Count Basin™ weathered all the highs and lows of an exciting New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. There was everything from Fleetwood Mac's two hour and 20 minute set on the Acura stage to Canadian DJs of A Tribe Called Red shorting out the sound system in the Native American Pavilion with their revved up electric powwow. Days were split between sunny skies and heavy showers, but the mud pits stayed. Several bands offered tributes to George Jones, who died April 26. The festival also gained a new ancestor, as a marker dedicated to the Treme Brass Band's "Uncle" Lionel Batiste was added to the grounds and there were second-line parades on both the grounds and in Economy Hall Tent. It was seven days full of memorable moments. Here are some of the Count's highlights.
As temperatures rose on opening day, shooting star bluesman Gary Clark Jr. unleashed his signature scorching of Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" mixed with the R&B groove of Albert Collins' "If You Love Me Like You Say."
The Soul Rebels flexed some muscle and showed the band's range as it moved from a Curtis Mayfield tune into an extended jam between all horns that drummer Derrick "Oops" Moss thumped into "504" — a mashup of hip-hop grooves highlighted by call-and-response with the enthusiastic Gentilly Stage crowd.
Cajun trio T'Monde added rich vocal harmonies to its traditional accordion-fiddle-guitar lineup throughout its set on the Fais Do-Do Stage, with songs like "Miller's Cave" by D.L. Menard. "George Jones passed away this morning," frontman Drew Simon told the stunned crowd. "We just heard it on the radio on the way up from Lafayette." The band then launched into a moving version of Jones' "Flame In My Heart." Later in the set, the non-sequitur "No drums?" came suddenly from the audience. "It's too early for drums," responded fiddle player Kelli Jones-Savoy.
With Paul Sanchez's entire Rolling Road Show band on stage, the set was delayed as the sound crew struggled to get Alex McMurray's mic working. When it came on, Sanchez deadpanned, "This was a conceptual performance piece to show that from one voice rises community." In a warm and powerful set, Sanchez repeatedly turned the spotlight on regulars including Debbie Davis, Shamarr Allen, McMurray and special guests including Fats Domino's grandson Chevis Brimmer, who wowed the crowd with his R&B song "Angel."
Return of the Night Tripper
With twin skulls resting atop his grand piano, Dr. John conjured the spirits in a convincing set with his lean-and-mean Night Trippers band. He dipped into fresh material from his recent Grammy-winning album Locked Down, produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, and went back in time with classics like "Walk on Gilded Splinters," during which he prowled the stage using voodoo implements as percussion. Dr. John picked up a red Telecaster for "Let the Good Times Roll," peeling off classic guitar riffs that recalled his days in the late 1950s with bands like Mac Rebennack and the Skyliners.
Neck and neck
Anders Osborne turned in a blistering set of classic rock at the Gentilly Stage. Set opener "Burning on the Inside" evolved into a dueling guitar jam with special guest Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, before ending with a reggae-inflected coda. Osborne wove the Grateful Dead's "Franklin's Tower" around his old-school romp "Greasy Money" (from the 1999 album Living Room). With a relentless two-guitar attack throughout the lengthy set, Osborne and Dickinson — occasionally playing slide at the same time — sounded like a slightly heavier version of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman in Derek and the Dominos.
The Canadian hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Red started an early set on the Gentilly Stage with a traditional flourish: dancers in traditional Native American costumes. Ian "DJ NDN" Campeau, Dan "DJ Shub" General and Bear Witness mix a reggae and dub-step influenced blend of beats with Native Nations songs and chants. The vocal chants and slow tempo create a mellow, original and compelling sound. The DJs pumped some politics into the final tune when they dedicated it to "racist sports teams everywhere." The song sampled the Hollywood staple "War Dance" used in Westerns (and also used by college sports teams including the Florida State Seminoles).
The Tribe reconvened in the Native American Pavilion and the powwow was brought to a jarring halt as they shorted the sound system. As the group began to troubleshoot, some audience members circled up and began singing what sounded like a spirit Native American chant, compelling audience and band members alike to pull out their phones to capture the moment.
World on a string
Known for their work with countless New Orleans bands of every imaginable style, Jimmy Robinson, Phil DeGruy, John Rankin and Cranston Clements performed as The New Orleans Guitar Quartet. Material ran the gamut from Freddie King's "Hide Away" to Wes Montgomery's "Road Song," and the Quartet demonstrated technical mastery that boggled the minds of fellow guitarists. Mid-set, DeGruy stood up to play a solo piece that segued from "America the Beautiful" to "Mr. Sandman" and seemed to playfully encompass the entirety of American music in about five minutes. "That's pretty much impossible," said Clements.
