Back for it’s fifth edition, this time under a slightly abbreviated name, The Oak Street Po-Boy Festival takes over the most bustling street in the Riverbend neighborhood this weekend. What started in 2007 as the New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival with a small stretch of vendors and a handful of local music acts has grown into a massive celebration of New Orleans culture with over 40 food stops, scores of local artists showing off their wares, and enough live music to fill three stages all day long.
Festival veterans returning for 2011 include Latin boogaloo experts Los Po-Boy-Citos, the terrifying Joe Krown Trio (which boasts Walter “Wolfman” Washington on guitar and Russell Batiste on bass), The Rebirth Brass Band and Mardi Gras Indian-styled funk from 101 Runners. Of course, it wouldn’t be Po-Boy Fest without B3 master John Gros and Papa Grows Funk closing down the main stage, and socially-conscious rapper Dee-1, Khris Royal and Dark Matter and resident soul shakedown specialists Flow Tribe are among the young up-and-comers rounding out the lineup.
But Saturday’s real must-see – in addition to GW Finn’s X-Rated fried lobster po-boy – are The Revivalists, a group of jammy southern-rockers coming off a rollicking performance at October’s Voodoo Music Experience that revealed the latest growth spurt in the band’s relatively short but incendiary career. On an almost endless tour lasting nearly three years, the Revivalists have explored every facet of their expansively-sourced sonic fusion, emerging for their most recent hometown run somehow both heavier than before and also more vibrant. They will be playing on the River Stage at the corner of Eagle and Oak Streets at 3:00PM.