By Paul A. Tamburello, Jr.
PT at Large
Any dance night at the Rock 'n' Bowl is good. Geno Delafose and the French Rockin' Boogie on stage two nights before New Year's Eve is downright splendid.
The iconic place on South Carrollton is packed - this is the only place in the known universe in which, if you stand in just the right spot, you can hear live zydeco, Cajun, swamp pop or swing music on one side and small thunderclaps of ten pins being crashed into by a massive bowling ball speeding down a perfectly smooth bowling alley on the other. Only in New Orleans would "Laissez les bon temps roulez" include bowling balls in the "roulez" part.
A few hardy bowlers are intent on their game tonight but the big action is on the expansive oak floor in the middle of the place. Dancers from every corner of America have come to New Orleans to celebrate New Year's Eve (I meet women from Seattle to Boston). This being Louisiana, the celebration begins several days early.
Grammy nominated Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie play non-stop. The tidal ebb and flow on the dance floor lasts two minutes. Dancers glow with the joy of partnering up to channel the music.
The band plays the customary blend of sturdy zydeco with the driving back beat, waltzes, and fabulous bluesy songs that, with the right partner, can make a pair of dancers feel like Fred and Ginger at extremely close quarters.
I doubt Fred and Ginger perspired as much and I'm just about positive they didn't have as much fun.
Rock 'N' Bowl is a fine place to end a year, begin a year, or celebrate anything in between.