Music Weekender: Michael Malarkey in New Orleans

How singer-songwriter Michael packed in the inspiration on his music weekend at The Roosevelt New Orleans.

How singer-songwriter Michael packed in the inspiration on his music weekend at The Roosevelt New Orleans.

For Michael Malarkey, music and travel go absolutely hand in hand. A first time visitor to the Big Easy, Michael wanted to do and see as much as possible: “I just want to dive in.” That’s what makes a true weekender. They just can’t get enough into those two precious days. The Roosevelt New Orleans, his base for the weekend, is poised at the heart of four of the city’s most colorful neighborhoods. Perfect for exploring:

Marigny
One of New Orleans’s oldest neighborhoods and often described as NOLA’s “best kept secret”. Marigny’s Washington Square Park teems with artists, and street performers, who are very friendly and happy to recommend a local jazz club or café.

Stay at… the Doubletree on the Eastern edge of the French Quarter for a very short walk into the heart of Marigny.

Hi-Ho Lounge, 2239 St Claude Avenue, LA 77017
Michael caught Brass-o-holics on his visit. They say: A distinctive blend of Go-Go Brass Funk. Michael says: “A super-legit eight piece band”. We say: Don’t miss this live music venue, bar, and restaurant with a bohemian vibe and a great rotating line-up of acts. Hang around at the bar and ask the performers for their insider tips for what live music acts will be best to catch on your trip.

The Praline Connection, 542 Frenchmen St, LA 70116
The true taste of New Orleans, all the classics are here: Okra, Catfish, Gumbo, Jambalaya, and BBQ. This local favorite opened its doors in 1990, delivering Louisiana-home style cooking to busy New Orleanian office workers. It’s the place to feel like a real local. Don’t leave without some of their Pralines – you can watch them being traditionally hand-dripped on site.

The French Quarter
New Orleans’s original music district, the iconic French Quarter is the reason many come to the city in the first place. Its beating heart is Bourbon Street, a bustling strip with jazz bars, cafés and live music being performed on every corner. The ultimate place to walk in the footsteps of the greats.

Stay at… the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Quarter for a more affordable option in the heart of the action on Gravier Street.

The Sazerac Bar, The Roosevelt New Orleans, 130 Roosevelt Way LA 70112
The place to experience New Orleans’s most famous cocktail – the Sazerac – a potent blend of cognac or whiskey, absinthe, bitters, and sugar. Hilton Master Mixologist, Russ Bergeron, prepared it for Michael exactly the way music legends including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley enjoyed it at this very bar.

One-Eyed Jack’s, 613 Toulouse Street LA 70130
This famous venue plays host to live jazz, funk, and also rock music. Chosen for Michael’s music weekender because of its eclectic mix, if you’re looking for a venue to help you broaden your musical horizons, this is the one.

Bywater
Nestled close to Marigny, Bywater’s streets are packed to the brim with galleries and thrift stores. Like the rest of the city’s districts, it is also home to a wealth of brilliant live music venues offering jazz and other styles. The best neighborhood to connect with NOLA’s younger, edgier, more emerging music scene – a great foil to classic jazz in the French Quarter.

Stay at… Homewood Suites New Orleans French Quarter nestled between The French Quarter, Marigny and Treme-Lafitte, and only a ten-minute taxi ride from Bywater.

Euclid Records, Bywater, 3401 Chartres Street, LA 70117
A mecca for lovers of vinyl records, Euclid’s well-informed staff are themselves great lovers of music, and always ready with a great recommendation or hidden gem.

Uptown
A varied neighborhood lying on the east bank of the Mississippi river, to the west of The French Quarter, Marigny, and Bywater, Uptown is home to both of New Orleans’s two colleges – Tulane University and Loyola University. Standout local music venues include Tipitina’s and the Willow bar.

Stay at… the Hampton Inn New Orleans St. Charles Street is located in the Lower Garden District, a short walk from the Uptown’s oak-lined, 19th century avenues.

Jacques-Imo’s, 8324 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118
This foodie hotspot tempts with creole soul food done well. Smothered Chicken with Biscuits, Shrimp Etouffee, Carpetbagger Steak and the Blackened Redfish Michael opted for on his visit are representative of the authentic flavors on offer.