The Smells Dreams Are Made Of

The drive into New Orleans was beautiful and magical. We arrived on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. It was 80 degrees, a drastic change from the 5 degrees we left back home just 3 days ago. Coming into the city was a wonderful culture shock/weather shock/smell shock. I’d never seen anything like the drive in on the bayou, where there were little shacks built on the water right underneath the highway.  I saw a lot of people sitting on their front porches, which were essentially docks, drinking beer and watching the cars pass overhead. I’m a woman from the hill country so the thought of living in one of the lowest parts of the country among alligators and god knows what else blows my mind. And the smells, they seemed to be ever changing from block to block. Vitamin D to barbeque to greenhouse ferns to whiskey. It was all delightful.

When we finally made it into the city (driving was pretty tedious) Sandy and I picked up our friend Becca, who flew in from NYC, at the airport. Since we only had a few hours before sound check, our one and only plan was to check out the French Quarter. I’m glad we did because, although it’s a bit touristy, we got a good sense of the city in a short amount of time. We came to New Orleans just as Mardi Gras was starting to take off to there was a whole lot of parade action to take in. We saw cabaret girls walking around in pasties and derailed parade floats roaming the city. We grabbed coffee at cafe du monde and went to a lunch spot with real fresh fish. This may not seem like a big deal but when you’ve been landlocked your whole life it is. Before heading over to the venue, we sipped champagne outside next to a bamboo plant with our New Orleans hostess, and Sandy’s college friend.

Leaving a little bit of Pleistocene in the French Quarter.
Leaving a little bit of Pleistocene in the French Quarter.

Our first show as a trio was a first show for sure, but we got through it. The cook at the Hi Ho Lounge was super nice and let us practice in the back yard with the bar cats. We had about an hour to pull together some harmonies and establish a set list. While we worked the cook brought out some authentic New Orleans rice and beans for us.

A few songs from our set got recorded, here’s one of em:

Oh, and we couldn’t leave without having po’ boys so we had them for breakfast before taking off for Houston.

Po Boys for breakfast
Po Boys for breakfast
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