It was a great first weekend, even if it was hot and muggy at the 2014 Jazz Fest! On Friday, my wife Lisa joined me and we started the day off at the Acura Stage with Laura Mvula and her beautiful voice. I had read about her on NPR music and was excited to hear her. I was surprised that it was her first visit to New Orleans with her being a jazz vocalist.
We then headed over to the Blues Tent and listened to Lil’ Buck Sinegal Blues Band. The Blues Tent was much muggier than the outside venues, but they put on a great show! Lil’ Buck blasted on blues classic after blues classic with his full band. I had heard about him, but I had not seen him until Friday. We headed over to the Fais Do-Do to hear The Infamous Stringbusters who are one of my favorite “New Grass” bands.
We than dashed over to the Samsung Galaxy Stage, formerly the Gentilly Stage, to hear Jason Isbell playing most of his new album “Southeastern.” I saw him open up for Dawes at the Manship Theater and I thought that he was much better than Dawes! He killed it at Jazz Fest playing many of his new songs and he wrapped up with “Super 8 Motel.” Jason was very fun and told many stories of his life growing up in Muscle Shoals, AL. Once he finished Lisa and I went over to my favorite fried chicken booth, which is close to the CD tent and got a two-piece dark with jambalaya…talk about good!
We then went over to hear a few songs by Carlos Santana including “Oye Como Va” and “Hope You’re Feeling Better.” The Acura Stage was getting crazy crowded and we retreated back to the Samsung Galaxy Stage to hear a great Avett Brothers set. The played all of my favorites including “ I and Love and You,” which the crowd went crazy for. Friday was a great day with Lisa!
On Saturday I went back solo as Lisa decided that one day was plenty for her. I caught up with some friends just in time to hear a jamming set by Anders Osborne followed by Phish. Phish was fun with friends and it was their first time back to Jazz Fest in over 10 years. They played a three hour show, however I left after two hours to go eat at the Velvet Cactus with Lisa. It was a good day getting picked up and dropped of by my lovely bride!
I can’t wait to go back Thursday to hear Hot 8, Tom McDermott, Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys, DJ Soul Sister, Chaka Chan, Buddy Bolden Revisited, and The Alabama Shakes! Stay tuned for my next update…