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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go



Betty Harris and the Marc Stone 10-piece All-Star Band
10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., April 25-26
Old Point Bar, 545 Patterson St., Algiers Point, 364-0590

Betty Harris is one of the great lost soul singers. She waxed two dozen fiery and funky sides for Allen Toussaint in the late '60s with the cream of New Orleans session players and the Meters backing her. Her song "There's a Break in the Road" can melt a hole in your CD player. She gave up singing to raise a family, but in the last 10 years, as the deep soul movement has grown, she's found renewed popularity and is gigging again. Her new record Intuition has some of the bite of her best work, and it shows that her voice has only gotten better and more nuanced with age. Marc Stone is a ringer at backing someone of Harris' power, and he's got a magnificent band including pianist Josh Paxton, bassist Sam Price and vocalists Susan Cowsill and violinist/singer Theresa Andersson scheduled Friday night and guitarist Ernie "Dap-Walk" Vincent for Saturday. Hearing Betty Harris in an intimate club like the Old Point is a rare opportunity. Tickets $20 at the door, $16.50 in advance from — David Kunian




Juke Joint Jamboree featuring Bobby "Blue" Bland and the James Cotton Blues Band
9 p.m. Sat., April 26
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Blues legend and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame member Bobby "Blue" Bland (pictured) got his start as a teenager in Memphis driving B.B. King's car. His velvety soul-blues growl soon moved him up to headliner status, and during the '60s, his signature passionate, throaty R&B sound earned him multiple top 10 hits on both the pop and R&B charts. Nearing 80, Bland is still a regular on the touring circuit, and the hypnotic power of his lush voice is undimmed. James Cotton, a blues harp legend, learned his craft playing and traveling with Sonny Boy Williamson, beginning at age 9. Cotton toured for 12 years as Muddy Waters' live harmonica player (Waters' Chess recordings feature Little Walter), and in 1967, he formed his eponymous Blues Band. In the '60s and '70s, Cotton still found the time to sit in with Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and Santana. Tickets $30. — Alison Fensterstock




WWOZ Piano Night
7 p.m. Mon., April 28
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

WWOZ's annual Piano Night benefit, held each year on the Monday after the first weekend of Jazz Fest, is a tradition that the award-winning station's thousands of worldwide listeners have come to look forward to as an essential part of the fest. As usual, the marathon show features a lineup of the New Orleans-based talent — with some WWOZ DJs among them — whose recordings go out over the OZ airwaves throughout the year. The list is lengthy, and surprise musical guests are hardly a surprise. The roster includes piano players and others from most areas of the New Orleans musical spectrum, from traditional jazz to dirty funk. This year's featured performers include Eddie Bo (pictured), Henry Gray, James Andrews, Marcia Ball, John Boutté, Jon Cleary, Tom McDermott, David Torkanowsky, John Gros, Shannon Powell, Carol Fran, Herb Hardesty, Renard Poche and many others. The upstairs music hall at the House of Blues opens for a special Patron Party at 5 p.m. Patron Party tickets $100; general admission tickets $35. — Fensterstock




Doyle Bramhall with C.C. Adcock and the Lafayette Marquis
Midnight Friday, April 25
d.b.a., 618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731;

At nearly 60 years old, the Austin drummer Doyle Bramhall (pictured) has finally released an album that's all about him. For four decades, Bramhall has been a linchpin of the Texas blues-rock scene as a sideman, writer and producer — and worked on several albums with sometime New Orleanian Marcia Ball. A longtime collaboration with Stevie Ray Vaughan began in the early '70s when the two played together in the Nightcrawlers. Several Bramhall compositions became permanent parts of Vaughan's repertoire. (Vaughan's older brother and Fabulous Thunderbirds alum Jimmie plays guitar with Bramhall now.) A few Stevie Ray collaborations made it onto Bramhall's Yep Roc debut, Is It News , which sounds exactly like an album that's been marinating for years. It's a complex, heady stew of roots music, melding big Texas blues guitar, Southern soul ballads, hard-charging instrumental funk and even a touch of New Orleans swamp shuffle. That'd be the influence of Bramhall's friend and Yep Roc label mate, the Lafayette guitarist C.C. Adcock, who co-produced Is It News . Adcock's Lafayette Marquis project veers off from the straightforward swamp rock he plays with the all-star Li'l Band O'Gold. It's effects-heavy, voodoo-damaged sinister bayou blues with plenty of fuzz and menace. Tickets $15. — Fensterstock

  • Alice Stevens

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