033016 Cyril Neville and Royal Southern Brotherhood, New Orleans, LA

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On March 30th, 2016 I took advantage of the incredible musical attitude that defines the great city of New Orleans and took in a fantastic free concert at Lafayette Park, courtesy of NOLA native Cyril Neville and his band Royal Southern Brotherhood.

The show was part of a weekly series of Wednesday night concerts in the park, admission was free, money raised by the many food, drink, and craft vendors that surrounded the park went to charity and the whole shebang was just a couple of blocks from my hotel.  It’s no surprise that I was becoming a regular.

I strolled to the venue slowly, making sure to finish my carry-along drink before I got to the park.  Walk-in alcohol is prohibited at the concerts to encourage business for the fundraising vendors.  Clearly this system was aimed at those not fortunate enough to be staying at a hotel close enough for easy refills.  As usual it was a lovely evening and as usual the park was pretty busy.

Not so busy that one couldn’t find spot fairly close and roomy enough to be able to get his NOLA groove on, which I promptly did.  As soon as I got situated the band (which included Gregg Allman’s son Devon tearing it up on guitar) started up, and right on cue the crowd started up right with them.

The instantly recognizable New Orleans sound produced an immediate response from the crowd, who started dancing and clapping and whooping it up in its very own instantly recognizable New Orleans style.  A chunk of real estate near the stage was reserved for those who required extra room to dance large – standard procedure in New Orleans – and the space soon filled up with a collection groovers and shakers so groovy and shaky that they threatened to take the crowds attention away from the band.  

And so I spent the next two hours turning my own attention from the stage to the dancefloor to the short walk back and forth to my hotel for drink refills, each a blissful entertainment in itself.  My goodness, how I love New Orleans!

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