The live music options in New Orleans this week include a much-acclaimed singer-songwriter and a Carnival kickoff party.
Lost Bayou Ramblers
7:30 p.m. Thursday, New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.), $25 and up
The Lost Bayou Ramblers, the adventurous contemporary Cajun band that has ventured far outside the genre, won’t be rambling much longer. The band recently announced that, after 20 years of nonstop activity, they plan to take an extended break following the upcoming summer touring season. They’ll be going out on a high note: Last weekend, the Ramblers rolled up to New York for the Grammy Awards; the band’s acclaimed “Kalenda” won as best regional roots music album. On Thursday, they headline the “Save Our Sponge” concert, a benefit for the Woodlands Conservancy, a nonprofit that works to preserve south Louisiana’s coastal woodlands, which act as a barrier against storms. The show opens with pianist Tom McDermott at 7:30 p.m., followed by the Ramblers. Go to woodlandsconservancy.org for more info.
8 p.m. Friday, Orpheum Theater, $63-$103
John Prine, the proverbial songwriter’s songwriter, has rung up more well-deserved accolades than just about anyone this side of Bob Dylan. A little bit country, a little bit folk and all Prine, he creates indelible characters and describes heavy fare with a folksy manner and sly wit that make it all go down easily. He is reportedly finishing up his first album of new compositions since 2005’s “Fair & Square.” Prine was just in town to take part in the live national radio broadcast of “Live From Here with Chris Thile” from the Saenger Theatre; on Sunday, he’ll embark from the port of New Orleans aboard an Americana-themed cruise. But first he’ll hold court at the Orpheum Theater, on a bill with alternative country singer-songwriter Margo Price.
John “Papa” Gros Carnival Kickoff
10 p.m. Friday, Tipitina’s, $15
Keyboardist, singer and songwriter John “Papa” Gros knows New Orleans music inside and out, but can also work outside the genre; he recently substituted for keyboardist Bill Payne at several Little Feat gigs in Jamaica. Gros is best known as the leader of funk band Papa Grows Funk, which disbanded in 2013 with a final show at Tipitina’s; the band’s legacy included a 12-year Monday night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar. Gros recently announced plans for Papa Grows Funk to reunite for “One More Monday” at Tipitina’s on May 7, the night after the 2018 New Orleans Jazz Fest closes. But first, he’ll lead his own band for his third annual Carnival Kickoff concert at Tipitina’s on Friday. They‘ll serve up a platter of Mardi Gras music, reprising “Carnival Time,” “Big Chief,” “Go To the Mardi Gras” and other seasonal favorites. The Crooked Vines open.
8 p.m. Monday, Joy Theater, sold out
BØRNS was born Garrett Clark Borns in rural Michigan but found his place, artistically speaking, in Los Angeles. His lush, contemporary brand of electro/indie pop — it seems “indie,” even though he’s signed to major label Interscope Records — is informed by his airy, androgynous voice and studiously eccentric fashion sense, the latter of which favors Gucci. His debut full-length album, 2015’s “Dopamine,” yielded the single “Electric Love." His second full-length, “Blue Madonna,” came out on Jan. 12; the title track and “God Save Our Young Blood” both feature Lana Del Rey. The single “Faded Heart” boasts both a mariachi band and the high-pitched, otherworldly drone of a theremin. Most dates on BØRNS’ current tour are sold out, including Monday’s stop at the Joy Theater. Charlotte Cardin and Mikky Ekko open.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY SHOWS
Folk-blues guitarist Spencer Bohren is backed by his Whippersnappers at Snug Harbor for two sets.
Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie pull into Rock ‘N’ Bowl for Zydeco Night.
Acclaimed south Louisiana rapper Dee-1 brings his Slingshot David Tour to the House of Blues. The House of Blues also hosts the Bon Jovi tribute band Slippery When Wet.
Blues-based guitarist Papa Mali plugs in at Chickie Wah Wah.
Jazz singer Germaine Bazzle teams up with pianist Michael Pellera at Snug Harbor.
Contraflow recreates arena rock hits of the 1980s by Journey, Foreigner, Dio, Motley Crue, Rush et al at Southport Hall.
Celebrated guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson fronts his Electric Trio at the House of Blues; singer-songwriter Andrew Duhon opens the show.
Horn-heavy Latin band Asheson is at Rock ‘N’ Bowl.
Modern jazz ensemble Astral Project touches down at Snug Harbor.
Hear the Gentilly Groovemasters, featuring guitarist Brian Seeger, at Snug Harbor.
Singer-songwriter Alex McMurray is joined by saxophonist Joe Cabral and bassist James Singleton at Chickie Wah Wah.