Thursday, January 3, 2019

NOLA Jazzfest 2019, Artist Predictions

The lineup for the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be announced very soon (hopefully next week) but we got the early scoop...

Actually no we don't...but since it is fun to predict, lets look into the crystal ball and guess who will be and who should be playing.

We will exclude the brass bands and local acts (even though they are truly the main reason we go) including nationally touring NOLA acts like Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Galactic and Trombone Shorty who will all be there. Lets just talk about the bigger national touring artists for now....We will focus more on locals closer to the show.

To get in the southern festive NOLA mood, here is a great video done by Jeronimo Acero that my friend the fantastic Lu Brow sent north to warm me up during the winter.
Now on to the predictions....

This is the 50th year of Jazzfest and it is going to be special. An extra day has been added to the first weekend and one of the worst kept secrets is special indeed, we will count it as our first prediction (so we can get one right):

The Rolling Stones
They will be playing Thursday May 2nd and we will be there to cheer the old bastards on.

Widespread Panic
They are touring again come March and knowing these guys, it seems obvious a Jazz Fest will def be added, either weekend. Possibility always exists that they play Orpheum or their own show as well late night and skip the Fest proper though.

George Clinton
On his final world tour it seems like the P-Funk would be well served with a stop down at the best festival in the country. I could see Clinton and crew blowing out the Congo stage in a headlining set.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
This is a long shot but...There were a few shows last year with Nils Lofgren filling in for Pancho, supposedly they are playing a few Canadian shows early in the year...would be mega for the Horse to hit the Fest.

Gary Clark Jr.
Since we are talking guitar slingers how about Gary Clark Jr. graduating from the Blues Tent which he nearly burned down in 2012 to one of the main stages headlining slots? He has new music due in 2019 as well, so let's slot him in.

Florida Georgia Line
A new album from the semi-country outfit and only announced tour dates are for Australia in March, looks like these guys could be at the fest (ideally on a day we are not). Every year one pop/country act seems to headline so we will pick these guys.

She was supposed to be releasing an album this past fall, so the music is almost ready (but who really knows these days) and she would be a really easy fit into the festival's positive vibes and could easily headline the Gentilly or Congo Stages at this point.

With their Black Album coming this spring a possible headlining set on the Gentilly stage seems like a pretty easy fit.

Flaming Lips
Continuing the theme of 90's rockers possibly playing The Lips also have a new album due right before the Fest so perhaps they join in on the fun. Having seen them before, they would be a great addition to any festival lineup.

Michael Franti and Spearhead
These positive vibration reggae rockers have played the festivals multiple times before and with a new record coming out this month it seems like a return visit is in order. Some sunny tunes under the hot bright skies will be delightful.

Ryan Bingham
An Americana/Country artist who is well respected but not super well known and has a new record due out in early 2019? Sounds like a spot on the Fais Do-Do stage is in order.

Sun Volt
Did you read our Bingham sentence above? The exact same holds true for Sun Volt.

Ty Segall
He (along with Weezer) is on the immensely underwhelming Coachella announcement (seriously, Jaden Smith?!?) which is the worst lineup they have put out in years...but RtBE loves Ty's Freedom Goblin record and ranked in high in our year end round up. His cover record was solid as well and he could be a good fit as an early slot on the Gentilly Stage.

The Raconteurs
With a new album on the way in early 2019, and a few tour dates mentioned, it would be really really really really really really really great if they could play the second weekend of the Fest. Would give up all of the above (including the stones) to catch the Rac's once again in the bright sun of Jazzfest as their '08 set was mega.

Hippies Invade the Crescent City

RtBE got some inside info. Phish will not be playing the fest, but looks like a reuniting Vida Blue and Mike Gordon will be doing late night sets. String Cheese Incident will also make their mark again down south while Joe Russo's Almost Dead will once again be doing a late night residency in town during the second weekend. Some Grateful Dead members proper will be in town as well as it looks like Bob Weir and The Wolf Brothers and Phil Lesh will both be hosting concerts in the Big Easy. 

And now some people who should be playing the festival (or late night), but probably won't be...

Dr. Dog-
We think this shaggy bunch would fit in perfectly at the fest and yet they have not played it. One of these years...

Screaming Females-
Unlike Dr Dog, ScreMales don't really fit the festival vibe, but a late night set somewhere like Siberia would be a fucking delight.

Lil' Wayne-

Probably not the NOLA festival for him, but hot dam RtBE would love to catch Weezy at the fairgrounds.

Bob Dylan-
One of these years he is going to return to the festival, so why not this year...we loved the last Beacon show he played and 50 years seems like a good time to bring the Bard back.

Tom Waits-
If we are shooting for the moon....why not Waits? It is 50 who knows.

Who do think is playing, who do you want? Feel free to comment below and stay tuned for an announcement in the next few days. 


  1. Have you ever gotten any of these right?

    1. Did pretty well last year with Jack, Buffett, Isbell, Baker, Promise of the Real etc: