FALL 2015 SCHEDULE
Our performances are always on the third Saturdays in the Spring and Fall in the months of March, April, and May, September, October, November. The show is from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM.
September 19, 2015
The Steve Anderson Group: If you like traditional “Honky Tonk” country that was performed by greats like Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams, you will love Steve. He is a self-taught local guy. Steve is a very quiet and humble person, but, when he starts to sing, his personality transforms. He can belt out those great cou8ntry tunes with the best of them. He is complimented by another strong vocalist, Jan Biggs. The group is rounded out by Bobby Belloni on Bass and Anne Hibbs on fiddle.
Olga: This talented lady is a one-person show. She has a beautiful voice and can effectively perform various genres. She is a return act at the Opry after several years, and will bring her virtuosity on the guitar as well as her great singing style to the Opry stage.
Choupique: This group is very Cajun. Jesse Brown, the group’s leader displays uncommon skill in one of the principal instruments to Cajun music, the accordion. Not only does Jesse play that instrument, but he builds them. His brand name is, of course, Choupique accordions. They have played many different venues and dances. They are one of the bends that play at the monthly Cajun dance at the Abita Town Hall. They do standards as well as some interesting originals, and they do them very well.
Shotgun Jazz Band: We usually wait some time before inviting return acts to the Opry, but this group will be returning to our stage because of popular demand. We have had more requests for this group to return that any other act we have had. The group’s vocalist is Marla Dixon, and she possesses an uncommonly powerful singing voice. It is not a stretch to state that she is one of the best in New Orleans at delivering traditional jazz songs. The members of this group are veteran performers who have played that great traditional jazz on the streets of New Orleans to the clubs on Frenchmen street, the Jazz Fest and the French Quarter Festival. When you hear them, you will understand why they are in demand.
October 17, 2015
Chris Talley and Friends: this group is the latest edition to our house band lineup. Chris knows just about every superior musician in this area, and has performed with them at one time or another. The group he has assembled for the Opry has Bluegrass instrumentation, but what they do is Bluegrass and beyond. What can be guaranteed with any group Chris assembles is superior vocal and instrumental musicianship.
P-Town Ramblers: This is a local group of fine musicians and friends who got together to perform music. They are all former members of various other groups and all superior musicians. It seems that bands have a life span and “break up” for one reason or another. Many of the members drift into other groups. The P-Town Ramblers is one of those groups. Their musicianship is superior, and they are a group of friends who are having a good time. They will present a mix of country, bluegrass and some folksy type songs.
Hokum High Rollers: We have been fortunate to become familiar with the busker or street musician community from New Orleans. These young musicians really put it out there. The streets of New Orleans are the greatest incubator for musicians in existence. This group is a member of the busking community and is a “Jug band.” They perform a distinctive form of music that is high-spirited, bluesy, and infectious. Jug band is a distinctive music genre. It may or not involve someone blowing into a jug, but it is always fun to hear. Our audience has enjoyed the jug bands we have had and this group will be an audience pleaser.
Tom Fisher and friends Jazz Band: We are fortunate to have a musician of Tom’s caliber at the Opry. Jazz was born in New Orleans and the finest traditional jazz musicians perform here. Some of those musicians are “go to” guys. They can sit in and contribute or elevate the level of musicianship of almost any group of jazz musicians. If you go to the Economy Hall tent at the Jazz Fest or to the French Quarter Festival, you will likely see Tom Fisher and his clarinet many times with various groups during the course of those events. We can always trust Tom to bring something solid. This is an opportunity to hear an example of the finest traditional Jazz played anywhere.
November 21, 2015
Last Chance Bluegrass Band: These guys play straight-out bluegrass, and they enjoy themselves in the process. Their enjoyment in performing those great songs is contagious, and we are fortunate to have them as one of our house bands. Eddie Arnold on banjo, and Robbie Lavigne on mandolin provide the vocals, and they are backed up by strong musicians. Last year, the electricity went out right before the show. This group was the house band for the night and they decided to entertain the audience in an increasingly sweltering town hall. They worked up a sweat, but kept our audience entertained and happy. And they will make the audience at this show happy.
Amadee Frederick The “Creole Man.” Amadee is an Abita Native who has been playing and performing music for most of his life. He can deliver traditional Delta Blues as well as anyone. He can also hit some hot guitar licks with more rocking blues. We are glad to see Amadee back on stage. He has had to work through health issues, but he is well now and sounding better than ever. It has been a pleasure to watch him mature and grow as a musician through the years, and has developed the ability to treat us with roots blues with genuine soul.
John Hatchett Band: John is another musician who has performed in multiple groups, and is another Busker. In a city most well-known for Jazz and Rhythm and Blues, country music is enjoying a lot of popularity. This group will be bringing a part of the New Orleans country music scene to the stage. John has performed with solid groups like the Wasted lives and Gal Holiday. We are looking forward to hear this first time group to visit our stage.
