“Halloween is finally over” I said with mixed feelings of relief, longing and fond rememberence. Until last week we had been staying in Marrero with our bass player Dave’s mom. It (mostly) kept us out trouble but we needed to be closer to downtown so that we could be walking (er, stumbling) distance from all the festivities. We took a friend up on her generous offer and spent the weekend right outside the French Quarter in the Marigny. And use the facilities we did indeed. So much so that it took me two days to recover. Literally.
New Orleans is, of course a well known destination for Mardi Gras madness and the Jazz and Heritage Festival, but throngs of party goers have been flocking to the Crescent City for All Hallows Eve for years. And for good reason. The city has ghost stories gallore going back hundreds of years and even some more recent ones that would curdle your blood. (Keep your ears peeled for a new Gal Holiday song based on the American Murder Ballads of yore.) And now that the Voodoo Music Experience has become such a popular music festival, the city is even more swollen with folks itching to kick up their heels.
And it was a night of ghosties and ghoulies in abundance on the steets along with plenty of young gals proud to show off a little skin. In fact, our show on Saturday at Banks Street Bar got a little shaken up by a posterior flasher and her mud flap girl tattoos. Truck driving songs always seem to get ’em going and it’s not every day a woman pulls her pants down for us.
Where was I? Oh yes, Halloween. To brass bands galore, we walked down the overflowing Frenchmen Street, a favorite of locals and tourists alike and we popped around the corner to Checkpoint Charlie’s. It’s a place where bikers, hippies, boat captains and people who need to do their laundry while drinking tend to congregate. It’s also the place where Gal Holiday first got our feet wet, way back in 2004 and where we learned how to deal with obnoxious drunk people during our show. And nothing much has changed of course. Although the clienele has changed slightly over the years, as has the management they still know how to make a damn good late night burger and pack in the crowds.
I had my introduction to Spoonfed Tribe this year, and they were great but the real treat of the evening was Voodoo Town, the band who played before them. Our friend, trumpeter and loop master extraordinare, Trace Barfield and his bandmates were in fine, improvisational form and they left me wishing I’d gotten there earlier to see more of their show. All in all it was a wild time in the French Quarter but we had places to go, people, places to go.
My ultimate destination was Mimi’s in the Marigny ( where we’ll be playing one more time on Nov. 10th) and a very special lady named, Meschiya Lake. She’s the ultimate siren of song and occasionally of debauchery, too. She and dem Little Big Horns really make my feet go tippety tap and my heart go pitter patter with their jitterbug, classic jazz sound. They were a joy to listen to as was Meschiya’s friend from New York who sang a couple numbers with the band. Wish I gotten her name and BOY do I wish I had gotten more pictures of the night. I took about two and they stink. So much for a photo blog.
Most of the rest of the night is a blur but as I said, we were stumbling distance to home. Until next year, New Orleans. Oh wait, we’re here through Thanksgiving. More time for trouble. Except that we’re back in Marrero…and headed to Mimi’s tonight.