Street Music Back after Mothers Day Shooting New Orleans

“This is how I eat. This is how I feed my family. Without this, I have to go look for another job. I never worked a day in my life. I play music all the time,” says Chris Terro, a percussionist with the TBC Brass Band. READ MORE IN

Jazz Fest

Amanda and I spent a day at the historic New Orleans institution: Jazz Fest.  The whole thing felt like a machine designed to bleed music fans. Where did the feeling come from?  …The bag checkers at the entry keeping out your BYO’s…. The $7 cans of Coors… the $5 snow cones. 

In an effort to catch Fleetwood Mac singing three hours of hits from the Acura stage, we tried to wend our way through the maze of monopolists in their booths peddling tiny bits of food for large chunks of change.  We pushed hard through the throngs, Amanda and I holding hands.

We approached the stage from the side as the band fired up.  Once we were squarely in line with the front of the stage we were stopped by the giant mass of humanity pushing back.  We could no longer move forward.  Turning around we tried a less ambitious strategy approaching from the back.  However this was made impossible by the architecture of the festival grounds which created gauntlets of the walkways so as to maximize the number of vendors you had to pass no matter where you were going.  The closest we were able to get to Fleetwood was behind an encampment of vendors blocking the stage but at an angle that allowed us to see the band on the Jumbotron way in the distance.  People looked like refugees sitting muddied on blue tarps crumpled in the live manure.  We too were sinking in the mud and Lindsay Buckingham’s backups were not sounding good.   

Alienated and disheartened we turned around to abandon the Fleetwood show.  We ran into Christina and music-manager Elton.  Christina and I made plans for the evening busk.  Amanda and I then made our way to the Blues Tent where Los Lobos were to play.  That was a show I wanted to see.  But unfortunately the area where people sit was completely full or claimed.  And the only other way to see the band was to stand in one of three cages in the back where people seemed to be mashing up on one another before the band had even come on stage. 

Completely disenchanted, Amanda and I left the fest.  

Busking Notes from 5/3/13

I went out Friday at about 4pm to find a spot.  I stopped to say hello my new pals Tanya and Dorise and wound up singing duet style with Kelly Love Jones Alicia Keyes’s No One.

I thanked them for graciously sharing their ‘stage’ with me and went to claim the spot at Royal and St. Louis.  I sang solo for an hour and a half until  Christina joined. 

We went pretty late together.  At about 11pm we packed up and went to Kajun’s to join Amanda and a bunch of young teachers helping Sara Schragg celebrate her 24th birthday.  Kajun’s was jammed and the karaoke singers were particularly drunk that night.   

New Orleans Photo Essay

french quqrter essay=digital journal A walk to see the many sites of the French Quarter in New Orleans becomes a photo essay if the street performers busting their busk  on a beautiful day.

the work by

By Kay Mathews

Apr 15, 2013 – yesterday in Digital Journal
will give you one more reason to visit New Orleans this year.

Pinch A Palooza Party on Lake Street in New Orleans


Pinch A Palooza, comes to the Bucktown neighborhood of Metairie on Sunday, April 21, noon to 8 p.m.

Organized by Deanie’s Seafood, the free street party takes place at the company’s original restaurant location, 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie. The lakefront eatery will be selling its signature boiled crawfish, along with other favorites from its menu: fried crawfish tails, fried crawfish po-boys, crawfish balls, crawfish nachos and crawfish cornbread, plus beer, soda and specialty cocktails.

At Pinch A Palooza, the music line-up is as Louisiana-centered as the menu…


French Quarter Festival Starts Today

The French Quarter in New Orleans, home to 24 hour 7 days a week street culture takes that tradition to the next level this weekend as it stages the 30th annual French Quarter Festival. Last year the festival drew 574,000 attendees, 49 percent local, 51 percent from out-of-town.

1,400 musicians will be performing on 21 stages throughout the Quarter.with a  major stage making its first appearance on Decatur Street. Among the headliners will be Irma Thomas and the Dixie Cups. The festival’s musical lineup includes traditional and contemporary jazz, New Orleans R&B and funk, brass bands, folk and international music, singer-songwriters, gospel, Latin, Cajun and zydeco music.french-quarter-festival The festival is growing in popularity and this year the major news medias will be on hand to cover the event. The organizers are expecting record crowds this year and  hope that the festival will contribute to New Orleans recovering image and economy.