The Voodoo Experience:
Our picks for Day One

Voodoo is back and despite the major setback of loosing Green Day less than two weeks before the festival, they have bounced back by booking another American icon, Metallica. Here are my picks for the Friday, October 26, 2012.

The main stage doesn’t get started until 3 PM even though the gates open at 11 AM. This is nothing but a good thing for adventurous music fans, particularly those from out of town, because it gives you a chance to check out different stylings.

Right at the top of that list, especially considering the younger demographic that is attracted to Voodoo, is the TBC Brass Band. They play the Preservation Hall stage at 12:45 PM.

The group’s moniker stands for To Be Continued, and they represent the latest generation of New Orleans musicians who have embraced the century-old brass band tradition. They can play the old style, but I doubt that they will at Voodoo. They can really bring the hip-hop and funk, and that’s what I expect. Check the vid for some of their edgier sounds

In keeping with the spirit of New Orleans tradition, don’t miss the 101 Runners tribute to Big Chief Bo Dollis. He is one of the most respected of the dozens of Mardi Gras Indian chiefs that populate the inner city landscape of New Orleans.

The 101 Runners feature younger musicians who, like the TBC, pay homage to the ancient Mardi Gras Indian culture while also updating it for another generation.

Cheick Hamala Diabate hails from Mali and he will certainly be feeling the spirit of Africa in the two acts that I mentioned above. They precede him on the Preservation Hall stage. He plays the ngoni, a precursor to the banjo, among other instruments from the Motherland, and is an acknowledged master.

Later Friday night, he will be appearing with Toubab Krewe at Chickie Wah Wah. Though not from New Orleans, they share the same energy and spirit as the TBC and the 101 Runners. They are young guys who play the jam band circuit but have spent considerable time absorbing the music of Africa, both on their iPods and in person across the Atlantic. Their collaboration with Diabate isn’t supposed to start until Voodoo is over. I wouldn’t miss it!

Though I have highlighted acts that are all appearing on the Preservation Hall stage, there are lots of other interesting bands performing. In no special order, Here are some bands that I have checked out that you may find interesting—Big History, Gary Clark, Jr., Delta Rae, and the Pimps of Joytime.

The big question of course, is how will you spend the waning hours of the first day of the Voodoo Music Experience. Neil Young and Crazy Horse on the main stage is the obvious choice since he hasn’t played in New Orleans since 2009, has a new album coming out, and is touring with Crazy Horse. However, if the crowds get too intense you can’t go wrong with the funky Bootsy Collins.

Though you may have to sprint if you want to catch every note of Neil (they start one half hour earlier), I also highly recommend checking out the Trio plus 3. I made up that moniker, but considering that George Porter, Jr. and Johnny Vidacovich play as the Trio every Thursday night at the Maple Leaf Bar, and welcome special guests who improvise the whole night, it seems fitting. Expect to see Mike Dillon, Skerik, and the one and only Edward “Kidd” Jordan.

See you there!

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