Well, I never thought that I would have John Mayer and Patti Smith together in the same headline with Willie Nelson and Frank Ocean, but that's why I kinda love New Orleans Jazz Fest 2013, whose lineup was released earlier this morning.
The NOLA music festival, held on the grounds of the Fair Grounds Race Course, is easily one of the most diverse in the country, encompassing classic rock, folk, country, rap, jazz, blues, alt-rock, and every native NOLA sound one can imagine.
Today's announcement lineup features a bevy of landmark acts spread out over the fest's two weekends, including Willie Nelson, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Patti Smith, The Black Keys, Frank Ocean, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr., Band of Horses, Phoenix, Hall & Oates, Maroon 5, Dr. John, Dave Matthews Band, B.B. King, Little Big Town, Jill Scott, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Allen Toussaint, Rebirth Brass Band, Andrew Bird, Earth, Wind & Fire, Widespread Panic, plus Jimmy Cliff and tons more if you need more reason to go.
Last year I covered the festival for another outlet and Rocks Off, and enjoyed it immensely. The fest ends relatively early each day, giving everyone plenty of time to get into trouble in the French Quarter. Believe me, I know.
Like I said earlier this month, Jazz Fest is super-easy to navigate, there are plenty of tents to step into, grass to flop onto, and the food is obviously the best I have ever had at a music festival. I mean, it's in NOLA, so it has to be. Plus, it's not too terribly expensive, starting at $45 for a one-day pass.
Expect a few of the headlining acts to make Houston appearances around their Jazz Fest weekends too. The run-off from this one could include Billy Joel, who hasn't been here since back in March 2009 with Elton John.
Personally I think Phoenix and Frank Ocean could be Summer Fest bands, but you never know.
The weekend that I went to Jazz Fest last year, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch had just passed away hours before and a few acts offered up musical tributes, such as Zac Brown Band, Better Than Ezra and Grace Potter.
In one of the gospel tents, Glen Hansard and Mavis Staples teamed up for "The Weight" in tribute to the recently departed Levon Helm.
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