Sunday, June 29, 2008


Our first stop was the Crescent City, one of our favorite places to visit. With it's cultural gumbo and musical traditions, it always stirs the imagination and evokes memories of action-packed visits past.

This photo was taken without permission from the New Orleans Wikipedia page.

Special thanks to our friend Denise, who closed her cats in the back part of the house so she could put all of us us up for the night - dog and all.

Since we've been to New Orleans several times, we completely skipped the touristy French Quarter. After a long day of driving, it was nice to go for a stroll at "The Fly", along the levees of the Mississippi River, in the giant Audobon Park (named after the guy in the 1800s who painted and cataloged all the birds in North America).

After sitting in the car all day, "stroll" was a little too slow for Rowan, who was wound up and ready to run.

Denise lives Uptown in a vibrant neighborhood just off of Magazine Street, with all kinds of restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and shopping just blocks away. Here we had an excellent dinner at a highly-rated, campy (beer bottles come in a little paper sack!) but delicious new restaurant called Ignatius.

At Ignatius we met up with our friend Cathy (sorry, we spaced on getting any photos with Cathy!), and after dinner, Cathy and Rob headed out to the legendary music club, Tipitina's.

This photo of Tipitina's was taken without permission from the Tip's Wikipedia page.

Tipitina's was named after a song by local piano legend Professor Longhair, and this bust as well as other prominent "Fess" images adorn the interior.

The performers this evening were a mish-mash of local hotshots playing in celebration of Johnny Vidacovich's birthday. (on drums above) Like many New Orleans musicians, Johnny's musical talent and innovative style have earned him a big name among music afficiondos, but he stays about as far from commercial mainstream as possible, playing variations of funk/jazz/rock in collaborations with other local virtuosos.

Joining Vidacovich was June Yamagishi on guitar (from Papa Grows Funk) and Anders Osborne on guitar and vocals.

With one of Rob's favorites, Robert Walter (of Greyboy Allstars and 20th Congress) on organ, the show was full of funky soul, excellent grooves and hair-raising solos.

After a quintessential night in New Orleans, it was time to turn west and head on out to the giant state of Texas. Next stop: Houston

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