Tues., Wed., April 26-27, 2005Ponderosa Stomp Highlights
Rock 'N Bowl, New Orleans, LA
MORE "STOMP" PHOTOS HERE
REVIEW with PHOTOS
Dr. Ike, MC-ing Ace Cannon Ace Cannon Archie Bell, Grace "Gracie" Broussard, Warren Storm
Barbara Lynn Billy Swan Bob Timmers, Billy Swan, Matt Lucas Dale Hawkins
Dale Hawkins Dr. Ike, Bob Timmers, Bobby Morris, Warren Storm, Roy Head Fans: Waston Hurtt, Frances Trahan, Ethan Immel Grace and Barbara
Grace and Jay Chevalier Grace and Jay, "I'm Leaving it All up to You" "Gracie" "Gracie" waiting to go on stage.
Hayden Thompson Hayden Jay Chevalier doing "Castro Rock" Jay
Johnny Farina (Santo & Johnny) World Travelers Link Wray Link
Link Matt Lucas Matt "Movin' On" Nokie Edwards (Ventures)
Nokie Phil "Sea of Love" Phillips Phil stealing the show Roy Head - Mr. Dynamo
Roy says "Treat Her Right" Roy, Warren, Bob Scotty Moore with Deke - Note DJ Fontana working in the background Scotty
The fourth annual Ponderosa Stomp, the two-night international roots romp held last week (April; 26 & 27) at New Orleans' Mid City Rock'n'Bowl, not only decisively set attendance records, but offered some truly unforgettable moments in the history of blues/soul/rockabilly/surf/garage/Tex Mex/swamp pop.
Ponderosa Stomp promoter and emcee Dr. Ike offers these 15 highlights, although he admits he could have gone on for 50 more:
1. Reclusive Alabama-cum-Memphis guitar prodigy and Little Richard alumnus Travis Wammack gave unbelievable performances of his guitar instrumentals: "Scratchy," "Karate Time." and "Firefly"
2. Lady Bo, who cut her teeth as backing guitarist on many of Bo Diddley's original Checker recordings, reunited with fellow Diddley drummer Clifton James. Lady Bo's duet with Brenton Wood of "Send Me" was a showstopper.
3. Soul singer Brenton Wood's own set was a highlight, featuring "Oogum Boogum." "Gimme A Little Sign" and a great version of Double Shot labelmates Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" all with Alex Chilton on backing guitar.
4. From "Houston, Texas," Archie Bell in a rousing version of "Tighten Up" with Li'l Buck Sinegal's Top Cats. It was a moment many of us wished would never end.
5. Li'l Buck Sinegal's Top Cats reunited with Stanley "Buckwheat Zydeco" Dural on Hammond B3 organ for five hours backing Archie Bell, Barbara Lynn and Roy Head, among countless others.
6. Texas soul shouter Roy Head gave a performance that belied his age. His onstage moves and energetic performance was topped by a jawdropping reenactment of how he invented the dance "the Gator."
7. Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana played a pastiche of songs from their Elvis Presley days, much of it backed by Billy Swan, who did a mean version of "I Can Help." All of this as Link Wray sat backstage, looking like he was in heaven.
8. Link Wray. After seeing his idol Scotty Moore, he set out to scorch everything in his path as he embarked on his own set, leading with "Rumble."
9. Phil Phillips. Time stood still as he crooned the classic "Sea of Love".
10. Betty Harris. One of the Stomp's most awaited career comebacks was even better than expected this first generation R&B singer was soulful, poised and spine-chilling.
11. Nathaniel Mayer. Even at 3 a.m., he had the crowd dancing with abandon with his old R&B hits plus material from his new Fat Possum CD; special guest organist Mr Quintron sat in.
12. Of course 3 a.m. is like the middle of the afternoon for Stompers, and at 4:30 a.m., Louisiana garage band The Bad Roads turned in a crazy rockin' set.
13. Barbara Lynn, the blues singer/guitarist, took a crowd warmed up by fellow Texan Archie Bell and took it to another level.
14. Lonnie Brooks hearkened back to his early '60s sound when he recorded as Guitar Junior with an appearance by Louisiana guitarist Classie Ballou.
15. Mando & the Chili Peppers made their first appearance in 45 years, sounding like it had been just 45 days, also backing Chicago rockabluesman Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater.
According to Dr. Ike, "For two days, we were in rock'n'roll heaven."
Ponderosa Stomp has won numerous citations in the media. The New York Times' Jon Pareles wrote, "The Ponderosa Stomp plunges into the obscure byways of rock'n'roll past ... regional hits and eclectic combinations ... a dream!" Added Gambit magazine, "For roots aficionados, the Stomp was nirvana; you almost had to pinch yourself to make sure it wasn't a dream." And CNN, advancing the event, proclaimed, "History will be in the making at the Stomp." In addition, the festival has been covered by MSNBC, Associated Press, New Orleans Times Picayune, Mojo, Christian Science Monitor, Offbeat, Living Blues, High Times and more.
The Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau (MKMM Charities, Inc) is a 501(c)(7) organization, seeking to recognize the forgotten and unsung pioneers of blues, rock'n'roll, country, jazz and soul by presenting those pioneers to today's audiences through an annual series of live, intimate house party settings in New Orleans. Their shows have helped resurrect the careers of several lost music legends.
Photos: Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ by B. Tankersley