Fess Fest 2010!

It’s hard to write anything new about Professor Longhair (aka Henry Roeland Byrd aka “Fess”).  He’s a New Orleans icon (see?), his piano playing style is unique and yet has tinged the work of virtually every piano player who plays “New Orleans music” (whatever that is).    There are performers who can clearly capture his vibe (Jon Cleary comes immediately to mind), but the debt remains the same. To try not to dance in the face of Fess’ music is to risk serious injury–muscles start trembling…control!  control!  Then limbs start flying all over the place.

Tipitinas threw Fess an amazing 92nd birthday party.  We’re not complaining, but seriously–$20 to watch a dozen acts or so for 5 hours, including Dr. John, Jon Cleary, (DJ) Davis Rogan, Joe Krown (in the most amazing display of piano wizardry I’ve ever seen him play) Deacon John, the 101 Runners, Donald Harrison, and James Andrews?  Words fail, so check out the pictures instead.   These are shot from the audience with a 70-200mm on a Nikon D700.  We were accused of being on stage, but no such luck.  How about it, Tips?

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