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The Best Blues Bars In New Orleans
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The Best Blues Bars In New Orleans

Picture of Kate Harrington
Updated: 13 January 2017
There’s a lot of music history that originates in New Orleans. They’ve got the whole seaport culmination of cultures, and it’s allowed New Orleans to be home to jazz, soul, funk, and the blues. The blues, among the other genres, is still lingering today, and here are some of the best places to hear it.
New Orleans by night | © Wally Gobetz/Flickr
New Orleans by night | © Wally Gobetz/Flickr
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Maple Leaf Bar

The Maple Leaf is both a bar and a music venue, hosting some of the best live blues acts in the city. One of the more popular bands is the Rebirth Brass Band, and they frequent the Maple Leaf every Tuesday. It’s also a full bar, and the drinks are affordable, even for Bourbon Street. If not the best, the Maple Leaf is a spectacular venue to see live blues and jazz.

Maple Leaf Bar, 8316 Oak St, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-866-9359

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The Funky Pirate Blues Club

A local and tourist spot on the infamous Bourbon Street, The Funky Pirate is an unruly dive bar that offers live blues. Big Al Carson is the go-to lead for this club, and it’s never a disappointment. Everything is reasonably priced, and even if it weren’t, seeing Big Al for one night would make it worthwhile. Funky Pirate Blues Club is the venue for a lively blues show.

Funky Pirate Blues Club, 727 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-523-1960

Big Al Carson & the Blues Masters, with a sailor at the drums | © Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr
Big Al Carson & the Blues Masters, with a sailor at the drums | © Official U.S. Navy Page/Flickr
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Mother-in-Law Lounge

Since the mid-90s, Mother-in-Law Lounge has been one of the premiere blues (soul, funk, jazz…) bars in New Orleans. The owners are unnaturally friendly and make Mother-in-Law one of the most welcoming lounges. With an unbelievable track record, Mother-in-Law is haunted with talents like Fats Domino, Al Johnson, and others. It’s always a surprise who’s going to play. Located in the outskirts of historic Tremé, Mother-in-Law is a true New Orleans music lounge.

Mother-in-Law Lounge, 1500 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-947-1078

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Ooh Pooh Pah Doo Bar

A local hub for the best live blues and dancing in New Orleans, Ooh Pooh Pah Doo Bar is the authentic New Orleans experience. This is a lively place. The bartenders are usually on the dance floor. The drinks are cheap, and the music is unbeatable. It varies between all the New Orleans genres: blues, soul, funk, and jazz. However, the band is well seasoned and knows how to work a crowd.

Ooh Pooh Pah Doo Bar, 1931 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-435-3384

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Mid City Rock N’ Bowl

This is more of a tourist attraction, but the music is always fantastic. There’s bowling, too. It’s a combination between both a music venue and a bowling alley. And a bar in between. The drinks and fare are reasonable, and you can fluctuate between live music or bowling (or you can have them both).

Mid City Rock N’ Bowl, 3016 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA, USA, +1 504-861-1700

Rock N' Bowl band | © Kristen Bobo/Flickr
Rock N’ Bowl band | © Kristen Bobo/Flickr