They weren’t kidding when they said music is everywhere in this city. The night before Hyacinth’s friend, Eva, left, we took the girls over to Frenchman Street, which, when you get tired of the Bourbon Street scene, is where you go to hear the real music. Frenchman isn’t very long–probably three or four blocks–but it’s lined with bars and clubs on both sides. The thing is, you don’t have to go inside to hear great music. Just pick a corner. We hadn’t been on Frenchman Street for two minutes before we came across this group of teenagers. This wasn’t even their best song. They were much tighter on the song they played before this one, but I wanted to share this video because it captures the scene on the street as much as the music. Notice how folks are just passing by–like it’s just another ordinary Tuesday night.
A block down, these musicians were tucked in a doorway playing Django Reinhardt-style music, when a young woman appeared, guitar case slung over her shoulder. I asked her if she was part of the group and she confessed she was an admirer and had been following the guys around for a couple weeks. She wanted to join in with them, but was too shy to ask. The guys overheard us encouraging her. They looked at each other as if to say, “Ah, Man, who is this girl? Why should we be bothered?” Maybe it was because we were standing there, but they invited her to sit in on a song.
And ya know what? She was AWEWSOME! She played this cool metal guitar and I’m telling you, she knew her stuff. As soon as she started to play, the guy on the left looked down at her, then across at his buddy and said, “Shit.” And she had a beautiful voice. So much for letting a girl join in . . .
I’m sorry I can’t show you the video. I’ve tried, but I keep getting an error message saying the file is too large. You’ll have to take my word for it–she was terrific. We were happy she worked up the nerve. I think those guys would be wise to add a fourth member to their group.