Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Orleans Jazz Musician Brutally Beaten Needs Help

There is no other city in the world like New Orleans.

All too often these days when we hear "New Orleans" we think "Katrina."  The association is probably unavoidable for some years to come, but there is so much more to New Orleans, of course.

Part of what I love about New Orleans is the music.  The food is great, but the music is the heartbeat of the city.  New Orleans jazz has a special place in my heart.

If you want to know what New Orleans sounds like, check out this video of the Steamboat Willie Jazz band playing at Cafe Beignet:



You see that bass player in the back?  He needs a little help right now.

The bass player is Doug Potter and he was savagely beaten after leaving his regular Cafe Beignet gig last Monday night.  Now he is comatose in a New Orleans hospital with a feeding tube; they had to drill holes in his skull to relieve the pressure.   By all accounts Potter is a fine man and much beloved by everyone.  He was just walking to his car to meet his wife after work when he was attacked.  The New Orleans police have arrested one of the thugs who did this and are looking for another one.

Meanwhile, Potter's medical bills are mounting.  His friends are trying to help with fundraising benefits.  You can read more about that here.

If you have any spare change and are looking for a good deed to do, consider tossing a few bucks Potter's way.  An account has been set up at Capital One for Doug.  You can call the branch in the French Quarter at 504-533-3586.

It would be a nice thing to do.

(Photo credit:  Brenda Mannon via NOLA.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Hometown Thank You Concert From Cole Vosbury

Last night at Sam's Town Casino, Shreveport welcomed home favorite son Cole Vosbury.  Cole reached the Top 5 in Season 5 of The Voice.  To say "thank you" for their support, Cole performed last night for fans in what was billed as "A Hometown Thank You" concert.

Fans clamored for tickets as soon as the concert was announced; tickets were free but limited to 1,000 people.  They were available Christmas Eve at noon and by the end of the day the tickets were gone with people begging for them; some were even offering to pay up to $100 for a ticket.  It looked like they all showed up last night.

The line to get into the venue snaked down halls and around corners; fans could buy t-shirts and fill out "Questions for Cole" cards.



Cole opened the show by thanking the fans, who roared when he walked on stage.  He explained that the original concept for the evening was going to be a meet and greet session so he could meet his fans and say thank you, then play a couple of acoustic songs and that would be it.  It didn't work out that way!


Cole's band stepped up in the days before the event to help him out and in the end they played for an hour and a half last night.  Cole kept saying, "OK I'm going to play one more, well, two more...", and he was having so much fun I suspect they just had to pull him offstage.

Wearing his trademark fedora and equiped with at least three guitars, Cole opened the show to wild cheers.  Early in the set was Clapton's "Crossroads" which just goes to show what viewers of The Voice never got to really see about Cole Vosbury.  The young man is a guitarist.  Oh, he has a great voice, no doubt, but he can tear up a guitar.



Fans wanted to hear songs from The Voice as well and Vosbury did not disappoint as he picked up his acoustic guitar and played "Maggie May," "Better Man," "I Still Believe in You," "Let Her Go," and "Adorn."


Time for another guitar switch and this time the left-handed Vosbury borrowed a bass (which he had to play upside down) for "Pumped Up Kicks."  Excellent!


Cole's proud father, Robin Vosbury, came on stage with some "questions for Cole" cards which fans had filled out as they entered the venue.  We learned that Cole's favorite color is purple and that it's difficult for him to name a "favorite guitar" but he noted that he does have a Fender tattoo, so, "you can't go wrong with a Fender."  One of the people that influenced him to sing was his grandmother, Nita Lynn.  She was, of course, on the front row!



Back to the music with another guitar switch and his next song was Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," and then it was time for a jammin' arrangement of "Movin' On Up" which is the song that turned C-Lo Green around for Cole on The Voice to get the whole journey started.  Vosbury said, "You know, when I woke up one day with this arrangement of "Movin' On Up" in my head, I had no idea it would take me to where I am today."  The crowd roared!

By this time the fans are dancing in the aisles as Vosbury launches into "Rich Girl," which was clearly one everyone wanted to hear.

Vosbury never appeared nervous or uneasy on the stage; he was completely humbled and thankful and at this point he was having a wonderful time.  He asked the crowd, "Okay, well, what do you want to hear now?"    He complied with a request for "Sharp Dressed Man," and then with a request for "Purple Rain" which was amazing.

Time for another tune from The Voice as Vosbury played "To Be With You."

The crowd clamored for "Shameless" and Vosbury gave thought to playing it on his keyboard but decided he didn't have something he needed so he explained he would try it on the acoustic even though they had not practiced that one as a band.  "We'll find out together" how it works out, he said.  There was no way he wasn't going to give them what they wanted, and "Shameless" was wonderful.

His last song of the night was an awesome "Dirty Diana" by Michael Jackson.

