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Neal Francis Is The Next Superstar of Music

Friday night, I had one of the most random nights of seeing music in New Orleans that I can remember. I started the night with a trip down memory lane seeing Better Than Ezra at the House of Blues. During Jazzfest, there are night shows all over the city so I decided to take advantage.

My 4th grade teacher's son Jim Payne is actually in the band and they have a bunch of Louisiana ties. I had not seen Better Than Ezra in at least 15 years and it was super nostalgic. (I was a fan in high school over 20 years ago).

They played all their big hits from Good to Desperately Wanting to This Time of Year. It was certainly an older crowd but I gotta say I really enjoyed the show!

After it ended, I headed to the Joy Theater to catch the last hour of the funk & horns band Lettuce. Led by Guitarist Eric Krasno and a bunch of horns, these guys ALWAYS bring the heat! And this show was no different.


It ended about 1:30am and I got talked into finishing the night off at the legendary Tipitina's to see upcoming star Neal Francis instead of going to bed like a normal human being. And I am damn glad I went! It is Jazzfest after all…..

Neal looks like a combo of a young Mick Jagger & Jim Morrison. He has a smooth voice and an extraordinary keyboard player. I saw him for the first time two years ago during Jazzfest at the Toulouse Theater and was impressed. But that show was NOTHING compared to what went down in the wee hours of Friday night!


Neal opened with a "Rock The Casbah" cover and then absolutely CRUSHED it for the following 2 hours. It is rare for me to get into new music with songs I am not familiar with but I was riveted. His voice is silky smooth and the band rocked. 


I walked out of Tipitina's at 4:15am fully satisfied knowing I just witnessed the next superstar in music. Neal will also be a guest on Wake Up Mintzy soon and is part of a huge 4th of July show at Salt Shed in Chicago with My Morning Jacket & Andy Frasco.

Neal's show was the 2nd best I saw during Jazzfest behind The Rolling Stones…. very high praise indeed! Follow him @thenealfrancis on Twitter & @nealfrancismusic on Instagram. He's about to go to the damn moon!