SPRING 2016 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.
March 19, 2016
Front Porch: Joe Barbara. Joe had appeared on our Opry stage. He is a pure entertainer all by himself. He probably knows how to play and sing just about any song you have ever heard.
The Steve Anderson Group: They have served as house band for many years, and Steve keeps rolling out those great Country classics originally performed by greats like Hank Williams. The other vocalist of the group, Jan Biggs always delivers songs with a powerful voice and great styling.
Pig Pen: These are newcomers to the Opry. They promise to bring a folksy country/blues styling. The musicians in this group will include guitar, fiddle, upright bass, and steel guitar.
The Bad Pennies Pleasure Makers: Matt Bell and Joy Patterson head up this group. Matt is one of those go-to musicians around New Orleans who performs in many different groups. He and joy also collaborate in several configurations. The Bad Pennies offer a very unique jazzy sound that is a real audience pleaser.
The Hill Country Hounds: You may have already guessed that this is a country group. Country music takes many forms, and this group promises to perform the very popular and captivating Honky Tonk style. They are also newcomers to our stage.
April 16, 2016
Front Porch: Footsteps. This is a group of enterprising and talented high school kids who formed their own Jazz group.
Three Rivers Cooperative: Chris Talley is a very versatile musician and accomplished in many genres. This group performs a very unique style of Bluegrass music with other styles bleeding in. That is a trait possessed by other musicians in this area. We are blessed with so much variety in our music in South Louisiana that musicians often fuse the various styles.
Crispin Schroeder: Here is another local guy from right here in Abita Springs. Crispin is a very talented musician who also serves as minister in his church. However, that does not limit his repertoire. He is a very multi-leveled and talented musician and we are looking forward to his performance.
The Deslondes: They are one of the busker groups that will be performing at the Busker Festival on the day following this show. To say that they are unique is a gross understatement. Their music is original, and several members of the group are song writers. They manage to effectively fuse New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Country, and a twist of Jazz. They also effectively fuse these styles without diminishing any of them.
Tuba Skinny: This is another group of buskers who will close out the Busker Festival the following day. They have been performing very traditional Bluesy Jazz for several years. Their lead vocalist, Erica Lewis can really deliver a song while being backed by some amazing young musicians. They are very well known in the New Orleans music scene and have gained popularity in this area. They are well traveled, having performed in Europe, Australia and all over the U.S. They were the very first busker group to appear on our stage, and led us to understand the powerful spirit and skill buskers put into their music.
May 21, 2016
Front Porch: River Rats Band. A group of friends who are musicians performing for the sheer joy of performing.
Last Chance Bluegrass Band: This has been a house band for several years. They perform straight forward traditional Bluegrass music. They also perform with a load of personality and humor. This is a fun group to see and listen to. They are also a great group to set the bar for our other acts.
Zac Maras: He is another newcomer to the Opry. We are always happy to uncover new talent that can perform here and become part of our opry family of musicians. Zac writes original songs and also performs songs that we are familiar with. We are looking forward to this performance.
Big Daddy O: Anyone who is familiar with the Blues music scene in this entire region knows Big Daddy O. He has several recordings and literally hundreds of performances to his credit. He is a very versatile performer and a really nice guy. He has been here before and is a real audience pleaser. Big Daddy O is one of those performers who really loves to play before an audience and that comes through in what you will hear.
Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band: It is not an exaggeration to say that Bruce is one of the Premier Cajun musicians in Louisiana. That style is unique to our state, and needs to be presented and preserved. Bruce is a perennial Jazz Fest performer, and has brought Cajun music to other parts of the globe. Bruce is a great ambassador for this important part of our musical heritage, and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. If you come to the Opry, you will have that chance.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU
We hope you will come and be part of the Abita Springs Opry experience. To sit and hear great traditional styles of music drawn from our diverse and wonderful musical heritage is more than a treat. Don’t forget, we always have great food available. Gumbo, hot dogs, homemade baked treats, and beverages prepared by local charitable organization provide great lagniappe.
The hundred-plus year old Abita Town Hall is the perfect setting for our show. The wooden building provides a warm and fitting venue for the music heard there. It also provides great acoustics, and our production crew headed by Kent Birkle assisted by Rob Bentley, Kenny Delbert, and Monique Coincoin do an outstanding job of filling the hall with perfect sound.
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.
Busker Festival: Besides the opry performances, we are excited about what is rapidly becoming a premier musical event in this area, the annual Busker Festival. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Buskers are musicians who perform on the streets for tips.
Bryan Gowland developed the idea when he noticed how our audience responded to the New Orleans buskers whenever we had them on stage. It is rare whenever one of these groups does not earn a standing ovation. The first of those groups that performed at the Opry was Tuba Skinny with Erica Lewis. Once we got wired into that musical community, we began to include some of the buskers each season, and it was soon after that that the Busker Festival was born.
We are very proud of this event. We are also very proud that the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation provides support for the festival. WWOZ Radio videoed and streamed the event live through WWOZ.org. We were viewed and heard by listeners from around the world. WWOZ has pledged to live stream the festival for this year.
The buskers that you see on the Opry are usually young musicians from different locations around the U.S. who gravitated to New Orleans following Katrina. They have become an integral part of the New Orleans music scene. Many of them are now performing regularly in clubs on Frenchmen Street or the Quarter , but still perform on the streets. They have made it their business to learn traditional New Orleans Jazz, Country and other "roots" genres.
They perform at the Opry and at the Busker Festival because they need exposure, encouragement, and respect for being the next generation undertaking the very important task of keeping our precious musical heritage alive. They exemplify the mission statement of the Abita Springs Opry, “The Preservation and Presentation of Louisiana Roots music.”
The lineup for this year’s Busker Festival includes, The Bad Pennies Pleasure Makers, The Loose Marbles, Slue City Strutters, Shotgun Jazz Band, The Deslondes and Tuba Skinny.
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-seventh 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.