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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival...


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I used to go to Jazz Fest when I was a kid but the crowds eventually became a little much (200,000+ people in the middle of a horse racetrack). Once you sift through the crowd to get your "spot," god help you if you need a pi$s or a beverage (it's hot as all hell out there in the sun).


Robert Plant came to Louisiana to record years ago (I guess he discovered swamp pop and covered Phil Phillip's "Sea of Love" - hey, more British Imitation!) and met Warren Storm, telling him how much he idolized Elvis.


Warren, who called Plant "Fred Zeppelin," told him, "Fred, down here rock and rollers want to sing like Fats Domino and the only guys who want to sing like Elvis are gay bait."


Locals in New Orleans have mixed feelings about "The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival" because it offers New Orleans jazz and heritage as a minute, underpaid underbill to the megastar megabucks pop headliners who are utterly irrelevant to anything New Orleans jazz or heritage. There are some very good local lineups at the nightclubs late at night, though - the nocturnal stuff in little neighborhood clubs & bars is where it's at during those 2 weekends if you're thinking of going next year.

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I hear you, brundaddy. I've spent a lot of time in NOLA, spent a lot of time on Frenchmen Street and in a lot of venues around the Quarter and around town. I hear what you're saying, though. For instance, at one festival, I had as much fun listening to the University of New Orleans jazz guitar band as I did listening to Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray, and Johnny Winter. The Jazz and Heritage Festival needs a little more jazz and a little less "heritage."


The trick I learned about that festival is to get there early, stake out the spot for the band that means the most to you, then check out the rest of the acts you want to see, and get back to your staked out seats when the time comes. It worked for me and my wife for several festivals. What I liked as much as the music was the food!

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