THE LOUISIANA CONNECTION
|Dusk at Sam's Burger Joint and Music Hall
Despite not leaving the city limits of San Antonio, I got to enjoy music with a Louisiana flavor this past weekend.
It all started Friday night out on the patio at Sam’s Burger Joint and Music Hall. Two members of the Bluebucks – Gary Loper on guitar and Cecil Yancey on bass – played a nice mix of blues and funk. All I needed was a shrimp po’ boy and a cold bottle of Abita Purple Haze, and I would have felt like I was in a club on Frenchmen Street.
|Gary Loper and Cecil Yancey of the Bluebucks
There’s a Cajun lilt to Gary’s Texas twang. He grew up in Brazoria County on the southeastern Texas coast, and was influenced by the region’s Cajun, zydeco, blues and jazz music. You can hear it in his voice and you can definitely hear the influence in his music.
From the patio we moved indoors to the Music Hall and settled in for opening act Seth Walker. Seth’s website says that he plays a mixture of traditional blues with a New Orleans flair. Pretty cool, considering he was born and raised in North Carolina.
|Seth's new CD, "Time Can Change," which he called a very personal and
intimate project. He felt the cover of the CD needed to be
equally up close and personal.
|Seth's treasured guitar
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Seth sing. I had my car radio set to KSYM for the Third Coast Music show. “Two Feet Left to the Ceiling” came on, and chills ran down my spine. That song could be the ballad of Hurricane Katrina; you get a sense of the despair, the hopelessness and the overwhelming abandonment the citizens of News Orleans must have felt during that tragic low point in our country’s history.
But just as his music takes you to the depths, it also lifts you up in joy. Try to sit still as you listen to “Miss Ann.” When you hear the opening notes of “Can’t Come With You,” don’t tap your feet. And please, do NOT clap along when you hear “More Days Like This.”
I dare you.
Seth’s acoustic show warmed up the crowd for long, tall Marcia Ball…the queen of the keyboards. I think USA Today said it best when they described her as “…where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet.”
Born in Orange, Texas, but raised in Vinton, La., Marcia owns the room when she plays. When she’s introduced, she seemingly glides across the stage and then sits at the keyboard and crosses her impossibly long legs. It’s next to impossible to get a photo that isn’t blurred of her legs because they don’t stop moving in time with the music.
|Her feet never stay still.
Marcia has the uncanny ability to make you wanna dance one minute with “That’s How It Goes” and the next minute, you’re wiping tears from your eyes when you hear “Louisiana 1927.”
So, after all that bayou influence on Friday, you’d think I’d had enough of The Pelican State. But far from it, because on Saturday night I got to see Louisiana born and raised Wendy Colonna at Luna on San Pedro.
Wendy’s music makes me smile…plain and simple. Her voice can start off sweet and pure and then at just the right moment, turn edgy and gritty.
I also came to know Wendy’s music through KSYM. Two of my favorite songs of hers should come as no surprise: “Louisiana” and “Hurricane.”
|Wendy Colonna at Luna on San Pedro
|Wendy, with some of the Lazybones
|Louisiana's own Wendy Colonna
The show Saturday night was a bit different than normal. Along with her bass player Michael Stevens, she was joined by three musicians from Belgium and one from Holland.
She met the Belgians on her solo acoustic European tour last September. She admitted she was a bit apprehensive when meeting them the first time for a jam, but that nervousness was quickly replaced by bonding. One week after they met and after playing together only five times, they headed into a studio and recorded seven songs. The result is the beautiful “Barefoot in Belgium.” The band is known as the Lazybones, named after one of the Hoagy Carmichael songs they recorded.
Amazing. See what wonderful things music can do?
And this whole Louisiana connection is pretty cool, too. It all magically came together one amazing weekend in March.
They say everything happens for a reason. But really, do you need a reason other than the music?