2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA!

2013 Blues and BBQ Festival:  Spotlight on James Cotton:

Friday was a short day at the Blues and BBQ Festival and we caught only one act, James Cotton.  Mr. Cotton’s been playing for almost 70 years, including work with Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin, the strange inheritance of Sonny Boy Williamson II’s band, and a long solo career.  His performance at Blues and BBQ was much like his recent Jazz Fest show, in high spirits and full of eyes-wide, funny faces, blowing harmonica like he was 25 (but entirely seated, and at 78, he deserves a break). While we’re fortunate to have Mr. Cotton’s harmonica skills in top form, throat cancer ended his vocal career long ago.  If you want to check out his fantastic vocal work, listen to tracks like Cotton Crop Blues (on Spotify at http://t.co/AWyCe6gu6k) or the Grammy-winning album Deep in the Blues (which, sadly, appears to be out of print, but still widely available used).   In the latter, his voice is a wreck, in exactly the way that makes blues albums great.  James Cotton still plays far more than his website would indicate, so watch for a show near (or far) and check him out.  As he puts it, “The voice is gone, but the wind’s still there”.  Yeah you right.  Here are some of our favorite shots of James Cotton.  Click through to access the complete gallery of Blues and BBQ photos.

 

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

James Cotton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Day 2 got off to a very rainy start and having risked $15K of camera equipment enduring the rain at Jazz Fest, we reluctantly stayed indoors until the weather improved.  When we headed out to the festival, we caught Jerry “Blind Boy” Paxton, fabulous slide guitarist John Mooney, Alvin Youngblood Hart, our local guitar wizard Sonny Landreth, the beautiful Shemekia Copeland, and to shut down day 2, Jonny Lang, who’s been playing since the age of 12 and still looks about 20, even though he’s a youthful 32.

Below are some of our favorites from day 2–as always, click through for the complete gallery from the Blues and BBQ Festival:

 

Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

John Mooney performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

John Mooney performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Shemekia Copeland performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Shemekia Copeland performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Sonny Landreth performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Sonny Landreth performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Alvin Youngblood Hart performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Alvin Youngblood Hart performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Jonny Lang performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Jonny Lang performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

On Day 3 we caught the Cedric Burnside Project, which now consists of Cedric and Trenton Ayers on guitar, Jonathon Boogie Long, Beverly Guitar Watkins, The Lee Boys, Might Sam McClain, and Mel Waiters.  Standouts: Cedric Burnside and Trenton Ayers–Ayers is a monster on guitar, and finished the set with some flawless Hendrix–eyes closed, and it’s 1969.  Jonathon Boogie Long’s set was also excellent, and he’s on tour with B. B. King, so you should be able to catch one of his shows pretty easily.

Below are some of our favorites from day 3.  Click through for the complete gallery from the Blues and BBQ Festival:

Jonathon Boogie Long performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Jonathon Boogie Long performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Mel Waiters performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Mel Waiters performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Cedric Burnside performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Cedric Burnside performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Mighty Sam McClain performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Mighty Sam McClain performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Beverly Guitar Watkins performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

Beverly Guitar Watkins performs at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

The Lee Boys perform at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

The Lee Boys perform at the 2013 Blues & BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA. (HIGH ISO Music, LLC)

 

Ultimately, while New Orleans still has a long way to go before it can deliver the BBQ goods like Lambert’s or Franklin’s in Austin, TX or the Black Dog Smoke & Ale House in Urbana, IL, thanks in great part to this festival and amazing performers like Mr. Cotton John Mooney, Jonny Lang, and the rest, we feel like we got the blues covered.  See you next year, and for us, it’s off to the 2013 Voodoo Music Experience!

If you feel like just sitting back and laying off the clicking, the following slideshow showcases all our favorite shots from the festival:

Favorites from the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival

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