The Zion Harmonizers: There are not enough superlatives to describe one of the greatest Gospel music groups in existence. The Harmonizers have been in existence for well over fifty years. The Original leader of the group, the late Sherman Washington, was instrumental in establishing the Gospel tent at the Jazz Fest, and the Harmonizers continue to perform there every year. They are high-spirited, and infectious. Not only are they great musicians, but some of the nicest people we have had the good fortune to have become acquainted with. They are opry veterans and an audience favorite.
THERE'S MORE MUSIC IN ABITA SPRINGS
Opry Outreach: The Opry presents music at other events besides the stage show at the Town Hall. Every August, we have performances at a five week series each Saturday at the French Market in New Orleans. The series is titled, “Opry at the Market.” We have been doing this for five years, and we are grateful to the Marketing Director for the French Market, Amy Kirk for inviting the Abita Springs Opry each year.
The Opry also pays for and produces music for all of the outdoor festivals held at the Abita Springs Trail Head. The events include the Abita Springs Water Festival in October, The Abita Springs Earth Day Festival in March, and the Abita Springs Busker Festival on the third Sunday in April. The events are sponsored by our local charitable organizations including the Abita Springs Friends of the Park and the Abita Springs Museum Committee. The Opry Board of Directors has stated specifically that providing music for these events gives us the opportunity to expand the fulfilment of our mission to preserve and present Louisiana roots music and providing for our town. We also assist, when needed, in providing funds for maintenance for our beloved venue, the Abita Springs Town Hall.
We have dates set for two of these events.
The Abita Springs Water Festival will be held on Sunday October, 18, the artists are yet to be announced, but they will be members of the musical community in the Abita Springs area.
The Abita Springs Busker Festival features street musicians who perform traditional music on the streets of the Big Easy as well as in clubs, principally on Frenchmen street. This festival is usually co-sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation and is held on the third Sunday in April each year. Mark this one on your calendar. These young musicians are extremely talented and perform with a powerful spirit.
LISTEN TO PAST PERFORMANCES
Hello Opry fans, We are ready to kick off a brand new season of our beloved Abita Springs Opry. We will soon be enjoying that great Louisiana roots music. We are now in our twenty-sixth season and proud to be going strong. Our music committee works hard to provide you with great shows. This season, we will have some new acts, and others that have proven to be crowd pleasers in the past.
As I stand by the door at the conclusion of each show, I like to get feedback from the audience. Often, our fans will comment on specific performers or the type of music that was heard at the show. Audience demand for particular performers is an important determiner in who we invite to play on our stage. We invite you to comment and make requests. This can be done on our home page, or our Facebook page. Let us know what you like, who you want back, and you won’t hurt our feelings if you did not care for a particular act. You are very important to us. We love our audience, and want you to leave our Town Hall having enjoyed your selves and want to come back.
Through the years, some members of our audience have become regulars, sitting in the same seats season after season. Iit is always nice to see the faces of our audience members who have become our friends. We want your Opry experience to be “down home” in a family-like atmosphere. Many of our musicians comment on what a great audience we have at the Opry. In and around the New Orleans area, great music is commonplace, and we are flattered that our audience remains loyal, and it remains our goal to “Preserve and Present Louisiana Roots music.”
Get your tickets
If you want to get a big serving of our musical gumbo, tickets are presently on sale. We offer season packages as well as single show tickets. The season ticket holders from the previous season get first dibs, but as of August 1, they are sold on a first-come-first served basis. By the day before the show, we are usually close to selling out. We are always trying to make sure that we have as many seats as possible, and very seldom turn away folks who show up the night of the show.
If you happen to make a last minute decision to come to the Opry, The worst case scenario is the big screen closed circuit TV on our front porch. We also have outside seating available. Also keep in mind, that we have a live act on the front porch for an hour or so before the show.
For ticket information, please contact Kathy Armand at 985-892-0711. All tickets are $18. We have not raised our prices for several years, and intend to keep them at that price. Please keep in mind that the choicest seats go first. Nothing pains us more than to turn folks away because of a sell-out. We always try to find a way to get people in.
The Petty Bones
The Zion Harmonizers
We believe this is another season of great traditional music. Please remember that we sell tickets on a first-come-first served basis. All seats are $18.00. We have not raised our prices for several years, and have no plans to do so any time soon. To purchase tickets call Kathy at 985-892-2342 or drop by the Abita Springs Town Hall during working hours.
Y'all Come! See you at the Opry
Anytime Access to the Opry
We always want to remind our fans that most of our past performances are online and can be enjoyed anytime on your computer. All you have to do is visit our home page at www.abitaopry.org. Locate the words;
"LISTEN TO PAST PERFORMANCES"
click on it and the listing of downloaded shows will appear on your screen. From there, you can scroll to any show or pick out any particular act that may appeal to you and enjoy.
We provide the web service and cover the cost of video taping and provide the shows to St Tammany Parish Government access TV channel 10 and Southeastern Louisiana University, channel 18. The channels mentioned are available to Charter Cable TV subscribers in several surrounding parishes.
Our mission to "Preserve and Present Louisiana Roots Music" is taken seriously. Making the Abita Springs Opry available to as many people as possible is a way of fulfilling our mission and gives that much more exposure to these great musicians. We have a valuable musical cultural tradition, and it is worth keeping alive.