club circuit for the better part of 20 years…[but] doesn’t get to play the posher uptown clubs.”
A great set, which got things rolling for Day One.
In case you missed it, here is that set via WWOZ, who did an amazing job turning out some fantastic sound mixes in the process. This is flying by the seat of your pants, there are no second takes and the team is kicking ass. Live radio at its absolute best and a festival featuring some of the Cream of New Orleans talent.
The Press went crazy writing up rave reviews of this show, so you get to hear it for yourself and get in on the buzz.
More to come . . .
- Huge Acts Headline 2013 New Orleans Jazz Festival (vividseats.com)
- Jazz Fest: Best Seat in the House (louisianamultiverse.wordpress.com)
- A crawfish lesson at New Orleans Jazz Fest 2013 (videos.nola.com)
- Jazz Fest 2013 City, music enthusiasts ready for start of 44th Jazz Fest (louisianaweekly.com)
- Jazz Fest aims to help visitors appreciate N.O. culture, say organizers (wwltv.com)