It’s that time of year. A little over two weeks before I fly down to New Orleans. I’ve been watching concert schedules for a while, but now they begin to firm up AND become real to me. It requires planning and choices, along with balancing against anything else going on. Even though there is much to be posted, I already have an idea of how my week might stack up.

I arrive in New Orleans on Friday, March 12th, and right now, I would have to say that my week would begin at the Spotted Cat with the Cottonmouth Kings. A personal tradition. Enough said. Saturday is going to be tough: zydeco with Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. at the Rock and Bowl, the Rebirth Brass Band at Tipitina’s, or back at the Spotted Cat (below) with the Panorama Jazz Band (above) and Jazz Vipers. On Sunday, March 14th, the Rites of Swing in the afternoon at the Spotted Cat with Bruce Daigrepont at Tipitina’s later on.

The work week will require more moderation, but the music doesn’t stop. On Monday, March 15th, there’s the choice of Bob French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and the Jazz Vipers at the Spotted Cat. The rest of the week is a veritable who’s who of wide-ranging New Orleans music: the Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf; Irvin Mayfield’s NOJO Jam Session at his Jazz Playhouse; Kermit Ruffins at Vaughan’s Club; various acts at Preservation Hall; Bonerama and the Radiators at the Rock and Bowl; and last, but certainly not least, the Wild Magnolias and Bo Dollis, Jr. at Donna’s Bar and Grill.

Needless to say, the new month will bring more postings and confirmations of long-standing regular performances. In the meantime, I know there will be plenty of fine local music to enjoy.