All in all he played about 18 songs in an hour and 40 minutes.  Midway through the concert Shreveport mayor Cedric Glover presented Vosbury with a plaque and a proclamation declaring January 3, 2014 as Cole Vosbury Day in Shreveport.



As I said, I don't think Vosbury was ready to leave the stage: he was relaxed and having a wonderful time.  The fans were more than willing to stay as long as he wanted to play.

After the show Vosbury met with fans, signed autographs, posed for pictures, and thanked everyone for their support.

A very humble and talented young man, it is safe to say that Cole Vosbury has a bright future ahead of him.  It's always important that young stars surround themselves with the right people to guide their careers and with such a wonderful family behind him I think Cole Vosbury is on the right track.


(Photos via the author; more pictures can be found at The Shreveport Times.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cole Vosbury Hometown Concert

We've spent the evening at Cole Vosbury's free concert to thank his hometown supporters tonight; check back tomorrow for the write-up and pictures.  He played for an hour and a half and it was just wonderful.  Shreveport proud.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cole Vosbury Sings The National Anthem at the Independence Bowl

There's a little feedback noise but other than that, local superstar Cole Vosbury did a great job on the National Anthem today at the Advocare Independence Bowl!




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Take a Trip to the 2013 Highland Jazz and Blues Festival

Columbia Park was once again deluged by music and art lovers yesterday for the tenth annual Highland Jazz and Blues Festival.  The weather forecast was dicey for most of the day but even though we had gray skies most of the day the rain held off and a grand time was had by all!

This is the tenth year for the festival; it began in 2003 and was much smaller than it is now.  The years have seen the addition of artisan booths, food vendors, and this year a Bark Park was added because the Highland Jazz & Blues Festival is very big with dogs!

The festival is great for the neighborhood and the community; you just never go to this event without running into someone you haven't seen in years.  It attracts music lovers across all demographic lines from the affluent to the quirky.  It's a great place to people watch.  Just toss a blanket on the ground, or unfold your portable chair, sit back and enjoy the day.

Steve and I arrived about 10:30 and staked out our usual spot.  We usually set our home base at the Pavilion Stage, center, near the sound tech.  Since there are two stages going, and you almost always want to see both, it's perfectly fine to leave your spot and walk from one end of the park to the other.  Nobody usurps your territory or messes with your beef jerky.

As early as we were, we had plenty of spots from which to choose.


We settled in as The Matthew Davidson Band was playing.


There was a giant bowling pin working the crowd this year:


And of course the dogs; we love dog watching.  This giant Newfoundland was adorable.  His owner described him as a big baby who is perfectly content to let you use him for a pillow:


I headed up the hill to do a recon on the food situation and found my favorite primitive artist Bertha Cooper Harris:


She had several of her original works for sale and copies of her book.  It looked like she was having a good day.

There were many food options from which to choose this year.  This booth had everything from Asian noodles to alligator on a stick:


Another good choice:


But in the end we both got hamburgers from the Some Like it Hot truck:


Fine dining in the park:


It doesn't get much better than that!

Besides food, dogs, and music there was plenty of art to walk around and look at.  I liked this colorful crawfish painting:


And there was a booth with some very cool wind chimes:


I wandered down to the Gazebo stage to hear Joe Nadeau and friends for a bit and found another cute dog:


The park is a beautiful site for this festival with its rolling hills and towering pine trees.  The leaves on the hardwoods were changing and raining down like confetti.  And even though the skies were gray for most of the day, the temperatures were in the 70s, so nobody was complaining about the weather.


Crowd favorite Buddy Flett was great, as usual.


And of course we have to have the annual Steve-petting-a-dog picture:


It's a dog's world and we just get to live in it!  Love the dogs!

We settled back into our chairs to listen to A.J. Cascio and his Two Tone Blues Band, and they put on a fabulous blues set:


AJ just tears that harmonica up and his band is always a crowd favorite.

The crowd was beginning to grow:


Another local favorite is the Jerry Beach blues jam; Robin Beach was pitch perfect on vocals and seemed to be having a good time with the crowd; Matthew Davidson came back up and joined in:


Something in the crowd tickled Robin and it was good to see her having a good time:


For the first part of the day they were having some sound troubles; not a sound-tech myself, I couldn't tell you what the problem was but every now and then something would pop and the sound would cut out.  The beleaguered sound man ran up and down that hill as he worked to solve the problem and communicate with the sound folks on stage.  It was a long day for him, I guess.


And the crowd grows...I took this picture from under one of those trees raining yellow leaves; if you look closely you can see them!


I ran into the fabulous Corina, owner of my favorite shop  Needful Things:


By the time headliner, Grammy winning artist Irma Thomas was to appear, there was barely a spot of ground left to stake out a spot.


The buzz grew as we waiting for her appearance.  I was standing near the stage so I could get a photo before settling in to enjoy her set; word down there from the techs was that she wouldn't come out until the sound was right.  I can hardly blame a professional recording artist for that, and the crowd waited patiently for forty-five minutes before she finally came on.

