“There was a time when popular music was distilled from desperation, striving, raw ambition and a healthy fear of the damnation of the Lord. Menace was in the air as the odds were damn near impossible to beat, getting out of the fields and into a Cadillac, proving to the world that toughness and talent could take a poverty-stricken kid to the bright lights of town. Songs with an edge, a secret code, a punk energy that is undeniable — that is the music of the Ponderosa Stomp.”
Celebrating the architects of American Music
Ponderosa Stomp is an annual music festival that couldn’t be held anywhere other than New Orleans. This music festival celebrates the architects of American music, artists that don’t need the help of auto-tune or even 100% function able microphones. It’s described as three days of the music you’ve never heard of. The artists come from generations spread throughout the decades, from genres that include, but are not limited to soul singers, country creole and a hefty dose of rock ‘n’ roll with a sprinkle or two of punk and zydeco.
A sampling of this year’s artists include a 60s California garage band called The Standall’s, a soul and R&B singer named Maxine Brown and Rockabilly hall of famer Bobby Crown. If you like good music, you should make sure you’re at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl (300 S. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.) on Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5 for this very special two night music festival. Tickets are $50 per night and can be bought online via the Ponderosa Stomp website.
To get you in the mood, here's our 2013 Ponderosa Stomp playlist via Spotify.
The fun doesn’t stop with the concert; there’s also a vinyl show at the Wyndham Riverfront (710 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans). Yes, you heard right….vinyl, also known as records. You know the type - they only play on turntable record players. You won’t find any CDs, or even any tapes, here. It’s strictly vinyl 45s, LP albums and 78s. You can expect to find thousands of records that, just like the concert, don’t stick to any one genre. The record show is Oct. 3-5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its $5 to get in, unless you’re attending the music conference. Speaking of which...
Music History Conference
The centerpiece of this festival is the Music History Conference (also at the Wyndham Riverfront) which focuses on musicians, historians and musicologists sharing their love of music history. Many of the musical artists at the concert will also be speaking. T\
The festival started in 2002 and originally happened in the space between the two weekends of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the spring. However, it eventually found its home in September at the Rock ‘n’ Bowl. It was founded by the non-profit Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau, a New Orleans group dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of American roots music.
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