As the year winds down, we can take a moment to think of the wonderful phenomena of New Orleans – like the all-day, all-night live music one can always find in our city. If you are looking back at the shows you saw this year and realize that you haven’t seen nearly enough, there is still time. Our December guide to live music in New Orleans will get you sorted out before the year’s end.
Spearheading the progressive R&B movement, Water Seed is reminiscent of the funkier side of the R&B genre. Mixing the sounds of James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Prince, and Earth Wind & Fire, Water Seed captures a modern sound that bridges the musical gap a la Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, and Childish Gambino.
Electric church roots-driven music with full-throated vocal ensemble and a powerful backing band, The Asylum Chorus is New Orleans’ premier roots-vocal ensemble, born in 2011. Comprised of seven amazing singers, with influences ranging from Roots and Americana to Funk and Electronica, they’ll be presenting and debuting their newest full length album, Blue Sunshine.
Dec. 2: Scorpedos at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m.
Duz Mancini of Coyotes and Jake McGregor of Gold and The Rush have teamed back up to bring us all something fresh and very, very different from their Americana roots.
In 2017, Sexy Dex and The Fresh won two coveted “Best of New Orleans” awards, the Big Easy Awards’ “Best Emerging Artist” and “Best Funk Band.” Fronted by lead singer and vocalist Dexter Gilmore, the band channels the razor-edged future funk of Prince’s Controversy and Dirty Mind recordings, and the DIY fidelity of Ariel Pink’s dusty psychedelic pop.
Dec. 6: Ari Teitel at d.b.a. at 10 p.m.
One of the most distinctive gigging guitarists in the city since his arrival two years ago, Ari Teitel is now bringing together some of the best musicians in New Orleans for a project of his own.
Dec. 9: Sightsee at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m.
New Orleans production duo Sightsee are releasing their debut EP “Words to Find It.” Grammy-nominated drummer and producer Aaron Boudreaux and vocalist and drummer Dillon Frazier (of Matisyahu and Maggie Koerner) follow inspirations through the 90s art rock of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead to the organic hip hop of Pharrell and J Dilla.
Tank and the Bangas are home for a one in a blue moon New Orleans show. Formed in 2011 at an open mic set in New Orleans, this group knew that they had something that stirred crowds. Rummaging through their sound like a thrift store hippie, the Bangas provoke a musical reference of Rhythmic Soul and Spoken Word among other genres such as Rock, Gospel, Funk, and Folk. Tank and the Bangas have quilted a unique sound that singles them as one of the most distinctive groups to come out of New Orleans.
The Camel Toe Lady Steppers are an all-female Mardi Gras dance troupe that embodies the carnivalesque and celebrates the spirit of carnival all year. Born out of a Halloween costume in 2003, the group has since grown into a 50-member ensemble that showcases both staged and parade-driven performances inspired by the traditions of parading, cabaret, camp, Fosse, and Burlesque. The Camel-Toe’s come together each year for their annual Toe-Down to fundraise for The Roots of Music, a free music education program for middle schoolers in the Greater New Orleans area.
Few bands arouse a crowd into a collective shake like Flow Tribe. The six-member band’s onstage chemistry reflects a seamless combination of soul and movement that hits the audience within the first few notes. Outfitted for each performance in colorful, carefully-selected suits, it’s clear their focus is sharp and the party has begun. This is the work of musicians who’ve found their passion and are living a dream where everyone’s welcome.
Dec. 23: Soul Brass Band at d.b.a. at 10 p.m.
Soul Brass Band is unique yet familiar in their ode to music derived from a New Orleans street groove. The rotating cast loves to constantly switch between genres to keep the audience entertained and to keep defining themselves through different shapes and sounds encountered along the way.
If you and your loved ones are not the type to be cooped up during the holidays, spend your Christmas Eve listening to the incomparable vocals of the Songbird of New Orleans, Robin Barnes. By captivating audiences with her renditions of popular songs and contemporary classics, she makes each show her own.
Dec. 29: Noah Young Band at Les Bon Temps at 11 p.m.
Bassist Noah Young of local favorite Naughty Professor has used what little free time the band has to bring his solo work to the world. Catch his trio at Les Bon Temps for an evening of casual debauchery before the new year is upon us.
She’s back, ladies and gentlemen! BOYFRIEND is a writer, rapper, singer, producer, and performer. Her over-the-top live show along with her messages of female empowerment and inclusivity have helped to develop a dedicated fan base of hair-curler adorned hes, shes and theys, of lingerie-wearing straights, gays, and undecideds, of enlightened youth as well as the old and wise. This is not a show to be missed, especially if you are ready for an out-of-the-box New Year’s Eve and an out-of-body musical experience.