Harmonica player and blues legend Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper, who spent much of the set playing slide guitar, turned in a wonderfully harmonious set. The two have collaborated through much of the last decade and released Get Up! in January. The age difference isn't as great as it seems: Musselwhite is almost 70, Harper is 43. But they bridge generations and more in their extraordinarily natural connection. Musselwhite has an elegant style of old-school Mississippi Delta blues and Harper has synthesized blues, folk, soul and rock and been embraced by jam band fans and younger fans, but their rapport is seamless.
Charles Bradley's band played a couple of songs before vamping on The Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer In the City" before the soul singer made what is known as an entrance in a fiery red suit. The longtime James Brown impersonator has stepped into his own spotlight, but his band played like it was 1971 at the Apollo. Bradley gave it his all, as if he was a hungry young man of 25 instead of 65, with dancing, splits and microphone twirling.
- Photo by Scott Saltzman
- Some footwear was better than others in mud at the Fair Grounds' infield.
On the fly
At the beginning of his set on the Fais Do-Do Stage, Andrew Bird was a one-man band, looping his violin and whistles. The rest of his band joined in for "Hole in the Ocean Floor," but bird continued multitasking throughout the set, playing violin with a guitar strapped over his back. At one point, an instrument tech came onstage and played tambourine. Overall, it was a rocking set, and there was a backbeat mixed with 1970s Beach Boys vibe and guitar drones and effects.
Launching her set with the classic "The Way," Jill Scott sailed through her catalogue of hits as the crowd sang along. Her background singers, three young men called The Pipes, provided call and response tension to her sexually laden lyrics. When she sang the seductive "So Gone," the men halted her performance with their rendition of Jodeci's hard harmonizing "Feenin'." Other hits included "So In Love," "Real Thing," "Quick" and her women's empowerment anthem "Golden." Mary J. Blige understands our brokeness, but Scott beckons with songs of our innate greatness.
On the Fais Do-Do stage, Martha Redbone sang several songs from her recent album of William Blake songs, including "Garden of Love" and "A Poison Tree." Redbone is of Cherokee, Shawnee, Choctaw and African-American ancestry, and her band is a southern Appalachian string group, with a guitar, banjo, fiddle and stand up bass. Blake's poetry suited her vocals and the band's picking. The highlight of the set was Redbone's beautiful and haunting version of "Drums," Native American singer Peter LaFarge's song about holding onto Native American heritage and pride in spite of assimilation into a culture that essentially viewed them as vanquished.
Blowing in the rain
The Midnight Disturbers had a raucous set going when an afternoon thunderstorm erupted. The lineup included Big Sam Williams, Galactic's Ben Ellman and Stanton Moore, Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen, Shamarr Allen, trombonist Corey Henry, Skerik, drummer Kevin O'Day, sousaphonist Matt Perrine, Bonerama's Mark Mullins and others. The band was working through a series of solos when rain hit, and Perrine quickly segued into a sousaphone-only version of "Singin' in the Rain."
How sweet it is
Available only for purchase at Jazz Fest until its official June release, the Honey Island Swamp Band's new album Cane Sugar (Louisiana Red Hot) shows plenty of promise, with "Cast the First Stone" and "Prodigal Son" boasting both expert musicianship and dual songwriting talents from Aaron Wilkinson and Chris Mule.
Calexico's multi-instrumental mastery became apparent as the band segued from a spacey garage/surf rock trance to a festive cover of swamp-pop classic "See You Later, Alligator," written by Cajun musician Robert Charles Guidry in 1955, featuring a New Orleans horn section on stage. The band played many tunes from its most recent release Algiers, recorded in New Orleans.
Dianne Reeves began her WWOZ Jazz Tent set with a version of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" that was gorgeous and profound in its Latin/jazz fusion sound. Later in the set she sang "Stormy Weather" under gathering clouds. This ranks with Bob Dylan's 2006 post Hurricane Katrina Jazz Fest set full of defiance songs and flood/water tunes as one of the most clever set lists assembled.
