All posts by Andria Lisle

Ponderosa Stomp @ Lincoln Center: The Reviews Are In


Before the event got underway, the New York Post weighed in with a lengthy preview.

David Fricke, in Rolling Stone:

“The third night of the inaugural Lincoln Center edition of the Ponderosa Stomp — the annual spring resurrection of forgotten roots-rock and R&B heroes and heroines, founded and held in New Orleans — was an oddly formal affair, compared to the outdoor soul and rockabilly shows presented earlier in the week. ‘Everybody get on your feet/You make me nervous when you’re in your seat,’ Robert Parker sang on Sunday night in a well-preserved voice at the start of his 1966 hit ‘Barefootin’,’ one of the many Crescent City R&B classics associated with the evening’s honoree, producer-arranger-songwriter Wardell Quezergue. But sitting down is where the otherwise delighted audience at Alice Tully Hall stayed during most of the two-hour revue. In New Orleans, when a song like that is in the air, anything short of a shimmy is against the law.

But Quezergue, who turns 80 this year, deserves the lofty setting. In the Sixties and Seventies, he earned the nickname ‘The Creole Beethoven’ for his masterful blend of New Orleans rhythms and commercial wisdom in bedrock soul recordings such as Earl King’s ‘Trick Bag’ (1962), Professor Longhair”s ‘Big Chief’ (1964) and King Floyd’s ‘Groove Me’ (1970), then on mainstream collaborations with Paul Simon and Willie Nelson. At Lincoln Center, Quezergue conducted a ten-piece band from a chair as more than half a dozen of his original charges, including Dr. John, the Dixie Cups, Jean Knight and Tammy Lynn, recreated their biggest hits with him.”

Go here for the rest of the review.

And Jon Pareles covered the event for the New York Times, writing in part that, “the Dixie Cups, the New Orleans girl group, had distributed napkins before the concert, to be waved over the New Orleans second-line parade beat, and they got the audience up and dancing for ‘Iko Iko,’ which they turned into a medley of Mardi Gras songs and ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’ After their segment, Rosa Hawkins of the Dixie Cups turned to Mr. Quezergue and said, ‘Thanks for the hits.'”

More YouTube videos of the Ponderosa Stomp at Lincoln Center:
William Bell – “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”
The Bobettes – “You Are My Sweetheart”
The Bo-Keys – “(Theme from) Shaft”

R.I.P. Billy Lee Riley – Benefit On August 30

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 30th, at the Silver Moon Club in Newport, Ark., Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, W.S. Holland, Smoochy Smith, former Little Green Men drummer J.M. Van Eaton and Carl Mann will join forces to celebrate the life of fellow Sun Records alumnus Billy Lee Riley, who died at the age … Continue reading R.I.P. Billy Lee Riley – Benefit On August 30

One of the Many Things I Miss About New Orleans

2600 St. Claude, the site of Frankie and Johnnie’s Furniture Store. Let ’em have it!

Bo-Keys Stomp It Out At Southpaw

While in NYC this weekend, the Bo-Keys took a few hours off from the Lincoln Center showcase to play with the Sweet Divines and the City Champs. I wasn’t able to make either gig, but New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff liked what he heard at Southpaw. From today’s NYT: But the high point … Continue reading Bo-Keys Stomp It Out At Southpaw