New Orleans is a city that breathes music. From the large arenas to small clubs to bands and minstrels playing in the streets for tips, you can always find a place to listen to music in the city. In addition, the history of music in New Orleans is what became the blueprint for rock n roll, jazz, R&B and new styles such as hip hop and even heavy metal. With so much music how does one sift through the shows and artists to find the songs and players that really resonates? Well down on Frenchmen street there is shop that specializes in the music from New Orleans and Louisiana: The Louisiana Music Factory.
Louisiana Music Factory was started in 1992 by Barry Smith and Jerry Brock ( Also one of the founders of WWOZ.) Originally located in the French Quarter on North Peters street, LMF was started to showcase the rich musical diversity of New Orleans and all of Louisiana. Traditional Jazz, Zydeco, R&B, Blues, Gospel, Funk are all prominently featured and celebrated so folks can learn and take New Orleans Music with them. In 1996 the LMF moved to Decatur street in a two story building and the second floor was completely devoted to vintage vinyl. One of the special and unique features of the LMF, is the freakish amount of knowledge the staff has about all genres of music, so don’t be afraid to go in with questions. Many of the staff have been there for decades and have spent most of their lives in the music business and their ability to teach and guide through the stacks is something of a lost art in the days of online shopping. Curiosity and learning are integral parts of listening to music and the LMF wants you to really get into the music so there are about a dozen listening stations, and, on the weekends LMF features live music. From Trombone Shorty to Galactic and all in-between, the artists always support the LMF because they know their music is getting the best of attention will most likely end up in someone’s collection.
Vinyl has made a huge comeback and you will find all the New Orleans greats on vinyl with more being released each week. Located at 421 Frenchmen street, right in the heart of the newest hip street of live music in New Orleans: Frenchmen Street. Step out of the clubs and into the Louisiana Music Factory to check out the artist you just heard. You may discover something new and wonderful.