The Treme Brass Band marched in a jazz funeral for its iconic former drummer "Uncle" Lionel Batiste. The procession started at the Economy Hall Tent, which now bears Batiste's likeness as a second-line grand marshal over its entrance, and made its way to the back of the Congo Square area, where a painting of Batiste has been added to the Jazz Fest Ancestors display.
Later, the Treme Brass Band closed the day in the Economy Hall Tent — with a larger than usual contingent including the Dirty Dozen's Roger Lewis and trumpeter Gregg Stafford. The group played both standards like "Li'l Liza Jane" as well as John Boutte's "Treme Song," which the band has adopted as its own, turning it into an extended brass band jam. Regardless of what the band was playing, the final half hour of the set featured a continuous second line circling the tent. At first it was led by social aid and pleasure club members, but by the end, the band took to the aisles as well. Outside, rain poured relentlessly throughout the entire set, but inside, hardly anyone noticed, and it's hard to imagine any stage closed the day in higher spirits.
Quinten Corvette's band Black Pearl fuses rock, rap and R&B, and guitarist Dominic Minix opened the set with a Hendrix-esque rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Corvette pairs overtly sexual, braggadocious lyrics with the phrase-punchline flow of his rap in songs including "Put Your Money Up," "Making Monstas" and "Tell You the Truth." Corvette's singing — which has been his bread-and-butter since teaming with Luke James in R&B groups Luke & Q and Upskale and with Juvenile on his album Cocky & Confident — was met with swoons and squeals at the Congo Square Stage.
Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys began a set with the title track from her 1994 debut album Sweet Brown Sugar and continued with favorites including "Caffina." Audience members delighted when Ledet's tambourine player who — in a crop top and belly dancing skirt — twirled about with his wrap around his shoulders and served as a zydeco hypeman for Ledet.
Oh Happy Day
O. Perry Walker's marching band gets a lot of attention during Carnival, but at Jazz Fest the school's gospel choir got a chance to shine. The choir ignored the steady rain outside the Gospel Tent Thursday as it launched into "Brighter Day." After all, the school's choir director said, "As long as you're on this side of the grave, it's a bright day."
Under the direction of Veronica Downs-Dorsey, McDonogh 35's Singing Roneagles gospel choir blended traditional gospel and urban contemporary gospel stylings and choreography made members of the audience thrust their hands forward in praise and shake their tambourines. Singing Roneagles alum and this year's star of the Gospel Tent, Joshua Kagler, threw jazz into the mix while scatting with the choir on stage.
Nursing the blues
Early in his set, 80-year-old bluesman Drink Small said he isn't in good health. "I don't feel my best, but I'm gonna try to do my best," said the native of Bishopville, S.C. But Small had plenty to say about the nurses that take care of him. Old, young, fat or rich, he loves them all, he says, and he wrote "The Nurse Song" to show his appreciation. "If you want to get married, get a nurse to be your wife," he said. "That's a good woman, y'all."
- Photo by Cheryl Gerber
- Allen Toussaint enjoys music in the Economy Hall Tent.
Singing the blues
Glen David Andrews showed he hasn't lost a step during recent substance-abuse rehab as he waded through the Blues Tent crowd, standing on chairs and belting out a new song "I Can Be Bad By Myself." Andrews spoke briefly about his troubles from the stage, taking a moment to acknowledge his family and thank supporters. He then brought out trumpeter Irvin Mayfield to play on another new song, "Surrender," with the lyric "Help me to accept the things I can't change."
Gospel musician George Young Jr. called Josh Kagler a "live wire" for the spirited way he directs his Harmonistic Praise Crusade, jumping, dancing and contorting his body. Alluring to a young audience but respectable enough for more mature guests in the Gospel Tent, the ensemble wore bright logo T-shirts, stylish haircuts and bold accessories — a far cry from the choir robes and press-and-curls of the traditional gospel groups. Still, Kagler's trademark squall and lyrics screamed "old-time religion" and compelled Glen David Andrews to join in, blending solidly with Kagler's scatting and jazz styling.
Chicken and Dirty Notes
Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes frontman Marc Paradis flexed a range of musical muscles in concluding the band's Acura Stage set as he soared on vocal harmonies with Debbie Davis on "Down on Me" before teasing "Hundreds of pieces from Popeyes free tonight at the Maple Leaf," and then trading this electric guitar for an acoustic, upright bass, taking a bow to it for thunderous effect in the closing song, "Hey Lil Mama."
