On The Road With RL Reeves Jr: 2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

I’m busted up. Broke down. Bloodied.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

I’m officially a street shooter now.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

Years back I was shooting a second line in New Orleans when one of the top shooters in the game: Pableaux Johnson took a nasty spill whilst working.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

We gathered him up, dusted him off, and he immediately waded back into the fray.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

Yesterday afternoon I was working the festival; taking pictures and navigating through the vast crowds when I spied a toddler on the back of his daddy. That’s always a crowd pleaser so I took flight and almost immediately ate shit.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

I ended up broken and bleeding in an asphalt gutter. Thankfully the Cajuns are a friendly lot and instead of setting upon me like a pack of wolves a couple good Samaritans scooped me up.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

I tried as best I could to defend my camera but it was broken.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

I hobbled over into a shady zone, dialed up Youtube on my phone and took a couple quick tutorials on street-side camera repair.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

Fortune smiled and soon enough I was back to work.

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

Here’s what I saw:

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

Girma Bèyènè at 2019 Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana via rl reeves jr

The show closer for me was Girma Beyene, the “golden age” Ethiopian master and one of the best singers to ever draw a breath. After his set the only thing left to do was power down a shrimp po boy from Bon Creole and get back on the long road home to New Orleans 9th Ward.

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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