It started out as a wedding reception. Ira Padnos, a New Orleans anesthesiologist, didn't want your typical wedding band playing bad Top 40 and "Daddy's Little Girl" on his and his wife's special day. He wanted the kick-ass rock 'n' roll and rhythm 'n' blues that he had been listening to his whole life. So he tracked down and hired some of his long lost favorite musicians, most not currently working, and seven years later, Dr. Ike, as he is now known, and his "Ponderosa Stomp" have become legendary. For the last seven years, this two-day party has been a highlight of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and this year's lineup is the "kickassing-est" yet!
So what is the Ponderosa Stomp? It is a gathering of the unsung heroes of rock 'n' roll, R&B, soul, rockabilly and more. It's a celebration of those who got lost in the shuffle. While Wilson Pickett was climbing the charts, The Mighty Hannibal was quietly making a ruckus with his own brand of soul. You've heard of Elvis Presley, no? Some pretty bold hip-shaking by that boy from Tupelo. He became a bit of legend because of it. Well at the same time, in a little town in Oklahoma, Larry & Lorrie Collins, better known as The Collins Kids, were tearing up the joints at the tender ages of 14 and 16 respectively. The Ponderosa Stomp gathers these people and so many more, giving us a chance to pay tribute to those who may have slipped under the radar back in their day. Their day has come again.
April 29th and 30th, at New Orleans' House Of Blues, the Ponderosa Stomp will give you the opportunity to see such killer acts as William Bell, ? and The Mysterians, Roky Erickson, Sonny Burgess, Bobby Parker, Syl Johnson, The Hi Rhythm Section, Barbara Lynn, Jean Knight, and two girl group legends Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes and Mary Weiss of The Shangri-Las. Those artists alone make up one the greatest mix tapes I have ever listened to.
Sal Maida, Weiss' bass player and unsung hero himself (the man has played with everyone from Roxy Music and Sparks to Cracker and Miss Ronnie Spector) expressed his excitement this way. "To this day, The Shangri-Las recorded probably two or three of my fave records of all time. Specifically, "Out in the Streets", "Remember (Walking In The Sand)"and "Past, Present and Future," which could be argued as one of the most underrated masterpieces of '60's pop. The fact that I'm playing with Mary Weiss in 2008 is a joy beyond my wildest dreams."
Having all of these amazing performers in one spot is a joy beyond MY wildest dreams. The Ponderosa Stomp is not to be missed. This isn't some Vegas show with a bunch of has-beens. Many of these acts barely were. Today they are vital and ready to give it all they've got. ROAD TRIP!!!