The duck and shrimp pasta was a new dish by Crescent Catering, a Slidell-based vendor that also makes the Cajun duck po-boy. It combined roasted, pulled duck meat, sauteed shrimp, crunchy green onions, thin, peppery jus and a short, frilly pasta called "radiatori" — named for its resemblance to radiators.
Kem began by addressing the crowd with his signature, Al Jarreau-esque ad-libs of "Hey girl!" and "Oh baby!" which excited a crowd that seemed to expect a ballad-heavy set. Throughout the show, Kem warned, "Now if you've been to a Kem show before, you know what's happening next." Once, that introduced background singer L'Renee's cover of Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing." Another time, he used it to begin remarks in which he praised a higher power for his success and for allowing him to overcome homelessness and addiction.
Patti Smith closed her set on the Gentilly Stage with the one-two punch of "Land: Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer(de)" and "Gloria," both from her landmark album Horses. Before the finale, Smith told the crowd, "I haven't been babbling as much as usual, and we zipped through our set too fast." The bonus was a heartfelt cover of Neil Young's "It's a Dream."
Getting the Hank of it
Holly Williams follows in the family tradition of her half-brother Hank III, but it was her mother's side of the family from Mer Rouge, La., that inspired one of her set's most poignant moments. The ready-for-radio number "Waiting on June" recounts the lifelong love of her late maternal grandparents, from their childhood courtship in the cotton fields to their final days together. Williams did show some love for her dad's dad too, ending her set with a rousing rendition of Hank Sr.'s "I Saw the Light."
When Cajun/zydeco stalwarts Horace Trahan & the Ossun Express began playing on the Fais Do-Do Stage Friday morning, the early crowd was already organizing itself around the 20-foot mud-moat in front of the stage. "At least the rain stopped," Trahan said before launching into hard-rocking and accordion-driven cover of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say." Trahan kept the pace at fever pitch with "People Here Know How to Party," the first song on his new album All the Way.
Sasha Masakowski's set suffered some technical problems but it didn't seem to upset Masakowski or her band. She danced playfully with saxophonist Aurora Nealand while singing a cover of "St. James Infirmary Blues" and dancing more suggestively while singing "I Must Have That Man."
In an interview conducted by writer Tom Piazza, master musician Jerry Douglas talked about recording much of his new album Traveler at Piety Street Studios with a handpicked lineup of top New Orleans musicians. Though widely considered the greatest Dobro player of all time, Douglas admitted he felt daunted working with Dr. John, Shannon Powell, Kirk Joseph, Matt Perrine and other local stars. "I was out of my element — the only guy who was," Douglas said. "I wanted to come down here and grow up to be just like them."
As if to silence those who pigeonhole Jerry Douglas merely as master of the sweetly acoustic Dobro, he spent much of his set at the Fais Do-Do Stage ripping distorted and sometimes Hendrix-inspired licks from an electric lap steel. His wildly imaginative cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" sounded like something from a fever dream, repeatedly veering away from the familiar melody. He gleefully genre-hopped with his three-piece band, mixing elements of bluegrass, jazz, progressive rock, swamp blues and other styles. Douglas has played Jazz Fest countless times with bands like Alison Krauss & Union Station, but he proudly told the crowd: "This is my first time to play Jazz Fest under my own name."
Coco Robicheaux remembered
In a heartfelt tribute to hoodoo bluesman Coco Robicheaux, who died in November 2011, Robicheaux's Spiritland Band was joined by friends and family including Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Highlights of the set included a soulful " I Shall Be Released" by Dorian Rush, and a Howlin' Wolf-inspired rendition of "Spoonful" with vocals by guitarist Mike Sklar and featuring searing solos from pedal steel player Dave Easley and keyboard player Mike Hood.
Soul queen of New Orleans
Irma Thomas packed the Gospel Tent for her annual tribute to Mahalia Jackson, and many onlookers strained to see from the wings. Thomas walked to the edge of the stage to give them a clearer view. "This is what I look like, baby," Thomas said. "As long as you can hear me and get the message, that's what I'm about today." Thomas brought the audience to its feet more than once, but it was her medley of "I Believe" and "How Great Thou Art" that brought the house down.
All dressed up
In Louisiana, just about anything you can put on a plate can also be made into a po-boy, and Ninja Japanese Restaurant proved the point with its yakiniku po-boy. Described as "Japanese BBQ beef," it resembled a mash-up of a banh mi and a cheese steak — with strands of meat, cucumber, carrots and an (optional) overlay of chunky garlic and pepper sauce (a la Sambal Oelek).
