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The White House, this past weekend, extended its open door policy to New Orleans musicians and invited the Dirty Dozen Brass Band along with special guests Kermit Ruffins on trumpet, vocalist John Boutté, and pianist Harry Connick Jr. to a Nawlins food and music fest. The event was catered by Creole chefs brought in from the Big Easy. On the menu were crawfish, gumbo, jambalaya, po boys, red beans and rice; and soulful BBQ, prepared by some brothers from Baton Rouge.
As the Dirty Dozen kicked into "What's Goin' On," George W. himself got up and did the background vocals with the band. When Boutte did his cover of "Why," Dick Cheney, who was either mixing medications or had a karmic implosion, started asking for forgiveness and handing out wads of cash to anyone who would accept. He then grabbed the mike and promised that he would personally redistribute all the money his buddies at Halliburton had skimmed from the Reconstruction and Renewal Funds, this was met with a huge roar from the crowd who toasted the VP with Abita Beer. What a guy!
A splendid time was had by all, though the Rose Garden was trashed sometime during the fireworks display. It appears, many guests arrived in their FEMA trailers and parking was a problem. That part of the evening was a bit fuzzy for this reporter. But he recovered in time for Connick's rousing rendition of "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?" George W. kept slipping into the Oval Office during "Iko Iko" and looked wired by the end of the song. He also said a few incoherent words about "making it all right again" and something that sounded like "Go Saints" but again he is always so hard to understand. He went on record that for the 4th of July gig he was bringing the Dixie Chicks and ZZ Top for a real Texas humdinger, whatever that is.
As the night wound down and the guests were either asked to leave or escorted out, Condy Rice sat in at the piano, she is a fine pianist by the way, and did a credible version of "St. James Infirmary."
Everyone went back to New Orleans feeling a lot better about George and Dick, but they did leave their trailers behind.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.