Can it be possible that Tipitina’s is celebrating 35 years of presenting great live music? Saturday night, an unsung veteran makes a local club appearance, and Sunday night kicks off a short, and truncated Carnival season. Here are my picks.
It’s true that the corner of Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas has been percolating with live music for 35 years, save the eighteen months that the business was shuttered. The month long party starts Friday night.
Eric Lindell (pictured) has made a name for himself as a roots rocker with an emotive voice and melodic, original songs. He headlines the first show of the New Year and the anniversary celebration. Up and coming blues guitarist and songwriter Colin Lake opens the show.
Saturday night, the legendary songwriter Leon Russell takes the stage at the House of Blues. Russell has written songs that everybody knows, but his career has had more ups and downs than an elevator in a French Quarter hotel during Carnival.
Always enigmatic behind his long, white hair and ever-present shades, he doesn’t have the greatest stage presence and often reads his wistful lyrics from a monitor. But the depth of his catalog more than makes up what he lacks in charisma.
Sunday is 12th Night, known as the Feast of the Epiphany in the Catholic tradition, and commemorates the arrival of the three kings from the east bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the baby Jesus. In other parts of the world, particularly South America, it is known as King’s Day. Here in New Orleans it’s the kick off to Carnival.
While there are several smallish parties going on around town, the place to be is at the streetcar bar on Willow Street for the annual streetcar ride. The ride for members begins at 6:30 PM, but get there early because it’s always a hoot to check out their costumes and get into the mood for merriment and revelry.
See you there!