Spotted Cat, New Orleans
Wow, best night out. Great music (We saw the New Orleans Jazz Vipers) and just for the price of drinks we would enjoy anyhow. Some swing dancers, some locals, some tourists, friendly bartenders (before it got real crowdeed, and went on really late (for us).
The best thing about Frenchman Street is if you don't like one band, there are several more free bars with music to checkout. Who needs Bourbon Street.
Dress Code: Casual
Small bar, always packed and always with local swing/jazzy/old timey music. No cover, bands pass a hat but we tipped well as it was some of the best music we heard all week. The Monday night we wre there, first we saw the Panorama jazz band, a rocking klezmer band, then it was the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, a local favorite, it would seem, as the place was packed, and everyone seemed friends in the place.
The drinks were cheapish, there was room to dance, and we heard accordions and stand up bass throughout the night. Definitely a highlight. Lots of things to do music wise on Frenchmen St. Easiest thing to do is just head down and see which of the 5-6 bars is your type.
This was ours.
Snug Harbor, d.b.a., the Apple Barrel and Spotted Cat are all near each other on Frenchman, near the corner of Chartes, and can be expected to provide live music from time to time. The rules for entrance vary, but at the Spotted Cat, one must order at least a beer to sit inside. However, the room fills up fast and patrons hang outside with bottle in their hand. I boot legged a jazz group using the mpeg recorder on my digital camera, and they weren't bothered in the least. Bart Ramsey and some friends were playing long into the night, selling home burned CDs between sets. The band wasn't electronic, but included a piano, electric guitar, drums, and stand-up string bass. A guest played trumpet with the band. Contact Bart directly by e-mail if you want a CD at email@example.com or go to the website at www.ramseyvaan.com
Dress Code: Casual. Don't wear jewelry to this joint, but don't come barefoot either. These are the best places to hear local New Orleans music.
The Spotted Cat is diametrically opposed to Snug Harbor in every way imaginable. It's accross the street, has no cover, has slot machines at the back of the one room bar, encourages dancing and looks more like a hippie college coffee house than anything else. The music is acoustic jazz straight out of your favorite fake book. If you've ever learned swing chords on the guitar and gotten intimate with an old Gibson archtop you'll know what you're in for.
Once again, this place was right up my alley and I could have stayed here a while were I not: 1) alone; and 2) in possession of some hot tips. A glass of red wine and a few standards and I was ready to move on.
this small but lively place is nice for a stop by while on Frenchmen Street. For a place so Lilliputian they always manage to have a band, a decent crowd and some room to spare.
Dress Code: the usual