REMOVE THE FENCE
We enjoyed the free concert in Lafayette Square and went to Rock ’n’ Bowl, Blue Nile, Funky Pirate and some clubs on Bourbon Street. We stopped off briefly in Armstrong Park on September 24 in the daytime. We have been there many years ago and I wanted again to look at Congo Square. We were very surprised that the park was deserted and heavily fenced off. As [Jan Ramsey] wrote in the latest OffBeat Magazine, the fence should come down, and it needs a music event and auditorium service and so on.
I think OffBeat Magazine is very significant because it makes a point about the New Orleans and Louisiana music.
—Takashi Miyazaki and Hisae Miyazaki, Toyko, Japan
Years ago in Baton Rouge at a big blues show at the River Center headlined by Bo Diddley and starring B.B. King, every couple of songs they brought out Kenny Wayne Shepherd to ruin the tune with a big fanfare—“He’s only 12 years old,” etc! I sat beside a large group of black ladies who kept booing and yelling, “Get that white kid off. We came to hear da’ blues.” The continuing parade of “future of the blues white kids” is as lame now as it was then. Talent should know no color; however, to present suburban white kids as “bluesmen” is a joke!
—Prof. Roy C. Eure, Baton Rouge LA
Awesome interview and just when you think you know everything a fan could know, out comes some more to make you feel closer to the man and even more inspired by him and his music. It was a very down to earth and honest interview. Very refreshing. In all honesty, it made me get my Kenny Wayne Shepherd CDs out and start playing them again—not that they’re ever too far away.
I’ve been a huge fan since “Deja Voodoo” first came out. Kenny Wayne Shepherd has influenced me more than any other guitarist. The stuff that legends are made of—I can’t wait to get a copy of the new album.
—Deborah Swain, Maleny, Queensland, Australia
HOTTEST MUSIC STRIP
I have just returned from a pleasant trip to Louisiana. The postponed Plaisance Zydeco Festival, October 1, offered great music but suffered from a very small audience. Fred’s Lounge in Mamou was, as usual, a helluva place to be early in the morning, having a couple of beers that you normally don’t drink at this time of the day.
The stay in New Orleans was even greater, not as usual: beautiful weather (in the mid-70s with low humidity), not crowded with tourists, excellent food, as usual (even the eclectic happy-hour Creole food in House of Blues, where live blues is a rarity.) And of course, great, great music.
Where? On Frenchmen Street! Introducing my son to the New Orleans music scene, I took him from Snug Harbor with Charmaine Neville’s Band to d.b.a. with the Nightcrawlers, to Café Negril with John Lisi’s Delta Funk and to BMC with the Lagniappe Brass Band. This only in one night. All the spots within a small walking distance, not far from your office. I wish every New Orleans visitor would leave the Quarter behind and find out that Frenchmen is not only the hottest music strip in town, you can also roam the streets in a relaxed atmosphere, pub crawl and watch the people out on the sidewalk. There is down-home cooking in the southern Creole style, which is, apart from the music, one of the reasons to make it to New Orleans.
The Maple Leaf Bar, Rock ’n’ Bowl and Tip’s were worth a visit, as usual. And, if someone really needs to go to the French Quarter, here’s another suggestion for breakfast: the best croissants I’ve ever had in 50 years, and a very tasteful (non-Community) coffee was in a pristine pastry shop [Croissant d’Or] at 617 Ursulines St. Who dat?
—Hans W. Ewert, Kasbach, Germany
On page 20 of the October issue, the credit for an image of Wardell Quezergue’s hand-written music was attributed to Scott Billingham. The proper credit goes to Scott Billington.