A view from Gov’t Mule’s set. Photo by Heath Robson, Mule.net
The second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicked off Thursday morning at the city’s famed Fairgrounds. Like the other days of JazzFest, Thursday’s lineup boasted an eclectic mix of bands, ranging from Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule and Blues Traveler to the Average White Band, Elvis Costello and Steve Martin and the Canyon Rangers.
Gov’t Mule played immediately before Widespread Panic on the festival’s main Acura Stage and ran through “Blind Man In The Dark,” “Steppin,’” “Lightly,” “Broke Down On The Brazos,” “Railroad Boy,” “Beautifully Broken,” “I’ll Be The One,” “Thorazine Shuffle” and “Soulshine.” Though he’s played the Acura Stage with the Neville Brothers and a variety of friends, Ivan Neville also performed on the Acura Stage with his current project Dumpstaphunk for the first time.
Meanwhile, Elvis Costello headlined the festival’s second largest performance space, the Gentilly Stage, with his Americana-influenced group the Sugarcanes. The group, which features Americana vets like Jerry Douglas and Jim Lauderdale, focused on material from Costello’s 2009 release Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, as well as covers like the Rolling Stones’ “Happy” and the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of a Devil.” (Costello covered The Dead’s “Berta” on the same stage in 2005). Later in the day, Costello joined a variety of musicians at a tribute to songwriter Bobby Charles at New Orleans’ Parish at the House of Blues. Other guests included Shannon McNally and Dr. John.
JazzFest continues today at the Fairgrounds. Co-headliner Aretha Franklin has canceled her appearance at today’s event for unknown reasons. The signer also canceled her JazzFest appearance in 2009. Earth, Wind & Fire will perform in Franklin’s place.