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Super Bowl! Super time! Super music! Who ‘ya for….?

28th January 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Geraldine Wyckoff
Contributing Writer

And so it begins, or continues depending on how one looks at this incredible period of time in New Orleans that finds Super Bowl XLVII and its surrounding events sandwiched between Mardi Gras parades that all lead up to Carnival Day.

The myriad of activities preceding the big game start in earnest on Thursday, January 31, with the Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard festival presented along the Mississippi River at Woldenberg Park. The free, four-day event features four stages of music plus food- and football-related television broadcasts and activities.

With music and football in mind, we asked some of the artists performing at the festival who they were pulling for in the Super Bowl, their plans for Super Bowl Sunday and Mardi Gras and their thoughts on the Boulevard festival.

Walter Ramsey, leader/trombonist of the Stooges Brass Band, performing Thursday, January 31, 5:40 and 8:40 p.m. “My team is the Saints,” Walter Ramsey exclaims as soon as the word football is mentioned. “This Sunday, I’m rooting for Baltimore because I like (linebacker) Ray Lewis. Stooges’ fans in Baltimore – great fans of ours, we played for their wedding — come out to see us every time we go to Baltimore and they come to New Orleans a lot too. They are close friends with Ray Lewis and they had him come to our show in Baltimore. So, he was willing to support us, so I’m going to support him.”

WALTER RAMSEY

WALTER RAMSEY

The Stooges are playing one of many private events taking place in the Superdome prior to kick-off on the big day. “Hopefully we can stay in the Dome,” Ramsey says wishfully. “If they put us out, we’ll probably barbecue at one of the bandmembers’ houses.

“I’m excited about the whole Super Bowl experience,” he says of playing at Woldenberg Park and the many other gigs surrounding the game. “We have our hands full for the Super Bowl.”

Look for the Stooges at the corner of North Claiborne and Orleans avenues on Mardi Gras Day for the Old School 102.9 FM radio station’s “Old School Under the Bridge” festival.

Craig Klein, trombonist of Bonerama, performing Thursday, January 31 at 8:40 p.m. “I’m not sure who to root for because I have friends on both sides,” Klein says. “So I think I’m going to stay neutral and just lean towards the 49ers. It’s a hip city.

Still wavering a bit, Klein explains that Bonerama plays at a club in Baltimore called 8×10 owned by a friend of the band, Dave “Mother Dave” Rather, who also has another spot, Mother’s. “He has season tickets to the Ravens and Saints games and he’s taken me to a Ravens’ game before. And I then have really good music friends in San Francisco. Both teams were just sort of in the background for who to pull for. So it’s not that big of a thing for me.

Klein will also be in the Dome on game day, performing with the Storyville Stompers. He’s more realistic on his chances of seeing the event live. “They’re going to kick us out,” he says with certainty. “I might go to Vaughn’s — it’s is a fun spot to watch a game.”

Klein looks forward to blowing with the funky, trombone-heavy band Bonerama at the Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard festival and just hanging out and listening to other groups. “It seems like it’s going to be mini-Jazz Fest —that’s what the whole vibe is trying for,” he offers. “Oh, and James Andrews just called me to play with him on Friday. I always love playing with James. He brings an energy. He’s an entertainer. Not that many people have that gift.

“It’s like non-stop now,” Klein says of all of the activity with the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras happening at the same time. “It’s rollin’ straight through from now.”

On Carnival Day, Klein joins the Storyville Stompers that expands to about 15 members strong to march in the St. Ann parade. “I’m growing my hair long so maybe I can put some pigtails in again,” says Klein who, hysterically has paraded on the holiday in cheerleader’s outfit. “That’s what I’m shooting for, so we’ll see…”

James Andrews, trumpeter/leader, performing Friday, February 1, at 2:45 and 7:15 p.m. “We’re calling our set the Super Gras,” declares James Andrews of playing at the festival along the Mississippi with a band including aces Klein, bassist Chris Severin, saxophonist Roger Lewis, trumpeter Kurt Brunus and drummer Oliver “Lee Lee” Alcorn. “We’re just going to put some New Orleans stuff on them and pump up the crowd. We’re going to give them a taste of New Orleans and a taste of Mardi Gras at the Super Bowl—we’re going to give them two-for-one.”

JAMES ANDREWS

JAMES ANDREWS

Andrews likes the Baltimore Ravens in the game. “I think I’d like to see Ray Lewis go out with a Super Bowl ring. He’s one of the best players on the team and in the sport. He’s a good athlete and he’s getting ready to retire.”

Andrews hasn’t decided exactly where he’ll take in the game. “I might watch it by Kermit’s (Kermit Ruffins’ Tremé Speakeasy). On Carnival Day, he’ll be, as the song goes, “Down in the Tremé…”

Meanwhile, he says, “See y’all on the river!”

Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, accordion-ist/vocalist leader of the Louisiana Sunspots, performing on Saturday, February 2, at 3 p.m. “I’m going with the Ravens because the Ravens don’t play us — they’re from the AFC — and the San Francisco (49ers) are low-down dirty dogs,” says Sunpie, who knows a thing or two about football having played with Kansas City Chiefs. “Other than Atlanta, they are the Saints’ chief rival. You’re supposed to hate your chief rivals. You don’t go around lovin’ your football foes.”

Barnes also digs many of the Ravens’ players including Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and Anquan Bolden. “The quarterback is not bad either.”

“I’m watchin’ the game at my house where the gumbo flows free. I can relax, have a drink and don’t have to think.”

“We’re going to do some partying—we’re New Orleanians,” Barnes promises of his set at Woldenberg Park. “We’ll be doing some Afro-Louisiana music. I’ll be mixing up zydeco, blues, rhythm and blues, (Mardi Gras) Indian music, skeleton music. I’m going to throw the South Louisiana book at ‘em.”

Barnes leads the North Side Skull and Bone Gang, an historic Carnival organization, on Mardi Gras Day. “We’re getting ready for that. This stuff is a distraction but a good distraction but it’s not an excuse so Mardi Gras Day, we’ll be ready.

This article was originally published in the January 28, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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