Friday, April 20, 10 p.m.
Club Ampersand, 1100 Tulane Ave.
Sun Hotel, a talented indie-rock band from New Orleans, will be performing at the Ampersand nightclub on April 20. Expect a relaxing, mellow sound from these guys, with some tracks having a folk music sound.
Sun Hotel has four members, all of which provide vocals for various tracks. Their sound is described as punk rock meets post gospel—an interesting mashup of styles that makes for a unique indie rock style that definitely breaks from the mold.
Check out Sunhotelsounds.com to download their entire album catalog—available at a "name your own price" rate—as well as streaming tracks and music videos for some of their best tracks.
These guys tour all across America, and on their website they have videos showing what life is like on the road for a rock band. Very refreshing to see that despite all the success these guys have had, they're about as normal and down to earth as you can get. —Peter Dupont
Friday, April 20 at 10 p.m.
Blue Nile, 532 Frenchmen St.
Gravy has the tendency to take something good and make it into a unique blend of flavors, all culminating in the palette to produce a mouth-watering shock to the senses. As you may think I'm speaking about the food, I'm actually talking about New Orleans' own band of groovy musicians called Gravy. Ever since their formation in 2003, they have deliciously blended a home-cooked recipe of funk, blues, rockand feel-good soul. Pretty much everything New Orleans, with a twist, as their unique sound instantly tantalizes the listener due to their unique combination. Since then they have released two albums, endlessly toured around the Gulf South region, and continue to spread their love in the city they love the most at such feature events as Wednesday's in the Square, French Quarter Fest and a multitude of distinguished venues in the city. Being a four-piece, the members are able to influence each other in the live setting, providing sets that define their atmosphere and make for a different show for every occasion. A brew of funky organ, twangy rock guitar accompanied by a tight rhythm section and southern fried lyrics will be what you find at any Gravy event. You can look for them next at The Blue Nile upstairs on April 20 at 10 p.m. where you will definitely be asking for an extra side of groove-filled, extra thick and savory Gravy. Even better than how yo' momma makes it!—Chris DiBenedetto
Tulane Crawfest 2012
Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m.
Tulane University, 31 McAlister Dr.
Tulane University's annual Crawfest festival will be held on April 21. Crawfest is an outdoor event, with 12 live bands performing this year. Each year roughly 12,000 people attend for the live music, unlimited crawfish, delicious food and beautiful artwork galleries.
Crawfest is free for everyone, but for the unlimited crawfish it is $10 if you are not a Tulane student or staff member. It is $5 for kids under 12.
Alcohol is not sold at Crawfest, but may be consumed by anyone over 21. You can purchase beer at The Rat, a store located in a building near the quad, where the festival will be taking place. No coolers, glass or cans are allowed.
There will be a wide variety of music at Crawfest. Funk will be one genre widely represented, with electric-funk band Galactic and a traditional funk band with a soul music sound, Dumpstaphunk.
Jam band ALO will be in the house, as will the brass bands Soul Rebels and Flow Tribe.
The band that I expect to really get the party going will be Los Po-Boy-Citos, whose fresh Latin sound will stand out amongst all the other traditional New Orleans style music.
Crawfest is a great opportunity to enjoy spring weather, make some new friends, hear some great music and eat as much crawfish as you so desire. Count me in…
Saturday, April 21 at 10 p.m.
D.B.A., 618 Frenchmen Str.
There simply are just not enough words to describe the brilliance of Billy Luso over the years. Starting his music career in New York as a teenager he has since been a part of great act after even greater act, first coming into fame playing guitar for Brides of Jesus in the '90s. After much success, Billy met many friends in the business, some of whom were The Meters, who introduced him to New Orleans, which he has called it home since 1996. Now, he plays with his band Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives along with a swift lineup of other talents for solo gigs ranging from Anders Osborne and John "Papa" Gros to Bill Kreutzman from The Grateful Dead. He graces many stages with his mix of funky, jam guitar and vibrant singing abilities that allows his music to speak to audiences everywhere. Loving to mix in cherished classics with his own original material and creative swagger, it's hard for people not to enjoy his performance without a big smile plastered on their face. The sound just radiates his genuine love of music and explains his own personal promise to "never miss a chance to be inspired." He plays Thursday, April 21 at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street at 10 p.m. You never know who is going to stop by to pay a visit, so be prepared to be awed by the guitar talents of Billy Iuso and his lineup of amazing friends.—Chris DiBenedetto
Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m.
