An Englishman in New Orleans.

keep it simple

Platinum Member
After leaving Larry, Jeff, & Rich, I travelled to New Orleans for a few days, & I'm sure I experienced the very best & very worst of live music. I've travelled in the USA many times, but never stopped off in New Orleans.

I was lucky enough to stay in a superb hotel just off Bourbon street, right in the centre of what's going down - or so I thought. Ok, so Bourbon street is the headline act. Full of tourists, & with plenty of live music bars, but mostly tailored to making a fast buck. Strip joints kinda ruin the vibe for me TBH, although many quality restaurant & bar establishments still offer something worthwhile.

I must have seen at least 10 bands in Bourbon street over 3 nights, & I was mostly disappointed. Lacklustre - going through the motions - empty, if you know what I mean. All obviously working that tourist treadmill, & it showed. Don't get me wrong, some reasonable players, & they're putting food on the table, so no criticism there.

On my last night, my host took me to Frenchmen street. OMG!!!! THIS is what I'd been wanting to find in New Orleans. Some wonderful cafe jazz, an amazing 20 piece street band c/w tubas & marching bass drums, & a fabulous chilled street vibe :) However, the real musical journey started at the Blue Nile with the "New Orleans Rhythm Devils" fronted by drummer / vocalist Mike Paille. A fusion of loose latin, funk, jazz, & blues, Mike lead the band with gusto, but all with a very organic almost improv presentation. Had a great chat with Mike, & he gave me some CD's :)

We then moved on to D.B.A. to catch "Walter Wolfman Washington & the Roadmasters". This band has been together pretty much unchanged for 35 years, & it showed!! Frikkin' unbelievably tight, funky, deep, & grooving. A dream live band - just faultless. Drummer Wayne Maureau was absolutely smoking, & with a blisteringly good bass player, they really were the consummate ideal rhythm section. Here's a clip from the D.B.A. where they have a residency every Wednesday night https://youtu.be/c1EPPacVrd4?t=8m27s This is kinda jamming style, but most of the show I saw was much higher energy brass accent filled than this, but you get the idea :)

Anyhow, there you go, just a lone Englishman's experience of the full spectrum of live music in N.O. Bolt that onto my time with Larry were we experienced both good & bad too, & I had a great musical "immersion".
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I agree 1000%! The acts on Bourbon Street are usually GB bands, playing mediocre classic rock and "blues" (like Blueshammer from Ghost World). You have to go to Frenchmen Street if you want to see what the music scene in NOLA is really like!
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
I honeymooned in NOLA December of 2013, had a great time. We did Bourbon St one night just because I wanted to check it out. It was like a dirtier, smaller Vegas. Needless to say my wife and I didn't really care for it. Frenchman St was a good time, many great bands there.

True story, walking down Bourbon St that night I heard Mustang Sally twice and Sweet Home Alabama once.
 

Skate

Senior Member
I went to New Orleans once, but I had just turned 3 so I don't remember a second of it!
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
When I was still in ProSound sales and repping I used to go to 'Norlins regularly. Burbon Street was a drag except for a few good cafes, but I loved taking a day off and just exploring the graveyards. Those are fascinating and beautiful places. Two things I discovered very early on in New Orleans, and they both came from frightening experience: You do not want to be there if a) there is a flood, or b) you get lost. Actually, the second of those was scariest, as I found myself in some VERY threatening neighborhoods where outsiders should not go. I exercised much care after that experience. Nonetheless, I loved that town.

GeeDeeEmm
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Glad you had a good trip overall Andy-bet it is nice to be home though. Back just in time to work on your contribution to the 2015 Guru Snare competition-I'm holding you to your promise LOL. That and making terrific drums!
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I lived in the New Orleans area during most of the 80s, and my wife is from the area. Now we live about three hours drive away and go there once or twice a year. Frenchman Street is great, and so is Tipitina's. I used to play with the sax player in Walter Wolfman Washington's band. Peace and goodwill.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The main reason I want to go back to New Orleans is to have lunch at "The Gumbo Shop" again.

Food to die for.
 

Jankowske

Senior Member
...I loved taking a day off and just exploring the graveyards. Those are fascinating and beautiful places. Two things I discovered very early on in New Orleans, and they both came from frightening experience: You do not want to be there if a) there is a flood, or b) you get lost.
What about c) getting smashed and doing acid and x with dennis hopper and some prostitutes?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hope it was successful for you down in Louisiana with the business stuff Andy. You live some life. I don't know how you do it. You continue to humble me man. BTW, thank you so so much. My drums are the happiest they've ever been, everything is just perfect. My 10" is really singing, all the drums are. And the Bri Wax just makes everything better lol. It was a privilege having you over. It was a cool hang with Rich and Jeff. Very memorable. Strata says hello.

That Santos mahogany In-tense stave snare drum is re-diculous-ly gorgeous. Off the hook re-diculous.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
My drums are the happiest they've ever been, everything is just perfect.
That makes me happy Larry - I really enjoyed the hang with you, Rich, & Jeff :)

Yes, that santos rosewood snare = just crazy beautiful - visually and tonally. I have 4 of them left for sale. Can't believe that TBH, but I haven't advertised them.

Business in Louisiana was high pressure & tough on travelling too :(

The main reason I want to go back to New Orleans is to have lunch at "The Gumbo Shop" again.

Food to die for.
With you on the food - especially the grilled oysters :)

I used to play with the sax player in Walter Wolfman Washington's band.
He was a great guy. I was chatting with him & his son for a while :)

Glad you had a good trip overall Andy-bet it is nice to be home though. Back just in time to work on your contribution to the 2015 Guru Snare competition-I'm holding you to your promise LOL. That and making terrific drums!
Awe man - I'm pretty screwed over right now, but I'll try to get something down :)

I found myself in some VERY threatening neighborhoods where outsiders should not go. I exercised much care after that experience. Nonetheless, I loved that town.

GeeDeeEmm
Yes, there's certainly some areas that are somewhat less than attractive. Something you can find pretty much anywhere.

I went to New Orleans once, but I had just turned 3 so I don't remember a second of it!
Time to return methinks :)

True story, walking down Bourbon St that night I heard Mustang Sally twice and Sweet Home Alabama once.
Hahaha = yes. The "machine" keeps on turning ;)

You have to go to Frenchmen Street if you want to see what the music scene in NOLA is really like!
Absolutely. Will return there for sure!
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
Was it a business trip? Did you go out to Ray's?

My wife worked in nola, so I went out and visited a few times. Just couldn't get into to music there, but I was probably going to the wrong spots. I much prefer Nashville....I could watch those chicken pickers all day.
 
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