Celebrate Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s Birthday Week

He’s one of the last remaining links to the glory days of the New Orleans Rhythm and Blues scene in the 1950s. And he’s still on the top of his game as a guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader. Fans and music lovers will have a chance to wish Walter “Wolfman” Washington a happy birthday four times this week.

His regular Wednesday night gig at D.B.A. is a favorite mid-week show for locals and visitors alike. It begins at 10 PM and Washington will be appearing with his longtime ensemble, the Roadmasters. Thursday is a special early evening performance as part of the ongoing music series at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. The show begins at 6 PM.

Washington will be a special guest Friday night at Tipitina’s when Anders Osborne begins his annual two-night Holiday Spectacular. Osborne always brings his A-game and very special guests are expected. Besides, Washington, Ivan Neville and Rickie Lee Jones are on the bill.

Saturday night is the main event at the Maple Leaf Bar. Washington’s annual birthday celebration kicks off at 10 PM, Maple Leaf Standard Time. For many years, the Maple Leaf Bar was the home base for Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters. Their Saturday night gigs were legendary because of the intensity of the musicality of the players as well as the crazy scene that developed at the Oak Street bar.

They were free-for-all nights that didn’t end for many people until the sun came up. The Leaf was the last stop on a circuit of live music clubs and Washington’s last set sometimes wouldn’t even begin until 3 AM.

Those days are long gone as it’s rare for any club in New Orleans to still have live music past 3 AM except during Carnival and Jazz Fest. Yet, the energy of those nights lives on every time Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters set up on the tiny stage.

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