Mahalia Jackson Theatre
801 N. Rampart St.
Acknowledged as a virtuoso on the trumpet before he was even out of high school, Grammy award-winning artist Nicholas Payton is a refreshing talent that strives to constantly redefine his identity for the better. Brought up in a talented family of New Orleans musicians, Payton showed enthusiasm for music at the early age of four when he got his first trumpet and was going on tour with the All-Star Brass Band at the age of 12. He has since made nine albums as a leader that all test the boundaries of genre, while paying homage to the great predecessors from whom he has learned so much. He refers to his music as Black American Music (BAM), since he feels being called a jazz musician or any label of genre would not describe his work accurately. Through the years he has developed skills on multiple instruments, which has allowed him to produce and play all of his own music on his most recent album Bitches released in November 2011. Being a musical representation of a love story, Bitches, is about the triumphs and downfalls of a relationship that allow us to glance into the mirror of our true selves as the artist claims. As with all of his albums Nicholas Payton has used this autobiographical solo masterpiece to redefine himself in a more positive light and challenge his own ability as an artist, producer, and composer.
Pinch-A-Palooza Festival &
Crawfish Eating Contest
Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m.
Deanies Seafood, 1713 Lake Ave., Metairie
Would you want to miss a chance to see the Grammy Award winning Rebirth Brass Band, and eat an absurd amount of crawfish at the same time? Didn't think so.
Deanie's Seafood is holding the third annual Pinch-A-Palooza Festival & Crawfish Eating Contest on April 22nd. From 2 to 8 p.m. you can order several delicious crawfish dishes while you listen to live music. Get a regular serving of boiled crawfish with Creole seasoning, fried crawfish tails, a crawfish po-boy or crawfish etouffee.
There will be a dance performance by an all-male group, The 610 Stompers. Recent Grammy winners the Rebirth Brass Band will be performing live at the show as well.
Christabel and the Jons
Tuesday, April 24, 9 p.m.
Banks Street Bar & Grill, 4401 Banks St.
Gracing New Orleans with their inspiring music on the many journeys the band has taken away from their Tennessee home in Knoxville, Christabel and the Jons, has decided to return again this spring to our city which they openly adore. Fronted by lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Christa DeCicco, one cannot describe the band as anything under magnificently charming. Christa is often compared to the likes of Norah Jones and Buddy Holly, whom she will do a charismatic impression of on stage upon request, but undoubtedly has her own sultry style that encapsulates every audience member. Teamed with Christabel's uncanny stage presence the singers use of both jazz and folk techniques will make you fall in love with the whole bands personality that radiates as every song is played in beautiful harmony. This four-person band of multi-instrumentalists comprises drums, upright bass, baritone, flute, fiddle and guitar that comes together with their unique sound which they have deemed "Tennessee Swing" to create the feeling of being at your own sunny springtime barbeque. Having played an impressive host of venues around the country including, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in 2007, the band is now working on their fifth album and still looking to keep turning heads as the road presses on. Their natural use of melody, irresistible charm and heart-felt lyrics will do just that as you swing away to the joyous sounds of Christabel and the Jons. —Chris DiBenedetto
Good Enough For Good Times
Thursday April 26 at 10 p.m.
D.B.A., 618 Frenchmen St.
For any lover of funk, jazz, rock and soul, the New Orleans talents that comprise the local group Good Enough For Good Times is anything below what their name suggests. Actually, many critics and music enthusiasts would say they are much more, as these experienced musicians never fail to put on a concert that will make your bones jiggle and tummy rumble to the beat of admired drummer Simon Lott's innovative rhythms. Joining him is the successful organist and Rhodes pianist Brian Coogan as well as bassist Robert Mercurio and guitarist Jeff Raines from local super group Galactic. Together these musicians have crafted a polished sound that shines brilliantly with impeccable covers such as the classic Ease Back, as recorded by Grant Green along with their own lineup of original funk material. First starting the group as a response to club owners needing musical acts after Hurricane Katrina, the group simply kept putting on performances around the South because they were having so much fun. And who could blame them as this group of successful friends all have crafted professional careers out of the art they love the most? The persona put on by these local groove setters will make for a night of, simply put…good times.