When a group of music fans banded together to bring the true heroes of rock and roll back to the stage, it was called The Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau. The Knights later founded the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation as a cultural organization to preserve and present the rich history of American roots music. As a result their primary event, The Ponderosa Stomp, was founded nine years ago.
Through festivals, special events, concerts and outreach activities featuring musical living legends, we honor influential artists and educate audiences about their massive contributions to American culture.
The Ponderosa Stomp started in New Orleans, Louisiana, a place whose overwhelming musical heritage and influence remains a focal point of the festival. The Stomp traditionally takes place between the two weekends of the city's world-famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival but the 9th annual Stomp takes place at the New Orleans House of Blues on September 24th and 25th, 2010.
The Stomp exists to celebrate and teach the cultural significance of the unsung heroes and heroines of rock-n-roll, rhythm & blues and other forms of American roots music while they are still alive. The festival and its year-round activities provide both a voice and career revival to overlooked sidemen, session musicians and other influential pioneers whose contributions have shaped American culture for over 50 years.
One recent Mystic Knights' event was The Detroit Breakdown: The Ponderosa Stomp Comes to Lincoln Center Out of Doors on July 31, 2010.
This annual free music event offers the great sounds of music from the motor city of Detroit. The show consisted of two parts to this amazing soulful and garage-rock fest: an afternoon show of Motor City soul, funk & jazz -- with two standout performances by Dennis Coffey and The Velvelettes -- and an evening of garage bands in their glory.
Guitarist Coffey hadn't played a New York show since '72 so it was a nice surprise to have him back here after more than 38 years. He rocked out on his 1972 classic tune "Scorpio." This funky soul instrumental number brought me back to the days of platform shoes and black light posters. Coffey hasn't lost his touch and still gets the funk going strong in his guitar riffs. This funky white boy has as much soul as any soul brother.
The Velvelettes were another Motown girl group like The Supremes but never got the recognition that they deserved. Decked out in their sexy shinny pink dresses, these soul sisters tore it up playing their classic hits "Needle In A Haystack" and "He Was Really Saying Something." They had the crowd, from 10 year old kids to 80 year olds, dancing the day away.
The evening show was a garage extravaganza. The a soul funk punk and garage group Death, opening up the second half of the event with lighting bolt intensity. Death have been making a strong comeback lately have proven that they still got It. Political songs like 'Politicians In My Eyes" are as relevant today as they were in 1975.
The Gories are punk garage band that has influenced Jack White of The White Stripes. Their set of high energy rock was full of the whole retro style. They are keeping this music alive.
Next up was Question Mark & The Mysterians. With all five original guys still playing together for over 40 years, they did an kick ass version of The Kinks tune "You Really Got Me." But the real surprise of the night was when the great singer Ronnie Specter came out to do a duet with Question Mark on his classic "96 Tears."
Mitch Ryder & his Detroit Wheels closed the show. This Detroit garage legend and his band still sounds just as great as they did when they first appeared. He performed all his fantastic songs like "Devil With A Blue Dress On," "CC Rider," J"any Take A Ride," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Little Latin Lupe Lu."
Mitch is still a show stomper and I remember that he was the last one the play those free World Trade Center lunchtime concerts before that fateful day. Socking it to us again, he was on a spiritual positive soulful note that "Great music will always lift us up to a higher plane!"
In order to celebrate the Ponderosa Stomp's appearance in NYC, Dennis Coffey talked about his experience with the Stomp.
Q: How did you get involved in playing this festival?
DC: The promoter looks up unsung heroes and tries to get them a little more exposure so he invited me to the The Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. I agreed to do it and then what happened was Katrina hit. So he called me back s and said, "Snce you can't do it in New Orleans would you consider doing it in Memphis as a benefit for Gibson Guitars?" And I did. That's how started. The following year we did South By Southwest and I also did The House Of Blues in New Orleans. This year it was in New York.
Q: When was the last time that you played in New York?
DC: Back in the early 70's in Central Park. Since then I lived in LA from 1973 to '76. In the '80s I lived in Glen Ridge, New Jersey and did some studio work. Then I moved back to Detroit and took a side gig as a consultant in the the Ford Motor Company for 20 years.
