There's always a place for Joe Krown at the Maple Leaf Bar. Not only is he a prominent member of the New Orleans music scene, but the house organ actually belongs to him.
"There are countless players that don't necessarily own an organ or have the means to get one around," Krown said, "I just wanted to have a club in town that really had an organ to support having that sound."
Another attraction for the Maple Leaf's Sunday crowd is the free boiled shrimp (or crawfish) that's included in the $8 cover, making it an unbeatable deal with a tasty meal to go with the tunes.
"I don't know whether we're promoting boiled shrimp or if the boiled shrimp are promoting us, but we've been playing the Maple Leaf for over five years now," Krown joked.
Krown, a New York native, originally came to New Orleans in 1992 to join Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's band. After Brown's death in 2005, Krown decided to form a classic trio with drums and a guitar. He immediately thought of Walter "Wolfman" Washington.
"I really kind of sought Walter out to try to do this," Krown said. "He was on board for the job. As soon as I said 'organ trio' his eyes lit up. We started trying some drummers and the magic came with Russell."
Russell Batiste is the drummer for the Meters and Washington leads his own band, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and the Roadmasters. Despite the members' other commitments, Sundays find the trio at the Maple Leaf Bar in a city adored by musicians, including Krown.
"There is no place in the world that I have ever seen like New Orleans. There are so many music clubs," Krown said. "For me, as a musician, I can have a full schedule--52 weeks a year--and be home and sleeping in my bed every night. It's rare that you can do that as a musician. In most cities, you have to work a 200-mile radius. I have a better quality of life here."
Check out the Joe Krown Trio at the Maple Leaf (8316 Oak street) on Nov. 25 and most Sundays for $8. There will be boiled shrimp to feed your hunger and great music to feed your soul.
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