Friday, September 23, 2011

Down 'n Dirty in The Big Easy

I've blogged several times about the great food in New Orleans but have been negligent when it comes to other 'fun' the city offers; like music. Second Line Brass Bands to be more specific. You'll find these bands in both bars and on random street corners. They play  current music, only in the tradition of brass jazz bands, and of course good 'ole Nawlin's jazz. Their energy always draws a crowd and inspires lots of crazy dancing. It's AWESOME to watch.

To quote my friend Chris, "It's cool to be in the marching band in New Orleans".

Wanting to hear more, we went to Les Bon Temps Roule on Magazine Street, where the popular Soul Rebels Brass Band plays (every Thursday). It looks like a bit of a dive outside so I knew it was gonna be great inside; pool tables in the front bar, live music in the back. Uneven flooring and a narrow hallway connect the two. Thank God I left the stilettos in the car. We successfully navigated the passage and entered a fabulous, gritty party. People were jumping, dancing, sweating, packed in tight and up close to the band. There's something about brass, makes people wanna move that ass. When the band took a break, so did everyone else. The drinks were cold and cheap and there was no cover. Love this place.

NOLA is obviously a great city for music, so it's no wonder Lenny Kravitz has a place in the French Quarter. As luck would have it, we found parking on his street after leaving Les Bon Temps Roule. I pressed my ear to his doors but could only hear the hum of nearby Bourbon Street.

I'm a fan of Lenny's music and have been strung out on his new joint "Black and White America". It's a positive fusion of  funk, rock, hip hop and even some jazz. Get it! I wonder if Lenny got any inspiration from the Second Line scene. I found this video of him checking out the popular Rebirth Band Brass Band in a club that looks similar to Les Bon Temps Roule. If Lenny does it, you know it's cool! Be sure to scout out these kinds of bars next time you party in NOLA.

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