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Mojo Magazine: The Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau's Last Night I Got Loaded Halloween Costume Ball

New Orleans, Circle Bar
Stellar assembly of R&B and rockabilly legends whoop it up in Mardi Gras town.

To those crammed into the tiny Circle bar, it was hard not to notice Lazy Lester, a tall gentleman with hair in Albert Einstein's style. Moments earlier the elusive Guitar Gable had struck up Congo Mambo and Li'l Bob And The Lollipops had brought Kent's "Lafayette Soul Show" CD to life with "I Got Loaded, Nobody but You and Kidnapper." But Lester's very presence dominated the entire club:"I was in the studio when he cut this one!" he exclaimed as drummer Warren Storm swung into Mama, Mama, Mama. Though Storm had backed Lester on most swamp blues classics he'd made, they hadn't played together since. As the final, stirring notes of Warren's Prisoner's Song dissolved, Lester pulled out his harp and headed stageward and the pair were locked into the trance-like magic they'd first hit on as teenagers in Jay Miller's Crowley studio.

Most sets were short, sweet, and to the point: Texas Playboys' steel guitarist Herb Remington hit the mark with Remington Ride and Boot Heel Drag, while Jody Williams revealed the source of Otis Rush's All Your Love with his minor-keyed masterpiece Lucky Lou. Calvin Newborn summed up every high point of his 50 year career in one song that jumped from modern jazz to the trashiest of gut-bucket R&B. Alvis Wayne wailed through Swing Bop Boogie, Don't Mean Maybe Baby and Sleep Rock'n'Roll with a band including D.J. Fontana, Paul Burlison and Alex Chilton.

Alvis then passed his acoustic to Lester for a short country set that commenced with Al Ferrier's Blues Stop Knocking. Many declared it the pinnacle of the evening, but two more were to follow. Eddie Bo and Earl Stanley took the floor, delving into Bo's reservoir of funk from Check Your Bucket and crescendoed with Stanley's Pass The Hatchet, performed live for the first time sice they cut it over three decades ago. Lazy Lester couldn't help himself as he and Warren commandeered former Slim Harpo guitarist Rudy Richard for one more blow-out set, closing the night with a cosmic Rainin' In My Heart. The mash to end them all? 'Til next time.
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