Bluesy Woozy Man - French Quarter

Bluesy Woozy Man - French Quarter

Postby Addy vdB » 12 Sep 2016, 19:03

This is one of the best Blues venues I've ever played in - similar to the legendary New Orleans Blues and Jazz bar in Sunderland. However, the one difference was the lack of a black cloth or backdrop on the wall behind me which would have made the room more 'theatrical' and less 'living room' with its old fashioned light fixtures, saggy curtains hanging off the rails (which didn't properly close) and long pvc sofa. Still, nothing stops the blues, certainly not a few fixtures and fittings. The room held 75 or so when full, less when not full, and was divided by an emergency staircase going down to the street, so the audience could leave quickly in case of fire, or perhaps a really terrible performance. Luckily there were neither during my run. All in all a very intimate room, with perfectly good sound and lighting, and a good bar.

The staff were lovely, young and vivacious. And very helpful. One of them, a tall lad with a penchant for rugby, would sometimes even offer to carry my piano up the stairs (I must have seemed very old and decrepit to his young eyes), and he reminded me of a roadie I once worked with at the Munich Beer and Blues festival in '07 - Günter. Or was it Johann? Anyway, they all did a tremendous job sending punters to the upstairs bar if they were early (where they would be met by very helpful and skilled bar tenders), and then later lining them up in excitable rows when it was nearing Woozy time. Brendan, the manager, was friendly and jolly, and reminded me of a young Cecil Davis, the Mississippi Hill Country Blues legend.

Location access was made slightly more difficult this year due to one end of the access road being closed, but a sneaky alternative route was organised through a courtyard where, on one occasion, I saw a swinging band of septuagenarian ukelele players - and there aren't many times in your life you can say that. I had a map on the back of the flyer, which was a good idea except that it was made obsolete by the fact that I didn't hear about the road closure until July after the 5000 flyers had been printed. It's still a good idea to do a map, but make sure you get an up to date version of the area when you have your flyer designed.

Finally, this is a bloody good venue and the free fringe a tremendous organisation. They are true pioneers, like Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, Blind Jimmy McCoy, Limping Brownie McGee, Washboard Sam, Cheeky Wally Hampton and all the other greats. Thanks especially to PBH and Paul B.E.
Love ya,
Addy vdB
Posts: 3
Joined: September 2013

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