Ponderosa Stomp V Announced
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans last September, followed by Hurricane Rita, which decimated portions of the Gulf Coast, it was perennial Ponderosa Stomp performer Scotty Moore who declared that the show must go on – albeit in his hometown of Memphis, a city that rivals NOLA with its rich musical history.
Gibson Guitars, Sun Studio, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Memphis Flyer, the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Center for Southern Folklore, the Blues Foundation, the Folk Alliance, Shangri-La Records, Goner Records, the Buccaneer Lounge, and Memphis community radio station WEVL-FM have welcomed the Ponderosa Stomp with open arms, signing on as sponsors alongside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, Jazz Aspen, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, while SXSW has offered the Ponderosa Stomp a showcase slot at its music festival in Austin, Texas this March.
A calvacade of phenomenal performers have signed on to appear, including garage rockers ? and the Mysterians, the Fabulous Wailers, Kenny & the Kasual and the Nightcaps, rockabilly heroes Sonny Burgess, Hayden Thompson, DJ Fontana, Sleepy LaBeef, Dale Hawkins, Roy Head, Alvis Wayne, Matt Lucas, and the Tennessee Three, featuring W.S. Holland and Bob Wootten, guitar slingers Scotty Moore, Jody Williams, James Blood Ulmer, Travis Wammack, Johnny Jones, Teenie Hodges, and Dennis Coffey, pedal steel genius Herb Remington, blues greats Billy Boy Arnold, Willie Cobbs, Fillmore Slim, Big George Brock, Chick Willis, and Kenny Brown, R&B champs Lady Bo, Wiley & the Checkmates, and Betty Harris, and soul stars Syl Johnson, Bobby Patterson and Archie Bell, and the indescribable Arch Hall, Jr.
Also scheduled: spectacular Memphis acts Ace Cannon, William Bell, the Climates, the Hi Rhythm Section, and Jumpin’ Gene Simmons, a stellar New Orleans line-up including Joe Clay, Jay Chevalier, Mem Shannon, Tammy Lynn, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Rebirth Brass Band, Willie Tee, Eddie Bo, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Rockie Charles and Little Freddie King, and Louisiana/Gulf Coast greats Lazy Lester, Barbara Lynn, Warren Storm, Henry Gray, the Bad Roads, and Lil Buck Sinegal. Instrumental groups the Bo-Keys and Deke Dickerson & the Eccofonics will back many of these legendary performers.
The roster reads like a litany of America’s musical history, drawing talent from renowned recording studios and record labels including Ace Records, the Ron and Ric labels, Hi Records, Stax Records, Chess Records, Motown, Sea-Saint, Sun Records, Cosimo Matassa’s J&M and Cosimo Recording Studio, Excello, and Royal Recording Studio. No wonder Los Lobos frontman Cesar Rojas, Trent Reznor, Ray Davies, Joss Stone, Ben Vaughn, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president Terry Stewart, and members of Yo La Tengo have made it a prerogative to attend the Stomp in recent years.
CNN has declared the Ponderosa Stomp “history in the making,” while New York Times music critic Jon Pareles calls it a “dream” event that “plunges into the obscure byways of rock ’n’ roll past.” Of the 2005 festival, Gambit magazine joined MSNBC, the Associated Press, Mojo, the Christian Science Monitor, High Times, Living Blues, the Chicago Sun-Times, and more, with praise, writing, “For roots aficionados, the Stomp was nirvana; you almost had to pinch yourself to make sure it wasn’t a dream.”
The 2006 Ponderosa Stomp, slated for Monday, May 8- Wednesday, May 10, will feature ancillary events including a Record Show, a DJ Dance Party hosted by Buck Wilders and the Hook-Up, special tours of Sun Studios (ground zero for many of Memphis’ blues and rockabilly artists), and other activities to be announced. The Stomp is sandwiched between the Memphis In May Beale Street Music Festival and the Blues Music Awards, making for one of the exciting weeks of music in Memphis history.
Tickets for the Ponderosa Stomp, held at the Gibson Guitar Factory in downtown Memphis, are available for $40 per night at www.buyolympia.com/events/index.php?details=170 . More information about the line-up and the venue can be found at www.ponderosastomp.com
Ponderosa Stomp’s Gulf Coast Revue at SXSW, slated for the Continental Club in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 17, will offer a sneak preview of the 5th annual Ponderosa Stomp with performers Barbara Lynn, Roy Head, Archie Bell, Warren Storm, Lil Buck Sinegal, Eddie Bo, Al “Carnival Time Johnson, Tommy McClain and Classie Ballou, all backed by Lil Band O’ Gold, as well as drummer extraordinaire DJ Fontana and garage legends the Bad Roads and the Zakary Thaks.
The Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau are also presenting monthly concerts at the Circle Bar and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, both located in New Orleans. The Knights, a non-profit, volunteer-run organization founded by a group of rock ’n’ roll fanatics to celebrate the pioneers of blues, country, swamp pop, jazz, soul, and R&B, have presented more than forty shows, helping to resurrect the careers of dozens of “lost” musical legends, including Howard Tate and Jody Williams, over the past five years.