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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2010/05/19
by Annabel Lukins

There’s Nothing Like New Orleans

Now onto my favorite artist of the week…….Anders Osborne. I have been seeing this man perform since college in 1994. He’s one of the most angelic, talented, passionate, soulful musicians EVER. His career is FINALLY hitting an all-time high and keeps soaring as his soul continues to ignite. I can’t say enough about Anders Osborne except giving advice to my readers: GET TO KNOW ANDERS’S MUSIC!

He NAILED it at the fairgrounds on Saturday to a crowd of about 30,000 deep on the Acura Stage. We had a GREAT spot behind the jumbotron & speaker and I was in heaven.

All I can say with this photo is I’m Livin The Life and I know it….

Big Sam (or since he lost so much weight, I like to call him Medium Sam) is a simply delightful human being. He’s so real that when we were talking to him, you could sense that he was listening to every word, truly taking everything we said to heart. And of course, on top of that, he’s a STELLAR musician with a career that has JUST gotten started.

Musical explosion was hitting the Howlin Wolf late night as Galactic took the stage at 2:00am. Their new album Ya-Ka-May is OUTSTANDING and hosts numerous special guests. Here, the powerful stage lights emphasize the electric performance.

So it’s 5:00am….what to do now…OK Robert, we’ll go to Café Du Monde for beignets and milk….honestly, this was one of my highlights of JazzFest. It was SUCH a fun New Orleans thing to do….

Sunday night – RAGE! Lettuce & Soulive and the Royal Family Ball lit up the Wolf until LATE. I teased a bunch of information about Jam Cruise and loved hanging with Deitch and Shmeeans backstage. These two bands continue to transform funk music coupled with intense energy and soul.

Topaz, one of my old skool friends, showed up at around 4:00am. Better late than never, buddy!

As we were walking in the French Quarter, a comfortable smile was fixated on my face. I feel right at home at JazzFest in New Orleans. There are so many friends that go every year that I can’t stand outside a venue without throwing my hands up with joy at another familiar face. I can’t dance at a show without shaking it next to a companion I have shared so many nights with before. I can’t walk 10 feet at the fairgrounds without hearing my name called and immediately being drawn to their warm blankets, their colorful flags, their open hearts.
As we were walking in the French Quarter, a comfortable feeling entered my soul as I reflected on what New Orleans has been through over the past five years and what they have overcome. This city and its people have developed a brand new sense of dignity & honor. They have triumphed over tragedy on such a deep level that most of us will never even comprehend how bad it was when Katrina hit.

So when we came around the corner and I saw the glitter Fleur-de-lis on the sidewalk in the French Quarter, my eyes lit up knowing that whomever took the time to draw the symbolic flower, I believe, was making a powerful statement of courage and pride.

There’s nothing like New Orleans…really, it’s true.

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