The problem with New Orleans is having too much of a good thing.
Too much good food (beignets, pralines) and far too much good music. Walking down Frenchman Street last Saturday night felt like spinning the radio dial and listening to one great station after another every few paces. Imagine a dozen clubs side by side, and each one featuring a foot-stomping, hip-swinging band except you have to make a choice! Such is the dilemma of the Marigny, the colorful old neighborhood due east of the French quarter and one of the beating hearts of New Orleans always-live/always-ON music scene.
One doesn’t simply “listen” to music in New Orleans — you go out and experience it. The music is in the streets, it’s in the air and in every corner of every tumbledown building. There’s no way to just pick one.
And so, I’m just soaking it all in, as much as I can, one awesome band after another. If and when I capture musical greatness on camera, I intend to stick it on the blog to share with all of you.
My first pick is the brass attack squad known as The Smoking Time Jazz Club who I heard tear it up at The Maison on Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. Like most great New Orleans music, this band was crazy fun and had most of the crowd dancing (or at least kicking their feet in the air).
Share your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for more terrific musical moments (nearly live) from New Orleans. Because down here, you’d swear they invented the trumpet.
- Nat Geo Expeditions