was in New Orleans a couple of years ago for Jazz Fest, and between the two weekends of music out at the fairgrounds was a great three night show at the Rock And Bowl called The Ponderosa Stomp, which is booked and promoted by this guy from New Orleans named Ira, who's a practicing physician and a music fan with money to blow putting together these insane shows he never turns a profit on. He rounds up an astonishing line up of performers from the past that are probably unfamiliar to most people, but not to musicians and hip music buffs. That year's lineup included James Blood Ulmer, Billy Boy Arnold, Sun Ra's band, Hubert Sumlin and members of the old Howlin' Wolf band, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana and James Burton from the Elvis band, Dale Hawkins, Billy Lee Riley, Deke Dickerson, Rocky Burnette, Tony Joe White, Clarence Frogman Henry, Warren Storm, John Fred, and to cap the whole thing off Sam The Sham of "Wooly Bully" fame, who hardly ever gigs anymore, and man he was great.

nyhow one night I was standing in the parking lot in front of the bowling alley blowing a little harp, and this elderly black cat walks by and yells at me, Hey man, that sounds good. I waved at him and said thanks. I blew some more and he yelled again, What's your name? I walked over to him and said, Hi, my name is James Brown. And he gave me a strange look, like he thought I was fucking with him, and asked me, Do you know who I am? I didn't recognize him and said no, and he said, My name is Charlie Brown, I'm James Brown's brother, and he started to walk away. I handed him one of my CDs and he took it and got in his car and drove off. My friend came over and tapped me on the arm and told me, That was Lazy Lester. Lazy Lester is the most famous harmonica player ever from Lousianna, and had a bunch of swampy R&B hits on Excello Records back in the day.

onths later at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, a group of harmonica players performing that weekend at the SF Blues Festival put on a free lunchtime concert, and Lazy Lester played so I went. When I saw him I introduced myself and said, I met you in New Orleans a few months ago, but I didn't know who you were. He laughed and told me that he was playing my CD a few weeks ago and his little niece said to him that I didn't sound like James Brown.