The Fortifiers

As the man who booked the bands whose songs the whole world sings, Sonny Schneidau is used to calling the shots. One of the original founders of Tipitina's, which was established in 1977 as a home base for Professor Longhair, Schneidau logged a total of more than 30 years as the talent buyer for that legendary nightclub at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas as well as at the House of Blues before stepping down in 2015.

Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos of the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau found himself on the receiving end of Schneidau's talents during the years when the Ponderosa Stomp was showcased at the House of Blues. Now the tables have turned, and Dr. Ike is returning the favor by booking the Fortifiers, Schneidau's band of musical comrades.

Who are the Fortifiers? Including Schneidau (who claims to have seen every concert at New Orleans' legendary Warehouse nightclub from 1970 to 1982), they're "five lifelong fans of popular music from the first 3/4s of the 20th century who combine their skill and passion to interpret urban-style jump blues and boogie. Being New Orleanians, their take is heavily infused with Afro Caribbean Hillbilly Cunazz Fonk and swagger. And a little George Jones for relief. Must see!"

With Schneidau on guitar and vocals, the Fortifiers also include JB Baldwin on harmonica and vocals, G-Man McCollum on guitar, Rudebelly on bass and vocals, and The MahaRodger Martin on drums.

In recent months, the band has played at local clubs such as Chickie Wah Wah, the Circle Bar, Le Bon Ton Roule, and Tipitina's, and is scheduled to play at the Gretna Heritage Festival just before their October 2016 appearance at the Ace Hotel New Orleans. They've also shared bills and stages with artists such as Walter "Wolfman" Washington and the Song Dogs.

Don't miss these walking encyclopedias of blues and R&B, led by Schneidau, the programming force behind more funk-filled feverishly drunken New Orleans nights than you probably care to remember.

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