I was in New Orleans with some friends over New Year’s and I keep thinking back on the first three nights we were there. They were among the most satisfying consecutive nights of music I’ve had. And the great thing is that they were standing gigs, so if you go, you can probably see the same events.
So without further ado, here are three recommendations for shows in New Orleans:
- Zydeco night at Rock n Bowl: This one is not quite a show as much as a musical experience. My friends and I headed to Rock n Bowl our first night in New Orleans for Zydeco. (The night we went Geno Delafose was performing, but I think the music is pretty consistently good there.) There was a stage, a dance floor, a bar and a bowling alley, all right next to each other. Zydeco, a style of Louisiana dance music with heavy use of the washboard, along with some accordion and rock instruments, is a lively and fun music to watch and dance to. Even better is bowling to it. And if our night wasn’t complete by drinking, bowling and jiving to the band, near the end of the night the bartenders got on the bar and hula-hooped. Check calendar for nights.
- Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf: The next night we went to Uptown to Maple Leaf to see the Rebirth Brass Band’s (myspace) standing Tuesday night gig. Their first set started at about 11pm; after a half hour break, their next set started at about 12:30am. I’m not sure how many sets they played that night but they were coming on for at least another. Mixing traditional New Orleans brass band (second-line) elements with hip hop, funk, soul and jazz, the band tore the roof off of the packed and sweaty Maple Leaf in a long continuous set of originals and covers. The sound wasn’t the best at the club but the tunes and atmosphere were great as everyone seemed to enjoyed the performance. Tuesdays.
- Walter “Wolfman” Washington at d.b.a.: For our third night, we headed to the Marigny to see Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s (myspace) at d.b.a.. “Wolfman” is an old school R&B/ soul musician. He has a bunch of young guns filling out his band and they’re tight. D.B.A. is also a nice bar with a good selection of the beers, so between that and the solid music, it’s a good time. Wednesdays.