It was late at night on May 15th when we arrived in New Orleans and heard a lone trumpet sounding down the street as we unpacked the valuables from the car. The night air was as dense as I remembered.
We stayed close to Armstrong Park with a high school friend of mine, Alita, who has recently moved to NOLA. The picture of piggy pastries is from a croissant shop between her neighborhood and the French Quarter. Croissant D’Or Patisserie www.croissantdornola.com had a beautiful milky pastel interior and delicious chicken salad croissants.
Amy Stone had accompanied me to NOLA to sing with me on the first couple shows and help with the shadow theater. The Tree of Life in Audubon Park was top of my list for things to share with her. It was a place that I paid regular visits to when I was in school at Loyola. That night we had our first show of the tour at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse www.neutralgroundcoffeehouse.com. This show included a welcoming audience with whom we later played table game, like Time Line and Spot It.
Amy and I did some NOLA site seeing walking down Bourbon St and then back up Decatur through Jackson Square. Of course we saw many characters. We even caught a marching wedding!
Our show at the Mudlark Public Theater www.themudlarkconfectionary.com was packed with a warm room of lovely folks. Warm in hearts and actually warm on a hot New Orleans night. Opening was a songwriter who calls herself Altercation. Playing the twanging, loosely tuned piano in the front room she sang wandering ballads in a voice like Billie Holiday meets Bjork. In this room we saw, hanging from the walls and ceiling all around us, artfully and skillfully made puppets by Pandora. The band that played after us, included the pictured boglama instrument used in traditional Turkish music. The relatively new band is based in New Orleans and calls themselves Osedax after the genus of deep-sea siboglinid polychaetes, commonly called boneworm, zombie worms or bone-eating worms. They played un-amplified rather quiet songs. Other instruments included banjo, flute, cello, fiddle and drums. My favorite song of theirs was about bugs. Closing out the night was the folk-rock, alt-country band Stellar’s Jay.
After the show we caught the end of Meschiya Lake and her amazing voice built for jazz at the Little Gem Saloon. The night turned into a classic all night wandering as we hit up Frenchman St. I passed up the first parking spot I saw because I just couldn’t bare to break up the game of road tennis that was happening under the street lights. Dance/walking past music we went to one of my favorite bars, The Apple Barrel, hearing more jazz and then a late night visit to Cafe Du Monde for beignets. A couple hours of sleep and then I found myself driving Amy to the bus station. Later that afternoon my travel partner switched to Alita as she accompanied me to Austin.
In Austin I stayed with an artist friend named Amanda Jones. She and her partner live in a world of art made from the beauty found in trash. Over the years I’ve always been impressed with how clean and organized her studio spaces are considering her medium. Amanda is also a self-employed carpenter and has built an impressive workshop for projects.
On my first day in Austin, Amanda took me to a music potluck that was coincidentally happening during my visit. I shared songs and heard beautiful and fun songs from several local musician.
Austin was less about site seeing and more about trying to finish up and mail the perks packages for my Indiegogo supporters. I worked or tambourines and sliced and folded the CD booklet that I’d had sent there because the weren’t ready before I left Greenville.
At night I played two shows. One at a place called the Butterfly Bar. I was delighted to walk through the yard at the Vortex past the food truck and across the porch filled with tables and umbrellas to the pretty little well lit bar in the back corner. Left of the bar on a white wall, projections of Earthy images were already playing. The wall wrapped around a corner providing a great space for me to set up my over head for a happy hour set of double projections. Opening for me was an adorable ukulele player named Boone who sang about love and monsters.
My final night in Austin I played at a DIY art space known as The Owl. The large dark room was perfect for the miniature shadow theater and overhead projections. I started the first shadow songs and the floor space in front quickly filled with an eager audience of child-eyed adults. For this show I was sandwiched between local bands Gender Infinity (an indie hint of 50’s style rock) and the Gone Begones (dramatic rock, heavy on the vocals and playing their 3rd show ever). I sold more sandwich flutes then ever at this show!
Next up, continuing on through Texas to the Kerrville Folk Festival…
Clide On The Road