Jazz Fest Wrap Up

New Orleans, 5/19/09

A-ron - Jazz Fest

Well, another Jazz Fest is in the books and it was a good one. For the Honey Island Swamp Band, probably the best ever. We played the Fair Grounds for the first time, opening things up Thursday April 30th on the Gentilly Stage. It was great to be on a huge stage, where we could put the full 12-piece band from theWishing Well sessions together for a live set.

We started out with the core four piece, plus Marc Adams on keys, Gina Brown and Evelyn Montgomery on vocals, and Sean Carey on harp and vocals. The girls surprised us with some embroidered HISB t-shirts they put together for the occasion, which were a big hit. May have to see about getting some more of those.

A few songs in we brought out our old buddy Snakebite Jenkins from the New Orleans Nightcrawlers out for a few tunes he recorded on tenor sax for us on the first album. Then Snake moved to bari sax and we brought out the full horns with Jimmy Carpenter on tenor, along with Craig Kline and Greg Hicks from Bonerama on the bones. Jimmy wrote some killer arrangements for the new record and they sounded huge.

The crowd was awesome and we gotta give props to all the friends and fans who made it out early and got the energy going. The folks at Jazz Fest Live recorded the set and you should be able to order it soon from the Jazz Fest Live website . In the meantime, there’s a great review of the set on the New Orleans Times Picayune website written by Chris Rose, one of the paper’s most prolific and well-loved columnists. You can check it out  here…

It was an amazing week with some other great highlights, including a packed gig at the Hi Ho Lounge, our first in that venue, a sweet show at the Old Point in Algiers, and a rollin in-store set at the Louisiana Music Factory in between weekends. We posted video from some of these gigs on our myspace site and our media page. You can also see some nice photos from the Jazz Fest set on our photos page.

Jazz Fest is unlike any other time of year in New Orleans, and we want to thank the festival organizers, John and Lori at the Hi Ho, Chad at the Old Point, Barry at LAMF, and most of all, the thousands of music lovers who came from both near and far to help our city relive one of its most cherished traditions another year. YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN!