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Thread: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

  1. #1

    Default Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    I'll potentially be moving to New Orleans from North FL in a few months for a new. Any mandolin pickers or bluegrass/old time enthusiasts out there in the greater NOLA area? Searches on this forum and elsewhere turned up a bit thin.

    I know it's a wonderful music city, but am definitely concerned that there isn't a whole lot of the high lonesome in the area!

    If anyone out there knows of any jams, festivals, camps, etc. I'd love to hear about them! Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    "concerned that there isn't a whole lot of the high lonesome in the area"

    As a native "Yat" from New Orleans (now living in CA), and having learned mandolin there in the early 1970's, I was unaware of any real bluegrass/old time scene. I knew Italian and jazz players, even Cajuns, but no bluegrass/old time players.

    I'm sure there were some, but at that time they were well hidden.

    Now, however, I'm sure there are pickers to play with. Best of luck, eat some seafood gumbo and a half-and half po-boy for me.

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    I'm a reasonably frequent visitor to NOLA and can't say I've heard much in the way of Grass or OT there. Certainly not in the Quarter. There is a huge and rich music scene there. Jazz and Zydeco / Cajun for sure along with ubiquitous rock bands in bars. The NOLA Jazz Festival is always great. There's no shortage of great music in the air (even just walking through neighborhoods) but I can't recall much BG or OT.

    There is so much great foods there. Get some! I second David's comments!

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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    I lived there 20 years ago and the home of bluegrass and old time music was the Piney Woods Opry in Abita Springs (across lake Pontchartrain) It has renamed itself the Abita Springs Opry and from what I hear is still going strong. Contact them and they should help.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Satterlee View Post
    I lived there 20 years ago and the home of bluegrass and old time music was the Piney Woods Opry in Abita Springs (across lake Pontchartrain) It has renamed itself the Abita Springs Opry and from what I hear is still going strong. Contact them and they should help.
    That makes perfect sense!

    BTW, best beer in New Orleans was Abita Beer.

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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    I lived in N.O. From 1975-1981. Went to Tulane. I played banjo in a working bluegrass band called “Hopalong Casually” in those days. We had regular gigs at various bars. We were not the only bluegrass band in those days. There was one other whose name escapes me now. There was a great acoustic jam at the Maple Leaf bar on Oak street on Sundays. They had laundry machines then so I have fond memories of drinking Dixie beer, jamming and even getting my laundry done.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmybikes View Post
    I lived in N.O. From 1975-1981. Went to Tulane. I played banjo in a working bluegrass band called “Hopalong Casually” in those days. We had regular gigs at various bars. We were not the only bluegrass band in those days. There was one other whose name escapes me now. There was a great acoustic jam at the Maple Leaf bar on Oak street on Sundays. They had laundry machines then so I have fond memories of drinking Dixie beer, jamming and even getting my laundry done.
    Dixie beer!

    This is great, Jimmy. I knew there had to be some guys playing back then. 5 string banjo I assume - I played 4 string.

    and the classic Maple Leaf!

    Like I said, there must have been some folks playing BG/OT music. i really appreciate your response.

  13. #8
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bluegrass/Old Time in New Orleans?

    I'm from Watson (near Denham Springs) though I've been in Texas now half my life (I'm an old coot) and from a musical family ... the old folks before me played primarily Old Time and Folk and Country music. It was a sort of systemic thing in the Florida Parishes, whereas the Evangeline Parishes probably played more Cajun and Creole stuff.

    The most solid, long term community outlet I know of is the Piney Woods Opry, already mentioned, where Old Time, Bluegrass and Gospel is generally represented, along with a smattering of Zydeco. Just drive across the Ponchartrain and check them out sometimes, might be a good place to meet some NOLA folk who may attend.

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