New York (Examiner.com) – Governor’s Island became the immense smells, taste and sounds of New Orleans on June 28. The boat ride was short and the lines to get in were long. It was the Island’s first annual crawfish fest visit by NOLA lovers that came by the boatload. More than 3,000 flocked to stuff their faces with red chili peppered steaming hot crawfish, cobs of corn and boiled potatoes. “Just like back home”, some New Orleans residents that have moved to New York said.
Many laughed as they added another pile of crawfish carcasses laying them to rest in 50-gallon dumpsters, and watching a few spilling over onto the patchy brown grass. Not far were the culprits with their bellies filled they danced, swayed and waved their arms wildly in the air in a sort of jubilant ritual, as the eyes of their victims glistened in the setting sun. They were entranced by the mystifying tunes of an older New Orleans of times past and were brought back to present day by an amazing brass band under a gazebo. So intoxicating it created more smiles, laughter and clapping hands the mix seemed as that of pitter-patter of children’s feet on the dance floor. The small band became a mere silhouette as the sun was being snuffed in the horizon.
Not far was Governors Beach Club where there were more crowds gathering on the man made beach under 25-foot-high white ceiling covered structure. Laser lights flashed like blinking stars from a distant on huge disco ball, some spun to get a better look as the gleaming ball stayed still. The fragrance of cannabis ran ravenous conquering every inch of air. Packed as sardines it felt for some, as they stumbled with drinks in their hand, and yelled, “hand it to me, I want some more!” One hand would slap the other passing around an electronically lit pipe, so not to attract others to their foggy mental mist. The band Bonerama from New Orleans blared the authentic sounds of their home, but with a fascinating twist playing not only the sound of jazz but mixing hard rock classics sound mixture.
Thoughts ran and you would think that you are listing to a tune of Black Sabbath, then, suddenly it flips back to lip smacking jazz. It moved the soul, to the bars for more drink. Cigarettes were lit and held by the waist side drinks in the other, the crowd roared for some more. Sneaking up onto the stage was Brendan Niederauer, age 11, from Long Island who has only been slamming the strings for 3 years.
He seemed like a shy kid with afro-hair that from a distance added 5 more inches to the 3-foot guitar player. With his guitar strapped around his neck he carefully tuned the pegs of his nameless guitar, strumming a few notes that were barely heard, as he tightened a few strings. One shouted, “Hey, there’s that kid again.”
There was load murmur under the massive disco ball, as Brendan started to play his small fingers hitting notes not missing a fret he slid his hand up the neck, the saddle vibrate so that Eddie Van Halen himself would have been proud of. Brendan’s debut was short but the audience loved the sound. It is just a matter of time we will see more of the kid with the wonder fingers.