2009 USA Tour : March 13th, New Orleans to house concert in Robert LA


I was up and alert at 7:30 am, went online to find a ton of things I had to attend to regarding this USA and upcoming tours in Ireland. This took until mid day as the WiFi here in in Bayou Segnette State Park is like old dial up. It was very pleasant in the sun and listening to the many calls and songs of the tropical birds here. Just looked up the forecast and heavy rain is on its way here very soon.

At this point it looks like we will miss our intended lunch and visit to New Orleans as Claire is choosing to sleep more to ensure a better performance tonight. I will shortly explore the local wildlife before we set off for our house concert in Robert LA this evening. It would be good to get there early to set up and tune properly.

I did have a short walk around the local swamps and saw some herons and a kingfisher

To Robert LA

This was quite an adventure and wish I was not driving but took photos of this. First was the extraordinary metal bridge across the Mississippi, a very narrow bridge, made even narrower with ongoing road works. The RV could only manoeuvre over this with what seemed like a couple of inches to spare each side. I crept over at about 5 mph to the extreme irritation from the long line of traffic behind me. I was grateful there was no cross wind.

Next adventure was crossing the remarkable 24 mile Pontratrain Lake bridge which had to be done in one shot, no pull ins for a break, repair etc. It made me wonder why this had not been built to cross the channel from England to France. This bridge was also very busy with cars desperate to get to their destinations.

Then it was a gentle ride into our camping spot for the night at Fontainebleau State Park. Our arrival was greeted with a park ranger who was like an old 19th century school master in the way he dictated the rules and called for our response to make sure we were awake and paying attention. The way the rangeresses crept around him as he spoke indicated the culture of this man. In fact, we wondered why he was surrounded by rangeresses rather than men.

Fontainebleau State Park is spectacular, though, a bit of bayou to enjoy, with its Pontratrain shore, unusual and twisted trees and whooping of exotic tropical birds. Unfortunately, we did not have time to enjoy much of this because almost as soon as we arrived in the park it was time to head for the house concert. Robert was 40 minutes drive away, so off we went.

Jamie’s House Concert 

We knew when we arrived we were in for a special evening. Jamie and John Haeuser’s house is a spectacular olde world Louisiana farm house in the middle of 30 acres with a massive porch and network of massive rooms. A usual, Jamie was the abundant dedicated to serve warm host. It was also great to meet up with Marc Gunn again.

As we arrived 90 minutes early it was a good time to prepare ourselves and this helped us to being able to provide a top performance, which I hope it was. 

Claire performed: 

Sitting In Green Field


Fields Of Fasseroe

Brigit’s Song

A medley of O’Carolan tunes along with a story about O’Carolan

Lake Isle Of Inishfree (Yeats)

Suil a Rhuin

Wild Mountain Thyme

a beautiful Gaelic song she has never done before, must get title

Star Of The County Down

Danny Boy

and I performed “X Marks The Spot”

The audience of around 35 people were of all ages and so supportive. They followed with every mood and beautifully sang along with some songs.

and then Marc Gunn

Following Claire was an stunning set by Marc Gunn who has become a remarkable top class entertainer.

Marc’s song set commenced with Gypsy Rover but moved through so many styles away from his known Celtic music passion into music hall, jazz, classics and lots of humour. Marc is a top, top live act that surely everybody can enjoy. Get to see him when you can. 

After Marc it was mix and mingle time with a lovely bonfire gathering, as the rain was gone, evening warm, and, surprisingly, not biting from irritating insects. Here we shared gumbo and other local food treats along with some chat, songs and drinks.

This was just such a magical location, setting, audience and all, so it could not fail, and it was Friday 13th.




  1. John, thank you for the gift of your and Claire's visit. You both enchanted all in attendance. I hope you will plan on this being a regular stop on future US tours.


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