Weekend Shots!

Another free show at Tipitina’s, a brass band debuts a musical history lesson, a West Bank lawyer takes on his city, a double dip of roots rock and a new band that plays “hillbilly gospel.” Where you’ll be.

The New Orleans Suspects have been barnstorming around the country this summer including a well-received show at the High Sierra Music Festival Fourth of July weekend in California. They play the Foundation Free Fridays show at Tipitina’s tonight. Claude Bryant and the All-Stars open.

This will be the first local show with the supergroup’s new saxophonist. Kevin Harris amicably left the group to concentrate on his regular gig with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Jeff Watkins, whose resume includes a stint with James Brown, replaces him. Watkins also tours with blue-eyed soul singer, Joss Stone (pictured together).

Also Friday night, the Rebirth Brass Band debuts a new concept that they plan on touring behind this fall. Dubbed, “Rebirth of New Orleans, A History of Brass Band Music and Culture,” the show should take listeners on a musical trip through time. The gig is at the Howlin’ Wolf.

The Honey Island Swamp Band is doing double duty on Saturday night. They play in Gretna at the first annual Freedom Fest from 4-7 PM. The event made yesterday’s Times-Picayune because the host, Mark Morice, has been having a protracted fight with the city of Gretna over zoning. Full disclosure—Marc is a friend of mine, so I know this will be a great party with a purpose.

Later Saturday evening, the HISB takes over the Maple Leaf Bar. They will certainly be warmed up for the gig. Check the video for an intimate look at the band jamming in a van!

Chickie Wah Wah hosts the debut local performance of the Mercy Brothers. This group hails from Lafayette and features a couple of familiar faces. Mark Meaux and Kevin Sekhani graced local stages for years as members of the Bluerunners. This should be an interesting show since they described their music as “hillbilly gospel.” See you there!

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