Revitalizing Careers, Celebrating Living History: The Annual Ponderosa Stomp Concert
Over the years, our signature program, the Ponderosa Stomp concert, named after the Lazy Lester song, has generated respect and developed a devoted and impassioned following among American music fans, aficionados, musicologists and contemporary music critics worldwide.
Desscribied as a “complete narrative of the roots of American music,” this two-day annual festival, begun in 2001, has featured hundreds of music’s unsung heroes, providing rare performances and exposing rare musical icons to adoring fans and new audiences.
The Ponderosa Stomp has provided a forgotten generation of over 700 American musicians a platform to tell their stories and educate audiences about their pioneering cultural contributions. Thanks to the Stomp – in partnership with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Louisiana State Museum and The New Orleans Musicians Clinic – American music’s unsung heroes have been able to step into the spotlight, some for the first time in their lives.
Others have had second careers jumpstarted, re-entered the recording studio, embarked on worldwide tours, or gone on to receive accolades or other recognition for their musical contributions.
Musicians like Gulf Coast guitar empress Barbara Lynn, Mardi Gras king Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Excello harp master Lazy Lester, president of soul Rockie Charles, hillbilly bopper Jay Chevalier and tough Texas shouter Roy Head have surged back onto the music scene. Revered songwriter Wardell Quezergue, “the Creole Beethoven” who arranged such beloved tunes as “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Groove Me,” and “Chapel of Love,” is now working with his son Brian Quezergue to transcribe his arrangements and showcase his talents via the Wardell Quezergue Rhythm and Blues Revue.
The roll call for past Ponderosa Stomp concerts reads like DJ Daddy-O Dewey Phillips’ play list blended with a bowl of Louisiana gumbo and filtered through Sam Phillips’ Memphis dream team, with plenty of Northwest garage rock, Gulf Coast psychedelic fuzz, and Bo Diddley-inspired beats thrown in for good measure. Over the last seven years, guitar legends such as Scotty Moore, Jody Williams; and the late Link Wray; music iconoclasts including Tony Joe White, Roky Erickson and the Sun Ra Arkestra; and New Orleans heroes like Dave Bartholomew, Eddie Bo, and Earl Palmer have made the stage their home for a genuine cultural celebration that honors the unsung heroes of rock ’n roll and beyond. The 8th Ponderosa Stomp took place in New Orleans, April 28-29, 2009.
To get more information on the Concert, detailed bios of Stomp artists and see this past year’s line-up, visit the Stomp Artists and Events Website.
In partnership with musicians, cultural organizations and festivals in New Orleans and around the country, The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation books and promotes unknown American music legends at local and national events.
Ponderosa Stomp Foundation Teams Up with Lincoln Center, Presents Three Nights with Masters of Soul, R&B and Rockabilly
For 47 years Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has been a national leader in programming for the arts. As presenter for 400 events annually, there are few institutions as dedicated to the preservation and performance of a myriad of musical genres, dance and other art forms. The collaboration between the Ponderosa Stomp and Lincoln Center is a perfect pairing of two organizations with a mission: to expose and celebrate incredible music and help preserve traditions with transcendent cultural value.
The first two nights of The Ponderosa Stomp at Lincoln Center were July 16th and 17th, 2009, as part of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Nights Swing, which takes place at Damrosch Park. Each night kicks off with a dance lesson at 6:30 and the music starts at 7:30. Thursday night featured The Get Down, a night of soul music excellence featuring William Bell, Harvey Scales, The Bobbettes and the incomparable Bo-Keys. Friday night brought rockabilly to the forefront with the Best Dance in Town, in which New Orleans wild man Joe Clay, Sun Record’s Carl Mann and the legendary brother/sister duo The Collins Kids threw down, backed by Deke Dickerson and his Eccofonics.
Sunday, July 19th, a tribute performance took place at Alice Tully Hall in the Starr Theatre, in which a high-octane array of Stomp artists paid musical tribute to the “Creole Beethoven”, Wardell Quezergue. Quezergue, nicknamed by Allan Toussaint, who has made music history countless times as the man behind timeless hits like “Mr. Big Stuff”, “Iko Iko” and “Chapel of Love”.
A genius musician, arranger and producer who is largely unknown outside of New Orleans, Quezergue helped shape the soulful sounds of the south into international hit records. The show featured R&B icons The Dixie Cups and Robert Parker; soul greats Jean Knight, Dorothy Moore, Tammy Lynn, and Tony Owens; legendary New Orleans drummer Zigaboo Modeliste; New Orleans musician, producer, and session man Mac Rebennack (Dr. John); garage-music pioneer Michael Hurtt; plus Wardell Quezergue’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, an all-star ten-piece band led by Quezergue himself in a rare New York appearance.
To learn more about these very special performances, visit the Stomp’s Lincoln Center Miscrosite.
OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS WE HAVE BEEN A PART OF INCLUDE:
- Stomp Showcase(s) at South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
- Monthly performances and live interviews at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s After Hours celebration of Southern music in New Orleans
- Benefit Concert in Memphis
- In 2007, we did an amazing Ponderosa Stomp Revue at Brooklyn’s McCarren Pool Park, one of the fastest growing “venues” in New York
- In 2008, We brought a Stomp Revue to the Blues Tent at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell
In addition, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation helped to create and co-sponsor Wardell Quezergue’s New Orleans Rhythm and Blues Revue with Sweet Home New Orleans & Renew Our Music Fund, Inc. in 2006. The Band did many shows over the last 2 years and his now performing regularly around the city! The project showcases the arranging talents of legendary New Orleans arranger Quezergue, who is responsible for such hits as “Iko Iko”, “Teasin’ You”, “Barefootin’”, “Mr. Big Stuff” and “Groove Me.”