Maroon 5 fans were out in full force Friday, including three generations wearing embroidered-and-bedazzled T-shirts with "Moves like Jagger" on the back in bright green letters. On the front, the shirts identified "Jagger's Nona," "Jagger's Mom," and tagging along was a young boy whose tee announced "I'm Jagger!"
Maroon 5's Acura Stage set was punctuated by gleeful squeals for front man Adam Levine, who took off his jacket and performed in skinny black jeans and a just-tight-enough white T-shirt. New Orleans native PJ Morton's keyboarding skills didn't go unnoticed, especially in "This Love," and neither did the vocals of newcomer Rozzi Crane. Crane, whose sex appeal and malleable voice were reminiscent of Prince's ingenues, was the first person Levine signed to his label, 222 Records. Levine enlisted her to sing Mary J. Blige's part in "Wake Up Call" and to spice up "Moves Like Jagger."
With a wool scarf in the familiar colors of the Jamaican flag around his neck to ward off the 59-degree weather, reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff thrilled the shivering crowd at the Congo Square stage by opening his set with "You Can Get It If You Really Want" from the classic Jimmy Cliff in The Harder They Come movie soundtrack. The 65-year-old Cliff seemed as energetic as ever on stage, mixing songs from the 1970s with a healthy dose of new material from his recent Rebirth album.
Hell hath no fury
Breaux Bridge native Yvette Landry, backed by members of the Red Stick Ramblers, brought her honky tonk revenge songs and broken heart ballads to the Fais Do-Do Stage. Landry delivered barnburners from her latest album No Man's Land like "Three Chords and a Bottle" and frequent salutes to men who did her wrong ("Man, that son of a bitch gonna wish he was dead," she sang.)
Rock of ages
Chicago-native VaShawn Mitchell looked dapper in slim black pants and a Kelly green blazer with the sleeves rolled up. His energetic brand of "rock praise" got the crowd on its feet and clapping with "Chasing After You" and "Greatest Man."
Care didn't forget
Eric Lindell filled the Blues Tent with a full band, and the horn section breathed fresh air (and a whole lot of volume) to his otherwise quiet, soul-inspired singer/songwriter tracks. The California native dedicated "She Thinks I Still Care," to George Jones, who passed away April 26.
The Joe Krown Trio, the supergroup featuring Krown on organ and ringers Walter "Wolfman" Washington on guitar and Russell Batiste Jr. on drums, filled the Lagniappe Stage with a lively, jam-heavy set — made all the more funky with Washington's coral pink shirt and pants — recalling the band's weekly gig at The Maple Leaf Bar.
Galactic throws everything plus the kitchen sink into its version of jazz/rock/funk. On the Gentilly Stage, Stanton Moore tore through the drums with a soulful vengeance, former Living Colour frontman Corey Glover delivered athletic vocals and the Revivalists' David Shaw performed in haunting falsetto on "When the Levee Breaks." One of the set highlights was a duet between trombonist Corey Henry and his 17-year-old daughter Jazz, who plays trumpet with the Original Pinettes Brass Band. They mock battled solos to Galactic's "Keep Steppin'."
Savoir fair grounds
"We came down here just for this," said an audience member waiting for Phoenix to take the Gentilly Stage. Judging by the French accents in the crowd, they weren't the only ones who'd traveled far to see the Versailles, France-based band. Phoenix's peppy, crowd-pleasing set included "Lasso" and "Lisztomania."
Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, clad in black and sky high heels, said she had to get "honest" with her audience during a brief set break: a bug flew in her mouth. "A big, New Orleans bug," she clarified. An at-the-ready John McVie motioned Nicks to a nearby water bottle, but she waved him off: "Can someone get me a coffee?" Her vocals did get a workout, from Rumours classics to "Gypsy" and a few crowd pleasers from Tusk and the new song "Sad Angel" off the recently released EP.
Straight out of the swamp
The Fais Do-Do stage hosted a Lafayette double-header with stalwart young Cajun bands Feufollet and Pine Leaf Boys moving big crowds — despite a formidable mud pit. Showing off just how far Cajun music traditions can be pushed, Feufollet struck up an eerie uptempo take on Brian Eno's "Baby's On Fire," before cheekily asking the crowd, "Y'all ready for some Hall and Oates?"
