Sunday, May 29, 2005

Louisiana blue-eyed soul: the Boogie Kings at Mudbug Madness, Sunday, 8 to 11 pm

Sunday at Mudbug Madness you can see a phenomenon that the Rolling Stones would adore: a love feast for a group of entertainers who have been blowing hard for 4 decades. If it's Louisiana, that gang of performers would be the Boogie Kings.

The Boogie Kings are an underground sensation, even if their music is simply blue-eyed soul. They never charted a hit. But they've packed large clubs across Louisiana and Texas for decades, and their albums, released on regional labels, are still in print.

"Hold on, I'm coming," and "Harlem Shuffle" are the anthems for blue-eyed soul fans. And filling the dance floor is their business.

If Diane Arbus were alive she'd grab her Leica and head to the big tent at Mudbug Madness tonight to see the Boogie Kings and their legion. Their fans' fluent dancing and adoration of the band is authentic and unselfconscious. It is a Dionysian ritual of Deep South baby boomers.

Something about the power of their massed saxophones and trumpets grabs listeners and, suddenly, arms are in the air and the pelvis is sliding and pumping in marvelous ways. It is a time-tested phenom and, frankly, better than Pilates.

Long live the Boogie Kings.

Also, hard-working storyteller/actress/writer Joanna Ballard writes: "You can catch me spinning a yarn or two Sunday, May 29th, 11:45pm - 12:15pm and again at 3:30pm-4:15pm at the children's stage at the festival! Come on down and enjoy the fun-ness and the awesome delectable crawfish!!!!"

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