It was worth the wait.

By the time she finally came on the paparazzi was crushing the stage as were the fans.



It was insane.

But there she was...


Sounding fabulous...


Belting out those big tunes and wearing her flip-flops!


She thanked the crowd for their patience while they got the sound right, and I think she was forgiven for making them wait.

She had everyone take out their towels and handkerchiefs to do a Second Line dance


...and the umbrellas came out...


Even the dogs were dancing:


And then it was over.

The Highland Jazz and Blues Festival is right up there with Oktoberfest for me; it's my favorite local festival.  The admission is free; the festival is supported by sponsors and by sales of beer, water, t-shirts, souvenirs, etc.   It's a great way for the neighborhood and the community to come together and have good clean fun.

Each year the committee outdoes itself and I can't wait to see what they come up with for next year.  It gets bigger and bigger each year.  My only suggestion would be to add more beer taps.  You're allowed to bring your own cooler in, but the whole point of beer sales is to keep the festival free and to support the festival.  But when one beer truck runs out and the other has 150 people in line, I think more taps would be a good idea.  It is easy to miss an entire act standing in a beer line.  People will ultimately opt for bringing in their own rather than stand in line for 30 minutes.  It's not a big problem, but one the committee should address.

But, in the end, this year was a huge success and I can't wait for the next one!

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Soulfish Blues Band at Auntie Skinner's Saturday

Looking for something to do Saturday night?

Drive over to Jefferson, Texas and catch The Soulfish Blues Band at Auntie Skinner's!

In fact, if you go early you can hit some of the antique shops, and maybe visit The Cork Yard for a glass of wine or a cold beer!  Friday is Prime Rib night at The Cork Yard.

Then you can head over to Auntie Skinner's to hear Soulfish!

Good times!



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Take a Trip to the "Going Green on the Red River" Festival


COUSHATTA:  Steve and I headed down to Coushatta today, daring the rain, for the third annual Going Green on the Red River festival at the Coushatta fairgrounds.  You know you're in rural Louisiana when you can stop and buy raccoon meat at the market.

As I understand it, this is the third year for the festival and it's still growing.  The guy selling boudin told us that this was the best attendance he's seen in the three years he's been there.  The organizers at the Red River Chamber of Commerce worked hard to pull everything together this year and it turned out to be a really nice little festival.

Alas, not everything was perfect!  We knew the day was in trouble when we went by Bailey's for our favorite greasy hamburgers and it was closed.  The sign said they were closed due to a family emergency so I'm going to pray hard that everything is okay.  They are nice people there and serve a great burger!  This is what I wanted for lunch:



We were meeting friends Gary and Kay for lunch there before the festival so we had to scramble for an alternate plan, finally deciding just to go on to the fairgrounds and eat at the festival.

That  turned out to be a good plan.  We ended up getting BBQ from Jackson's Bend BBQ at the festival grounds.  I got a sausage plate (so much for the diet) and Steve got a rib plate.  Excellent!


Yes, that's Chicken Feet on the menu.  I took a pass on that.

Steve and Gary clowning around waiting on our food:



I was pretty thrilled to get to hear Micki Fuhrman Milom singing as we walked up to the bandstand today.  I've always loved her voice and she is a sweet, sweet lady.


She was sitting in with Airhart for "Red River Valley":


The art contest winners were announced and there were some happy winners!


One of the bands, Twang Darkly, had some unusual instruments, including a handmade electric gourd:


After lunch and a little music I had to walk around a little.  There was a Kids Zone with a bounce house and other activities to keep them entertained:


This cute fellow was flying his kite:


The rain was holding off so we felt pretty lucky.

This was a popular booth for the kids, too:


Of course I had to shop at the jewelry booth:


Some pretty cool birdhouses caught my eye:


The crowd came and went through the day; this picture made me laugh because the first thing I noticed when I looked at it was all the folks pecking on their cell phones.  This is especially ironic because cell service there was minimal at best.


The day started off with a car contest, a karaoke contest, and a treasure hunt before we got there.

I thought this kid was cute with his little friend perched on the edge of his table:


The Matthew Davidson Band played about 6:00:


Matthew Davidson is a wonderful guitar player, especially for his age, and will go far.   He's a very polite and personable young man, too.  There's a lot to be said for good manners these days!


We were holding out for the headliner Soulfish Blues Band to come on at 9:00 but as luck would have it, storm winds blew in and they had to call the festival before the last two bands came on stage.  Nobody was interested in getting hit by lightning out there.


That lovely blue sky in that picture is nice but to my back was a bank of black, ugly clouds and lots of lightning so we all packed up and moved out.

Storm or not, it was a nice day in Coushatta and we enjoyed the festival.  We will go back next year and watch it grow!  It's a nice, family friendly event that seems to be getting better each year.


The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation
Take a Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Oktoberfest at BAFB