Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars – NOLA Jazzfest – 04/25/2010

Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars
04/25/2010 Nola Jazzfest, New Orleans, LA

Set: Bayou Breeze, Lousiana Sunshine, Lonely Lonely Nights, Ya-Ya, Poor Man’s Paradise, The Things that I Used To Do, Band Intros, Me Donkey Want Water, Make A Good Gumbo

Bluesman Tab Benoit founded this Louisiana super-group in 2004 to raise awareness of the disappearing Louisiana coastline. This set was recorded 5 days after the Deepwater Horizon blew up, before anyone knew exactly how bad that event would really be.

Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars
Tab Benoit – guitar & vocals
Cyril Neville – percussion & vocals
Dr. John – keys and vocals
Anders Osborne – guitar & vocals
George Porter Jr. – bass & vocals
Johnny Vidacovich – drums
Johnny Sansone – harmonica, accordion, & vocals
Special Guests:
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux – vocals
Stanton Moore – drums
Allen Toussaint – piano

For more on Benoit’s Voice of the Wetlands foundation and how you can contribute to relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, click here: http://www.voiceofthewetlands.org/

Take the jump for pictures from the show and read a review from www.nola.com.

Voice of the Wetlands rings out loud at New Orleans Jazz Fest

The first two songs performed by the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars today could have doubled as a recap of the weather report from Jazz Fest’s first weekend. To open, Tab Benoit and Cyril Neville traded verses on “Bayou Breeze,” whose chorus goes, “don’t let the water wash us away;” then, Neville took the lead on “Louisiana Sunshine.” The crowd was large and the mood was as sunny as the weather – the knee-deep moat that had surrounded the Acura Stage Friday and Saturday had even dried up enough for fans to stretch out in the grass where it had been.

The VOW All-Stars are a supergroup, to put it mildly, and for most of the set, the band switched up who took the lead to give each star his chance to shine. Dr. John recalled Earl King’s “Lonely Lonely Nights” (which he’s recorded himself) on “Weary Silent Night.” Anders Osborne, looking a bit Billy Gibbons there with his caveman beard and rocker shades, wailed ed on guitar.

The full effect of what can be done when talents that sizable work together started to reveal itself when Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone put down his harmonica and picked up an accordion for his own “Poor Man’s Paradise,” given Latin flavor with a cha-cha beat from Johnny Vidacovich and steel drums and cowbell from Neville. Galactic drummer Stanton Moore then relieved Vidacovich, hitting the stage with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (Moore backed Boudreaux with Indian rhythms before, on Galactic’s 2007 release “From The Corner To The Block.”) Then Cyril Neville stepped out from behind his percussion rig to wail, Guitar Slim-style, on a plaintive, no-holds-barred blues with almost as much muscle as “The Things that I Used To Do.” All of the Allstar’s songs are Louisiana topical, natch, but nothing preceding it got as much of a whoop from the crowd as “When I go to New Orleans/ I go straight to the 6th Ward… to Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-In-Law Lounge.”

All bets were off when Allen Toussaint, in a crisp cream suit, took the stage for the finale, the zydeco-flavored rocker “Make A Good Gumbo.” After what looked like a brief chat with Dr. John (maybe, “Do you want the organ or the baby grand?”) Toussaint ripped into a wild boogie-woogie. Benoit, who’d played support up until then, stepped to the mic to lead the formidable crew.

Everywhere you looked on the packed stage, a major Louisiana star was shredding – and wearing a face-splitting grin.


~ by cdowell4 on July 21, 2010.

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