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Ponderosa Stomp no2 Preview - Where Yat Magazine

Ponderosa Stomp

Taking in over sixty-four artists and at least ten genres of music, the three night music festival known as the Ponderosa Stomp may look a bit confusing to those who haven’t dedicated every waking moment of their lives to pondering the mysteries of rock ‘n’ roll. But in the end, the Mystic Knights Of The Mau-Mau – the secret society responsible for the Stomp – say it doesn’t matter whether you know who even half of the featured artists are, you’re simply gonna have a blast. Even if you only pop your head into the Rock ‘n’ Bowl for an hour on one of the nights, you’re guaranteed to see more unbelievable music than you could hope for in probably a year of festivals, clubs and whatnot. “The artists are chosen for their ability and reputation to burn up a stage as much as they are for their accomplishments on record,” says Mystic Knight L.D. Invadore. “Guitarists like James Burton and Scotty Moore basically invented the rockabilly guitar style and audiences are impressed to know that, but you’ve gotta remember that the Stomp is only one quarter history lesson, three quarters house party. The main thing that we want to get across is the sheer wildness of this music. It was there in the original records these guys made and played on, and we try to set the stage for that magic to happen again in a live setting.”

The fast-paced approach of their presentation leaves no room for set breaks, cover tunes, pointless extended jams, warm-ups or the other often-unfortunate trappings that veteran artists occasionally succumb to. Artists hit the stage, deliver what they do best and make room for the next act. “Is it overkill?” asks Mystic Knight Doctor Ike. “Of course it is. That’s what this is about. This is designed so that when it’s all over, you’re just numb from the experience of being exposed to so much mind-blowing music.”

Tuesday, April 29
Nathaniel Mayer and Gino Washington, Ponderosa Stomp
The exported product of early ‘60s Detroit may have been Motown, but the Motor City was simultaneously ablaze with a bone-crushing style of hardcore soul music so shatteringly awesome that it often sounded like the best garage-band in the world colliding with Jackie Wilson. Nobody pioneered the style better than prime purveyors Mayer and Washington. Picking up where Andre Williams left off, I can honestly say that you’ve never seen soul music – or maybe any music – this intense. Don’t miss it. The same night: Memphis-meets-New Orleans funk when Willie Tee, Zigaboo Modeliste and Charles “Skip” Pitts – known as the man behind the guitar lead on Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft” – square off with the Hi Rhythm Section. (DG)

Wednesday, April 30
Rockabilly Rampage, Ponderosa Stomp
With double-neck guitar wizard Deke Dickerson and his Ecco-Fonics backing up everyone from Memphis madmen Billy Lee Riley (Elvis may have invented rockabilly at Sun Records, but it was Riley who poured wine all over the mixing board, NEED I SAY MORE!) and Eddie Bond to Louisiana rockers Jay Chevalier, Dale Hawkins and Joe Clay, as well as genre-defining rockabilly guitarists Scotty Moore and James Burton, it’s doubtful that there’s ever been a night like this. Texans Ray Sharpe (see interview this issue) and Jimmy Lee Fautheree also come highly anticipated. A primitive two-guitar and drums set by Jerry McCain will have Hasil Adkins fans losing their minds, as McCain’s punk/ blues explosion puts Jon Spencer to utter shame! And speaking of primitive, Tony Joe White’s two man outfit – featuring a drummer named Boom Boom!—has to be seen to be believed. Also: Swamp soul artist L’il Bob, Guitar Gable and the Musical Kings, Gulf Coast soul stirrers Barbara Lynn and Li’l Buck Sinegal and swamp blues men Lazy Lester, Warren Storm and Rudy Richard. (DG)

Thursday, May 1
Swamp Pop Revue, Ponderosa Stomp
The fact that a large scale – actually, make that any scale – swamp pop gig has never even happened in New Orleans is a travesty. The question has been raised over and over again in critiques of Jazz Fest for the past twenty years: Why?? These guys all live about two hours away. Well, it’s pay back time in spades. An augmented version of L’il Band O’ Gold will back up everybody from the most obscure to the most famous from T.K. “I’m Not A Fool Anymore” Hulin to Phil “Sea Of Love” Phillips, with Johnnie Allan, Roy “Boogie Boy” Perkins, Tommy McClain, Rod Bernard and many more sandwiched in between. Also: Clarence “Frogman” Henry showcases his Crescent City variation on the rural side of South Louisiana rock ‘n’ roll, while AFO Executives Tami Lynn and Harold Battiste come together with Cosimo’s studio cats like Earl Palmer, Eddie Bo and Salvador Doucette for a multi-generational history lesson on New Orleans R&B. Then there’s Sam the Sham... (DG)
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