Sunday, October 20, 2013


My last day in New Orleans was quite different from the previous one. Still started with a delicious breakfast this time cooked by my host Eric, who is a writer and long time friend. His energy level did not meet that of the waiter at The Camellia Grill where we had breakfast the day before. However, that waiter could have been a motivational speaker and I don't think many people could match that energy level.

On this day there would be no costumes. A good thing. Another good thing was instead of the scheduled tropical storm we were treated to a beautiful day. We headed out across the Mississippi River to a strip mall to catch a shuttle bus to the last day of the Gretna Heritage Festival.The Festival already had the likes of Chicago, Marcia Ball, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Almost anywhere else it would have been considered a major festival in the New Orleans area my friend told me it was just another weekend.

I was sold on going to the show when my friend told me Tab Benoit was playing. After all Eric had turned me on to Tab on my first trip to New Orleans too many years ago. As a blues fan I don't think it gets much better than listening to the blues on the banks of the Mississippi. If I had a bucket list I would be checking it off.

Tab Benoit on stage,,,

Photo: Tab Benoit

Here is a taste from his set...

They do like their football in NOLA. Tab's set was during the Saints game. Tab had the game on the big screen instead of the band to oblige the fans.

I took in the sights of Gretna, the historic Court House, the Spirit of Louisiana steam train on display, the arts and crafts. I took in the sounds of the other bands playing on the different stages. While the Ben Miller Band was more Americana than blues it was still neat to hear and see Cigar Box guitars and electric spoons played while sitting on a levee.

The day's headliner was ZZ Top.Here the little old band from Texas plays "Catfish Blues" t the festival.

Marie Frank reviewed ZZ Top's September Wolf Trap show for DC Metro Theater Arts and you can read her review of that show here. Since it is on the same tour to get an idea of what I experienced. If you want to read another point of view of my adventure in New Orleans check out my friend Eric's blog here. He calls it "My Year of Mardi Gras" and Eric blogs about almost everything related to New Orleans. Including writers, music, adventures and more.

A view o New Orleans from across the river in Gretna...

Photo: The skyline of New Orleans taken from across the river

That is how I spent the first weekend of October! Good friends, fun times, and then topped with some great music. 

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