The live music options in New Orleans this week include three prominent south Louisiana guitarists, plus a nostalgic ’90s tour and an arena-sized heavy metal Christmas-themed show.
Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters
6 p.m. Thursday, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, $13.50 (discounts available for children, students, seniors and Ogden members)
10:30 p.m. Saturday, Maple Leaf Bar, tickets at the door.
With his crisp guitar, warm purr of a voice and a sly, sunny grin more Cheshire cat than wolf, Walter “Wolfman” Washington has steered the Roadmasters' smooth synthesis of funk, soul, and rhythm and blues for three decades. The Wolfman cut his teeth with New Orleans R&B greats Lee Dorsey, Irma Thomas, David Lastie Sr. and Johnny Adams before setting out on his own. From the musicians' biographies to their collective sound, you’d be hard pressed to find a more quintessentially New Orleans band than the Roadmasters. They’ll make multiple appearances this week in celebration of Washington’s 74th birthday, including an early evening showcase Thursday at the Ogden and a more typical late-night birthday gig on Saturday at the Maple Leaf.
7 p.m. Friday, Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.), $25
Since he first made a name for himself in the late great zydeco king Clifton Chenier’s band, southwest Louisiana’s Sonny Landreth has emerged as one of the greatest, most innovative living slide guitarists. His unique technique allows him to fret notes and play chords behind the slide, giving him a whole range of sonic options. He’s collaborated with everyone from Eric Clapton and John Hiatt to Jimmy Buffett and Mark Knopfler. His current album, “Recorded Live in Lafayette,” is nominated for a Grammy Award as best contemporary blues album. Landreth rarely visits New Orleans other than during the spring festival season. On Friday, the “King of Slydeco” will plug in at the Old U.S. Mint’s 150-seat third-floor performance studio for an early evening show, giving fans a rare opportunity to hear him in such an intimate, sonically pristine setting.
9 p.m. Thursday, Le Petit Theatre (616 S. Peters St.), $80 general admission (also includes admission to either Osborne’s Friday or Saturday show at Tipitina’s)
10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Tipitina’s (501 Napoleon Ave.), $32 advance, $35 day of show, $60 for two-night pass
Anders Osborne’s schedule is jam-packed year-round with songwriting, producing other artists’ recordings and, frequently, touring. The guitarist inevitably finds his way home to New Orleans around the holidays but continues to stay busy with a series of shows that qualify as annual traditions. On Thursday at Le Petit Theatre, he’ll host “Anders Osborne’s Living Room,” a solo acoustic performance/fundraiser for the Can’d Aid Foundation’s “Send Me a Friend” program. The program provides a national network of “sober friends” to support musicians and music industry professionals while on tour. On Friday and Saturday, Osborne presides over his sixth annual Holiday Spectacular at Tipitina’s. Special guests for Friday include Rickie Lee Jones, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Ivan Neville and Mike Dillon. On Saturday, the guests are Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, Deacon John and Ivan Neville. Singer-songwriter Andrew Duhon opens both nights.
8 p.m. Tuesday, Chickie Wah Wah (2828 Canal St.), tickets at the door.
Michael Cerveris is a Tony Award-winning Broadway actor who inhabits an ever-growing list of TV and movie roles. But he’s also a musician with varied tastes, tastes that have grown only more varied since he started spending much of his time in New Orleans. Loose Cattle is his country/Americana collaboration with singer Kimberly Kaye. The combo has just released “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” a collection of nontraditional Christmas songs by the likes of Tom Waits, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Robert Earl Keen. Several south Louisiana musicians help out, including pianist Tom McDermott, trombonist Mark Mullins, the Iguanas’ Rod Hodges and members of the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Cerveris and Kaye gather up their Loose Cattle for a celebration of “Seasonal Affective Disorder” at Chickie Wah Wah on Tuesday; expect lots of local musicians to sit in.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY SHOWS
Hear bassist Grayson Brockamp & the New Orleans Wildfire Band intermingle soul, R&B and jazz at Snug Harbor.
The I Love the ’90s Tour brings Vanilla Ice, Salt N Pepa, Rob Base, Kid ’n Play, Tone-Loc, Color Me Badd and Young MC to the Smoothie King Center.
Paul Sanchez & His Rolling Roadshow showcase the songs of Bob Dylan at Chickie Wah Wah.
The Mixed Nuts host a disco party at Rock 'N' Bowl to celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Saturday Night Fever."
Modern jazz saxophonist John Ellis returns to his former hometown for two sets at Snug Harbor with a quartet that includes New York-based Ruben Rogers on bass and Mike Moreno on guitar.
Contraflow rocks Rock ’N’ Bowl with faithful, full-bodied covers of arena rock anthems by Journey, Rush, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Foreigner and many more.
Trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom hosts his “Really Tacky Holiday Show” at Chickie Wah Wah.
Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg is at Tipitina’s.
Moroccan-born guitarist Mahmoud “Mood” Chouki fuses the music of his home country with flamenco and other influences at Snug Harbor.
Smooth jazz singer Phillip Manuel presents his holiday season show at Snug Harbor.
Singer Kate Fagan and pianist Donna Jean team up for the "Ho Ho Ho Holiday Show" at the Allways Lounge & Cabaret.
Traditional New Orleans pianist Steve Pistorius steps out with a program of ragtime, stride and early jazz at Snug Harbor.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra stages its heavy metal Christmas extravaganza at the Smoothie King Center.