Friday, December 15, 2017

New Orleans All-Star R&B Review hosted by Deacon John featuring Allen Toussaint

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Posted by shore On April - 28 - 2009

allen-toussaint @AndyShore This slot in the Blues Tent was a who’s who of New Orleans R&B artists. Along with Deacon Jones and his band the Ivories, were Wanda Rouzan, Robert Parker, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint. Not to mention John’s niece and a few other singers that while talented, couldn’t even get their names on the bill.

 

John led his band masterfully through some instrumental numbers, before beginning to introduce the long list of vocalists to the stage. With a band as tight as the Ivories, anybody with a halfway decent voice was going to shine. After the first two, I decided to take a break to run over and shoot The Robert Cray Band.

 

I made it back to the Blues Tent in time for Robert Parker’s last number on stage with Deacon John and the Ivories. By that time, John had manned his guitar and was ripping it up on stage (it should be noted that I was impressed, despite just being wowed by the silky smooth playing of Roberty Cray). Al “Carnival Time” Johnson was introduced to the stage next, to many cheers from the crowd. He finished his three songs with his most famous song, “Carnival Time,” as the whole crowd, and John, danced and sang along.

 

Few people received a more raucous round of applause than Allen Toussaint did. He sat down at the keys, and the energy in the Blues Tent was raised to another level. Toussaint was who everyone in the Blues Tent had come to see (including the photographers, who created a hilarious logjam in front of the keys, despite not being able to see Toussaint from there). After watching the New Orleans R&B legend for another song or two, I had to pry myself away to resume my photographer obligations and head to the photo pit for Dave Matthews Band.

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