Monday April 28
Ponderosa Stomp and Aquarium Drunkard present Flamin’ Groovies with The Men: A great annual festival and the best music blog in the world curate this generation-spanning twin bill featuring a couple of bands coming from considerably opposite ends of the country and far apart on the sonic spectrum. First, there’s The Men, a blistering Brooklyn rock band (formed in 2008) running the gamut from noise to surf rock. Then, there’s Flamin’ Groovies, a classic band (formed over four decades ago) that decided to reform for the first time since 1981 just last year. In the midst of all the funky superjams at night and big ticket headliners anchoring each weekend at the Fairgrounds, this stellar Monday night bill is worthy of your closer attention.
Instruments a Comin 2014 @ Tipitina’s: The annual fundraiser for the Tipitina’s Foundation boasts an all star lineup of the most sought after bands in town (Galactic, Anders Osborne, Bonerama), with proceeds helping to put instruments in the hands of students across the state. The concert is sold out, but the block party beforehand is free and open to the public, including Walk and Wall of Fame induction ceremonies for Terence Blanchard and Phish.
Tuesday April 29
Trombone Shorty @ Louisiana Music Factory: Don’t miss this rare chance to see the international ambassador of New Orleans music up close and personal, for the low price of free. Louisiana Music Factory’s new spot at the foot of Frenchman makes it an ideal location to catch some of their many free shows next week.
Marco Benevento @ Publiq House: Marco Benevento and Stanton Moore are known to share the stage together, and both guys seem hell-bent on playing the most shows over the ten days of Jazz Fest. Marco’s main band, featuring Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz and crack session drummer Andy Borger, takes the stage at Publiq House for a dose of their upbeat, piano-driven dance rock. The band’s recent set at Tulane’s Crawfest had to end after only a few songs due to inclement weather, so expect an apology in the form of some left-field covers.
Roosevelt Collier & the Bayou Gypsys (Jimi Hendrix Tribute) – @ d.b.a. – In recent years, pedal steel virtuoso Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys) has emerged as one of the most in-demand, sit-in artists around the night show scene during Jazz Fest. This mid-week blowout tribute to Jimi is bound to reward the intrepid fans making it down to Frenchmen Street for a Tuesday late night set at 2:00 AM. At $10, this one is an absolute steal.
Wednesday April 30
The Union: Swamp, Soul and Rock-n-Roll Revival @ The Rusty Nail: The Rusty Nail has a solid reputation as one of the best bars in town to grab a craft beer or rare scotch, with a great patio to boot. Add a great lineup of blues-rock bands, including Papa Mali and Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory, and you got the perfect midweek happy hour.
Toubab Krewe @ Blue Nile: Toubab Krewe play an eclectic brand of groove-oriented rock, with traditional African instruments playing alongside electric guitars and drums. This show, billed as “Steal Your Covers,” will feature interpretations of classic Grateful Dead songs and offers the only chance all week you’ll get to shake it to the 21-string kora.
Thursday May 1
Royal Southern Brotherhood, Lil Band of Gold @ City Park Botanical Gardens: The Botanical Gardens in City Park may be the most picturesque place in the city to take in some great music, and this show is one of the best lined-up for the week. Royal Southern Brotherhood’s set is billed as “Exile on Royal Street,” which promises some great covers of Rolling Stones classics. And there’s always the possibility that Lil Band of Gold will welcome their old bandleader, Robert Plant, out for a song or two, since the golden-haired god himself may still be in town from last weekend. I can dream, right?
James Booker Tribute feat. Marco Benevento, Johnny Vidacovich, and George Porter Jr. @ Maple Leaf Bar: Three of the most talented and exciting musicians in the city will tackle the timeless songs of New Orleans’ most famous gay, one-eyed, junkie piano player at his old haunt. Johnny V played with Booker at the Maple Leaf, George Porter Jr. is a bass-playing chameleon, and Benevento is on a short list of living piano men who can hold a candle to Booker’s spidery playing. Close your eyes and you’ll think you stepped back in time. Marco Benevento will play another “Booker Thing” on Monday at d.b.a. as well.
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Hurray for the Riff Raff @ One Eyed Jack’s: In a few short years, Charles Bradley has gone from a homeless James Brown impersonator to one of the most sought after soul singers on the Daptone Label. His old school swagger will fit perfectly in the ancient halls of One Eyed Jack’s, with an intimacy that was lost last year at his triumphant set in the Blues Tent. Added bonus: local folk heroes Hurray for the Riff Raff open the show with some of the best songs to come out of the city in a long time.