Jazz Fest: Friday, April 24 at Jazz Fest

Friday starts the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and we'll be there more or less when the gates open. Recently, I interviewed The Revelers, the Lafayette-based swamp pop band featuring former members of The Red Stick Ramblers and Pine Leaf Boys, and I like what I heard enough to be one of the door crashers to make their 11:15 a.m. set on the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do Stage.

Jazz Fest: Sean Johnson's New Orleans Mantra

Unity by Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band walks a tough line between the pristine airiness of new age music and the (gently) gritty textures of blues-based rock ’n’ roll, and it does so boldly. Johnson and the band commit, and pieces that start with musical or lyrical ideas I’m not sure are for me—too hippy, too sincere—often gain power in their droning repetition and carefully measured intensity.