Abita Opry



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 15, 2012

Front Porch: Parker Freeman. Finding good musicians in this area is like opening oysters and finding pearls. We heard him at a local open mike night. He pulled out a banjo and launched into some great very traditional Appalachian roots tunes while accompanying himself by playing the banjo in the old-style claw hammer method. He later took out a fiddle. This young man is a real find and you will enjoy him and whomever else he brings to perform for us.

Steve Anderson Group:
Steve Anderson is one of the most popular and beloved musicians who grace our stage. Steve is a very humble individual who was hesitant about getting up there at first. However, he has gotten over his initial stage fright. Steve performs songs that were originally done by some of the greats including Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. He delivers those wonderful songs as well as anyone anywhere. Jan Biggs also provides guitar and vocals with her characteristic magnetic personality and high energy. Bobby Belloni on Dobro and banjo anchors the group with his vast musical background. Anne Hibbs delivers some very sweet tones on her fiddle while Philip Bartles keeps the rhythm thumping along steadily on the bull bass.

Last Chance Bluegrass Band:
If you like straight out strong bluegrass, you will love these guys. They performed on our front porch last spring, and the folks outside loved them. They provide the traditional mix of bluegrass instruments and vocals, banjo, guitar, fiddle, and bass. This is another example of a group that was flying under the radar. Our Production and chief sound engineer, Kent Birkle, who plays the banjo himself, heard them at a local jam session and advised we give them a listen. Kent made a good find.

Washboard Chaz Blues Trio: Chaz Leary is, perhaps, one of the best known musicians on the New Orleans music scene. He even has a downtown music festival named after him, "Chazfest," an obviously play on words. He delivers some great old songs in the traditional jug band style. He is accompanied by another well-known New Orleans musician, St Louis Slim on guitar. The sound is very unique, and Chaz is a real crowd pleaser.

Smoking Time Jazz Club: This is another one of those great groups of young people who performed on the streets, but are now joining the great New Orleans club scene. These are part of a young community of musicians in the Big Easy who have made it their mission to learn and perform very traditional jazz music. The streets of New Orleans are one of the greatest incubators for stellar musicians in the world. This group is similar in nature to some of the other members of that music community that brought the house down when they appeared on our stage including Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns and Erika Lewis and Tuba Skinny. We had them perform at the Abita Springs Music and Arts Festival last spring and inviting them to come to our stage was a no-brainer.

October 20, 2012

Joe Barbara: Our front porch act for the October show features a master guitar picker and vocalist. Joe has several recordings under his belt. He is one of the best pickers around and has an unbelievably broad repertoire. We are very fortunate to have this very talented musician on hand to entertain our folks prior to the show opening.

The Petty Bones: We never quite know what this house band will bring to the stage. The group is led by Ann and Jerry Crowell. Anne has great voice that can range from sweet ballads to belting out the blues with the best of them. She and Jerry also offer great harmonies. Jerry and Ann are also skilled on a number of instruments, but Jerry's favorite is an antique tenor banjo that was donated to the Abita Springs Opry. Harvey Jones on mandolin and Bobby Belloni on bass provide capable backup. Their music style can best be described as Americana delivered in a traditional mode.

The Wasted Lives: When I received a sound sample from this group, my response was, "where have you guys been." They performed for our pre-show audience last spring on the front porch. They also hung around for the after-the- show jam session at the Abita Brew Pub. They are a delight to hear and some very nice people. If you like the great sound of ‘Honky Tonk" country music, you will love the Wasted Lives. They have been performing in the New Orleans area, and will be a great addition to our stage.

Amadee Frederick: Amadee the "Creole Man" Frederick is a life-long resident of Abita Springs. He is very well known among Blues musicians on the North shore and in New Orleans. He has been performing Blues music his entire life and he can put out some great blues sounds ranging from the hard driving hot licks to the more mellow Delta Blues sounds that are the tap roots of that great music form. Amadee's maturity as a musician and deliverer of this great American music form ranks him as one of the best around.

Pot Luck Cajun Band: While it may be difficult to imagine a great Cajun Band comprised of people who make their homes on the north shore, but this group of musicians are it. They are returning from a hiatus as a family-based Cajun band. They performed at the Opry several years ago before temporarily disbanding. Fortunately, for all of us, they are back in the swing of performing that great, very uniquely Louisiana blend of accordion, fiddle, guitar and Cajun French vocals.

November 17, 2012

A Very Special Occasion: Happy Birthday Abita Opry!