When Ford downsized three years ago I went back to doing music.The last two years I played at The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute to Les Paul, with Slash, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and The Ventures.
The past month I did a new CD with Andre Williams. I just did The Meltdown Festival In London with Richard Thompson. I now have a new management team in London and just signed to Strut Records. We CD I'm working with producer who worked with Kid Rock to do a new CD. I'm back playing the guitar sound and it's the Scorpio sound that's retro but it's new.
Q: Going back to the beginning of your career, how did "Scorpio" come about?
DC: I was sitting in my basement with my writing partner Mike Theodore. We were doing some string guitar parts for The Evolution album. We called it that because we were taking the guitar to another level. The record was out for a year and didn't do anything.
Then Ron from Sussex label said that he was going to these dance clubs in New York and the kids were going crazy over the song Scorpio. He starting pushing it out as a single. I was sitting in the offices at Buddha Records in New York City with my dad when Scorpio went gold.
Q: Did people think you were a black guy since the record was so funky?
DC: It was interesting -- one radio station in LA that I went to talk to said that they only play R& B records and you're not Black. I said said let me see the top 10 records you're playing and said, "You are playing me now cause I'm on these three records."
The 9th Annual Ponderosa Stomp Festival kicks into action in 2010 with a new fall weekend to present another rocket-fueled cavalcade of American music stars.
After eight years of spring events, fans are marking their calendars on the 24th & 25th of September in 2010. Fans hitting the Crescent City that weekend will take in the Stomp's legendary musical performances, in addition to the third annual daytime American music history conference, film series and record hop.
2010 Ponderosa Stomp
Friday, September 24
7:00 - 7:40
Doug Ardoin and Bert Miller of the Boogie Kings with Michael Hurtt and the Haunted Hearts
7:40 - 8:10
Johnnie Allan with Michael Hurtt and the Haunted Hearts
8:10 - 8:25
Joyce Harris, Earl Stanley with Michael Hurtt and the Haunted Hearts
8:35 - 9:05
Huelyn Duvall and Eve and the Exiles
9:20 - 9:50
Tommy Brown with Los po-boy Citos
10:05 - 10:35
La La brooks with Jenny Dee and the Delinquents
10:50 - 11:20
11:35 - 12:20
12:35 - 1:30
Friday, September 24
8:15 - 9:15
DL Menard, Vin Bruce, Leroy Martin, and Harry Anselmi with the Lost Bayou Ramblers
9:30 - 10:15
10:30 - 11:10
11:25 - 12:25
Jay Chevalier, Earl Stanley, and Leroy Martin with Michael Hurtt and the Haunted Hearts
Saturday, September 25
7:00 - 7:20
Wallace Johnson with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
7:20 - 7:50
Willie West with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
7:50 - 8:20
Lazy Lester with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
8:20 - 8:50
Roy Head with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
9:00 - 9:45
Barbara Lynn with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
9:45 - 10:15
Wendy René with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
10:15 - 10:45
Sugar Pie DeSanto with Lil' Buck and the Top Cats
11:10 - 11:25
Joe Clay with Deke Dickerson and Eccofonics
11:30 - 12:00
Red Simpson with Deke Dickerson and Eccofonics
12:00 - 12:30
Young Jessie with Deke Dickerson and Eccofonics
12:30 - 1:30
Duane Eddy with Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics
Saturday, September 25
8:00 - 8:30
Sammy Ridgley with the Lonely Knights
8:45 - 9:15
9:30 - 10:00
10:15 - 11:15
Guitar Lightnin' Lee
11:30 - 12:15
Lil' Buck Sinegal and Buckaroos with Bobby Allen
Roy Loney & Cyril Jordan of the Flamin’ Groovies
Sunday September 26th, 2010
The following artist are no longer appearing at the Ponderosa Stomp: Joe South, The Elite, Charles Brimmer, Johnny Gimble, Jimmy Dotson, Warren Storm, “Buckwheat” Dural
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation has teamed up again this year with Louisiana Travel Services to offer supporters three travel packages.
To buy tickets, 2010 Ponderosa Stomp Travel Packages, see the schedule and learn more at: http://www.ponderosastomp.com/
2010 Ponderosa Stomp
3rd Annual Music History Conference & Film Series
September 24 & 25 2010
Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo