Sounds of NOLA with Alex

Alright, music fans, here are the concerts you’ll want to check out this weekend in New Orleans, as well as some side bands that you might like. First up…

Howlin’ Wolf

Perpetual Groove + Organized Crime 

Thursday, March 8 at 9:00 pm

Described by my great friend Charlie Cope as, “An ambient and atmospheric blend of the tones of Electric Light Orchestra, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead. The undeniable chemistry between the bass and drums allows for lead guitarist and vocalist Brock Butler to float melodies above the rhythm section in a manner that grabs your attention while still giving you plenty of room to breathe. A must-see act in my opinion.”

If you can’t tell, Charlie knows a thing or two about music and is an incredible writer as well. Luckily for us, we have the opportunity to go see one of the best jam bands of today. If you don’t want to take the opportunity to check out some incredible noodling, then I will for you (not just the musical technique known as noodling but also the highly skillful dance). Each song comes fully guaranteed with piercing guitar solos, vintage bass, intense light shows, and 100% satisfaction. 


These guys are one of the groups that turned me into a jam band fan. Just as the lyrics of one of their favorite covers, “This Must Be The Place,” go, they play, “Never for money, always for love.” I love the sentiment, but I would definitely pay to see these guys play.

Here’s a link to one of my favorite songs “Three Weeks”:

It takes a little while to get going but don’t you worry, when you get there, you’ll be fully in it.


House of Blues

Matisyahu + Eminence Ensemble 

Friday, March 9 at 9:00 pm

In music, and just about everything, being unique is considered to be positive. Well, Matisyahu is definitely that and then some. Mathew Paul Miller, better known by his Hebrew stage name Matisyahu, has made a career out of blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, alternative rock, and hip-hop beatboxing.

After reading that, if you laughed or think I’m joking that’s a fair reaction. With that said, I don’t know how I could possibly construct a story that good. At this point, If I told you Matisyahu’s album Youth is one of the best-selling reggae albums of all time hopefully you’d believe me. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough space on this page to post all of the different YouTube videos to give due justice to the way he weaves in and out of beatboxing, reggae, rock, and folk. I did my best to find one that did that for you

I would highly recommend going on YouTube and doing a complete search yourself. Although, if you’re at work I’d wait until you got home because you’ll get sidetracked for at least an hour.

Matisyahu has been one of my favorites for a long time. I’ve always enjoyed his lyrics and the different musical components he chooses to accompany each of his different sets. More than anything, I love the fact that if I walked past him on the street there’s at least a 50-50 chance I wouldn’t recognize him at all.

To give you an idea of that, here’s look at a live performance of his top hit “King Without A Crown”: 


Gasa Gasa

The Evening Attraction 

Sunday, March 11 at 8:00 pm

A true throwback to a past (better?) era. I absolutely love the classic rock sound and The Evening Attraction have it. The first three bands The Evening Attraction lists as artists they like are: The Zombies, The Animals, and The Beach Boys. What’s maybe even more important and interesting are their band interests, which include only three items: Organs, Records, and Real Things. How awesome is that?

For starters, organs and records are two of the best things that music has to offer, and it’s a shame they’re both going by the wayside. The fact that they actually listed “real things” as one of their interests just makes me like them even more than I already do after listening to them. Initially, you might think it’s a bit obnoxious and that’s probably fair. But, that’s genuinely who these guys are, and that’s exactly how they play.

Their lyrics are meaningful and unapologetic. The title track of their new album The End, Again, just released this past Sunday, is exactly that. It starts off in an upbeat manner with the tambourine and powerful guitar riffs, reminiscent of R.E.M’s similarly titled track. Then halfway through, it slows down to that wonderful, unique sound of the organ and all of a sudden lead singer Miles Mailn pipes in, “We’ll be ran into the ground by a narcissistic world-class clown and the world will watch with fear and disbelief.” I don’t know who that could possibly be. I do know, however,  think that these guys are as good of a throwback rock group as you’re going to find.

Check out their new album along with their other top hits:


Fun fact: Lead guitarist Joey Abaroa was once chosen from the crowd to play “Seven Nation Army” with Jack White at the Chicago Theatre.


Hi Ho Lounge

Aaron Benjamin

Sunday, March 11 at 10:00 pm

As each song goes by you learn a little bit more about Aaron Cohen. Known professionally as Aaron Benjamin, Cohen has been on this path for a long time. Many of the lyrics for his songs date back to material he wrote in his high school days when he was just 15 years old.

Every ballad gives you a sneak peek into a different phase of Cohen’s life. Whether it’s “Blaze” about his first heartbreak or “Terra Cotta” on his journey while studying abroad in Prague, his songwriting is his strongest asset. This is a statement that may be lost on you until you’ve seen him play the guitar. The man is an absolute wizard. My favorite, though, is a song he wrote describing his relationship with his great-grandfather that he knew solely through the relics left behind for him, “Abraham.”

As for his sound, you’d be surprised to learn Cohen is not a native New Orleanian after hearing the way he expertly blends all of our traditional sounds together. He’s a cool, calculated synthetization of rock, R&B, and jazz.

Every time I hear that wondrous combination of horns it reminds me of Earth, Wind & Fire. Though, with the combination of his guitar play, songwriting prowess, and silky voice, Cohen reminds me of Jason Mraz. What’s not to like about that?



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