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.

March 17, 2012

The Steve Anderson Group: This is one of our house bands. Our house groups have done a wonderful job of setting the tone for each show. They always lead off to get things going. Steve is a local guy who has been playing around this area practically all of his life, and he has developed a healthy fan base who loves to hear his rich voice bringing back the music of greats like Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers.

The Abita Stumps:
Dalton Lambert and his friends have been playing together at his house for years. They are go-to guys for a number of local events in our area. They have developed into a very tight group of musicians who really enjoy playing together, and that enjoyment comes through in their performances. They are newcomers to our stage and have a wide circle of friends in Abita who will be there to cheer them on. They have fun and are fun to listen to.

Leroy Troy:
The presence of this very well-known musician from Nashville is a real coup for the Abita Springs Opry. He has a list of credentials that could fill a book. He currently appears as a regular on the Marty Stewart show on RFD TV, but that is only a small part of his career. He is a master banjo picker who performs in the style of the great Uncle Dave Macon or String Bean. He augments his expert picking with some great and entertaining antics with his instrument while playing. He has performed on some prestigious shows like the old TV series, Hee Haw. Also to his list of impressive credits are several appearances at the grandfather of them all, the Grand Old Opry. He will be in the area for other performances, and we are delighted that he has agreed to be on our stage. This is one you don’t want to miss.

The Crescent City Celtic Band: What else would you expect on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day? Jeff Shaw and his friends have been on our stage in the past and they are real crowd pleaser. Jeff can really work that fiddle and mandolin, and promises to provide some good ‘old foot stomping, hand clapping Celtic music to honor every Irishman’s favorite holiday.

On the Front Porch: Last Chance Bluegrass Band. This is a high-spirited energetic group from nearby Bedico. We have heard them at different jam sessions and they can really do some top-flight picking. Bluegrass fans will love this group, and we welcome them to the Opry.

April 21, 2012

The Petty Bones: A long time favorite of the Opry. Anne and Jerry Crowell are some of the favorite members of the Abita Opry family. They have a wonderful variety of traditional songs that they perform with some great harmonies. Anne has a very rich voice that enhances any song she performs, and Jerry loves to pick on that vintage Gibson tenor banjo that was given as a donation to the Opry. Harvey Jones on mandolin is always entertaining, and Bobby Belloni keeps the rhythm going on the bass.

The Bourbon Brass Band: The Bourbon Brass Band is a traditional New Orleans Jazz Band. The Brass bands go back to the turn of the 20th century when brass bands were hired to play as a funeral procession went to the cemetery. Many of the musicians also played in the dance halls and in the bawdy houses in storyville. They performed bluesey ragtime in those places. They blended these musical styles in the gospel tunes they played in the processions. The blending of these styles and the development of improvisational additions to the tunes all were important contributions to American classical music better known as Jazz.

Stale Bread Scottie and the Kitchen Men: This is a first-class jug band. They perform some very rich vintage songs. Some of their best songs are their version of songs that were originally written and performed by a relatively little-known but influential group, the Mississippi Sheiks, which played and recorded in the Mississippi Delta in the 1930s. The Sheiks originated songs that later became standards among the musicians who followed. Songs like "Sitting on Top of The World" were originated by the Sheiks. The Kitchen Men play these songs with a lot of energy and the group features one of the best washboard players you will ever hear. This group will prove to be real audience pleaser.

Johnny Dilks and his Country Band: This is a big group of musicians. Johnny really puts on a show. He performs some great standard country songs with the group's own twist. They provide a very interesting blend of country music augmented by a horn section. He has performed all over the country, and is now located in the New Orleans area. He has appeared at many local festivals and in clubs in the area. We had the pleasure of hearing Johnny at one of our jam sessions where we found out that he could yodel as well or better then most people who enhance their songs with that technique.

On the Front Porch: Mama's Family. This is another group who we are introducing to the Opry. Jackie Coyne and his "family" perform Gospel Bluegrass music. We have heard them locally and they are some very talented musicians, with the girls singing 4 part harmonies. They will set the porch on fire!

May 19, 2012

Pot luck String Band: This group, headed by long-time Abita Opry regular, Van Glynn, always brings a very strong traditional style to the stage. Van is a very talented multi-instrumentalist. He also has a very deep knowledge about the songs they present, and he offers some very informative vignettes of information about the history of the songs and the music itself. He is backed up by a very experienced group of musicians. They, like the other house bands, do a great job of kicking off the Opry shows in style.

Joe and Julie Manuel: Many of our Opry patrons have asked where Joe and Julie have been. Joe has a very long history with the Opry going all the way back to our predecessor show, "The Piney Woods Opry". He appeared back then, with a group named "Skunk Whittlin'". He later joined the Piney Woods Opry house band, the "Evening Star String Band". He also assisted in starting up the Abita Springs Opry and headed up our initial house band, the "Abita Strings". He and Julie have been absent from the stage since the Strings dissolved, but will return, along with Julie for this show. Julie is a real audience pleaser who has a very rich voice and a wonderful stage presence. Joe is recognized as one of the best guitar and mandolin pickers in the area, and, along with his partner Phil Patterson manufacture superior hand made guitars at the Abita Springs Guitar Company.

