With summer rapidly approaching and temperatures on the rise, there are only a few weekends of bearable weather left until most folks shut themselves inside through daylight hours.
And no excuses — you’ve had a week to recover from Jazz Fest, so get back into the celebratory, musical groove and enjoy a great fest in a completely unique setting.
This weekend, you’ll get one last chance to get your fest on with Bayou Boogaloo, a free annual festival located on the picturesque banks of Bayou Saint John in Mid City. The musical lineup — which showcases local artists and ignites an inviting neighborhood party — is, arguably, one of the city’s best hyperlocal music events of the year.
In case you’re not sure how to map you Boogaloo priorities, here are our don’t-miss picks:
Dave Jordan and the Neighborhood Improvement Association: Friday, 5:00 p.m., Orleans Stage
Guitarist Dave Jordan has been a fixture on the Mid City music scene for years now, bringing a Louisiana honky-tonk vibe to Banks Street Bar with consistently brilliant sets. His band, The Neighborhood Improvement Association, adds some muscle to Jordan’s Americana sound with electric guitar, organ, and violin. Check out their opening slot on Friday for a rip-roaring start to a solid weekend of music.
Bantam Foxes: Saturday, 11:00 a.m., Lafitte Stage
Bantam Foxes plays the type of no-frills rock and roll that seems made for dingy clubs full of sweaty fans, bashing out garage-rock songs that echo the best of The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys. Their early set at Boogaloo will wake up the neighborhood and get the party started for what will likely be the festival’s biggest day (get there early and watch the bayou fill up with all sorts of homemade watercraft). If you miss the band at Boogaloo, you can also catch Bantam Foxes playing AC/DC’s Back in Black in its entirety at Gasa Gasa later, Saturday night (5/16).
Erica Falls – Saturday, 4:00 PM, Lafitte Stage
Soul singer Erica Falls has been belting out her original compositions and classic standards around the French Quarter for years, but her recent stint, touring with Galactic, has put her on the path to becoming a household name. At Galactic’s Jazz Fest set, Falls upstaged pop hitmaker Macy Gray and made it clear she’s more than comfortable leading any band and ready for the big leagues. Check out her late-afternoon set at Boogaloo and see why crowds across the nation are paying attention to this homegrown talent.
Kristin Diable – Saturday, 7:15 p.m., Dumaine Stage
Local singer-songwriter Kristin Diable has developed a fervent following thanks to an incredible voice that casually carries the emotional weight of her moving original songs. Her latest album, Create Your Own Mythology, features ten of Diable’s best songs to date and leaps out of the speakers, thanks to an old-school Nashville sound. A sunset over the bayou with Diable’s enchanting songs sounds like the perfect end to Day 2 of Boogaloo.
Mike Dillon’s New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium – Sunday, 2:20 p.m., Orleans Stage
Mike D’s many talents have lead him to collaborations with Galactic and guerrilla-jazz experiments with Johnny Vidacovich and James Singleton, all of which have led to his own whacked-out band, The Band of Outsiders. This weekend he’ll assemble some of the best percussion players in town for a unique rhythm experience that falls somewhere between a drum circle and second line from Mars.
Dillon brought this group to Gasa Gasa a few months ago and filled the room with more than a dozen players for an adventurous foray into the ether of rhythm. Expect some big names (Galactic’s Stanton Moore perhaps) to join in for this unique musical experience.