The Pine Leaf Boys kicked the crowd into gear with a couple of mid-set covers, including a raucous "Great Balls of Fire" and a gorgeous, reverential Cajun tribute to George Jones with his "A Picture of Me (Without You)." The band continued its memorial with a tribute to Les Blank, the documentarian who helped revive interest in Cajun culture with a series of films in the 1970s. The band also caved to an audience request of an early track, "Pine Grove Blues."
"Who's beastin' it today?" shouted Lost Bayou Ramblers singer Louis Michot before the band launched into "The Bathtub," its cut from the Beasts of the Southern Wild soundtrack. The band ripped through songs from old and new albums, including the vinyl single "Bastille" that featured Gordon Gano and got a remix by GIVERS. The band finished its set by dedicating its French version of The Who's "My Generation" to a 30-year-veteran Jazz Fest stage member.
Many Jazz Fest food vendors hit upon a popular item and stick with it from year to year. But there were some new additions for 2013. Sharon and Guilherme Wegner have served "Guil's gator" for years and introduced "Guil's LA crawfish" this year. It features fried crawfish tails tossed with fried jalapeno slices and strings of fried onion, but a side-by-side comparison gives the nod to the original alligator iteration. The Praline Connection expanded its menu with fried chicken wings and fried okra in addition to its always-popular chicken livers with pepper jelly and a variety of combo platters. On the last Sunday, however, anticipation really built as lines moved very slowly at the booth.
Brushy one shtick
Brushy One String, the Jamaican bluesman who garnered some YouTube fame, has a one-string act that is a little one-note. Without a backing band, Andrew Chin's set of plucking one-string guitar was not the most dynamic, but the audience in the Blues Tent seemed captivated by his fast playing and singing. He also got a pop from his cover of "Get Up Stand Up" from fellow countryman Bob Marley.
Right on time
The Meter Men's set ended in grand fashion with George Porter Jr. releasing his signature vocal growls while singing with Katrina Porter on a jam of "People Say" that also included solos by Page McConnell (Phish) and Leo Nocentelli. Drummer Zigaboo Modeliste then coaxed the crowd to "Thank God for the sunshine we enjoy today" before they closed with a rousing "Hey Pocky A-Way."
The Black Keys' raw power reared its rock-monster head as guitar swells melted into a down-tempo drum breakdown to usher in vocal harmonies during "Girl Is on My Mind." Guitarist Dan Auerbach then picked up an acoustic guitar equipped with a steel resonator for a few tender verses of "Canopy" before changing to a Fender Telecaster to shred the second half of the song.
John Boutte played to an overflowing crowd at the WWOZ Jazz Tent, performing classics like "Basin Street Blues" and Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right." His delicate voice held the audience's attention, so much so that they seemed to sigh as one when he began "La Vie En Rose." Later, Boutte brought his three sisters and brother onstage to sing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," and they lent background vocals until he ended with the crowd-pleasing "Treme Song," the theme from HBO's Treme.
One and One
Daryl Hall and John Oates, backed by a powerhouse band (from Daryl's webseries Live From Darryl's House) came out swinging with a pair of tracks from new-wavish Big Bam Boom, "Out of Touch" and "Method of Modern Love," followed by other '80s classics "Say It Isn't So" and "How Does It Feel to be Back." Oates showed off his guitar chops in a lineup featuring three guitarists including Hall, who now prefers to stand up with the Telecaster rather than sit behind the Rhodes electric piano as he did throughout most of the duo's career. The band also pulled from early '70s blue-eyed soul-inspired tracks like "Las Vegas Turnaround," "She's Gone" and "Sara Smile," with a closing duo of "Maneater" and "I Can't Go For That." "You Make My Dreams" was a bigger crowd pleaser. A less synth-heavy "Private Eyes" felt like a bit of curveball as a closer, but thaving barely touched on their extensive catalog of hits, the duo finally stopped coming out for encores.
Del the less-funky homosapian
Del McCoury and Preservation Hall Jazz Band paired up for a set exploring American folkways, from McCoury's straight-forward cover of Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" to "One More 'Fore I Die," the standard McCoury covered with Preservation Hall on 2010's Preservation. Preservation Hall clarinetist Charlie Gabriel took the spotlight on "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," and trumpeter Mark Braud got in a few laughs with his muted horn on "Sugar Blues."