Alynda Lee and Hurray for the Riffraff: Alynda and her group appeared at the Abita Springs Music and Arts Festival last spring, and we decided then, that they needed to appear at our show. They have a very interesting style of acoustic music played in the traditionally with a country-like flair. They have garnered some great notoriety in the New Orleans area and were one of the many New Orleans based bands that had a spot on the HBO series, "Treme". Their appearance at the Opry is part of a kick-off tour formed by this group and several others. Alynda and her group are some of the extremely talented young people who have made their way to New Orleans and started by playing on the street for tips, but their talent and traditional style led them to become recognized as part of the great music scene in the Big Easy.

Spirit Family Reunion: It is hard to believe that a group of musicians would travel all the way from New York to perform at the Opry. The Brooklyn-based group contacted us last year after hearing about us and checking us out at our web site. After hearing them on the web, we decided to have them perform. They lit up the house with some of the most high-energy, spirit-filled music we have ever heard at the Opry. After a couple of standing ovations, these personable musicians are a must-have for a return appearance. They perform with traditional acoustic instrumental accompaniment, but their vocals and song choices and energetic presentation grabs the audience. Their style is infectious, and we are pleased to have them back. This will be a great way to cap our spring season.

On the Front Porch: In May, we will feature some of the musicians who are part of the show inside. The groups included are Sam Doores and the Tumbleweeds, Hurray for the Riffraff, and the Spirit Family Reunion. They wanted to use the Opry as the launching pad for their tour. These are very talented young musicians who are very well versed in the different forms of roots music that each group performs. This promises to be a very entertaining segway to the show.



Abita Opry


The Petty Bones

The Petty Bones

The Abita Stumps
The Abita Stumps

Leroy Troy
Leroy Troy

Abita Springs Music and Arts Festival - April 22, 2012

You will want to plan well in advance for this one. We are fortunate to be partnering with The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation for the second year in presenting this event. The Abita Springs museum committee sponsors the event that features the work of artists along with some great music and, of course, food and drinks. This proved to be one of our best attended festivals from last year. We still have some openings for artists.
The musicians are all from a group of very talented people who have, or still performing on the streets of New Orleans. Since we have begun to provide a place to perform for these folks, they have proven to be among some of the most talented musicians around. They enjoy coming to Abita Springs, and we love to have them here. They are well-versed in traditional music and perform it as well, of better than most.

The musical line up is as follows:

Washboard Chaz Blues Trio: A very well-known musician in New Orleans. All you have to do to find out how much he is in demand, all you have to do is check out the music listings in the New Orleans paper. He is all over town, at festivals, and at the Jazz Fest. Chaz presents some very vintage bluesy music with tremendous energy.

The Smoking Time Jazz Club: This group performs traditional jazz and vocals. They are presently performing around town, and a view of them on You Tube confirmed that we had to bring them to this festival. They are newcomers to Abita Springs' music scene, but are in the same vein as some of the other musicians who perform that style so well. We are looking forward to their appearance here.

Stale Bread Scottie and the Kitchen Men: They appeared at this festival last year, and will be coming from their appearance at the Opry the night before. They are one of the best jug bands around and are fun to watch and listen to.

Johnny Dilks and His Big Country Band: This group will fill up the stage. Johnny puts on a show featuring country music augmented by backup singers and a horn section. They promise to bring a lot of energy and a big sound.

Erika Lewis and Tuba Skinny: This group is becoming one of the most popular of the groups of young people who are currently performing traditional Jazz. Erika has a real gift in faithfully performing some of the early recording greats like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. The big group that backs her up is very solid with some very accomplished young musicians who blend the music beautifully. This group has performed at the Opry twice, and at a lot of other events on the North Shore. They received standing ovations each time they performed.

If you are an visual artist and want to participate, you can e-mail the Museum Committee chairperson, Lynnette Soules at lynnabita@hotmail.com

Other Opry Related Events:
The Opry will be presenting music at two other outdoor festivals this spring.

On March 19, we are partnering with the
Abita Springs Friends of the Park to provide entertainment for their annual Earth Day Festival. This is a great family-oriented event with a lot of ecologically themed educational and fun activities for the kids and a lot of entertainment for the grownups. The festival is in the afternoon and admission is free.

On May 20, we will host our annual Opry Fest. This event is produced entirely by the Opry. We will have a great afternoon of great music and good food to eat. We like to host this event to provide more work for local musicians, show gratitude for our loyal audience, and just have a great afternoon of music and fun in a relaxed atmosphere. Music is what we do, and we do not want to miss any opportunity to present it.

The music for the March 19 and May 20 is still being planned. We will post the schedules on our web site and we will send out a supplemental news letter.