We first went on Nancy's tour back in 1991 as an easy way to go to the Jazz Festival. We thought the Fest was the most fun you could possibly have, until we got to the Cajun country part of the tour. Not only does Nancy understand the most important components of a Louisiana visit (food and music!) but her musical connections (thanks to ten years spent booking McCabe's in Santa Monica) really pay off down there. How else could you get to listen to Beausoleil mainstay Michael Doucet and guitar great Richard Thompson (an occasional attendee thanks to his marriage to Nancy!) jam at a crawfish boil in Marc and Ann Savoy's beautiful backyard? How else could you listen to a personal concert by DL Menard while eating his wife Louella's fabulous homemade gumbo? How else could you enjoy a private cooking class by Chef Pat Mould and get to eat the goodies afterward while listening to still more tunes by Mr. Doucet?
Naturally, we had to come on the trip again. And again. Each year, we thought "How can we miss it?" Each year, we got to see old friends, both tour members (back for more just like us) and Cajun locals (who treated us like part of their family). Each year, we heard new incredible music. Each year, we added new memories; the time some tour members jumped in the bayou at night, the time time we met Cajun great Dewey Balfa (who died not long after), the time the Mayor of the town of Eunice made us honorary citizens. And each year, we went to the crawfish boil, easily the best party we've ever attended. And each year, we think we can't possibly have as much fun as last year. And yet, we do. Nancy always tops herself. Our all time favorite memory? The year we got married at the crawfish boil. Told you it was a good party!!
STEVE HOCHMAN writes about pop music for the Los Angeles Times, among others, and his wife MARY HERCZOG works in the film industry and is a freelance writer who also writes travel books for Frommer's.
© 1998 Steve Hochman and Mary Herczog
[Go to the Festival Tours Home Page]
[Go to the Louisiana Tour Page]
[E-mail Festival Tours for more information]
[Go to The Gumbo Pages Home Page]