New Orleans is like no other place on Earth. There, music is the currency with the greatest value, as it should be everywhere. The melting pot was bubbling in the bayou before it had found its way to most other places. The French, African, Spanish, and Native American influences don’t pollinate other populations the way they do the denizens of the Crescent City.
The first band we saw in New Orleans was the Royal Street Winding Boys. We landed at Louis Armstrong Airport late in the afternoon and after dinner followed the sound of Jenavieve Cook’s trumpet into in a place called The 21st Amendment on Iberville Street between Royal and Bourbon. About an hour in I was giving serious consideration to never leaving. A few days later we saw the band again with a slightly different lineup at the Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street, where I did this sketch of them:
|The Royal Street Winding Boys|
The bass player, Dizzy, was in both incarnations of the band and I drew him at The Spotted Cat.
It’s a tough town to leave. Even tougher because it hasn’t left me. It’s the kind of town, like my own New York City, that you can’t help but take for granted if you live there, but if you don’t, you might turn an unfamiliar corner and catch a glimpse of the promised land.
Here’s a video of The Royal Street Winding Boys performing “I Found A New Baby” at the Dragon’s Den.