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NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd (5:00PM- 11:00 PM)
The Holy Trinity Cathedral is inviting Grecophiles of all ages out to Bayou St. John for goat burgers, traditional music and dancing, and regional libations
The Convention Center (6:00PM-9:00 PM)
An experience for both foodies and wine connoisseurs with live music by Flow Tribe
Zephyr Field (7:00 PM)
New Orleans baseball against the Omaha Storm Chasers
One Eyed Jacks (7:30)
Sketchy Characters Productions brings you a comedy sketch and web series that plays off the madness of the French Quarter
Shadowbox Theatre (8:00 PM)
Straightforward conversational drama explores one area's gentrification through 50 years
Art Klub, 513 Elysian Fields Ave (8:00 PM)
An interactive and sparkling performance presented by Nari Tomassetti
The Little Gem Saloon (8:00 PM)
The fourth evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Howlin’ Wolf (9:00 PM)
A funky two night celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Rock around Lee Circle tonight
Blues Rock, with a Side of Bacon
Major Bacon Talks About Their Sound, DIY Recording & Free Food
For New Orleans music fans who don't mind some cholesterol with their rock, there's a band in town that offers a particularly meaty combination: mixing a good live show with none other than bacon.
NOLA Defender sat down with Dave Renson and Eloise Davis of Major Bacon to talk about making music without a record label, and their grease-filled brand of lagniappe.
Major Bacon is comprised of Dave Renson on guitar/vocals, Eloise Davis on bass, and Bill Hjortsberg behind the drums. Although Renson and Davis met while playing with the Bourbon Cowboys it was the death a good friend, harmonica legend Pat Ramsey, that spurred the formation of Major Bacon.
While all of the members made appearances with Ramsey, Renson played with him for 11 years. After their loss they teamed up to find a drummer. It was in the New Yorker Hjortsberg that they found their missing piece. The three of them had crossed paths many times throughout their musical careers but this time was different.
According to Renson, "Bill was in the right place at the right time."
So how do they mix bacon and music? Major Bacon has a local tradition that's grown quite popular among fans: BLTs. Free sandwiches consisting of bacon lettuce and tomato are provided for fans at many of their shows.
"In this economy you've got to give them more than just a show sometimes," Davis said.
They make the sandwiches themselves, and are never saddled with leftovers by the end of the night.
But the unique name was not born of pig. It may seem that back-fat beckoned as the three came together to name their trio, but that's not the case. In reality, their name has nothing to do with the greasey treat. The BLTs are just a prime opportunity for playing with words.
"It's actually named after my grandfather whom I've never met" Renson said, "Growing up I saw this little desk plaque...it said Major Bacon on it. I always said 'Someday I'm gunna have a band named Major Bacon".
Fast forward a couple decades and his childhood dream has come true. Major Bacon tours all over the country and is really starting to find their niche. They consider themselves somewhere in the realm of a New Orleans influenced "Blues rock jam...and a little funk too" explained the front-man and bassist.
To paint a clearer picture on what their style sounds like, Renson said he gets his influence from, "The rock guitar gods, Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck". He gets his blues style from a list of greats including Albert King, BB King, and Albert Collins. Eloise idolized jazz bassist Christian McBride "and also Geddy Lee - I'm a huge Rush fan".
Major Bacon is currently working without an official label.
"We don't neccessarily feel like you need a record label these days" Eloise said. "Most of our stuff is all live that we recorded and we master it ourselves".
They went on to explain that it can cost bands quite a lot to produce an album these days. Often times bands don't even plan on making any money on an album, they just do it for the publicity.
"The old model of the top-down record company is quickly disintegrating," Davis said.
While most of their sales are at live shows, the band embraces New Orleans as one of the few remaining cities where local music can be bought in record stores.
In regards to the future, "Yeah, we're gunna write some songs", Renson joked. Eloise clarified that "We're gunna write some songs and get an album out sometime next year".
Major Bacon plays at The King Pin Bar on Saturday, Oct. 13. Admission is free and, naturally, there will BLTs. The show starts at 10 p.m. and the address is 1307 Lyons St. so make sure to catch the action.
For more videos of Major Bacon's performances, check here.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
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