Contrapuntal and Mesmerizing
While wandering about the New Orleans French Quarter during the French Quarter Fest in April of 2006, I stumbled onto this two-man band. Their music was far and away better than what one would expect from a street group. They played as one together and in a contrapuntal mode for a near mesmerizing session of tunes. I tried a few shots fairly close to them but was not getting what I wanted. I backed away about a half block and still was not satisfied with the angle. My final answer was to lay prone in the gutter and fire away. Certain of my friends will revel in this revelation, and I will hear some snide remarks, but let ‘em fly. I will laugh, too.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Pine Buff, Arkansas
Over the years, as part of a loose-knit group of good ol’ boys, I have made a number of trips to New Orleans to see Saints football games and do a volunteer stint at the French Quarter Fest. In the non-football and non-festival parts of the trips, we scattered like a covey of quail, each pursuing his own interests. Mine, of course, was getting as many pictures as I could in the French Quarter, where we always stayed. For this edition we are doing a show and tell of shots from those trips.
In the Moment
The guitarist’s fingers flew across the frets as he plucked with well-practiced artistry. He was in the moment and immersed in the tune. He was in a world populated by two people. His side-kick with the slide was the other 50 percent of that universe.
Spicy Auditory Flavor
Keying in on his partner’s vibes, this homeboy was equally adept as a creative musician. The two tossed the lead back and forth. This dude would occasionally would put a slide on his left little finger and add another layer of auditory flavor to the mix.
Dixie Blues Rock
Music was rampant on the streets. An hour or so after my session with the guitar guys, I found this group holding forth with a homogenous Dixie Land / Blues / Rock and Roll sound. When listening to their music it was difficult to hold myself still long enough to get my shots. We featured a picture of the trumpeter and sousaphone guy in our November 25, 2007, Photo of the Week, “Pucker Up and Play.” When you click on the link, you will see that the title was appropriate.
A Bit 'Over-the-Top'
Being what most people call a “tall-drink-of-water” from the first grade on, I have always had my eyes open for a girl of height. I found this one in April 2006 in the French Quarter, but she was a bit “over-the-top.”
Awareness — Or Not
I recently posted this image on Facebook and it garnered enough interest that I decided to share it with our Corndancer and Weekly Grist readers. I could be guilty of artistic heresy here, but somehow, this photo always brings to mind the Georges Seurat masterpiece, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." In the painting you see a bunch of people beside a body of water and you get the idea those people are not aware of each other. You get the same idea of unawareness with this image.
I shot the picture in Woldenberg Park next to the Mississippi River in the French Quarter on April 7, 2005. Suerat completed his painting in 1886. I guess some things don't change in 119 years and more than 4,000 miles apart. Go figure.
Just in case you missed your humanities class that day (or you forgot), take a gander at "A Sunday Afternoon ... " by following this link to Wikipedia land.
Sly with the Shutter
The aforementioned loose-knit group of good ol’ boys always gather at a New Orleans eatery for dinner. I cannot remember the name of this one, but the food, as I recall, was excellent. I grabbed the seat at our table and set the camera where it could see the biggest part of the room. As we engaged in casual conversation I sporadically reached for the shutter button and snapped away with no one in the picture the wiser.
Early in the evening on April 16, 2004, this is how the Woldenberg Park looked. There are plenty of people and there is plenty to enjoy. That’s why we go to New Orleans.
One cannot visit New Orleans too much. I’m feeling the itch. How ‘bout you?
But wait, there's more —
At Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,
we look at some shots from
a 2002 Saints game weekend,
including some shots inside
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville
and more of the 2006 French Quarter Fest weekend. We give you the sights, you’ll have to imagine the smells and sounds, but that’s not a stretch. Click, go, and enjoy.