Even the ambient music in New Orleans is worth listening to!
One of my favorite happy hour locations is Luke’s Restaurant – 1/2 price well drinks (among other specials) and 50 CENT OYSTERS!!! (Don’t tell anyone. I still want to find space at the bar when I go.) Instead of piping in some canned music, the staff makes their own playlist on an iPod … and it’s classic New Orleans stuff. They even have Allen Toussaint songs actually played by Allen Toussaint.
It’s not just upscale places that treat you to good music. At Popeye’s the other day (yup – chicken & biscuits) the canned music was John Hiatt, Professor Longhair, and Anders Osborne, all in a row. Hm. So what’s John Hiatt doing on a rotation of Louisiana musicians? The most iconic of his touring bands (and occasional recording band) – the Goners – was an all-Louisiana rhythm section including the legendary Sonny Landreth. Whomever is programming the recorded music at Popeye’s sure knows their stuff.