SCHEDULE AND PERFORMERS
SPRING 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.
March 21, 2015
The Steve Anderson Group: Steve Anderson is a local self-taught musician. He is one of the most humble quiet guys you will ever meet, but when he is on the stage playing his guitar and singing, he transforms into a person who can get a song across to an audience as well or better than most performers. He is joined with the other vocalist, Jan Biggs who always transmits energy. The quartet is completed by bassist Bobby Belloni and Anne Hibbs on the fiddle. They deliver true-to-form classics from greats like Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers.
The Long Time Goners: This is another group of musicians who are part of those who have migrated into New Orleans following Katrina and have decided to make the Big Easy their home and are performing traditional musical styles. This group will perform some great originals with a style that has a country twang with some New Orleans spice mixed in. We have been trying to book this group for some time and are very happy that they will finally get on our stage.
Dwayne Doopsie and the Zydeco Hell Raisers: The name of this group should provide more than a hint as to what they will be bringing to the Opry stage. This is Dwayne’s second appearance here. He is one of the hardest working musicians around. He is a member of the famous Doopsie family of Zydeco musicians. Zydeco is a purely Louisiana music form, and it gets inside of the listeners with its hard-driving soulful blues sound with some Cajun influence. Dwayne delivers all of that as well as anyone else in Louisiana.
The Pfister Sisters: Occasionally, we are contacted by a group of musicians who request to be on our stage, and we ask ourselves, why would musicians of their stature want to be on the Abita Opry Stage? We are very fortunate when this happens and we are fortunate that the Pfister Sisters are going to be featured artists on this month’s show. Their fame as New Orleans celebrities precedes them. They have delivered their wonderful harmonies to audiences at just about every important musical event in New Orleans. They will be sure crowd pleasers at our show.
April 18, 2015
The Chris Talley Band: Our mid-season House Band always brings something a little different, and entertaining. They promise an eclectic repertoire that can range from amusing ditties to some very soulful blues. Whatever they perform, however, is delivered skillfully and honestly. These well-seasoned musicians should provide a treat to our audience.
Sonic Migration: Cassie Krebs is no stranger to the Abita Opry stage. She has a strong vocal range and can drive a song across beautifully. She is now partnered with one of the leading musicians in the area, Dave Easley, who provides a great compliment to Cassie’s guitar styling and singing. They have a very broad range of musical styles to draw from and it will be interesting to discover what they will present.
Nola Bluegrass All Stars: Michael Millet was recently on our show, but is now coming back with a different configuration of musicians to give us some bluegrass. Michael is a very accomplished traditional musician who is no stranger to the club scene in New Orleans. It is part of the New Orleans musical tradition that it is not unusual to see musicians performing in several different groups, and that speaks to the versatility and talent of the musicians we are blessed with.
The Wasted Lives: The only way to describe this group is that they are pure fun and talent. Lead guitarist and vocalist Matt Bell is one of the most sought after musicians in the current New Orleans Music scene. Joy Patterson also provides very strong vocals and projects a sweet energy that helps make this country music group a pleasure to watch and hear. They will be double-dipping by performing at the Opry and at the Busker Festival the next day.
May 16, 2015
Last Chance Bluegrass Band: Our most recent house band always shows up with a true desire to please and entertain the audience. Vocalists Eddie Arnold on banjo and Robby Lavigne on mandolin are the principal vocalists. They have that very true bluegrass authenticity in their styling that reminds us that this traditional form of music can be such fun to hear. This ability also comes from watching these guys perform, because it is obvious that they are having fun on that stage. Talented musicians always have a way of making it look easy and are having fun.
Kenny Swartz: Kenny appeared at the Opry many years as a performer alongside the late great Harold Cavallero. He has a great traditional blues style. We are fortunate to have this gifted musician back here. He has a very soulful style and a broad vocal range. Kenny is the real deal and will be true to the roots of the music.
Julio and Caesar: This is another pair of musicians who have not been on our stage for some time. These two musicians are guitar virtuosos, and a joy to hear. They perform in a south of the border style, but have some north of the border influences in their music. They possess magnetic personalities, and the joy they experience comes out in the music they are presenting.
The Tradsters: In the common New Orleans music vernacular, “Trad Jazz” translates to the uniquely New Orleans style of Jazz that was born in the Big easy. It seems that this American classic music form never loses its popularity. It grabs the listener, and hearing the same songs many times never becomes boring. The wonderful improvisation that defines Jazz makes each song an adventure. The Tradsters are yet another group of young musicians who get what New Orleans Jazz is all about, and we are always more than happy to have young people on our stage who are going to keep our important musical heritage alive.
Please don’t forget that following every show, many of our musicians gather at the Abita Brew Pub to jam. Some of the best music performed on Opry nights has been at this after-the-show jam. It allows a blending of some really great musicians to play in an informal atmosphere, and some really great and unique stuff has come out of those jams.
THERE'S MORE MUSIC IN ABITA SPRINGS
In addition to our regular shows that will be performed on March 21, April 18, and May 16, we are very proud of the continuing development and popularity of our annual Abita Springs “Busker” Festival. For those of you who don’t know, “Buskers” are musicians who perform on the streets for tips. The Opry became attracted to these youngsters as guest performers because of their youth, and dead-on renditions of very traditional music forms.
We want to encourage the young people who are maintaining our precious musical traditions. This will be the fifth installment of this event. It is growing each year and we are proud to be partnering with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation to present it. The Festival is on the Sunday between the French Quarter Festival and the Jazz Fest. Some are perennial acts and we also have some first-timers.
Acts will include The Good Gollies, The Smoking Time Jazz Club along with their wonderful dancers, The Wasted lives, Marla Dixon and the Shotgun Jazz Band, The Deslondes, and our traditional close out act, Tuba Skinny. This is a don’t miss. Come early and stay late. Bring your lawn chairs. There will be plenty to eat and drink, and arts and crafts to view. And, of course, it's FREE, there is no admission charge. Hope to see you there!
Hi Opry Fans, Here we are again, ready for another season. As usual, we are always grateful for loyal fans like you who make our show possible and assure its continued success. We are always interested in feedback from you about what you see and hear at the Opry. We are open to criticism, and always ready to hear compliments.
Y'all Come! See you at the Opry