The weather had cleared with no rain for the day.
The priority for the day was Wilco. So we watched Grace Potter and The Nocturnals as they were on the same stage beforehand. I have written about Grace Potter previously on this site and frankly was in two minds about her. She is certainly magnetic on stage, a superb voice and a tight three piece behind her. “Stars” was a high point, showcasing her vocals, a nice version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and a soulful “Sugar”. A strong finale with Grace and the band playing on the one drum kit to a frantic crescendo.
We only had to wait for Wilco for 30 minutes but it seemed a lot longer. I have seen them twice in New Orleans so I knew what to expect but was keen to see them perform material from their new album The Whole Love. They did not disappoint. The set list covered almost every studio album – “Hummingbird” and “Handshake Drugs” from A Ghost Is Born, ” The Art of Almost”, the title track and “I Might” from The Whole Love, “Passenger Side” and “Boxful of Letters” from A.M. “California Stars” – Mermaid Avenue vol. 1, “Forget The Flowers” – Being There, “Heavy Metal Drummer” and “I’m The Man Who Loves You” from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and “A Shot In The Arm” from Summerteeth. “Impossible Germany” again was a highlight with guitarist Nels Cline performing a brilliant solo in a frenetic, almost trance-like state. This line-up has been together for a few years now and they are a joy to behold, with Tweedy’s voice rising above majestically. A brilliant and imperious set.
A quick bite to eat and we decided to give Canadian virtuoso guitarist Matt Anderson a listen at the smaller and more relaxed Apra stage. He is certainly a gifted blues player with a good voice. His cover of “Aint No Sunshine” tasteful and soulful. Originals such as “Coal mining Blues” and “Better Man Blues” very well received by an adoring crowd up the front.
We then tried to get near Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters but the crowds were so large that we couldn’t get a vantage point from which we could see or hear reasonably. Time to activate Plan B.
A beautiful way to finish the day was The Music Maker Blues Revue. This blues institution features Boogie Woogie legend Ironing Board Sam, guitar slinging siren Pat Wilder, Alabama bluesman Dr. Burt and Zydeco giant Major Handy, with Albert White, Nashid Abdul Khaaliq and Ardie Dean. “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Oop Oop Pah Doo”, “Thrill Me” and “Jambalaya” were wonderful. The whole Cavanbah tent was jumping and jiving. My friend Jim still has a smile on his face.
All photos by Jim Jacob.