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Hi, Fent!

There's not a lot there, and I deeply share your dislike for U.K. "trad" :angry: I hasten to add that I do like the original, that is, Louis and all.

Try to get to Ralph's and Kakoo's restaurant, though. Their crawfish gumbo and crawfish étoufée is awesome. It's easier to get to their restaurant in Baton Rouge, but I wonder whether you will get over that way.

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New Orleans is one of my favorite towns. It reminds me of my hometown (Philly) cause its old and dirty and disfunctional, but of course it's very very different, as well.

I'd recommend catching something at the Maple Leaf, especially if you can find something interesting on an off night (it gets really crowded with college kids).

There's a joint (or was) called dba just east of the end of Decatur which has great beer, a laid-back (if yuppified) atmosphere, and some interesting acts.

But, I'd most strongly recommend Mike West if he's playing in town. One place to catch him is at Margaritaville--Buffett actually books some solid acts at his tourist traps.

West is an Australian who has a very well-done back country hick schtick, with some very good songs written about people he's met along the road and in his neighborhood. Kinda like if Randy Newman pretended to be a refugee from the cast of Deliverance.

And if kermit Ruffins' place is still open, it's a cool place to catch a show so long as you are used to black working-class neighborhoods. I saw a band with Davell crawford and (I think) George Porter there filling in for Kermit when he got hung up in Calgary or somehwere.


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Visited New Orleans a couple of years ago with my wife and parents and we all had a wonderful time. Great to get off the plane at Louis Armstrong airport and immediately hear jazz being played. Just loved the whole vibe of the French Quarter and the laid back attitude. So many great restaurants and bars too. It is almost is if when you arrive in New Orleans you leave the U.S. and many of the normal laws are suspended.

For live modern jazz there is a club called Snug Harbor just north of the quarter. The aforementioned Astral Project sometimes play there and various members of the Marsalis clan are regulars.

In the quarter itself I would recommend the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. Don't book a table and eat there, just wander in and sit at the bar. The jazz is quite traditional but very enjoyable with a number of New Orleans veterans playing there and the atmosphere is great. As a Brit, I also have no time for U.K. trad jazz but the music that you encounter in New Orleans is very different.

I would also recommend a visit to the Jazz Museum at the U.S. Mint in the French Quarter. Very interesting exhibits on the early history of jazz in New Orleans. If possible, you should allocate a few hours to stroll around the quarter during the daylight hours.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thought I'd report back and say that although the conference was poor there was a lot to enjoy in New Orleans. Great food, at K-Pauls and Nola especially. There is a lot of music and Snug Harbor http://www.snugjazz.com/ was great the night I was there with a quartet featuring Jesse McBride. Lots of good music in bars (tried a fairly random selection) and the buskers in Jackson Square were worth more than a few dollars in the bin...

Couple of Record stores to report on, Louisiana Music Factory on Decatur had an interesting selection of used and new and Skippy Whites round the corner on Conti had a great selection of local and not so local soul

Thanks for the help


PS Oh and the more traditioanl New Orleans Jazz I heard sounded might fine to my ears too :)

Edited by fent99
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Ahh, Ralph and Kakoo's. One of my all time favorite places to eat growing up in Baton Rouge. The original location on Airline Highway was always the best.

Several years back they sold out to Picadilly and haven't been the same since. When we moved back to BR we tried it several times and it was nothing like the old days. The place in Baton Rouge for the last ten years is Mike Anderson's. It's just off the LSU campus. Expect an hour wait even on a Tuesday! Well worth it.

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Thanks for the heads up, Scott! Must try Anderson's when next in Red Stick. By the way, the BR R & K is the only one I've visited. It must have been fantastic in the old days, as I loved it when I was there - presumably after the Picadilly Circus buyout.

On a serious note, I wonder how New Orleans is now, after hurricane Ivan. I know that the storm went somewhat East of there, but it still didn't look good for N.O. Being below sea level is not exactly good.

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