Oh, it feels like spring: Jazz Fest and Ponderosa Stomp



Or at least, I've now temporarily skipped over Thanksgiving, winter holidays of all denominations and Mardi Gras anticipation in my head to start salivating over future Creole stuffed breads and strawberry lemonade. The folks at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival announced this morning that for the first time since '05, they're tacking the second Thursday of the festival back on for a full seven days of Fairgrounds fun.

Not only that, but the Neville Brothers have signed on for their traditional closing slot, after a two-year absence. (Good. We were starting to worry about them.)

More quietly, the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau have released an early version of the lineup for their two-day blast of roots, soul, garage and rockabilly musical mayhem at the House of Blues, taking place the nights of April 29th and 30 (the Tuesday and Wednesday nights between the two Jazz Fest weekends.) This year's Stomp roster is headed up again by the Austin-based weirdo Roky Erickson; it also includes, for the first time in New Orleans, Spanish Harlem bad girl Ronnie Spector and Mary Weiss, the voice of the Shangri-La's. Big hair and teen tragedy, here we come!

The Jazz Fest lineup is still hush-hush, though Quint Davis did allow that Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, who appeared at Essence Fest this summer, will be on the bill for Sunday, May 1. Which means that at some point at the Fairgrounds on Sunday, five hundred white people will all be doing the Electric Slide.

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