Back in 2013, on a Monday night in mid-July, New Orleans R&B favorite Guitar Lightnin’ Lee and his Thunder Band were playing their weekly summer gig at BJ’s in Bywater with special guest C.C. Adcock when another special guest emerged from the thick crowd to sit in. It was Robert Plant – a longtime fan of New Orleans music and, evidently, a guy who knows that in the Crescent City, you don’t need to wait for a weekend night to find some of the best live music in the world.
Each night from the Riverbend to the Ninth Ward, music venues pulse with the sounds of New Orleans-bred R&B, blues, funk, jazz, rock, rap, metal, and beyond. And because regular, weekly gigs are common for many of the best players in town, there’s pretty much always something memorable happening, no matter what night (or even day) of the week you head out.
The most famous midweek live music staple in town is the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band’s 24-year-and-counting Tuesday night tenure at the Maple Leaf Bar, way Uptown. If downtown’s more your style on a Tuesday, the Open Ears series upstairs at the Blue Nile showcases a rotating lineup of creative and improvised jazz.
On Wednesdays at d.b.a., the Tin Men – Alex MacMurray, Washboard Chaz and Matt Perrine – set their often hilarious lyrics to stripped down, bluesy funk at 6 p.m. before blues guitar master Walter “Wolfman” Washington takes the stage for his regular 10 p.m. slot.
Or check out a newer band like singer/songwriter Micah McKee’s soulful, ‘60s folk-inspired indie pop band Little Maker, which performs at the Blue Nile every Thursday.
Find out more about midweek shows by checking the video below, then head over to New Orleans Online’s music club listings page to explore the full, dizzying range of live music options available every night of the week.