Saturday, April 25, 2009


Saturday, April 25

The last Saturday in April always seems to be beautiful, a perfect time to close off the main streets in downtown Oxford and set up a little festival: a bunch of booths selling food from local restaurants, some more booths featuring the works of local artists and craftsmen, and a couple of outdoor stages for live music. This year was the 14th annual Double Decker Festival, and we are already looking forward to the next one!

Carley had to work most of the day down in Jackson, but the boys had a good afternoon checking out the action.

We arrived to the high energy New Orleans soul-funk of the up-and-coming horn maestro, Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews).

Shorty alternated between trumpet and trombone, entertaining the crowd with a mix of originals and covers.

By the end, he had the crowd really jumping with his cover of the New Orleans classic "When the Saints Go Marching In".

Carley arrived a little after 6pm, just in time to catch an old favorite and Rob's musical highlight of the festival, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe.

The side-stage position gave Rowan plenty of room to practice his funky dance moves without having his view of the band blocked by all the grown-ups.

The last time we saw saxman extraordinaire Karl Denson was about a year ago with Greyboy Allstars.

In Tiny Universe, Karl's style is pretty similar, but he does a lot more singing, and the covers are a little more varied, including the Buddy Miles classic "Power of Soul" from Jimi Hendrix's "Band of Gypsies".

It's always a treat to hear Brian Jordan on the guitar, with his uncanny ability to play both "smooth" and "dirty" at the same time.

After Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, it was time to fill up on some festival food.

After Carley and Rowan left (it was already past Rowan's bedtime!), Rob met up with Jack (blue and red Ole Miss cap) and his friends Joel, Kimberly and William for musical headliner, Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

Robert Randolph burst on to the New York music scene in 2002 with his gospel and soul-influenced party-funk and rock-and-roll and his incendiary chops on the pedal steel guitar. Before long he was a big name at festivals all over the country.

There's something about Oxford and sorority girls onstage.

Folks were even dancing on the roof of Proud Larry's, which is the best place in town for indoor live music.

After the outdoor music was done, we walked over to Rooster's to catch a local blues band.

Kenny Brown is a really nice guy from a nearby rural county, and he spent many years playing with local Mississippi blues legend R.L. Burnside. Kenny capped off our night with his Johnny Winter look and his interpretations of classic blues and blue-rock songs, including a medley of "Bad to the Bone" and "I'm a Man". It was a full day of enjoyable music indeed...not bad for a little town like Oxford!

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