Screw Bourbon Street. Okay, maybe I am a bit harsh – many say there is pride on Bourbon Street. I say that there are communicable diseases on Bourbon Street. If you don’t believe me, then be there around 8 am each morning when they pressure wash the street with Mr. Clean. No guff.
If you want to get a gritty but genuine feel for the quality of music in New Orleans, hit Frenchmen Street in the Marigny any night of the week. There are a dozen plus venues supporting multiple musical acts each evening – early and late acts – from blues to rockabilly to trad jazz to brass and then some. All you have to do is wander from Cafe Negril, to Maison, to Blue Nile and many, many more to get a sense of the city and its musical riches. Pick up a trinket at the night market next to the Spotted Cat and then grab a late night hot dog at Dat Dog – hit the back of Cafe Negril at 2 am for a killer taco. For reals.
Most places do not charge a cover, or if they do it is only for the later show so get in early – the price of admission is usually ordering a drink…and guess what? You were probably doing that anyhow.