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chickie wah wahThis is the first in a series spotlighting some of the best places to see live music around the city.

The place: Chickie Wah Wah

Location: Mid-City (2828 Canal St)

Genres: Blues, jazz, country, rock, Americana, roots, funk

Crowd: Young hipsters to senior blues junkies, all drinking responsibly

Ambiance: Clean and classy, with great acoustics

Usual suspects: Jon Cleary, Meschiya Lake, Alexis and the Samurai

Cover: $5-15 (with 100 percent going to the band)

On a fairly desolate stretch of Canal Street across from the RTA Bus Depot lies “one of the best music venues in New Orleans,” according to Jazz Fest maestro Quint Davis.  Chickie Wah Wah proudly hosts an eclectic lineup that always falls under the “roots” category while encompassing everything from blues to acoustic rock.  The venue is adored by both fans and musicians alike, and I have yet to see a bad show there.

The room itself sounds crisp and clear, which is why there have been multiple live recordings done there (most recently John Fohl and Jonny Sansone).  This is the place to catch local favorites like Jon Cleary, playing solo with an intimacy that gives full voice to every note he’s playing.  Most nights feature two shows, with an early set starting around 8 and a late set starting around 10:30.

Fohl, Boudreaux, Sansone

John Fohl, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, and Jonny Sansone during their recent live recording

Rather than rely on an unpredictable food trucks, hungry patrons always know there’s great food at Chickie Wah Wah thanks to their permanent kitchen, which hosts some of the best pop-up bar food around.  The former tenant, Sammich, drew foodies from across the city before moving into a full shop on Maple Street.  Now the sweet barbecue of Blue Oak BBQ provides no shortage of mouth-watering food to go with the great music.  Bonus points for a no smoking policy where food is served!

Upcoming show picks:

    • Alexis & the Samurai (Mondays @ 8 PM) – The young duo plays mellow acoustic rock anchored by singer Alexis Marceaux’s soaring voice that earned her a spot on NBC’s The Voice.
    • Jon Cleary (Tuesdays @ 8 PM) – Catch the piano legend’s solo set every Tuesday, and make it home before bedtime!
    • John Fohl and Jonny Sansone (2/5 @ 10:30 PM) – The blues duo has spent the past four weeks recording their new live album, and this Wednesday will be their last session.
    • Tank and the Bangas (2/6 @ 9 PM) – The young neo-soul band has been making waves around town recently thanks to their electrifying live shows and genre-hopping style.


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