Irene Sage

Louisiana Crawfish Festival

March 27, 2004

Irene Sage bent down with her microphone and told her young daughter to say, "Rock!" Her daughter complied, and right before she left the stage said, "I can't believe this is happening."

It was a down-home family affair as Irene Sage and her band performed for three hours at the Louisiana Crawfish Festival Saturday afternoon in Chalmette. Guitarist/vocalist Sage was accompanied by drummer Doug Belote, bassist Jimmy Ives, guitarist Scott Conklin, and pianist Sally Townes.

Sage's daughter may be new to the stage(Sage's father was also in the crowd), but Sage shook her booty and commanded the performance with such confidence that I was forced to believe in the music. Mind you, I would have liked it anyway. Louisiana rock/funk/blues led by a beautiful blonde woman in the middle of a block party/festival is a powerful thing.

Sage's band was tight, and they stuck to lengthy funk songs full of solos. As the set wore on, the powerful blues numbers showed up, along with plaintive songs that could have come right out of Melissa Etheridge's songbook. Sage showcased a few new slower numbers that will be released on her new CD at The French Quarter Festival. They sounded good, but Sage is at her best when she's rockin' the funk.

There was a large slab of concrete unoccupied by the front of the stage, and Sage was given only a smidgeon of applause after each song. Chalmette's weird. Legendary blues man Coco Robicheaux wore a tailored purple suit and accompanied Sage with his shakers on a few songs. After a ten year plus career, Sage doesn't need endorsements, but Robicheaux's was a nice one anyway.

The sound was great, she and her band kicked ass, and my 52 year-old Dad even liked the music. He said, "Why doesn't your band play music like that?" I sighed and replied, "Eventually."

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