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SXSW Report - Ponderosa Stomp / MEMPHIS FLYER 3/24/06

Goin' Down South
An invasion of local garage and punk bands turns Austin's South By Southwest Music Festival into "Gonerfest Southwest."

BY CHRIS HERRINGTON and BEN POPPER | MARCH 24, 2006

But the most meaningful "Memphis" showcase of all may have been one without a single contemporary Memphis band in attendance. Friday night at the cozy Continental Club on South Congress, a group of traditional Mardi Gras Indians decked in full, feathered regalia marched through the front door stomping and chanting to signify the survival of the Ponderosa Stomp, the wildly acclaimed New Orleans roots-music festival that will be relocating to Memphis for 2006, sandwiched in between the Beale Street Music Festival and the Blues Music Awards in early May.

Stomp founder Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos and his wife Sam had shown up at Beerland the previous night to lend support to the Goner showcase. But on Friday, they had their hands full with a packed house at the Ponderosa showcase, an event that Padnos told the crowd was "training for Memphis."

As New Orleans continues to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Ponderosa Stomp has embraced Memphis in the meantime, and the New Orleans-Memphis connection was a lovely sight Friday at the Continental Club. The Crescent City opener was followed by Elvis Presley drummer DJ Fontana, who provided the beat for young(er) guitarists Charlie Sexton and C.C. Adcock as they lit into a swinging set of Elvis tunes, including "That's All Right" and "Baby, Let's Play House."

It was also proof that as much as the local SXSW experience was about what the city sounds like today, in Memphis the past is never far behind and always alive.
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