The Spotted Cat is an intimate, slightly formal bar for all those cool cats and kittens who enjoy live jazz with a local flavor. This place, however, is for purists — if you're looking for flamboyant performances and gimmicks, you won't find them here. Jazz outfits such as the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Jeremy Lyons and the Deltabilly Boys, and Tin Men perform at the Spotted Cat on a regular basis.
John Austin tickles the ivories at this piano bar from Wednesday through Saturday, but the real attraction is the Carousel Bar & Lounge itself at Hotel Monteleone. It's a carousel and really does revolve - all the time. The music goes until late and the cocktails served are out of this world like the "Truffletini" which is a mix of Bailey's Irish Cream with liqueurs. The ambiance has a slight feel of a Moulin Rouge setting, with bold lighting and motifs.
This is one of those places that make you wonder if they ever close. Open doors and no cover charge lure tourists and locals to listen to some of the best music in town. Authentic jazz that is loud and lively is almost non-stop from mid-afternoon to the wee hours of the morning at Maison Bourbon. Players include Wallace Davenport, Steve Slocum and Tommy Yetta. Patrons must be 21 or older. There is a one-drink minimum.
If you are down on Bourbon Street and your feet are tired from walking and you have had your fill of raucous mayhem, you need only walk a little further to find this famous bar. Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar is (as its name implies) located in a former blacksmith's shop and safe house for smugglers during the 1800s. It boasts of having survived the fire that burned down the French Quarter in the late 1800s and being the oldest building to house a bar in the United States. In the back of the bar, a musician plays a grand piano and croons through drunken sing-a-longs like Piano Man and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling. The bar has reasonably priced drinks compared to many of its Bourbon Street counterparts.
Fancy good music and a cold beer at the end of your day? Head to d.b.a., where they host live performances and serve draft beer, Belgian draft beer, and hand-drawn ales. There is also a wine list, a whiskey list and a brandy list. The amount of liquor served here is mind-boggling. If you're there for the live music, you won't be disappointed.
While the clubs in the French Quarter usually get most of the attention, they are not the only ones that hold good times with even better music. This hot spot in the Carrollton District does require a cab ride, but is well worth the fare. A funky but fun atmosphere characterizes this club that is popular mainly for dancing. Club goers pick their spots then move and groove to the sounds of blues, zydeco and R&B.
There are several bars on Bourbon Street that are indistinguishable from one another after several drinks. Razzoo Bar & Patio separates itself from the others with an incredible back courtyard, ample seating and live music that is usually pretty good. The musicians here play with soul, which is a rare thing to hear on Bourbon Street. Drink prices are reasonable and there is a daily three-for-one happy hour.
Funky Pirate, this premier blues club on Bourbon Street features Big Al Carson and the Blues Masters and offers great drinks at local prices. It is not unusual to find a bouncer standing outside one of the many entrances with a sign declaring, "No cover, come on in!" With that kind of open-door policy it is hard to resist the blaring blues riff created by the talented guitarist. Plain and simple, if you want blues, this is the place to visit.
Loud and boisterous are two good words to describe this less than discreet club. If you have never experienced a leather and Levi's bar, you may want to see this one. Chosen as one of the top 10 leather bars in the country, Rawhide has developed quite the reputation. Should you be in town during Mardi Gras, this is the place to go for a unique drag show.