By Lolis Eric Elie
For nearly 20 years, the Louisiana Music Factory has been the go-to place for local music. Indeed, when someone asks where they can find the music we play on our show, we usually direct them to the store’s website.
“It’s all things Louisiana, from the early traditional jazz to New Orleans rhythm and blues, to funk to brass bands to Mardi Gras Indians to Cajun and zydeco to gospel,” said Barry Smith, the store’s owner. “It’s pretty eclectic like the music in the region.”
One reason I’m a fan of the store is that they take an almost evangelical approach to promoting local music and musicians. They go beyond ordering product and putting it on the shelves. Their ongoing in-store concert series has been a boon to musicians who might otherwise get far more limited exposure.
Wednesday at 11 a.m. the in-store DVD-signing will feature stars of ‘Treme,’ including David Simon (our executive producer), Wendell Pierce (Antoine Batiste), Rob Brown (Delmond Lambreaux), Michiel Huisman (Sonny), Khandi Alexander (LaDonna Batiste-Williams) and Lucia Micarelli (Annie Tee).
“From the very beginning, we decided that we wanted live music and so we put performances as part of the business plan,” Smith said.
“It’s most Saturday afternoons throughout the year. During Jazz Fest we do a much bigger schedule on the weekdays surrounding the Fest so as not to compete with what’s going on at the Fairgrounds.
“A lot of our regular customers are total New Orleans fans and they were just buzzing about the series, so it felt like a great tie-in to do this while all these fans are here from around the country.”
The store is worth visiting even when it doesn’t feature ‘Treme.’ But, if you’re in town, why not kill two birds with one stone?