Performers at the SXSW showcase represent a veritable dream team of music pioneers from the fringes of America’s music scenes of the 1950s and ‘60s.
Kicking off the seven-plus hours of high-octane insanity are rockabilly great Jay Chevalier and the ever-enigmatic Ray Sharpe. Both have been tearing up the South for nearly five decades with hard-boppers like "Linda Lu" and "Come Back To Louisiana." Upping the ante, Sharpe Fort Worth, Texas’ only black rockabilly star will be performing with Texas Tornadoes veteran and Doug Sahm sideman Augie Meyers, San Antonio’s favorite son, while Louisiana group The Haunted Hearts will pair off with Jay Chevalier.
Next, Texas Playboys alum and pedal steel master Herb Remington will take fans on a rollicking "Remington Ride," followed by Lafayette, Louisiana’s Lil Buck Sinegal and his Buckaroos, featuring Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural on organ.
Segue to the funky side of the night, as A.F.O. vocalist Tammy Lynn serves up her absolutely sublime version of "Mojo Hannah" and pianist Willie Tee, famed for fronting one of New Orleans’ grittiest psych-funk instrumental groups, the Gaturs.
Just before the witching hour, The Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indians with special guest Big Chief Roddy of the Black Eagles will transform Opal Divine’s into an untamed New Orleans battleground, representing just two of the 38 tribes who traditionally parade on St. Joseph’s Day.
A royal revue is up next, beginning with the President of Soul himself, New Orleans-born southern soul maestro Mr. Rockie Charles. After a sweet soul set, he’ll hand his mic over to Barbara Lynn, the Empress of Gulf Coast Soul and author of such classics as "You’ll Lose A Good Thing" and "Oh Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin’)," later covered by the Rolling Stones.
At midnight, legendary Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey will take the stage, coming to Austin straight from the Motor City. Houston native Archie Bell will then teach the crowd how to do the "Tighten Up." Mississippi soulman Mr. Herbert Wiley and his group, The Checkmates, are up next, with special guest Harvey "Disco Lady" Scales. Closing out the night is Texas-born R&B renaissance man Bobby Patterson, guaranteed to sing the audience home.
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Last year’s Ponderosa Stomp SXSW Showcase garnered rave reviews from the New York Times, the Hollywood Reporter, New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, and the Memphis Flyer.
"If there was another set during the whole of SXSW with more passion, sweat, commitment, resonance, and sheer, unalloyed fun," wondered the Austin American-Statesman, "I’d like to know what it was. As simply a performance, the Ponderosa Stomp was a rambunctious honky-tonk feast. As a testament to the resilience of the tempest-tossed Gulf Coast (and it was explicitly that), it was a declaration that these people, this music, and this culture is going to stand its ground and prevail."
Meanwhile, the Austin Chronicle reported that "As the pressure cooker of SXSW searches aimlessly for the next big thing, this mélange of blues, soul, and rock&roll made the old-timers of the bayou the hippest ticket in town."
"At the suitably steamy Continental Club, Gulf Coast-associated performers ranging from songstress Barbara Lynn to backflipping wildman Roy Head provided a taste of the infamous Ponderosa Stomp swampathon," reported the Los Angeles Daily News.
The Ponderosa Stomp SXSW Showcase previews the 2007 Ponderosa Stomp, the world’s only music festival with cult rocker Roky Erickson, master arranger Wardell Quezergue, soul songwriter supreme Dan Penn, rockabilly wild man Dale Hawkins, R&B soprano Little Jimmy Scott, and dozens more rarely seen and seldom heard American music legends in its line-up.
A marathon eight hours-plus music festival that celebrates and pays tribute to the unsung heroes of rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm & blues, and other forms of American roots music, the 6th Annual Ponderosa Stomp will rock two stages, the Big Room and the Parish, at New Orleans’ House of Blues from 5:30PM to 2AM on Wednesday, May 2, 2007.
"The audience won’t even know what hit them," promises Dr. Ike Padnos, executive director of the Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau, the 501c3 organization that’s producing the 6th Annual Ponderosa Stomp, which also features Texas Tornado co-founder Augie Meyers, Stax sessions guitarist Skip Pitts, Mardi Gras king Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Excello harp master Lazy Lester, tremendous trumpeter/famed New Orleans bandleader Dave Bartholomew, tough Texas shouter Roy Head, and rockabilly wailer Joe Clay.
Also appearing at the 6th Annual Ponderosa Stomp: Motown guitar slinger Dennis Coffey, hill country bluesman Kenny Brown, chitlin’ circuit showman Bobby Rush, "Mr. Big Stuff" singer Jean Knight, piano man Henry Gray, six-string demolition expert Eddie Kirkland, rockabilly drummer Matt Lucas, Memphis sessions genius Bobby Emmons, swamp pop singer Grace (Dale & Grace) Broussard, New Orleans heartbreaker Tony Owens, Muscle Shoals veteran Ralph "Soul" Jackson, and backing bands Lil Buck Sinegal and the Top Cats with special guest Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Deke Dickerson & the Eccofonics, and the New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Revue.
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The efforts of the Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau go well beyond the Ponderosa Stomp: Since the non-profit’s inception in 2000, the Mystic Knights have considered it their mission to rediscover and celebrate America’s overlooked musical pioneers and re-educate the community about their impact on music. Through past partnerships with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Sun Studios, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, The New Orleans Musicians Clinic, and The New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, the 501c3 group has helped resurrect the careers of several legendary musicians, including Jody Williams, Howard Tate, and Barbara Lynn.
The Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau also produces various events throughout the year, including showcases at SXSW and New Orleans’ own Voodoo Music Experience, one-off concerts in New Orleans and Memphis, and The Ogden Museum of Southern Arts’ monthly After Hours music series. The non-profit, volunteer-run organization, founded by a group of rock’n’roll fanatics to celebrate the pioneers of blues, country, swamp pop, jazz, soul, and R&B, has presented more than 50 shows, helping to resurrect the careers of dozens of "lost" musical legends, including Howard Tate and Jody Williams, over the past six years.
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