Sunday Brunch at the JuJu Bag this Sunday was like having Sharon Martin come sing in your living Room... while you ate some really tasty food. The JuJu Bag set features a vocalist and accompaniment, usually on keyboard or guitar, so the emphasis, focus and weight of the performance rest firmly on the shoulders of the singer, because there is no place to hide, no big band to cover slips, slides and tonal errors. The intimacy of the set also requires a friendly personality and an ability to connect with the audience which I will call “the company”, as in the people in your living room, which included kids as well. The JuJu Bag brunch is very family friendly.
Sharon Martin has one of the most distinctive voices in the area, sultry, bluesy, rangy with a raspy edge, kind of like a female version of Bobby Bland, smooth, but sharp enough to cut straight to your gut when that's how it ought to feel. She is also funny and engaging as hell between the tunes and solicitous of requests, which made for a very entertaining and fun Sunday brunch experience. She with Chuck Chaplain provided an uplifting afternoon of great music and fun sometimes engaging people in the audience to sing parts of some of the pieces. Even I, your Love Doctor, was coaxed into a version of “Stand By Me”, and if it shows up on Utube I know it was Tommye Myrick, one of the proprietors.
Boo and I ordered from the Brunch Entre Menu rather than the all you can eat buffet, which was gorgeous, but I'm a fool for “fish and grits” and Boo went with the very tasty “shrimp and grits”, both also came with eggs, biscuit with wonderful preserves plus a glass of Champagne, aBloody Mary, or Mimosa plus a desert. We thoroughly enjoyed and shared our meals and as good as my fish and grits was, I will order the shrimp and grits next time, but then the crab cakes looked good and the salmon salad... Well I'll have to cross that bridge the next time I brunch on Franklin Avenue, and I'm told that from next week until its cold or raining the performance will be moved to the patio with its brand new performance gazebo. Food starts at 11:00 and music is from Noon until three, Sunday Jazz Brunch at the JuJu Bag, a great new Crescent City music and dining experience.