When Wardell Gets His Due

Today is your chance to meet Wardell Quezergue, the Creole Beethoven, at the Lagniappe Tent on the Fairgrounds. He's getting his all-star tribute on the paddock and the man can eat some serious oysters so look for the legend surrounded by shells.

We first got to know him at a Chicago Dr. John benefit to help him out with living expenses, and have stayed in touch and become friends. That's the worst part of this year's fest. Too many friends make it impossible to actually make it to very many stages to hear music. It's a fair trade.

Last night we went out for Frogs Legs brought back from the Bayou by a New Orleans music legend whose name I can't mention or all his friends will be hitting him up for legs. Jaeger's cooked them up in two giant dishes, along with fried blue catfish roe, and Wardell still managed to get one of my Oysters in a fair trade for a chunk of catfish. I am now officially fat.

After a great night in which we ate the ocean, we hit Rosie's Jazz Hall for Mardi Gras Indians, Willie Tee, and too many others to list because Wardell was not ready to call it a night. I hope I party at 72.

Which is my mom's age and she's achieved a whole new level of color blindness. After telling me about her favorite nurse who is black, and she sometimes calls Mommy, I met the woman who is actually about as German as one can get. Which gives me an imaginary black grandma.

Last night we were talking about musicians in New Orleans and Wardell said the best thing. "In music, I never did worry about who was black or white. And now that I'm blind, everyone's black."

I can't wait to tell Mom!

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