If Stratocasters dominated on the first day of Jazz Fest, Telecasters were king on day two.
We got a chance to see Marcia Ball, a terrific New Orleans piano player who can barrelhouse with the best of them. Mighty Mike Schemer was her guitar player, sounding great on his Telecaster Deluxe serving up some tasty licks.
We stuck around the Acura Stage venue long enough to catch a Swamp Blues ensemble called Voices of the Wetlands All Stars; consisting of Anders Osborne, Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville and others. There were Telecasters a plenty crankin’ out the blues.
Next up was Bill Kirchen, who was rocking pushing his Telecaster guitar to the limits during his song “Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods”. Later in an interview/seminar session entitled “Twang and Tone”, Bill explained the origins of the Telecaster and provided some in depth details about his life, all told with an intelligent and humorous style. After all, a guy who helped write songs like “Mama Hated Diesels” and “Hot Rod Lincoln” can’t possibly take himself too seriously. Surprisingly he did very little finger picking. Don’t know how he does it!
We mellowed out with one of our old favorites, Jesse Winchester, who repatriated to this country only a few years ago. He also gave a delightful radio interview and did a number with special guest Jimmy Buffet.
We ended the night with Bobby “Blue” Bland back in the blues tent. Although obviously a little frail, he could still belt it out and his band kicked ass.