The options for live music in New Orleans this week include a country singer-songwriter and a (mostly) acoustic ensemble from Texas.
9 p.m. Thursday, Tipitina’s, $25 general admission, $30 VIP
Georgia singer-songwriter Corey Smith has good taste in opening acts. Over the years, the then-unknown bands who have preceded him onstage have included the Zac Brown Band, Florida Georgia Line and Brantley Gilbert, all of whom have gone on to become arena headliners. Smith, meanwhile, has spent years building a sizable nationwide following more gradually as an independent artist; he sold tens of thousands of albums without the backing of a major record. He finally made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2013 and scored a legitimate country hit with “If I Could Do It Again.” His most recent release, “While the Gettin’ Is Good,” was the first of his albums that he didn’t produce himself. Instead, he entrusted veteran country music producer Keith Stegall to steer his acoustic compositions in a more radio-friendly direction. Jacob Powell and Shawn Williams open for Smith at Tipitina’s on Thursday, meaning they are likely destined for stardom.
Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes
4 p.m. Thursday, Armstrong Park, free admission
10 p.m. Wednesday, Maple Leaf, tickets at the door
For 16 years, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes have churned out an ambitious form of funk-rock infused with elements of jazz and an active sense of humor. They’ve come up with an equally ambitious plan to celebrate the band’s 16th anniversary: Every Wednesday night in November, they’ll perform one of their albums in its entirety at the Maple Leaf. The series kicked off Nov. 1 with the Dirty Notes’ 2002 debut album, “Bandicoot.” It continues this week with “Pain, Pleasure, Fear and Opera”; to recreate that heavily produced album, the band will be joined by special guest violinist Harry Hardin and vocalist Darcy Malone. In addition to the full album, expect to hear selections from the Dirty Notes’ latest release, “Sketch,” along with unreleased songs and other obscurities. Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes will also perform a more standard show for Thursday’s final edition of this season’s “Jazz in the Park” free concert series in Armstrong Park, joined by Radiators guitarist Camile Baudoin.
Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield & Cirque du Freque
9 p.m. Saturday, Tipitina’s, $16
Twenty years ago, Basin Street Records opened for business with the release of trumpeter Kermit Ruffins’ “The Barbecue Swingers Live,” a concert album recorded at Tipitina’s. Since then, Ruffins and fellow trumpeter Irvin Mayfield have been Basin Street’s most-recorded artists, accounting for more than two dozen releases between them. Appropriately enough, they share equal billing on “A Beautiful World,” the ambitious new Basin Street release marking the company’s 20th anniversary. “A Beautiful World,” which recently topped Billboard’s national jazz album chart, was produced by Mayfield and features dozens of musicians exploring the full scope of New Orleans music. Ruffins and Mayfield join forces for a Basin Street anniversary celebration at Tipitina’s this weekend. Mayfield will be featured with Cirque du Freque, his electronic R&B trio. Three ticket options are available: $16 general admission; $26 for admission plus a CD copy of "The Barbecue Swingers Live"; or $41 for admission plus the new, green vinyl reissue of “The Barbecue Swingers Live."
Iron & Wine
9 p.m. Saturday, Joy Theater, $29.50-$39.50
Iron & Wine is Sam Beam, a bearded singer-songwriter from Texas. For more than a decade, he has recorded and performed under the Iron & Wine moniker, applying his hushed, intimate vocals to mostly acoustic and sometimes poetic ruminations. In addition to releasing pre-Iron & Wine recordings via his own label’s “Archive Series,” Beam issued the sixth, full-length Iron & Wine studio album, “Beast Epic,” in August via Sub Pop Records. On it, he and his cohorts step back from the fuller, some might say cluttered, arrangements of his latter-day albums in favor of a simpler, more stripped-down approach. Beam is joined by a full band for his current tour, which stops at the Joy Theater on Saturday. John Moreland opens the show.
Other notable shows
Romanian-born and New York-based pianist Lucian Ban teams up with violinist and viola-player Mat Maneri at Snug Harbor.
Chubby Carrier is featured for Zydeco Night at Rock ‘N’ Bowl.
Vocalist John Boutte and his Hot Calais ensemble play two sets at Snug Harbor.
Modern jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. leads a quintet at Snug Harbor.
Creole guitarist and banjoist Don Vappie strums for the free, all-ages “Nickel-a-Dance” show Sunday afternoon at the Maison on Frenchmen Street. His rescheduled appearance, starting at 4 p.m., concludes the fall season of the traditional jazz concert series.
Galactic drummer Stanton Moore is joined by avant-jazz saxophonist Skerik and trumpeter Eric Bloom at Snug Harbor.
Lil Peep is at the House of Blues.