Ernie K-Doe's van

Ponderosa Stomp, 2005

When I returned to New Orleans in April for Ponderosa Stomp, I remarked at the time how little it had changed since 1995, or even 1986 when I first lived there. It’ll never again be the city I knew. All the closely-knit neighborhoods destroyed, people killed or scattered around the country, it’s crushing to think about.

It’s good to hear Irma Thomas, Eddie Bo, Allen Toussaint and many others are safe and accounted for.

Betty Harris, Ponderosa Stomp at the Rock 'n Bowl, 2005
Betty Harris, Ponderosa Stomp at the Rock ‘n Bowl, 2005

Betty Harris may not be originally from New Orleans, but she made her best records there with Allen Toussaint. She was also one of the highlights of the Ponderosa Stomp this year, coming out of retirement after 35 years to just floor the audience with her voice and charisma. It was a really stunning performance by a true star who hasn’t lost the least bit of her abilities.

Ernie K-Doe's van
Ernie K-Doe’s gone but his van drives on
Irma Thomas at the Lion's Den
Irma Thomas at the Lion’s Den
Little Buck at Ponderosa Stomp, tearing through Cat Scream and Monkey in a Sack
Little Buck at Ponderosa Stomp, tearing through Cat Scream and Monkey in a Sack
Little Buck's horn section at Ponderosa Stomp
Little Buck’s horn section at Ponderosa Stomp
Dr. Specs Optical Illusion downstairs at Ponderosa Stomp
Dr. Specs Optical Illusion downstairs at Ponderosa Stomp – they reformed for the Stomp, the highlights of their set being both sides of their awesomely rare and great 45.
Barbara Lynn with Buckwheat Zydeco at the organ
Barbara Lynn with Buckwheat Zydeco at the organ
Plas Johnson warms up
Plas Johnson warms up
Eddie's records
Eddie’s records
Julie digging
Julie digging
Eddie
Eddie back in April – he and his family are alive and well in Alexandria now, but they’ve lost so much

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