2011 Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival

This year’s Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival was the 6th annual presentation of the free event, which is put on by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation (whose premiere event is the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival).   This year’s lineup was loaded with stars, including Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Little Freddie King, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the South Memphis String Band, soul singer Bettye LaVette, Mel Waiters, Marcia Ball, Tab Benoit, The Campbell Brothers, Super Chikan, and more.  All of these artists are worth checking out–buy their CDs, mail them gifts, massage their feet (with permission only!), but keep them playing!

The festival is an open-air affair, with alternating stages on opposite sides of Lafayette Square.  Local artists, photographers, and, of course, BBQ artisans are peppered throughout the festival grounds to provide attendees with a little exercise (and a lot of pork).  Stage announcements constantly reminded the crowd that ‘buying beer pays the bills’ and the crowd responded with gusto (the bills got paid, let’s say).   Hipsters, families, blankets, strollers, beer, pork, blues, sunshine, friends, smiles, and bicycle valet service.  Free.  And mumbles of “I’m moving here!” from the occasional out-of-towner.  Why not?

Check it out:

By the way, the Jazz and Heritage Festival wastes no time–the 2012 edition of the event is already being planned. You can watch for updates (as well as see past lineups) at the Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival website.

And now…on to Voodoo 2011 (after a fantastic bounce show on Thursday night at the Republic–no sleep in sight and let’s hope the shutters hold up!).

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