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Memphis Flyer- Stomp #3 Review

MEMPHIS FLYER:

Local Beat | 5/6/2004
By Andria Lisle

The powers-that-be in the local music industry should've been in New Orleans last week, when Memphis notables Sonny Burgess ,Matt Lucas ,D.J. Fontana , and The Hi Rhythm Section (who backed Percy Wiggins for an amazing soul set, then brought out harmonica master Willie Cobbs for some gutbucket blues) played the third annual Ponderosa Stomp , this year's real celebration of the 50th anniversary of rock-and-roll.

Billed as "two nights of rockabilly, blues, soul, swamp blues, swamp pop and New Orleans R&B by the true, unsung heroes of rock-and-roll," the Ponderosa Stomp, held at the Rock and Bowl Mid City Lanes , started at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27th and paused some 10 hours later. Then partygoers had approximately 14 hours off before the celebration continued on Wednesday.

Politically incorrect pimps-cum-entertainers Rudy Ray Moore and Fillmore Slim regaled the audience between seminal performances from bluesman Homesick James (accompanied by Memphian Scott Bomar on bass), R&B pianist Dennis Binder (backed by Bomar and drummer Paul Buchignani ), Northwest garage rockers The Wailers , and New Orleans heroes Oliver "Carnival Time" Morgan ,Willie Tee , and Eddie Bo . But that was just the beginning. More than 40 legendary acts, including she-wolfs Barbara Lynn and Lady Bo , played during the event.

For a tiny, word-of-mouth show, the Ponderosa Stomp was a great success. It drew nearly 1,000 music fans each night, including industry stalwarts such as Norton Records 'Billy Miller and Miriam Linna and Terry Stewart of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ; bona-fide celebrities such as Harry Shearer and Ray Davies ; dozens of journalists and die-hard musicians/music fans such as Steve Miller ,Ben Vaughn , and Joss Stone .

Pretty incredible, especially when you realize that the Stomp is the brainchild of one Dr. Ike and his nonprofit Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau , who cobble together their own cash, funding from Miller Beer and American Spirit cigarettes, and a few dozen volunteers to put together a party that puts big-budget events (including most, if not all, Memphis ones) to shame. If you didn't make it down to New Orleans, you can find out more about what you missed at PonderosaStomp.com .
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