This is our tenth anniversary show. It is hard to believe that ten years have already gone by for the Abita Springs Opry, but our first show was in November of 2002. We have heard a lot of great music since then, and we decided to do it big for our tenth anniversary party. Following our house band, we will have three more acts that all have closed out our show. Each act is a show stopper. We want to do this show big and it will be big.

The Lucky Dogs: Our front porch band for November. Anyone who is familiar with New Orleans is familiar with the iconic lucky Dog carts that can be seen in various locations around the big easy where folks might be looking for a really great hot dog. The Lucky Dog wagons are a unique Big Easy tradition, and this group having that name is appropriate to the music they perform. If New Orleans traditional rhythm and blues is to your liking, you are in luck with the Lucky Dogs.

Pot Luck String Band: Another of our great house Bands. They always bring something interesting to the Opry stage. They were great at their last performance with the addition of a new banjo player, Eddie Arnold, and some wonderful dual fiddling with Anne Hibbs joining Van Glynn. Van offers some great lagniappe to the set with his historical vignettes about the songs they have chosen. This is an enhancement to our mission of preserving roots music.

Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots - hard driving, foot stomping zydeco. Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes is no stranger to fans of Louisiana music. He is a regular at the Jazz Fest and other local music venues. He will definitely get your blood pumping.

Cori Walters and the Universe Jazz Band: Cori is one of the best known drummers in New Orleans. She is also a member of the close-knit family of musicians who perform one of the greatest musical forms in the world, traditional New Orleans Jazz. At her last visit to our stage, she assembled some of the best the Big Easy has to offer, and will bring them again for this encore performance. The very strong breaks an improvisational styling makes this music a treat for the ears and grabs the hearts of the audience.

The Zion Harmonizers: This group always embraces the audience with some of the greatest gospel music that can be heard anywhere. They are recognized as one of the best Gospel performing groups in existence. They have been in existence for over seventy five years, and under the leadership of the late Sherman Washington, initiated the Gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. They are still instrumental in its operation as performers at New Orleans' most famous musical festival. They have become a tradition at our show. They love to perform here, and our audience loves them.

Opry Spin off

The Opry will be taking their show on the road. We are partnering with the French Market Corporation by doing out part in what is being billed as "Opry to Opera." The first show was on August 4, and for the next five weeks, the Abita Springs will have the French Market Farmers Market stage right in the heart of the Big Easy.

We are very flattered that our reputation has become such that the French Market Corporation would contact us and request that we be part of their performance schedule. We would like to offer our gratitude to the Marketing Director of the French Market Corporation, Amy Kirk Duvoisin. Amy is a pleasure to work with. This will be our second stint at the French Market. Last fall, we participated in the Halloween celebration billed as the "Boo Carre." We had great fun, and are eagerly anticipating our return there.

The dates and French Market Opry performers are: August 4, Vintage Jazz for the Satchmo Summer Fest, honoring Louis Armstrong; September 11, Grocery Clerks and the Steve Anderson Group; August 18, Pot luck String Band and the Porch Rockers; August 21, Spider Murphy and the Fugitive Poets; September 1, Mama's Family and the Last Chance Bluegrass Band; September 8, Grocery Clerks, and the Petty Bones.

The performances will take place from Noon until 2 PM. The Farmers Market is located in the French Market on the downtown portion of the French Market near the old U.S. Mint on North Peters Street. It is a very pleasant venue with a raised platform for a stage in front of some picnic tables surrounded by food service and beverage vendors. It is under the French market shed out of what has been brutal heat. Come out and give us a listen and spend a day in the French Quarter.


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.

Our continuing mission is the "Preservation and Presentation of Louisiana Roots Music." Of course, what constitutes Louisiana "roots music" is sometimes hard to define, we always want to keep it traditional while presenting an entertaining variety of music for our fans and a great environment for our musicians.

Our audience is very important to us, and our musicians always tell us that you are the best audience around. If we continue to show them the love, they will send it back to us. The energy and exchange between the musicians and the audience at the Opry is real.

The vibe that exists in that hundred plus year old building packed to the gills with a great audience listening and appreciating traditional music from some of the best musicians around gives us a musical gumbo that really cooks!

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 Petty Bones

Zion Harmonizers

Abita Opry

Abita Opry Fans

Abita Opry Front POrch Performers

Anytime Access to the Opry

We always want to remind our fans that most of our past performances are downloaded 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;


click in 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.