The Saints Go Marching to Miami: If you have ever lived in New Orleans, then you know how devoted the Saints’ fans are. Even when they were terrible, which was most of the time, the fans might have shown up in paper bags bearing the word “Aints” but they showed up. But, it’s not just New Orleans. I’ve also lived in Lafayette and also Alexandria and wherever you go on a Sunday during football season, you will find people crowded around televisions in bars, hotels and even hospitals when the Saints are on. But, I noticed that if the Saints weren’t on and it’s a different game, the audience in front of those tv’s are sparse or non-existant. Even when there was a great game being shown or a playoff game sans Saints, hardly a soul. When I realized this, I understood that Louisiana fans are largely Saints fans and not so much general football fans. On the radio, the Cowboys football network was on a few stations and some folks followed them, but certainly you never heard a peep about the nearby Houston Oilers which was the closet AFC market to the area. No, in general, it was the Saints or nothing.
Since the Saints have only had 9 winning seasons out of 43 years of operation, this time of year the TVs have largely been broadcasting to many empty chairs in public locations as the Saints had only won 1 playoff game out of a handful of appearances until their recent success. I wrote about their futitility in a piece that included what I called the greatest football song of all time, The Night We Drank That Dixie Down, which was an homage to the Saints. I got a lot of queries wondering who it was that penned such lyrics and made the video put to a famous Robby Robertson tune. As it turns out, the band and the writer wrote me. It seems that the inspiration for the song was to pay tribute “to capture the melancholy surrounding the nature of being a long-time Saints fan.”
Now that the Saints have made it to the first Super Bowl in franchise history, a new song and video seemed appropriate and that new effort has the title, Finally the Saints Time. The words and video are set to the famous one hit wonder song “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. Rather ironic that they chose Katrina and the Waves for the source of the tune. The lead vocalist is Tracie Simon, but on the Drink That Dixie song, the lead singer is Valerie Andrus. These folks are part of a group who hail from Lafayette, Nick Lick and the Hickies. They’ve been what they call a “studio ghost band” around Acadiana for some two decades. They apparently just get together from time to time with various musicians from other area bands at night and create little songs for radio stations just as a way to have some fun. They don’t do it for any commercial purposes but simply to provide radio stations with well produced tunes as a way to connect with their audience. The local public loves the songs, everyone gets a laugh and the radio station managers are particularly happy since they get content for free.
I don’t know who else the muscians are for these songs but I do know that Pat Onellion is responsible for much of the material put out by Nick Lick and the Hickies. Not sure if Pat was the actual writer of Drank That Dixie or Finally the Saints Time, but I suspect Pat was heavily involved. I’m not even sure if Pat is short for Patrick or Patricia! But that’s okay because he, or she, is a pretty good representative of musical talent that is all around Acadiana. Every morning our TV show, Passe Partout, on KLFY would start off with about 15 or 20 minutes of videos from local musicians. Some had more commercial success than others. Some played traditional cajun music, others were zydeco musicians. I loved Rockin’ Sydney and a local favorite was Rockin’ Dopsie whose footsteps have been followed by Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. There was a very popular band that I saw once at a Mardi Gras street party in Mamou, where if you ever go, you must go to Fred’s Lounge. The band was an is Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. I believe that Steve and the boys have received three Grammy Award nominations. I also had the opportunity to meet the band Beausoleil, whom I know for certain won several Grammy Awards and have had other Grammy nominations. You may have seen them too on the Today Show.
When I was in Alexandria, I had the pleasure of working with Bobby Felsenthal who is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met and is one of the best rock and roll piano players you could find. He and another great musician, Dave Duplissey, whom I believe is in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame as a fantastic saxaphonist had many tales from their days on the road, including one great one involving a gig they once did in Arkansas. It seems that the young, and then little known, Arkansas Attorney General, showed up with his saxaphone to sit in with Dave. Today, we know of that musician as President Bill Clinton. The Nick Lick and the Hickies songs capture the fun, skill and creativity found in the Louisiana music scene, which is a great contribution to the unique art form known as American music.
Weather Bottom Line: The forecast is about the same as it was before, save for some sniping from a weather critic. He’s actually pretty astute but, we’ll get to that in a moment. No sense giving him top billing. Look for rain Thursday night through Friday. I doubt it, but I suppose it’s possible for some snow overnight up around Seymour or so, but the ground is probably too warm to allow for much accumulation aside from maybe some short term stuff on grassy areas so its no big deal. The big issue continues to be the roads on Saturday morning area wide. The main low will move basically up along the western flank of the Appalacians. The nation’s capital could see as much as two feet of snow. Look for the snow in DC, Philly and Baltimore as the big story on the national news over the weekend. We will have the upper level part of the storm. There will be a change over to snow. How much depends on whether or not the upper low is right over Louisville, which it might be, and we get and extended period of colder air aloft. As it is, even if it does not pass over us, we get wrap around colder air and we get a turn over to snow. Top side would be 3-4 inches, low side more like 1-2 inches and i bet its the low end. But, the amount isn’t the issue. My concern would be wet roads and temperatures falling below freezing. No brine solution can be used because of the rain so look out on Saturday morning starting a few hours before sunrise when the mercury may fall to 32 or a couple of degrees colder and ice develops on roadways.
Okay…the weather cynic. Actually, he was absolutely right. I had said that we could see significant snow for Tuesday through Thursday. He pointed out that everyone else said Monday. I did, in fact, look too quickly and not look at a calendar and was off by one day. But, I pointed out for him not to be surprised to see the days get shifted closer to what I had erroneously reported. That is because, in my experience, it is not unusual for long term models to be about 24 hours or so too fast. Sure enough, today, the Candian model is calling for snow to start on Tuesday, not Monday. At this point, I think that Tuesday will still be the main part of the snow with some carry over to Wednesday, but it will probably not start until late Monday or Monday evening or night. Either way, it’s still a bit up in the air but the ranges continue to be somewhere around 4-8 inches, but, the GFS for some reason has lately decided some of that falls as rain sandwiched in between periods of snow. I don’t like that solution so I will pretend its not there. Be careful on the roads Saturday morning.