So you liked last month’s show roundup and you’re back for more? Well that’s perfect as we have just finished compiling our selection of locally-loved, underground, and otherwise incredible shows that you won’t find in the usual tourist traps speckling our city. If you’re looking for music that is informed by and pays homage to the history of New Orleans music while still providing you with a unique performance full of sweat, tears, creativity, and passion, then look no further: you’re home.
New Orleans Live Music Roundup: September
September 1: Leah Rucker at The Maison at 4 p.m.
Rucker’s vintage voice and charming presence is the perfect fit for anyone trying to push back the clock on New Orleans and its musical evolution. She plays at several venues around the city with some of the finest jazz musicians in town and has a diverse repertoire ranging from 20s traditional jazz to the swinging jazz of later decades.
September 3: Nutria at Bacchanal at 7:30 p.m.
Named after the infamous swamp rat, Nutria performs their genre-bending instrumental music with an emphasis on collective improvisation. Their music explores jazz, chamber music, and traditional music of the African diaspora and Eastern Europe while working within the groove traditions of New Orleans jazz.
September 6: Alexis and The Samurai at d.b.a. at 7 p.m.
Alexis Marceaux has spent the last decade at home and building a career from scratch. Marceaux and bandmate Sam Craft met in 2009 and initially teamed up for Alexis’ sophomore effort, Orange Moon, drawing an all-star cast of 25 of New Orleans’ finest musicians of every genre for a big, lush, indie-pop opus with a distinct Louisiana flavor and they have been doing their thing ever since.
Cosmicana returns with a brand-new series, Cosmic Evenings, in a monthly celebration of musicians loved in New Orleans and across America. Each month, these interstellar soirees will feature a musician in a house-show style format. Julie Odell graces the inaugural event with her relentlessly dynamic tunes backed by crunchy, hollow body guitar and beautiful, lively vocals. If you’re looking for the person who can make a raucous New Orleans crowd settle down effortlessly, your search has ended.
Seasoned New Orleans musicians in their own right, Flow Tribe makes their Free Friday comeback with their “spine-cracking” music. Frontman KC O’Rorke states that, “In performing live, we are always searching for the connection to the audience that takes us both on a journey. Even if I may have an idea of where I want to go musically, some strange or beautiful brilliance can manifest through our relationship to the crowd.”
Made up of Tulane graduates, Miss Mojo brings the funk to their pop-soul infused shows. This show will make you want to dance like nobody’s watching.
September 10: Soul Brass Band at d.b.a. at 10 p.m.
Soul Brass Band is fun and funky and although their music is based on a New Orleans street groove, they love to constantly switch between genres to keep the audience entertained and to keep defining themselves through different shapes and sounds encountered along the way.
September 13: Michael Watson and The Alchemy at The Maison at 7 p.m.
The accidental genius, as Watson puts it, of this band is one that creates a “come one, come all” atmosphere for its audience. This soul-driven collective strives to imprint a true movement of music through transformation and transcendence.
Cosmicana, an annual event featuring the fresh faces of psych rock, indie, alt country, and folk from around the Southeast and beyond, gave way to Little Cosmicana which presents shows on a more regular basis in venues around the city including this one featuring Scorpedos. Dux 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.
September 14: Cha Wa with DJ Nick Rack at Three Keys at 11 p.m.
From the funk-laced beats and bass-heavy sousaphone blasts, New Orleans brass band meets Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa radiates the fiery energy of the city’s street culture.
September 16: Mighty Brother at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m.
Mighty Brother is an indie rock band with a genre-melting repertoire of upbeat originals ranging from Avett-inspired Americana to Radiohead-esque art rock. Soaring harmonies and striking melodies knit together an eclectic sound, guiding the listener through unconventional grooves and adventurous lyricism.
September 20: The Good For Nothin’ Band at The Maison at 4 p.m.
An original band from the word go, The Good For Nothin’ Band and its music is steeped in the history and the seedy underbelly of New Orleans culture. They draw their influences from jazz, blues, and funk and blend it all together into the rich tapestry of their songs.
September 21: Music For Mental Health at Gasa Gasa at 7:30 p.m.
This concert continues to commemorate National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and is a benefit for several locally-based entities, including the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, NAMI New Orleans, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Louisiana Chapter. This year’s show will feature LeBaron Ahmon, Arsene Delay, Mike Doussan, Mykia Jovan, Julie Odell, and Kathryn Rose Wood. Be sure to get to this one on time though as this is a seated event.
September 22: Jasen Weaver Band at Bacchanal at 7:30 p.m.
The Jasen Weaver Band focuses on honoring the traditions of jazz while finding a way to make swing relatable to the current generation through original music and arrangements.
September 23: Marina Orchestra at One Eyed Jacks at 9 p.m.
You absolutely cannot miss Marina Orchestra and their rock n’ roll soaked in tropical sunny vibes. Besides that, they have shared stages with Rusted Root, Future Islands, and Peelander Z and have even played at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
September 27: Erica Falls at d.b.a. at 10 p.m.
Soul singer and songwriter Erica Falls credits her unique vintage sound to her childhood growing up in New Orleans’ 9th Ward, where her parents introduced her to Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn, and Whitney Houston. Whether on stage or in the studio (or as she continues to tour with renowned funk band Galactic), she channels a sassy, soulful tone that recalls an earlier era.
Kristin Diable has been exploring freedom and choice in her music ever since she picked up an open mic at a lounge in Baton Rouge and stunned the audience into silence. She rode that vibe, away to New York and then back to her native Louisiana like a storm front, invoking her Louisiana and Americana roots along the way.
Kathryn Rose Wood’s songs are personal yet universal and are reflective of soul, folk, Americana, and RnB. Wood creates music that is as cathartic to write as it is to hear, with an engaging and expressive connection rooting her firmly in the realm of storied songwriters past and present.
With wild and funky original music influenced by greats like Parliament Funkadelic, George Clinton, Greyboy Allstars, Lettuce, J Dilla, The Meters, Lenny Kravitz, and Talking Heads, this show featuring Sexual Thunder! and DJ Rusty Lazer will be impossible for you to pass up.
One Eyed Jacks continues their Summer Seranades songwriter series in their Front Room. This month’s show features McKenna Alicia, Shawan Rice, and Kathryn Rose Wood.