Ponderosa Stomp 2002

Posted May 8, 2002 - by Tapio.Vaisanen - tapio.vaisanen@beveric.com
I'm back from N.O. .. WOW! First night George Thorogood @ House of Blues, a wild show, all familiar tumes from "Move It On Over" and "Bad To Bone" to "Treat Her Right", good show, lots of people.
           After that three nights at Ponderosa Stomp festival at Fine Arts Center, full of amazing lineups. I saw together on stage: James Burton, Dale Hawkins, Kenny Brown, Johnny J., DJ Fontana, Jeff Sarli & Kenny Bill Stinson (4 guitars were probably a bit too much, but it was great to see James & Dale together and after the show I talked to both and James seems to be real nice down to earth guy). Dale played "Little Pig", "Susie Q", "Wildcat Tamer", "1000 Miles Away", "Who Do You Love", "This Train/My Babe", "Going Down The Road", "This Love Of Mine"
           Another set with Rocky Burnette, Paul Burlison, Scotty Moore, James Burton ja DJ Fontana. The place was really rockin' I really enjoyed seeing Scotty, Paul & James playing "Tear It Up" solos one after another. And Rocky... his voice is just like his dad's - so powerful! Paul was great too - amen!
           Cool mixed lineups all nights, like Herb Remington on steel (superb), James Burton on guitar and Joe Clay on drums playing while Lazy Lester was singing country & rockabilly (Blues Stop Knockin, Your Cheatin' Heart...). You get the idea? Herb Remington's solo set stunning, I'd love to hear him do full set with Lucky Stars, Barnshakers etc.
           Jerry McCain played with Guitar Gable, I really didn't expect to hear "Congo Mombo" live but I did! What a weird way to play that guitar. Scotty Moore & Herb Remington played jazzy instrumentals with Cosimo rhythm section (Herb, Ernest & Earl) ... Roy 'Boogie Boy' Perkins did his Lloyd Price imitation with Warren Storm and Jerry McCain... Dave Bartholomew big band with Earl Palmer (first time since he left Dave's band?) Dave was a good showman, he told many stories of Earl Palmer and how he left the band to move to L.A. I really enjoyed, these guys are still top professionals, Earl Palmer was like a clock (and he knows that he's the best). I think he enjoyed the most when they played the jazz part, but if you've read his biography then you'll understand why.
           Barbara Lynn (fabulous lady!), she played her white Fender is such a beautiful way that I'm in love... I bougth the Westside CD immediately next day. She played with Gatemouth Moore who bended the strings not unlike Freddy King and in last two songs they were joined with Lazy Lester and the joint was really jumpin'.
           Ernest McClean, Eddie Bo, Henry Gray (!!), Big Jay McNeely (with his fosforized (sp?) sax), Billy Boy Arnold, Jody Williams (what a player, I just have to buy his new CD, I didn't know he played on Bo's "Who Do You Love", Johnny J. was having fun on stage with Dale (he has a great brand new CD out too)..... the rest were equally good, I've probably already forgotten some, but I just list several of the names that I enjoyed the most: Gatemouth Moore, James Blood Ulmer, Magic Slim, Othar Turner. Tony Joe White (he was only with his drummer), this was probably the only set when I went out to the patio, but others seemed to like him.
           The venue was very small, only 400 people there every day. I took some photos (I'll try to scan and put those on some website sooner or later). I can't wait for the next year! I found some nice records too.
           Thanks for everyone who gave addresses for shops & clubs, those were very very useful because my free time was very limited between the conference and Ponderosa Stomp. Skippy Whites, Magic Bus, Louisiana Music Factory, Jim Russell's Rare Records, Rock 'n' Roll Collectibles & Tower were probably the best shops and I saw also John Mooney @ Tower records. It was also very easy to walk in N.O. or take a street car or bus, no need for a car or taxi.
           The WinDev2002 conference? Yeah, that was great too I bought half a dozen computer books too ;-) Jazz & Heritage festival? I have no idea really. It was hot in New Orleans but so f***ing cold in the conference hotel that I got a flu there, otherwise it was a GREAT trip. On Friday & Saturday I had some time to walk at the French Quarter's, I didn't find Cosimo's grocery shop, but I found the 1st location of Cosimo's studio. BTW, Cosimo & his wife were at the Ponderosa Stomp too. Lots of street bands playing there on Saturday, perhaps more blues than jazz which was a bit surprising. Food was okay, I especially enjoyed all different soups and those Hurricanes too... I went to Bourbon street, 'cause I thought that I can't really go home and say that I wasn't there. Didn't go to Hustler club though ;-)
           One last thing, the security control at the airport was real tight. When I was leaving the Big Easy the security guys were wondering what the hell was in my bag, something round shaped which they couldn't recognize in their monitors.I said records, 78s & LPs but they just had to open it. While I was waiting there I saw one familiar looking man passing me with his wife. After I got my bag back, I knew who he was, it was Earl Palmer with his wife Susan. I thought, wow, I have his biography right here in my bag, now I just have to find some place where to ask Mr. Palmer's autograph. Oh well, No luck this time, I didn't get it, because Earl walked straight to the gate and he was already late from his flight to Denver, and I was flying to Chicago. It made me almost change my travel plan, but maybe I'll see him next year. Once again, many thanks for your help.
Regards, Tapio

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